Your blog might be filled with super content, but it will end up flying under the radar if you don't promote it! (See what I did there? Punny!)
If you’re worried no one is reading, be patient. This doesn’t point to terrible writing or boring content. It takes time to gain traffic and readers. But don’t just twiddle your thumbs waiting for readers! Actively promote and advertise your posts to make your blog grow.
Promotion is crucial to growing your blog and its audience. Here are seven ways you can grow the audience of your blog.
1. Tell your members
Mention it during worship announcements or put a blurb in the weekly bulletin or newsletter. Try not to be shy or puff yourself up—you’re writing to expand your ministry, not your ego!
Here’s an example of what you could put in your bulletin to focus on the content, not the writer:
Pastor ___________ has started a blog! He’ll post his weekly sermons as well as theology-supported posts on hot-topic issues. Check out yourblognamehere.com and share his posts with your friends as we expand our ministry online!
2. Tell your friends and colleagues
If you don’t tell the people who are outside the reach of your regular church communications, they won’t know it exists! No need to send spam emails to your whole contact list; just email or share the link with close contacts who would find value in your blog and ask them to check it out.
3. Actively promote on social media
Does your church have a Facebook page or Twitter account? (They should!) Use these to share a link to each new blog post.
Share the link on your personal social media accounts as well. The more shares, the more people will read what you write! If your church doesn’t actively use social media, check out our blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see how your church can reap the benefits of social networking.
Don’t be afraid to promote a new post a few days or even weeks in a row to gently remind readers to like and share it on their own pages! At Concordia Technology Solutions, our general rule of thumb is one Facebook post and four Tweets per blog post.
To make your life easier, you can schedule social media posts ahead of time, using different online programs; check out our blog post on our top picks for social media scheduling programs.
4. Connect your blog with other blogs
This common method will help your readership grow. Plus, reading other pastors’ blogs will not only inspire you to keep writing, but it will also allow you to interact with them in the comments section. Leave a comment or ask a question, and then put your blog link below that so they can connect with you if they want.
5. Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to get found
SEO is a beautiful (albeit complicated) thing. SEO looks at your blog post and determines where it falls in the rankings of searches based on factors like links, titles, and image alt text.
Moz has a wonderfully informative, albeit lengthy, The Beginners Guide to SEO, and Justin Smith runs the website Church SEO, which offers some great resources for managing a church website (or blog!). Check out this shorter lesson in SEO by The Business Insider.
6. Ask for feedback
Ask your friends, elders, colleagues—whoever you can think of!—to read older blog posts and give feedback. Ask them to be brutally honest, and be prepared to take the criticism. If they liked a post, ask why. If they fell asleep, ask why! Keep asking why until you find a central, identifiable problem you can work to solve.
7. Revisit your mission statement and target demographic
Is your purpose the same? Are your posts still relevant to your audience? Gear your posts toward those who are going to read it.
Remember that your younger members, millennials, are more inclined to read a blog than your eighty-year-old members. If you feel nervous about reaching out to millennials, read our blog post on how to connect with them online.
Keep writing—these things take time. You can’t expect a large following after just a month or two! Promote old blog posts as they become relevant again. Did you write a post six months ago on something in the news today? Promote it again!
This blog post is an excerpt from our ebook “Why Pastors Should Blog.” Download the free ebook by clicking the button below!