Who, me? Blog?

I’m in touch with people every day who want to have custom websites of their own. Part of my job is to find out more about a client’s proposed website project and then make recommendations. The conversation often goes like this: 

Me: “So now that we know you’re interested in reaching out to the community through your website, how do you feel about adding a blog?” 

Joe Client: “A blog? What’s a blog?” 

Me: “Blog is short for ‘web log.’ Basically it’s an online journal but it can be much more than that. You post your thoughts, news, ideas and more. Then you give people a chance to comment on what you write; you know, give feedback. Having current, relevant content on your site is a great way to bring people back, and–” 

Joe Client (interrupting): “No, I don’t want that. I don’t want people to be able to comment on my site.” 

And so it goes, with me trying my best to explain the benefits of having a blog while the customer, who has never seen a blog before, wonders why I’m making such a big deal about it.  

Why blog? 

A better question might be, “Why not?” Take a look at some of these examples and you’ll immediately see just a few of the varied reasons behind them.  

  • Pastor’s blog.  Pastor Ben Arment is able to incorporate news about his church along with family photos and his own personal reflections. Makes him seem very “for real,” doesn’t it? I’m sure he appreciates the feedback he receives from his readers, too.
  • Hurricane Katrina Relief.  My church, Cypress Meadows Community Church, used this blog to share news from the field during hurricane relief efforts. The folks back home felt included and were able to cheer the team on. Paul Steinbrueck of OCC took part in this outreach. See if you can spot him in the photos, and read some of his input.
  • Spiritual accountability.  This blog was designed by its author for “a challenge and accountability … during the season of Lent.” He invites people to join him in the challenge.
  • Evangelism.  Here, an evangelical team reports on their work in the community. Perhaps you would want to create a blog that actually engages spiritual seekers in thought and conversation.
  • Hobbies.  This lady likes to cook, so she shares recipes online. She hopes people will try her ideas and comment on them. For her, cooking — and blogging — are a lot of fun!

Now look at your own life, your own relational world, and the things that are important to you. You’re sure to discover something worth blogging about. Are you up to the challenge? Read on…

In the blog house. 

So let’s make a case for blogging. Try our short quiz to see if it’s right for you:

  • Do you enjoy writing?
  • Do you have something unique to say?
  • Are you committed to writing regularly?
  • Is there a specific audience that you would like to help educate, inform or enlighten?
  • Are you about to embark on a trip, mission, or project for which people may want regular updates?
  • Do you have an interest in common with others, such as a hobby, occupation, or spiritual study?
  • Do you read the editorials in the newspaper and think, “Well somebody should have said…” or “That’s right, tell that senator what you think!” or “Right on, that’s how I feel about it!”

Scoring. If you said yes to:

1-2 questions – You should definitely consider blogging!
3-4 questions – What? You’re not blogging already?
5-6 questions – It’s an emergency! Get a blog NOW!
All 7 questions – Shouldn’t you be writing this article??

Going to the blogs.

The best way to learn more about blogs is to take the plunge. That’s right, just jump right in. Got a computer with an Internet connection? Good. You’ve already paid all the expenses required for having a blog.  

The most popular site offering free blogs is http://blogger.com/.  A great Christian site that offers free blogs is http://e-church.com/. If you already have a website, you may be able to install a blog in your hosting account.  For example, OurChurch.Com members with a Bronze package or better can install the very same blog program we use, WordPress, with just a few clicks in the Fantastico section of the cPanel control panel.  WordPress has wonderful community support where you can ask questions and meet other bloggers.

Leaving blog prints. 

Once you have a blog up and running and you’ve explored all of its many possibilities, you can start networking with your fellow bloggers and share information among each other. Visit other people’s blogs and comment on them. To find them, use Google’s blog search or Technorati.com.  Go to message boards and tell people about your blog.

Every time you leave information, be sure and provide a link back to your blog. But be a nice blogger. Don’t just put links on other people’s sites, and don’t use them for advertising products. Provide some useful information that will be a blessing to others. 

Keep your blog updated with relevant, useful information and before long, people will start showing an interest and add comments. Then they will tell others about you in their blogs! 

Puttin’ on the blog!

You can start blogging right now. That’s right. Simply leave a comment here. Read what others have written, too. See? It’s easy to be a blogger!

In His Service,
Pam Seibert
OurChurch.Com

Pam has been providing support and website development at OurChurch.Com since 2003. She and her husband Ed have two grown children and one grandchild. Pam is a small group leader in her church and volunteers with the Extension Ministry. She enjoys writing and music. Her children's songs have been published and distributed nationally for use in a vacation Bible school curriculum.

21 Responses to “Who, me? Blog?”

  1. Hi Pam,

    I have two web sites that I believe would benefit from adding BLOG capabilities to them: http://www.World-Christian-Ministries.com and http://www.Bob-Ford-Memorial.com

    What do I need to do to accomplish this?

    Appreciate your help.

    God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

    Bill Gray

  2. I have the “Watchman Prophecy Alert News at http://www.wingswatchman.org and within this web site is the Watchman Prophecy blog at http://www.wingswatchman.org/WordPress.

    I recommend highly the use of blogs for believers to get the Word and testimony out….God bless..

    Ev. Dana G Smith…Editor, Publisher, Watchman…Wings Ministries

  3. Hey, we’ve got a bunch of blogs that are updated on a regular basis and show up all over Google, etc., opening doors for Christ. http://www.infuzemag.com Come and join us!

  4. Hi Bill,

    It’s great that you’re catching the blog bug! In my article I mention several ways to get started. One is to install an available blog such as WordPress into your hosting account through your web host control panel (e.g., cPanel with Fantastico). Since you are an OCC customer, that would mean the Bronze package or better. Another way to go is to use a free site such as http://e-church.com or http://blogger.com and simply follow their instructions. Then create a link to your blog from your own site and vice-versa.

    I hope this helps! Thanks for writing.
    Pam

  5. Our goal is to propagate the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ without charge

  6. YES, I WOULD ENJOY STARTING A BLOG. WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO HAVE IT ON

    MY OURCHURCH.COM SITE i AM HOSTING?

    SINCERELY, MARIE C. LARACY

  7. Hi Marie,

    We do not have a blog feature built into our Beacon web builder yet, but as Pam wrote in the article:

    “OurChurch.Com members with a Bronze package or better can install the very same blog program we use, WordPress, with just a few clicks in the Fantastico section of the cPanel control panel. WordPress has wonderful community support where you can ask questions and meet other bloggers.”

    - Paul

  8. A very nice article you guys. I think many churches have failed to see the power of the internet in general, and to them “blog” probably sounds like a sound effect for someone throwing up. However, for those who have used blogs, we quickly find that they are a great communication tool that is very personal in nature.

    I know I’m a big proponent of blogs and interactive websites, and I think many churches are falling further behind the curve…quickly. We need to work together to show others the benefits of these new tools!

  9. Hi Greg,

    That’s exactly what we have in mind. We’re hoping this place can become a resource for helping Christians reach out to the world in an excellent way for our most excellent God.

    BTW, I agree, “blog” is such a funny word. Hence my “blog rhymes with dog” subtitles! (Hey, it was fun.)

    Thanks for writing and also for your kind comments.
    Pam

  10. Thank you Paul for contacting me today. You are off to an outstanding start here. I will get back to you shortly,

    Scott Reese

    http://bridgesites.org

    http://fishblog.org

  11. Wow! I am glad to know “Our Church” now has blogging available.

    I have been blogging for over a year now. I started out with a simple current events blog regarding the ministry. More recently, I started a “reality blog” about the ups and downs of missionary life. The blog is also devoted to the necessity of a deep intimacy with our Heavenly Father through regular prayer. Initially, I named it, “Deep Calling To Deep.” More recently, I named it “Highways and Byways.”

    Since starting the reality blog, the hits on my site have more than doubled!

    I hope to be blogging on my Our Church site very soon.

    Be blessed!

    Cathy Kerley Post

    http://freebooks4.tripod.com/missionarylife

    http://www.ourchurch.com/member/m/miamia

  12. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
    Samson–he brought the house down.

  13. Anybody know how we get an RSS feed for this blog? I am not very tech savvy and would really like to get updated info on this blog. Thanks!

  14. Okay, I did it!

    I revved up FaNTASTICO and after 3 abortive attempts I started a blog!

    After posting, I wondered what the difference was from my web pages…seems like I have 48 pages of BLOG on my site!

    Comments?

  15. I would like to blog but don’t know if I will be available to change the text every day!!! Will try it.

  16. Richard, a blog does not have to be updated every day. Some people/organizations post blog articles every day, others once a week, others even less. I would suggest you familiarize yourself by reading several blogs first, and then start commenting on blogs, before starting a blog yourself. It will help you gain an understanding of what makes a good blog good.

  17. This is a great article, and expresses what I try to do on my blog over at http://www.garymcmurray.blogspot.com – I share sermons, thoughts from Bible studies, photos of my travels, random news and fun items. Myself and fellow student ministers have also set up http://allthescriptures.blogspot.com to allow us to publish and share sermons.

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