You can’t imagine how many queries I get from nonprofit organizations wondering if they should launch a blog. They’re usually feeling pressured (by the media, colleagues, perhaps even competitors already blogging) to do so.
My response is always the same; to stress that blogging is a low cost but high effort endeavor that does generate some very clear benefits for nonprofits. Key benefits include opening new channels for documentation and knowledge-sharing, especially for for non-profits that have been constrained by the time and costs of other web technologies, and enlivening your group’s Web presence and engage clients, supporters and strangers alike in your work. Read more about the benefits of blogging here.
But many of you are wisely cautious about jumping into blogging. Resources ($ and time) are all too finite for us nonprofit communicators. So here (inspired by MarketingProfs’ TJ McCue) is a simple five-step approach to tiptoeing into the blog conversation:
- Identify key terms—what’s your org’s expertise? Define it with key words and phrases and confirm with a free search term tool like Nichebot.
- Identify the top blogs in your field based on key terms using Google Blog Search, and start to read them (use a blog reader like Bloglines).
- Set up search alerts via Google Alerts for those key terms (How tos here) to see where else they’re covered (you can choose to get alerts on blog coverage only if you’d like).
- Set up a comment tracker like Co-Comment to see what your comments generate.
- Comment on blog posts when you (or your ED or program director —
whoever would be blogging) have something valuable to contribute.
Tiptoe in with this five-step program today to get a taste of blogging, without setting up your own blog. When you do, you’ll get a much clearer sense about whether your organization’s investment in blogging makes sense. And there’s a bonus — you’ll be developing a corps of online readers and colleagues who “know” you and are likely to read your blog (when/if).
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