Where to Find Content Ideas for Your Nonprofit Blog

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According to a recent Content Marketing Institute study, 92% of nonprofits are using social media, blogging, email, and videos for their content marketing efforts.

If 92% of nonprofits are starting to use social media, email, and videos for their content marketing efforts, odds are they are frequently coming up with new ideas for their blog—in fact, 65% of nonprofit professionals are producing more content now than they did a year ago.

Content is king concept in word tag cloud on black background

But where are they finding all these new ideas? How do they keep their content fresh, interesting, and informative and not just end up repeating themselves?

There are so many good places to find good content—in fact, you’re probably already using some of these websites without realizing what a great source for content ideas they are!

Here are a few places you can turn to in order to keep the creative juices flowing for your nonprofit blog:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known to be a professional social media website for people to connect with colleagues, network, share content, and look for employment opportunities.  They also have the option to join different groups based on their industry and engage in group discussions.  These conversations create a wonderful place for you to do research for content ideas.

Group discussions like the ones that you find on LinkedIn are hard to find.  If you read these industry group discussions, you can regularly gather frequently asked questions, discover new industry trends, and get insight into favored products or services—this information is incredibly valuable for content creators who need good content that can really serve their members’ needs.

linkedin discussions

Quora

Quora is a Q&A website that resembles Yahoo Answers.  Quora has a really engaged community, and features more in-depth questions than a lot of other Q&A websites.   The responses on Quora also tend to provide higher quality answers as well.  The Quora audience can ask somewhat crazy things, such as “What does it feel like to be shot?”, but you can easily run a search under a few keywords that are relevant to your association.  While the questions can be weird, many of them are very ordinary, and can help you to create a really informative post.

quora charity water

Google

By simply entering a keyword phrase into a search engine, your nonprofit can gain insight from your audience and use it to create new content.

If you pull up Google and insert a keyword phrase that is relevant to your business, and then review the Google Suggest results that appear, you can get some great suggestions based on commonly searched terms.   These terms are great recommendations for content ideas, as Google users will see similar results when they search for information on that topic.

For example, if you are in the travel industry, and you choose “visiting the Grand Canyon” as your keyword phrase, when you start to type that phrase into Google, Google automatically provides some suggestions:

Google search results

Google also offers “related searches” suggestions on its search engine results pages that can help you to expand your content ideas:

google related searches

Because these results appear as either a suggested search or a related search, you can safely assume that your members are searching for that type of information, and you can create content according to that.

Blogs/Periodicals

I’m sure that you have a list of all the places you visit for ideas: blogs, periodicals, magazines, etc.  You read through these every day just to keep up to date.  Well, make sure that as you read through them all you’re keeping a running list of ideas and topics that come to you while you’re reading through.  Use an RSS reader, such as The Old Reader, to organize all the blogs that you follow and get notified of new content. Actively think about all the ways the content that you read daily can contribute to your industry or organization and then use those ideas to form your blog posts.

theoldreader

Twitter

Going through your Twitter feed can help to spark ideas as you see the content topics being tweeted from the people that you follow.  You can use Twitter to tweet questions as well to help you get information for a piece that you’re working on, and reading the articles and information that other people post can help to give you different perspectives and new ideas that you might never have come up with on your own.  You can also use Twitter searches to find great content ideas in your industry.

twitter content search

People

Your members, or whoever it is that you serve, are one of the best sources for content ideas you can have.  Ask them what they want to know about or learn from your organization.  Send out surveys or interview them on whatever subject you would like and get their honest feedback.  What type of content do they prefer? Where do they spend the most time online? What do they think you do the best in terms of content?  Where are you falling short?  These questions will help you to really understand your members. It’s a good idea to send out surveys with questions like these every few months so that you have continuous feedback to help you constantly improve.

Ask your staff as well!  They might be getting the same questions over and over from your members. That’s a great way to form a blog post, as those repeated questions are obviously something of great importance to your audience.  If you struggle to fit some of the questions you receive into a blog post, create a FAQs section and list the questions and answers there.

What are some other great places to find content ideas for your nonprofit blog? Add them in the comments below!

Looking for Nonprofit software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Nonprofit software solutions.

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About the Author

Leah Readings

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Leah Readings is a Software Analyst for Capterra, a company that connects buyers and sellers of business software. She specializes in church management software along with several other software directories. When she’s not helping software buyers, she is, among other things, reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.

Comments

That’s a great post Leah.
I really loved the way you stressed using Quora to hack out content ideas.

However I use BuzzSumo, AllTop, Topsy and even dig through my old posts and comments for topic ideas.

There are many “blog topic idea generators” online. Which helps you a lot.

Spending about half an hour a weak specially for brainstorming effective topics helps a lot.

Cheers,
Akshay ~

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