That’s my advice and I’m sticking to it. Don’t. If you’re thinking about starting a blog, just don’t. Lie down in a dark room until the urge passes.
Here’s a news flash—it is much easier to read blogs and think about blogging than to actually blog. (I know you knew that, but it is something I’ve had to think about to see if I really understood it).
So, that urge hasn’t passed and you’re still convinced that you should blog? One question, “why in the world would you want to do that?”
If your answer is “because Ministry X has a cool blog and it is powerful and your Board thinks that you should blog,” I have a couple of suggestions:
1. Get the Board to do the blogging.
2. Find that dark room to lie down in.
But if your answer sounds like:
1. We have a message that is multifaceted that the world must hear.
2. I have an urge to communicate to the world and connect thought leaders to our ministry.
3. It fits our plan and where we’re convinced God is leading this organization.
4. I’m committed and too crazy to give it up, I’m blogging no matter what you say.
Then, maybe you could blog. Not should, but could.
I have to tell you that it’s really hard work. But fun work. And in the less than 30 days we’ve had the Oneicity blog up and running, it’s been a blast. We’ve connected with people we never dreamed of connecting with. We’ve hosted spirited discussions about important issues to our industry. Whew, fun but exhausting.
So, still ready to blog?
Drawn from our current research on successful blogs, we have identified six common denominators for the best blogs in and out of our industry. (If you want to know about the most popular and influential blogs within the secular arena, head over here. There does not appear to be consensus for a list like this for Christian ministry although Out of Ur and The Resurgence are a couple that appear on more than one list.)
Today I’ll talk about the first two denominators. Stay tuned for the others. You won’t want to miss them.
1. Publish Constantly.
All the time. If you want people to read your blog, have something for them to read. Nearly all of the most popular blogs post several times daily. Some post 10-20 times or more every day. 50 blog posts in the last 24 hours wouldn’t shock their readers (YIKES–still want to blog?).
You probably can’t manage multiple posts in a day, but if you publish every Tuesday or every Friday or in some consistent rhythm, then you can still build a following. One of my favorite blogs is published every Monday. I look for it. I know it will be there on Monday.
Whatever the schedule, you have to publish consistently.
Lots of posts help because:
* You get search engine attention
* You gets human attention
So how in the world are you going to do this?
Well that’s where point number two comes in.
2. Have a team.
Almost all of the top blogs are a “team blog” – several sites share the posting duties or allow reader submissions.
Spreading the writing responsibilities among multiple authors means that you’re not the only one struggling to figure out how to do this.
It also enhances the blog’s marketability and virality – 3 or 4 people promoting your blog is better than having to do it all by yourself.
One problem with team blogging is that you have to find a team. Many of the people you’d like to have blogging may still be lying down in their dark room waiting for the urge to blog to pass. So, you may need to run it yourself. Then what?
I can think of a couple of ways you can get around the problem. I’ll tell you more tomorrow.
Meanwhile, why don’t you tell us what blogs you read every week. What’s on your top 10 list?
(photo credits: Amy Gahran, Street_Spirit, and j3net)