Every organization has different resources, stakeholders and marketing needs. Follow this systematic guide for building a blogging plan with staff, a board and volunteers.
In this example, we are using a nonfictional nonprofit, BB Camp, that I happen to serve on the board and lead the marketing committee for. The rules and principles will work for any organization; adjust for your specific organizational chart.
There are five main questions to answer when creating a blogging schedule for your organization:
- What are you going to write about?
- Who are you writing to?
- Who is doing the blogging?
- How frequently are you going to post?
- What is your system for being efficient?
What are you going to write about?
Start broad, then get into the specific categories, topics and plan each of the posts. Map it out like this:
Categories – in general, what are you going to post about? These posts could promote product lines or programs.
BB Camp’s categories include the various programs we manage (summer camp, retreat rentals, kids activities, free book programs, after-school youth activities), goals of the organization (developing youth leadership, enhancing Jewish life, fundraising) and the geographies the organization operates in (Portland and the Oregon Coast).
Core Topics – what are the various topics that should be explored? Each category will have several core topics.
Taking the summer camp category in our BB Camp example, core topics include things like:
- Getting ready for camp
- Camp activities
- First-time campers
- Long-time campers
- Day camp
- Overnight camp
Post Topics – time to brainstorm all the potential post topics your organization can write about.
Now we get into specific topic ideas, so post topics such as What to Pack for Camp, What to Expect Your First Time at Camp, Campers Favorite Foods, Top Camp Aquatic Activities, and The Ultimate Sleepaway Camp Packing List are a few examples of post topics.
*Don’t forget to plan the type of post it will be (short form, long form, lists, infographics, etc.)
Who are you writing to?
Who are your audiences? Do you have personas already created?
At BB Camp we have at least four specific audiences including campers, parents, donors and potential renters. Each audience is unique in who they are and what type of content they are looking for. How to balance whom to write for and when to publish is an important part of your plan. The personnel working closest with each audience can give you a better idea of what they will want to consume. Which leads us to…
Who is doing the blogging?
Is it just you? What about other internal members of the organization? External authors, board members, volunteers, guest authors? What about editing and drafting the posts on your blog? Is this the responsibility of the author or do you need to put another system in place?
Here is how I break it down for our sample organization:
Staff, board members, committee members and community volunteers contribute to the blog. They have access to a shared document that features the brainstormed blog topics. They also have access to a document that lists the various requirements (suggested and mandatory) for each post. This includes the suggested Go to the full article.