Nonprofit Blogging Tips from ProBlogger

Photo by Ryan Bretag

Darren Rowse is known as the expert when it comes to blogging. He has several highly successful blogs, including one titled ProBlogger, that is dedicated to helping you blog better. He graciously gave me a few minutes of his time to answer two questions about nonprofit blogging:

1. What are your top 3 tips for nonprofits that blog?

I think the biggest challenge for most bloggers is developing a blog that is ‘useful’ to its readers (or potential readers). People tend not to subscribe to blogs unless they enhance their lives in some way or fulfil a need. So the challenge for a non profit blog is to find a need that THEY can fulfill in their potential readers. This might be a bit of a challenge (or at least take a little thinking) because many not for profit organizations are probably more used to thinking about how to appeal to people to offer help or fulfill needs that they (or their clients) have. So my first tip is to think really carefully about how your blog will provide value and be useful to people who you want to read it.

Two other quick tips:

Consistent posting – work out what you want to post about, how often you think you can manage to post, what voice you want to write in and try to stick to it. Most successful blogs develop a rhythm of posting that has a regularity about it. This means as a blogger you can get into the rhythm but it also means your readers know what to expect which can be good.

Get Interactive – one of the reasons blogging took off as a medium is that it’s a highly interactive medium on a number of levels including between blogger and reader (via comments) and between bloggers (linking to one another, building upon what others are writing, commenting on each others blogs etc).

2. What do you think is the best way for nonprofits to make money while blogging?

Tough question – One thing that I’m pretty sure a nonprofit SHOULDN’T do is run advertising on their blogs. I think blogs are probably more effective to non profits for communicating what they are on about, finding people to support them etc. But if you start selling advertising you distract people from what you’re on about as an organization.

The only real way that comes to mind for monetizing non profits would be to use them to direct people back to your other fundraising activities. In a sense the blog then becomes a way of building profile which indirectly helps raise money.


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