Is the thought of writing a blog post for your nonprofit daunting? You know you have a lot of information to share with your community, but a lack of time and confidence may prevent you, your staff, or your volunteers from jumping in.
Over a year ago, I added a blog to the website of the nonprofit for which I volunteer. I naively thought that many others would enthusiastically rush to share their passion for our mission through writing on the blog. (Oops!) The low interest in writing certainly is not due to a lack of passion or ability, but rather a hesitation about where to start.
In this blog post, I will break down the formula I use for blog writing. I’ve refined it over the years, and I know it can help you, too. At the end of the post, I’ll share a downloadable template you can use right away to create an impactful blog post that will rock and roll your mission forward. Without skipping a beat, let’s get right to it!
1. THE HEADLINE
The headline is the most important part of your blog post. The only job of the headline is to lead your readers to the opening sentence. Because it’s so important, your headline must evoke curiosity. Think about what your blog post promises to deliver. Write at least a half dozen possible headlines, and pick the best one for your working title. After you are done writing the post, review the other headlines you wrote, and make your final decision.
For example, here are the headlines I drafted for this blog post:
- 7 Easy Elements for Writing a Successful Blog Post
- Seven Super Easy Elements for a Successful Blog Post
- 7 Essential Elements for Writing a Rockin’ Blog Post
- 7 Essential Elements to be a Blog-Writing Rock Star
- Write a Rockin’ Blog Post
- How to Write a Rockin’ Blog Post
Aside from developing the best possible headline for your post, the rejected headlines may make for great subtitles or bullet points. You’ll notice that even though I settled on the 6th headline, I used the 4th one as the subtitle and the 3rd one for the heading in the red banner. Extra time well spent!
Rock star bonus points if you are able to use one other headline you created elsewhere in your blog post!
2. THE INTRIGUE
The Intrigue is the critical opening statement of your blog post. It should be only 2 to 3 sentences. The Intrigue briefly, clearly, and thoughtfully addresses a problem your readers face. You want to fascinate your readers so much that they stop dead in their tracks at your solution.
Rock star bonus points if your readers will likely think, “Yes! That’s exactly my problem!
3. THE IMAGE
Pictures pull people into your writing. Ideally, use photos you take yourself or ones that are unique to your nonprofit. Alternatively, if you want to get creative and make your own images (like I have in this blog post), I recommend Canva.
Rock star bonus points if you edit the image in any way to better match your topic!
4. THE PERSONAL CONNECTION
The more transparent and honest you are in your writing, the better. Spend a few sentences explaining your connection (or your nonprofit’s connection) to the topic. Why does it matter to you?
A word of warning: If you take too long to explain your own experience, you may lose people. While you want to include The Personal Connection, remember that the most important person is your reader.
Rock star bonus points if you inspire your readers to see their story within your story!
5. THE PIVOT
Now is the moment to shift. The Pivot is the point you move from the introductory elements to the main elements of the blog post. The Pivot serves two purposes: 1.) to state your objective, and 2.) to get your readers excited to read more.
You may be tempted to skip this element, believing your readers already know the what the post is about. But I urge you to state your objective clearly so that your readers know what they will learn.
Rock star bonus points if, when reading The Pivot aloud, you are eager to continue!
6. THE MAIN BODY
This is the heart of rock-n-roll! The Main Body is where you teach, inform and make your case for your viewpoint. Fill The Main Body with bullet points, numbered lists, subheadings, and short paragraphs. Readers rarely consume every word of a blog post.
So, design your blog post for the skimmers, scanners, and scrollers of the world. Make your case in the fewest words possible.
Rock star bonus points if you include bullet points or lists so that your content is more accessible to busy readers.
7. THE CALL-TO-ACTION
Finish strong with The Call-to-Action (CTA). A CTA is anything you desire the readers to do, such as sign a petition, download a whitepaper, donate to a campaign, get a discount on a membership, or simply click a link for more information on the topic.
Every blog post should have at least one CTA. Depending on the type of blog post, you may need to sprinkle CTAs throughout your post.
Rock star bonus points if you have at least one CTA that links to more information about the topic on your own website!
The good news is your blog post will never be perfect. Don’t get hung up on perfect grammar or punctuation, or agonize over how to make your case better. As they say, “Perfect is the enemy of done.” Trying to make your writing perfect will prevent you from working quickly to get your message to your readers.
FREEBIE – BLOG POST TEMPLATE
I developed a blog post template for you. Simply let me know where you want me to send it in the form below. In no time, you will be writing rockin’ blog posts!
BLOG POST TEMPLATE
Save time and eliminate frustration with a proven blog post template. Simply tell me where to send the template, and you can start writing impactful blog posts without hassle today!