If you’re reading this, I’m hoping that’s a good indication that you have read the first two articles in this series and have taken the necessary steps to start your own association blog. If you haven’t read my other articles, Why Should Associations Blog? Let us Count the Ways and So, Your Association wants to Start a Blog: Now What? it’s a good idea to do that before you read any further!
As I mentioned in my first article, studies show that most people read several blogs a day, and overall, 23% of time online is spent on blog and social network webpages. For those researching a specific topic, a well-written, relevant blog can be a great source of information. But a blog is only as good as its reach: if your association has started a blog, you’ll want to make sure people see it. The more people reading your blog, the better online presence your association will have.
Post Regularly to your Blog
One of the most difficult tasks for any blog when starting out is to attract new readers to it. One way to do this is to add posts on a regular basis. Experts say you should post at least once a week to your blog, however it’s best if you can post every one or two days. If that seems too daunting though, start small. Post once every two weeks, then work your way up to at least one post per week.
The more active your blog is, the better. It will keep your readers engaged and keep them coming back for more. That’s not to say that you should post something for the sake of posting. It is important not just to focus on quantity, but also quality. If you can manage to post good quality blog posts regularly, then you are already a step ahead!
Post and Promote Across Various Platforms
So you have started a blog and are posting regularly, but still your readership is low. How do you find more readers, you may ask? There are many ways to promote your blog posts, detailed in this article, but I will highlight a few ways here.
- Share your blog on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Make it a habit that whenever you post a blog article to your association’s website, share it through your association’s social media accounts. Sometimes you can share directly from the article’s page by clicking the social media icons, as long as you’re signed in to your accounts. This way, it will generate a preview of the article, and if you have included a photo, it will show that too. Otherwise, just copy and paste the link to the article, and don’t forget to write short sentence or two to “hook” your social media followers and make them want to share it too.
- Share your blog articles with your members and subscribers via email. Email is another great way to promote your blog. If your website has a built-in subscriber signup, then you can collect email addresses of people who want to hear what you have to say! Create email blasts to share some of your latest posts and make sure you encourage your contacts to visit the blog regularly for new content. For more on email marketing, visit this great article.
Keep Your Content Fresh
If you want to keep your readers engaged, you’ll want to include new and interesting content in your articles every time you post. Don’t be afraid to take risks! Here are some tips to keeping your content fresh over time:
- Share lessons learned from a recent event or meeting your association hosted.
- Write about how a piece of news in your industry has affected your association.
- Invite guest bloggers to write an article or two. Board members and association volunteers make great guest writers and can share different perspectives.
- Profile a member: do a Q&A interview with someone from your association.
- Create an infographic with information to your industry.
- Put together a video or a podcast.
- Find articles from other blogs out there and paraphrase them. Don’t forget to link to them and cite your sources appropriately!
Keep Up the Good Work!
The bottom line is, you can’t expect instant success overnight. It might be discouraging that your blog readership is low at first. But keep at it! As long as you keep writing high-quality posts regularly, and promote your blog using social media and email, and keep your content fresh, you will stay on the right track and maximize your online impact. Remember, blogging won’t always be easy, but with all the benefits it brings to your association, it is worth it in the end.
This blog is part three of a series on blogging for associations.