You’ve probably read that blogging is a great way to grow your church, but how do you grow your church’s blog? Sadly, churches may skip blogging simply because they think it’s too difficult to get it noticed.
Growing your blog is far easier than you think. It just involves getting the word out, much like you do when it comes to church events.
The best part is once you start building a following on your blog, readers handle most of the marketing for you. Then, you get even more traffic, which leads to overall church growth, both online and off.
1. Ask Members For Personal Stories
More than anything, people want to read something they can relate to. Let your members help grow your church’s blog by contributing personal stories. These can cover a wide range of topics as long as they’re related to the church, God or Christianity. Some possible stories you might receive include:
- Why someone sought out God
- How the church helped them turn their lives around
- How prayer helped people
- Using faith to get through a terrible loss
- The benefits of having a church family
- Lessons learned through volunteering
Sometimes, people are either looking for a story similar to their own or something to inspire them. Both make your church and blog seem much more welcoming.
While every blog post doesn’t have to be a personal story, once a week or every few weeks is a great idea and takes some of the content creation pressure off of you.
2. Buy Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are a great way to quickly grow your church’s blog. Since the organic reach on Facebook pages isn’t great, using ads to promote some of your blog posts is a good way to reach people who may be interested. The most important thing to remember is to pick your target audience carefully so you’re not wasting your ad dollars.
A common myth is you have to be a large church to have budget big enough for Facebook ads. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While spending more may expand your reach, you can reach hundreds or thousands of people for $5 to $10 per week.
Also, remember that as you grow your blog, you can also increase online tithing, which counters what you spend on marketing.
3. Use Google Ads
Imagine how quickly your church’s blog would grow if you have $10,000 per month to spend on ads. Google wants to help you out with that. In fact, Google provides special ad grants to nonprofits that meet certain criteria. We’ve provided a guide on everything you need to know about the program.
As a quick summary, as long as you’re a nonprofit that meets the program’s rules, you receive $10,000 in ad credits for Google each month. You have to spend the full amount, but don’t worry, Google can automate much of the process for you until you learn to customize your ad campaigns.
Use your ad credits to promote your church’s blog. Soon, your blog’s traffic increases and you not only get traffic from ads but from organic searches as well.
4. Send Out Links In Your Newsletter
If you have a church newsletter and subscribers, you already have a great way to get the word out about your latest blog posts. Link to them in your newsletter.
If you have a print newsletter, remind readers to check out your church’s blog. Highlight something from a recent post. If it’s a monthly newsletter, highlight tidbits from several posts.
You don’t have to market your blog online only. You can even remind your members to visit your church’s blog to stay connected all week long.
5. Share On Social Media
This is often the very first method church’s, individuals and businesses use to help grow their blogs. It’s a good strategy too.
Influencer Marketing Hub has some shocking infographics and statistics that show how popular social media has become. The site lists multiple networks, so you can easily compare. You’ll see that Facebook and Youtube each have over two billion users, while Instagram has over one billion. While there is obviously some overlap, sharing your posts on Facebook alone is a major opportunity.
Dustin Stout also has some must-see social media statistics, which also lists monthly active users, so you know just how active members are.
You don’t have to use every social network. One or two is fine. Ideally, use the networks your church members are most active on so they can share your posts.
6. Maintain A Steady Stream Of Content
At first, this one might not seem like the easiest way to grow your church’s blog, but it’s one of the most effective, especially long-term. You’ll need a steady stream of content to keep your blog active. Even if you’re lucky enough to have an early viral post, your blog won’t grow if you don’t keep posting new content.
Search engines see new blog content as valuable site updates. They also love fresh content. If you’re using a few select keywords (no keyword stuffing or that could get you punished), people will start finding your blog posts.
It may take a few months to really start seeing results as the search engine indexing process isn’t always the fastest. However, you will get there.
Before you get too excited, you can’t just push out tons of content without a thought. A steady stream can mean anything from one post a month to a post every day. But, whatever you post needs to be high-quality and useful to the reader.
It’s recommended to post 3-4 times weekly to increase traffic faster. If you don’t mind taking it a little slower, 1-2 times a week works well. The latter is usually best so you don’t burn out, especially at first or if you’re the only person writing.
One other thing to consider is the blog post length. If you’re posting lengthy posts, you’ll likely post less often. We’ll cover more on length in just a moment.
7. Recruit Several Volunteers
If you want to grow your church’s blog quickly, you’ll want to post more often. Recruit several volunteers to help out. They can handle writing certain types of posts, generating content ideas, sharing the posts, editing posts or anything else you need.
Blogging is far less intimidating when you’re not doing it alone. Having a team makes it much easier. If you’re asking volunteers to write the posts, take the time to read over them before they go live, especially at first. You don’t want a volunteer saying something offensive or too controversial that doesn’t reflect your church’s values.
8. Encourage Discussion
You’ve just written a great blog post. What next? Ask your readers a question. Give them a reason to comment. While you’ll definitely want to put a spam filter in place and moderate the comments, having a comment section gets people to start talking and interacting with each other.
As you gain regular readers, you build an entire church community around your blog, which brings people back. Plus, many readers enjoy reading comments to see what other people think.
By asking your readers to get involved, you’re showing that you value them. Plus, you get useful feedback and ideas to use for future posts.
9. Give People A Reason To Return
If you’re starting to get organic traffic from search engines or social media, your work is half done. The same is true if your traffic is coming from ads.
The second step is to give people a reason to return. Is the content you’re writing useful? Is it relatable? If your content is engaging, people won’t want to come back to read more. While every post won’t be a hit with every reader, the idea is to provide useful content that helps or inspires the reader in some way.
If the majority of your posts are general church announcements or event invitations, people won’t return. Your members won’t even be that interested.
Instead, provide other types of content too. And, post on a regular schedule if possible. If you post regularly, you’ll give people a reason to keep coming back.
10. Know What Makes A Great Blog Post
Content is at the core of any great blogging strategy. Writing a great blog post continues to help your blog grow. It’ll increase organic traffic, social shares and comments. The big question is what makes a great blog post.
First, you have to choose a topic people are interested in. A few ways to do this include:
- Ask your members what they’d like to see
- Pick topics from your sermon
- Look at current events
- Research Christian trends on social media
- Look at what other churches and Christian leaders are talking about
- Do keyword research
Next, decide how long you want the post to be. While longer posts, usually over 1,500 words, perform better overall, length doesn’t matter nearly as much as quality. If you write 5,000 words of fluff or 500 words of highly useful content, the latter will perform better. So, pick a length that works well for you and your topic. Try to aim for over 300 words, though.
The next two things to think about are the headline and the feature image. You can also add other images, which you should consider for longer posts. CoScheduler’s Headline Analyzer tool is a free way to improve your blog titles.
The final thing is to ensure it’s easy to read. Use short paragraphs. Break up sections with headers, such as H2 or H4. The easier your post is to scan, the better it’ll perform.
To really master this, you may want to check out HubSpot’s guide to the perfect blog post.
11. Avoid Getting Too Personal Or Controversial
It’s easy to get too passionate in your blog posts. However, try to avoid airing out any dirty laundry about yourself or your church. Also, skip highly controversial topics, such as politics. You want your church blog to be a friendly place that inspires people to think, but you don’t want to make it a place that regularly starts fights.
While you can’t avoid controversy all the time, ensure your blog is providing an unbiased opinion that uses scripture to back your points.
12. Learn From Other Churches
Churches have been blogging for years. Not sure where to start? Grow your church’s blog quicker by learning from other churches. Pay attention to blog posts Christian leaders are sharing and talking about.
Being active on social media as an individual and/or church leader helps you gain insight into how other churches are blogging and what topics perform best. Remember, you can reach out and ask for advice.
13. Go Beyond Your Sermons
You should consider blogging about your sermons. Go more in-depth on a particular point or address questions that members might have had.
However, go beyond your sermons. If your blog posts are just recaps of your sermons, your blog might not perform well. This is especially true if your sermons are on your site too.
Vary your topics. You can do a recap or deeper dive into your sermon, but talk about other issues too.
14. Guest Blog
If your church doesn’t have much of an online presence, it may seem like it takes forever to grow your church’s blog. A popular strategy is to start with another blog’s audience.
Guest blogging means you post great content on another blog with a similar audience to yours. You’ll need to reach out to the site owner, introduce yourself, pitch yourself and get permission first.
The benefit is you link back to your church’s blog. Just remember your guest post shouldn’t be blatant promotion. Focus just on providing useful content to the other blog’s audience. Quick Sprout has an amazing guide on finding guest blog opportunities.
15. Ask Christian Leaders To Guest Blog
Guest blogging works both ways, though. Is there a Christian leader that always puts out engaging content you love? Ask if they’d be willing to do a post for your church. You could even just network with other churches and guest blog for each other. By getting fresh voices, you give your blog a better chance of success.
An amazing blog starts with a great church website. See how our church website services help you build your online presence faster.
Is it just me or are the best churches have good online presence like online sermons and podcasts? I have to say that they are really making good use of technology to reach their church members and have a more global reach more than before!
Very helpful! We have just started a church blog, but we do not have metrics to track who is reading it. Obviously, we need to be in touch with the web designer for this. I have been talking to the pastor this week about growing our readership. I write the blog presently, but I would love other members to come along and join me.
That’s great Linda! Blogging has a snowball effect. The results will grow over time.