Graffiti_in_Shoreditch,_London_-_Please_Wait_Here_Until_You_Are_Useful_by_Ian_Stevenson_(9422239719)

Be a Useful Resource

In Create Useful Content, Good Tools by lisavgray

If you are crusading for a cause, trying to change the world, offering something original, your website can say "We are a resource."The content on your website tells the world what you know, what you care about, how you work. Maybe your site’s saying “I know mostly about myself.” Some sites say “I haven’t learned anything new since 2004.” A lot of sites clearly say “Give us money now.”

Not exactly the best beginnings to life-long customer relationships.

But for those who are crusading for a cause, trying to change the world, offering something original, your site can say “We are a resource.”

This insight – and many more – came from Steven Shattuck, VP of Marketing at Bloomerang, a fundraising-software firm in Indianapolis. He hosts a resource-rich blog on the firm’s site, and yesterday he was part of a resource-rich session I attended at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference.

Being a resource means you attract prospective clients and donors to your site by answering their questions. Whether it’s a question about recognizing the early signs of Alzheimers or discovering the best new art books for pre-schoolers, useful material offers a great way to introduce your organization to prospective customers and donors. Being a resource establishes your credibility and offers a portal to a community of folks who love what the visitor loves.

Useful Tips

Some of Steven’s quick tips for building a resource-rich website:

  • Keep it short: 350-700 word blog posts are best.
  • Choose topics based on the questions your organization is answering now. Twitter hashtags, Google keyword searches and Quora are also great tools for understanding hot topics.
  • Let everyone contribute: your CEO, your customer-service folks, your Board chair.
  • Supply writers with an idea, a schedule, some examples of the most popular content on your blog.
  • Include a strong image with your article – one that helps tell the story of your post.
  • Include a strong call-to-action. What should the visitor do next on your website?

Take a look at your website content as if you were a stranger with a question. Is the answer there and easy to find? Are you their first and best resource?

You can be.