Blogging is a great way to keep in touch with the community, to share thoughts, ideas and tell the stories of the work you’re doing.
Some look on blogging as something that’s too hard to do, too hard to come up with ideas and too time consuming – it can be, but it needn’t be.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of blogging for your charity.
Blogs help you to get quick, timely news out to your supporters and wider communityBlog posts need not take hours to prepare, typically I spend about 30 minutes to an hour preparing my posts; whereas newsletters or other forms of communicating with your audience can take a lot longer.
What you share on your blog needn’t be only about what you’re doing, blogging allows you to share news, information and other titbits about your sector.
Blogging is the (almost) pain free way to stay in touch.
Give readers multiple ways of subscribing, email, rss – look at using services like Feedblitz or Feedburner Email to allow subscribing by email.
You can further build trust with your supporters through your blog
Blogging allows you to be personable with your supporters, more often than not supporters can see any charity as faceless, a blog can help break down barriers.
It’s good to be ‘human’ and let you’re personality come through the blog. Being human with your blog will allow conversations through comments … remember to build relationships, you have to have conversations.
Some charities have a fear of negative comments, Don’t. Any comment gives you the opportunity to ‘talk’, to explain and clear up any misgivings, any misunderstandings and so much more.
Be seen and heard – Reach more people
How often do you have to see something to remember it? More than once no doubt, the same can be true with blogs, and the best way to reach more people, to be seen and heard is to share your blog though as many channels as you can.
Some suggestions would be to:
- Include an excerpt in your e-newsletter, with a click through to the original post
- Share links to your blog through Twitter, FaceBook,
- Encourage your readers, supporters and others who receive your blog to forward it to people they feel would be interested
Note: If you’re sharing your blog on social networks – FaceBook, Twitter, Digg etc, it could pay to post notifications to the new post multiple times. If you do approach if differently each time. When you tweet a link to the post the first time use the title of the post, later share it using an interesting fact or “pull quote” with the link.
Blogs can make life easy
What? I hear you ask. Simple, once you’ve been blogging for a while you will notice that you’ll have content that you can use in other forms of communication; your own newsletters, content for ‘sector’ newsletters.
Media coverage/interest can be gained
We all do it, we sit and hope, fingers cross that a reporter will be interested and cover a story about the work we do.- blogs can help create your own coverage.
There’s been plenty of instances where people have used a blog to cover an event, or something happening in the community. If it’s covered well and often enough it can eventually gain attention from media.
Don’t forget that reporters and journalists use the internet to search out experts, references to subjects – so, if you write on the same topics repeatedly the chances are that when a reporter searches your issue, your posts may appear in search results.
Don’t thing of your blogs as another chore – they can be fun
Don’t think of your blog as another ‘job’ that has to be done, see it as an extension, as a tool in your communications arsenal.Some people decide they want to blob, but then palm the work off to someone who may not have the same passion, understanding or general interest in the sector; don’t fall into this trap.
Do it yourself, or get someone, or a number of people to do your blogging – most of all have people who can communicate well, enjoy researching and writing.
If you have patrons and ambassadors invite them to be a guest blogger, to talk about why they’re involved.
There’s also value in having some of the people you help contribute to articles, they can share their stories.
What are you waiting for? Your blog won’t start itself, start thinking about your blog and how beneficial it can be to your charity.
If you’re already blogging, how has it been for you, what have the results been?