Do you feel called to share God’s message online but not sure how to start a Christian blog? Faith blogs and online ministries covering a variety of Christian and faith-related topics have become increasingly popular in this new digital age that we now live in.
Not only is it a great way to channel your own inner desire to share God’s message, but these online ministries serve a much higher purpose – making sure God is where the people are so they can learn more about Him!
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Why Start a Christian Blog?
Christian blogging sites are the new way to take the Gospel to the people where they are. More and more people are turning to the online world to find answers and information on a variety of topics – including Jesus Christ! Starting a ministry blog is such a life-changing experience – both for you as the writer AND for those who come across your content. We are no longer bound by the confines of our zip code because the Internet makes it possible for us to connect with others literally around the planet!
My own blogging journey has enabled me to connect with some amazing female Christian bloggers from around the globe! These women have wonderful testimonies of their own to share about how God has impacted their lives – and blogging has enabled them to share that with so many people beyond their own church and neighbors. If you have a gift for writing and a burning desire (or maybe you feel a strong calling) to share the love of Jesus and show others how to apply the Bible’s teachings to their daily lives, then starting a ministry blog is definitely an outlet you should pursue!
How to Start a Christian Blog – Step by Step Guide
Knowing how to start a Christian ministry blog the right way from the start will save you so much time and energy in the long-run. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t as easy as just creating the website and starting to write. Setting up a blog the right way will provide a solid foundation for you to generate organic traffic – visitors who are actually looking for your content. Aside from the writing aspect of starting a blog, there are some important steps (and a certain order) in setting up your blog that many new bloggers often overlook.
- Seek God’s Direction
- Defining your Niche & Target Audience
- Domain and Name Research
- Platform & hosting
- Installing & Setting up WordPress
- Define Blog Structure
- Setup Social Profiles
- Optimize for Pinterest
- Setup Email Forms
- Write Content
- Launching your site
The following Christian blogging tips will help you get your blog set up for success!
Step 1 – Pray Over It
The first step in embarking on any new journey is prayer. Starting a ministry is not something to just “jump in and hope it works.” In order to truly honor God, make sure He is with you each step of the way. Maybe you have already prayed about it – keep praying! Not only will He give you ideas on the direction to take (what to blog about specifically), He will also make sure you get the resources that you need to do it right (maybe that’s how you landed on this post!). Without prayer, however, you can easily fall into doing things the way YOU think they need to be and not so much how HE wants you to do to it.
Step 2 – Define Your Niche and Target Audience
A niche is basically the overall “theme” of what you plan to write about. Yes, “Christian” or “faith” are considered niches – but they are general in nature. Saying you want to start a Christian blog to simply share the love of God with the world is WAY too general. Let’s say you wanted to have a Christian Parenting blog. Obviously, the topics would relate to faith and raising a family. But even within the Christian-Parenting category, you can further break it down – parenting teens, blended families, divorce, small children. Each of these types of parents would need and want different advice and Biblical inspiration.
Once you have decided on the overall topics you want to blog about, it is important to research and define your target audience. Who is your blog content for and how are you going to serve them with your content. This is an important, but often overlooked step! If you don’t get this part figured out, you will have a very hard time building a loyal and engaged following or generating organic traffic to your site.
Not sure how to get started? You can enroll in my free Defining Your Ministry Avatar course which will help you map everything out for your target audience.
Ideas for Christian Niches
Any of the following general topics could be the focus of your faith blog. Within each category listed below, you could further define the target audience to a specific demographic within that category. (This is just a list of ideas – you can write about literally any topic and add a little Jesus to it!)
- Christian Parenting Blog
- Resources for Christian Women
- Bible Studies
- Chronic Illness/Health
- Targeted by Age/Gender
An example of further defining a general niche would be a Christian blog that teaches you how to apply the Bible to daily life. How you write (how you translate Scripture) will be hugely impacted by the target audience. How you would write content to help a single mom with applying Biblical principles to her life and raising kids on her own will vary greatly from writing to an audience of single millennials. How you write to the older generation is way different than how you would write to teenagers. Age, gender, a season of life, marital status, parenting status…all of these things play a major role in the success (or failure) of your Christian blog.
Knowing how to start a Christian blog means knowing WHO you want to write for (your target audience) will make your Christian blog more successful from the start. The more niched down you make it, the easier it will be to come up with content, monetize the blog (if you chose to do that), and build a loyal following. It is also important to remember that you should focus on only a few topics (categories) of content and not write about a bunch of different things. Focusing on maybe 3 general categories will help in really drawing in a loyal following.
Step 3 – Pick Your Blog Name and Domain
The first step towards the physical aspect of setting up a blog is to choose a name for your blog. The name of the blog will be the first opportunity to let your target audience know they’ve landed at the right place! Try to avoid choosing a name that only has a special meaning to you. Once you’ve settled on a few ideas for your blog name, you will want to make sure that name is available for your domain as well as across all the main social channels. You can check the domain and social handles below, however, do not purchase the domain until prompted to in Step 4).
Having your domain name the same as (or as close as possible to) your blog’s name will help people find it much more easily. For example, if your blog has one name, but your domain is your name – and you tell someone your blog name, that is what they will enter into the Google box to find your site.
It also helps readers follow you on social channels when your handle is the same across all of them. If you can’t get the exact handle across all platforms, make them as close as possible. For example, our handle on Instagram is @kingdombloggers, but on Twitter is it @kingdomblogger1
Starting a Christian blog is easy with this 12-step tutorial! #christianbloggers #kingdombloggers #startablog Click To Tweet
Step 4 – Pick a Platform and Hosting
Setting up a blog involves choosing which platform and hosting you will use. So what’s the difference between a platform and hosting? The easiest way to explain it is to compare it to a cell phone.
- Platform – this would be the equivalent to the type of phone (operating system) that you have – Apple or Android
- Hosting – this would be similar to which service your phone is managed by – AT&T or Sprint (or others).
By far, the best platform for launching a Christian or faith blog would be WordPress(.org). There are actually two different WordPress platforms (.com and .org). The WordPress(.com) platform enables you to start a blog for free, however, I highly recommend against doing that. While it may be tempting to save money by using a free platform, you will have many limitations on what you can do (the design, adding plugins, monetizing, etc). This platform does offer a paid version, however, it is a bit expensive compared to the WordPress(.org) version.
By starting your Christian blog with WordPress(.org), you will be able to have creative freedom from the start AND you will be fully in control of your website. To get started, you will need to get signed up for hosting through Siteground then you will do a “one-click” installation of WordPress so you can begin setting up your blog (the fun part!). Read more about Siteground to see why they are the best web hosting service – they even have specialized services specifically for Christian ministries. You can read more about why Siteground is the best web hosting for Christian blogs here.
Step 5 – Install and Setup WordPress
Once you have signed up for Siteground, you will receive an email with instructions for installing WordPress. It is super easy (one click to install it!) and you can get busy setting up your site. When you first log into your WordPress dashboard, it might be a bit overwhelming trying to navigate around it and figure out what everything is for. Some of the things you’ll need to take care of are:
- Installing a great theme – your dashboard comes with a few standard free themes, however, you’ll want to find and invest in a theme that resonates with your blog’s niche. Themes come with different layouts, varying abilities for adding additional widgets, as well as other things that you’ll want to consider for how you want your site to look and function.
- Installing necessary plugins – Your WordPress dashboard will come with some plugins already installed and your theme may also come with plugins pre-installed. You may not need all of these and there are some essential plugins (that don’t come pre-installed) that you’ll want to install right away.
- Customizing your theme settings – Although your theme is already set up, you will need to edit your admin settings and possibly adjust the presentation of how pages are displayed.
- Setting up and connecting Google Analytics – Google Analytics enables you to see exactly where your traffic is coming from (once you go live), which posts are getting the most engagement, what search queries are causing your post to show up in results, and so much more!
Step 6 – Map Your Blog Structure
If you want to start a Christian blog that truly reaches others, you need to have a solid outline for your blog structure. This starts with deciding on the main categories of content you’ll be writing about. Remember, these should speak directly to your target audience. This will help you stay focused on serving your audience as it pertains to your blog’s purpose.
Your categories should be visible on your navigation menu at the top of your blog so readers can see right away what you write about.
If you aren’t entirely sure what a good blog structure looks like (or how to go about creating it), I have a comprehensive Blog Planning Toolkit that has several different workbooks for mapping out your blog structure, as well as the ideas for your content.
Step 7 – Social Profiles
While you may not be using social media in your personal life, it is imperative to the growth of your online ministry that you have social channels established for your blog. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most common, but other platforms such as Snapchat are becoming increasingly popular with the younger generation.
- Create a profile for each one – using the same branding (header images) across all of them.
- Connect social channels to your blog’s social follow icons.
- Ensure blog posts are set to automatically publish to the social channels.
Once you’ve launched your blog and begun publishing content, you can use a scheduling tool to keep your content publishing throughout the month.
Truth be told, social media can easily become a never-ending time-suck that keeps you so busy you have little time left for actual “productive” work on your blog. Once you get your blog all set up and are ready to start promoting it on social media, I highly recommend Social Media Content Creation for Christian Writers & Bloggers.
Jessie is our resident Christian social media guru and created this awesome tool to show you how to create and schedule an entire month’s worth of social media content in less than 3 hours!
Step 8 – Optimize for Pinterest
Of all the blogging tips for beginners that I can give you, getting your Pinterest profile set up properly is probably the most important! Pinterest will typically be the number one source of traffic to your Christian blog when you first get started – but only if you have your blog AND your Pinterest optimized for success. If you didn’t know, Pinterest is not a social media channel – it is a search engine. Although it does work off of SEO practices, it is much easier to get your content found on Pinterest than on Google. Steps can take now include:
- Set up (or convert to) a Pinterest Business Account (this is completely free) – A business account enables you to review analytical data about your Pinterest and blog traffic which helps in improving your blog strategy.
- Optimize your Pinterest profile for your niche – This includes your profile name and description, board titles and descriptions, and what you pin
- Ensure you have a Pinterest-worthy, pinnable image on each post – This image should be approximately 600 x 900 (in Canva this Pinterest template is 735 x 1102 which is also great), should be visually appealing and have the post title on it. Simple images without the post title on it won’t get pinned, and if they do, no one will click on it if they see it in their Pinterest feed.
- Ensure your social sharing buttons are highly visible on each post – Make it as easy as possible for readers to share your content on any and all social channels (not just the ones you are on).
If you need some help understanding Pinterest and how to make it work for you, I highly recommend Pinterest Ninja from Megan at Love Family Health. This was the very first course I ever took, and although I’ve taken many more since – hers is hands-down the best one. And, she keeps it updated with all the newest Pinterest changes so you know what is going on (because Pinterest makes changes quite often).
Step 9 – Set Up Email
Having your email system set up is an important, (and often overlooked) step in setting up your Christian site. People of faith love reading blogs about Jesus, so make it easy for them to continue reading it by getting them on your email list from day one. At a minimum, you want to ensure that you provide a way for readers to subscribe to your blog so they can get an update when new posts are published. Aside from simply enabling them to continue reading your blog, creating an email list is essential in being able to communicate directly with your audience.
Related: Building Your Email List
When it comes to sending emails to a list of subscribers, you can’t use your regular email services such as Gmail or Yahoo. They are set up for personal use and can be flagged for spam if you try sending an email to a large group of recipients. Instead, you must create a domain email address (email address that has your blog domain.com) through your web host. This is completely free to do and you can create more than one to keep track of different types of emails. Once created, you will then use an Email Service Provider such as ConvertKit or MailerLite to manage the emails. Ensure you have your RSS feed setup and connected to your email service provider and designate which days new posts will be sent out to subscribers.
You should also have a really great Welcome email automation set up to let new subscribers know a little more about your site and when to expect emails from you.
Step 10 – Write Content
Before you begin writing, it is important that you understand the benefits of SEO and why it is so important. SEO (search engine optimization) is basically choosing the best keyword phrase for your post to increase the chances of the post making it to Page One of a Google search. Not using SEO is like writing a book and stashing it away under your bed where no one can find it! Read more about the benefits of SEO and how to do proper SEO research.
I’ve been asked about what the first post should be about. Do NOT write a “Welcome to my New Blog” post!! Every post you write and publish should fall into one of your main categories so it serves the audience you hope to build. You are writing content that will be found in Google searches. (Save the “welcome” for your email sequence when a reader subscribe.)
The key to writing content that will actually rank on Google is to ensure that people are actually searching (on Google) for that topic. If they aren’t searching for it, there is no point in writing it!
Step 11 – Publish Your Blog
Congratulations! You can now call yourself a Christian blogger! Once you hit that publish button, your content will be out there for the world to read – and hopefully, find themselves closer to Christ.
A few things to do once your Christian blog has been published:
- Delete the “under construction” plugin if you installed one
- Connect your blog to Google Analytics and Google Search Console
- Create a sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console
- Verify your website for Pinterest
Now it will be time to work on a blog content schedule. This means that you’ll want to come up with a plan for how often you will publish new content (and when) and keep to that schedule as much as possible. A good rule of thumb is to publish once per week.
Welcome to the Christian Blogger Family!
Now that you’ve figured out how to start a Christian blog, you are ready to literally share the Glory of God with the entire world! How crazy and surreal is that?! Blogs about Jesus are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people across the planet are searching for the goodness that comes with knowing Christ.
As you begin getting your ministry blog all set up, be sure to visit the Kingdom Bloggers Category Page where you can find the exact tutorials you are needing.
While this tutorial was a brief overview of how to go about starting a Christian blog, you may need a little more detailed help in getting yours started. I created Jesus Online as a step-by-step guide to starting a Christian blog on WordPress. In this course, I’ll walk you through the steps of mapping out your target audience, researching and buying your domain, and the physical part of setting up your site.
Knowing how to start a Christian blog (like the physical part of setting it up) is just the first step. Next, you’ll definitely want to begin learning about SEO and how it works so you can write blog content that produces organic results. I created a free basic SEO Fundamentals for Christian Bloggers course to give you a better understanding of all the SEO stuff.
While we may complain about the bad things associated with the Internet, there IS so much good in it as well. The Internet makes it possible for anyone with a desire to serve God to share is His message with the world – literally a worldwide Christian ministry – from the comfort of your home – no matter where you live! I thank God every day for this Blessing because it has enabled me to be a catalyst for faith writers across the planet to flood the internet with more and more Jesus! It has also enabled me to connect with and make new friends with women around the globe as we chat weekly on blogging, Jesus, and life in general (from our different cultures). Through a Christian blog, you truly have the power to impact and change the world!