Pastor, Here Are 6 Best Practices to Level up Your Blog
in Blogs / 23 Jul 2018
Pastor, the world of blogging is growing rapidly. In fact, the number of bloggers is expected to reach close to 32 billion by 2020. It’s no surprise considering that blogs are the fifth-most trustworthy source of information online. No wonder, pastors across the globe, including Carey Nieuwhof, Thom Rainer and Rick Warren, are taking to blogging to impact lives.
However, maintaining an effective blog is often a challenge for many pastors like you, especially when you have enough to take care of already. Hopefully, this blog post makes it easier for you to take the right steps to improve your blog. Keep reading for six ways you can level up your blog.
1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Sherilynn Macale, a multi-award winning digital marketer, says that apart from delivering fantastic content, bloggers must also understand who exactly it is that they are writing to. We couldn’t agree more! Understanding your audience gives you insight into what your blog visitors are looking for and thinking about, which in turn allows you to write content that offers value to your readers.
You can identify your audience by using tools such as Keyword Planner and Google Analytics. Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool to identify popular words and phrases used by your target audience on Google. This will help you curate your blog posts to fit their interest. You can take a look at this blog post for a step-by-step guide to using Keyword Planner.
Google Analytics, on the other hand, will give you data about the most viewed pages on your website. This will help you gauge the type of content your visitors are most interested in.
2. CREATE COMPELLING BLOG TITLES
It’s important for your blog to set a good first impression to its visitors. That’s where your blog post titles come in handy, which is why you need to make sure that they are spot on. Here are four tips to help you craft effective blog post titles:
- As mentioned earlier, use the Keyword Planner tool to identify the frequently used words and phrases, and include them in your blog post titles. This will make your titles familiar to your audience.
- It’s also a good idea to limit your blog post titles to 70 characters in order to prevent them from being cut short on search engines.
- Include numbers or facts in your blog post titles to make them compelling and interesting. Additionally, remember to use digits as they attract more attention.
- Write actionable headlines to communicate exactly what your blog post offers. This promises the reader tangible help and practical information, which results in high click-through rates. For instance, 3 Ways Your Church Can Engage with New Visitors would make a compelling blog post title.
Are you looking for more helpful tips to craft good blog post titles? Check out HOW TO: Write Blog Post Titles that Readers Can’t Resist.
3. USE HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES
Research shows that online visitors form their impression of a website within 0.05 seconds. Given that you only have a small window to capture your online visitors’ attention, you need to make sure that your website is visually appealing. Needless to say, using high-quality and relevant images will definitely add to the visual appeal of your blog.
Additionally, remember that blog posts with images receive higher engagement. For instance, a quick study by BuzzSumo indicates that articles with an image once every 75–100 words got shared twice over on social media. However, it’s important to include images relevant to your blog post.
4. MAINTAIN AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Simply put, an editorial calendar is a database of all your blog posts. It would include links and a schedule of all your blog posts.
One of the most common struggles for any blogger is to maintain a steady flow of content. Well, using an editorial calendar is the perfect solution. This way, you’ll be able to plan well in advance and map out topics that are relevant to important holidays or events.
For this, you can use Google Sheets to plan the topics along with the scheduled publish date. Take a look at a snippet of our editorial calendar created on Google Sheets for ideas:
5. ADD A SIGN-UP FORM AFTER EVERY BLOG POST
Your blog’s settings should allow you to insert a blog subscription widget into its layout. Take a look at how J. D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church, North Carolina, USA, uses a sign-up form at the end of every blog post:
Placing a sign-up form at the end of your blog posts is a great way for you to build your blog’s readership. Moreover, it’ll help you establish a connection with your readers in the long run.
Remember to set up a good e-mail campaign to welcome new sign-ups as well as send automated e-mail updates to them. You can use e-mail marketing services, such as MailChimp and ActiveCampaign, to make the process seamless.
6. HOST YOUR BLOG ON A CUSTOM DOMAIN
Setting up your own blog is as easy as one, two, three on platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace and Wix. However, while doing so, you need to remember to customise your domain name. In other words, you need to customise your blog’s URL (the link to the blog).
Typically, while setting up your own blog on such platforms, a URL is suffixed with the platform’s name. For instance, the URL of a WordPress blog will, by default, be pastorsblog.wordpress.com unless customised to pastorsblog.com.
While this customisation is done at an additional cost, it’s well worth the investment. This is because using a custom domain not only makes you seem professional to your readers, but also increases the chances of your blog post being shared on social media, which ultimately helps boost your SEO quotient.
Your blog is a powerful and potent tool for your ministry. It can help you to not only reach a wider audience than any pulpit sermon, but also build relationships and impact the lives of those outside your church walls. So, why not make sure that it’s functioning at its best?
Before you go, do check out another resource that can improve your church website – 50 Common Mistakes On Church Websites. This e-book will help you to avoid making errors related to design, communication and content on your website. Get your FREE copy below.
Image source: jdgreear.com
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