The key to growing a successful Christian blog ministry and building an engaged audience around it takes planning and work! Many newer bloggers get started by simply writing about their day, things that happened with their kids, or something along the lines of “how I feel about this or that.” The reality is that these things make for a great diary entry or even something that you'd share to keep family updated on Facebook. But these are not the elements of a good blog post. Here are 4 examples of what not to publish as a blog post.
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What is the Purpose of a Blog
Generally speaking, there are two types of blogs
- Personal blog – A personal blog is simply an online diary or journal where write about your life, family updates, feelings, etc.
- Blog ministry/business – These are blogs where the writer has a clear idea of the audience they are writing for and writing content to specifically help or encourage that particular audience. These types of blogs require planning and writing posts with SEO in mind so the content can be found in search results.
When it comes to writing blog content for a Christian blog, you can't treat it like a personal journal entry. When people go to search for something online (typing something into that Google search box), they are seeking answers, helpful tips, encouragement, solutions, etc. They are not looking for a rundown of how your day went!
Understand that once a blog post is published, it is now a permanent piece of content floating around the Internet. This content will eventually be indexed by search engines to it can be recommended in search results based on what someone types into the search box. Everything you publish as a blog post needs to be written with the intention of someone searching for the content in it.
4 Things You Should NOT Post as a New Blog Post
Often times, I see many bloggers publishing content that really shouldn't be published as a new blog post. When you publish this type of content as an actual blog post, you really aren't helping your blog grow. Even though you might be sharing the blog post in Christian blogger groups, they won't drive traffic beyond that initial share because they have no “search value.” This isn't to say you shouldn't share it with your audience, but you shouldn't share it as a blog post.
While your blog posts are meant to offer value in a way that can be searched for online, you can still share things with your audience in other ways such as email or social media. If you think of your blog as the way to go find people needing what you offer, think of your email list as the way to really connect with them on a more personal level. Your email (and social media) is where you can share in a more personal way with no concern of formatting or SEO. It is just a conversation with your readers.
- Announcements – Writing a blog post for the sole purpose of making an announcement has no long-term value. Beyond the day the post is published (or whenever the new posts are sent to email subscribers) the post will not continue to send traffic to your site. When you have an announcement to make to your audience, you should do this via email and sharing on your blog's social media channels.
- General ramblings – Every blog post you write needs to be intentional for helping your target audience. Simply waking up and writing a blog post about how you feel that morning has zero search value! Again, this is something you could share with your audience in an email or even on social media.
- Content that looks like a diary entry – You should never publish a post that is simply a recap of your day or your feelings on a particular subject. Remember, your content needs a “how” – How is this going to help my audience? Instead of just writing a post where you simply talk about how much fun you had taking your toddler to the zoo, you could write it as more of a “Things to Pack When Taking a Toddler to the Zoo” type post. In this manner, you can still talk about how much fun you had but you are offering actual help at the same time.
- Sales – Generally speaking, you should avoid writing a post to highlight a sale on something. Why? Because by the time your post gets indexed by Google, the sale will be over. A better way to write a post like this would be to simply write a post about the product itself (if it relates to your audience) or maybe even a gift guide where that item is listed. Then you can send your email subscribers a link to the post and mention that the thing is on sale. You can also share the post and sale announcement on social media. Either way, these will have a much better outcome and the post may continue sending traffic to your site long after the sale is over.
What Types of Posts Should You Publish
When you publish a blog post, that piece of content is now floating around the Internet waiting for someone to search for and find it. In order for that to happen, someone must be looking for what the post is about. If you are a Christian mom-blogger, for example, other moms aren't searching the internet for blog posts about how crazy another mom's life is. She already knows that! What she is looking for is helpful tips for managing the chaos. Ideas for teaching their kids about God. Ideas for getting some mommy self-care when she has 3 small kids to care for.
The first step in figuring out what types of posts you should be publishing starts with researching and defining your target audience. Once you really know her and her struggles, you'll be able to write blog content that she'll actually be searching for.
The most important question to ask yourself when deciding to write a blog post is “How is this going to help my target audience?” Once you've figured out their needs, you can then begin doing keyword research to find out what terms they are using to search for things to help them.
What You Publish Matters!
The content you publish as blog posts really does matter if you are truly wanting to grow a successful Christian blog ministry. you must write with a specific audience in mind. You must also write in a manner that offers some sort of “help” to them. A Christian blog ministry is a great way to share your testimony in a way to help others facing similar situations or in similar seasons of their lives. But if you aren't writing your content in a way that enables them to find you in search results, you'll miss out on the opportunity to serve them.
Be sure to also read:
- Picking the Right Keyword as a Christian Blogger
- Formatting Your Christian Blog Posts for Search Engine Success