Your association’s blog is a great way to spread the word about your association, keep members and prospective members updated about developments in your industry, and reach the world.
So how do you create blog content that has a strong reach with your members and is primed to be picked up and read by the “outside” world?
1) Have a relevant topic
You could likely write about your association day in and day out without any problems, but for something to get wider circulation your topic has to have a bit more breadth. While your topics might not necessarily interest the general public, try to branch out your topics to include more than just your association if your goal is greater readership. Include other geographic areas in your writing and explore related issues as well.
2) Quote experts
You’re probably an expert on whatever issue you’re writing about, but other voices add depth and legitimacy. For an association blog, sometimes getting good quotes can be as quick as a 10-minute phone call or an email. Just make sure whomever you’re quoting is aware you’re writing an article and that you have permission to quote them.
3) Bring in opposing viewpoints
Say you’re writing a blog commenting on how recent legislature will impact your association’s industry. Be sure you fairly and accurately communicate both sides of the issue; those supporting the legislature and those against it, and where your association falls on that spectrum.
4) Use a casual, but professional, voice
When you’re the expert on one field or another, it’s easy to get into really technical jargon that you know your direct audience (members and other folks in the industry) will understand but might be lost on the general public. Don’t spend too much time defining common industry terms, but don’t get too lost in industry-speak either. A good rule of thumb is to hand the article off to your spouse or a friend in a different industry. Can they follow it?
5) Pay attention to the headline
Don’t go so far as to imitate the Associated Press, but definitely write in a similar news-y style with an eye-catching, truthful headline. Don’t go for “sensational” but think about what would make you click on the link?
Then share, share, share and interact! Respond to comments both on your blog itself and through social media. Engage with readers when you can, than members and fans for sharing, and promote it yourself every few days without getting too spammy. It may seem like a lot of work to write a blog for widespread circulation, but trust me. It’ll be worth it!
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