A number of nonprofit organizations have proved that blogging is worthwhile and beneficial. Often, I’m asked by board members, wishing to establish a blogging presence for their nonprofit, how they can increase traffic on their blog.
It’s a complex question, and the answer mostly depends on the nature of each individual blog. However, there is one piece of advice that applies to all blogs:
Add something to the dialogue of the community.
For nonprofit organizations, this means avoiding the Diary Disease. Don’t just detail the ins and outs of what you do as an organization. Instead, look to engage the reader by offering something helpful, something they take away with them. This doesn’t have to be something tangible (like a tutorial to achieve some task); it could be abstract (like leaving the reader with a sense of motivation). Visitors to blogs are selfish. We want to get something out of your blog. That’s what keeps us coming back.
This isn’t to say you should never talk about the operations of your nonprofit–you should. Just do so sparingly. Blog post after blog post talking about your nonprofit’s most recent project gets old. You need to hook readers in with a dialogue, a “hey, let’s talk” approach (instead of a “I’m gonna talk…you listen” approach).
- Look at your field. What’s going on it? Is there a big conference coming up? A controversial story in the news? A recent crisis? Get to know your field (or “niche”, if you will) by following other related blogs, Facebook pages, etc. Staying “in the know” will help you add something to the flow.
- Have no fear! Set aside any hesitations, any worries you may have and write. That controversy in the news? It can be intimidating to cover, for fear of offending the opposing side’s views. Determine if you want to unbiasedly cover the facts, in a journalistic style, or (better yet) offer your thoughts, like an Op. Ed. piece. Sure, it’s scary to take a stance. But if you never offer anything to say, why would anyone want to listen?
- Keep the dialogue going by establishing a vocal presence. Frequent other blogs and comment, comment, comment! Ask questions of your readers on Facebook, enter into conversations on Twitter, and write guest posts for other blogs.
Blogging is a commitment, but if you put in the time, the rewards could be exponentially great.
How do you come up with topics for your blog posts?
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