I wholeheartedly believe that many people, nonprofit organizations, and businesses, need blogs, even in the face of a blog barrage: some sources put the number of blogs in the world in excess of 181 million.
Despite all the voices already out there on the Internet, there is room for your unique voice. Not only that, it may be one of the most important ways for you, your organization, or business to get noticed in the world.
Who Should Have a Blog
Here’s a shortlist of who I think should have a blog (in no particular order):
- Individuals who want to share their ideas, opinions, interests and hobbies with more than just Facebook friends.
- Nonprofit organizations
- Small businesses
- Basically anyone who has a product or service to sell.
Why You Should Have One
I talk to a fair number of people either in nonprofit organizations or small businesses who think that a static website is the ticket to telling the world about what they provide. When I ask if they include a blog*, they usually say “no”, with a look of semi-fear in their eyes.
Recently one nonprofit leader told me the organization’s website and social media are somewhat overwhelming to her, and she admitted the group is probably losing potential fundraising dollars because they don’t update enough. Probably? I can guarantee they are.
Here are two reasons why its losing out:
- Static websites that are rarely updated do not come up very high in search engine rankings. Someone doing a generic search for your topic, product, or service will have a hard time finding you, and may miss you altogether.
- If your website is rarely/never updated may scare away potential viewers/customers/donors/volunteers. People want to know that you are still in business. They won’t stick around to read old information, donate or volunteer, or buy something from you. The info is possibly no longer valid, and if the viewer is a potential supporter or customer, how can they be sure they won’t be wasting their time and money? They won’t trust a site that looks neglected.
Benefits of a Blog
- As stated above, static websites do not come up high in search engine rankings. Websites that are updated often are more likely to shoot up to the top, or at least the front page, of a search. Google’s algorithms are primed to feature websites/blogs that are constantly updating. The more you update, the better your chances of appearing in searches, and the more viewers who will check out your site. Including a blog on your organization’s/business’ website, and keeping it updated (at least once a week, but more is better), will help.
- Blogs help introduce you, your skills, and your services to viewers. If you’re a writer, artist, musician, or consultant, a blog is a perfect way to show the world what you’re art or skills are about.
- Blogs connect you to like-minded people. No matter what you are interested in, be it a hobby, TV show, cause, or business, people who are interested in the same things as you will be able to find you.
- As people discover you and want to follow you, a blog helps you build a follower/fan/customer base. This is extremely helpful when you have something to sell, like a new book, album, or service.
- Blogs not only introduce new supporters/customers to you, they keep existing supporters connected to you. They can see what your organization or business is up to, and feel a part of what you are doing because they are “in the know”. This in turn leads to a greater commitment to—and trust in—your organization.
- Blogs can communicate up-to-the-minute information, far faster than a newsletter.
- Blogs are cheaper than creating and mailing a newsletter (and take less time).
- Writing a blog can establish you as a “thought leader” in a certain area or business.
You’re Probably Already Blogging
If you participate in social media at all, you’re already blogging! A Facebook update or tweet is a micro-blog post. Why not expand what you’re already doing?
Next up: I’ll debunk some myths about blogging.
Do you agree with me? If not, why? Do you have any questions about starting a blog?