Did you know that there are over 156 million public blogs, according to Wikipedia. That's a lot of competition for all you nonprofit campaigners and bloggers. How do you make your blog stand out? What are the best blogging practices your organization should implement that will also generate more blog traffic? Frogloop's got you covered. Check out some of our favorite blogging tips below.
Target Audiences – Before you write your blog post, think about whom your target audiences are for that particular post. Is it activists? Educators? The Hill? It’s ok for you to target different audiences with different posts.
Tone – Posts should have a conversational tone and attempt to tell a story. They should not be wonky – unless your targeting policy makers. :)
Get to the Point – Frame your blog post around a central thesis statement.
Be Compelling – Use staggering stats that illustrate your key points or share pertinent statistics about the key issue or campaign you are working on. And be specific – don’t talk in generalizations.
Make it Scannable – People like to skim blogs for key points. Utilize bullets, short paragraphs, and bolded headlines to make the blog posts scannable. Consider doing list-driven posts, e.g. Five Tips to Save Money on Your Electricity Bill.
Fresh and Relevant Content - Follow the news related to the issues you work on. Use your blog posts to provide commentary on the latest news, resources, reports, policies, summits or events you attended, and how this impacts people’s lives and the planet.
Headlines – Use short, catchy headlines that summarize blog posts. Try using organizational keywords. For example, if you were an environmental organizations working on climate change issues you would use key words such as global warming, renewable energy, etc) as much as possible.
Calls to Action – Finish the post with a call-to-action when appropriate.
Photos – All posts should have the bloggers photo. Why? Because it's an easy way for readers to connect with bloggers and put a face behind the article. You should also include at least one photo or graphic in each post if at all possible. Pictures help frame and tell the story of the post.
When to Post – People used to think that the most blog traffic came duing the work week and during business hours. Some studies have found that blog articles posted on the weekend can be be traffic boosters too. Test both approaches with your audience and see what works best for your organization's blog traffic.
Length – Aim for about 500 words per blog post. If you feel that your post would benefit from a lengthier post divide it into a two-part post and tell readers when they can expect to read part two. Short blog posts are ok too as long as they have a central thesis and provide enough information to readers and don’t leave them hanging.
Frequency – Commit to blog a couple of times a week though blogging more frequently is even better if you have the staff resources. :)
Generating Comments – Pose questions to readers. Ask them for their opinions. Ask them to share a personal story or experience related to the topic you’re discussing in your blog post.
Public Comments – When someone comments on your blog post, take a few minutes to respond to them – thank them for their feedback, respond to a question or debunk a myth. If you receive several comments on a blog post, respond to people briefly as a group such as @Kelly, you raise a good point but... @Barry – A good resource for you to check out is at www. This approach cuts down on the amount of time you spend time responding to public comments but makes people feel like someone is listening and being responsive.
Profanity – Do not use profanity. You are a professional and representing an organization.
Promote Posts – Share your blog posts with colleagues and appropriate networks via listservs you are members of, LinkedIn groups you have joined, on your organization’s Twitter account, etc. Use Goo.gl a url shortener to send out links to your post. They are useful for tracking and promoting posts on Twitter, which only allow 140 characters per tweet.
Grammar and Spell Check - Make sure all posts have been grammar and spell-checked.