Posted by Jay Wilkinson

Creating a blog for your organization and finding fervent contributors is an effective way to engage with your audience, plus it’s a great SEO boost for your website. Search engines love new, original content. But that only gets you halfway there.

In order to be truly successful with your nonprofit blog, you should follow a few key principles that will take it to the next level. Don’t be satisfied with just creating a blog, period. Make it better. Here are six ways to do that.

  1. Be personal but use your professional voice. You want to find that sweet spot between casual and corporate. Your nonprofit blog is a place to be conversational, yes—but it’s also a mouthpiece of your organization. Make it engaging and relevant while maintaining a voice of professionalism. Have a conversation with your readers, but leave out the slang, profanity or industry speak. Be real and authentic, but be respectable.
  2. Get a second set of eyes on every post. Make this a rule of thumb—never post something that’s been written and read by just one person. At least one other person should read each post and make edits or suggestions. Even professional writers need an extra set of eyes (at least) before their work gets published.
  3. Be as objective as possible. You may be passionate about a specific issue, but it’s important to consider all sides. There are so many polarizing issues in the world, and you don’t want to alienate readers. Have an opinion, yes. But be respectful about it.
  4. Treat readers as you would constituents. A nonprofit blog is a perfect place to engage with your audience—it’s supposed to a personable, friendly place. Talk to your readers and embrace them just as you embrace those you’re trying to reach in your community.
  5. Brevity wins. Oftentimes, less is more. Enough said.
  6. Have a plan and execute. This involves assembling a great team of bloggers, creating a schedule of topics and posts, and organizing regular team meetings to keep everyone on the same page. Your blog will be more successful if it’s planned thoughtfully and intentionally.

Remember, your blog doesn’t have to be written by top-level directors. You may find really effective communicators among your volunteers or your office staff. People who are intimately acquainted with your organization and can write with passion and clarity—and follow the suggestions above—will help make your blog an important tool of engagement.