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How to Build An Audience For Your Blog (The Basics)

by Erik Hanberg, Author, The Little Book of Gold: Fundraising for Small (And Very Small) Nonprofits

I firmly believe that if you are writing an interesting, funny, or informative blog, that people will find your blog … eventually.

But you can jumpstart that process to build your audience of readers very quickly.

Start with your current audience

Let donors, volunteers, patrons, and anyone else who has signed up for your emails know that you have a new blog (or a new and improved blog, if you started one ages ago but let it sit empty). Wait until you have 3 to 6 posts up before you start promoting it heavily. After that, though, don’t be afraid to share it often. It’s OK to link to a particularly good article from your blog in every newsletter, just to remind people it’s there.

Facebook

Facebook is the big player in social media. It’s well-suited for sharing links to blog posts. By creating a Facebook page for your nonprofit, you are building a place for people who like you to keep up with you on a site they spend a lot of time on. Done right, Facebook should be able to send you a significant portion of your web traffic. Every time you write a new blog post, it should be posted on Facebook immediately.

Twitter

Twitter is an excellent social media service that rewards time spent on it much more than Facebook. You can interact with strangers much more easily and have a real-time conversation. It can be a little slower to build an audience than on Facebook, however. But it can’t be beat for real-time news, promotions, or other announcements. As with Facebook, as soon as you post to your blog, update Twitter with a link.

And, really, that’s the core of a basic but successful social media strategy:

  1. Write an interesting blog.
  2. Post links to that blog on Twitter and Facebook.
  3. Ask blog readers to become email subscribers, patrons, or donors (without bugging them too much).
  4. Respond to comments and questions. Thank people for engaging with you.
  5. Repeat.

Of course, that means you’ll need to get people on Facebook and Twitter to start following you for this strategy to work.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of blogging (see previous posts here, here, and here, we’ll start digging into these two important social media sites.

Next week: Facebook!

Topics: Fundraising