One of the biggest barriers to blogging (or developing any kind of social media presence) is time. Writing takes time–lots of time. Most ministry leaders and nonprofit executives don’t have time to spend on blogging or social media in general. Unfortunately, the reality is that by not finding a way to blog and/or develop social media tools you’re missing out on opportunities (lost opportunities that may include another organization building a relationship with your donors and wooing them away from you!).
So here are some quick tips to consider as a way of developing a blog presence without devoting tons of time.
1. Voice Recognition Software. While it may seem like a science fiction dream, voice recognition software has improved in sophistication and dropped in price. Voice recognition software allows you to get your thoughts down quicker and sound like your natural voice. If she were alive today, Mrs. South, my 7th grade English teacher, would roll over in her grave if she read my blog posts. But they sound like me. When Hoots writes, she sounds like Hoots. When we write together, we sound more like us. For your blog, you want to sound like yourself. Check out: Dragon Naturally Speaking. Dragon is one of the new generation of speech recognition software. There are other good ones out there but this one is a good representative. Also give this review a look.
2. Ghost riders. Actually that should be “writers” which illustrates one of the dangers of voice recognition software: it can recognize your words wrong. That means you’ll have to edit. Either you or someone else has to put their eyes on the page. You can also do what we often do on the Oneicity blog, I draft and Hoots fixes (edits). We achieve good rhythm and work faster that way. I can draft without getting everything just right which means I move faster. Maybe you could work out the same kind of partnership with your administrative assistant or spouse or that sharp English major in accounting.
3. Repurpose. Many organizations have tons of intellectual property sitting around. If you’re a ministry, you might have shelves of books, scripts, brochures and other written stuff your teams have produced. These can be edited and freshened to use on the web. Several years ago, I ran a project that converted years of radio scripts into web content. It all had to be edited and most of it needed updating but the concepts were good enough that each script provided a foundation which was easily 50% of the final product. A large portion of this project was accomplished with university students working on internships. I was amazed how little I was paying them but they received wonderful experience and I delivered content for about 10% of the cost it would have required to produce it from scratch.
4. Video blogging. Sometimes referred to as vlog (sorry but that word doesn’t work for me). Video is a killer app online. The natural extension of that is to turn your blog into a video platform. We’re dabbling in it but haven’t done much yet. You can get started easily and it’s effective. One caution I have is that it is more difficult than it looks and takes more time than it seems.
5. Get help. More and more ministries are looking at adding blogging and social media to the work they ask professionals to provide. This is a good idea with 2 caveats:
-Not everyone who is a writer should blog for you. Find someone who understands blogging and can get your voice right.
-Integrate, integrate, integrate. Your blog must support the mission and vision of the organization. Don’t let someone blog without understanding where you are taking your organization.
Oneicity is developing a variety of product offerings to help you with your web presence and social media. We understand the problem and have a solution. Stay tuned for information on that.
How about you? What keeps you from blogging?
(photo credits: Sister72)