Sunday, April 29, 2007

Shall We Blog? Lets Say the Answer Is Yes....Part 1

Part 1: What About Content

Before you start, have a plan for the blog. Have a headline statement about what the blog is about, and include the mission of your organization. Make yourself a list of the types of posts you will have – for example – advocacy, news about topics pertinent to your mission, events, your fundraising needs, volunteer, staff and client highlights. The content should be focused but varied. For instance my blog is focused in that it covers topics of interest to nonprofits and varied in that it covers topics in all areas of my consulting.

Blogs are really a very different type of communication tool than your website. Your website should be concise and well organized. People go to your website when they are looking for specific information. People go to blogs to see what you are saying and what is new....not with a particular informational objective. You want to interest them, have something fresh for them to think about and perhaps surprise them. One of the great things about blogs versus websites is the opportunity for relationship building. People go to blogs on a regular basis rather than occasionally.

Most blogs are written from an indivudual’s perspective and have a personal touch. As an example, if you are blogging about an event, don’t just have it be an announcement, give a personal perspective of what you are looking forward to or what happened to you last year. Or even you are hoping for good weather if it is an outdoor event.

You do not have to blog everyday. Large political campaigns with a staff dedicated to this stuff may blog everyday but you do not want this to become an ordeal that swallows up more time than it deserves, it really should be a fun project. Try to post at least twice a month - once a week is even better. If you skip whole months, your blog will become stale and worst of all...unvisited.

An effective policy for blogs is to have links to other websites or blogs. This kind of networking that blogging offers so well is very popular. If you quote or reference other articles, websites, blogs. etc provide a link.

My next post will have some suggestions for technical details on how to make your blog more effective. (Note..this is the teaser to get you to come back. I hope you will and suggest you try this technique also.)

To summarize – Have a plan, be creative and spontaneous and enjoy!

Marion Conway Consulting

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