It can be more difficult for a nonprofit to write content than a “regular” business. In most cases, you’re not selling products or services, but rather a cause and—maybe—the inspiration to donate to your organization to help you address that cause.
One of the best ways to inform people about your cause while encouraging them to donate is by writing blog content.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the 10 essential elements of successful nonprofit content writing, so you can maximize your opportunities.
1. Research Your Keywords
The absolute first step you’ll want to take is to research your industry. People use many keywords to find content online, and you want to include those that apply to your cause in what you write.
These keywords can be found on Google or using keyword research tools. Simply create a list of the keywords you want to use that match your mission and programs and have them alongside you when you’re writing. When adding sources, citations, or references from your research into your content, you can do so with a professional format using tools such as Cite It In.
2. Research Your Target Market
Second, you need to know whom you’re writing for to create successful content. Take a look at your organization’s donor list to see what characteristics your supporters share. Are they predominately men or women, or are they fairly evenly divided between the sexes? What kinds of jobs do they have? How old are they?
Use this information to tailor the format, language, and tone of your content. If you’ve got some posts already written and would like to edit them for a different demographic, try an editing service such as Academized, as recommended by Revieweal.
3. Determine Why You’re Writing What You’re Writing
Before you start writing, think about what you’re trying to achieve with the content you’re about to create. In many cases, you’ll be trying to educate and inspire people about your cause, and maybe get them to donate. Other goals might be to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list, follow you on social media, learn more about your cause, or share information to increase awareness.
When writing about your organization’s goals and aspirations, you may find tools and writing guides such as the ones found at State of Writing helpful.
4. Write SEO-Optimized Content
If you don’t know how to write content that enhances your SEO (search engine optimization), now is the time to learn. SEO is an important part of getting online content in front of the readers you want to reach.
Of course, there are tons of tutorials out there on the internet that can help you in this area, but there are a few basics you’ll want to remember. First, your title is key. Make sure you write a strong and attention-grabbing headline that doesn’t breach a 65-character limit. What’s more, you’ll need to write a 150-character description that will appear with your title on the search engine results page. You can track this character limit using free online tools such as Easy Word Count.
5. Develop Perfect Titles and Subheadings
SEO isn’t the only reason titles are important. The title provides the first impression of your content and plays a large part in enticing people to actually click to read what you've written.
A tried-and-tested approach is to include your audience in your title. Mention the demographic you’re writing for, for example, “How Women Are Changing the Way the World Works.” You’ll immediately grab the attention of that demographic, making it far more likely its members will click through.
If you get stuck trying to come up with a title, check out an idea-generation tool, such as Resumention.
Online readers like to skim, and they like their content in bite-size chunks. Subheads not only break up longer copy but make it easier to skim, which keeps readers on the page longer. Subheads can also improve SEO, because online search engines include them in their algorithms.
6. Post Content Consistently
A lot of nonprofit organizations don’t post content regularly enough. This means that readers and subscribers get bored or forget about your organization, and when you do finally post, they won’t take any notice.
If possible, try to post at least once a week as a starting point. If you can, posting content every other day is a great way to maintain and grow your reader base while spreading awareness of your cause.
Before uploading your posts, don’t forget to proofread them to ensure they are free from mistakes. You can use proofreading services such as Paper Fellows to help and assist with this process. Likewise, if you’re short on time, you can use content copywriting services such Boom Essays, as recommended by the HuffingtonPost, to create content for you on your behalf.
7. Use Pictures
Including images or other forms of visual media, such as infographics or even videos, is essential when it comes to online content. Using relevant, high-quality, and captivating images is a great way to grab new readers’ attention. It will also make your content more easily digestible, adding a new layer to the message you’re communicating.
If you include captions with your image(s), don’t forget to check the grammar to make sure it’s accurate and professional. Tools such as Grammarix can help with this process.
8. Remember Social Media
Social media is one of a nonprofit’s best friends. Not only is it a great way communicate and share your content with your followers, but you can also encourage your readers to share your posts with their followers, boosting your reach, spreading awareness, and building up your reader base.
9. Consider an Email Marketing Campaign
While on the subject of sharing content, have you considered how effective an email marketing campaign would be? Not only is email still considered one of the best and most personal ways to connect with people nowadays, but you’ll also have the chance to share your high-performing content with your subscribers. You’ll once again boost your reachwhile making sure nobody misses out on your best work.
10. Analyze and Adapt Your Strategies
Of course, it’s a good idea to stay organized and to plan ahead when it comes to writing and creating content for your nonprofit organization. Not everything always goes to plan, however, and you’ll need to track and monitor the performance of your posts.
If the content you have released doesn’t have the desired effect, try tweaking it slightly. “If you’ve released ten articles and three are performing really well, but the others are not, try tweaking your future content ideas to match the style and format of the three successful ones,” explains Thomas Maya, a content marketer at Assignment help.
There are many elements to consider when you’re writing content for your nonprofit. Always keep in mind your organization’s goals, why you do what you do, and why people should care about your cause. Even if you don’t address these topics specifically in a piece of content, this frame of mind, with the information listed above, will enable you to create successful content that gets results.
Gloria Kopp is a communication manager at Bigassignments. She is an author of Studydemic educational blog, where she writes guides and reviews with students and educators. Gloria also works as a brand manager at Australian Help.