Blogging as a means of communication is an important exercise for nonprofit organizations to maintain openness and trust. The term blogging might be understood as simply creating and drafting articles or content for a website, but there is so much more to it. It is a powerful medium to tell great stories.
In this article, we will take you through 10 blogging best practices for nonprofits that will help you grow your viewership and engagement through content.
Nonprofit Blogging Best Practices: Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Blog and How to Create a Terrific One
Adopt Google Analytics
It is our #1 recommendation among all nonprofit blogging best practices. It is a great idea to create a blog, however it is extremely important to know and understand your target audience.
Adding a reporting tool gives you powerful insights into the user behavior. It lets you know the kind of impact that your post is creating. In order to track such information, there are tools like Google Analytics that you can add to your blog. These tools are often free and require little work to install on your site. When you’re setting up Google Analytics, there is a tracking ID that you’ll have to install into the header of your site. Within a week of setting up an analytics account, your reports are ready to use.
Here’s a guide to setting up the same.
Practise modern blogging
“Blogger” was the first blogging platform launched in 1999. It gave audiences the freedom to express and share their opinion through comments. Now, this has become a norm on every social media platform. Earlier, blogs were written in first person and the content was rather lengthy. Today, there is more variety, ranging from a 250 words article with images to articles with 5000 words, more like a photo essay or an infographic. The narrative too is no longer in first person with multiple authors to a single blog. Articles are now seen and referred to as “stories”. The art of storytelling has truly been upgraded.
The right calls to action
Embedding a call to action within your content is a growing trend as it conveys how your readers can help in making a difference. When writing for a range of topics including easy fundraising ideas, a button to take an action will pave the way to practise the suggested ideas immediately.
To put it in simple words, keywords help you get found! Keywords are words and even phrases that users type on a search engine to extract more information about a certain topic, service, product or even an organization. These range from being
short-tail (one or two words), middle-tail (three to four words) and long-tail keywords (four or more words). The point here is inserting these keywords into your blog content. Here’s how you can create your list of keywords.
Consistency in schedule
Make a plan to post regularly on your blog. In order to begin executing on this idea, maintain a calendar that will help you plan ahead, have topics that you would like to write about, for the month. This will also bring in more accountability. Posting regularly will boost website traffic and before you know it, you’ll have a set of resources that you can put on other communication materials such as emails and social media, among others.
Maintain specific sections
It is always a good idea to divide the topics of your blog content into different categories. Once you do that, do the same on your display, this will help your readers find their topic of interest sooner and save a lot of time. For example, all tips and ideas can be in one category and your success stories can be put in a different column. It brings a neat touch up to your site as well.
It is not just emails that are being read on mobile devices nowadays, therefore you need to optimize your blog such that its content is accessible through mobile devices. The world is on the go and not everybody carries a laptop around, it is easier to consume content via a mobile phone even at home. Blending with the trend is a necessity for nonprofit organizations.
Network through your content
Get nonprofit experts and feature them in your content. Your organization can reach out to field experts such as nonprofit influencers and leaders and suggest a collaboration. This can be content creation in the form of an article or a roundup post, it is also ideal to be open to guest articles. These practices will help you widen your network and increase your visibility as links to articles get shared from the end of the experts that you have onboard.
Humans are very visual individuals, therefore your content should have images and videos that compliment your storytelling. Even when you don’t have a visual to put within your content, make sure that you have a nice banner that goes along with the body of your article. Showcase the impact of your work and the people that your cause is helping through powerful visuals. It is also a good idea to display visuals related to your team on your site, show images and videos on “behind the scenes” and the working of your organization.
In addition to thank you letters and phone calls, consider writing blogs to highlight volunteer and donor contribution. It isn’t just as an expression of gratitude and good manners, but rather a way of building relationships. Sign off your articles with a thank you to your supporters. Your home page can also have a permanent message of gratitude for your visitors. Since so many people come through your main website, it’s a great place to showcase public appreciate about and for your supporters.
Blogging is a great way to start and keep a conversation with your donor community going. Regular posts improve your search engine rankings and boost your website traffic. This in turn will increase the opportunities for incoming donations. We hope you use our nonprofit blogging best practices to create content that performs. Whenever you post content on your blog, make sure that you share a link on your social media handles and other communication materials such as emails and newsletters.
Whether you’re thinking about launching your first blog or looking to improve an existing one, benefit from these nonprofit blogging best practices. Did we miss an important tip? Let us know in a comment below!