May 6, 2014

Time-saving tips to write more blog posts (with video)


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. Continue reading

September 8, 2011

How to create a successful multi-author blog

Photo by J.D. Lasica

Nonprofits benefit from diversity of voices & points of view

John HaydonOne of the biggest questions that nonprofits have when starting a blog is, “How can one person possibly continue to publish interesting articles?”

The answer is: You don’t. And this is precisely the reason why many nonprofits such as Oceana and the National Wildlife Federation have multi-author blogs. A second great reason to have multiple authors on a blog is that you get a wider variety of opinions and ideas that your readers will love.

But how do you effectively manage a multi-author blog?

Tips for managing a blog with multiple authors

1Create unity with shared goals and guidelines. The most important factor in creating a successful multi-author blog is to establish a very clear goal. You need to be clear about what your blog’s message is, what you want readers to do once they read a blog post, and what the mission of the blog is. The more specific and inspirational your goal, the better.

2Create author guidelines. Authors should be clear about the keywords you want to be targeting, word length and format of the blog. An example of the guideline would be: “Posts should be no more than 300 words. Each paragraph should have no more than two or three sentences. An image should appear at the top of the blog post. Posts should end with a question.”

3Assign one editor. You want to assign one person to be the editor of the blog. The editor should have editing rights to all blog posts, and should have the ability to publish all blog posts. The editor is also in charge of the blog calendar, and reporting back to all authors on results (post views, back links and other stats).

4Allow appropriate access. You want to use a blogging platform that allows for various levels of user rights. In WordPress, for example, there are5 different roles from administrator all the way down to subscriber. Authors should be set up as either Contributors or Authors. The editor should be set up as either editor or administrator, depending upon whether the editor is also the blog administrator. These various user roles help create unity among all authors and prevents someone from breaking the blog.

5Stay organized with a calendar. Each author should be assigned the same time every week for publication of their blog post. Like you, they are also very busy. Assigning a consistent publication time, allows them to better prepare their blog post. If you’re using WordPress for your blog, you may want to use the editorial calendar plug-in. Watch this video for more info. Continue reading

July 26, 2011

Tips for making your Web content personal


Create blog posts that speak to an individual, not an audience

John HaydonRegardless of how many people visit your website, there’s one person you need to be paying attention to:

The person reading your blog post or Facebook update right now.

I know what you’re thinking. “We get thousands of visits per day on our website – surely more than one person is reading our content at any given moment.”

This is true, but people don’t gather around a laptop to view your website.

Back when television was our main media source, it was not uncommon for people to participate in consuming its content in groups: Families, roommates, parties.

But consuming Web content is a personal activity we participate in as individuals. And this is why social media conversations should be considered as essentially being one to one.

Making content personal

Content is more effective when it’s perceived as “written for me.” Try these tips:

  • Try writing your posts or updates in the second person (“you” instead of “I” or “we”).
  • Think of someone you already know and write to them – as if you’re writing a personal email to them.
  • Write to that person and that person only – don’t worry about alienating people.
  • Write with a human, conversational tone – the way you would talk if they were sitting right in front of you.
  • Try using Dragon speech-to-text tools to achieve this conversational tone.
  • Continue reading