Blogging Basics (for Nonprofits)


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How to work blogging into your organization's communications plan, how to write an effective blog post, and why blogging is (or might not be) important. Participants will leave with an understanding of how to get started on blogging for their organization and inspiration to keep it going. Presented in a webinar for RE-AMP on 10/10/12

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Blogging Basics (for Nonprofits)

  1. 1. Photo: nettsu on Flickr
  2. 2. What is the deal with blogs? Blocks: weesen on Flickr
  3. 3. Staggering Stats•  By the end of 2011, the Nielsen/ McKinsey company had tracked over 181 million blogs around the world, up from 36 million in 2006 Source:
  4. 4. Staggering Stats•  There are an estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States Source:, July 2012•  There are 70 million WordPress blogs & 39 million Tumblr blogs worldwide Source:, July 2012
  5. 5. Staggering Stats•  More than 50% of all internet users read blogs at least once a month Source:, September 2012•  Social media sites & blogs reach 80% of all U.S. internet users Source:, August 2012
  6. 6. Staggering Stats•  There are over 1.4 million new blog posts per day•  Blog readers average 23 hours online each week•  6% of the entire US adult population has created a blog at one time or another Source:, May 2012
  7. 7. Why Would MyOrganization Want A Blog?
  8. 8. “Blogging is NOT just a marketing tactic to get your message out. Approach it as a conversation.” Missy Berggren Co-founder Minnesota Blogger Conference
  9. 9. Nonprofits Should Blog IMO•  Blogs about a specific topic are tend to be more successful.•  Blogs with passion stand out.•  Most nonprofits are built around a central mission. Connect these dots.•  Blogs encourage sharing and advocacy. Again, what nonprofit doesn’t desire that?•  The cost of entry is very low compared to the potential benfits.
  10. 10. But Is It Right For You? •  Can a blog help your organization achieve a goal you desire? •  Are your goals realistic? •  Do you have the human resources to support a blog? •  Be honest. You won’t hurt my feelings. But you might want to stick around to hear the rest of what I have to say…
  11. 11. Does Your Blog Have a Goal?•  Act as a fundraising tool?•  Share news about your organization?•  Provide resources?•  Tell your story in a new way?•  Engage and activate supporters?
  12. 12. “There are no magic wands, no hiddentracks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate [blogging] success,But with time, energy and determination you can get there.” Darren Rowse Author of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog
  13. 13. Be Realistic•  Visitors won’t come overnight. Don’t be discouraged by your site analytics at first.•  Little or no comments are normal. Pay more attention to social sharing activity.•  Building engagement is a foundation. Give the cement time to cure.
  14. 14. Who’s Doing It?•  Someone should be directly responsible for the blog, it’s content, & maintenance.•  Ideally, this person is in-house, very knowledgeable about your organization & a supporter/advocate•  This role will represent a very public extension of your organization. Choose wisely.
  15. 15. You Can Do It!
  16. 16. Choose aBloggingPlatform
  17. 17. Blogging Platform
  18. 18. Blogging Platform
  19. 19. Blogging Platform
  20. 20. Blogging Platform
  21. 21. Blogging Platform
  22. 22. ContentConsiderations
  23. 23. Make Some Decisions Look at other blogs. Take notes on what you like and don’t like. Some must-haves for Nonprofits: •  An about page •  A “Donate Now” button •  E-Newsletter sign-up •  Social media icons linking to your active organizational accounts
  24. 24. How Often to Post?•  Start with one post per week.•  Work up slowly to two.•  Create a 3 month calendar of topics and types of posts. Stick to it.•  After that, set a time to review/revise/ adjust/augment your process.•  Don’t give up. Keep going!
  25. 25. “There is no magic number. Daily, weekly, monthly, bloggingis not dependent on how frequent, but more on how impactful.” Scott Stratten Author of The Book Of Business (Un)Awesome & UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging
  26. 26. Anatomy of a Post•  The title is the most important element. Make it good, relevant, & compelling.•  Pictures are worth 1,000 Words. Use them.•  What’s your story? Tell one.•  Include links if needed.•  End with a call to action Source: Five Critical Components of a Blog Post,
  27. 27. “One remarkable idea is better than many small ideas.” Chris Brogan CEO & President of Human Business Works Author of The Impact Equation & Trust Agents
  28. 28. Show Don’t Just Tell •  Include photos, video (and even audio if applicable) from your organization’s activities whenever possible •  It’s never been easier. All you need is a smart phone •  Set up accounts on social sites dedicated to specific types of media (Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) and connect them to post updates on your blog.
  29. 29. Content Ideas (for Nonprofits)•  Share & comment on breaking news•  Post calls to action•  Share stories, photos, & videos from events•  Provide organizational updates•  Share stories from the field•  Interview experts Source: 11 Blog Content Ideas for Nonprofits,
  30. 30. Content Ideas (for Nonprofits)•  Allow guest bloggers to post commentary & share their expertise•  Share resources and useful tips•  Solicit feedback & direction from supporters•  Write numbered Lists•  Highlight special donors & volunteers Source: 11 Blog Content Ideas for Nonprofits,
  31. 31. Repurpose Your Content •  Use your blog to help feed social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) •  Streamline your email newsletters: link headlines to full articles on your blog
  32. 32. Dont Steal•  Link, link, link (to your sources)•  Give credit whenever quoting or excerpting text•  If the photo doesn’t have a credit, chances are it’s being used without permission. Don’t use it.•  Ask to use anything that seems ambiguous.•  Pay attention to copyright & stated licenses
  33. 33.•  Simple, standardized method of permission to share and use creative works•  Change copyright terms from “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved”•  Work alongside copyright, enables creator to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs
  34. 34. •  Learn the different licenses/symbols & RESPECT them•  An ever-growing collection of photos, video, music and more is CC-licensed and available online now•  Keep it growing! Use CC licenses for your creations
  35. 35. Google Image Search It works like magic. What could possibly be wrong with…
  36. 36. Don’t Even Think About It!Simply culls relevant images based on search terms. Very hard to determine photo credit, license, etc.
  37. 37. Flickr to the Rescue Search CC-licensed photos (wait for it…) by intended use!
  38. 38. Search 101•  Google pays more attention to blogs because the content is (usually) updated more often than static sites. Use this to your advantage.•  Learn about basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)•  Then use your blogging platforms SEO tools to optimize each post
  39. 39. Search 101Each posts should include:•  Meta page title & description•  Relevant keywords in copy•  alt tags for images•  proper link text etiquette (be descriptive, avoid “link here”)•  Always choose an appropriate post category
  40. 40. “Blog with passion. Passion spreads.” Scott Stratten Author of The Book Of Business (Un)Awesome & UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging
  41. 41. Make Sharing Easy
  42. 42. RSS Serves YourContent for You •  RSS feeds automatically push updates to visitors •  They can choose between a feed reader or email delivery •  Keeps them connected without having to visit site. •  This is a good thing 
  43. 43. Google Reader
  44. 44. Measure Smartly
  45. 45. “Do NOT get hung up on the tech. Get hung up on passion.” Chris Brogan CEO & President of Human Business Works Author of The Impact Equation & Trust Agents
  46. 46. Who’s Doing It Right?
  47. 47. Success Stories
  48. 48. Success Stories
  49. 49. Success Stories
  50. 50. Success
  51. 51. Success Stories
  52. 52. Tools &Resources
  53. 53. Tools & Resources
  54. 54. Tools & Resources
  55. 55. Tools & Resources
  56. 56. Tools &
  57. 57. “Blogging gives us the opportunity toengage with our communities at a verydeep level… if we are willing to be deep.” Missy Berggren Co-founder Minnesota Blogger Conference
  58. 58. Your turn.Questions? Comments? Let’s chat.
  59. 59. Thank you! Mykl Roventine @myklroventine Headshot: Glimpses of Soul Photography