My 6 month blogging experiment

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17

I started my blogging experiment about six months ago with the goal of finding my voice through the written word. In the past 10 years as a pastor, I’ve preached hundreds of messages but had never really attempted to put those thoughts into words. As I’m finding out now, it’s a much more difficult endeavor than I had first imagined!

Here are some quick thoughts that I’ve discovered from my experience:

1-      As mentioned, blogging is hard work! I’m not sure why, but at times it seems as though preparing sermons is much easier than writing a short blog post. Trying to limit (or at times extend) a thought into a 500 word post can be a tedious exercise in futility.

2-      The technical aspects are not as difficult as I would have expected. WordPress makes it easy to self-host a blog at an adequate proficiency. Check out http://michaelhyatt.com/ez-wordpress-setup.html to learn how to setup a blog in 20 minutes.

3-      Growing a blog and building a platform takes time. Over the past six months, I’ve had a little over 6,000 unique visitors from all over the world. SEO (search engine optimization) is simple and effective. http://tentblogger.com/seo/ is a great place to start learning. Promotion through twitter and Facebook also help immensely.

4-      The biggest obstacle is consistency. You need discipline to handle posting with regular frequency. I usually try to write a few articles at a time and then schedule them to post using WordPress. When unexpected things come up (as usually happens for those in ministry), being ahead of the game is a great advantage.

5-      If you’re a pastor, blogging is a great tool to reach out to your church. In addition to my twitter and Facebook accounts, I use my blog to remind my church the main points of my sermons or to write about themes that deal with our own church issues. It helps reinforce what I do on Sundays.

Some of my future goals for the blog are to:

  1. Create a mail subscription system. Thus fair I’m learning how to incorporate www.mailchimp.com in order to accomplish this. They give you a free service until you reach a certain limit of users.
  2. Post with better consistency. I’m constantly juggling a bunch of different weekly commitments. As this project becomes more intensive, I want to block out a set time a week in order to dedicate myself to higher quality, regular content.
  3. Create other content besides blog posts. In the near future, I want to be able to share what we are doing in my church with other Christians, including our Daniel Fast guide, usher manuals, and devotional material.

 

Last, if you are seeking a great hosting platform for your church, let me recommend www.ShareFaith.com. It’s one of the best things around for easy to manage and affordable website services. The membership also includes a lot of graphics for PowerPoint, sermon videos, and bulletins.

I’m neither an affiliate or associated with ShareFaith (except by being a member myself). I just love their services and highly recommend them!