Because one of the core values of The Great Exchange is transparency, I want to get a little bit meta today and let you in on part of the strategy behind this blog. It does exist for a reason that extends beyond my obsessive desire to document anything and everything; my word-driven nature is just a fortuitous accident that makes this whole process a lot more fun. There are several motivations for maintaining Guess & Check that have nothing to do with my insatiable drive to write. They are:
Trust. At some point down the road, people will be trusting me to channel their donations into the appropriate pathways for true, systemic impact. Particularly in the early stages of The Great Exchange, I will be filing my own taxes, designing my own curriculum, throwing my own events, performing my own fundraising, conducting my own evaluations, recruiting and training my own volunteers, updating my own web site, doing my own marketing, and desperately delegating whatever I can to anyone who meets my extremely high expectations.
Why on earth should people trust me with all of this when I still get carded every time I try to enjoy an IPA? Well, because I can do it. I absorb information at a frantic rate, and I am constantly learning–from case studies, from people I admire, from blogs, from my friends, from my own mistakes. I have a pretty effective way of processing and applying all this information, and hopefully this blog will prove that.
Moreover, The Great Exchange is fueled by enormous, pure, mission-solidifying, confidence-inducing, grounding and stable love for my beautiful sister. Any project that is motivated by love is so, so much more likely to succeed.
An Easier Means of Replicating The Great Exchange Later. One of my long-term sustainability plans is to design an extensive manual for the next director of The Great Exchange. While this blog will certainly not transition point-for-point to the ultimate manual, it will still contain a lot of great information about running a start-up nonprofit.
Web traffic. Increasing The Great Exchange’s web traffic is such a big part of this blog that to document all of it here would make this post intimidatingly long. A good summary, however, is that because this blog is dynamic, current, and consistently updated, it naturally entices more visits than The Great Exchange’s relatively static web site. However, it does drive visitors to learn more about The Great Exchange by, say, clicking on a well-placed link.
I stay afloat financially by performing marketing, SEO, social media, and light analytics work for a wonderful tech start-up. The SEO field is just as competitive as it is misunderstood, and given how expensive SEO experts are, it’s not surprising that all of my clients are for-profit companies. There’s a gaping hole in web marketing where nonprofits are concerned, and the most successful charities are naturally the ones that understand how many donations take place online.
As this blog eventually moves from “big picture” writing to narrowly focused posts, I will share in detail what I’ve learned about SEO as it concerns nonprofits. In the meantime, I’m going to wrap this post up with a timely piece of advice from my friend (and coworker), Holly Snyder. Holly runs an independent SEO and user experience consulting agency, and in her own blog she recently provided a concise, useful summary of the connection between off-site blogs and on-site traffic. If you’re still curious about all of this, read it!