02 November 2012

So, You Want to Start a Christian Blog?

You Have Things to Say, and People Will Listen

You've been thinking about writing down all those thoughts in your head after years of learning and gaining experience in ministry. Or, maybe you want a way to update people as you prepare to go serve in another country. It may simply be a way to update family and friends on things you're reading or experiencing. Whatever the motivation and no matter how many people you currently have as an audience, there are a lot of simple steps you can take to get your thoughts written and posted for the world to see. It may be discouraging at first, but eventually, you will build an audience of people who appreciate what you have to say. As you improve, they will want to share your words with others. Before you know it you may even have the new challenge of realizing that you have influence and a responsibility to provide people with regular content.


Here are some ways to implement it and make it happen.

11 Steps to Get Your Blog Going


1. Develop a clear purpose statement and ensure that all other authors on your site adhere to it. 
This is the About this Blog description we use at Eternity Bible College. You'll also want a Comment Policy if you decide to enable commenting to interact with people. Everything I've read suggests that allowing commenting is better than not. You can always filter it so comments won't post automatically. You may also want to write up a Communications Policy, if you don't have one already

2. Develop a list of Categories for ideas of topics to post on. 
Whatever you write should always be able to fit into those categories. This is not to limit you, but to help you focus. You can always add more categories later. Think about your Mission and Values as a way to start.

3. Decide what platform to use. 
I think Wordpress is great. It has so many endless possibilities with all the plugins people develop. Blogger is also great and it's what I've been using since I got started.

4. Read the other popular Christian Blogs and engage with them once your blog is launched. 
Kent Shaffer at Church Relevance updates a list of the Top 200 Church Blogs every year.

5. Get ideas from Blogging Experts.
I frequent ProBlogger and CopyBlogger for technical advice and to get ideas for how to structure posts.

6. Set up a way to track analytics from the very beginning.
You'll also want to set up analytics from the beginning so you can track and learn what's most effective. I use Google AnalyticsSitemeter, and Stat Counter. This will allow you to see where your visitors come from and what they read most.

7. Social sharing is key.
Integrate something like Add This or Share This. You can share your blog posts through the Facebook page and Twitter automatically.

8. You have to consistently write great content.
The mantra in the blogging world is "Content is King". Even if it goes slowly at first, you'll build a reputation for writing great stuff that people want to read. You may need to start with enough content and commitment to post every day. Once the readership is big enough, then it's safe to move to 2-3 posts a week and maintain growth.

9. Learn about Search Engine Optimization.
Search Engine Optizization has changed a lot since Google launched Penguin. Don't be to quick to pay someone to do SEO that you can do for yourself.

10. Track your growing influence.
You'll also be able to monitor your growth using Google Page RankAlexa, and Technorati.

11. Ask your audience for feedback.
A good way to get feedback from your readers (besides comments) is to embed a survey from SurveyMonkey or UserVoice.

Do these things and you'll be off to a great start!

2 comments:

  1. thanks David. this is great advice and has given me a lot to think about!

    ReplyDelete

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