Ever wondered why you should blog? Are you stuck and lacking motivation to write? This post will get you inspired and excited about the possibilities of blogging to support your organization.
One of the newer pages on Nonprofit WP is “Blogging Best Practices.” There is a ton of great info on that page, including tips for blogging frequently, ideas for blog posts, and best practices for crafting the perfect post. But the crown jewel of the page is this diagram showing how you can use your blog to turn passive followers into engaged supporters.
Blog + Social Media = Engagement
Take a look, and then we’ll break it down…
It’s a tricky little diagram but here’s what’s going on. Start in the middle column:
- First, publish interesting content about your nonprofit to your website’s blog.
- Next, share links to your blog posts on social media.
Make sure those posts have good “Meta Descriptions” and “Featured Images” so they generate nice looking link previews!
- Instead of reading what’s on your Facebook page or in a Tweet, users visit your site to read your blog post. Make sure it’s worth their time.
- Once on your website, users can reach important calls to action like the donate page or a volunteer signup form.
See what you did there? Instead of a user passively reading your email newsletter or watching something on Facebook, they can act on their interest in your cause and become an even bigger supporter of your organization!
So here’s that successful recipe for engagement through blogging one more time:
- Post to your blog.
- Share your posts on social media.
- Drive traffic back to your website.
- Use calls to action to generate deeper engagement.
The Right Calls to Action
The best calls to action in a blog post are timely, relevant, and not too pushy.
If you ask for donations in every post, the request loses impact. Urging people to contact their senator at the end of a new staff member profile probably doesn’t make much sense either. Provide a single clear call to action at the end of your blog posts and make sure it relates closely to the content above it. Committed visitors who have actually read (or browsed) the blog post will be much more likely to click the link and support your nonprofit!
Educate Your Visitors (and Google)
Similar to call to action links, make sure you’re cross-linking from your posts to relevant web pages. Mention a program with it’s own page? Link to it! Discussing an important policy proposal? Link to your position paper. Mentioning a staff person? Link to their bio.
While these links may not drive engagement in the moment, they allow users to learn more about your organization and follow their interests through your site. A website visitor may need repeated exposures before taking a big step up in activity with you, so be patient and keep them interested.
As a bonus, linking from blog posts to other relevant information on your site helps search engines better understand who you are and what you do. In the future, this means people interested in your cause are more likely to find your nonprofit in search results!
Owning Your Content
WordPress lets you “own your content”, because it lives in a database on a hosting plan you have access to. It’s also easy—relatively speaking—to export that data into a new system should the need arise.
Tons of nonprofits post to Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram that only lives on those sites. By posting first to your blog, you know that if a social media site loses active users or reduces access to your followers—cough-FACE-hack-BOOK-wheeze-#%$@!—you still have the information safely stored on your website.
Blogs are powerful communication tools for reporting on your work and sharing your impact with your most committed followers. When fully optimized, a blog can become an engagement tool itself, bringing your social users closer to your organization where they can help you make the world a better place!