As the nfpSynergy blog has become weekly and its readership has steadily increased to over 2500 a month, it got me thinking; why do some people blog and some don’t? How about you? Are you thinking about why you do or don’t?
How about now?
I think blogging is important for any business, but it’s especially important for charities. It’s the perfect way to publicise issues, stories or opinions that your press team might not, for whatever reason, send to the mainstream media. It can often be these kinds of pieces that convert someone to your cause or inspire someone to volunteer, fundraise and make a difference.
It’s your arena to talk about exactly what you believe in and why you do what you do. The great thing about having different contributors to a blog, rather than just one, is the sheer range of style, opinions and ideas. Even the best writer couldn’t come up with them all working alone.
After searching for an exact analogy, I decided blogging is like sky diving. It’s intimidating the first time, you don’t know if you like it until you try it and it’s unwise to collaborate with someone who’d forget to open a parachute. There are many reasons for being reluctant to blog, but they can all be overcome.
I don’t know what to write about
It might sound difficult to pick a topic, but it’s not. We’ve all sat on the Tube and thought about something that annoys us. Each of us has spent time with a loved one and waxed lyrical about a passion of ours. Who hasn’t sat in the pub and talked about a controversial opinion we have?
All of these make great blogging topics. If you can call for action and suggest change, even better.
No one will read it
You shouldn’t worry if it’ll appeal to every single person out there. I’ll remove the suspense for you – it won’t. Our general rule at nfpSynergy HQ is simple – if it’s about the charity sector, start typing! You’ll see in our blog it’s very varied. We’ve covered taxing times, Dave the one-man-bank, burning after reading, trial-by-Twitter and a Paralympic false start already this year.
If you can think of something you’re passionate about, be it in favour of or against, write something and someone will be interested. Besides, if your media team are good, they’ll attract plenty of readers to it. Even if you’re an accountant.
I’m not a very good writer
You are probably a lot better than you think. Besides, the beauty of blogging is that everyone writes in a different style. If you look through ours, you’ll see a variety of ways with words. If you pick a subject you’re passionate about, you’ll soon realise you can write quite comfortably on it. Ask someone you trust to proofread it and make suggestions and within an hour you’ll have something to publish.
What’s the point?
Aside from generating hits on our website, the nfpSynergy blog has also created opportunities for staff. Elin, one of our researchers, presented at a campaigns forum for Mind because someone invited her after reading her blog. We’ve had queries from other websites asking if they can reprint our blogs, which enhances the author’s profile and reputation in the sector. You never know who’s reading or the doors it can open for you. For charities, the unseen benefits could be endless.
The key to blogging is to put your opinion down and see where it takes you. Don’t worry if you don’t have the complete blog in your mind when you start. You’ll find your point develops in your mind as you write and this will easily translate onto paper.
It’s nearly coffee time/lunchtime/home time anyway so there’s no point starting a new task that will last a few hours. Go on, put a few ideas down, be chatty and put your opinion forward.
Or go sky diving.
Did we cause a backblog of usefulness? Or not a jot? Leave us a comment below.