Nonprofits - Get Your Blog On!


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Sharing what makes a great nonprofit blog, from content to design to security.

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  • YOU control - vs. Facebook, Twitter, etc. Just because you control it doesn’t mean you can delete all the comments you don’t like. Allow healthy discussion around your topics, and take constructive feedback to heart. Always say thank you, whether you plan to act on the feedback or not.
  • Can be a mix, or you can stick to one. This is yours to decide.
  • Layout - clear logo, easily identifiable navigation, content is visible front & center, footer separation for copyright or other information, and appropriate use of whitespace to create balance & unity. Colors - if you have a nice logo, use it for inspiration. If you have to start from scratch, keep in mind the “mood” of the colors you choose, and don’t go crazy. Stay simple. Watch the contrast between font and background colors to ensure readability. Style - pick something that represents your identity - nostalgic, corporate, cartoon, family, modern Typography - choose from 9 web safe fonts to start, and always keep in mind readability Imagery - helps make pages interesting and can add to the pull of the story
  • Page load - avoid large images, have only post previews on the front page, not your 20 most recent entire posts, hire someone to analyze further Mention Flash and frames
  • Nonprofits - Get Your Blog On!

    1. 1. GET YOUR BLOG ON <ul><li>HOW TO MAKE YOUR NONPROFIT BLOG </li></ul><ul><li>STAND OUT IN THE MASSES </li></ul>HEATHER ACTON @heatheracton78
    2. 2. WHAT IS A BLOG? <ul><li>“ A blog (a blend of the term web log ) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. WHY BLOG? <ul><li>It’s a social space that YOU control </li></ul><ul><li>It serves as an online hub for your organization </li></ul><ul><li>Current and potential supporters want information - who better to provide it? </li></ul><ul><li>It fosters trust and shows that your org is vested online </li></ul>
    4. 4. WHERE DO I START? <ul><li>Choose a platform based on your goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most nonprofits will prefer a self-hosted platform like </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Secure your preferred domain name(s) for a length of time </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up for a hosting account </li></ul><ul><li>Follow instructions provided by your chosen platform to install software to your domain </li></ul><ul><li>Customize the look, feel, and functionality of your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Start adding content! </li></ul><ul><li>If you or someone in your org is not comfortable with doing the above, hire someone reputable to do it for you. </li></ul>
    5. 5. WHAT MAKES A BLOG GREAT? <ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>User Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>Search engine optimization </li></ul>
    6. 6. CONTENT <ul><li>Every blog should include: </li></ul><ul><li>Effective landing page - identity/purpose clearly portrayed, one main image, easy forms, all above the fold </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Logo/title area </li></ul><ul><li>Navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Main Content - blog posts, about page, contact form </li></ul><ul><li>Sidebar(s) - widgets for social networks, volunteering, donating, subscribing to newsletter </li></ul><ul><li>Footer - copyright information </li></ul>
    7. 7. CONTENT <ul><li>Blog posts can: </li></ul><ul><li>Provide commentary </li></ul><ul><li>Teach how to do something </li></ul><ul><li>Recap an event </li></ul><ul><li>Share an enlightening story </li></ul><ul><li>Share news related to your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Via: </li></ul><ul><li>Written word </li></ul><ul><li>Photos </li></ul><ul><li>Videos </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>Audio clips </li></ul>
    8. 8. CONTENT <ul><li>Tips on writing great blog posts: </li></ul><ul><li>Each post should be useful and unique </li></ul><ul><li>Use proper grammar and punctuation </li></ul><ul><li>Use titles of posts effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your posts scannable by using headlines to break posts into sections </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensively, but not exhaustively, cover your topic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>250-1000 words is probably ideal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Additional great help can be found here: How to Write Great Blog Content </li></ul>
    9. 9. DESIGN <ul><li>Beautiful Design Consists of: </li></ul><ul><li>An appealing and useful layout </li></ul><ul><li>A pleasant color scheme </li></ul><ul><li>An interesting style </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate use of typography </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic use of imagery </li></ul><ul><li>Credit: A great book on the subject is The Principles of Beautiful Web Design by Jason Beaird (affiliate link) </li></ul>
    10. 10. USER EXPERIENCE <ul><li>A user needs to be able to do what they came to do...and quickly! If they can’t, they’ll leave to find/do it somewhere else. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that: </li></ul><ul><li>Your page loads quickly </li></ul><ul><li>You avoid use of popups </li></ul><ul><li>Your logo/title is obvious </li></ul><ul><li>Your navigation bar is easy to see and that navi items are clear in meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Calls to action (Donate, Volunteer, Subscribe) are strategically placed “above the fold” </li></ul><ul><li>Your content is easy for users to share (Retweet buttons, Like buttons, Share/Save icons) </li></ul><ul><li>Your site is viewable as intended in major browsers and on mobile devices </li></ul>
    11. 11. SECURITY <ul><li>Routine backups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatic WordPress Backup for WordPress </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hack-proof your blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep software versions up-to-date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use strong usernames and passwords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secure WordPress for WordPress </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Block spam comments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Akismet for WordPress </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Utilize Paypal or other reputable online transaction service to ensure secure transactions on your site </li></ul>
    12. 12. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) <ul><li>Create unique and accurate post titles </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a friendly URL format </li></ul><ul><li>Organize your content well </li></ul><ul><li>HTML sitemap on your site, and XML sitemap in your root directory </li></ul><ul><li>Create compelling and useful content </li></ul><ul><li>Promote your blog on other blogs, forums, and networks </li></ul><ul><li>Hire an expert to help, but be aware of “Black Hat SEO” tactics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google’s SEO Guide for more </li></ul>
    13. 13. EXAMPLES & RESOURCES <ul><li>American Cancer Society at </li></ul><ul><li>Kramden Institute Inc. at </li></ul><ul><li>Problogger at </li></ul>