Blogging at your nonprofit is one of the best ways to keep your support base updated on what’s happening as well as to show the impact that your work is having on making the world a better place.
Telling stories helps you improve SEO and even get more donations too! But unfortunately, usually someone who already has a laundry list of “more important tasks” to do is assigned the task of blogging.
This sets her up for failure.
Writing takes practice. It’s an art. It takes time and experience to whittle down thoughts, plots, and to craft an amazing story. There are secrets to this art that anyone and everyone can learn too.
Here are eight tips on how to write an amazing blog post that is personal, engaging, and impactful to your donors and supporters.
1. Take your time selecting a topic
The post will flow better if you know what your theme will be from the outset. You want the content to seamlessly fit together with smooth transitions from one part to the next, and deciding on a solid topic or theme can help in creating cohesion. Selecting a topic is seeing the final story before weaving it all together.
2. Create an outline with the main ideas
No one wants to read a stream of consciousness about your cause. It’s cluttered and hard to read. Make sure you know what you want to say before you begin writing. An outline will create a clear path to help you stay on topic as you articulate each point.
3. Carefully craft the opening line
You must draw in your audience with a great first line and first paragraph. Be vivid in your description by using concrete words versus abstract ones. Here are some examples of great opening lines and terrible ones.
4. Grab their attention with a great title
The purpose of a title is similar to the aim of a TV commercial or a billboard. You have a few seconds to tell them why they should read the post. “Sell” your post in your title!
5. Make sure you have a call to action!
Your aim should be to take supporters beyond the facts to the very frontlines so don’t waste an opportunity to get them onboard or to increase their involvement. Be sure to include a hyperlink to a page where donors can take Action to support you financially or to subscribe to updates.
6. Revise, edit & publish
Once you (or better yet, someone else on your team) have checked and double-checked for errors, cohesion, and flow, you’re ready to publish!
7. Be strategic about when you publish
Your donors and supporters are just as busy as you are when you’re sitting down to write a blog post in 30 minutes, so be strategic and publish when 1000s people are checking Facebook and reading online materials: mostly in the morning, between work and dinner, and close to bed time.
8. Interact with you readers by responding to comments
As always, you will learn a lot about the impact of your post by any feedback you get. If you get a comment, be sure to follow up and reply within 24 hours or less.
This should relieve some pressure to write a blog post from thin air. Always begin with a theme (with your audience in mind) and then create an outline. This should make your blogging more efficient so you can get to the other tasks that are still waiting for you. Try it out today!