A truism/maxim/cliché that has long inspired me whenever I start a new project is, “You can fight without ever winning. But you’ll never win without a fight.” The statement inspires me because it prepares me for the possibility of not succeeding while reminding me that the only failure is not being willing to try.
And blogging definitely started that way: Could I draw readers? Did we have the material necessary to interest people over the long term? What sorts of conversations could MKCREATIVEmedia help to inspire? With so many great blogs out there, wouldn’t it be easier not to jump into the ring?
Well, a bit over two years on, we’d like to share a few things that have learned in the competition and from it too.
First off, blogging can be a real boon for nonprofits, not because you’ll get tens of thousands of readers, but because you’ll get tens, then hundreds, then (hopefully) thousands. Many of these later people will be (initially) only generally aware of your organization, but your blog has the opportunity to turn them into frequent visitors and committed supporters. Your nonprofit’s blog can inspire action both through your organization and in the larger world, which is exactly what nonprofits are always striving to do. The blog, though, should be just one weapon in the arsenal. Don’t let it drive your agenda. The updated website, the face-to-face meetings, the email blasts, the summer festivals, the outreach to schools… Such real-life encounters will make a huge difference in the life and success of your nonprofit, and the blog should be (but) a meaningful component of that plan.
But how does one get the blog going?
First of all, find one or two (or more, depending on the size of your organization) ready to commit and contribute to the blog. Not “commit to a story or two” but to the blog. How many 2-post wonders are there in the blogosphere? Far more than I’m willing to try to count. When the Case Foundation offered its suggestions to get a successful nonprofit blog up, the contributor Britt Bravo spent the most time discussing the fact that “The best person to write an organization’s blog is the person who is the most excited to write it.”
Next, Charles Dickens serialized most of his novels into 20+ installments, which were wildly successful because each piece developed a story, while the larger narrative tied them together and kept people excited about the release of the next section. Strive to write a blog that has similar effect. Alright, I’m not Dickens, and I’m guessing you’re not either. But you’ll never win without a fight.. Not just stories within each blog, but consider the story told through the blog. How your organization got started, what were the early challenges (and successes!), how did the meeting between two people spark a new direction for your charity… The acclaimed author
‘Finally’ (for today), don’t even bother trying to be Dickens. Be yourself (both as the writer of the blog and as the human face of the organization you are blogging for). I found a:
It’s all very leave your troubles at the door and come on in and stay for awhile. Blogging tells a story that’s in your voice but doesn’t forget to include the mistakes made along the way. It’s not perfect. It’s human. And while it’s condensed information that seldom stretches beyond 1000, 2000 words tops, there’s still a solid opening, consistent middle, and finished closing end that leaves the reader satisfied.
If you have a blog for your charity or nonprofit and are prepared to share some of your experiences with us, please contact us via the comments below. Blogging should be a social medium, after all!