nonprofit blogging challenge

Many of the Nonprofit Organisations that have attended our #TECH4GOOD Workshops have communicated that they don’t know how to blog and where to start. I have designed this challenge to help give the beginner bloggers a solid foundation and routine as well as the blogging pros a reminder of solidifying (and checking) their blogging foundations regularly.

How this works:

  • Each day has two parts: a blog prompt and a blog task
  • Once you have posted your blog post each day, make use of our social media accounts to share it out: FACEBOOK GROUP | PINTEREST BOARD | TWITTER
  • Use this hashtag on all social media platforms to help add additional visibility to your posts: #PHAMBANOTECH

DAY ONE

Prompt: WHO IS

Google indexes your Website according to your Keywords i.e the phrases and words that you use most frequently on your site. Often, we as Website Owners forget to tell Google exactly who we are and what we do so as to help the Search Giant get a clearer picture of us. We are usually so busy creating content that is focused on a particular topic that we forget to remind Google about our own story.

Also, most of you have Website Names that don’t match your service and it is imperative to make Google aware of this so that when someone searches for your organisation in your registered Name form, your Blog / Website will appear in the search.
Today’s prompt is essentially the start of a “Media Kit” write up on your Blog that will help set the foundation of your Elevator Pitch to Google.

POST PROMPT: Write a post that explores who you are and what you do. Imagine you are being interviewed by a journalist and use that as inspiration for your post. Examples: “Our Nonprofit Journey in 500 words” “Confession Time: Who is (insert your Website / Organisation Name)” “Conversations with (insert your Blog Name) about (insert an interest of yours)” “Have you met our CEO?”

BLOG TASK: Work on your About Us / Work With Us Page.

Pointers to focus on:

  • Do you have a call to action that explains exactly how donors can work with you?
  • Have you updated the image of your team on your Work with US Page?
  • Do you have an Author Widget under each post that allows your readers to quickly link up with you on your Twitter or Pinterest Accounts? Does it reflect your title and the type of work you do in your Organisation?
  • Does your About US Page detail the types of donors you work with or the ideal donor you are looking for? Often, NPOs forget to put these details in.
  • Have you listed your Achievements / Qualifications / Proud moments?

DAY TWO

Prompt: WHAT IS

Yesterday we set the foundation for SEO in terms of placing keywords on your Website about your Organisation name. Today, I’d like you to further cement that foundation by telling Google exactly what it is that your Organisation does.

POST PROMPT: Write a post that details a typical persons “day job” in your Organisation. Again, allow your creativity to flow and feel free to use the below examples for some inspiration: “A day in the life of a ” “How our social worker does what he/she does” “Have you met my workstation yet?”

BLOG TASK: I’d like you to focus on your Pinterest Account today:

  • Go back on all of your older blog posts (if time allows) and make sure that your Pinterest Images are updated / reflecting.
  • Have you repinned older Pinterest Images into new boards?
  • Do you have a dedicated board on Pinterest that is the same name as your Blog?

Top Tip: Install the Pinterest Chrome Extension so that once you have published your posts you can simply log out of your Website, re-visit your published post and use the extension button to Pin it directly to Pinterest.

Don’t forget to tweet with our Challenge Hashtag and most of all, have fun with the prompt!

DAY THREE

Prompt is: EMBED

Publish a post today relating to your own topic of choice with a twist: make use of either the Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook embedding function to add content to your post.

(If you are brand new to Blogging and have never embedded content before please note that you can Tweet us anytime for tips and tricks about different embedding options.)

BLOG TASK: CONTACT PAGE

  • Do you need to revamp your Contact Page?
  • Have you included the correct contact details?
  • Do you need to add information like a telephone number or email address?

DAY FOUR

Prompt is: THANK

Publish a post today that gives thanks to your Audience for either (these are just examples, you may use your own thanks theme):

  • Signing up to your Newsletter
  • Engaging with your Posts
  • Being an active follower of yours on Social Media

I’d like you to really think out of the box with this post and make use of images or the embedding function that you learnt yesterday to potentially highlight Tweets from your most engaged Tweeters or even Facebook posts of Client reviews.

Once your post is live, share it with us on Twitter!

BLOG TASK: BLOG SUBSCRIPTIONS / EMAIL SUBSCRIBER

  • Do you need to revamp / upgrade / implement a subscription service on your Blog that captures Email Address of your active Audience so that you can email them regularly with updates relating to your Wish List / Services / Products / Posts?
  • Did you know that Google penalizes Websites that have invasive Email Subscriber Pop Ups?
  • Perhaps you have been on the fence when it comes to actively asking your Audience to become a subscriber of yours? Let’s chat about that in the comments section of today’s image Prompt in our Facebook Group.

Top Tip: Keep in mind that as much as we all try and aspire to having millions of Twitter Followers and Facebook Likes, the true measure of successful Social Media Marketing lies in the size of your engaged Email Subscriber List. We as Brands do not own any of the Fans/Followers on our Social Media Accounts, but we do own our Email Subscriber Lists.

DAY FIVE

Prompt: HOW TO

How To posts are what I like to call the Billboard Signs for your Blog. They allow you to display your expertise while delivering high quality, keyword rich content on topics that your audience is actively searching for. When combined with a Lead Magnet they can also help your Blog go viral (more on that further below)

POST PROMPT: Write a post that details a How-To. Some examples: “How to encourage recycling in your neighborhood” , “How to identify if your child is a victim of cyber bullying”

BLOG TASK: Let’s work on your Lead Magnet!

What is a Lead Magnet?

Here are some examples: “Sign up and access an instant download to our cyber bullying resource library – ideal for teachers and parents!

  • Do you have an active Lead Magnet that needs to be revamped?
  • Do you need to create a Lead Magnet from scratch?
  • Do you want to create a password protected page on your website that houses multiple Lead Magnets?
  • Have you embedded a call to action prompt in Posts relating to the topic of your Lead Magnet to help increase sign ups?

Special note: Day 7 of this Challenge will be a Guest Post Prompt where I will be asking you to Interview / Feature someone that is relevant to your Blog Topic. If you have a person in mind, please make contact with them today and let them know that you would like to feature / interview them for your Blog so that they may be prepared.

DAY SIX

Prompt: ANYTHING GOES 

We are one day away from the end of this Challenge and I am SO PROUD of those of you that have blogged your hearts out over the last few days.

Today, I’d like you to focus on the Social Media Marketing Element of your Blog i.e sharing your Posts online.

I am sure that you have probably wondered:

  • How often should I share out my latest post?
  • Where should I be sharing my posts?
  • Do I need to write a marketing plan for my Blog? If yes, how do I do that?

POST PROMPT: Write a post that ties in to your current Blogging Plan. Any topic will do 🙂

BLOG TASK: Build a Social Media Marketing Action Plan for your Blog!

  1. Open up a Google Sheet or Excel Spreadsheet
  2. Allocate Columns for: Days of the Week | Times to post | Content to post | Social Media Platforms to post to
  3. Colour code posts that specifically market your blog, for example: Blue = Marketing | Yellow = Fun content like quotes, memes, OPC. The reason for the colour coding is to help you visually plan your 80/20 ratio of posts each week (20% of your sheet should be Blue and 80% should be Yellow)

Further compliment your Social Media Marketing Plan by exploring the following Apps / Programs to help you schedule posts in advance and find OPC to share (note, some are free and some are paid apps):

  • Buffer
  • Hootsuite
  • CANVA
  • Stumbleupon
  • Reddit
  • Answer The Public
  • Buzzsumo
  • Klout
  • Feedly
  • Pocket
  • IFTTT
  • Google Drive
  • Google Sheets

DAY SEVEN

Prompt: FEATURE / INTERVIEW 

You made it! It’s the last day of the Blogging Challenge and that means that you deserve a High Five #whoopwhoop!

Over the past week you have worked so hard on setting a solid foundation on your Blog to help you create content efficiently. The prompts you used were designed to help you sharpen your SEO skills and I am SO proud of you!

Today is all about collaboration!

POST PROMPT: GUEST POST – INTERVIEW / FEATURE

Publish a post whereby you Interview or Feature a Guest on your Blog.

The benefits of collaborating with other NPOs on your Blog are two-fold:

  • It is relatively ‘easy’ to create a Guest Post in terms of content creation because your Guest usually does most of the ‘talking’
  • Your Guest will 9 times out of 10 share your post to their Audience multiple times thus increasing your Blog’s visibility #bonus

Tips for interviewing / featuring a Guest:

  1. Request a high res head and shoulders image of your Guest to attach as the featured image of your Post
  2. Keep your questions light and easy to answer
  3. Request a Social Media Link from your Guest to include in the Post
  4. Ask your Guest if they have any input in terms of the story they would like to tell your Audience
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask people to be Guests, I promise that they see your request as complement.

BLOG TASK: Are you measuring your SEO & Traffic correctly?

Knowing exactly who your Audience is, where they find your Blog and the search terms they are using to land on your Posts are crucial to planning your SEO activities for the future. Taking this saying into consideration ” if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” , I’d like you to dive deeper into Google Analytics and find out what is working for your Blog right now. Thereafter, you can start setting goals to improve on other areas of your SEO.

  • Have you linked Google Analytics to your Blog?
  • Are you accurately measuring your Traffic in terms of the demographic of your Audience i.e Age, Location etc
  • Are you aware of the types of devices your Audience are using to view your Blog i.e Tablet vs Desktop vs Android
  • Are you using Headlines in your Posts that detail your Post Keywords to help Search Engines find you?
  • Have you made use of the “ALT TEXT” function on your Post images to include keywords?
  • How healthy is your Pinterest Account? Have you made use of the same keywords in your Post Pins as they are in your Blog Posts?
  • Are you using Google+ to share your Posts with a description that has some of your Keywords in?

All of the above go a long way in helping your Blog’s SEO and overall visibility and I really encourage you to set daily reminders to work on your Search Engine Optimization.

Happy Blogging!

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