5 Essential Blog Writing Tips

In this digital age, a blog is a powerful tool nonprofits should use to connect to their supporters and potential donors. A blog is an easy way to enhance communication with your supporters while providing them with regularly updated information. Your nonprofit’s blog could be its most valuable marketing tool, but only if it contains good content. Of course content must be fresh, but it must also be well-written. A tip that all nonprofits should keep in mind: Great blogs need great writing. Here are 5 tips to improve the writing on your blog.

1.) Simplify.

The writer William Zinsser said “clutter is the disease of American writing.” And it’s true. Unnecessary words and meaningless jargon will diminish the power of your blog. Strip every sentence down to the basics so that every word servers a function. Remember, web browsers have a 9-second attention span–the same as a goldfish. Catch their attention immediately with simple sentences.

2). Write in the first person.

Using “I” and “We” and “Us” can create a connection with your readers. Writing is an interaction between you and the reader, so it is OK to keep the blog post conversational. Readers want a genuine voice. Even if you use simple sentences, you don’t have to lose your writing style.

3.) Ask yourself: what am I trying to say?

Outlining the object of the blog post will create clear writing. If you are writing about a confusing subject or something specific to your organization, give background. Readers who are encountering your blog for the first time should understand your posts. After writing your post, re-read it to make sure you got your point across. A blog post may not be a formal essay, but it still requires re-reading and editing.

4.) Ask yourself: who am I writing for?

Think about what your supporters want to read. Updates about your organization must be included. Yet to keep your blog interesting you may want to include posts about other topics relating to your audience.

5.) Care about words.

After choosing an interesting topic, think about the words you will use to write your post. An engaging blog post relies on creative yet understandable words. Why are creative words important? If you repeat a word endlessly your audience gets bored and stops reading. Use a thesaurus. Too many nonprofit blogs repeatedly use the word “give.” According to thesaurus.com, “give” has over 20 synonyms. Why are understandable words important? You simply don’t want to confuse your readers. Using a thesaurus does not mean you need obscure words.  I can read a sentence that says “give” five times, or I can read one that says “give” and “contribute” and “supply” while still understanding the sentence. Defining internet jargon is also important. Do all your supporters know what SEO and ROI mean? Probably not. Defining internet jargon avoids alienating readers.

Remember: a blog’s success is completely up to you. If you want to engage readers and reach your nonprofit’s goals you need a well-written blog.