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Lisa Habersack
by Lisa Habersack

4 Proven Ways to Make Your Nonprofit Blog More Interesting

You know the importance of having a blog for your
nonprofit—it’s a channel to tell your stories, engage more deeply with
supporters, and share important news. Plus, having fresh content increases your
nonprofit’s search rankings and web traffic online.

Now that you’ve had a blog for a while, do you feel like
you’re running out of compelling ideas, or stuck in a rut of telling the same
type of stories over and over? Is your blog traffic and social media share rate
beginning to plateau?

If so, you’re not alone! The good news is, it doesn’t take
much more effort to create interesting content than it does to create
uninteresting content. It just takes a little thinking outside the box.

What makes blog content interesting?

  • It takes the reader on a journey: Rather than telling readers what participants in one of your programs did, show them by painting a vivid picture that they can see, hear, and feel.
  • It appeals to human interest: We’re all curious people. If you show us the stakes for one individual, we want to know what will happen and will continue reading to find out.
  • It challenges assumptions: The most interesting content is the kind that not everyone agrees on. By taking a stand or sharing an uncommon opinion or approach, you create conversation and increase social media shares.

So, what are some practical ways that you can make your
nonprofit blog more interesting? Consider telling your story through a new lens
using one of these proven strategies.  

1.  Focus
on people, not programs:

Does your content usually start with the
name of the project you are featuring? Try reframing the story through the
experience of one or two participants. You can still highlight all the
important points about the project, but now you’ll have a story instead of a program
summary. For example, instead of “New Afterschool STEM Program Launched in
Chicago,” write “Meet Kate, Rocket-building Middle Schooler from Chicago.”

A simple way to ‘focus on people’ is by conducting
interviews with your beneficiaries and transcribing their responses. Take a
high-quality photo with eye contact of your subject, and you have a blog post
that is ready to connect with your readers right away. 

Also consider case studies that follow one
participant throughout your intervention so you can record the challenges,
successes, and overall shifts in their life experience as they go through your
program from start to finish. This could even be a multi-part series that keeps
audiences coming back to follow the story.

2.  Find
the story in your events:

We all know the drill—your nonprofit puts
tons of time and energy into a significant event. Naturally you want to use
your blog to highlight this important moment for your organization.
Unfortunately, reading about an event you did not attend is not very
interesting. Instead of recapping the ‘who, what, where, and when’ of your
event, look for a story that will resonate with readers who did not attend.

For example, did a theme emerge across
sessions or workshops? Write about that theme, with supporting quotes from
presenters and attendees on how that theme can be applied in practical terms.
Or, consider inviting an attendee from your event to write a guest blog post
about what the experience meant to her and why she showed up to support your
organization.

It’s hard to
connect with a photo of 50-100 people—instead of using formal events photos,
highlight images that show a handful of participants engaging enthusiastically
with one another. This will help your blog readers feel like they are right
there with you.

3.  Open
up shop!

You tell your readers about what you do, but
do you ever let them peek behind the scenes to learn
you do it? Transparency is hugely important to your donors and
supporters, and by providing insight into how your organization operates, you
reinforce the credibility of your work. If you’ve never done this before, this
type of content represents a treasure trove of new topic ideas. Consider
spotlighting the interests, expertise, and personality of a staff member on a
regular basis through a simple interview with accompanying profile photo. You
can ask staff about their passions, favorite moments from working with your
organization, and vision for the future.

In addition to staff profiles, think
through how you can share what you’ve learned through your work. By framing
these learning moments positively, you show your organization’s dynamic ability
to improve and evolve over time. For example, you might write “5 Ways We
Shifted Our Approach after Our First Community Clean-up.”

Nearly anything related to your nonprofit has
the potential to be interesting blog content. Do you have a new logo? Explain
the ideas that went into the design. Did you launch a new local campaign?
Describe the input-gathering process you went through to make sure the entire
community was involved.

4.  Put
your data on display:

? Your blog is an
excellent channel for publishing infographics and articles that explore the
meaning behind data points you’ve collected. For example, if more women have
applied to your leadership development program than men, you could highlight
this statistic to write about “How Women in San Francisco are Seeking the
Skills to Lead. 

Data takes time and effort to collect,
making online content with data interesting to your audience—especially if you
market it well. Consider starting a headline with “New Data Suggests that
[insert interesting claim].” and watch the clicks and shares stack up.

The Proof is in the Engagement

In the end, you want to publish blog posts that you would be
interested in reading yourself. When sketching out your idea, remember to ask
yourself, would I click this if I saw it online? If not, maybe it just needs a
new headline, or some additional outside voices as quotes. If you notice more
clicks, shares, and newsletter subscriptions, you know you have been successful
in making your nonprofit blog more interesting.

For more fresh content ideas, read 7
Kinds of Stories Your Nonprofit Should Tell
.

Side note: Ever heard of Google's nonprofit program?

Did you know Google provides nonprofits with $10,000 per month in free advertising credit? This program is known as Google Grants and it's available to almost every 501c3 nonprofit organization. Learn how we can help you get the most out of the Google Grant program. Click below to get started!
There's a smarter way to do Google Grants.

Lisa Habersack

Lisa Habersack
Lisa is an award-winning social impact storyteller with 10 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. She helps nonprofits—ranging from start-ups to international development agencies—tell stories that inspire, engage, and connect. Learn more at www.lisahabersack.com.

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