Blog Content Ideas: 13 (lucky) ways to make sure your blog has great content

By | February 10, 2011


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:

  1. Make it personal. Pretend that you are writing an email to a friend. Your tone and manner should be friendly and not “corporate sounding.”
  2. 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?
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. You don’t have to write a lot. A paragraph or two is just fine.
  7. 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.
  8. It is great to have a summary in the first paragraph or a subhead that has some punch.
  9. Have a great title. Your title is important. “July Update” is not going to get me to continue reading.
  10. Pictures are great. Even a couple of shots with captions can be effective for making a point.
  11. 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.
  12. Encourage people to take action. What would you like them to do after reading your post? Don’t assume they will know: tell them.
  13. 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?

Jeffery James
Jeffery James
Jeffery is the Creative Director and Principal of Spire2. He brings marketing expertise from a variety of industries. He excels at understanding clients' corporate objectives, translating them into brand positioning and executing marketing materials that exceed expectations.

4 thoughts on “Blog Content Ideas: 13 (lucky) ways to make sure your blog has great content

    1. Thanks for asking. I think the list is just as applicable. One difference. The non-profit has a built in purpose— to show activity and that they are making a difference (not to say one couldn’t have other strategies). I think a for-profit has to have a clear strategy in place on what the blog is trying to accomplish and have correct expectations on the time required to build a successful blog.

  1. How often should you post new blogs? I’ve heard every day to once a week. I know it should be frequent, but how frequent is frequent?

    1. Lorraine,

      Great question. I would say that the answer depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your blog. I don’t publish faithfully, but that doesn’t make my blog bad (I hope). I utilize it as a resource for prospects who want to know how I think, and to be helpful for clients who are trying to stay on top of the ever changing landscape of marketing communication. I don’t fool myself into thinking that people are going to come to my site just to check if I have something new on my blog. I point people to my blog content through my email marketing. If you are trying to make your blog a destination then you would want to publish daily so that people who will visit can be confident that every time they return there will be new content.

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