The Keys to Successful Nonprofit Blogging that Drives Engagement
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If you have a blog, do you wonder why you don't have more readers? If you don't have one yet, have you considered what a blog might do to help you create greater awareness for your cause? This webinar ...

If you have a blog, do you wonder why you don't have more readers? If you don't have one yet, have you considered what a blog might do to help you create greater awareness for your cause? This webinar will help you understand what folks are looking for, and how you can deliver. Plus, we'll discuss ways to drive more traffic and create greater engagement with your posts.

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  • Did you find this presentation helpful and would like to see more of our sessions? Feel free to register for any of our upcoming NonprofitWebinars sessions here: http://nonprofitwebinars.com/webinars/

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  • Really enjoyed this. Thinking about book reviews for content research is intriguing. I often also suggest looking at blog comments of blogs that are in the industry - what are people reacting to, excited about, etc.
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The Keys to Successful Nonprofit Blogging that Drives Engagement Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Keys to Successful Nonprofit Blogging that Drives Engagement Claire Axelrad January 15, 2013A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 2. Protecting and Preserving the www.cjwconsulting.com Institutional Memories of Nonprofits Since 1993 (866) 598-0430 info@cjwconsulting.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 3. Affordable collaborative data management in the cloud.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 4. Today’s Speaker Claire Axelrad Principal Axelrad Social Benefit ConsultingAssisting with chat questions: Hosting:Jamie Maloney, Nonprofit Webinars Cheri J Weissman, CJW Consulting & Services, Inc.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 5. The Keys to Nonprofit Blogging that Drives EngagementHow to:build a better mousetrap,learn to love mice and vice-versa, andget the mice to help you fulfill your goals.
  • 6. Learn: Little-understood factors affecting your blog readership; Content; Plan; Accessibility How to build a blog worth sharing; Relatable; Conversational; Actionable Why your promotion strategy sucks, and how to fix it! Share; Shareable; Talk; Search Why a blog is important-summary
  • 7. First: Why a Blog is Key Establishes you as a ‘thought leader’ and ‘go-to’ resource. Generates leads (e.g., potential advocates, volunteers. donors and participants). Improves SEO for website. Improves your credibility; people trust blogs.
  • 8. People trust info rec’d from blogsmore than that from FB or Twitter**Social Media Examiner 7 Reasons to Rethink Your Blogging Strategy: New Research
  • 9. KEY: Blogs are your Content HubBlogs are like ‘case statements. They assure you have a consistent stream of fresh, timely new contentyou can repurpose - Tweet, post on Facebook, share on LinkedIn, use in your e-news, hard copy news -and provide testimonials (from comments) you can post on your website.• Social media is content driven• Blogs enable quick content creation that is here and now• Blogging puts a human face to your organization, enabling you to tell relatable stories• Blogging enables action. Report on breaking news. Ask for advocacy actions; emergency $$• Search engines find blog content more easily than website content• Analytic tools installed on your blog make it easy for you to tell what content folks care about• Blogs gave birth to the notion of the “social web” and enabling building communityBlogs are an easy-to-use content platform.
  • 10. Little-Understood Factors Affecting Your Blog ReadershipContent CPA - content must be:Constituent-centered, high quality and relevant to the audience,Planful andAccessible or it’s akin to(1) spending a fortune on an ad for bread; then having only a tasteless loaf that no one will want to come back for again once they’ve tried it; or(2) spending a fortune to sell bread to folks who are gluten intolerant.
  • 11. Constituent-centered, high quality and relevant to the audienceWhat are your constituents greatestproblems?What can you do to make their liveseasier? More meaningful?Your blog is not about you; it’s aboutyour constituents.Brainstorm/research ways to providevalue.Here are some tipsto put the “C” in customer-centered,planful, accessible content.
  • 12. How to show folks you know them and make your content customer-centered.1. Brainstorm customers’ top problems/Verify with 3rd party sources.2. Search on Google “[your subject} FAQs” or “Top [your subject] problems” or “The best reasons to [your subject]” or “Why is/are [your subject] important?”3. “Look inside” Amazon book Table of Contents. Find info that points to customer problems; unanswered questions. LOTS OF FODDER FOR BLOG POSTS INSIDE: What’s wrong with American schools? How to make school a magical place? How to put adults and children on the fast track? How to raise the bar for everybody?
  • 13. More on finding customer-centered content through your own research4. Read Amazon book reviews. See what problems reviewers feel books fail to answer; also see what reviewers find helpful and want to learn more about: 19 Reviews 5 star: (0)4 star: (7)3 star: (7)2 star: (3)1 star: (2) I was hoping for lessons that would work "in any school" What if regular public schools could de-enroll students that dont perform or that present behavioral problems as can charter schools? I did get some new ideas on what to read to my kids which I appreciate.5. Ask folks to tell you their challenges. Create a survey. Choices include online service like Qualaroo to put a one question survey on your blog; writing a post requesting visitors to answer questions in the comments; using Survey Monkey or Google Docs to pose a question like “What question about [your charity or subject] do you most want answered?”6. Review “Answers” and “Q & A” sites for your industry (e.g. Linkedin; Yahoo Answers; Quora).
  • 14. Planful content strategy for your blog  Be intentional and consistent. Don’t wing it.  Build an editorial calendar. [free template at “The Business Blog Editorial Calendar Every Marketer Needs” by Andrew Fosbrook of Hubspot].  Get multiple mileage from hot topics – select different angles  Target different audience segments.  Consider different authors
  • 15. Accesible content strategy for your blog1.Spend some time on titles. You wantfolks to find you when they search.Be actionable “How to…” “6 Ways To…”Be brief and punchy (8 words or less)Be clearBe authoritativeBe keyword consciousBe intriguing2. Copy should be “just right” in lengthand front-loadedBe concise and quality (500 – 1500 words)Be in plain sight. Don’t bury the good stuff.(Put it at the check-out counter. Don’t bury it on thebottom shelf in the middle aisle.)3. NOTE: Don’t forget to be mobilefriendly
  • 16. How to Build an Engaging Blog Worth SharingEngagement RCA - content must be:Relatable,Conversational,Actionable
  • 17. Relatable engagementOLD:1. What I’ll tell you2. I’m telling you3. I told youNEW:1. How I feel2. What have you felt?3. Ways we’ve found to deal with…SHARE; Don’t Tell Telling = Monologue Sharing = Describing emotion, intent and observation It’s relatable!
  • 18. Conversational engagement Speak to the heart; not the head-- No corporate-speak trying to sound smart-- No “we”; use “you.” Speak directly to your reader, and not in 3rd person Tone should be conversational; not formal or stilted –-- Is it like you talk? Read it aloud, fast.-- Use contractions-- Cut adjectives-- Use phrases Use personas; picture who you’re writing to –-- Demographic? Lifestyle? Interests? Know who you’re talking to.-- Who influences them? You can’t have a good conversation with someone you know nothing about-- Personal goals?
  • 19. Actionable engagement BIGGIE: Join our email list. If you aren’t systematically capturing emails – if you don’t have a well-designed opt-in form with a headline describing the benefits of joining your mailing list – then this is the #1 reason your promotion strategy sucks. Why? For many blogs, 70-80% of visitors are new and will never return (per Social Media Examiner). But if you can deliver your posts directly to people’s in- boxes, that’s the height of accessibility.Tips:Use form-maker offered by email service provider. (Aweber and MailChimp have good tools)Hire a designer/programmer (around $100)Use a plug-in (Opt-in Skin is a good one) Include Call To Action (CTA) in every post. If you don’t ask folks to comment, share, volunteer, give… they simply won’t do it. Give first by sharing valuable information. Then ask.
  • 20. Why Your Blog Promotion Strategy Sucks and How to Fix ItPromotion SSTS – you need a Super Sonic Transport System that enables:Sharing (what you do)Shareability (what others do)Talking (you and others dialogue)Search (how folks find you)Your brand is not just you talking; it’s other folks talking about you. Your job is to make this easy.
  • 21. Share widely to promote your blog Your blog needs a social media support system. Use share buttons to promote your posts on popular social media sites. (most common are Twitter, FB, G+, LinkedIn – but test for yourself).-- Learn best practices. Use #hashtag; @twitterhandles (not @sharethis – because no one will find you again).-- Use images. They inspire clicks, and make pinning to Pinterest or posting to FB easy.-- Consider timesavers like Buffer or HootSuite to simplify sharing posts on multiple platforms. Assure you’ve got working “follow me” buttons for the sites frequented by your constituents. Email about your posts Include blog links in your e-news. Ask key stakeholders to share your blog.
  • 22. Shareability makes it easy for readers to become evangelists Fully integrate user- friendly social sharing. -- Buttons at the top of post -- Buttons at the end of post Don’t forget a “Share by Email” button. It’s still the #1 way people share blog posts. (Followed by FB; Twitter).
  • 23. Talking builds reputation and develops relationships with those who share values Discussion forums are magnets for those already interested in your area of expertise Find where your ‘peeps’ hang out; hang there. -- LinkedIn; Yahoo Answers; Quora Ask for comments at end of every post Guest authors will promote what they write for you Comment on other blogs to establish credibility and build relationships Find your influencers and ask them to share your postsManu, via flickr (Creative Commons license)
  • 24. Search is what assures people find you Don’t stress. Google loves blogs since they have fresh content. Best place to put your energy is in creating relevant content that you post on a regular schedule (and if you’ve done your research about what your audience is looking for you’ll have naturally honed in on the right key words). Do engage in a minimum of SEO optimization however. -- Create SEO title tags and meta descriptions for your homepage, top pages (e.g. “about us”) and your posts. -- Include ALT tags for images on your posts. -- Use header tags within your post content. (Makes posts more readable; helps with search if you’ve included key words. Install Google analytics; Learn to use the reports and tools. You want to know where your traffic comes from and which posts are most popular (Google Analyticator, a WP plugin, makes it easy to install in a few clicks).
  • 25. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by: