Since the term weblog was coined, blogging has been an indelible part of Internet culture. Whether or not your church should have a blog of its own depends on whether or not you’re willing to dedicate the resources to blogging the right way.
If done correctly, blogging could be a huge benefit to your church’s communications strategy and online outreach. This takes time and effort, but the rewards usually outweigh the costs. There are several questions to consider before beginning a church blog.
What is a Blog?
Many people who ask if they should start a blog may not fully understand what a blog really is. They think of it as some fancy technological term and get overwhelmed. But a blog isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think.
A blog is really a collection of articles published on a website. Blogs are simply another platform to share content you’re already creating. They can honestly be on any topic—however, make sure that your blog covers the right subject matter to be effective.
Most church website platforms have built-in blogging features. A free platform like WordPress is actually built entirely around blogging, so you can easily integrate this content into your website without any trouble or having to use a separate service.
What Should We Blog About?
The topics you write about all hinge on one important element—your audience. What does your audience care about? What will bring your audience value? Find that out and write about it.
Most churches assume that their audience automatically cares about their ministries and events. This may be true, but your blog is an opportunity to show people why they should care. It’s also a chance to take topics already covered in worship and go more in-depth.
Rather than just posting times for an upcoming women’s event, explain what issues that the event will be covering. Assuming that these are issues that women in your church deal with, they’ll be interested to read and potentially attend the upcoming event.
This connects a challenge your audience faces with the solution you’re providing. Your blog helps to make that connection known. Always remember to provide your target audience with value.
Why is a Blog Beneficial?
Besides bestowing your audience with value, one of the most practical reasons that a blog is attractive for most churches is because it provides an easy way to keep your website updated with fresh and relevant content.
Blogging is an easy strategy to potentially make search engines like Google rank your website higher. This is because online search engines value websites with unique and updated content—a natural by-product of a well-kept blog.
Blogs are also a goldmine for social media content. Recycle snippets of blog articles to post as quotes or graphics on your church’s social media accounts. Then link back to the article on your website so that people also have the opportunity to learn more about your church.
How Often Should You Post to a Blog?
All too often churches see a blog as an easy opportunity and dive in without any planning. They write the first post, then get distracted by daily life and gradually abandon the blog.
A blog that hasn’t been updated in two years is worse that no blog at all. So if you’re serious about starting a church blog, get serious about planning out a strategy first. Write the first five or six posts before publishing the first one. This assures that you’ve got some leeway in case you inevitably become sidetracked by something else.
The frequency of the posting doesn’t matter nearly as much as being dedicated to posting consistently. One post per month is more than adequate, so long as this pace is kept up long term. Focus on posting as often as can be easily sustained with your given bandwidth.
Who Can Write for the Blog?
A common assumption is that only the senior pastor or church staff should be writing for the blog. And while a blog is a great opportunity to show the personal side of your pastor and staff, they are not the only people who have a voice within your church.
Empower volunteer leaders and other members of the church to contribute articles to the blog. This helps them feel invested and takes some of the pressure off of the staff to create.
Writing an article can often be overwhelming for volunteers, so offer some ideas, examples and encouragement. Make sure to proofread everything contributed so that it has consistent formatting and style to the rest of the articles on your blog.
Are There Good Examples of Church Blogs?
There are a number of churches who have exceptionally good blogs, in terms of content, relevance and post frequency. Don’t expect to immediately reach their standards, because most of these churches have put a lot of resources into creating these blogs. However, you can still learn a great deal from their example.
Pro Church Tools also has a great in-depth article on the more technical elements of how to set up your blog, along with some additional insight into the strategic planning.