Hand on heart, we have to confess to having a lot of love for a good blog.
They are worth investing in as they are the easiest and most effective way for a charity to communicate with its supporters and the world at large while still being fully in control of its message.
But if you are wondering when, what and why you should be blogging, here are some Big Heart guidelines to get you started.
There’s nothing more disappointing than visiting your favourite blog, to find that it hasn’t been updated for a few weeks.
It appears unprofessional and as if the blog is an afterthought.
So make sure you post on a regular basis. If you struggle with this, a content schedule will really help to keep you on track and stop the fear of being unable to think of a topic on the spot.
But don’t be tied to a schedule, the beauty of blogging is you can be responsive to events. If your organisation needs to make an urgent statement it can publish one immediately.
Charities are a rich vein to mine for inspirational stories.
A blog is the perfect opportunity to put a human face to your organisation. Personal stories from service users, supporters, volunteers, families and staff are what people will identify with.
With that in mind, it is time to consider the appropriate tone for your audience.
Corporate speak will not make for engaged readers nor will it encourage return visits to your website.
Don’t refer to the charity in the third person, try ‘we’ for a more personal, informal feel to the posts to contrast with other areas of your website.
Still stuck for ideas to stop the blog looking a bit ‘Dear Diary’?
Your charity is an expert in its field so starting showing it.
Use the platform to provide advice to people who may not be involved with your charity (yet) but are trawling the internet for help.
Comment on breaking news that affects some part of the work you do. People want to hear from specialists and your unique perspective will boost your organisation’s profile and lead to media requests.
And don’t forget to show some love to your donors and volunteers regularly.
Fresh content means your website will be found more easily by search engines. Sites with no new copy are considered out of date or even abandoned by Google. So keep updating to get more traffic.
Don’t just write the blog and forget about it. Promote it on social media with the appropriate hashtags to gain the widest possible audience and hopefully gain new supporters.
Writing shareable content will turn your readers into your own promotional team too. Make sure there are social media share buttons on the blog page so people can share your insightful and inspiring words with their friends.