12 Practical Tips for Pastors to Maximise Their Blogs
in Blogs / 05 Feb 2018
Many pastors across the world are blogging regularly – and with good reason, too! Blogs can be powerful tools for ministry, if used well. Not only are blogs great for teaching and outreach, but they also help to build community and foster interaction on a larger scale.
Pastor, your blog can also be an engaging and effective way to share the Gospel with the world. Are you maximising your blog for the Kingdom? Step up your game with these 12 practical tips that will help you become an ace blogger.
1. MAINTAIN A BLOGGING CALENDAR
The key to a successful blog lies in planning ahead and being regular with your blog posts. And a blogging calendar can help you do that. You can either use an online template or create an excel sheet with a list of all your blog topic ideas and their publishing schedules.
Try and schedule posts for at least one or two months in advance. This crucial step will ensure that you don’t have to scramble for content at the eleventh hour. Don’t forget to mark out any holidays or festivals that may influence your blog topics. For example, you may want to write about real freedom in the week leading up to Independence Day.
It is also a good idea to try and mix up blog styles and categories for variety. For example, a blog post on leadership could be followed by a vlog (video blog) addressing a specific need of the youth, and then a list of resources for Bible study. In fact, you can learn all about launching your church vlog here.
2. CRAFT A WELL-THOUGHT-OUT TITLE
Once you know what you are going to write about, you need to pen down your blog post title. Remember that your blog post title is the first thing that viewers will see. Therefore, it is important that your title is crisp, catchy and relevant. Moreover, the title should communicate exactly who the blog post is for, and what the reader will get from it.
Viewers will be more inclined to click on a blog post if its title addresses a need, or offers a solution or valuable information. For example, if a specific blog post is aimed at parents of teenagers struggling with addiction, a title like 5 Effective Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Addiction will catch the attention of your target audience.
3. FIND THE RIGHT KEYWORDS
It is important that you identify the focus keywords for your blog post beforehand. Including relevant keywords that people actually search for is a great way to make sure that your blog posts have high visibility on search pages.
4. START YOUR BLOG POST WITH A STRONG PARAGRAPH
Did you know that most readers simply glance through online content? In fact, many simply look at the images, blog post title and the first few lines of the blog post. Therefore, the first paragraph of your blog post needs to convince them to keep reading.
So, avoid fillers, generic statements or unnecessary information that doesn’t offer any value to the reader. Instead, write specific and crisp content that engages the reader from the get-go. Interesting facts and statistics are a good way to grab your readers’ attention.
5. HIGHLIGHT THE MAIN POINTS
Pastor, did you know that most visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a web page? Most readers that arrive at your blog page are probably going to skim through it. Here’s what you can do to make sure that they don’t miss what you’re trying to say:
- Use subheadings so that the blog post’s main points stand out.
- Try bulleted and numbered lists.
- Highlight key information using bold, italics or different font colours.
- Write shorter, easy-to-read paragraphs of three or four lines each.
6. EASE UP ON THE PROMOTIONS
While you can use your blog to share details about your church events and programmes, be mindful of promoting excessively as it can be off-putting. Your readers will look forward to your blog posts if they offer relevant and fresh information, helpful advice and insights, and encouraging stories.
So, make sure that your blog posts don’t always have an agenda or talk about similar stuff. Use your blog to tell stories, dig deeper into the Sunday sermon and to respond to world events.
7. BE REAL AND HONEST
Many pastors feel that they should only write blog posts on subjects that they have a deep knowledge of. As a result, such blog posts tend to be heavy and preachy – and hard to read!
Remember that blogs are personal and a place where readers want to know the author more. Therefore, instead of writing about heavy-duty topics, be real and honest in your blog posts. Talk about your challenges, failures and achievements in ministry. Share stories about your family and church community.
The more your readers get to know you, the more they will look forward to your blog posts. In fact, here are seven blogging habits for pastors like you.
8. ASK FRIENDLY QUESTIONS
Pastor, do your blog posts sound more like sermons? Unfortunately, a one-way conversation won’t really do much for your blog. An interactive, friendly style is what you should aim for.
Asking questions, especially at the end of your blog, is a great way to engage the reader. However, avoid asking rhetorical questions. You can ask your readers for their opinions on the topic and invite them to leave their answers as comments on your blog. Don’t forget to respond to comments to take the conversation further.
Pastor, are you asking your readers questions on your blog?
9. TRY CHANGING UP BLOG FORMATS
Change is refreshing, isn’t it? It is key that all your blog posts don’t look and feel the same. Experimenting with videos, infographics, images and GIFs is a great way to make your blog posts more entertaining and attractive.
Remember that visual content dominates the Internet so make sure that your blog posts always have striking designs and images. In fact, here are six online tools that can help you create awesome designs in a matter of minutes.
Did you know that videos are the most highly consumed content on the Internet? That’s just one of the many reasons why pastors and churches should start vlogging.
10. ALWAYS PROOFREAD YOUR COPY BEFORE POSTING
Proofreading is an often neglected, but crucial aspect of blogging. After you finish writing your blog post, it is imperative that you read it carefully from the top again. Look out for spelling mistakes, punctuation and grammatical errors, long and cumbersome sentences, and spacing inconsistencies.
Here’s a tip: reading aloud is a good way to catch errors. In fact, consider asking someone else to take a look at your blog post before you publish it. A new eye will spot many more mistakes.
11. ADD BUTTONS FOR SOCIAL SHARING
Your blog has the potential to reach and impact thousands. You can help maximise its impact by adding share buttons on your blog. This will allow readers to share your blog posts – at the click of a button! Find out more about the best placement for your blog’s social sharing buttons here.
12. SHARE YOUR BLOG POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
In this digital age, social media is the quickest way to get the word out! Therefore, do share your blog posts on your own social media channels, as well as your church’s social networks.
Make sure that a featured image and a well-thought-out description (less than 140 characters) of the blog post is clearly visible on the social media channels. Encourage friends and church staff to share your blog posts on their social networks, too!
What other blogging tips can help pastors like you maximise the potential and impact of their blogs? We hope that these 12 tips help you create a powerful blog.
One last thing before you go – are you aware of the crucial mistakes made on church websites? Download your copy of 50 Common Mistakes on Church Websites to identify and rectify any of these mistakes that could be costing you! Get your FREE copy below.
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