Having a blog can be a tremendous boon to any nonprofit organization. The blog can drive traffic to your website, make you more searchable on Google, and help you tell your story to the public. In addition to all that, having a blog makes it possible to interact with and learn from your audience so that you can adapt and improve to better reach your community goals.
That said, if you don’t promote your blog, you might as well not bother to have one in the first place. There are ways and means to attract a readership and make a splash. It helps to have a great blog interface and design along with quality content, but the main thing is to spread the word about your blog so that the people you want to attract to your blog will actually find you!
To start, make sure you have good SEO. Your title should be something you can conceive as an actual Google search term. You should have the topic of your blog laid out in the first sentence or so of your blog piece. Think about how you might research your topic on Google and sprinkle those terms throughout your blog piece. Not sure you have the knack? Firefox has a plugin to the rescue, SEO Blogger that spits out likely search terms you can use as you write your blog.
Plugins To The Rescue
Next, make sure you share your blog piece with your friends and contacts on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. There are plugins that can help with this, such as “add this” for Google Chrome, and Share This for Firefox. The plugins will come up on your menu if you right click your blog post, making it easy to share straight from the page. Just make sure to find a few original words to say about the blog rather than use the canned announcement offered by the plugin. Intrigue your potential readers without giving too much away.
If your nonprofit has hired a great new communications writer, urge him or her to create an author’s page on Facebook. Your new writer likely has a loyal following and this readership should be considered a resource that accompanies your new hire. You want to capitalize on this extant readership and enlist the support of your writer’s readership for your organization. Every time the communications writer pens a new blog, he or she can post it to the author’s page. Those who follow the writer’s page are already fans of the writer and will eagerly read every blog piece cited there.
In addition to sharing blog pieces with friends and LinkedIn contacts, as well as on an author’s page, there are various groups and pages on social media websites that can be great places to share blog pieces. Deciding where to share your blog depends on the topic and nature of the groups in question. For instance, if a blog piece touches on politics, it may be appropriate for posting to a Facebook group entitled, “Eye On Washington.” If your blog piece is about the Kars For Kids “garage” which depicts vintage car donations, you may want to post the piece on a Facebook group entitled, “25 Years and Older Antique and Classic Cars.” And of course, don’t neglect to post the blog piece on your organization’s dedicated Facebook page.
Timing Is Everything
Time your sharing of blog posts to coincide with the part of the day your potential readership is likely to be online and looking for something interesting to read. Mostly that’s from 12 noon until about 7 PM. A piece that comes out on a Friday will be more widely read than a piece that comes out on a Wednesday.
But if you’ve got a scoop, out with it right away. Don’t hold back. Here, you want to be first and that’s more important than catching your reader on his lunch break.
Don’t neglect to email your blog pieces to the important people in your life. Your friends and family want to help you any way they can. Not only will they read and applaud your work, but they’ll send it to others in their lives.
Mostly, knowing when and how to promote a blog is common sense. It’s easy enough to get the hang of things once you get started. These things build on themselves because of the bouncing off effect. It’s like that old saying: round and around she goes and where she stops, nobody knows, “she” being your blog post.
Send it out, and if it’s good, others will share it with their circles. Who knows? You may even end up with something viral.