How cause advocates & citizen journalists can be more effective
Target audience: Nonprofits, social change organizations, educators, journalists, foundations, businesses, individuals. This is part of Creating Media, our ongoing series designed to help nonprofits and other organizations learn how to use and make media.
Guest post by Spencer Critchley
Starting a blog for your nonprofit or organization and don’t know where to start? Write what you know — and what you care deeply about. Over time, you’ll develop your own style. As you do, follow some of the best practices that journalists and writers have long employed.
Here are 10 tips on how to write an effective, authoritative and persuasive blog post:
Respect the value of people’s time
1Anyone who publishes is making a deal with their audience: This will be more rewarding than real life would have been. Know your point, get to it quickly, and make your content dense with value. We live in a narcissistic age, and free access to world-wide distribution is not helping. We all need to remember: It’s not fascinating just because I said it.
Have a strong focus, and relate everything to it
2A good focus is a simple idea that people care about — in a newspaper story, it’s the lede. It’s a hard discipline to learn, but you can really only get one good idea across in any one article or program — everything else either supports and develops that idea, or it conflicts with and confuses it. Think of Beethoven’s Fifth as a model: The whole first movement is based on four notes.
Look for the heat in your subject
3Appeal is emotional, not intellectual. Even theoretical physicists get excited more by primal motives like pursuit, struggle and triumph than they do by abstract concepts. Look for what people will really care about in your content and use that as a guide. Continue reading