Having a blog for your charity is very important, especially for today. With the digital world progressing all too quickly, people are seeking physical connections again – a book rather than an ebook, a record rather than a digital download. Although blogging is an online tool, you can still use it to communicate with your supporters, allowing them to respond to you, as well to form relationships.
Blogs can be a powerful way of informing the public on key ideas, so here are our top tips on getting the most from your charity blog.
Make a Content Plan
Accepting that a blog will take some time is the first step to running a successful blog, the second step is to starting planning. Whether you plan 3 months, 6 months or a year in advance, it is important to sit down and think about what you want to cover. Are there key issues that you want to educate your audience about? Will you be doing any campaigns that could generate discussion? Are there any national days or seasonal events that are relevant to your mission for you to use as a hook for content? Only when you think of these questions can you make a content plan and stick to it.
Your blog needs to have a balance between real stories, issues in the news currently and inspiration or educational pieces; it’s important that each one is engaging, personal and relatable. Some things can come across as too promotional or dull, so always think of your angle. If you promote a blog about your new campaign launch, you may get a few interesting clicks but you won’t get much engagement. If you approach it differently, such as by asking a question that might spark a debate, you will see a huge difference in response.
Planning is essential to success, so think and plan content and be flexible to respond to current topics.
People respond to people, so be personal in your blog posts and connect with your supporters. While you can have employees writing engaging content, often, the best stories come from volunteers and the people who have benefited from the charity instead. Real stories from real people bring a touching element to blogs that make them very relatable and therefore shareable.
In some cases, employees are the perfect writers! If you have any staff members that can bring the charity’s work to life through the written word, they would be perfect for educational blogs. If you have any staff members who have experienced the cause, such as mental illness or homelessness, then allow them to share their own experiences with the supporters, many of whom will be able to sympathise or relate to. Real experiences trigger real emotions and blogs that do this get a lot of attention.
Broadcast Your Messages
It’s not enough to just write a blog, you need to get it in front of the right audiences and drive them to your website; the best way to promote blogs is via online methods such as social media and email newsletters. After researching what channels your target audience is most active on, get your blogs out there. Utilise each channel to its potential, such as making use of the trending hashtags on Twitter to generate social sharing and discussion.
Writing great content is only half the story, so get it out there and get people to read it.
Measure Your Success
Reviewing what you’re doing is the only way of knowing you’re being successful. Take a look at your strategy – what is working for your audience and what is not? When you find that out, consider why and improve it.
Just remember that ‘success’ is what you’re aiming for. Are you focussing solely on page views or are you looking at the number of comments, likes and shares? Each metric you focus on will be different for each blog and each charity, so take a little time for trial and error and see what content is the most successful for you.
It can be all too easy for a blog to fall to the bottom of your priority list, but now is not the time to let it. Don’t put it off any longer. Utilise your website and social media channels and get your message out there!