So you’ve finally decided to start blogging for your nonprofit.
But you’ve got one small problem: Who’s going to write all of these blog posts?
This is a completely legitimate question that most nonprofits have when starting a blog.
The good news is that, hidden within in the hundreds, if not thousands, of emails you’ve sent over the past few years, exists fodder rich in blogging nutrients.
Emails Are a Good Source of Blogging Fodder
If you go back to your blog strategy, you realize that your main objective for blogging is to answer the most common questions in ways that are very specific and useful. The more specific the question, the more useful the answer will be.
“How can I help end homelessness?”
“What are the three best things to give a homeless person that approaches my car at a stoplight?”
Now, if you search through your emails for these most common questions you’ll be surprised at the treasures you’ll find! Chances are you’ve already answered the most common questions over and over and over again.
Here are 8 ways you can convert these emails into blog posts:
1. Select your fodder.
Find the emails that contain answers that would be useful to anyone, and not just the recipient. For example an email answering a question from a breast cancer patient about what to eat during chemotherapy.
2. Write the title.
Writing the title first helps you focus on the specific topic throughout the writing process.
3. Carve out the leftovers.
As you put some thinking into your extremely specific title, you might realize that there are actually more than one blog post with in a given email. If this is the case, simply save the rest of the email for another blog post.
4. Trim the fat.
Cut the word count down by 50%. You can do this. 🙂
5. Add subheadings.
People scan the web–they don’t read it. Make sure you break up your blog posts with subheadings every 2 to 3 paragraphs (like in this example).
6. Add an image.
I’ve done a lot of A/B testing around images at the top of blog posts, and have generally found that images help readers stick around longer. Find an image that captures the essence of your article and place it just under the title. They’ll also make your post more sharable.
7. Optimize your meta-tags.
A title tag is the main title of a webpage that search engines index. It’s visible in the title bar of a browser and in the headings of search engine results (as shown below).
8. Get another pair of eyes.
Have a friend or another staff member read your blog post and ask them what to cut or add. Time how long it takes for them to read your post.
Done Beats perfect
At some point, you will need to hit the “Publish” button. Don’t go for perfect. Perfect never gets done. Instead get your blog post to about 70% of where you want it. In other words, get it to where it’s a little better than “good enough.” Then hit publish.
What do you think?