If you’ve searched for something online recently, you have undoubtedly encountered at least a blog or two, maybe even without realizing. 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. This fact rings equally true for association members searching for content in your association’s field.
Members already look to associations to provide them with membership benefits such as access to various publications, and professional development and networking opportunities, so reading a good-quality, relevant blog can be just as interesting and valuable for association members.
Why Should Your Association Blog?
Why is publishing a blog a good idea? Posting relevant, up-to-date blog articles on your association’s website can benefit not only your members, but your association as well. Here are just a few of the reasons why regularly posting blog articles for your association can be so powerful:
Establish Your Association as an Expert in the Field or Industry
The great thing about blogs is that anybody can write a blog on any subject they know. Think about your association’s board, committee members and general membership base: every person involved in your association has unique perspectives, understandings and experiences related to the association. Blogs are an excellent way to leverage the expertise of these individuals to share with the public. Blogging also keeps writers searching for new information to share with readers, further establishing them as experts on the subject matter.
It is much easier to write about what you know than about what you don’t. At Strauss, every member of our staff team writes a blog article for our website. Because we all write about our own unique knowledge and experiences, our blog covers a wide variety of topics. This demonstrates our expertise in new ways every week, allowing our clients, contacts and followers on social media to read about the insights we have gleaned from our work in events and association management.
Gain Influence & Credibility
This reason is related to the first point. If your association staff have established themselves as experts of the content posted online, your association will, in turn, gain influence and credibility from its readers. Any successful blogger will tell you that they have worked to gain an audience of people who trust and respect them. Because you can’t buy credibility, blogging allows your association to earn it by demonstrating its commitment to readers.
Posting expert content in the form of honest and interesting blog articles keeps readers informed, demonstrates leadership, and ultimately builds the credibility of an organization. It also means that your association is in control of its public image. When someone searches for your association, you want to make sure they see an accurate and complete picture of who you are and what you’re all about. Starting a blog that talks about what is important to your association and its members is a great way to control your online identity and to make sure that search engine results make the right first impression on visitors.
Search Engines Love Fresh Content
Speaking of search engine results, adding content to your association’s website on a regular basis has the potential to bring more traffic to your site. Blogging is an effective way to do just that, and it should be part of every sustainable strategy for search engine optimization, or SEO. When your association posts new blog content regularly, be it weekly, monthly or more, search engines will recognize your site as active, alive and relevant. This helps your site appear higher in rankings. For more information about associations and search engines, read our article Do Yourself a Favour and Google Your Association.
Our goal for the Strauss blog is to publish a new blog posting weekly. For optimal SEO, our blogs need to:
- Be good quality pieces of writing;
- Explore a topic relevant to the association management and/or events field;
- Use certain keywords; and
- Contain around 750 words.
Writing often will give your association higher rankings and better SEO. Further, publishing new, up-to-date articles for your blog will encourage your association members to visit your site again and again, which gives your association further exposure. And if readers leave comments, search engines will take notice of even more new content. Our article Developments in Digital Marketing for Associations & Members further considers how SEO can part of your association’s digital marketing strategy.
Expand Your Association’s Network & Reach
Lastly, starting a blog is a guaranteed way to grow your network of stakeholders. Once your association has established itself as an expert in the field, gained credibility and increased its SEO, the result will be a stronger and more expanded network. Sharing valuable blog posts can attract readership not only from members, directors and staff, but also the contacts of internal players and the general public.
When blogs are accessible and easy to disseminate, they can be a great marketing tool for any association. And with just the click of a mouse or a touch of a screen, blogs can reach even more readers through social media. More readers encourage awareness of your association, and that could in turn attract new members. Blogs also let you interact with current members. Getting feedback on blog articles can be invaluable and can help guide associations into the future, a very exciting prospect.
Are You Convinced?
OK, so you’ve decided that starting a blog will benefit your association and its members. How to begin though? With over 1.5 billion blogs out there, starting a blog may seem overwhelming—what if it gets lost among the rest? In my next blog article, I will delve more into the topic of how an association can start a blog, what factors to consider and what templates to follow to write effective blog articles. Stay tuned!
This blog is part one of a series on blogging for associations. In part two of the series, I write about what steps your association can take to start its own blog.