Blogging for Beginners

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Written by Alysha Schlundt-Bodien

Because there are so many different types of blogs, begin by brainstorming who your audience is.  Think about the time commitment you’ll need for each post. Do you recall the blog examples I talked about last week and how drastically different they were?

Blogger Kivi Leroux Miller describes six different types of nonprofit blogs (here).

Here is a quick summary:

  1. News – Summarize or showcase events and current trends.
  2. Advocacy – Take action, educate and be the voice of an issue.
  3. Toolbox – How to’s, DIY and problem solvers first stop.
  4. Storytelling – An inside look at your organization and the people you help.
  5. CEO/ED – The “top dog” provides insight and leadership.
  6. Professional Life – Get to know your staff and/or volunteers by sharing personal posts.

I’m an advocate for variety and change. That’s why I believe a good blog should be a mix of each.  Start off simple and work your way up to the challenge.

Here are a few best practices for creating a top notch nonprofit blogs:

  • Easy to read content and design that offers two-way communication.
  • Photos and video that help your audience stay engaged and adds a personal feel.
  • Use lists and bullet points (reader preferred), instead of long paragraphs of content.
  • Effectively showcase results from donors support.
  • Thank your volunteers, staff and constituents in a creative way.
  • Repurpose your content with hyperlinks to older posts or frequently asked questions.
  • Recruit guest bloggers to help with your mission.

Now that you know what people are looking for when reading a blog, it’s wise to create a timeline and stick to it. Perhaps start with a weekly or even monthly blog post. It’s important you follow your timeline and make sure you have time to commit to your blog and followers.

 CTN is here to help train residents and nonprofit organizations based within Ann Arbor about media literacy and will help you get started.  Contact me   directly with questions at Aschlundt-bodien@a2gov.org or by phone 734.794.6150 X41506. We’ll also have a few guest bloggers sharing their experiences.  Stay tuned!