How Does a Content Writer Blog for a Charity?
The world of business and enterprise has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. There is a wide range of reasons for this, not least due to the Covid pandemic.
There have been numerous changes to the welfare state, social care and the whole support economy. Charities and non-profit organisations are in more need than ever, and there are now more charities than ever.
Being a content writer in the charity sector has a range of challenges specific to this sector. As more charities focus on online communications, there is a greater need for new technologies.
This involves research, training, and even moving outdated methods onto modern digital systems. The world of social media, blogging, and web content is constantly growing and changing, with charities risk falling behind in some of these specialities due to a lack of funding.
So here is how a charity content writer can fit right in the niche.
Why Should Charities Focus On Digital Content?
So with more charities all scrabbling for a piece of a reducing pie, it is all the more important that they have a more substantial digital marketing plan and programmes to get their needs heard.
A 2021 report by Digital Charity (https://report.skillsplatform.org/charity-digital-report-2021/) shows that 67% of charities see digital marketing as a key factor and are putting an infrastructure in place to support this. This is a considerable increase from 2019 when more than half of non-profit organisations did not have a programme in place.
Within the Third Sector, there was a lack of relevant skills and training to support decent programmes. Vast amounts of money and resources have been channelled in, including the provision of free online training. Organisations like Google have been spearheading a lot of this with a wide range of suites and mentoring. I can vouch for this, having received some excellent mentoring from Google.
Within digital marketing for the charity sector, good quality content writers and copywriters have been emerging, flexing their creative wings to drive charities forward in new and emerging ways.
How to Blog For Charity
There is a broad scope of the purpose of a blog post for charity. It might be to raise awareness of either the charity itself or their services. It could be the plight of their end-users, a need for sustainable villages in India to reduce child labour, a drug rehab unit in South London, HIV projects in Surrey, and Children’s Hospitals needing research into increasing childhood illnesses.
OK, these are all charities I have personally been involved with and worked with.
Here are my key tips:
1 Know why you are writing
Vary your content to suit the broader reading audience. Are you writing to volunteers? Get them excited about being on a muddy riverbank at 6 AM, picking up old wet wipes and plastic. If writing to fundraisers, let them know their events are the organisation's lifeblood.
2 Do your research
What if you are writing about a breakthrough in science? With so much debate about facts or misinformation today, it is vital to speak with authority. AND DO YOUR RESEARCH!
3 Post regularly
Getting your charity’s name out in the digital space takes a lot of work. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the magic that gets your ranking high on Google, Bing and other search engines. Blogging and posting on social media is not just a tick box exercise. It gains traction, gets you noticed in all sorts of places and builds your authority in your sector.
4 Be Specific
There are so many stories to tell; it is tempting to put several into your blog. Resist the temptation. There are a few reasons to hold back on spilling everything in a post.
You might want to hit a target of one thousand words, but don’t fill it with meandering words.
If your blog post is about fundraising, keep that post to fundraising. Stick to the announcement if it is about a new head of learning at your favourite children’s hospital.
You’ll want to end with a call to action in most posts, especially if requesting funding. A news brief might not seem so appropriate. This reflects point 1 in understanding the purpose of each post.
5 Use images and video
If you are writing a lot of text, it is good to break it up with well-placed and appropriate pictures. It can help with reducing your chances of waffling, too, since a picture is worth a thousand words. A good picture can show the villagers in your charity’s village getting their lives together. It can help reach out to the emotional centre of your readers.
Don’t forget to add in ‘ALT Text.’ This relates to SEO and helps get you found in Google searches. Add in a short sentence describing what is in the picture. It helps with accessibility for those who cannot see the picture but rely on spoken software.
Video can be a great way to show small interviews with your service users. Often, their stories can tell more than any of us content writers. It also increases read time on your post, which can again help with ranking, depending on certain platforms that you post on.
How can we serve our charities better?
Many mentors out there encourage finding clients that pay massive amounts for content writers.
This blog post is not promising you an income that will allow you to holiday in the Maldives each quarter. Charities have to count and justify every penny spent, so they don’t always have the money to afford a top-flight content writer. But with the right digital strategy, there is no reason why working with charities cannot be a lucrative venture for both the charity and the writer.
That is the benefit of hiring a freelance writer. You only pay by the project. Many decent writers build packages for longer-term campaigns. They might offer a weekly blog for three months with a bulk reduction. You do not have the additional expense worries of keeping someone employed, their salary and on-costs. Knowing this writer is dedicated to you on each project, you can rest easy. They won’t be a jack of all trades milling from day to day just to look busy.
Are you In Need of a Charity Content Writer?
Are you a charity or non-profit organisation looking to increase your digital presence? If any of the above points stand out for you, and maybe some of them fill you with dread of learning new methods, contact me. I am a freelance content writer and copywriter.
I have worked with a wide range of charities over the past thirty years and would love to see how I can help you with your content. I offer a free consultation to see how we can work on a project to get your charity some excellent and engaging content out there.