June 12, 2015

Why a (Stellar) Blog is a Key Part of Your Nonprofit’s Success

Sarah Beauchemin • Guest Blogger

Though the public, private, and nonprofit sectors all adhere to slightly different business models, one common foundation is the importance of marketing to establish one’s self as an industry expert.

There is one distinct way to achieve this in today’s information-overloaded world: a stellar blog. A killer blog will add incredible value to your nonprofit in terms of your reputation, web traffic, and overall success.

But businesses often overlook or dismiss the importance of blogging for several reasons. Some still believe that blogging is considered a “hobby,” and therefore is unimportant. Many think that short blurbs and announcements on their homepage are sufficient to get the word out and earn high rankings in Google. Others assume no one really reads blogs, so there’s no point.

Don’t let this misinformation guide your blogging strategy. A blog is super critical to your nonprofit’s prosperity, and here’s why:

It’s the very best way to find your nonprofit’s unique voice

We’ve all seen it. That generic, one-size-fits-all web content. Sentence after sentence lacks personality and tone; it reads like a typewriter repair manual. As we explained in our recent SEO Tips blog post, Google ranks your website based on carefully, creatively written content that has solid style and tone. In other words, generic content does absolutely nothing good for a business and everything bad.

It’s better to have no blog at all than to have one that’s bland. A professional blogger will understand this and work with you to find and cultivate your nonprofit’s unique voice. This is primarily discovered by looking at your constituency and target demographic, then sculpting your tone to “pop” for them.

It’s a phenomenal way to build your reputation

Blogs are a platform to inform and educate. The point of business blogging is to establish yourself as an industry expert, a voice of authority, and a trusted resource. In the nonprofit sector, this means that both prospective and current donors want to know their money is truly helping to do good. People and organizations are far more inclined to donate to causes that constantly reassure their constituency they’re fully in command. Great content speaks for itself; there’s no need to seek alternate methods of persuasion.

It’s the perfect platform for Call To Action (CTA) buttons

All substantive blog posts will include a call to action. In the nonprofit sector, calls to action are the heart and soul of driving revenue. Hubspot cites that one of their Call-to-Action Best Practices is using a CTA button at the end of a blog post to close a sale, or in the case of a nonprofit, a donorship. The goal is to make potential donors feel comfortable and excited about getting involved with your organization. What better way to do that than with your expert insightful blog posts?

It provides an easy, publishable format for pitching and sharing content

Say a prospective donor wants detailed information on a certain aspect of your organization’s mission. Or, better yet, since you’ve proven yourself to be an industry leader, some colleagues want to team with you on an amazing upcoming project. You could waste a bunch of time scouring your network for brochures, past email blasts, and annual campaign letters. Then scrape all of them for pertinent information to compile in one pretty, compact document.

Or, you could already have a slew of outstanding content from which to choose and distribute right there on your blog!

Quality and quantity matter

You’re an industry expert. Your blog content proves you know your stuff. You’ve got followers who now depend on you for the best information and guidance in your area of expertise. So, be consistent. The frequency with which you post to your blog is equally as important as the quality of what you’re saying. Your credibility will rapidly decline if you’re only posting here and there. Weekly posting is the best way to show you’re serious, but if you can’t manage that, every 10-14 days is acceptable.

Keep in mind that one of the biggest mistakes businesses make when outsourcing content is trying to save a buck. There’s an outdated yet pervasive belief that bloggers are, and should be, cheap. This is wrong on so many levels. As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. Hiring an amateur blogger who will accept payment of $15 or $30 for a well-researched, comprehensive post will give you a terrible piece of writing and a migraine, to boot.

So how do you go about finding a professional, experienced blogger? The absolute best way is via recommendations. Read the blogs of trusted colleagues, friends, and other industry leaders. Pay attention to tone, structure, and flow of information. Which posts immediately pique your interest and hold it throughout? Reach out to those authors, and forget the rest. You got this!

More questions? Contact us, we’re here to help!


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