Are you a Christian blogger struggling to really get your blog ministry off the ground? Most faith bloggers really struggle with getting organic traffic to their sites simply because they didn’t get the best Christian blogging tips when they first started.
A blog ministry is a great way to really reach the masses for Christ. The internet makes it possible to reach people far beyond the boundaries of your geographic location. But you must set it up for success!
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Christian Blogging Tips: 6 Ways to Grow Your Online Ministry
With more and more people not attending physical church, and most people practically living online (doing something on the Internet), it is crucial that churches and regular, everyday Christians become Internet evangelists by sharing the Gospel with the online community. A Christian blog is the best way to get started. In order to have a successful online blog ministry, you must lay a solid foundation for it to grow from. Many newer faith bloggers simply set up their sites in the most basic form and begin writing. But, if you want your content to actually be found by others searching on the Internet, following these Christian blogging tips is a must!
If you are literally just getting started, be sure to read How to Start a Christian Blog and also enroll in my comprehensive free course Jesus Online: How to Start a Successful Christian Blog Ministry
You should also bookmark my Blogging Tips Index Page. This page has links to all of my blogging tutorials and resources by category (SEO, email marketing, etc) to make it easier to find exactly what you are needing help with!
Christian Blogging Tips #1 – Target Audience
One of the biggest mistakes that Christian bloggers make is they don’t clearly define WHO they are writing for. Simply saying that you want to share Jesus with the world isn’t enough! By focusing on a specific demographic or purpose (in faith), you’ll be able to create content that your readers need and will be searching for.
There are many different types of Christian blogs that you build into a successful online ministry. The following are just a few examples of types if Christian blogs you can create as a ministry!
- Christian Parenting Blogs
- Christian Marriage Blogs
- Blogs for Christian Women
- Blogs for Godly Christian Men
- Christian College Blogs
- Online Bible Studies
- Blogs for Encouragement and Scripture
- Blogs for Ministry Leaders
The first step you should take is to enroll in my free course Defining Your Ministry Avatar. This course will help you really narrow down you target audience to ensure you are writing content that will reach the right people.
Christian Blogging Tips #2 – Platform
Many Christian blogs get started on the free WordPress platform. Free is great to get started, but in order to really grow your ministry, you definitely need to go with a self-published WordPress site. The free site has many limitations for growth, as well as for monetization. If you’ve already started on a free site, migration to a self-hosted platform is super easy. Not sure about self-hosting? Siteground is one of the best hosting platforms to start with.
Christian Blogging Tips #3 – SEO
Not using SEO is like writing a book and locking it away in a closet where no one can find it!
Another big mistake that Christian bloggers make is not really focusing on a solid SEO strategy for their sites. Contrary to popular belief, getting the green light with Yoast does NOT mean your post is properly SEO’d! You must first choose the right keyword to rank for! Of all the Christian blogging tips you read in this post, SEO is the most important factor in getting organic traffic to your site!
A solid SEO strategy includes:
- Backend SEO – This involves filling out the meta descriptions for every page (including homepage) and ensuring your blog name some relevant keywords are in those descriptions. It also involves creating a sitemap and submitting it to Google Webmaster for indexing. If you don’t submit your sitemaps to Google, how will Google know you are there? (It would be the equivalent to having an unlisted phone number.)
- Keyword Research – The important thing to understand that SEO isn’t about find the right “keyword.” Instead, you should be focusing on writing content that people are actually searching for on Google and incorporating variables of the search query in the written content.
- Post Formatting – By formatting your post for SEO, you are making it super easy for search engine crawlers to determine your content and rank it against other similar content. Post formatting includes using your main keyword phrase multiple times throughout the post, using H2/H3 headings to break up main topics and paragraphs, adding additional related keyword phrases, and using keywords on the images uploaded to the post.
- Internal Linking – This is often overlooked by many bloggers. Interlinking is where you link to other related posts on your site in each post. Not only does this help with your SEO but it also helps increase your page views and lowers your bounce rate. Interlinking should be done naturally by using anchor text that has some value to the post being linked to. Instead of saying “click here,” link naturally to the other post by simply hyperlinking words in that sentence that relates to the content on the post you are linking to.
If you are brand new to SEO and not exactly sure what it is or how it works, you can enroll in my free SEO Fundamentals for Christian Bloggers course. This short course will walk you through the basics of keyword research and post formatting.
Christian Blogging Tips #4 – Pinterest
Pinterest is an excellent way to increase traffic to your Christian blog. However, it must be set up and optimized for SEO in order for it to really work for you. If you didn’t already know, Pinterest is not social media (although it is often grouped that way). Pinterest is a search engine but has its own algorithm and SEO rules. While Pinterest can send a lot of traffic to your blog, Pinterest is a very needy platform that doesn’t give back evenly. So just keep that in mind and make sure more of your time is focused on SEO efforts.
Some key things to remember when using Pinterest:
- Optimize your Pinterest Profile – This includes switching to a business account, enabling rich pins, and optimizing your profile description, board titles, and board descriptions with keywords.
- Pinnable Image – It is important that you provide your reader with an optimized image for them to pin to their boards. An optimized image is approximately 600 x 900 (or use the Pinterest template in Canva), has a keyword-rich description and a few hashtags. Small images on your site that don’t have the post title on it do absolutely nothing to bring traffic to your site!
- Pinterest Text – When you pin an image from a blog post, the sharing buttons pull the ALT TEXT by default to fill the pin description. This is not an optimized description! You can manually add the code for the description (if you are comfortable editing code), or you can use a plugin like Tasty Pins. With this plugin, you can easily add the Pinterest text to the image when you upload it.
Christian Blogging Tips #5 – Social Sharing
One easy way to increase traffic to your Christian blogs is to ensure you have your social sharing optimized for maximum success! Let’s face it, most everyone today is using some form of social media to connect with the world. Some use Facebook, others Tweet, and it seems the younger generation is more often using social platforms like SnapChat and Instagram. In order for your blog ministry to grow, you must ensure your content is shareable across ALL platforms and channels.
My Christian blogging tips related to social media are:
Social Follow – Make sure your FOLLOW icons are easy to find! At a minimum, include then right under your About Me widget at the top of your sidebar. If your theme allows for it, you should also include them in other places. But DON’T only put them in the top-most corner of the page or in the footer.
Social Share – If you have the basic JetPack buttons, I highly recommend disabling them and using a social sharing plugin such as Grow by MediaVine. This plugin is much more optimized than the ones from JetPack. For social sharing, you don’t need to have an account on a particular platform in order to share your content there. So make it easy for them to share it wherever they hang out!
Increase Engagement – In addition to the follow and share buttons, you can also TELL YOUR READERS TO FOLLOW (or engage) with you. As you near the end of your post, just add some text that says something like “Be sure to join us on (platform) and let us know your take on (this post’s topic).” Then simply include the link to that platform. Even with all the regular buttons, some people need to be encouraged to take action.
Christian Blogging Tips #6 – Email List Building
Before you begin building your email list, it is important that you have a plan in place. So many bloggers start collecting emails for their subscriber list, yet don’t do anything with that list! While an email list is a great way to communicate with your audience, you must have a plan for how you are going to nurture it. This includes setting up a Welcome Email sequence that automatically sends a series of emails to new subscribers. It also means having an actual plan for when you will be emailing them (after the sequence) and what exactly you’ll be sending them.
Because of all this, I highly recommend you WAIT to begin building your email list until at least a year. This way, you will have plenty of time to get your actual blog plan in order before jumping into trying to build another platform at the same time.
As you do begin building your list, a couple of things will help improve your reader engagement (of the emails you send):
- Enable double optin on all subscribe forms – this will require your reader to physically go check their email to confirm they want to be added. This also minimized spam signups (yes, there are spam bots whose sole purpose in life is to sign up for your email list!). This will also help ensure your email list is GDPR compliant.
- A/B Testing to Improve Open Rates – Try out different subject lines for a single email to see what gets a better open response.
- Clean up your lists often – About once every couple of months, go through your subscriber list and delete any subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in a set amount of time. My rule of thumb is if they’ve been on my list longer than 2 months and haven’t opened an email, they get deleted. While it is great to have a large list, you want that list to be productive. If they aren’t reading your emails, why keep them?