Internet Evangelism Idea #3: 10 Tips for Blogging with a Mission

This post is part 3 in the series 20 Ways to Share Your Faith Online leading up to Internet Evangelism Day on April 25. We encourage you to tweet, share, blog & discuss these ideas in your church & circle of influence.

Once the domain of the ubergeek a few years ago, blogging has become mainstream.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 15% of 18-29 year olds blog and 11% of adults over the age of 29 blog.  The same study reports that 52% of teens and 26% of adults comment on other people’s blogs.

Bloggers come in every shape, size, age, ethnicity, and style.  And there are blogs on every topic imaginable.

Some Christians have a passion for blogging directly about evangelism, apologetics, and spiritual questions.  That’s great.  There’s certainly a need for those types of blogs.  But they only appeal to people who are specifically looking for spiritual answers.

Most people who are not Christian are just going about their daily lives.  They’re looking for the topics they’re interested in and looking for people who share those interests.

If you have an interest in anything – from leadership to gardening, travel to autism – blogging is a great way to find common ground with other people who share your interests and connect with them.

That’s what I try to do with my personal blog LiveIntentionally.org, where I blog about leadership, self-improvement, and making the most our one and only life.  Based on my own blogging experience and reading a of blogs that do this much better than I, I’d like to share with you…

10 Tips for Blogging with a Mission

1) Blog about a specific non-Christian topic. A lot of Christians write blogs about church or theology or Christian leadership.  They’re written for Christians and most will not connect with non-Christians.  Another big group of Christian bloggers just write about their life.  That’s nice, but they rarely connect with anyone other than friends, family, and other Christians. Pick a topic you’re passionate about helping people learn & get better at.

2) Mention your faith on your “About” page. You might even include your personal testimony or a link to a page that explains the gospel in a way you particularly like & think your readers will connect with.

3) Blog consistently. The goal is to build relationships.  Relationships require consistent connecting points.  You’ve got to blog at least once a week to keep people coming back regularly.

4) Occasionally weave your faith into your posts. You don’t want to be preachy, but you also want people to see how your faith impacts your day-to-day life.

5) Engage visitors. Ask questions in your posts.  Thank and reply to those who post comments.

6) Demonstrate the fruit of the spirit. One of the most disheartening things to me is when Christians argue, condemn others, make fun of people, or act arrogantly on blogs.  If you blog, people will disagree with you and criticize you.  They may even insult you or try to stir up trouble.  Don’t take the bait.  It is better to show grace than to prove your point or get into a flame war.

7) Be authentic. Don’t try to put yourself out there as a know-it-all or someone who has it all together.  Tell stories.  Admit failures & mistakes. Be funny.  Include pictures.

8 ) Make it about the community, not you. Don’t think of your blog as your platform, where you get to speak your mind.  Serve the community of people who read and participate.  Help them in whatever way you can.

9) Amplify your blog with social media. Twitter & Facebook are great tools for connect with others and helping others connect with you and your blog.  Post links to blog articles on Twitter & Facebook.  And buttons to your blog to make it easy for your visitors to share your blog posts with others.

10) Work to become a better blogger. Practice your writing. Get feedback from readers. Observe what kinds of posts connect with people and which don’t.  Read about blogging.  Read the blogs of successful bloggers.  The better a blogger you become, the more people will want to connect with you and your blog.

Bonus tip: don’t be as long-winded as me. :)

The Internet Evangelism Day website has tons of guidance and examples for bloggers as well.

Do you blog?  Do you do it in a way that enables you to connect with people who are not Christians and share your faith with them?

What other advice would you give someone who wants to connect and share their faith through blogging?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

12 Responses to “Internet Evangelism Idea #3: 10 Tips for Blogging with a Mission”

  1. This is a great list of reccomendations! It seems that these things are all important in the Christian life offline as well. The more that I think about evangelism online, the more I realize that it is really about doing the things that you should normally be doing as a Christian anyway.

    I also love that you encourage people to blog about a non-faith based topic, but to ensure that you are open about your faith there. It reminds me of a story I heard once about a guy who wore his Christian witnessing t-shirts with no results, and the day that he wore (something like) his Harley t-shirt he ended up having the opportunity to talk with someone about his faith after someone asked him about his shirt…

    • Dan, that's a great story.

      I think you're right that the way we should act online – the way we connect with people, build relationships, and talk about God – is essentially common sense and the same as we should act offline. It's amazing, though, how many people act as though the Internet is some sort of relational 5th dimension where the relational laws of the universe no longer apply. Some of the things people say and do online they would never even dream of saying and doing offline.

  2. Excellent post. Thank you!

  3. I like this post…awesome stuff…

  4. I really appreciate this post! I have been thinking about this topic for some time now and this list really helps. I especially like the idea of putting something in the About Page. The other tips show me that I'm on the right path which is encouraging. The goal of my blog is to help others through personal development ideas, blogging tips, an encouraging community, etc. I've gotten good responses from people that they enjoy the positivity of my blog.

    With the topic of personal development it is a great opening to reaching out to others because a lot of the personal development tips out there are easily backed up by scripture. Though many PD bloggers talk about "the universe", "zen", "the secret", etc. it opens up opportunities for me to share how it applies biblically as well.

    Thanks for this thought provoking post!

  5. I struggled with this at first and was hesitant about speaking about my faith. I don't call myself a Faith blogger or a Christian blogger, but I am a Christian who blogs. As I write more and more about my own personal struggles and development, it became impossible not to mention my faith. What I have decided to do is feel free to mention my faith, or my reliance on God, and I even reference scripture, but I try to do it in a non-preachy way.
    My goal is to be relevant to Christians, to be appealing to non-believers or non-practicing believers, and not to be a total turnoff to those who don't believe. I will have to prayerfully consider what my responses to comments may be as I do not want to be offensive, but want to also speak the truth in love. Like you said, it is basically building a relationship just like in person. It takes time to win their trust!
    Great post! Will go take a look at others!

    Bernice http://bernicewood.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/how-t

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