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6 Ingredients to Make Your Organization’s Blog Big, Bold, and Juicy

This past Thursday, I attended “How To Create a Blogging Plan for Your Nonprofit,” which was hosted by blog coach Britt Bravo at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco.

To start off, she said that blogs had to be “juicy.” I sat there, stunned, envisioning our blog at Constant Contact as a very helpful and exciting apple.

Or maybe we’re more of an orange.

There’s something to the word “juicy” that sums up everything that should be in an organization’s blog: the word itself inspires emotion and images, just like every post should. And, phonetically, “juicy” is both punchy and flashy at the same time.

Here are some of the key ingredients Britt recommended to organizations trying to make their own blog “juicy.”

1. Make it Visual.

“People skim,” Britt explained. “They look at the title for one second and they don’t know if they’ll read it.”

So what’s the solution? Find a great picture for every post. That’s the hook that encourages people to read.

2. Don’t Be Dry.

Just like “juicy” sums up what a blog should be, “dry” is exactly what it shouldn’t be.

Britt recommended that people should never have their “annual report language” in a blog post. Figure out your organization’s unique voice – make it engaging, snappy, and compelling.

3. Activate Readers.

Blog posts should encourage action, whether that means helping people learn or getting them more interested in your organization.

An engaging blog post should be thought-provoking. And if you really want feedback, Britt says to “rile readers up.”

Making your opinion loud and proud is the surest way to encourage others to do the same.

4. Plan.

A good blog has a plan. That doesn’t mean that you have to draft a 365-day calendar and stick to it, but Britt explained that the first step is to ask why your organization needs a blog.

“Think of three real people who represent your ideal readers,” she said. “What blog content would be valuable and interesting to them?”

5. Think of a Title.

For every blog post we write at Constant Contact, we try to come up with what we call a “tweetable title.”

Britt touched on this subject, too: your title needs to be short and sweet. Juicy, if you will.

6. Share.

Once you have a blog, it’s time to start sharing the posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest, if you have a compelling image with each post.

Britt added that one way to generate exposure for a blog is to participate in a blog carnival, which means that you write a post about a particular subject and other bloggers do the same.

A well-organized carnival, along with social sharing buttons, can help boost traffic and exposure.

And keep on blogging…

Not every blog post is going to go viral. Many will loiter on your blog, attention-starved and lonely.

But creating a library of posts is crucial to building a blog’s reputation, and writing posts is the only way to get more established in the quirky universe known as the blogosphere.

So, happy blogging!

Want to know more about the art of blogging?

Learn about the ideal length of a post or read an interview between two veteran bloggers!

What’s your secret ingredient for making a blog juicy? Share it below! 

Comments:

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  1. Thanks very useful I would like to reblog.

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  2. Great piece on how to liven up your blog.

    Reply
  3. I REALLY need a blog coach. i am at a point that I have to identify why I am not read more: is there an error in my structure or content…. after 75 posts I should have SOMEONE find me. http://www.hometoitaly.com
    know anyone who does coachin?

    Reply
    • I coached with Jack Humphrey for an hour and got great ideas, great insight, some good feedback on what I was doing (pros and cons) and he really helped me a lot! I think it was $100? Maybe $150…money well spent! jackhumphrey.com

      Reply
    • Karen •

      To Lee,
      Wise choice to post your link. It encouraged me to visit (and I think I’ve been to your blog before). Not sure what to suggest for the big picture, but I enjoy your blog and will suggest it to my Italian classmates.
      Karen

      Reply
  4. Blaise Lucey •

    Hi all,

    Thanks for reading!

    Lee, I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you’re having about getting the word out there! Here are a few things you could try:

    1) Email snippets of the blog to your contacts to drive them to the site
    2) Create blog posts that delve into contemporary topics and share them on Twitter & Facebook
    3) Post on industry peer blogs with your unique input

    There are a lot of blog coaches out there, too. I bet you could find quite a few just by Googling something like “content strategist.”

    Good luck!

    Reply
  5. Thank you for this excellent post. And you practiced what you preach with a post that is itself short, sweet, and juicy! Your points will be helpful to our organization as we look ahead to a website redesign that will include a blog.

    Reply
  6. AmandahBlackwell •

    Eye-catching headlines are a must! If your headline isn’t “snappy,” you may not increase your blog traffic. I recommend creating a ‘headline’ swipe file. Save magazine covers and direct mail. Read online and print magazine covers like Cosmopolitan and the tabloids. Read other blogs and to see which topics have the most tweets, likes, pins, etc. Study the blogs to see how they’re written. Blog copywriting is becoming more like copywriting. You need to ‘hook readers’ fast and give them great content using short and simple sentences. Readers are overloaded with information on a daily basis. Provide blog posts that will keep them coming back for more.

    Reply
  7. Please send a ten year old to my house to teach me. I promise to feed and bathe him/her!

    Reply
  8. bepete78 •

    Good tips Blaise.I shared them on twitter and facebook. I’m still learning myself (now on my second blog). The greatest discovery I’ve made is that bloggers have to stay connected to readers. I sound like a constant contact commercial here, but until you have subscribers on your email list, twitter/facebook/et al is like getting people’s attention on a billboard at 70 miles per hour. And your billboard is blocked by ten other billboards.

    Email inbox’s are overcrowded too, but at least an email is static.

    I have at least three subscription points on each blog post / page. All leading to a constant contact form which has a welcome message and then two auto responder messages.

    I’m growing slow, but going in the right direction … 10 subscribers week one. Now at 50 in week three.

    If anyone is seeking an example, here’s my new blog:

    http://FullTimeChristianity.com

    Feel free to test out the subscription (you can unsubscribe after the test if you’d like).

    Cheers to you all!

    Brent

    Reply
    • Blaise Lucey •

      Hi Brent, thanks for sharing! Making subscribing – and unsubscribing – is definitely key to building a base. Blog posts can be a great way to always have a steady source of content in your emails for that base – and, hopefully, those posts will encourage people to share.

      I would add that it’s definitely tough going at the beginning. It’s all about pushing your message into every channel, both online & off, but in a very deliberate way. Making every headline “tweetable” and engaging is definitely key, too.

      Social media has made it easier to get the word out, but how you get it out is still up to you.

      Best of luck!

      Reply
  9. do u suggest to start a new blog when the present one is so big I get myself lost in it, great info, but hard to go through, what do u suggest?

    Reply
    • Blaise Lucey •

      Hi bhuvaneswari: you could try to revamp the infrastructure of the blog — maybe keep the present one, but pull some of your best material and put it in a new blog. That could make it easy to see if a more accessible one attracts more views.

      WordPress.com offers great free blogs with the option of categories & tagging, which can keep things organized.

      Reply
  10. […] 6 Ingredients to Make Your Organization’s Blog Big, Bold, and Juicy(blogs.constantcontact.com) […]

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  11. Very informative article on blogging along with some very useful tips on keeping it going. I like the idea of a tweetable title. I generally end up adding to the existing title when tweeting.

    Thanks for the great article.

    Reply
  12. Good ideas – I will be re-blogging and trying to incorporate in my new blog as well: lovinglifeinpink.blogspot.com

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  13. Love the content on this site, been writing a blog for a while now, and feel like it is not ‘juicy’! trying to spice up finance/credit report topics have been a challenge, and tried social distriution, any feedback on my blog be good…

    Reply

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