WebLink Blog Platform for Associations

As the needs of their members continue to evolve, chambers of commerce and business associations are looking for new ways to communicate, build their brand, expand their influence, improve member retention and generate new member sales. Blogging is a great way to accomplish these goals and much more.

WebLink’s Blogging Platform makes it easy to build an online community of fans and followers, publish content, enable comments, syndicate content, and generate non-dues revenue. Our fully featured platform includes the following:

  • Integrated with WebLink Connect and your website
  • Integrated widgets can include such content items as your community calendar, news, events, and more
  • Includes one layout (theme) designed to replicate the design of your association's website
  • Publishing of posts by multiple authors enables your organization to create more content
  • Content control to manage comments as needed
  • RSS feed for main blog and categories
  • User commenting and comment notification.
  • Social bookmarking content submission functionality.
  • Unlimited authors.
  • Optimized for non-dues revenue with banner and sponsorship opportunities available.
  • Keyword Cloud – visualize keyword density of blog content.
  • Search content functionality included.

If you’re not sure if blogging is right for you, here are five reasons why blogging is a great tool for member-based organizations:

  1. Communication that engages your members. Your current members are becoming more tech savvy every day. And, the young professionals you hope to attract as members are already using new methods of communicating. To stay relevant to your audience you need to connect with them using media in which they can also participate. Instead of “talking at them,” make them a part of the conversation with blogs and other social media. Yes, that does mean you lose a bit of control, but in the long run you’ll engage your audience and have more meaningful conversations.
  2. Positioning you as an expert. You shouldn’t just be following the business trends; you should be creating them. By blogging about relevant business issues, you can strengthen your position as an expert and the voice of business for the community you serve. By “breaking” news on your blog or by providing frequent updates, your organization can be viewed as an insider, a news generator and an organization that has influence. Businesses will recognize that your organization is one they should be aligned with (and hopefully a member of) if they want to stay connected to the business community.
  3. More immediate delivery. Blogs make it easy for you to publish content in an instant. Your print and even your email newsletters have a long enough lead time that information may be outdated before it reaches your members. You can blog from the city council meeting, state legislature, your own events or anywhere to create a sense of urgency to your communications. Your blog can become the portal to your organization, make you easier to find and provide a reason to visit your website more often. (Or even subscribe to your feed).
  4. Your members are blogging, you should too. Many of your members already have blogs for their businesses or they are commenting on other business blogs in your community. You need to join the conversation and tell your story! And, you can become a good case study for your small business members who aren’t yet blogging. It can be a powerful demonstration when you’ve actually used the tools you suggest to your members.
  5. Focus on member benefits. Yes, all of your communications should do this, but blogging keeps your organization focused on what is important to your members and prospects. It forces you to talk about their benefit instead of talking about your association. Blogs allow you to easily create lots of content, giving you many chances to demonstrate the benefits of your organization. Talk about your government affairs efforts, specific benefit programs, events, economic development items, etc., but always demonstrate how these items can benefit or protect your terms that resonate with your members. Weave in posts about exclusive benefits, too, so that non-members learn why they should join your organization.

For more information about the features and benefits of the WebLink Blog Platform, please contact us.

 

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