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How to Bring Great Content Home Every Time

Guest post from Nancy Schwartz, nonprofit marketing consultant and publisher of the Getting Attention Blog.

Despite the emphasis on content marketing for nonprofits—crafting the right content to motivate each specific group to take the action you desire— to be distributed where they are (the right place) when they are there and likely to act (the right time)—there’s one important ingredient left out of the discussion time and time again. Copy editing—checking for spelling, grammar, consistency and accuracy.

So many of you have shared your struggles to find time to create relevant content for prospects and supporters who expect even more—that content be customized to their past actions, habits and preferences (just like the product suggestions Amazon serves up based on prior searches and purchases or the way The New York Times website suggests articles to me based on what I’ve recently read).

You’re striving to meet these expectations, recognizing that relevance is the way to spur action. But….

Are you investing the time and resource to polish that compelling content before you distribute it? Based on the content I see from many nonprofit organizations, the answer is “sometimes.”

Here’s the thing—”Sometimes” copy editing isn’t enough. Content becomes less effective with each error made. Do you like having to wade through a swamp of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors to get to the essence of a story or blog post? Of course not. And your audiences don’t either.

In fact, frequent spelling and grammatical errors are the loudest “who cares” I know. They raise concerns about your organization’s credibility, sending prospects for the hills, and in time, will alienate even your most loyal supporters.

Writing great content is just your first step. When you complete your writing, get it edited by a colleague or freelancer (ideally NOT by you, you’re way too close to content you’ve written) for sense, spelling, grammar and consistency. If no one else is available, put your completed writing aside for a day then come back to it for a self-edit. That’s the way to bring home great content every time.

What steps are in your content creation process, beyond writing? Share your approach in the comments.

Nancy Schwartz


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