Anyone can start his own blog—but should you?
A blog can be a powerful tool for a Christian writer. It can be a great way to get your message out. You don’t have to get past an editor to do this. You publish your message the way you want it. It doesn’t have to cost anything. And you are the boss.
It also builds platform. If you are going to sell books you’ve written, a blog can be a good way to find people interested in you and your subject matter.
Before you begin, however, I challenge you to answer these questions. They will allow you to focus your blog to make it more effective.
Who am I and what do I want to say?
If you want to appeal to readers other than your close family and friends, you need to figure out who you are and what your core message is. When I recently revamped my website and blog, this was a hard question, but a foundational one. If I just wrote Christian suspense, this would be easy. For 35 years I’ve been writing articles, fiction books, programs, puppet scripts, and ESL Bible studies. I’ve written for many ages about many subjects. How could I design a blog around such a shotgun approach toward writing?
After a great deal of thought I realized that my passion and writings all centered around one word—ministry. I wanted to encourage people in ministry and give tips and resources to help them serve more effectively. I especially want to reach out to people who work in small church ministries like my husband and I do.
Who is my target audience and what do they need?
I want to encourage and help people who write for Christian publication, who are missionaries or are involved in cross-cultural ministries, or who work as leaders in church ministries. I understand these groups because I share common experiences. They need to know that their work is not in vain. Missionaries and church workers are busy and have a constant need for new program material and resources. Writers need to know where to begin in the path toward publication and how to find resources to help them grow in their skills.
What can I give my readers to meet their needs?
I already have a website that provides many of these resources. Now I will add blogs specifically targeted to meet the needs of my target audience.
Answering these questions allowed me to structure everything on my blog and attached website for this specific purpose—to give hope and help in ministry. In this way my blog is not just a platform to sell my books. It is a true ministry to real people. I feel good about that.
If you are considering starting your own blog, I’d encourage you to ask these same questions. The Lord used a session at the Write to Publish Conference by T. Suzanne Eller this year to help me think through these things. I downloaded this as an mp3 file and I would encourage you to do the same. It is called: Promoting You Writing and Message Online—Part 1. You can find it here: http://catapes.com/viewresults.cfm?cid=214