Anyone who preaches typically has a lot to say. You have more to say than you have time to communicate on Sunday morning. This is why so many preachers preach too long. But what you have to say is important. And, believe it or not, there’s a lot of people, beginning with those in your local church, who want to know what you have to say about a lot of things. You’re a spiritual leader in their lives and your thoughts, experiences, and opinions matter to them.
This is why you should blog. This is why I blog.
In my last post I shared my journey of blogging for one year. This post will explore two ways blogging can enhance your ministry. Then, I want to give you some simple steps to get started setting up your blog and writing your first post.
1. Blogging increases your influence and kingdom impact.
There are people who would read your blog because you wrote it. There are others who currently don’t know you who would find you, appreciate your writing and follow you if you started blogging.
I’ve met and interacted with so many people as a result of startingPreachingDonkey.com. These are relationships I never would have had without it.
Could blogging increase your kingdom impact simply by giving you more people to share your message with? I think so.
2. Blogging helps solidify your thoughts, experiences and journey as a pastor.
Nothing helps me understand a text better than preaching it. You’ve experienced this too. When you’ve studied a passage, formed it into a sermon and preached on it; you know it. You know it so well you’ll never forget it. In the same way, blogging solidifies your thoughts, experiences, and journey as a pastor. You learn so much from formulating thoughts and writing them down for others to read.
When I started this blog I had a few ideas about preaching and how preachers could become better communicators. As I began writing every week I realized that my own ideas about preaching became more precise and thorough. Taking my thoughts and making them helpful to others in written form made them more helpful to me.
Your experiences, thoughts, struggles, challenges and successes are worth sharing. Articulating your journey is not only helpful to your readers but to you as well.
How to get started
When I began blogging I knew very little, but I have learned a lot along the way. I’ll share with you what you need to know to get started.
Decide on a niche. The first blog I had was about everything which means it was about nothing. I was not specific in my aim so there was no reason to read my blog. Preaching Donkey has been completely different. It is VERY specific. I write for pastors who preach and who want to communicate better. When I write I know exactly whom I’m writing for. You should decide what your blog will be about and whom it will be for.
Set up your blog. Setting up your blog doesn’t have to be confusing or complicated. There are a few steps involved.
- Pick a name. What will your blog be called? You want a name that is memorable and easy to spell. Preaching Donkey is weird, but memorable. I wanted a different, memorable name.
- Choose a platform. I use WordPress.org which is the industry standard for blogging. Since it is self-hosted, it gives you the most control over the content, layout and design.
- Self-host or free? When I first started blogging I went with a free option: Blogger. This was okay for a while when I wasn’t very consistent or serious about building an audience. When I started Preaching Donkey I decided to self-host which was the best possible choice. I use Blue Host which is inexpensive ($3.95/month right now). It’s incredibly simple to set up and works seamlessly with WordPress. The customer service is outstanding and they provide tutorials to help you get started. Blue Host is unlimited so you don’t have to worry about running out of space. If you go the route of self-hosting I would highly recommend Blue Host. I believe in their product so much that I became an affiliate for them. If you set up using Blue Host and have questions or need help just let me know.
Start Writing and sharing. This is the fun part. Write your first post and start sharing it.
What other questions do you have about blogging? To my fellow bloggers, what else would you add? Let us all know in the comments if you start a blog and where we can find it.