We usually look at blogging and content marketing as an external benefit. It brings in traffic, creates our platform, establishes our expertise, and hopefully generates leads. But we can't forget: blogging is for the writer as much as it is for the reader. I hadn't considered how that would also apply to a team, and not just the individual. I was surprised to learn how non-profit content marketing could benefit an organization internally.
I spoke with Scott from the North Dakota Interagency Program for Assistive Technology (NDIPAT), a non-profit organization that matches people with disabilities with technology that can help them live life independently. Recently, their entire team took on the challenge of executing a content marketing plan for a year. How did that year turn out? I sat down with him and asked him about their journey, and their progress.
Julie: Was it difficult to get your team to blog?Scott: Not really. We all knew the importance of blogging. Plus we'd been doing a newsletter for a long time – bi-monthly over ten years – so this was a natural transition for us. Blogging lets us get more content out more regularly. The biggest challenge is that we have five bloggers spread out in two geographic locations.
We don't really have a difficult time coming up with ideas. Narrowing down ideas is where it's hard. We're trying to get the right content mix for the blog.
Julie: What have you seen happen with your team as you worked on blogging together?Scott: From our standpoint, blogging provides a way for us to research topics, and understand things better. It gives us an internal resource to go back to for reference. One person does the work of researching and writing a post, and we all benefit from it. Our entire team is building a great resource to use.
Our blog is right up at the top, now. We've been holding steady with our content.
Julie: What are the success you're seeing from your blogging?Scott: There have been several instances of people contacting us about something they read on our blog, saying that they didn't know there was a solution for them until they read our blog posts. People have also called us and asked us questions based on blog posts.
We're being more proactive as far as assistive technology within the state, in terms of how we're blogging. One state does a podcast that they are known for, but their blogging is lessening. Our blog is right up at the top, now. We've been holding steady with our content.
SEO is important, too, and consistently our blog posts are up at the top on general key terms in the assistive technology field. Hitting the first or second page within a few days of a post going live is a big deal, I think. It means Google is coming back often if it's appearing that soon.
Hitting the first or second page within a few days of a post going live is a big deal.
Julie: Do you ever consider not blogging any more?Scott: We've never thought about stopping blogging, though we've changed our frequency, from three posts to two posts per week, due to staff changes. I don't know if we'll go back to three, but we've never considered ending our blogging. It's not an option. When we started, we were going to do a year for sure, and now that we've done that, and written over 100 posts, we're going to keep going. It's just too valuable to stop, especially internally. It really is.
It's almost like continuing education for you and your staff. Each writer has to do the research and writing, and then let the rest of staff read it. It's a professional growth piece for our staff, each time they write a blog post.
With our field the way it is, our research happens online. That's where the information is at, and it's vast–no one has the same disability and needs. Individuals are unique, so finding a solution is unique. That's why finding information and being able to share it is important. We can cover topics from so many angles for a larger audience.
Blogging is like professional development for your team. Research, write, and share.