It’s that time again… yes, you know it well…. it’s time to write your
daily weekly monthly post on your nonprofit’s blog. Le sigh.
If you’re anything like me, the exercise of writing my blog every month is generally accompanied by a fleeting little thought that sounds something like this:
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME? DEAR GOD, ALREADY? DIDN’T I JUST WRITE A BLOG? WHAT ON EARTH WILL I WRITE ABOUT THIS MONTH? I CAN’T POSSIBLY COME UP WITH ANYTHING TO WRITE ABOUT AT THIS LATE DATE!”
Sound familiar? If so, that’s okay. Nearly everyone I know goes through this at least every once in awhile.
As such, I’m sharing with you my list of inspiring ideas and examples of great blog posts to help you overcome that writer’s block and ensure that blog is engaging target audiences:
- “Poll” your target audiences for inspiration:
Dive deeper into your social media comments and engagements: What questions are audiences asking on your Facebook page, Twitter channel or LinkedIn group? Answer them in a blog post.
Our Reclaiming Futures team regularly polls the organization’s LinkedIn discussion group to keep a pulse on discussions that might merit a larger conversation and help determine relevant topics for blog content.
- Solicit guest blogs
If you’re like most nonprofits I know, you’ve got a robust group of staff, board members and other supporters with enough knowledge to populate your blog for years to come. But harnessing all that expertise is something different entirely! While not all of these potential thought leaders and subject matter experts will be excited about helping you on the blog, you’ll find a handful who are strong and invested writers willing to help. Seek out those folks and build them into your editorial calendar this month and far into the future.
Cure Violence board member, Kakul Srivastava, for example, wrote a touching and inspirational piece on the organization’s blog last year that recounted her personal experience with violence and how that led her to serve the group on their board. The post was well received among target audiences and (bonus!) it was able to be repurposed for use in other communications materials like an annual appeal letter, later in the year.
- Go outside of your comfort zone
While there are a variety of ways to present your content, I think most of us tend to stick with some tried and true formula that makes us comfortable. I encourage you to try something new this month! Usually write long form? Consider switching it up by drafting a concise “listicle” (Yes, I’m cringing too) of information useful to your target audiences. Already a listicle expert? Consider telling a story that supports your cause or the movement you’re trying to build.
Check out Hubspot’s list of “13 Popular Blog Post Types and Formats to Choose From” to get really inspired!
- Repurpose other materials
Scour your recent projects and evergreen archives for material that has relevance to audience beyond the bounds of the project itself. For example, Jenna and I have been working on an online visual storytelling training for a client for several months now. In doing so, we learned a lot about themes and trends in online visual storytelling–those learnings will make a great foundation for blogs in the future. And the best part, of course, is that we already have the information at our fingertips, so we won’t have to put the research together. Instead, we’ll focus on reworking our take-aways into content for the Prichard blog.
Similarly, Jessica and I did a presentation last summer for the Social Media Club of Portland and were able to craft a blog post with tips and takeaways out of the materials we put together, useful to the wider world.
- Build on a great photo or video
Many of you are blessed with amazing visual assets that record your work and sometimes the work of your grantees and partners that can be used over and over again to tell stories in new ways or in new places. Your blog is one of those new places. Find a photo or video that really inspires you and craft it into a blog that bolsters your communications goals.
I love this list of “30 Compelling Examples of Visual Storytelling on the Web” that shares examples of organizations packaging their visual assets towards a larger marketing or communications goal in noticeable ways.
- Think bigger
If you haven’t been writing about your key subject area lately, consider tackling a relevant topic in this month’s post. Blogs are undoubtedly great sources of organizational news–but they’re an even bigger opportunity for exhibiting thought leadership about trends and happenings in your industry. And, in the future, keep your ratio of organizational to industry news at about 60:30.
Meyer Memorial Trust CEO, Doug Stamm, is doing a great job of exhibiting thought leadership among the philanthropic community on his Meyer-hosted CEO blog. While each of his posts touches on something important to Meyer, it also touches on something relevant to the larger conversation his organization wants to drive—a masterful method for driving interest, engagement and attention from new target audiences.
How do you overcome blogging writer’s block? Let us know in the comments!