Last month I told you that no, blogging is not dead.
But I know several of you read that and replied, “Gee, that’s really great, Kristina. Now tell that to my blog!”
So for those of you who have struggling blogs either because no one is reading them or you can’t think of anything good to write about, here are a few ways to spruce up the place.
Of course video is my first tip! So whether you straight up talk into the camera instead of writing or you share a video regarding your mission, video is a great medium to use when you need something different.
Don’t have expensive cameras? Your webcam or phone will do just fine. Don’t want to be on camera? Narrate instead.
Video also relays tone and emotion better than the written word. Seeing the tears in someone’s eyes as they talk about how they have been changed can evoke so much more than reading about it.
Or for another example – I can be a sarcastic person. That does not always come across in text and can be misunderstood. Come to think of it, maybe I should use more video too…
2. Take a Stand!
If you don’t normally wade into difficult conversations, sharing your opinion on a controversial matter can help you get attention. It may also get you some negative comments, but that’s not always a bad thing.
For example, despite being the target audience for Saved by the Bell when it first ran, I hated that show. It’s dumb. It’s always been dumb. But when I posted this on Facebook:
you would have thought I killed someone’s cat. It remains to this day, the most comments I have ever gotten on a post not related to a major life event (I think I got more comments when I got married, but looking at this post again…now I am not so certain. Dang, you folks love some Screech).
Of course, your stand should probably be more serious, but if you can’t really share anything too provocative, humorous declarations can work too.
3. Tell Your Stories
Storytelling should already be an integral part of your content marketing. Just telling people what your organization does is borrrrring. But showing how you have changed a life and hearing it straight from that person is powerful, powerful stuff.
Examples and tips:
- 5 Beautiful Examples of Compelling Nonprofit Storytelling
- The Ultimate Collection of Nonprofit Storytelling Case Studies
- Our tips on storytelling
Pro Tip: Use this tip along with video to really inspire your readers.
4. Tap into Pop Culture
Anytime someone posts an article related to my favorite TV shows and nonprofit work, I am ALL. OVER. IT. I will share it in my Mixed Links blog posts, social media, and in our newsletter when appropriate. And I am not alone. Just like people love Saved By The Bell (seriously, forget that show!), they will respond if you can tie what you do to a popular work whether it’s TV, movies, music, sports, or memes.
Here are some examples:
- If Game of Thrones Were About Nonprofit Life
- Fundraising with the Undead – Nonprofits Embrace the Zombie Apocalypse
- 5 Nonprofit Lessons from The Walking Dead
- Star Wars and Grantwriting: “May the Force be with you.” What Star Wars Can Teach Grantwriters
- How Nonprofits Are Tapping Internet Memes & Pop Culture
5. Find Guest Bloggers (or Conduct Interviews)
Having someone different write for you can be a breath of fresh air for a stale blog. A guest blogger can be an established blogger who can bring their readers to your site or an up-and-comer with innovative ideas who may not have a content home of their own.
Be sure to create guidelines for your guests such as how many words, what they can link to, or whether the content needs to be original.
If you can’t get someone you admire to write for your blog, interview them instead. It could be an expert in your field, a client or volunteer, or anyone else you think your readers would like to hear from.
Again the main idea here is to get your readers engaged so if your expert is spewing jargon, you will need to help them put it into terms your average reader can understand.
Try some of these questions to get the ball going.
What big questions do your readers have regarding your mission? What are they asking you on social media? Post the question along with your answer as a blog post.
You already know there is interest in the topic since people are asking about it. And this could easily become a series with you posting a new question and answer each time. (Plus you’ll have a place to send people when they inevitable ask that same question.)
Here are a few more ideas if you are struggling with ideas for your blog:
20 Favorite Formats for Nonprofit Content
A Super Effective Online Fundraising Tool: The “Wins” Blog Post
Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts Email Newsletter (I send this at the beginning of every month. Sign up and you’ll receive prompts for November at the beginning of October)
Is your blog doing great? Share how you make that happen in the comments below.