My Musings

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Professional Christian Blogger #1: Content

On Saturday's Watchman Awards, I mentioned the fact that I was considering starting a series on blogging tips and ideas. I recieved some positive feedback in that direction and have therefore decided to pursue this direction with a few of my blog posts. I hope that some of these ideas will be a help and a blessing to you!

After some time in the blogging universe, I sat down and began to look back at the uphill struggle to create, market, and maintain a successful blogging venture. I began to realize how many different tips and ideas have influenced the very small level of success that I have been able to enjoy.

It seems that almost everyday my blog traffic moves just a little bit higher and I am thankful for that. In fact, that is my goal. As a Christian blogger, it is my prayer and goal to influence, challenge, and be a blessing to as many people as possible. Although I blog because I simply enjoy putting my thoughts into words that is not the only reason that I blog. I blog to influence people for the cause of Christ.

If I hope to influence 50 people with a particular post, then I probably need to find a way to get 100 people to read that article. If I want 100 people to read a particular article, then I need to employ some principles and ideas that actually work to get people to read it. Standing on the street corner and shouting the web address of my blog, though quite passionate, is not always the most effective means of attracting and growing a successful blog.

The first principle to successful blogging, and perhaps the most important is content. The actual content of a blog is perhaps more important than any other single element of a person’s blog. Here are a few things to think about when considering your blog’s content.

  • Quality Content – People want quality content. Whenever you post something to your blog you need to ask yourself the following question, “Did I do my best on this article or could I have done better?” If you find yourself answering that you could have done better, your readers already know and they have probably already thought it themselves. There are many blogs that I have visited that simply look spectacular but the content is dreadful. The design may be miles above par but if the quality of your content lacks in any way, people don’t want to read it.

  • Consistent Content – People want consistent content. People like things that are changing. In a very real sense, people want to be entertained. They want to find something new at your site or blog every time that they swing by it. Now we obviously can’t having something new posted every five minutes, but there is something that we can do in this area. We can be consistent. Set up a schedule that you are going to follow with your blog and then stick to it. Maybe you will decide to post something every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Even though you are only posting three posts per week, people will begin to expect it on the same days and they will stop by on a regular basis. Posting sporadically with some long and some short intervals between posts reduces visitors drastically. Be consistent.

  • Targeted Content – People want targeted content. At the header of most blogspot blogs there is a link called “Next Blog.” This link takes you to any one of the millions of blogs hosted at blogspot. This link is not very popular among most people because people don’t usually want to randomly browse through blogs enjoying any topic that happens to show up on the screen. People like to browse through a series of blogs on a specific subject. They may want to browse through just sports blogs, or just news blogs, or just Christian blogs, but not often do people want to browse a bunch of random blogs. Keep this in mind when you post articles on your blog. If you are trying to cover fifty-five and a half different topics with your blog, you are probably going to lose a lot of readers. Focus in on a particular genre of blogging and become an expert in that area. Readers will begin to flock to your blog to see what you have to say on a specifically targeted topic.

Start your blog resolutions this year by keeping these three things in mind about the subject of blog content. Take these three things to heart and put them into practice before we stop to look at the next principles of blogging. You need to get your house in order before you can reasonably expect others to look at it with any level of respect.

Good luck and happy blogging!

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