Blogging Tips, Traps and Tales
"If you're going to keep track of a lot of blogs, it's best to go with a reader," she said. "Otherwise you clog up your e-mail account."
The short-and-sweet nature of blog content is only one of the benefits Leroux Miller discussed in the webinar. Blogs are great for search engines because they’re updated more regularly than Web sites tend to be, and they’re tagged by topic, which makes them inherently good for search engine optimization.
But by that same token, creating a successful blog requires a commitment to blog regularly (at least twice a month, preferably once a week); creating posts that add value to the community or industry ("That's the only way you'll get people to link back and read your blog," Leroux Miller said); and an enthusiastic attitude. If you think of the blog as just one more thing to add to a long to-do list, that attitude will show through in your posts, she added.
Blogs can be used by nonprofit organizations to organize information, share small successes that might not warrant a big article in your newsletter but nevertheless shouldn't be overlooked, build community, host conversations and react quickly to news items related to their mission.
Leroux Miller said there are five main types of nonprofit blogs:
- News blog. If your organization wants to be known as the go-to source for the latest news on a topic.
- Advocacy blog. If you want to be known as the "voice" of your issue.
- Toolbox blog. If you want to be known as a resource, problem solver or technical assistance provider.
- Storytelling blog. If you want donors to better understand the need for and impact of your work. Has a more personal tone.
- CEO/executive director blog. If you want to build confidence in your leadership and approaches.
The storytelling blog, Leroux Miller said, is a great tool for organizations looking to use a blog for fundraising and getting constituents excited about the work they're doing. For a good example, she suggested Interplast, which doctors and volunteers on the ground submit photos and stories about their work.