Every pastor wants to do a better job reaching their community. At least I know I do.
Over the past few years, I have become convinced that one of the best ways to make an impact in my community is by running a church blog.
Early in 2015 the church I pastor started a church blog. At first, it was an experiment to see if we could do it. We weren’t sure it would have much of an impact, but we had a few team members who loved to write, so we figured we would give it a shot.
I recruited 4 people from our church to help me with this project. I knew I couldn’t keep up if I did it alone.
We committed to each writing one post per month. That allowed us to put out a new post each week.
The results have been nothing less than shocking. Since we started we have seen thousands of unique visitors to our site. Hundreds have come out to visit our church and dozens have become members.
Here are 4 reasons why you need to start a church blog today.
1. A Church Blog Will Raise Your Visibility
One of the biggest challenges churches face is increasing their visibility in the community.
As much as we like to think we are a big deal, no one thinks about our church as much as we do. We need to do everything we can to make people aware of our church if we have any hope to engage them.
Like many young churches, we do not have our own building. We are an urban church that meets in community centers. There is no sign out front that people drive by on the way home from work every day.
No one knew about us, but blogging has changed that.
When we started blogging, we were quite proud of ourselves. We found that our blogging team loved to share our own posts on social media. Our friends and church family read our posts, and that was about it.
As we became more consistent some of the people from within our church started to like what we were putting out, and they began to share the posts.
After blogging consistently for a few months we saw that each post would get a handful of shares on Facebook. This is where the visibility comes from.
A Facebook share is the modern invitation to church. (No it doesn’t replace inviting people to church. Don’t stone me.)
Each time something from your church is shared, it is a personal voucher for your church. The sharer is putting their approval on your ministry and saying they stand behind it.
Every person who sees the shared post sees your church name, your branding, and if they click on the link, they get a short encouragement.
They are engaging with your ministry. Sure, it’s a baby step, but it increases the odds that they will visit on a Sunday.
2. A Church Blog Will Increase Your Reach
I don’t pastor an enormous church. Each week our sermons are only heard by several dozen people.
Our blog has allowed us to greatly increase the reach of our church.
Our average post reaches 237 people. That is more than we reach on a typical Sunday morning.
I am not saying that reading a blog post has the same value as someone coming to a service. Corporate worship remains an integral part of every church.
But there is great value in reaching people with a blog post. It gives them a bite size sermon that they can take with them and apply to their life. It meets them on their terms.
This can have an enormous impact on your church.
One post that we wrote caught on and received dozens of shares online. Now it ranks highly in searches and generates about 7 new site visitors every day.
We have had several people come to our services and tell us that they had found that particular post. Our blog served as the first step in connecting them to our church.
3. A Church Blog Will Increase Your Ranking On Search Engines
The biggest benefit to our church since we started a blog has been the change in our search engine rankings.
Want to see a movie – Search for it and check the review and show times. Need a new mouse for your computer – Ask google which one is best. New to the area and looking for a church – do a quick online search and see what comes up.
Search engines have become the most important tool for getting the word out there about your church.
Starting a church blog will help you get a higher ranking on search engines.
Here’s why: Search engines try to deliver the most relevant results to the searcher. The content on your site is the primary way that google will judge you. The more good content you have the higher you will rank.
There are other factors tied to search engine algorithms, but nothing is better for your search engine rankings than good content.
Good blog posts get linked to by other blogs. They receive lots of social shares. Google sees all these things and starts to think your church must be very important and will start to send people to your site more and more often.
Our church wrote a blog post about porn, and we saw huge volumes of people searching for porn wind up on our site – some even engaging with our church.
Side note: It is disturbing how many people were searching for kids+porn, but it is the sick that need the doctor right?
Start blogging and I am confident that you will see results in search engines. Not immediately, but do it regularly and you will reap the rewards in due time.
4. A Church Blog Will Challenge Your Congregation
Finally, we have seen that starting a church blog was a great engagement tool for our church family.
People are busier today than ever before. Trying to get everyone to show up to mid-week services or small groups is always a challenge.
I am a pastor, and it is even hard for me to want to go to mid-week events at church.
Writing in a blog has been a great way to provide an extra touch each week.
Where many members won’t get out and make it to a church meeting during the week, they will go on Facebook daily.
We see members connecting and engaging with the content week in and week out. They read and some even leave comments.
We have seen small group style discussions break out online with people who have never been to a small group. The church blog allows us to make that happen.
A word of caution: Comment sections can devolve into unhealthy debate quickly. We recommend that your church keeps the comment approval system on at all times. Don’t allow your church blog to become a place for discord.
How can you start a church blog?
Many church website providers include blogging functionality in their offerings. We would say that is a must have.
WordPress is the best blogging system out there, hands down. We build exclusively on WordPress and strongly recommend that you do the same. It is easy to use and will help you rank better in search engines because WordPress is focused on content first.
Want some help?
Do you want to reach more people? Last year our church saw an increase of 367 visitors by making a few tweaks to how we were doing things online. We would love to help you make some of those changes to increase your reach.
The key’s to create activity and content which will develops