Are you a Christian blogger trying to share your love of Jesus with more people online? So many Christian women are taking to the Internet with faith-filled content in hopes of sharing Jesus with others through their Christian blog content. The reality is that most Christian bloggers aren't reaching as many people as they should because their blogs simply aren't set up for success. Here are 7 crucial mistakes that many Christian bloggers make that are costing them significant traffic (which means reaching fewer people for the Kingdom).
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Crucial Mistakes Christian Bloggers Make
As a Christian blogger, you have the ability to literally reach millions of people across the entire planet! Christian Bloggers are the new missionaries taking God's message across the globe and without regard to geographic constraints. The internet has become somewhat of the devil's playground because he knows that most Christian content writers don't really understand the mechanics of how all the algorithms and stuff like that work.
In order to truly use the internet as a tool for God's army, Christian bloggers must learn the “backend” stuff that comes with blogging so you can get your content on page one of Google and other search engine results so people can find and read it. I've listed the 7 most common mistakes that many Christian bloggers make, along with how to correct them.
Not Having a Clear Target Audience
This is probably the most important, yet often bypassed, step in starting a Christian blog ministry. Having a clearly defined target audience is crucial to building a ministry. Simply writing about Jesus for everyone won't lay a foundation that generates traffic. You must decide exactly who you are writing for. This will enable you to continually write the type of content they are seeking online and write your content based on SEO keywords that your audience will be searching for.
Consider the content on a Christian “parenting” blog. A mom of a newborn would be seeking and needing different advice and encouragement than a mom of three teenagers. The daily struggles, the source of stress, the types of products they need to buy – these would vary substantially. Even a blog that promotes itself as a “resource for Christian women” would need to further define the specific demographic of “Christian woman” the content is really geared towards. A young (millennial) Christian woman and a much older Christian woman would be seeking and needing Biblical advice and encouragement written from a different perspective.
If you need a little more help in defining (or re-defining) your target audience, you can take the Who is My Avatar Challenge. This free course helps you research your audience and has homework and actionable steps which result in some very specific blog post content topics, products (if monetizing), and optin ideas for your audience.
If you are literally just getting started (or haven't yet started), be sure to read 10 Steps to Launching a Successful Christian Blog.
Not Having a Self-Hosted WordPress Website
Let's face it. The majority of us who feel called to Christian blogging don't have a lot of money to spend on it. As a result, many newer Christian bloggers look for free platforms to host their writings on. While the free blogging platforms are great for hobby blogging, they are NOT optimized to grow a blog ministry. A free blog is very basic in the things you are able to do with it. It is almost impossible to lay a solid SEO foundation for a free “hosted” blog.
WordPress is pretty much the standard for successful blogs of any niche because there are so many integrations that work with it to make your blog look how you want it. The free WordPress blog is NOT the way to go if you want to grow a ministry and generate consistent organic traffic (or if you ever plan to monetize). Choosing a self-hosted WordPress site is the better option because this will enable you to add various widgets, email subscription forms, and many other “gadgets” that will improve the overall performance of your blog.
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Not Laying the SEO Foundation for the Website
In order for your blog to start getting found in search results – even when someone searches the blog name – you need to ensure you have your backend optimized for SEO. Most of the training on SEO focuses on doing SEO keyword research for the blog posts. But you must first SEO the blog itself! That means ensuring your blog comes up with the correct preview description in search results and that you have filled in the SEO for all of your administrative pages (Blog landing page, About page, etc). Then you must submit your Sitemap to Google for indexing. This lets the search engine crawlers know right away what the overall topic of your site is about so it can begin indexing it accordingly.
Not Learning Proper SEO Keyword Research
SEO – such a scary word, right? The truth is that doing SEO keyword research really isn't that difficult. The more important truth is that without SEO, no one will ever find your blog posts organically through Google searches. SEO keyword research is literally the roadmap that you give people to find you online.
I've often heard many Christian bloggers say they write for God and not for Google. While writing for God – listening to His direction to you in your writing – is the first step, He also expects you to use the resources around you to make His word “findable” by those who may need it. Remember the story of the man caught in the floodwaters and praying for God to save him? He dismissed several opportunities for help stating he was waiting on God. Think of SEO as the boat that God has sent to help you.
Not Using Headings Properly (or at all)
One of the most common mistakes I see often on Christian blogs is the misuse (or non-use) of Headings in the post. In order for your posts to be properly indexed by search engines, you must make it quick and easy for the crawlers to “read” your content. The crawlers actually read your content in a specific order, starting with the Heading tag (H1). It then looks for additional Headings within the content before actually reading the paragraphs. When you don't use headings correctly, it can confuse the crawlers as to what your content is actually about. Headings also provide a way to break up your paragraphs and add color to the page so your readers' eyes don't fatigue.
Remember back to high school and college when you had to write research papers and reports? You first had to draft an outline using Roman Numerals (I, II, V, etc), followed by upper and lower case letters as well as regular numbers. Each of the Roman Numerals represented the main topic for that section, which was then further broken down into sections using the upper and lower case letters and numbers. This is how you need to approach the layout of your content and the use of Headings (H2, H3, etc). (See how we've used the H2 and H3 headings in this post!)
Also, you should never use the H1 tag inside the actual content. When you enter the title of the post into the “Title” block, it inserts it as an H1 Heading. And NEVER use a header setting to simply make text larger in your post. If your theme doesn't enable you to just increase the font, you can install a plugin such as TinyMCE Advanced which gives you that ability without adding the header script.
Not Using Internal Links with Anchor Text
I often hear newer Christian bloggers complaining that they are getting visitors to their site but their page views are still very low. This is a really easy fix! You MUST give them links to click to find more great content on your site! Yes, you may have a “related posts” widget at the end of the blog post but those aren't the best for actually getting people to read more. Put those links right in front of them while they are reading!
Every single post you write should include a link to at least 1-2 other posts on a similar topic or category. This should be done by way of linking with anchor text. Instead of saying “you can read my other post here” and linking to the other post, link to a phrase in the paragraph that relates to the topic of the post you are linking to. (See example below.) This not only puts the link right in front of your reader, it also helps with building the SEO for your site because your anchor text should begin to follow a similar theme.
Not Providing an Optimized Pinnable Image
While learning and understanding SEO isn't so difficult, it can take a bit of time for the search engines to properly index your content and begin showing it in search results. But that doesn't mean you have to wait for that to happen before you start seeing organic traffic! For most Christian bloggers, Pinterest is a goldmine of a resource for sending consistent monthly traffic to your site. But – you have to have your blog and Pinterest optimized to work for you. To keep this post short, I'm just going to send you over to read the full post on Pinterest for Christian Bloggers to learn exactly how to optimize your site for Pinterest traffic.
A Solid Foundation Means Reaching More People for the Kingdom
Even if you've already had your blog for some time, you can still go back and correct these areas. It will take a little time, but eventually, you will start seeing more visitors to your site. Laying a solid foundation and having a solid strategy for your blog is a crucial element in taking this from a simple hobby blog to a Christian blog ministry. But the more effort you put on the backend stuff, the more results you will begin to see. In the end, you'll realize just how impactful a Christian blog ministry is because your content will be read by people in the far corners of the planet!
Starting a Christian blog ministry has been such an amazing journey for me. Not only has it connected me to so many amazing Christian writers across the planet, but it has also challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and learn so many new things.
If you are still trying to get your Christian blog up and running, be sure to sign up below to join our Christian Blogging Tips newsletter. Not only will you get weekly blogging tips to grow your ministry, but you'll also get exclusive access to our Member's Only Blogging Resources area which contains a variety of checklists and other helpful tools and are only available for free to our subscribers.
Be sure to also read:
- Best Blogging Tools and Resources for Christian Bloggers
- The Truth About the Yoast Plugin
- The Truth About Blogger Threads
- The Truth About Blog Stats