“Content” is the sum of all the information you create and produce. Web content copywriting – providing practical info about your nonprofit cause, but online – has developed its own notoriety, thanks to the rise in social media.
The 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report cited the leading types of content which leaders plan to spend the most time producing: email newsletters, Facebook updates, event marketing, articles for websites and email appeals.
Note: none of the leaders reported plans to invest the bulk of their time producing content for print. Every item on the “Top Five” list was for an online medium.
Which tells me that knowing how to write content for the web is a pretty important priority for most nonprofit leaders.
Here are the top tips newbies need to know about web content copywriting for nonprofits.
Tip #1: Make it short
Check out the top five leading types of content and how long each one should be.
- Email newsletters: made up of a series of short articles, often linked to longer web pages
- Facebook updates: most-read and commented-on statuses are limited to 6 lines or less
- Event marketing: who, what, where, when, why, how much? that’s all readers really want to know
- Articles for websites: web pages are best when 300-500 words; blog posts belong in this category, too
- Email appeals: tight, focused, and to-the-point trumps longer
Tip #2: Get to the point
Make your point right out the gate by placing your key piece of information at the top of the post, status, email, or webpage. If your reader wants more information, she can scroll down the page or clicks on a link. (This step earns you respect and gratitude from readers!)
Tip #3: Give it substance
The best content on the web shares practical or worthwhile information. We’ve all read mindless online chatter – what so-and-so has eaten that day or a useless observation about the weather. Don’t be that guy. Make sure your posts have value. If you do, then people will continue to want to read what you and your nonprofit have to say.
Tip #4: Include more than just text
Links and images go hand-in-hand with quality web content. You’re all about being practical, (right?), linking readers to more in-depth information. And today’s readers are visual. If you can give them info in a graphic to tell the story even further, do it.
Tip #5: Format it for the web
More and more readers read content on a screen – whether on a phone, a mobile device, or a computer. Make sure your web content is easy on the eyes. Give it lots of white space. Bullets and lists allow the reader to skim.
You want your web content to get read. So make it easy, accessible, and fun for people to read what you have to say.
About the author: Kathy Widenhouse
Kathy Widenhouse is a freelance Christian writer. She produces content and copywriting for faith-based organizations and nonprofits.