7 tips to rejuvenate your blog
SUMMARY: In the June MyCom, we posed the question, “Is your blog bearing fruit?” If the answer was “no,” don’t give up. We can help!
Perhaps your church blog has gone dormant or feels stale. Maybe it is a challenge because you don’t know what to write anymore. Successful blogging requires more than writing. It requires a plan of action, creativity, interest and dedication.
Here are seven tips to rejuvenate your congregation’s blog.
1. Reassess relevance and purpose.
Why does your church have the blog? Is it to inform, inspire or help? What do you want people to think or do after reading the blog? Remember that not only are current members reading your blog, but so are prospective new members, and, in fact, the entire world. Your blog is the perfect place to let your congregation’s personality shine so outsiders can get to know you. Write about topics that speak to your audience and keep people coming back to read more.
2. Evaluate the writing style.
Take a good, hard look at your writing. If you can’t be objective, ask someone for an honest opinion. No one is suggesting your writing has to be perfect, but if you simply preach and do not invite readers to add their thoughts, you aren’t doing much to encourage them to interact with you.
3. Engage readers.
Stir a discussion; don’t pontificate. Pose open-ended questions to encourage comments. Write about an event in the news that may spur dialogue Even though some people may think a question or topic is too controversial, interesting subjects encourage people to read and to react. Remember, Christianity isn’t about being safe or politically correct. Tough questions make people want to return to your blog.
Interaction is what social media is all about. Certainly, you want to use your blog to inform people, but what readers really want is the opportunity to engage in dialog, not simply to listen to you talk. Make it easy for visitors to interact.
4. Don’t write a novel.
Make sure your blog posts are a reasonable length. Posts can be as simple as a sentence or two. If the post is more than 400 words, consider dividing it into multiple entries to make reading more manageable.
5. Add pictures, links and more.
Expand your blog beyond static text. Add a photo or two. A post could be as simple as a couple of photos with captions from a church activity. If you find relevant content elsewhere online, give an introductory sentence or two and share the link. Allow others to contribute content to your blog, and they may return the favor.
6. Be enthusiastic and invite guest bloggers.
If you’re not invested in the blog, your writing will show it. Give others the opportunity to join you in the blog. Think of the rewards you might reap if your youth minister chimes in. Or your organist. Or your Sunday school superintendent. Instead of creating blogs for each new leader or audience, write one great blog that appeals to a wide variety of people—teenagers, music buffs, parents. This also provides cyber visitors with the opportunity to “meet” new people in the congregation before they ever step foot in your building. Don’t forget guest bloggers, such as a community leader or a pastor from another congregation, who don’t have direct ties to your church.
7. Get a regular posting schedule.
Writing a blog entry and then not posting again for months does not inspire a regular following of readers. Determine realistically how often you will update your blog. Whatever the decision, post your “posting frequency” intentions. Publicly declaring that increases your accountability.