This unplanned blog post is brought to you by a technical glitch! Today, during a teleseminar training series I’m delivering called Blogging Fundamentals for Nonprofits, I was kicked out of the call twice! The first time, I didn’t realize it had happened until about seven minutes into talking about evaluating potential contributors to your nonprofit’s blog. So, I’m recapping the content here!
Earlier in the training series, I asked participants to brainstorm a long list of potential blog post contributors – nonprofits are ripe with them! After an initial anything-goes brainstorming, we need to assess our lists and make some realistic decisions.
Here are the factors I suggest you consider when evaluating potential nonprofit blog contributors:
Their subject matter expertise
Who has the expertise you really want to showcase and feature on your blog?
Their writing skills
Who are the strong writers who just need a little subject-matter guidance in order to write on a particular subject?
Their experience with writing for a blog
Even strong writers may never have written for a blog before. Who understands the format and who will need help?
Who is going to deliver as promised, without any follow up? Who will need to be reminded…even nagged (but their content might be worth it).
Your ability to connect/contact them directly
Are you going to be able to coordinate directly with all of your bloggers? Or will you need to work through other team members (for example, work through program staff to coordinate with participants). When the logistics are challenging or time-consuming, you might just want to space out how often you put these bloggers on the schedule.
The frequency with which they’ll be able or willing to contribute
Some bloggers can contribute regularly and predictably, some sporadically. Just aim for a mix.
You might also want to consider the size and scope of a contributor’s network. Contributors with a strong network or following might share, promote or link to the articles they write for your blog, expanding your reach.
And because blogging opens up incredible opportunities for building and strengthening relationships, think about:
- The contributor’s desire to be more engaged with your organization (and your org’s desire to engage with them)
- Your need to recognize them/give contributors profile or a voice
Finally, think long-term, but also think about your launch
As you consider all of these points, make decisions that will help you to start off (or relaunch) strong. People will be excited to be part of a launch, so take advantage of that.
- Solicit posts from people who are likely to be infrequent bloggers, but who will help you to produce content people really want from you, delivering high value from the start.
- Solicit content from those who will be regular contributors, to get the ball rolling on those relationships.
- Include influential contributors in your launch to help get your blog seen right away.
What else do you consider when evaluating potential nonprofit bloggers? Please share in the comments!