bloggingSocial media has exploded in popularity in recent years, so much so that you might have begun to wonder if there is still a point to keeping up with a blog. After all, blogs take a lot of hard work, energy and actual, physical time to maintain. To be effective, you must post fresh content on a consistent and frequent basis.

While it may seem as though everyone is liking, tweeting, limiting their online conversations to a few hundred characters, and sharing cute pet videos, the need for longer, engaging content has not disappeared. Contrary to opinion, blogging is not on its way out, but, to be effective, the way that nonprofits blog is changing.

How Blogging Builds Support for Your NFP

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of creating a blog is that it allows you to establish your expertise in a specific subject area. If you share information that is useful in some way, whether its to inform or entertain, you will become the trusted source that others turn to in that specific area or “niche.”

When others first learn of your nonprofit, they are very likely to search your online presence, and, read the content on your website before they decide whether to donate to your cause. With blogging, you have a prime opportunity to get the real story out about the work that you do in your community.

Interviews with those who directly work with your organisation, and that are directly impacted by its services and other actions are especially popular subjects to blog on because they show others exactly what your nonprofit is all about, while encouraging others to pitch in and do their part to create more good. Blogs are also a great way to keep your supporters abreast of breaking issues that affect your cause, as well as additional ways they can help you make a difference.

Like Carrots and Peas, Blogs and Social Media Naturally Go Together

Rather than thinking of social media as a substitute for blogging, most nonprofits find that they get better results on their calls to action when they integrate both their social media posts and blog content. When you create a great blog post, include a great photo, and caption and then share it to your social media and encourage others to visit your blog to learn more. Use social media posts to stir interest and drive traffic to your blog allows you to benefit from the mutual synergy generated by your followers from each channel to grow your support on each.

As part of your strategy, it’s essential for nonprofits to branch out from their comfort zone and not remain content to simply post on their own channels and blog. Look for ways to connect with others online that share your values and mission.

Keep up with the social media accounts and blogs of some of the other NFPs in your space, and grab some good “karma,” by publicly commenting on their posts that touch on points important to your mission. Make sure that you include a link back to your NFP’s blog in your signature in the comment field. If you have a blog post that really contributes to a conversation on someone else’s social media post or blog entry, consider sharing the link.

As you become a more active voice in the public conversation, work on building your relationships with others in the not-for-profit sector. Connecting with other third-party bloggers can help your NFP develop connections that will make it easier for both of you to keep up with content. Guest posting can help get out of any writing blocks as well as enable NFPs to build their support across both audiences.

Don’t forget to monitor, and promptly respond to all comments on your own blog posts and social media accounts. Always look for ways to be helpful when you reply and consider asking questions when you do so to help stimulate further interest and push the conversation forward.

Social media use has rapidly grown, but, nonprofits that mistakenly believe that blogging is dead and use it as a replacement for longer-form content lose out. Blogging is an easy, proven way to provide in-depth coverage and details about your cause while increasing your brand identity and reputation, and social media messaging should work hand in hand with it to grow your support.