I have been asked a couple of times recently on tips for writing blogs for nonprofits. Thirteen doesn’t seem like the best number, but I am not superstitious, so here they are:
- Make it personal. Pretend that you are writing an email to a friend. Your tone and manner should be friendly and not “corporate sounding.”
- Stories are great. Sharing the impact of what you are doing is powerful and builds trust with your audience. Who doesn’t want to support an organization that is making a difference?
- Have a focus. You don’t want the blog to be too general or broad. Be really sporadic about updating us on the office manager’s cute new dog
- Write about one thing per post. If you have multiple topics, write multiple posts and schedule the other posts for different days — just change the publish date to the date you want the post to become visible. It is like getting a buy-one-get-one-free deal when you discover you are writing two posts instead of one!
- Engage your audience. It is great to ask opinions and feedback and get others to share. Until you build an audience, encourage your supporters and friends to leave comments.
- You don’t have to write a lot. A paragraph or two is just fine.
- Make it scannable if it is long. In email marketing, I am always telling people to keep it short. A blog can be longer if you have good content, but make sure you use subheads. The goal is for someone to be able to scan your subheads and get a gist of what you are writing about.
- It is great to have a summary in the first paragraph or a subhead that has some punch.
- Have a great title. Your title is important. “July Update” is not going to get me to continue reading.
- Pictures are great. Even a couple of shots with captions can be effective for making a point.
- Videos are great, but keep them short. A 10-minute pan of the sun rising is not too exciting. A one-minute testimonial is better.
- Encourage people to take action. What would you like them to do after reading your post? Don’t assume they will know: tell them.
- Link to other things. Of course, linking to other places on your website is great, but don’t limit yourself. Just make sure links open into a new window so they don’t leave your blog.
What would you add to the list?