Running a successful nonprofit can be challenging, and one of your main goals is connecting with your audience. You want to share information, drive engagement, and build community interest and support. One great way to connect is through building your online presence by starting a nonprofit blog.
Just because you have a great website doesn’t guarantee anyone will visit it, though. But, you can take steps to drive online engagement to help your organization meet your goals. Even if you’ve never run a blog before, you’ve already got the passion and knowledge you’re ready to share. Read on to learn seven simple steps to get started.
This article will cover the whys and hows of getting your nonprofit blog up and running:
- Why you need a blog for your nonprofit
- 7 Simple steps to starting a great blog
- Nonprofit blogs that are doing it right
- Your turn
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Why you need a blog for your nonprofit
If you just wrapped up some year-end successes but want to attract more visitors to your nonprofit website, a blog can help. Making sure your website shows up on Google is extremely important, and nonprofit blogs are a great way to both deepen and broaden the reach of your website — and drive more traffic.
Your blog works with Google’s search algorithm to help move your site higher up in the list of search results, so readers can find your site quickly.
A blog will demonstrate to readers that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re a trustworthy, credible source. By offering free information on your blog, you’ll start to make an important connection with readers. They’ll want to visit your site and learn more about you. When you want to use the best online marketing tactics for your nonprofit, a blog is a must-have.
7 Simple steps to starting a great blog
You can follow a simple seven-step formula to get your nonprofit blog up and running in no time.
Step # 1: Decide where your blog fits best.
The first step is to decide where your blog makes the most sense. The pros suggest running a blog on your main website under a different tab. Or, you can set up a separate blog on a WordPress or Blogger site that connects back to your regular website with plenty of links.
When you carefully position a blog on your site, you’ll draw more meaningful traffic to the right places, and you’ll have a built-in place to show off your expertise and share knowledge that will interest your audience.
Step # 2: Understand your audience.
A big part of nonprofit branding is understanding your audience. This is especially true when it comes to your blog posts. Your blog should address topics from within your industry written in a way that your audience can understand.
Topics should, of course, touch on ideas that your audience wants to learn about. Blog content about owning and operating a farm probably won’t benefit an audience in New York City.
Step # 3: Remember your brand voice.
Let your brand’s voice shine through on every blog post. If your blogs are random and disjointed, you’ll sound less authoritative, and readers won’t connect as strongly with what you have to say. Some visitors might read a lot of different content that you have to offer, and if each blog post is radically different from the others, you’ll just confuse the reader.
If the voice in a blog post is completely different from your brand’s voice on the rest of your site, it will seem strange. Nothing’s wrong with keeping a conversational tone in your blog posts, but make sure your voice is still there.
Step # 4: Choose your writers.
Don’t worry if you’re not a strong writer. It’s not uncommon for a nonprofit to hire a dedicated writer or a writing team for their blog posts. Whomever you choose, you’ll want to work together to maintain writing consistency. That way you’ll ensure that each blog is formatted similarly, keeps your brand’s voice intact, and offers an additional level of credibility by looking organized and consistent. Adding an author byline can lend extra authority when readers know who wrote what.
Step # 5: Create a blog template.
A strong template will dramatically help your blog. Readers will get familiar with your format as they read multiple blogs on your site. A template will also help your writing team maintain consistency and streamline the process. Instead of a blank slate, the writer will begin with a roadmap.
A template is a good way to remind yourself about the things that matter in a blog:
- A good topic
- A strong introduction
- An actionable conclusion to end each post
Step # 6: Plan a publishing calendar.
Putting together a publishing calendar will keep you on track for the year. It gives you a bird’s eye view of how your year will look and allows you to focus on certain parts of your blog for any given month. Carefully review your publishing calendar when it’s written. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to follow it exactly, but it’s a great way to start.
Post often and make sure you have enough manpower to keep up with your blog. If your blog starts gathering cobwebs, it won’t do you any good. You can also try setting up calendar reminders on your preferred app to keep up with it.
Step # 7: Set goals for your nonprofit blog.
A few attainable goals will keep you and your team motivated. The goal of each blog should be to get more eyes on your website. More traffic means more opportunities for your nonprofit. Online marketing is a numbers game, and a blog will help to increase those numbers. A well-placed blog on your website can even help accelerate your fundraising.
Some people get discouraged if their blog doesn’t get a million views overnight. Remember that it’s a work in progress. If your blog is done right, people will show up over time.
Set goals that help to benchmark your success and keep track of your blog’s path. Celebrate whenever you accomplish a new goal!
Nonprofit blogs that are doing it right
If you want some inspiration, check out these nonprofit blogs that are doing it right. Take a close look at how their blogs are set up, what kind of posts they make, and how frequently they post.
- The Agitator
- Future Fundraising Now
- TechSoup Blog
- Beth’s Blog
- The Storytelling Non-Profit
- nten Connect Blog
Now you know why you need a nonprofit blog, and these seven steps should help you set up a successful one. Take a look at the nonprofit blogs that did it right so you can see a good blog in action. Have fun with your own blog and explore topics that will interest you as well as your readers.
For more resources on starting your nonprofit blog, read Constant Contact’s The Download, a free guide to connecting with your audience and making use of digital tools to grow the success of your nonprofit.