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Episode 48: Blog Better with These 6 Tips

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I am SUPER excited for today’s episode. Quite a few of you have asked if we could spend an episode talking about blogging… So here you go! Let’s talk about creating a blog for your nonprofit!

First of all, why are blogs important?

If you have a blog, it can help you show up in Google searches and that helps more people find your nonprofit which gives you a better opportunity to serve and help people. 

A blog is another way to connect with them, build their trust in you, and solidify the idea that you are here to help them.

So, what should you write about on your nonprofit’s blog?

Start off by thinking about the person you serve (or want to serve).

What did they eat for breakfast this morning (if they ate)? What do they do in their spare time? What do they spend their money on? Why do they use your service? 

For example: Let’s say your nonprofit is a food bank – why do people come there? What do they use that money for that they save by coming to you? 

Is it so they can save up for shoes for their kids? 

So they can pay for doctor’s appointments, school supplies, medicine? 

Buy their child an ice cream cone or something special? 

They need a little extra money for their mother – medicine, or something extra for her?

You’ve probably had many conversations with people you serve, and you see the hardship they go through. What do you talk to them about when you see them? Are their kids doing OK in school? How is their mother? You know how complex and complicated their lives are. 

When you begin to write the blog post, think of those things and that person. Write your blog post about topics that will help them. We all have things we know are good for us and want to share about them. But is that what the person you serve wants to read about? You know eating healthy is best and kale and super foods are really good, but is that a topic for the people you serve? Probably not. 

Instead what would help them? What would they want to know about?  Think about the questions that person Googles – what do they search for on the internet when they have a question or a need? Then take one question and answer it in your blog post.

Let’s use another example – let’s say your nonprofit is a pregnancy resource center. The person you serve is probably searching questions like: How do you get pregnant? How do you read a pregnancy test? How do you know you’re pregnant? 

Answer each of those questions in their own separate blog post. Break it down to an easy to understand, bite sized article. That’s your blog post.

Think of the person you serve, think of what their day to day life is like, what are their struggles and problems, think about a question they would Google, and then answer one of those questions in a blog post.

A good way to get ideas for blog posts is to brainstorm. Write down the most common problems you encounter at your nonprofit.  What are the recurring problems you hear from the people you serve… Write them ALL DOWN. Don’t think about it too much – this is just a brainstorm activity. Doing this with someone else will help you get the creative juices flowing!

Another way to get ideas for blogging is to ask the people who work at your nonprofit for stories. You’ll gain insight and ideas into what needs you can address in a blog post. You’re not telling that story in the blog post; it’s just meant to give you a topic idea. Write down ALL of these ideas and then go back over your list when you’re finished and pick out the very best ideas.

Now, let’s talk about what happens when it’s actually time for you to sit down and WRITE!

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Use one topic per blog post The temptation here is to give a complete picture of the problem you’re trying to help with.  Avoid that temptation by just answering one question…what does a positive pregnancy test look like, things to do with your children for fun, where to go for free pharmacy meds, three things to do to help your elderly mom.  See? Take just one topic at a time.
  2. Write 150-180 words. In previous episodes when we’ve talked about blogging, I said 300-500 words, but my new recommendation is SHORT. 150-180 words. I am one of those people whose brain is wired, “If some is good, more is better.” In other words, I have a hard time quitting, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I struggle with this ACROSS THE BOARD in life! If some is good, more is better when it comes to food, sleep, exercise, laziness, face cream, listening to the music too loud in my headphones… I really have to fight that mentality of “if some is good more is better” – that isn’t always, if ever, true! So, if you’re like me, and you know you have a tendency to give too much, to fix all the problems, I want you to really focus on setting that limit for your blog post! 150-180 words. 
  3. Use a happy picture with it – is a catalog of free photos you can use for your blog post. Use a happy or appropriate picture that matches the theme of your post.  The picture is to help them think of where they want to be – not a sad picture of where you think they are.
  4. Add your phone number and email address at the end of your blog post so people can contact you. They might finish reading your blog post and think, “Hey! I need more information.” Or “Hey! These people know what they’re talking about – I need to get in touch with them!” Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with them. Put your phone number and email address at the end of every blog post.
  5. Make things easy to look at when possible. 

- Use lists/bullet points – keep them short. 

- Don’t blog about the top 10 things, write about the top 3 things

- Make it easy to read

- Bold the text a little bit for important words. 

Think about who you’re writing to. What are they interested in? Make it easy for them to read.

  1. Write on a 4th grade level. Don’t use big words, it has to be short, quick, easy to read.

Exception:  If you’re blogging for a nonprofit university or an organization like that, you’re going to write longer and on a higher level than 4th grade because your audience typically reads at a higher level.  A blog is not an educational piece, but a way to connect to people you serve or supporters.

Remember that we have thousands of pieces of information coming at us every day. Our brains are made to find the things that will help us survive and thrive.  So, people scan for things that are easy to understand and helpful to use.  If we get too complicated in the words we use or the tips we’re giving, people lose interest quickly.  Keep it simple and easy to read with good bite-sized information.  

A blog is a way to connect with your people to help them.  When you keep them in mind, you’ll have helped them and strengthened their connection with your nonprofit organization.

Can we just step back and recognize for a minute how amazing you are? Here you are, finding out how to write a better blog post for your nonprofit because you want to help more people. You want to serve more people who need your help. You are AWESOME. 

You truly have a heart for helping others, and I admire you and your courage to serve those in need in your community. You inspire me! Thank you for all you’re doing.

Until next time!

Links I mentioned in this episode:

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If you have any questions – I’m right here for you! Ask away! Send me a message on Facebook or Instagram or send me an email and I’ll happily write you back with an answer!

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