Nonprofits love their emails newsletters and for good reason! Your email list holds your most committed supporters, and it feels so good to communicate with them!
But does your blog languish at the cost of putting out emails? Does your website feel stale and hasn’t been updated in two months?
Despite the benefits of a good email newsletter, too many nonprofits ignore their websites while pouring all their energy into newsletters. At best, some organizations post PDFs of their newsletters as “blog posts”, despite all the problems with PDFs on nonprofit websites. It doesn’t have to be this way!
If you blog first and share those posts in your newsletter, you get more engagement on your website while still producing a vibrant newsletter. It’s literally twice the results with the same effort.
(If you have WordPress, you have a blog)
You might not think of your website as having a blog or yourself as a blogger. But it does, and you are!
Your “blog” might be labeled “News” or “Announcements” or “Updates”, but whatever you call it, your WordPress website has a page devoted to showing all your Posts—capital “P” as opposed to “Pages”—in chronological order. That’s a blog!
Some people get turned off by the word “blog”, but don’t let that scare you away. For the purposes of this article at least, “blogging” is just regularly publishing new material to your site about news, events, your impact, media coverage, and whatever else is new and exciting at your organization. If you have the capacity for an email newsletter, you have the capacity to blog.
Infographic: Power your newsletter with blog posts
Now that you’re sure you have a blog, here’s the magic formula:
- Post engaging and bite-size articles to your blog.
- For each newsletter, pick your best posts (even 2 or 3 is enough!) and link to them in your newsletter.
- Add a custom welcome message or something else exclusive to the newsletter. You want to make sure your newsletter subscribers still feel special.
Executed correctly, this format is engaging and primarily assembled with writing you already have!
The Benefits of Blogging First
If you’re not sold yet, making this change comes with all the benefits you get from following blogging best practices.
- Your website is more up-to-date and vibrant with new information.
- Your blog posts are easy to share on social media and in your newsletter, driving traffic back to your website. (The blog-driven newsletter fits without the broader practice of using your blog as the “hub” for all your online communications.)
- Every blog post improves your site’s SEO.
While many email newsletters are just digital versions of a formerly printed product, blogging is the publication medium of the web. That means it’s more user-friendly, engaging, and future-proof! Plus, doing it this way is simply a best practice among nonprofit professionals.
While it might take a few months to get used to this new workflow, this formula only requires a bit more effort than you already put into your newsletter while powering your blog, social media, and newsletter all at once! That’s a huge win and will surely expand your reach and quality of your communications.
Once you make the change, you’ll have a hard time ever seeing why you did things the other way around. So stop reading and go get blogging! (And then emailing. 😉)