How To Run A Christian Blog Like A Pro

Is your Christian blog struggling? Poor Content Quality. Poor Content Quantity. Poor Content Marketing. Poor Content Strategy. The list is endless. But, good news. That can change today. This monstrous e-book will show you how. 

By the time you finish reading, 30,000 post will have been published on WordPress, 120,000,000 searches will have been made on Google, and may be 5 celebrities would have filled for divorce. Above all, you will have fresh ideas to inject on your blog.

Grab a large mug of coffee and enjoy.

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Why do you keep a blog? Your answer to this question determines the type of Christian blog you run. It reveals the underlying motivation behind every post you publish.

Some people use their blogs to keep track of their thoughts. Most indie authors use their Christian blog as a way to create their platform. Yet, some people have Christian blogs just for fun or to spearhead a cause.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: Why can’t Christian bloggers write viral content?

Chapter 2: 3 Types of Christian bloggers, which one are you?

  1. Soaring blogger
  2. Stuck blogger
  3. Sinking blogger

Lessons from Sermon at Pentecost

Chapter 3: A Blogger’s Identity

  1. The Holy Spirit is essential
  2. Know your voice
  3. Know your goal

Chapter 4: A Christian Blogger’s Content Strategy.

  1. Know your audience
  2. Defend your position
  3. Do your research

Chapter 5: A Blogger’s Writing Mantra

  1. Write readable and actionable posts
  2. Be passionate about what you write
  3. What Should You Do Now?

Chapter 6: A Successful Blogger’s Reading List

  1. Read wisely

Chapter 7: Do not stop learning

Chapter 8: Allow yourself to learn through failure

Write smart

Chapter 9: A Purpose-Driven Blogger

  1. Do not rush to write. Think first
  2. Determine the aim of your post

Chapter 10: Shout, Write, Show

  1. What is the perfect headline for your post?
  2. Write like a 5th grader or a 7th grader at worst
  3. Color your writing with your emotions
  4. Write for yourself, but edit for the reader

Chapter 11: SEO for Beginners

Chapter 12: Social network matters

Chapter 13: Mine the treasure hidden in your Comments section

Chapter 14: People judge a blog by its appearance

  1. Don’t hate empty spaces
  2. Images

Conclusion

Introduction

Christian bloggers hate blog statistics, SEO optimization, and content marketing. They loathe anything that helps increase traffic, improve Alexa rank or boost domain authority and consider it idolatry. I used to believe this too.

Performance metrics can easily become an idol. But, remember the human heart is an idol factory. Sometimes we make marriage, work and family idols. Does that make loving your spouse, kids and job evil? No.

Timothy Keller advises in Counterfeit Gods, “What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

If you think better blogging is the same as worshiping your blog, then you should stop reading this right now. This article is for people who want to serve God better through the posts they publish on their Christian blogs.

If you want to be a better minister of the gifts God gave you, if you believe God called you to run a Christian blog and if you think you can do with some help from a fellow believer, then this article is for you.

Chapter 1: Why is your Christian blog terrible

 

If your goal is to write viral content, then this article is not for you. Neither is Christian blogging, apparently. Your aim in writing should be in line with Jesus Christ’s instruction to all believers.

We are not called to create personal empires, but reach the world with a life transforming gospel.

When God calls us to the nations, he expects us to reach the nations. The response the nations give is up to them. This means our articles only reach the nations if people visit and read them.

The usefulness of your Christian blog depends on how easy it is to discover the articles you write.

An article with zero views has not carried out that goal. No matter how much you try to defend yourself. Christ called us to go into the worlds, but on the blogosphere ‘go’ means being discoverable on the search engines.

Do people in distress, pain, suffering, and confusion find you on Google, Bing or Yahoo?

If not, this article wants to assist you live up to your vocation.

“I do not write for fame, but to tame authentic spirituality,” some Christian bloggers boast, albeit piously. But, here is the deal, if your writing attracts no flame, then it is lame. I used to have 200+ lame posts. I deleted them.

The first sermon to be preached by someone other than Jesus went viral. Thousands of people gave their lives to Christ, after Peter gave an emotionally charged and gospel-centered talk. When Paul jumped on board, the gospel went officially viral.

Things have changed, and Christians are blaming apostasy and wickedness in nations. This makes me wonder, if a Kardashian butt crushed the internet, why can’t a God glorifying article do the same? Cats do it all the time.

No, very few people read Christian articles, you say. Wrong. I checked a handful Christian keywords like Bible, Christianity, Christian Dating and Church on WordTracker. People search online nearly half a million times for these keywords per day.

Every week, they are more than one million people interested with what you are writing.

Chapter 2: 3 Types of Christian blogs, which one is yours?

I believe they are only three types of blogs, especially Christian blogs.

Soaring Christian blog

These churn out great, sound and interesting posts regularly. Tim Challies, the late Kara Tippetts, or the contributors at The Gospel Coalition are soaring bloggers. They have the numbers to back them up, hundred thousands of subscribers and may be a million page views per month.

Then they are other less prominent bloggers soaring. They receive over 200 new subscribers per month and have an average of 1,000 page views per day. I am not there yet.

Stuck Christian blog

They have been blogging for more than a year, but they have less than 200,000 page views. In a good month, they get between 50 and 100 new subscribers and their average daily views are less than 500.

Most of the time, stuck bloggers have no idea they are stuck. They have a 1,001 reasons their blog is doing fine and they have 101 scriptures to back up their argument. The truth is they are plain lazy and too blinded to admit their blog suck.

A good example of a stuck blogger is me. To an average blogger, my stats are impressive, but any serious blogger knows they are not quite there yet.

Sinking Christian blog

They have been around for a longtime but still have less than 50,000 page views. Hiding behind Christian clichés, a sinking blogger publishes erratically like a hailstorm in a desert or lightning in California. Even though they are good writers and sound Christians, their blogs suffer because of their indiscipline.

They are also an island, they do not interact with other bloggers or even read other people. This explains why they have only 50 followers after years of blogging. I ran that kind of blog for four years and gave up. I realized I was wasting time.

Every blogger, even a sinking blogger, is a potential soaring blogger. However, the reason why more than 80% Christian blogs suck and are sinking is because of stubbornness. Most Christian bloggers refuse to learn or adopt writing strategies that attract or keep visitors.

Lessons from Sermon at Pentecost

Chapter 3: A Blogger’s Identity

They are several lessons your Christian blog can learn from the Sermon at Pentecost. Besides the Holy Spirit unction, Peter’s delivery helped to reach many people with the Gospel. I think any serious blogger should read Acts 2:14:41.

The lessons of the Sermon at Pentecost are not limited to preachers, teachers and bloggers. They apply to us all. As long as you have a calling from God. Blogging is one such calling.

The Holy Spirit is essential

Before Peter opened his mouth, God filled him with the Holy Spirit. Earlier, Jesus promised power to anyone who received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gave power to be witnesses of God.

Blogging is a calling, a gift of God, and we should treat it as such. When God calls, he equips and give guidance to the person. Every blogger should be led by the Holy Spirit in everything.

  1. The Holy Spirit gives us purpose
  2. The Holy Spirit gives us an identity
  3. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth
  4. The Holy Spirit gives us boldness and power

Know your voice

In his delivery, Peter was full of confidence. He did not fall in the trap of positing himself as an expert. He knew his voice and he understood that God gave it to him.

Sometimes, you Christian blog falters because you do not know your unique voice. You might struggle financially, but you write articles like a finance guru. The articles come out as fake, plastic and forced. They are three voices you can use as a blogger.

  1. Guru: I have a college degree in chemistry and working on my PhD. I can write a blog about Christianity and Science as a guru. But, since I do not have a bestselling book on the subject and very few people know me, I cannot succeed in writing using this voice.
  2. Struggler: I am a Christian and I am not dead yet. I have not met up with Christ in the sky to receive a glorified body, so in the meantime I am a struggling Christian. It is not something to be shy about, but gives my voice authenticity.
  3. Professional: I am a professional book reviewer, exclusively for David C Cook and self-published authors, although I am not paid. As Christians bloggers, unless you are Tim Challies, they are very few people or companies who will part with their money to sponsor an article.

Know your goal

Peter gave a talk with a specific theme. The aim of his sermon was simple and straightforward. He wanted all the Jews to know that God made Jesus the Lord and Christ.

Every successful writer has a goal. God called you to be a blogger and he gave you a mandate. A God-given goal is not enough, your posts should have an aim too. Peter’s sermon had a specific objective derived from the overall goal set by Jesus in the Great Commission.

How can you write purposefully?

  1. Write down the purpose of your blog and put it on your about page
  2. Know the purpose/goal of your article
  3. Edit your article to make sure the goal is biblical, clear and actionable

Chapter 4: A Christian Blog’s Toolkit

Content is king, every serious blogger know that. But, great content takes serious planning, organization and careful content marketing strategy.

They are three things that can make improve the quality of your content.

  1. Knowing your audience
  2. Defending your position passionately
  3. Doing research carefully and skillfully
Know your audience

Peter knew who he was speaking to. He knew his audience comprised of committed Jews who loved God. But, not only that, Peter understood the fears of the people he was speaking to.

The primary reason most Christian blogs suck is bloggers do not get time to know their audience. In the end, their articles are disjointed from reality and fail to connect with the readers. If you want to talk you have to listen first.

  1. Write for yourself, but edit for your readers
  2. Talk to the readers and reach their fears, desires and faith
  3. Be Greek to the Greeks, but do not lose your voice and purpose
Defend your position

Peter stood up before educated, prominent and respected men and women, and defended his people. He did not use politically correct words to win sympathizers, but was brutally honest.

I am a victim of timidity. I do not like being upfront and confrontational, but blogging or any other calling does not accommodate that attitude. You can only defend your position if,

  1. You know your position,
  2. You are filled with the Holy Spirit,
  3. You are not ashamed of the Gospel and
  4. Believe God truly called you to be a blogger.
Do your research

Peter was an uneducated fisherman, but at Pentecost he was spitting scriptures like a Gamaliel trained fundi. The forty days the disciples spent in the upper room was pivotal in his biblical education. Peter studied the word and prayed.

Most church leaders despise bloggers and blame them for causing confusion in the body of Christ. Christian bloggers are notorious for fanning outrage and popularizing heresy. Respect God’s calling and study to show yourself approved a workman who rightly divides the word.

What kind of research should you do?

  1. Read the scriptures prayerfully
  2. Read good books and blogs
  3. Be conversant about cultural trends and the role of faith in bringing transformation

Chapter 5: A Blogger’s Writing Mantra

Readability is key for successful blogging

Write readable and actionable posts

After Peter delivered his sermon, people asked him, “Brothers, what shall we do?” This shows Peter’s sermon was clear and direct to the point. People were captivated and were drawn to the gospel.

Most Christian bloggers are like academics, they think obscurity means depth and readability equals shallowness. Jesus taught adults like Sunday school kids using stories, what makes you more special/educated than the Creator?

1. Readability does not sacrifice style.

Hemingway wrote like a 7th grade kid, but his work is distinct and memorable. Most of the widely read articles on the internet are at 5th grade level. It does not mean people are dumb. It only means people love reading things that are reader friendly.

2. Clarity is not shallowness.

Short sentences, small paragraphs, and little or no big words make your work accessible. Clarity and simplicity do not compromise the truth, but ensures people’s faith is not based on our academic arguments.

3. Actionable does not mean returning to the law.

God created us for good works, our writing should encourage believers to continue in their good works. Your blog should lead people to repentance and spiritual growth. However, that does not mean you cannot be a Christian and a fashion or art blogger.

Be passionate about what you write

Peter did not give an academic oral presentation of the Gospel. His presentation was full of passion and emotions. He spoke like a witness and his words had life.

My first blog has over 200 articles, but less than 5 revealed any emotion. The articles are schizophrenic because my heart was disjointed from the words I wrote. People linger when they know you are speaking from your heart because they know you have no reason to lie.

How can you write emotional, but sound and educative articles?

  1. Write prayerfully
  2. Write honestly
  3. Be bold
  4. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you
  5. Only write what you believe or strongly question
  6. Remember every word you write matters, eternally

What Should You Do Now?

Christian bloggers read

Chapter 6: A Successful Blogger’s Reading List

Blogging, unless it is a public diary, is a calling from God, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to continue churning lackluster articles and spin into oblivion, or you will honor God and improve your writing?

Is God glorified by your blog? Do you take time to learn how to write better and to know your audience? Jesus listened to people, it never compromised his word, but gave him reasons to spend time in the secret place.

Read wisely

Blogging is difficult and people should take it seriously, unless it is a hobby. If you have made it this far in this article, then you really take blogging seriously. That is good.

A good writer is a good reader. You can never perfect your craft if you do not read other books. As a Christian blogger, you need to read the Bible, other Christian bloggers, blogging and content marketing articles.

This is my top 10 list of websites I read almost every day. Besides knowing what they are talking about, I always look for what makes their articles tick and try to emulate that.

1. The Gospel Coalition:

This is a collection of blogs by people affiliated with Timothy Keller, my favorite author and theologian, and Don Carson’s TGC. The articles are mainly of the reformed theological persuasion.

2. Challis Dot Com:

Tim Challies is probably the number one Christian blogger in the world. His theology is solid and his articles are captivating, simple and encouraging. He gives a daily roundup of interesting links in his a la Carte series.

3. Mundane Faithfulness:

The late Kara Tippetts was my favorite blogger. Her books only come second to my all-time favorite Timothy Keller. Kara Tippetts wrote from the heart and her legacy continues through articles from her husband and friends.

4. Blue Letter Bible:

Context matters, especially when writing Christian articles. This is where the BLB comes in handy. Every time I study the Bible, I always check word meanings on BLB. This helps me to understand the original intent of the writers.

5. Relevant Magazine:

This is probably the most popular online Christian magazine. The reason of its popularity is because the magazine focuses on faith and culture. The standard of submissions is good and I admire their writing style and structure.

6. Longreads Blog:

I love writing creative nonfiction, but I have not perfected the style. I read the Longreads blog to get ideas and learn how to create captivating plots. Every week, I browse through the Editor’s pick to see if they might be anything great.

7. Quick Sprout:

If you are a blogger and you do not know Neil Patel, you have not started blogging. I did not know him, until the day I got serious about blogging. Neil Patel writes over 37,000 words a week of awesome advice to bloggers.

8. CoSchedule Blog:

I want to thank CoSchedule team, for helping to make this blog better. They have great articles on writing better headlines, better content and productivity. Every Christian blogger should read an article from CoSchedule at least once a week.

9. HubSpot Blog: HubSpot is just like CoSchedule and Quick Sprout. They are into content marketing and offer helpful advice for bloggers. There is free classes for bloggers on content marketing you should take advantage of.

10. New York Times & The Atlantic:

I started reading NYT and The Atlantic recently. The cool thing is my Google Now knows the articles I like. So, every time a longform creative nonfiction is published, I get notified on my phone. Reading articles by better writers helps me to establish my style.

Chapter 7: Do not stop learning

One thing I love about Peter is he never stopped learning. The apostles understood continual learning the word was critical in their delivery of the gospel. They spent most of their time studying the word and learning from others.

Unfortunately, such an attitude is foreign among Christ bloggers. We do not like learning from other people. Sometime ago, I was studying the letters of Peter and I was shocked to realize, Peter contended with popular arguments taught by Aristotle on virtue.

Although initially unlearned, Peter set himself to study and became educated enough to argue against Aristotle.

Every serious blogger who cares about their audience should take these classes designed by expert bloggers. These guys made mistakes in their early years and now offer advice so you do not repeat them.

Regrettably, most Christian bloggers do not like to learn new tricks of the trade. Writing online is different. I did not know this until I took classes on blogging through The Good Men Project Star Program, Quick Sprout University and Michael Hyatt’s Platform University.

I am still growing as a blogger, so I always take writing and blogging classes online. I live on a student budget, so I do not afford to pay for classes. I am glad to give you a few free training resources you might need.

1. Quick Sprout University:

Neil Patel prepared over 100 videos to train bloggers and content marketers. His materials are accessible to beginners, intermediates and even experts. I am still at beginner level, and I hope by the end of the year I will be an intermediate.

2. Inbound Certificate:

HubSpot is offering a free certificate in inbound marketing. Although directed to professional writers, I have found the lessons apply to struggling writers too. I have taken the classes and I expect to be fully certified by end of October. If you want to take advantage of inbound marketing or have no idea what it is, enroll now.

3. Michael Hyatt:

Michael Hyatt is an authority on using blogs to build an author platform. He definitely knows what he talks about considering he worked for Thomas Nelson publishers for a long time. Occasionally, Michael Hyatt offer free training classes. Otherwise if you are rich, you can enroll at Platform University.

4. Coursera & EdX:

Ever since I started seriously blogging, I took about three classes in English writing on Coursera, StanfordX and EdX. According to Test for English as a Foreign language, I am a proficient English speaker and writer, but that does not stop me from learning. I want to grow as a writer, so I take college classes online free.

5. Attend Writers’ Workshop:

I am not a fan of public gatherings, but whenever a writers’ workshop comes my way I attend. I enjoy listening to writers speak their mind, their fears and their aspirations. This gives me a sense of purpose. The last workshop I attended I was fortunate enough to get a picture with my favorite Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo.

Chapter 8: Allow yourself to learn through failure

 

Sometimes, I struggle with my writing because I want it to be perfect. Blogs sink into oblivion because of a misguided perfection complex. To be a good blogger, we need articles that we can look back and laugh.

Peter once messed up too. He segregated against Gentile believers and Paul had to call him out. But, through that mistake he learned the depths and extent of the grace of God.

Mistakes are an opportunity to learn by self-evaluation or peer correction.

My most popular article although honest, it sucked. The article broke out of my normal inspirational talk to an outright public rant. However, readers took it as an opportunity to encourage and correct me. Three weeks later, It Actually Sucks To Be Me, This is Why still receives new visitors and comments daily.

Christian bloggers can fail in different ways, but it is important to learn from each failure.

Traffic falls

Sometimes, the gods of search engines dry our traffic pipe. Do not worry, it also happens to top bloggers. What you do when your traffic falls matters? Are you going to write posts quickly to generate new traffic or buy traffic? Tough times have a cunning ability to reveal our character. Consider it a blessing when traffic dries up.

Content failure

I do not always write awesome stuff. Sometimes, I write junk and I have the guts to spit it out online. Normally, this happens when I write while over excited about something or just to fill up the day.

When content fails through little to know social interactions, you can buy shares and likes on Fiverr (I did that one time, I am embarrassed to admit). Yet, you can do the honorable thing ad evaluate the reasons you posts and why social interaction is important to you. A good writer respects his readers.

Theological failure

Have you ever read a blog post and shook your head in dismay? It happens a lot, may be it happened on this blog. Sometimes we write about things we do not know.

I once took down a post after I realized it was theologically misleading. Through that experience I learned to be more careful with what I write. God called us to be bloggers and he expects us to feed his sheep with sound teachings.

Callousness and carelessness:

Anyone who has read consistently this blog knows sometimes I get carried away and become careless with my words. Often, I had to edit articles few hours or even days after publishing. I remove careless and coarse words because the bible says let all your words be full of grace. AS you have noticed in this article some callous words remain. I have learned I am still work in progress and my readers should know of that.

Moral and spiritual failure

Even prominent Christian bloggers fall into temptation and they sin. As a writer, when we fall into sin and God delivers us, it is not time to hide the sin, but expose it and help others. Your redemption story can be the story that can transform someone’s life.

Most people struggling with addiction became free after hearing stories from other believers. That is why Micah told his enemies to shun from rejoicing over his failures. Micah knew that when he fell the Lord lifted him up.

Physical failure

The most popular blogs and most viral articles were written after a physical tragedy. Kara Tippetts was a struggling blogger until she was diagnosed with cancer. Her suffering resonated with many people and opened up doors for her until the day she was laid to rest.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog in hospital after I had a mild stroke. The post was received hundreds of views and over 50 comments. I was overwhelmed. I did not expect that support from Christians around the world. Our physical failures are an opportunity for other believers to minister to us and for us to console those in similar situation.

Write smart

Think and enjoy the experience

Chapter 9: A Purpose-Driven Blogger

All these tips will never make you a good blogger unless you put them into practice. There are free resources online that you can use to maximize your productivity without sacrificing your content quality.

I would like to give you are walk through my writing process from pre-writing to post-publishing. To be a successful writer you need to know what works for you and also learn how others do it.

Do not rush to write. Think first.

This post has been in my mind for more than a month. I kept thinking about what I wanted to write, how I would write and why I wanted desperately to write a blog about blogging.

Thinking over your proposed post helps you to learn what you want to teach before you say it. James once advised, “Be quick to listen, but slow to speak.” Many people rush to post before they have established enough depth to create quality content.

Readers are bound to return to your blog if you write regularly. You need to set a schedule and stick to it. Writing everyday might give you a lot of traffic, but rarely retains readers. Quality is the king, but regular quality is the best.

Determine the aim of your post.

I wrote this post to help bloggers write better. The reason most blogs have few members and poor page views is because of poor content and blogging practices. In this post, I wanted to offer solution that is biblical, practical and helpful.

A good advice is never write a blog that cannot help you. If it cannot help you, it might help nobody. During you brainstorming session, you need to establish the purpose of your blog and write it down.

Sometimes when you write a post over several days you can lose track of your aim. I did that yesterday. I wanted to write an article about how God dealt with my depression but wrote about miracles.

I lost track of my aim because I wrote the article in three days. You should sit down and finish your blog post once you start it. Even if it contains over 5,000 words like this one.

Or you can write down the blog plan and follow it. Remember changing the aim is not always wrong. The article on miracles prove that.

Chapter 10: Shout, Write, Show

There is a lot of noise on the internet. Unless you shout no one will hear you, unless you write clearly no one will care and unless you show your heart no one will want to know you. So shout, write and show.

This is how.

 

What is the perfect headline for your post?

After establishing the aim of my post, I head to CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. This tool helps my headings become powerful, emotional and attractive. You can read more about best practices in headlines here.

Sometimes, I write the title after I finish writing while editing the post. While writing the headline first helps you to focus, working on the title last helps me in editing the draft.

Write like a 5th grader or a 7th grader at worst.

I write and read scientific papers for a living, but some Christian blogs are more obscure than an academic paper. I want none of my Christian work to be like that. I bought the Hemmingway App on Gumroad to help me achieve this.

I want my articles to be readable, so I use short sentences, three sentence paragraphs and simple words. I would rather be readable than complicated and useless. What good is a theologically sound article that no one understands besides the writer?

If your blog is an art and more of flaunting the beauty or richness of your English, good luck.

Color your writing with your emotions.

Emotions gives color to your writing. A good writer draws the reader with personal, but relevant anecdotes. The stories you share invites the reader to your world.

Believe me, everyone wants to see what you see, feel what you feel and believe what you believe. For that to be so, choose your words wisely. When I write, I always want to write from my heart.

I want to feel the exact state of my heart as I hit the words on the keyboard. Sometimes, this process has led me to tears. I wrote some articles overwhelmed by strong emotion and the readers felt it.

However, you cannot share your emotions without being honest, unless you are a liar and a cheat. When people feel you they trust you, and that is how relationships start. We blog to create and/or strengthen relationships.

Write for yourself, but edit for the reader.

I write for myself. I discovered in high school I learned better when writing than when reading. Every blog post I wrote, I wrote it for myself.

However, if my goal is only to write for myself then I should keep this blog private. I made it public because I want you to learn what I am learn. I wanted you to go where I am growing and grow where I am going.

To achieve that, I write for myself, but when I edit I have the reader in mind. I think of who I am targeting, and what they might go through and why reading my blog could help them. This helps me to put the write keywords in the post and the images.

Chapter 11: SEO for Beginners.

 

When I started blogging, I used to use whatever keyword I though relevant to my post as the category. Not anymore. I only write memoirs, poems, blogging resources, Christian living and how to pray. So, I made these my categories.

You need to identify at least three key things your blog is about and stick to it. You may go astray. After selecting the category of my post, I chose tags. Normally, I use keywords obtained from WordTracker or Google Trends. I always make sure that I have 7 tags for each post.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I always include pictures in my posts. Each picture has a caption and alternative text (I use the keywords here). I set the main picture as a featured image.

All my recent posts have an except, this usually act as a meta description in the search engine. A good except always contain the keywords. I used to shun the advanced settings, not anymore.

Nowadays, I change the slug and put something that contains the keyword. All this I do to optimize my post’s SEO.

Chapter 12: Social network matters.

People need to know you and hear from you. No one wants to interact with a robot. It is dehumanizing. Social networks put a face on your posts and reveals your thoughts to those dear to you.

I have had little success with Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, but most successful bloggers swear by it. Every time I post a new article I spread the word in all my social networks.

At one time, I sent direct messages to 60 of my friends to check my post and share it on Facebook. Less than 5 people responded and only 3 posted on Facebook. We all have different friends, some people have supportive friends and family.

Recently, I ghost blogged for a certain friend. In less than three days his post was shared over 60 times. He only told his family and friends about the post. So, although it has not worked for me, sharing on Facebook is a good and free way for promoting your blog.

Do not despise the fellowship of brethren. After writing an epic post, the next thing to worry about are the comments. Some prominent bloggers have done away with comments all together. They are prominent, so they can do whatever they want and people will still read their articles.

Chapter 13: Mine the treasure hidden in your Comments section

The comments section is a hidden gold mine for encouragement and inspiration. Besides the ‘amen’, ‘great post’, and ‘boring’ comments, they are several people out there who honestly care about your work enough to leave behind a sensible comment. These comments whether negative or positive can provide ideas on your future posts.

When I started a series on depression I had intended to write only one post and move on to something else. The comments I received prompted me to start a weeklong series. I invited readers to send their stories and I shared them.

It was awesome, the result was over 3,000 page views in seven days, but above all over 1,000 believers were encouraged and inspired. Is not that the reason we are Christian bloggers to transform lives with the gospel?

Chapter 14: People judge a blog by its appearance

We all know beauty is only a skin deep, but it is not a crime to like beautiful things. Everyone wants to spend time on a blog that is beautiful, engaging and informative.

Unlike human beauty that is set by media so that big companies may suck money from gullible public, blog aesthetics are determined by the reader. You might right awesome content, but if readers hate the appearance of your blog they won’t read it.

Good news. There are few things you can do to make your content more appealing to the reader. Yes, content is king, but the reader is the mother of the king.

Don’t hate empty spaces

This paragraph is an example of what not to do if you want people to read your posts because it is to long and has complicated sentence structures. Avoid crowding your articles, by writing complicated sentences that makes the reader hate the day they were born, when you can easily convey your message using short sentences that are simple, easy to read and appealing. Big paragraphs might make you think you are convincing the reader that you have a lot to say that is sensible, but all the reader see is a big pile of horse manure. Don’t do that if you love your readers, because it is not good to write stuff that makes people want to vomit or stone their laptop or drop their phone in the toilet.

Remove clatter from your writing. A 3-sentence paragraph is cool and refreshing. It also assures the reader that you an organized person.

Empty spaces offer clarity.

Images

You have heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. That is not true. At least, entirely.

A picture can only say what you want it to say. Your article should always have an appropriate picture. The picture should be clear and properly cited.

Always try to make your own images, if you have time. I make my images using CorelDraw Graphics, Adobe Illustrator and PowerPoint. CorelDraw and Illustrator have a steep learning curve, but they give the best output.

How do you make a good image?

  1. Font matters: Avoid cute serif fonts, they are difficult to read. Always use sans fonts because they are optimized for web.
  2. Color matters: They are some colors you should avoid like pink, grey and brown. When you make an image remember most men are color blind.
  3. Use vector graphics: vector graphics helps to give a story to your image. You can get free vector graphics from Freepik or Pixabay.
  4. Size matters: Don not make the image to big or too small. I usually use 72 dpi for infographics and 150 dpi for any other image.

If you do not have time to make your own images you can get stock images. When using stock images you need to be careful with the copyright policies. Always cite your pictures unless the owner of the image says otherwise.

Where can you find pictures?

  1. Unsplash
  2. Pixabay
  3. Life of Pix
  4. Pexels
  5. Wikipedia: this is my secret stash of vintage paintings by famous artists
  6. Use your camera

Do not forget to put alternative text to your images. Search engines love alternative text.

Conclusion

If God called you to be a blogger, you should honor that call and invest in becoming a better blogger.

 

 

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43 Comments

  1. By goodness< This is amazing and so very well written. I think I need to print this out so that I can sit down and really read it over well, so that I can learn all I can from it. Thank you so much for taking the time to research and write this article. See you in bloggint 201?

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Someone once advised me to write 1,000 words a day. I can write 1,000 words in less 45 minutes, and the last 15 minutes I edit and work on the title. So roughly on the day I post I invest 2 hours.

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        1. For me, I started by reading other people’s work and leaving a comment that adds to their content. Most of my new traffic comes from comments. I always try to leave at least ten comments per day at new blogs. Do not be ashamed to leave behind your link unless the Blogger has a policy against links. For me anytime can leave a link, I open the links and try to leave a comment.

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  2. I’m really grateful for this literal ” goldmine ” which you published. I’m glad to see in one of your comments that you are working on an e book. I think this is worth it! I already shared on my Facebook page and with a friend on WhatsApp! I’ll do my best and put it into practice, and I hope to start seeing better results on my blog!👍

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. This was exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thank you so much for the explanation because having a passion to start a christian blog is one thing but knowing how to execute it properly is another. When we are doing anything for God, we have to do it to the best of our abilities. Thank you for the post.

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  4. It’s refreshing to know I’m not alone in this journey, trying to figure out the best way to share what God is teaching us. It can be intimidating at times, because we’re not sharing cooking tips here. We’re sharing intimate pieces of our lives and attempting to lead people to eternity. Not something I want to mess up! I love that you are encouraging people, me included, to take this calling seriously.

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  5. Wow! This is a fantastic blog. I so appreciate this.

    I’ve just started my blog. I don’t have much on there, but would you please take a moment to give me some feedback? I would love to start this off right and with the right intentions.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. I checked a couple of your posts. They are very good. I enjoyed the insights you provide. Your posts may receive more engagement if you have some call to action, eg question to end the post. The other thing, do not miss the opportunity to link to your old posts. The most important thing is the headline. Always try to use a list, how to or question as headline.

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  6. My question: how is this struggle for thousands of readers different than the oh-so-popular mega church down the street which attracts up to 12,000 “viewers” (attendees) every weekend but 95 per cent of the people I personally know who GO to that church are not born again nor do they obey God (they “date” online and “do” modern relationships, meaning premarital sex, and they do not study the Bible regularly, nor think they have to) Jesus was tempted by Satan with earthly success over and over (after he fasted, after he miraculously fed thousands) and he always walked away from it. Frankly, I would rather 3 people be born again because of something they read at my blog than thousands read it and think “they’re alright with God” but never be born again. I like your blog a lot and ready it regularly, but this one, honestly, repulsed me. I recently read a review of this mega church pastor’s latest book (I will probably read it just to make sure he’s not being attacked wrongly) and the reviewer said this man constantly attacks smaller churches and the pastors who lead them as “boring” and inadequate. Edmond, I just by the fruit and God hasn’t shown me fruit in the people who go to the mega church, and neither do I see a lot of fruit in the small church near me, but my job?? To write what God tells me to and to PRAY FOR THESE CHURCHES to base themselves on Bible-study and help their neighbors, be it the neighbors right in the town or in Syria. Remember, it was the most likely popular and successful “clerics” who walked by the almost dead man in the road. God bless you for making your writing about God–let’s not forget that’s who we serve first and foremost!

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    1. Thanks for the comment. I always ask myself that same question. Personally, when I realized (rather accepted) that God indeed has called me to reach his children through blogging I resolved I will be faithful to that call. For me faithfulness means being a worthy vessel foremost and presenting the Gospel with excellency.

      The general misunderstanding among most Christian believers is we equate pageviews to church membership. Pageviews are only an indication of the discoverability of your blog. Things like return visitors, bounce rate and subscribers are a better analogy of membership.

      I do all the SEO work, improve my writing and ensure my articles are compelling to improve my discoverability. I want first people to discover this page before they can commit to the message of the word.

      (Personal belief) I consider blogging a call. What drives me is Ecclesiastes 10:5-8, especial verse, “I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.” The most viewed websites are pornographic, they have better SEO work than most Christian blogs. Second in the ranking are gossip and junk websites, they only perfect their writing and SEO work. they write compelling junk. The last on the list are us Christian bloggers because we do not care about SEO work or bettering our writing.

      The reason being we often equate high traffic to poor message or a compromise. I became aware to this painful reality recently. The most biblically sound article I ever read on marriage was a viral article on purity after the wedding. Sadly, most Christian blasted for selling her soul to the devil. The reason being she had more than 140,000 shares on Facebook and she did not quote a Bible verse.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Satan IS the Prince of the Air. Blogging is a good way to reach the ends of the earth, as Jesus commanded us to. But He has also told me computers will go down big time in the time of Tribulation, in the sense that we will still need our ability to love and communicate with people right around us, as Jesus did, with our voices, our hands, our ability to quote and understand God’s Word to instruct and salve wounds, and just “be” Jesus. Some of us are like Paul (I just read 2nd Corinthians 10:1-18 in my One Year Bible today) in that we write more boldly than we may appear in person, but, again, we must be able to BE what we write, and no one but the people in our lives on a daily basis, and God (who knows our hearts) knows if that is true. It is easy to hide behind “the air” as Satan so often does, since He is Prince of the Air. My prayer for us all is that the rubber hits the road when it comes time to be Jesus to the people we see every day and witness to in person on a daily basis.

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      2. P.S. I remember reading somewhere that “to hear” and “to obey” is the same in ancient Hebrew. What’s important is not just that someone sees our writing but that they are led to seek God further and hear and obey Him. Otherwise, we become nothing but a distraction. I would rather someone read one poem of mine and go dust off their Bible and never read another poem of mine than read every poem of mine and never dust off their Bible. : )

        Liked by 1 person

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  7. I meant I “read” your blog and that God judges by the fruit (not I “just” it, lol). But God shows me what is fruit and what isn’t. : ) I wish I’d edit better before I post, lol.

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  8. I am so so blessed,I needed to read through the whole article because as someone who is starting afresh I do not want to lose my voice as a christian who blogs. I have seen some great tips and by God’s grace I will use them to glorify God in my blog. I am passionate about music,transformational leadership personal development and christian living,I believe that by the Holy Spirit these themes will resonate through my writing to help people become all that they have been destined to become. Thanks so much. :).

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