I have gotten some questions for help from newer Christian bloggers.
“Can you give me some tips?”
I’ve noticed two common things with a number of newer Christian bloggers, which is what inspired today’s post.
First, many of these bloggers plan to write solely devotional or Bible study type posts. Second, many of these bloggers are extremely scholarly in Christian studies/theology. This is awesome, there is nothing wrong with that.
I’m open when bloggers ask for tips for their blog. My process is always the same. I will go to their site and scroll through their posts. 95% of the time when I look at new Christian blogs, they are purely focused on giving the audience scripture either through devotionals or Bible studies. That in itself is not the problem. It is how the posts are written. Dry. Non-personal. Lecturing.
These all turn me away as a reader.
Why? Connection. The definition of “blog” says a personal website or webpage.
If a blogger is only writing through scripture with explanations, very straightforward…and that’s it, it’s not really personal. Most people will not feel engaged and turn away.
There’s nothing wrong with having a straightforward study but it is important to be personal and engaging. If we can’t relate to others, our message will not be listened to.
I think newer Christian bloggers (especially those with degrees, I’ve noticed) may be more accustomed to writing a particular way. Often times, this version of writing is extremely essay-like, straightforward, preachy, and not personal at all.
Posts of this nature, depending on the topic, can come off very accusative.
Many bloggers struggle with always using the word “you”.
Proper communication is used with “I feel” not “You did this!” The more we use the word “you” the easier it is for us to sound passive aggressive and accusative to our audience. As a Christian blogger, it is not so much about “I feel” versus “we.” We are the body of Christ. We are all in this together. We need to stay accountable to that.
When discussing sin and struggling with the flesh, or anything especially in which a person can fall, include yourself. We are not separate from falling in sin or being tempted. Preachy and lecturing posts often feel isolating and separating. The speaker, the blogger, sounds perfect while not sharing any personal stories or connections to the material he or she is presenting. I’ll ask you as a reader, how do you feel when someone is only speaking AT you? Like their finger is constantly pointing at you from a high pedestal.
Keep that perspective for your audience.
If we do not sound human (flawed) and we sound more like a book or a sermon, most likely, we will lose people.
Just to show you what I mean cause I just rewrote the above sentence, this is what it originally read, “If you do not sound human and more like a book or a sermon, most likely, you will lose people.” See the difference in how it sounds?
A Christian blog can absolutely only be Bible studies or devotionals. But make sure there is a personal connection that flows throughout. Do not just throw in a paragraph of personal connection, or a few scattered sentences as a framework around the posts. It’s obvious and can feel spotty.
Our posts need to come from a personal place. Our audience does not care about how much we know. They are not our students. How we word our posts reflects how we look at our audience and how our readers, in turn, feel about that reflection.
Having knowledge does not make us a good teacher. Notice in scripture, knowledge, and teaching are two separate gifts. I think sometimes, and this is my opinion, that people get caught up in everything they know and they want the knowledge itself or “success” (awards, labels, gifts, degrees) to speak for them. “This is why you should listen to me because I know what I am talking about.”
That’s not teaching.
We are not entitled to an audience or people listening to us just because we know stuff.
Jesus knew exactly what He was talking about. But how did He teach?
He got down to the level His audience was on. Christ was willing to explain and break down the truth.
Even if our audience can only take small pieces out of what we are saying, that’s important. Something else to remember, people did not follow Christ simply because He taught. He was a good Teacher because of everything about Him. He was relatable. His presence alone drew people in. His love for God and people made them stay.
Good teachers connect with their audience. They are personal. They are willing to admit struggles. They are Christlike and they show love in everything. Christian bloggers are not writing papers for professors. Our audience is not meant to edit and marvel at what we know. Our audience needs to be encouraged. Our audience needs to be challenged. They need to see why God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are important. They need to know why what we are saying is important to us.
Why This Matters
This is beyond comments, followers, and numbers. It is about God and reaching His people. It is about showing the world who Jesus is. Honestly, it makes me sick to my stomach when new Christian bloggers ask me about tips for stats. That’s not our focus cause that’s a worldly view and if we are focused IN THE BEGINNING with the temptation of numbers, our heart is not in the right place. We need to check the state of our heart daily.
I see so many Christian bloggers share that they struggle to be personal. I don’t know if it is because we live in a fake world. Everyone wants to focus on good, positive, and “perfect” vibes. That’s not reality.
We can be awkward. We can be an introvert. But as a blogger, it’s in the name, we can absolutely be personal. My first post concluded how God gave me the pen to be my Aaron.
Gradually, God has used blogging to help me vocalize better to the people around me in my life. He will use you. He will use you with the gifts you are equipped with. And He can use you in areas you are not equipped with. Whatever gifts you have REFINE! DO NOT REMAIN SETTLED! Grow always with the gifts God has given you.
It is not always about having the skills or even knowledge. The world may argue against this, but God won’t. Jesus chose men who originally had no skills or knowledge. Things that He would equip them with later.
It is about heart.
Is your heart for Christ when you blog?
Because that alone is our starting point…
He needs to be our core.
How has God led you on your blogging journey?
For more Christian blogger topics check out previous posts
Monthly Scripture – (NIV) Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
*** Community Prayers | October ’18 – Join Me In Praying For Each Other And If You Have A Request To Add Let Me Know.
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath