Blogging may be the greatest thing to online networking since email. It gives everyone the platform to talk about whatever and however they want. In the last twelve months, I have seen a huge increase in voices from senior pastors, youth pastors, Christian parents, volunteers of ministries, and everything in between.
With all of these voices speaking, it can get a bit loud and hard to be heard. We want to offer five things that pastors need to AVOID as they market their blog in order to be heard better than they are now (and maybe prevent some headaches in the future).
1. Don’t Market To Everyone
Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone read your blog? Honestly, that’s wishful thinking. We have a natural audience of people who know and love us already. This is where we need to start with knowing who our audience will be. Do not reinvent the wheel, but simply learn from your relationships that you already have about your style people love and why they love that about you. You might already have an online presence elsewhere, via Facebook, forums, or guest posting with other blogs. Look back at that work and find out what people responded to well. All of this will help present the very best you.
2. Don’t Use Every Social Media Network
It is assumed that you are using social media to advertise your blog in some way or another. That in and of itself is a great thing for more than just getting traffic to your blog. But there is a threshold of too much of a good thing. Instead of putting equal effort into several social media networks, find your primary network and invest 75% of your effort into it alone and the other 25% into everything else. In essence, be great at one instead of less than good on many. Have your church’s social media account share it occasionally too.
3. Don’t Focus Solely on Marketing Your Blog
First impressions are everything and so are the second, third, and so on. You need to make your tweets, status updates, and posts as valuable to viewers as possible so that people will continue to subscribe to you. We suggest to achieve this, that 80% of your tweets and status updates be you giving something to your followers and taking something from them only 20% of the time. When we say giving, we are talking about fresh ideas, links to the latest news you care about, or free stuff. Make sure that it benefits your followers. Keep advertisements to buy a book you wrote, reading your latest article, or leave comments on your blog to a minimum. Overdoing the “taking” can come off as spamming and you may lose followers and fans quickly. We would never have a sermon solely focused on coming to church, there needs to be substance to what you say. Same thing with your marketing.
4. Don’t Assume People Can Find You
If you do not know what SEO tools are, you are behind the curve. In essence, you need to make your blog speak the language of search engines, know the hot topics you want to come up, and build how you title images and blog posts around this strategy. Doing so will put you on the front page of those keyword searches on Google and Bing, which can sometimes increase your traffic ten fold! This is not optional for those who want to be seen and heard. How many of your congregation members even know you blog?
5. Don’t Do the Marketing Yourself
We have already talked about knowing your audience so you know who to market towards. These same people may be some of your biggest allies to helping you gain visibility on social networks, other blogging spheres, and word-of-mouth. They already have an established audience to share your website. The best people are friends, bloggers who you have guest posted for, and if possible, even competitors who write on the same topics as you do. If you feel comfortable, put it in your bulletin but do not put it in your sermon. (Too tacky and self-serving)
Marketing is much more than just sharing a link. You need to network, engage your audience, and put the necessary effort in to reach the people who will read your site.
What other ideas would you put that are marketing no-no’s?