Take 60 Minutes to Keep Your Nonprofit Content Flowing

You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged for over a week. Mea culpa — especially as I’ve advised you that maintaining your publication schedule is vital to your credibility and to sustaining an engaged community of readers.

As you may have guessed, I got absolutely snowed under with other commitments and, for the first time in the five years I’ve been blogging, just didn’t get to it. But now I’m back and want to ensure it never happens again. 

The same content gap happens to so many nonprofit marketers I know, especially with website updates and blogs which somehow seem more ephemeral, thus easier to let slide.

So let me share my secret recipe for the care and feeding of your nonprofit newsletter, website and blog–the content inventory. Here’s how it works, using your newsletter as an example:

  • List the regular features, as well as the range of topics covered in the lead article in each issue.
  • Outline three topics for each feature and three for the lead article. Topics should have some longevity.
  • Schedule an ongoing hour each week (at a set time on a set day) to write one of these features or some of an article, gradually building up your content inventory. 
  • Once you have three of each feature and three lead articles, take a break from your content creation hour.
  • Scan your inventory monthly, on an ongoing basis,  to ensure it’s up to date.
  • Next time a work crisis or unexpected commitment arises, pull a story or two from the content inventory. It’ll be fresh (because you’ve kept it that way, right?).
  • As soon as you deplete your inventory, re-schedule your weekly content creation hour and refill it.

What are your strategies for keeping your nonprofit content flowing?  Have you built up a content inventory and, if so, is it working for you? Please share your keep-the-content-flowing experiences here.

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Nancy Schwartz on November 11, 2010 in Content Creation | 3 comments
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  • One of the strategies I use to keep our online content fresh is by tying in Nationally recognized months with the social services we offer. For example, November is “National Adoption Month” so I will be sure to update our website’s home page with information about our Adoption Program and will emphasize that program when tweeting and Facebooking.

  • If I see something I want to blog about, I immediately drop it into a “New Post” page, even if it’s just a URL, with a quick note about my angle and a working title. That way, when I need to write a blog, I have some ideas in Blogger already started, ones that just need to be fleshed out in an hour. I don’t have to wrak my brain for tpics/ideas. Once blogged, I now have all kinds of stories “published” that I can easily drop into an eNewsletter or print newsletter (and route traffic back to my blog post, particularly if there are more pictures/content). I’m still struggling with keeping up a blog 3x awek, but when the crative juicesfly, I forward-date blog posts, so they can roll on M, W, F even if they’re completed early.

  • Nancy Schwartz

    Fantastic, and easy to accomplish, approach, Tara!

    For non-bloggers, you could use an online note service–like Evernote–to accomplish the same thing.

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