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.”
Still having writer’s block? 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.
Event photo tip: 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 how 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:
Do you know how to use data to tell your nonprofit’s story online? 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.