You know a blog can benefit your nonprofit in a variety of ways. It’s why you decided to start one. Calling it a priority however, might be a bit of stretch. If you’re being honest, you tend to think of posting only when you have something exciting to share. And you’re definitely not alone.
Put bluntly, people don’t always know what to write about other than news, so they don’t post all that frequently. Your nonprofit’s blog is more than a place to share updates with your readers. It’s an opportunity to establish your credibility and showcase your impact. But, doing this effectively—and seeing those benefits from blogging you’ve read so much about—requires some forethought.
You know the saying, “behind every great man there’s a great woman?” Well, behind every great nonprofit blog is a great blog strategy.
Crafting a blogging strategy to guide you through the coming weeks and months takes the guesswork out of blogging. It turns a lackluster blog into a powerful tool. If you’re looking to turn your blog into something you’ll see tangible returns from, I recommend starting with these three tips.
Plan Your Attack
In the blogging world, this means creating an editorial calendar. You don’t need to be a huge content-producing conglomerate to benefit from one of these. It doesn’t matter if you’re posting content once a day or once a week; planning ahead is something anyone can benefit from.
An editorial calendar allows you to look at the big picture.
Have a big fundraising campaign in June? Mark it on the calendar, and plot out your blog posts leading up to the big event. Now, not only do you know when you’re going to start promoting it, you know what you’re going to write about as well.
Want to start publishing twice a week instead of just once? Plan out your post topics for the next few weeks and jot them down on the calendar. It’s much easier to meet your goals when the planning and prep work is already done.
Gone are the days of scrambling for ideas at the last minute, or just ignoring your blog completely because you don’t know what to say. An editorial calendar allows you to get organized, which helps you not only increase the quality of your posts, but your reach as well.
Not sure where to go to start building one of your own? The options are limitless.
Help People Find You
Optimize your posts. Your general website copy isn’t the only content that needs to be SEO-friendly. Optimizing your nonprofit’s blog posts creates the potential to expand your reach, grow your audience and engage new supporters.
An editorial calendar is extremely useful in SEO planning. Your posts are plotted out for the next few months, so why not start brainstorming keywords they could potentially rank for? Creating a well-optimized blog post is a lot easier to do when you know your target phrase before you start writing. Trying to change up copy to fit a phrase you decided on after writing a post can be difficult. It can also result in some very awkward sentences.
Once you have your keyword phrase picked out, make sure to include it in the title, body copy, URL and the post’s meta description (this is the description that pops up in search results). Putting the phrase in all of these places will make it easier for Google to decide whether or not it’s a relevant page to return in search results.
Optimizing your post is only half the battle. It’s great that people can now find your content, but you need to advertise it, too. This is when social media becomes extremely beneficial to your nonprofit. Not only should you be promoting new blog posts throughout the social sphere, you should be encouraging your readers to do the same.
Social media is an opportunity to share content, increase awareness of your nonprofit’s work and engage new people. You need to account for promoting posts in your blog strategy. You can write, but if no one knows it’s there, then it’s not doing you much good.
The specifics of developing a social media strategy deserve their own post. Each platform comes with its own quirks. Tone, timing and the best type of content to use vary across the social sphere. The important thing is to get your content out there, and on multiple platforms.
Your blog has the potential to increase awareness of and support for your nonprofit, but it requires your putting some time and thought into it. Looking ahead is key. Hopefully these tips help you pull together a successful plan for your blog.
Does your nonprofit have a strategy for its blog? Do you have any tips you would add to our list? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image courtsey of Markus Spiske