A blog is a great way to grow your online community, but all it takes is a few poorly written blog posts to make your readership plummet and your brand suffer.
A great blog post is worth your time because it can bring about huge returns to your nonprofit by advancing your cause, positioning your organization as a leader in the field and building relationships with your audiences and funders.
A good blog post gets a reader to click through.
A GREAT blog post attracts new audiences, builds relationships with old ones and establishes you as a leader in your field — outcomes that can affect the bottom line — something every executive loves.
Top 5 Ingredients for a Good Blog Post
- A Good Headline
You can create content all day long but if you don’t get people to click on the link, it will be a waste of your time. “Threat” and “list” headlines are proven ways to get a reader’s attention. Read “52 Headline Hacks” by Jon Morrow to learn more about how to write a click-worthy headline.
- A Strong Lead
A strong lead is SO IMPORTANT. Online readers have an incredibly short attention span — in fact, you probably won’t finish this article – so you better get to the point – like yesterday, already.
Also, when you post your article on Facebook, it pulls the first few lines of your post as a summary, so you’ll want to make sure those first few lines are catchy and engaging.
- Short Paragraphs
Break it up into chunks of information. As a general rule, no paragraph should be longer than 3-5 sentences. Again, get to the point, simply and quickly.
- Subheads and Links
Subheads are a wonderful way to break your information into chunks. Make them short and keep the tense, voice and capitalization consistent.
Hyperlink to outside resources, articles and examples that prove your points – this will give you more credibility as an author and legitimize your ideas.
- A Visually Appealing Image
A great looking image can enhance your post, making it visually appealing, which is a proven way to engage readers.
Unless you have a budget for images, get them from Creative Commons only – otherwise you might get slapped with a huge fee and nobody wants that! Check out unsplash.com for high quality, Creative Commons images.
Now let’s turn your blog post from good to great…
Top 5 Ingredients for a GREAT Blog Post
This can turn your blog post from “so-so,” to “wowza!” With lots of practice, any writer can perfect this. Show your personality to demonstrate character in your blog posts. Tell stories to illustrate your points or share a personal anecdote to expand on your ideas. .
- Thought Leadership
As a nonprofit leader, what topics of discussion are frequently coming up in conversation? Those are great sources of inspiration for thought leadership pieces. Ask yourself this question, “What am I an expert on?” or “What do I constantly teach others about?” These are great questions to brainstorm thought leadership pieces from.
Craft a blog post around a news story, trending topic or controversial debate and you’ve got yourself a timely piece. The beauty of pieces like this is that they are more likely to show up in organic searches when Internet users are searching for the trending topic.
- Search Engine Optimized
Don’t overdo it, but use key words in your blog post. Make it simple and ask yourself, what would I type into Google search if I were looking up this topic? Use those key words a few times throughout your post (where it makes sense, of course!) and Google will be more likely to index it higher in organic search.
- Superb Content
NOTHING makes a good blog post better than good ol’ fashioned content. Write something people enjoy reading, get value from and will share with others and you’ve got yourself a GREAT post. This infographic on CopyBlogger.com is a good place to start.
What have you done to take your blog post from good to GREEEEAAAT!?