Generate Ideas for Your Non-profit Newsletter or Website

When planning content for your newsletter, website, blog, or social media it seems like there is a three-week rule.

For 21 days, the ideas just flow. Articles practically write themselves, social media posts are funny, engaging, and full of heart. And then…nothing. Maybe you’re not getting the click-throughs, donations, or sign-ups you expected. Or maybe you just get busy with another project. But content gets really hard.

If only you knew what people wanted to hear from you.

That’s where some Google research can be helpful. Here are the steps we use to build content for our clients:

  1. Use Google auto-fill to see common search terms. Start by typing into Google ways people might discover your organization. Note what Google auto-fills for you. These are common phrases that have been searched in your area. If you are a food bank, you might see something like this: So you may want to think about posting additional content about volunteering or how to donate food (or why you should give money instead). This is obvious, so we might look a little deeper and discover more specific things. In this case, we find out that feeding the homeless and children is of special concern, so you might want to feature your work there. We can also see feeding the hungry on holidays pops up, so you might want to write about why it’s important to feed the hungry year-round and not just on Christmas. _
  2. Enter search terms into Google Keyword Planner to see what kind of volume each search gets per month. For this tool, you’ll need to sign up for a free Google AdWords account and then navigate to Tools>Keyword Planner. Here you have a bunch of options for generating ideas based on what people are actually searching. We like to try a few different tactics: looking at keywords by industry and category. So for the food bank example, we would input “food bank” and “feed the hungry” press search and get a bunch of new keywords and their monthly search volume. Here we might get a few ideas like writing an article about “how to host a food drive” or using the phrase “food pantry” more often. 
  3. Use Keyword Planner to multiply different search terms to get new combinations. For a food bank we might try different combinations of words like this:
    From there we can see new combinations of words that people might be searching for: So we might want to use the term “food for kids” in our next campaign, use that phrase to reach out to community members in need, and write an article about the work we do with getting food to kids.

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