Blogging for a cause is challenging and on National Wildlife Federation’s blog, we’re always trying to bring value to the conversation while writing posts people want to read. Anne Cissel, our blog editor, helped put together a great list of questions to ask yourself before you write a post. But even before you answer these questions, reflect which blogs are your favorite and why. Don’t limit yourself to blogs within your field — look everywhere!
Then answer these questions:
1. What is your goal? Why are you blogging?
(Raise awareness, get petition signatures, etc. The more specific the better.)
2. How will you measure success?
(New visitors, page views, backlinks)
Now … Forget about your goals! Forget what you want readers to do and think only about your target audience.
3. Who is your audience? Activists? Parents? Teachers? Animal lovers? Spend some time researching your audience online. What are their concerns, needs, wants? What do they like to read/share online?
4. What are the concerns, needs, and secret desires of your target audience?
5. What do they like to share online? (Hint: Visit blogs who have already cultivated this audience)
Once you answer these questions, you can then dive into content creation! Here are some tips to get you on your way:
Brainstorm Compelling Content:
Certain formats and topics work best for blogs and make for irresistible content.
- Lists (5 Ways …)
- Photo galleries and short compelling videos
- Curation (Create a useful resource that also creates “friends” in the blogosphere: 6 Best Green Bloggers)
- Tips (4 Easy Birdhouse Crafts)
- Surprising personal stories
- Quizzes, polls
Only after you’ve got an outline for your post … REVISIT YOUR GOALS FROM QUESTION ONE! How can you weave in your “ask” into the content?
Engage, engage, engage:
A blog should be a two-way conversation. Think about how and where you want your reader to engage. Maybe you just want them to answer a question in the blog comments or on Facebook. You could even create a blog post from the answers. Let your readers do the work for you!
What other great tips do you have about writing blogs? We want to know!