Whenever I’m working with a nonprofit, I find a common misconception that often threads throughout the organization: “We can’t afford to market or advertise”. Because of their deep committment to their mission and goals, the expense of marketing and advertising is often “last on the list” of Board and staff duties. But in today’s world, there is an extremely inexpensive (virtually free) tool every nonprofit can begin to market with – and you’re reading it: blogging.
Blogging is perhaps the cheapest, most effective means a nonprofit can create a “buzz” in its community, while allowing their constituents to interact directly with the nonprofit’s management and staff on a daily basis. What other form of marketing and advertising engages a specific audience with less investment of time and resources? Who can’t afford to take the time to create an effective blog site that speaks to any number of target audiences about any type of topic?
It only takes about a half hour to establish your blog account on any number of free hosting services: wordpress.com, typepad.com, blogger.com, squarespace.com (to name a few), the goal is to engage your Board and appropriate staff to begin the dialogues. That’s an easy task that can create a new sense of teamwork within your organization that reaches well beyond a monthly meeting schedule.
Once in place, a blog is only as effective as its distribution. Getting new audiences to read your organization’s blog is easy. Here are three easy steps that can help you accomplish that goal:
> Be sure to add your blog headlines to your nonprofit website’s home page, or blog subpage. If you don’t have a website, a blog can serve as your temporary site until you develop a formal web presence.
> Make sure to syndicate your blog via RSS (Real Simple Syndication) format. Then your readers can use free news aggregator software to pull your posts directly to their desktops without having to search for it through a web browser.
> Creat a network with other organizations to list your blog on their websites, and vice versa. Using trackbacks, commenting on other blog entries, and linking to other blogs, you’ll develop a network of interactive interests that will help you build donor and volunteer bases.
Don’t let this opportunity to take part in the blogging revolution pass by without taking advantage of this virtually free marketing opportunity. If you need help establishing your blog, or developing it into your marketing campaign – contact us.