Posts in the Blogging Category at Socialbrite Social media for nonprofits Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:31:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Friday Edit – Links I’m Loving Fri, 19 May 2017 12:55:15 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

shutterstock_629367821 FINALfotomica/Shutterstock / Park Guell, Barcelona

It’s the Friday Edit, aka, things I’ve been reading or watching around the web that I found interesting, useful, or downright funny. I hope you enjoy them, too.

I have to start with the funny because, well, it’s needed this week! I saw this movie trailer for NGO – Nothing Going On from Poverty to Power and it seems both hilarious, cringe-worthy, and painfully true in parts. Give it a watch below to see what I mean.

The current global cyber attack, built on ransomware, could wreck your communications impact and a lot more. Here’s a great, short post from the Getting Attention blog by Nancy Schwartz on how to protect yourself.


A great recap on the State of Digital Diplomacy by Nancy Groves – Head of #socialUN @UN Dept of Public Info


Here’s a quick two-minute recap on the takeaways from the World Economic Forum on Africa by Devex:


Here’s four creative summertime fundraising projects to focus on over the ‘lazy’ days of summer. ;)


This made me laugh: A guided meditation for nonprofit professionals. Also, Nonprofit AF is both an informative, often thought-provoking, AND hilarious blog. Recommended reading for us nonprofit unicorns.


Have a great weekend!




Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

Honesty Oscars: Best Activist in a Leading Role Fri, 19 Feb 2016 14:01:32 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


By Danielle Daley

My friends over at the Accountability Lab and the ONE campaign are hosting the Honesty Oscars. Every day in the week leading up to the Academy Awards, February 17th to 21st, ONE and Accountability Lab will unveil a category for the Honesty Oscars 2015, an award that honors not Hollywood films, but the creative work of activists and organizations that fight global corruption. Vote for your favorites, and they’ll announce the winners following the Oscars on Monday, February 23rd.

We think it’s great that they’ve hijacked the Oscars in the friendliest and most humanitarian way possible by shining the spotlight on the people and projects that rarely get it.

Please go cast your vote here and consider yourselves a member of the Honesty Oscars Academy!

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

WordPress Tags And Categories – The Ultimate Guide For Nonprofits Mon, 13 Jul 2015 12:42:34 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


john-haydonWhat exactly are WordPress tags and categories? What purpose should they serve for the reader? Should they each just be one word? How do tags and categories relate to each other? And what does all this mean for SEO?

What’s the Difference Between WordPress Tags And Categories?

Categories are like the aisles in a grocery store and tags are like the ingredients in the various different foods. Chinese chili sauce is only located in the ethnic foods aisles, but garlic (an ingredient) is found in the chips aisle, the frozen dinners aisle, and the vegetable aisle.

Tags (ingredients) link together all of your posts (food items) across your categories (aisles).

According to WordPress, tags “make it easier for people to find your content. Tags are similar to, but more specific than, categories.”

Categories and tags also influence how your blog posts rank in search engines.

How to Create Effective WordPress Tags

Examples of useful tags include “no-kill dog shelter”, “adoptable dogs”, and“Australian Cattle Hounds”. Examples of bad tags include “dog“, “shelter”, and“transportation”. The idea is to write tags that are highly specific, and can stand on their own.

This way, your readers can find the content they’re looking for much more quickly. Plus, someone looking to adopt an Australian Cattle Hound will never type “dog”into a search engine.

There are at least three purposes that tags serve:

  1. Put your readers before anything else. Ask yourself this: If someone clicked on your tag, will the tag archive be what they’re looking for?
  2. Use existing tags first. To avoid redundant tags, use an existing tag before creating a new one. WordPress makes this easy with an auto-complete feature and a tag-cloud – both display tags you’re already written.
  3. Make a regular habit of deleting tags that are redundant or too general. Search by topic in your tags panel and weed everything out until you have a few highly specific tags for that topic.

Three useful WordPress plugins for tags

If you do use WordPress, there are several plugins that can create powerful experiences for readers using tags. Configurable Tag Cloud and Opacity Tags are my personal favorites. If you need to delete unused tags, check out theMass Delete Unused Tags plugin.

How to Create Effective WordPress Categories

A dog shelter blog I recently visited included the following categories in the sidebar:“Hairy”, “Declawed”, “Thoughts”. The problem with these categories – and it’s a very common problem – is that they don’t help the reader.

There are at least three purposes that categories serve:

  1. Categories help you communicate to readers what your blog is about. And if people can’t figure this out, they will quickly leave. Categories can be used to create a hierarchal navigation menu in your header or sidebar which quickly communicates the topics your blog covers.
  2. Categories help you control where people click on your site. Don’t forget that the purpose of your website is to direct visitors down specific paths of action. You decide which categories to include in your navigation. You decide which categories to display on specific sidebars within your site.
  3. Categories help you get found on Google. Google uses your categories to help index your website content. Google also looks at the topical relationship of all your categories as well, so the dog shelter mentioned about might move their “Thoughts” content to another blog.

Four things you can do now to improve your categories:

  1. Make them clear. Edit your categories so that they are broad enough to cover the larger topics you blog about, but specific enough so that people can know what they’re going to get when they click on the category page.
  2. Consolidate categories. Through the process of renaming your categories, you will no doubt find useless categories. Remove the posts from these categories put them somewhere else and delete these useless categories.
  3. Clean your slugs. Slugs are the simple URL structure associated with the category. Remove words like “a” and “the. This will help improve the URL structure for search engines. There are also plugins to help clean up your slugs.
  4. Start another blog. If you find yourself writing blog posts about topics unrelated to your website, consider starting a personal blog. Again, your readers and Google look for the prevailing themes of your blog when deciding to subscribe or rank. If there’s not cohesive theme, you’re in trouble.

Optimizing categories and tags on your site is a lot of work, but the enhanced search rankings and enhanced reader experience are well worth the toil.

How are you using categories and tags?

Check out these related articles:


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

Periscope for Nonprofits: A Quick Guide & Review Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:35:49 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

FINAL Periscope-798x310

Caroline Avakian Headshot finalLive streaming has been thrust into the limelight recently with the release of Periscope — a free mobile app that allows any user to live stream from wherever they are. The whole concept of Periscope is to virtually place you somewhere in the world you would never be if it weren’t for the app.

Even as a nonprofit techie, I tend to look at new apps and platforms with a bit of skepticism because I don’t always think nonprofits should jump on the bandwagon of the next new shiny app that promises a lot and underperforms. That said, I do feel it’s important to keep updated on new tools, make an educated decision on whether it’s right for your nonprofit, and have a strong reason either way as to why or why not your nonprofit is using that social tool. I’ve noticed that having a well prepared answer at the ready is especially handy at board meetings when conversations start to drift to why your npo isn’t leveraging a certain social platform.

So when Periscope came along, I did what I normally do — I downloaded it to my smart phone and started playing with the app and paying attention to how others were maximizing its potential. I quickly realized Periscope could be a powerful broadcasting tool for nonprofits.

But how do you know if it’s right for your nonprofit and if it is, how do use it effectively?

Periscope Demo Pic

THE GOOD (and what you need to know to get started):

  • Periscope is a free downloadable mobile app that works with either iPhone or Android
  • It’s Twitter owned, so you can sign up using your existing Twitter account and have instant access to all of your Twitter followers.
  • You can share live broadcasts with your Twitter/Periscope following and the app sends a notification to your followers that you’re streaming live.
  • There’s a very small learning curve on this app. I found it very simple to set up my account and start streaming.
  • When you’re watching a live stream, tap on the screen to give the broadcaster hearts. On Periscope, hearts act as applause or ‘likes’ to show the broadcaster you like what you’re seeing. Visually, the hearts float up the right-hand side of your screen when you’re streaming. Hearts also measure popularity on Periscope.
  • There is a chat function that lets you interact with your audience, and them with you. In shoty, viewers can comment on your livestream. It’s really great for Q and A’s and commentary in real time. You also have the ability to turn comments off.
  • Once your broadcast is over, your analytics come on the screen and show you number of views, retention rate, duration of video, and number of hearts received. So great for data-driven organizations!
  • When you end your broadcast, you can save the video to your camera roll and share it or watch it later.
  • The lock button allows you to live stream a video for only certain people to watch. If you want to live stream an event for only your team or small supporter group to see, you can choose which people will be able to see your broadcast.


  • It just launched in March 2015, so it is still a little buggy.
  • Your livestream is only available for 24 hours before it disappears on Periscope, so make sure to download it if it’s a video you want to keep.
  • Periscope shoots only in vertical mode, not landscape, which has now become intuitive for anyone shooting any type of video on their smart phones. Lets hope that changes soon.
  • Periscope needs better immediate control over trolls, spammers, and innapropriate comments during a live broadcast. As it is now, you have go to the user’s profile and then press the block button. This is too complicated when you’re in the process of broadcasting live. If Periscope doesn’t find a better remedy for this soon, it is going to be a dealbreaker for many, many nonprofit users.
  • It forces you to begin your broadcast with only the option to shoot outward facing. So, if you’d like to begin your broadcast by speaking directly to camera, you can’t. You have to start outward facing, then double tap the screen to switch it inward facing. We should have the option to start a broadcast using whichever view we prefer.
  • The ability to comment is limited to the first 200 people viewing the broadcast. Viewers can tap hearts but not comment if they are late to the broadcast and the livestream has over 200 viewers.


1) Live streaming from “the field”

If the connectivity is there, we just opened up a great way for communications and program officers to broadcast field visits abroad and beneficiary interviews (when appropriate). The same goes for local nonprofits who really have the capacity to live stream important “mission moments” that might otherwise go unshared.

2) Q and A’s

Periscope offers a great new way to connect with your supporters by having the ability to conduct livestream Q and A’s with your program participants, executive director, program director, celebrity ambassadors, and others. The chat function allows Periscope users to ask questions or post commentary as you’re live streaming, so it’s exceptionally interactive and fast. Think about Periscoping in a series, like doing a series of fun ‘Meet the Staff’  Q & A’s, or designating a portion of your weekly staff meeting to a Periscope Program Update and short Q and A afterwards. That’s a great way to let your supporters know ahead of time what you’ll be doing and what to expect.

3) Events Broadcasting

Periscope is a great way to let your supporters in on events that they’re interested in but can’t attend. That $500/plate gala dinner can now be accessible via Periscope. How great would it be to have a staff correspondent at your next gala, benefit, fundraiser or conference that’s in charge of showing viewers around and chatting with honorees and guests? It’s a fantastic way to share these exclusive events with your community.

Attending a rally, friendraiser, or other on site event for your nonprofit – bring your supporters along with a live stream on Periscope.

Another way to break the fourth wall, is to do an office tour led by your staff and interns. Showing the inner workings of your organization and the people behind the status updates has been shown to increase engagement and trust for nonprofits.

4) Crowdsourcing

If you’re looking to get some quick feedback on a new project, logo, initiative or maybe just some input on what your supporters like and would like to see more of, Periscope is a great tool to survey a clearly social media savvy focus group.

5) Announcements

Have an announcement to make? Did you just receive a big grant from USAID or added an awesome new hire to your team? Expanding your work to a new country? Added a new program? Did you host a contest and want to announce the winner? You can use Periscope to go live with your big news and involve your community in the excitement.

Nonprofit Best Practices for using Periscope:

  • Be prepared BEFORE you click the “Start Broadcast” button. Given it’s an amateur live broadcast you do get some leeway, but try to be as steady with the shots and as well-prepared as possible. You don’t have to script the broadcast but remember that you’re telling a story. So what is the story you want to tell? Why have you asked people to come and watch this broadcast? What value does it have? What’s in it for them? Make sure you can answer these questions. Also, provide some guidance to your viewers as to what type of questions or feedback you’re looking for. Viewers may be hesitant to use the comments on Periscope, so make it ok by prompting them. Any good story has a beginning, middle and end to it, so it’s a really good idea to create a bullet list of what you want to happen during each stage of the broadcast, to ensure everyone on your team is on the same page. Above all, remember, all good media production rules still apply.
  • Title your live stream broadcast well. Tell us what it’s about in a concise way.
  • Be wise about using your hashtags to promote your live stream. Hashtaging allows people to find your stream via Twitter when searching that topic.
  • To reach as wide an audience as possible, share the broadcast and location on Twitter. You’ll be able to reach far more viewers, and having the video present on Twitter gives it a much longer shelf life.
  • Use the top third of your mobile screen, as  the comment function will block the view of the lower part of your broadcast.

Final Thoughts:

I think Periscope is one of the latest platforms to come along that has the greatest potential for nonprofits. Live streaming can take engagement to a whole new level and if the bandwidth is there, give nonprofits and global NGO’s the ability to share the on-the-ground work that is being done. Perisope has the potential of upping the levels of engagement, transparency and trust. From another perspective, I wonder how many nonprofits will be comfortable with the risk inherent in livestreaming? While we’re seeing so many nonprofits using social media wisely and experimenting, most nonprofits still want to have tight control and management over any content they produce. As we have seen in the past, nonprofit teams that are more comfortable with risk and social sharing will help pave the way for other organizations who will wait until the app is less new and seemingly less risky. Ultimately, lack of complete content control and the inability to quickly seed out inappropriate comments, will present the biggest barriers for a nonprofit’s use of Periscope.

Lastly, from a citizen reporting and journalism perspective, Periscope is and will continue to be a real game changer. I believe we’ll be seeing much more ‘Periscoping’ in parts of the world seeing political and social unrest — giving us unprecedented access into areas otherwise unseen by most.

I will be featuring nonprofits and NGOs using Periscope on this blog, so please let me know in the comments below of any npos you know that are using Periscope to engage their supporters.

*Blog post updated on 7/5/15.

]]> 3
5 Communications Lessons Learned Working at an Anti-Poverty Nonprofit Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:05:30 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


This post was originally published in the Huffington Post. Photo courtesy of Trickle Up.

By: Caroline Avakian

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world’s targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions. The MDGs target date expires this year, and as we collaboratively build out new goals for the next 15 years, it will be critical that nonprofit communicators in the global development sector build on what we’ve learned as well. So it got me thinking about what some of my lessons learned were after almost five years working at Trickle Up — an international organization that empowers people living on less than $1.25 a day to take the first steps out of poverty, providing them with resources to build sustainable livelihoods for a better quality of life. 

Trickle Up is a small but dynamic organization that serves people at the very bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. Founded in 1979, they have a long history of serving the poorest, a population that until recently had been ignored by governments and even many other poverty alleviation organizations. When I came to work for Trickle Up in 2008, as their Director of Communications, like any communications staffer, I was tasked to expand our message, our audiences and media opportunities.

Looking back on what the greatest returns were for our effort, I’ve made a list of the five communications tactics that helped us grow our communications as well as our organization in the almost five years I worked at Trickle Up.

1. Stay on message and repeat, repeat, repeat.

Whether it was at a conference, at the UN, or one-on-one, when anyone asked about Trickle Up, I was always sure to address that we worked exclusively with the ultra poor — people living on less than $1.25 per day. There was something powerful and memorable about the consistency and repetitiveness of, “Are you working with the ultra poor”, “Is this project also targeting the ultra poor?”, “What can we do to make sure that the ultra poor are represented in this conversation?”, that became key to keeping our beneficiaries in the forefront and made our participation more effective.

2. Twitter can help build communications partnerships that can grow a smaller organization’s voice.

Committing ourselves to tweeting more strategically and targeting influencers, policy makers and mainstream media outlets, helped us raise awareness on global poverty and the ultra poor, and led to media partnerships like one with Huffington Post Impact, that helped bring our message into the mainstream.

3. Flashy websites are great but make sure you’re also educating.

Everyone likes a beautifully designed website but make sure you’re also doing your part to educate your audience on the issues your organization tackles. When I launched Trickle Up’s revamped website in 2010, we had added an “Understanding Poverty” section front and center to make sure it was visible and not just secondary to our own programs. One piece of feedback that we heard consistently was that the website not only looked great but was also deeply informative. Educating people on the nuances of poverty was a main communications goal, and our website served as a resource and reference for many looking for information on people living on less than $1.25 per day.

4. Blogging and content sharing is key to growing your audience.

Once we started growing our blog and sharing our content with other organizations looking to publish similar content, we grew our readership exponentially. Sometimes we made the decision not to publish a blog post on our website blog, but rather on a partner site or media site that publishes interesting global development content. It was always worth the extra effort and introduced our organization to many new audiences and other organizations.

5. Growing your peer network is critical to your success.

Some nonprofit organizations view their peers as competitors and don’t engage them as much as they could. When I came to Trickle Up, I knew that I wanted to expand our communications strategy to more actively engage our peers in our work. There are many ways to do that from a communications standpoint and make it interesting — a blogging series with three different poverty alleviation organizations writing from their viewpoints, a tweetathon, or even just attending each other’s events. You are not only growing your organization but taking your supporters on a more interesting, robust journey that ultimately engages them more effectively.

What’s Next: Expanding our Global Communications Strategy

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are the world’s targets for addressing poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion — while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. It provides a road map for how all countries could collaborate on the future of development and the ending of extreme poverty. That agreement, however, expires this year. As we build out new goals for the next 15 years, it will be critical that the targets benefit all people living in poverty. Equally important is that we ensure that we continue to improve on policies that enable their success and that keep governments accountable.

With that in mind, global development communications will now have an even greater task of engaging audiences in the important work ahead. Just as the MDG’s are sustained through country partnerships and collaboration, the same could be said for strengthening and revitalizing our communications partnerships in organizations of all sizes and budgets, to ensure clarity, unity and power of messaging.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

Nonprofit Communications Trends Report for 2015 Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:22:55 +0000 Continue reading ]]>



As a consultant and trainer in the nonprofit community, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. And it’s here! Kivi published the first Nonprofit Communications Trends Report back in 2011, surveying 780 nonprofits.

For the most recent report, Kivi surveyed 1,535 nonprofits – mostly in the US.

Highlights from the 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report are presented in an infographic (below), which includes the following eye-openers:

  • Nonprofits no longer have new donor acquisition as a primary goal. Instead, retaining current donors and engaging their communities is becoming more important.
  • Communications Directors and Development Directors have conflicting goals. Development, of course, wants to retain and acquire donors. Communications wants to focus less on fundraising and more on brand awareness and engagement.
  • Nonprofits are planning on sending more email and direct mail appeals in 2015. 45% of the participants said they will send monthly appeals, and 36% said they will send quarterly direct mail appeals.
  • Facebook is still the king of social media channels. 96% of participants have a Facebook page.
  • Nonprofits still say their website is the most important communications channel, followed by email and social media. This is as it should be.
  • Communications Directors are challenged with lack of time to produce quality content.
  • Facebook takes up more time than blogging or email marketing.

Check out the full infograph below, and download your copy of the report here.

2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

]]> 1
Time-saving tips to write more blog posts (with video) Tue, 06 May 2014 06:00:14 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


Make the most out of your time and blog more often

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, marketers, managers, journalists, general public.

John HaydonOne thing I’ve learned from years of blogging is that a blogging process saves time and headaches. My approach uses creative momentum at the beginning to blow through tasks that require linear thinking.

Above you’ll find a 6-minute video demonstration of exactly what I do, step-by-step, for each blog post:

Make an Outline – Assuming you’ve selected useful topic to write about, all you need at the beginning is a basic framework to support the copy. I use MindMiester to map out an outline.

Dictate Copy – I use the built in speech translator in my Macbook Pro to write copy. Begin with a brain dump, and then edit what you’ve written.

Edit the Copy – Eliminate as much copy as possible without eliminating your voice. Write like you speak, but keep it short and sweet.

Transfer the Copy – Copy the content from your plain text editor, and copy it in your blogging software. Most people use WordPress.

Tweak SEO – It’s my belief that when you write content that’s highly specific and useful to your audience, the SEO takes care of itself. That said, here are a few bonus tips on ranking higher in search.

Add Tags and Categories – Next, select the appropriate categories and tags for your blog post. Categories should represent the larger topics within your blog, and tags should represent specific elements that are within various categories.

Add Images – Images are honey, your readers are bees. They should trigger readers on an emotional level to stick around and read more.

Add links – Depending upon your goals, you might link to internal pages, or link to external pages. For example if you’re trying to promote an event, you might write a series of blog posts linking to the registration page.

Schedule the Post – Finally, schedule the blog post for a morning within the next day or two (bonus points if you know what time is best for your community).

Enhanced by Zemanta

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

]]> 1
9 time-saving tips to write more blog posts Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:01:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Target audience: Bloggers, nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists.

John HaydonOne thing I’ve learned from years of blogging is that a blogging process saves time and headaches. My approach uses creative momentum at the beginning to blow through tasks that require linear thinking.

Above you’ll find a 6-minute video demonstration of exactly what I do, step by step, for each blog post:

  1. Make an outline – Assuming you’ve selected useful topic to write about, all you need at the beginning is a basic framework to support the copy. I use MindMeister to map out an outline.
  2. Dictate copy – I use the built-in speech translator in my MacBook Pro to write copy. Begin with a brain dump, and then edit what you’ve written.
  3. Edit the copy – Eliminate as much copy as possible without eliminating your voice. Write like you speak, but keep it short and sweet.
  4. Transfer the copy – Copy the content from your plain text editor and copy it into your blogging software. Most people use WordPress.
  5. Tweak SEO – It’s my belief that when you write content that’s highly specific and useful to your audience, the SEO takes care of itself. That said, here are a few bonus tips on ranking higher in search.
  6. Add tags and categories – Next, select the appropriate categories and tags for your blog post. Categories should represent the larger topics within your blog, and tags should represent specific elements that are within various categories.
  7. Add images – Images are honey, your readers are bees. Photos, illustrations or infographics should trigger an emotional response from readers to stick around and read more.
  8. Add links – Depending upon your goals, you might link to internal pages or link to external pages. For example, if you’re trying to promote an event, you might write a series of blog posts linking to the registration page.
  9. Schedule the post – Finally, schedule the blog post for a morning within the next day or two (bonus points if you know what time is best for your community).

What’s your process? What chu got?

]]> 1
How to turn email content into blog posts Mon, 10 Jun 2013 10:00:27 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


8 simple tips to leverage email for your blog

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, small businesses, general public.

John HaydonSo you’ve finally decided to start blogging for your nonprofit.

You’ve done the research about different blogging platforms, and had even outlined a strategy for topics that are based on what your supporters want and how people search for you on Google.

But you’ve got one small problem: Who’s going to write all of these blog posts?

This is a question most nonprofits have when starting a blog, so you’re not alone.

The good news is that, hidden within in the thousands of emails you’ve sent over the past few years, exists fodder rich in blogging nutrients.

Blogging fodder in your sent folder

If you go back to your blog strategy, you realize that your main objective for blogging is to answer the most common questions in ways that are very specific and useful. The more specific the question, the more useful the answer will be, which means more readers and higher rankings in search.

Chances are you’ve already answered these questions over and over and over again in email.

Here are eight steps to converting these emails into blog posts:

Select your fodder

1Find the emails that contain answers that would be useful to anyone, and not just the recipient. For example an email answering a question from a breast cancer patient about what to eat during chemotherapy.

Write the title

2Writing the title first helps you focus on the specific topic throughout the writing process. You’re not locked into it, but it gives you a starting point.

Carve out the leftovers

3You might realize that more than one blog post resides within a given email. If this is the case, simply save the rest of the email for another blog post.

Trim the fat

4Cut the flab. A good target is to cut down the word count down by 50 percent. You can do this.

Add subheadings

5For the most part, people scan the Web – they don’t read it. Make sure you break up your blog posts with subheadings every two paragraphs (as in this example).

Add an image

6I’ve done a lot of A/B testing around images at the top of blog posts, and have generally found that images help readers stick around longer. Find an image that captures the essence of your article and place it just under the title. They’ll also make your post more sharable.

Optimize your meta-tags

7A title tag is the main title of a webpage that search engines index. It’s visible in the title bar of a browser and in the headings of search engine results (as shown below).

Get another pair of eyes

8Have a friend or another staff member read your blog post and ask them what to cut or add. Time how long it takes for them to read your post.

Done beats perfect

At some point, you will need to hit the Publish button. Don’t go for perfect. Perfect never gets done. Instead get your blog post to about 70 percent of where you want it. In other words, get it to where it’s a little better than “good enough.” Then hit publish.

What do you think?

Enhanced by Zemanta

How to get people to share your content Tue, 28 May 2013 12:11:12 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Photo courtesy of Jen Stamps (Creative Commons)

Gain insight from your key supporters to ignite sharing activity

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, marketers.

John HaydonTechnology has blessed your community with more sharing power than ever before. The ability to retweet, like and pin with increased ease is what helped launch the slactivist movement.

Even though sharing has gotten easier, getting people to share still feels like pulling teeth.

So how do you get people to share your content? Here are five mind-shifts to remember:

Start with your database

1The people who are most likely to share your content are in your donor database and email list. Before you waste time trying to target specific audiences on Facebook (which you can easily do), make sure you’ve worked your database first. They are better spokespeople for your cause than you are.

Become one of them

2If you’re thinking on some level (even subconsciously) that your job is to get people to do something, stop it. You can’t make people do anything – especially if they don’t trust you.

What you can do is find the people who are already talking about your cause, and join their conversations. Quite naturally, on their own terms, they’ll accept you as one of their own.

Respect the blogger


3Don’t hire an amateur do a mass copy-and-paste blogger outreach campaign. Instead, create a strategy that truly motivates them to share your campaign with their audience.

Keep in mind that bloggers are in it for the long haul like you are. When the campaign is over, don’t disappear. Continue to demonstrate your sincere interest in their blog with comments and retweets.

Think about how you share

4Think about the last time you shared a video on YouTube. How did you share it? Did you email it, tweet it or post it on Facebook?

More importantly, why did you share it? Was it funny? Did it make you angry?

You can better understand the research about viral content if you look at what motivates your own sharing.

Huddle up with your 1 percent

Photo by arizonarepublic (Creative Commons)

5If you haven’t already, begin to identify your champions. Create a private venue using a Facebook Group so that you can deepen your connection with these folks. When it’s time to launch a tightly defined fundraising effort, they’ll be ready to go.

What makes your community share?

]]> 1