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Share the Story of Your Nonprofit or Church through Blogs

Lori Halley 06 November 2007 0 comments

I want to recommend to you a book I just finished reading. The Blogging Church by Brian Bailey and Terry Storch. There was also an interesting interview with Read/Write Web's Sean Ammirati that's worth listening to.

After reading the book, I picked up some good tips that I could apply to our blog and some other parts that kinda knew I should do but have let slip through the cracks. One of the good things about it is that it doesn't assume that you have any knowledge about blogs. It gives very basic information about how to start a blog, and then how to improve the blog you have. It is very well written and really sheds some light into this new world of blogging revolution.
Also, the book is not just for churches. In fact, any nonprofit organization can benefit from reading it and I highly recommend it. 
Probably the most important tip I took away is to blog as you want to blog. After you finish this book read the best blogs you can find, ask questions, and learn from others. then, start writing. Find what works for you. Decide for yourself how often to write and how long your posts should be. It's not about imitating the people who enjoy the most traffic. It's about finding your personal voice and sharing in a way that brings you joy and fulfillment. If you write from that place, the rest of the pieces take care of themselves.
Here are Bailey's twenty tips and techniques to take your blog to the next level:
  1. Tell your readers who you are and how to contact you. Include your full name, where you serve, and what you do there. Also, supply a way to contact you directly.
  2. A disclaimer is your friend. It's a good idea to include a prominent disclaimer so no one can blame you for your various idiosyncrasies. It should be short and to the point.
  3. Use categories. Categories and sidebars allow an interested reader to quickly view all of your posts on say online fundraising, while avoiding the day-by-day emotional swings of your child's soccer season.
  4. Make it easy to subscribe. Make sure you feature the feed address and a link to subscribe prominently on your homepage.
  5. Syndicate the entire post. Be sure to send your entire post through RSS.
  6. Don't be afraid to promote. Send a short, polite email that introduces yourself, and brings your post to their attention.
  7. Publish during high traffic times. This will give other bloggers time to comment, link, or respond to your post.
  8. More posts equal more traffic. The more frequently you post, the more traffic and readers you will attract.
  9. Count your blog traffic.
  10. Count your referrers.
  11. Content brings Google. Don't underestimate the power of Google.
  12. When you post an article that links to other posts or blogs, be sure to click those links after you post. This will make sure other bloggers are aware of your post as soon as it's published.
  13. Comment on other sites and your own.
  14. Don't avoid the draft. Take advantage of saving draft versions of your posts.
  15. Don't use whiteout. Acknowledge the mistake, fix it and move on.
  16. The more you write, the more you'll have to say.
  17. Don't bury the good stuff. Don't make people visiting your site work to find your best writing.
  18. Find what links or sites you love and share it with your readers.
  19. Don't ignore pings, trackbacks, and tags.
  20. Develop an authentic voice. If you are authentic, honest and original, you'll find readers who care about what you write.
Best of all, the final chapter gives some sound advice from five of the most popular bloggers in the world—Robert Scoble, Dave Winer, Kathy Sierra, Guy Kawasaki, and Merlin Mann. So if you're trying to figure out whether your church or organization should get involved with blogging, or how to get started in a way that will maximize impact then "The Blogging Church" is a must-read.

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Tuesday, 06 November 2007 at 9:00 AM
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