One of the biggest questions organizations have when they launch a blog is how to get their community to visit the blog and read the posts. Many fundraising professionals publish a few posts and become frustrated when the blog fails to attract readers.
Below are five ways you can increase your blog's readership and build an online community around your cause.
1. Allow readers to comment on every post
Many organizations don't allow comments on their blogs, because they fear what would happen if they gave their communities unrestricted access. If you don't allow comments, you're not publishing a blog - you're publishing an article database.
Build a community online by letting others comment on your blog posts. These comments turn into discussions that will give you a deeper understanding of your community's needs.
2. Showcase others in your blog posts
People love to see their names in print. Write profiles about your volunteers, donors and staff. Encourage members of your community to submit guest posts. The people featured on your blog will share your content with their networks, and your readership will increase.
3. Post on a regular basis
If people visit your blog and see that you haven't updated it in months, they will click away from it and never come back. An out-of-date blog may even undermine the credibility of your organization.
Publishing regularly encourages discussions and can improve your rankings with the search engines. Don’t know what to write about? To keep your blog fresh, see my article next month on hot topics for nonprofit blogs.
4. Share your blog content with your social networks
Many blogging platforms will automatically feed your posts to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Cross-promoting your blog posts on your social networks is an excellent way to generate more interest in your message.
You can also make it easy for others to distribute your content by including social media sharing buttons on all your posts. Download a free social media sharing button at www.addthis.com.
5. Promote your blog
Use other communications channels to increase awareness about your blog. You can:
- Distribute a press release to announce your blog and the topics you plan to cover.
- Create a banner ad for your blog and post it on your website.
- Send your members news about your blog via direct mail.
- Include a link to your blog in your email signature line.
While getting thousands of new subscribers will not happen overnight, by using some of these techniques you will begin to expand your readership and develop an active online community.
Rachel Foster is a fundraising communications consultant who helps organizations raise awareness and funds. Visit www.freshfundraising.ca to download a free copy of .