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Top 10 Reasons to Start a Blog

1) To Express Your Thoughts and Opinions

Blogging is becoming more and more popular everyday. You have something to say, and blogs provide a place to say it and be heard.

2) To Market or Promote Something

Blogging is a great way to help market or promote yourself or your business, product or service.

3) To Help People

Many blogs are written to help people who may be going through similar situations that the blogger has experienced. Many parenting and health-related blogs are written for this purpose.

4) To Connect with People Like You

Blogging brings like-minded people together. Starting a blog can help you find those people and share your opinions and thoughts.

5) To Establish Yourself as an Expert

Blogs are wonderful tools to help bloggers establish themselves as experts in a field or topic. For example, if you're trying to get a job in a specific field or hoping to publish a book on a specific topic, blogging can help legitimize your expertise and expand your online presence and platform.

6) To Make a Difference

Many blogs are issue-based meaning the blogger is trying to provide information to sway people's thinking in a certain direction. Many political blogs and social issues blogs are written by bloggers who are trying to make a difference in their own ways.

7) To Stay Active or Knowledgeable in a Field or topic

Since successful blogging is partially dependent on posting frequency and providing updated, fresh information, it's a perfect way to help a blogger stay abreast of the events in a specific field or topic.

8) To Stay Connected with Friends and Family

The world has shrunk since the Internet has become more accessible. Blogs provide a simple way for family and friends to stay connected from different parts of the world by sharing stories, photos, videos and more.

9) To Make Money

It's important to point out that most bloggers don't make a lot of money blogging, but the potential does exist to generate revenue from your blog with hard work and commitment. There are many bloggers who bring in big bucks. With patience and practice, you can make money through advertising and other income-generating activities on your blog.

10) To Have Fun and Be Creative

Many people start a blog simply for fun. Perhaps a blogger is a fan of a particular actor or loves knitting and wants to share that passion through a blog. One of the most important keys to successful blogging is having a passion about your blog's topic, so you can write prolifically about it. Some of the best and most interesting blogs started out as blogs that were written just for fun and to give the blogger a creative outlet.

6 Titillating Tips on Blogging for Your Nonprofit

1) Brevity is the soul of discretion. Readers have short attention spans. A blog could be a few lines to preface an appealing image or video, or it could be an informal article. In generating an outside word limit, it's best not to go beyond 800 words. If it must be longer, make it into a two-part series and link the two parts to each other for the readers' convenience. Break up texts with subheadings, pull quotes, images, and videos. In general, you should break up the text with one of these devices every 3-4 paragraphs.

2)A picture's worth a thousand words. It cannot be said too often for those marketing ANYTHING online: people are visual. Images are essential to the well-crafted blog. They keep the reader engaged and draw him to the next section of the text. Take your own photos or use royalty-free images. Some sources are free to use as long as you include a photo credit, for instance, the photo gallery at the White House website.

3) It's the name of the game. Don't stint when it comes to creating a catchy title. No matter how much effort you put into the body of your blog, if it's got a boring title, no one will read it. Consider the difference between: How I taught my dog to beg and Begging will get you everywhere. The first is ho-hum, the second piques the interest. You can't help but want to read the rest. Car donation program Kars4Kids showed it was title savvy with this blog entry from March: Do our customer service reps rock? Or do they really really rock?! You just know you want to read that.

4) Don't be listless. Lists are good because they tell readers that they don't have to read every word of your blog but can scan the contents for effective tips. The numbering or bullets also help to break up the text in much the same way as images, videos, or subheadings.

5) Do your share. More than anything, you want people to share your content. Don't make it hard for them to do so. Add share buttons and situate them in a section of the page where they will be seen. You can put them in more than one place, for instance at the top and bottom of blog posts. Include lots of choices for sharing venues but definitely include the main players: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

6) Keep an eye on things. From behind the scenes (back end of the blog), you can monitor traffic to your blog and from your blog to your nonprofit's website. You can check these stats according to the day, week, and month and often, you can see the referring website. Other things you can see: the keywords that brought people to the blog, and what type of content drove the most traffic. There are free tools you can sign up for to help you generate and interpret your blog traffic, such as Google Analytics. Use the data to help you plan future content that will be appealing to your target audience. The data will also tell you the ideal time to post new content.

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