Anyone passionate about your nonprofit’s core issue is reading articles and searching for information relevant to that issue. Will your website show up as a source?
If not, Google doesn’t consider you a topic authority because your site is light on relevant content. Fortunately, the solution is simple:
To become a topic authority, turn what’s already on your website into regularly posted blogs.
Whether your issue is hunger, adoption, abandoned dogs, domestic abuse or whatever, your website should establish you as a topic authority to drive site visits and subsequent interest: media, newsletter subscriptions, volunteers, advocates and, ultimately, donors.
“But we don’t know what to write about every week or month or twice a month!” I hear you saying. “Thinking about topics and getting them approved is a huge hurdle.”
This particular form of writer’s block occurs when we think about our topic only from our own perspective. Not everyone talks and thinks about our issue like we do, and we can contribute plenty of insights to the public discussion.
When people search the web for information, we want Google to find us because we are a source of accurate, reliable, consistent, authoritative content about an issue they care about. Keywords, anchor text, links to your site and other elements of SEO (search engine optimization) play a role. However, “Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here,” advises Google’s very own Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.
“Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here.”
– Google SEO Starter Guide
So, how do we go about turning existing web content into authoritative blog posts?
A real-life example
Let’s walk through a real example. Children’s Home Society of North Carolina doesn’t have a blog. They are not my client and don’t know I’m doing this. I just like their website. Here is how, in 15 minutes, I found 5 things they could blog about right now:
1. News tab
After clicking on their News tab, a sentence in an article called “Adoptions Continue to be Finalized” caught my eye: “In celebration of the adoption of 4- and 5-year-old Elias and Drayden in late April, the Evans family hosted a drive-by adoption parade outside their home since they were not able to have a party.”
- Why it got my attention: Involves people doing something out of the ordinary.
- What we could blog about: Talk about going through stages of the adoption process during the pandemic. Highlight families if possible.
- Topic authority reinforcement: Educates about the adoption process, offers insights into adoption during a crisis and relates adoption to current events.
2. Meet Our Children tab
Part of the page copy is, “[These children] are future teachers and therapists and budding scientists.”
- Why it got my attention: Made me look at teachers, therapists, etc., in a new light.
- What we could blog about: Interview a teacher, therapist, scientist, etc., who is an adoptee.
- Topic authority reinforcement: Puts a face on the long-term benefits of adoption for society and allows for use of statistics and data.
3. Educational Programs & Training tab
The page says, “Individual Parent Education [program] provides one-on-one sessions with parents, utilizing evidence-based approaches to address specific needs for the family. Curricula used include Triple P, Promoting First Relationships, Active Parenting, and Nurturing Parenting.”
- Why it got my attention: Refers to devoting a lot of time with individual sets of parents and to unfamiliar curricula.
- What we could blog about: Explain each of these approaches and how they help adoptive parents in 1-4 blogs. Another approach: Talk about how we’ve been doing this during the pandemic.
- Topic authority reinforcement: Educates about approaches to parenting for adoptive and non-adoptive families, allows for use of statistics and data, and brings in outside credible resources.
4. Educational Programs & Training tab / Wise Guys® link
Page copy: “As teen males begin to have honest conversations with their peers …, they see that not all males conform to stereotyped expectations, and they gain valuable support from each other.”
- Why it got my attention: As I write this, the news is filled with stories about the kinds of conversations African American parents must have with their children that white parents never have to consider. Then there’s the ongoing issue of appropriate teen role models.
- What we could blog about: Interview a teen and mentor in the program, share data about how such intervention influences a teen’s future. Another idea: Dive into why teens and tweens are the least likely to be adopted (stereotypes?).
- Topic authority reinforcement: Puts faces on an age group that needs more adoptive parents, allows use of facts and figures, educates about how adoption process differs for age groups, taps into need for and efficacy of good role models.
5. Educational Programs & Training tab / Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) link
Page copy: “Rigorous research is documenting [TAC’s] effectiveness in providing clinicians with the critical competencies they need to provide quality mental health services to those whose lives have been touched by adoption.”
- Why it got my attention: Nonprofits that train medical professionals are interesting and impressive (credibility).
- What we could blog about: Why adoptees often develop mental health challenges, what can be done; share stories.
- Topic authority reinforcement: Reinforces credibility with clinical and teaching audiences, brings in outside resources, illustrates depth of knowledge (ability to train), relates to highly relevant social issue (mental health).
Topic authority blog posts are important tools in your outreach – just imagine a fundraiser being able to point an interested donor to a particular blog post that addresses their questions about your issue!
Take a look at your organization’s website through this lens. I guarantee you’ll find at least 5 ideas. If you don’t, let me know.
P.S. If you need free, professional images to go with your posts, check out these sources (and please credit the artist where possible):