Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
The complete answer to the question “Is Blogging for You?” would likely constitute a book. There’s a lot to be said about the topic and many fine individuals and organizations have tackled the issue on blogs and in books – although many of them pertain to businesses and corporate entities. So I’m undoubtedly going to leave some blanks unfilled as I broach the topic. Nevertheless, here are a few things to consider when answering this question for your ministry or non-profit:
1. Who is your audience?
Are they online? If not, will they be moving online in the next few years? Or, do you want to reach out to a new market segment that does live online?
2. What do you have to say?
Do you have something unique to bring to the table? Blogging for the sake of blogging is a bad idea. As outlined in the video I shared a couple days ago, information is coming at us at an unbelievable rate of speed and we can become immobilized with taking it all in. We should neither succumb nor contribute to that overstimulation. Nevertheless, if you have an audience who will listen, you always have at least one unique element to your blog, your culture and your audience.
3. Does your organization have the commitment to keep a blog up?
You need to be really honest with yourself in asking the question of whether you can keep a blog going. Do you have a team of people that truly understand the value of blogging and will stick with it? I want to be clear on this point, it is worse to start a blog and then abandon it, than to have never started it at all. A neglected or abandoned blog, just like a neglected, abandoned or outdated website, says a lot about your organization - and it’s not flattering.
Parting thought: Blogging is not an instant reward marketing tool and it is difficult to directly tie the impact of a blog to your bottom line. But at the end of the day anyone you talk to will acknowledge that word of mouth is the best form of marketing an organization could have and that’s what a blog, if done well, creates. It builds a community of advocates – a group of people that are your ongoing, committed audience. But it’s not only about you. Blogging (and social media tools in general), are tools that create an environment where a customer/target can help a company/organization do what they do better which in turn helps the customer. Essentially, you invite your audience in to help you serve them. It’s a win-win and other than the investment of your time, it’s free!