Blogging is hard work. You’ve got to create a strategy, write the posts continuously, and spend hours promoting the posts across different channels to try and pull your audience in. It might all sound like too much to deal with on top of the rest of your duties.
Fear not though: here are five tried and tested ways to take the effort out of blogging, and let you focus on what you do best.
Short, Timely Posts
Blog posts don’t have to be essays or press release length. Often 5 paragraphs of a couple of sentences each is more than enough to communicate something interesting.
Also, just one new post a month is enough (just about) to keep things ticking over. Don’t feel the need to publish every day unless you have the time. Once a week is about right for most socially motivated organisations.
So, if you’re committing to one post a week, you’re going to need to have a topic. Think about what else is going on that week that you’re preparing anyway. Perhaps a press release, a report, a PowerPoint presentation, support guide or even a video could provide the basis for your post. Editing down from this will cut much of the work out.
Volunteers / Staff
The best blogs have a range of voices from people with different day-to-day experiences. Don’t forget to commission staff and willing volunteers to contribute. If 3 or 4 extra people volunteer to write a blog post every month, then that’s one new post per week.
As well as regular contributions from other staff and volunteers you can also ask for one off ‘guest posts’ from other bloggers, people in the news, or just people with a great one-off human interest story to tell. Most people would be thrilled to be asked by a charity, and all it takes is an e-mail.
For a great example of this, see the 300 or so volunteer contributors to Amnesty’s blogs.
If the idea of running your own blog still seems like too much, maybe you don’t need a blog at all to get most of the benefits.
Most bloggers are hobbyists, and if they received an e-mail out the blue from a relevant major charity, they’d love to help out. Bloggers are always struggling for new content, so for the price of writing and e-mailing off a blog post, you might be able to get a guest feature on an existing blog that’s popular with your target audience. Complete with a link back to your ‘make a donation’ page, of course.
The most dramatic example of this working for a charity is Blog Action Day, a yearly event where thousands of blogs write a post about the same, global issue. Last year it was water. 5,600 bloggers from 340 countries posted about the importance of water to their 40 million readers. They directed readers to support charity:water.
Starting something new can be daunting, but once you get into a routine and follow the above tips, blogging won’t seem so difficult at all. And think of the new audiences it could bring to your charity.
If you’d like some more information or advice on the subject, feel free to get in touch, or subscribe to our newsletter. Also, we’re publishing many blog posts as a follow on to this topic on our website, so stay tuned!