Blogging Tips

 

Feb

03

2014

Trevin Wax|12:10 am CT

4 Things a Pastor Should Consider Before Engaging Social Media

social-media-300x199[1] - CopySocial media is changing the way we communicate.

Through the proliferation of personal and professional blogs, Twitter accounts, and Facebook pages, news now travels faster and wider than ever before. People can share the latest headline, their favorite recipe, their most passionate cause, or their most intimate feelings.

Pastors and Social Media

I talk to pastors who feel overwhelmed by the social media revolution and don’t know where to start.

My wife is on Facebook. Isn’t that enough?

Should I tweet? I don’t know what that’s all about and I’m not sure I need to.

I don’t like to write. I don’t want to blog. It takes enough time just to prepare a sermon outline once a week.

I want to encourage pastors to go ahead and jump into the world of social media, but I’d also like to offer some words of caution.

1. Engaging in social media is speaking the language of the culture of you want to reach.

Here’s the truth: people are communicating through Tweets, Facebook, and blogs. I recommend pastors join Facebook and Twitter in order to be involved in the conversations of their people.

In a recent podcast, Thom Rainer challenged pastors to engage in social media as a way of “speaking the language” of the culture. 

I look at social media positively… I want to take social media and continue to learn that “foreign language” so I can communicate better and connect better.

Missionaries learn the language of the people around them so they can communicate the gospel and connect with the people they are trying to reach. In the same way, pastors should engage social media as part of their overall communication and connection strategy.

One of the best ways to have an ongoing dialogue with your congregation than through social media.

2. Your social media presence may become the front door of your church.

It’s been said that the front door of your church is no longer the physical door but your church’s website. Your website communicates who you are and what you aspire to be. Younger people may even listen to your sermon podcasts before they ever visit your church.

If the front door of the church is your website, then a pastor’s social media presence matters. The millennial generation is well acquainted with looking up strangers (or “friends of friends”) on Facebook or Twitter to see what they’re all about. For this reason, pastors should be cautious about what they say or share through social media.

I once read a blog post from a pastor pushing for mandatory English lessons so “the Hispanics can hear the gospel.” Anyone looking for a church with a missionary posture (in which we’d learn the language of the people we hope to reach) would be unlikely to visit that church – not because of the church itself, but because of the pastor’s social media presence.

So be careful. If your Facebook page features a smattering of right-wing or left-wing quotes, you may give the impression that you are more passionate about a particular kind of politics than you are passionate about the kingdom. You are being vetted, pastor. Be aware.

3. The immediacy of social media is dangerous.

In the heat of the moment, it is easy to say things you wish you could take back. Never has it been easier to have your words broadcast to the world. I’ve seen pastors embarrass themselves through comments they’ve made on a blog, a rant they posted on Facebook, or an insensitive remark on Twitter.

Remember this: your social media presence has the potential to increase and build your reputation. It also has the potential to chip away at your reputation and undercut your ministry.

Pause before you post. Reflect before broadcasting all your thoughts on Facebook. Take time before you tweet.

4. Social media takes time and attention.

Some pastors may hear my encouragement to engage in social media and then jump in without much thought. Don’t. Better to have no social media presence than to be sloppy in your handling of this tool of communication.

Social media takes time and attention. Be strategic. Don’t take it lightly.

The pastors who do well on social media consider the benefits and strategically align their online presence with their ministry goals.

You are a pastor everywhere you go. You are a pastor every time you post. So give your presence the time and attention it deserves.

 
 

Feb

01

2012

Trevin Wax|3:42 am CT

The State of Social Media: A Conversation with Justin Wise

For about a year now, I’ve been enjoying the social media insights of Justin Wise. Justin is the social media director for Monk Development, an Internet solutions company. He also co-directs the Center for Church Communication. He blogs about social media strategy, personal productivity, lifestyle design, and entrepreneurship. Today, he’s joining me for a conversation about the future of social media.

Trevin Wax: Justin, what do you think is the next big shift coming in how social media is used by participants?

Justin Wise: I believe that social media will continue to integrate more deeply into the minutiae of everyday life. Social will find its way into what we eat, what we wear, where we are (and where we’re going to be), what we’re listening to. Social is and will continue to be everywhere.

When I say “social,” I really mean two things:

  1. The ability to share
  2. The ability to interact

Share and interact. We want the ability to tell people, namely our friends and family, what we’re doing/eating/going to/listening to. We share, much in the same way we’d tell a friend or spouse over dinner, what our day was like. Now we can share socially and experience feedback in real-time, regardless of where our “conversation partners” are located.

Similarly, we also want the ability to see what others are doing. We want to interact with others. It’s an in-built human desire, isn’t it? The relational convenience that social affords us gives us the ability to participate in the lives of people we care about. We want to share experiences with them. Social allows us to do this.

My favorite example of this is the Nike+ running app for iPhone or iPod touch. I use this app for every run I complete, and it’s been astounding to see the results. You can connect the app to your Facebook profile, and your friends can “cheer” you on by commenting on the status update the app posts whenever you start a workout. I hear these virtual “cheers” in my headphones as I’m running. Similarly, I can post the stats from my run across social networks and challenge other runners to a timed race. I’ve heard everything from “You run a lot!” to “I’m going to start running because of you.” Social is actually affecting the real-world lives of people that are sometimes continents away. That fascinates me.

Trevin Wax:  How do you see businesses, ministries, and blogs using social media as part of their strategy?

Justin Wise: If you asked 100 different people this question, you’d get 100 different responses. In the same way that organizations adopted the telephone, they will have to adopt social. Simply put, social will continue to develop and prove itself as a viable, must-have strategy building block.

This, hopefully, isn’t breaking news. We’ve all experienced the impact of social, whether a small business owner, megachurch pastor, or Fortune 500 company. Everyone has been impacted by social. I see this when I talk to small-town churches who, quite bewilderedly, say something to the effect of “We know social media are important, but we have no idea where to start!” This is not an uncommon reaction.

That said, organizations will build social into their structural fabric by resourcing social media as a department. In the same way that organizations have communications, PR, legal, and accounting departments, they’ll have social media departments.

Brian Solis says that we’re about the enter Social Media 2.0. Much like Web 2.0, culture reached a saturation point with the Web, and innovators started doing what they do best…innovate. We’re starting to reach critical mass with Social Media 1.0, where literally everyone and their grandmother are using social media in some fashion.

Sort of like when the printing press started being used for more than just the mass-printing of books, artistry will begin to find its way into social. That’s when we’ll see beautiful social and technological innovations that are fueled with the power of social connectivity.

Trevin Wax: For many years, I heard social media gurus saying that social media (from a business standpoint) was all about the conversation. You’re not using it right if you’re not heavily engaged in the conversation across social media platforms. I’ve always scratched my head at that kind of talk because – in my case, at least – I always felt like the people who read my blog and follow me on Twitter were doing so because of the content I was providing, not just the conversational aspect. It was passing on good content through my daily link-posts or (hopefully) crafting interesting articles for the main page that were driving the social media engine. A few months ago, I saw that other social media people were now talking more about content creation and content curation as the heart of social media strategy. What do you make of this shift?

Justin Wise: “Engaging in the conversation” is a waste of time. While that may seem like an overstatement, it’s not. I even have the data to prove it.

I wrote a post on this very topic using the data of Dan Zarrella, the social media scientist at HubSpot. Dan equates “engaging the conversation” to unicorns and rainbows—they make you feel better but don’t accomplish anything.

People who focus on the “engaging the conversation” myth are the ones who typically don’t have much experience to back up their findings. They think that telling people to “engage” makes the most sense because it’s what they do. Only they get nowhere. They haven’t figured out that it’s content, not conversation, that creates the most compelling social media.

Listen, every study done on this topic has found, over and over again, that the more content you provide, the better. Knowing your audience, and what they care about, is key. Not endlessly replying to blog comments, tweets, or status updates.

That’s not to say that doing those things aren’t important. They are. You just can’t let the false belief that “engaging” will provide any sort of momentum in a digital strategy.

Trevin Wax: What role will content creation and content curation play in the next phase of social media development?

Justin Wise: I think you’ll see a further bifurcation between content creators and content curators. People will drift into one camp or the other.

It’s the difference between a DJ (content curator) and a band (content creator). One makes new content by taking the best that others put forth. The other does the painstaking work of coming up with original material.

One’s not better than the other. Different personality types drift toward one role or the other. That said, content curation will become a skill that everyone interested in social media will need to hone.

Trevin Wax: What role does Apple play in the future of social media? Is Google more important or FaceBook? Amazon or Apple?

Justin Wise: Apple will play as big a role as they want to. When they integrated Twitter into iOS, new accounts went up 25%. That’s not an insignificant number.

Google will, unfortunately, become more important than Facebook. With Google+ being tightly woven into Google search results, publishers will have no choice but to adopt the platform if they want to remain relevant.

With the addition of iBooks Author, Apple, once again, is creating a “blue ocean” in which to market. If you make ebook creation as simple as Apple has while claiming sole publisher rights to books created with the tool, more and more authors will drift to the platform. This is typical Apple—creating an ecosystem where they control every last detail from start to finish.

 
 

Aug

15

2011

Trevin Wax|3:24 am CT

The Curious Case for Curiosity in Blogging

The blogosphere is filled with tips from bloggers on how to blog well. I know. I’ve chimed in myself with tips from time to time. The advice generally follows a well-worth path: choose a good theme, work on your writing, post consistently, build a network, etc.

All of these tips are helpful. But lately, I’ve been thinking, What is it about a blog that makes me a regular reader? Which bloggers feature articles that consistently attract my attention? No matter what kind of blog or blogger it may be, I’ve discovered a common characteristic in the best of them: curiosity.

Curiosity works itself out in two ways:

  1. The blogger provokes a sense of curiosity and wonder in his or her readers.
  2. The blogger has an innate curiosity that enables him or her to write from a unique perspective.

Let’s look at each aspect.

Writing with an Eye to Provoking Curiosity

Good blogs pique your curiosity. The headline grabs you. The first few sentences draw you in. A quote from the blogger’s Twitter causes you to click over and see what the discussion is about. Sometimes, you’re as interested in what the blogger’s community of commenters thinks about a given subject than you are the blogger’s perspective. No matter your exact reason for reading, it’s usually curiosity that drives you to a blog.

Writing with an Innate Sense of Curiosity

But then there’s the second aspect – the blogger’s innate sense of curiosity. Here is where it gets a bit tricky. Some bloggers succeed well at #1 (grabbing a reader’s attention), but aren’t that good at #2. These blogs quickly become stale. The blogger draws me in, but doesn’t deliver what the curiosity-piquing element promised. The title was arresting; the post was so-so. The quote was stellar, but it was only one sentence out of a largely unorganized collection of thoughts.

Interesting Blogs from Interesting People

The best blogs are a combination of the two. The blogger has a curious nature, and this curiosity manifests itself naturally in his or her writing interesting material that grabs the attention of readers. Cultivating a sense of curiosity, a sense of wonder and awe at the world we live in, is vitally important for delivering interesting content day after day.

I have found that interesting blogs are written by interesting people. What makes an interesting person? The ability to be continually fascinated by ideas.

Likewise, I’ve found that the bloggers who are most interesting to read are the bloggers who are most interested in reading. Bloggers more interested in themselves than in ideas rarely have engaging blogs. If you’re not fascinated by something bigger than yourself, chances are – your readers won’t be either.

This is why attempting to build a successful blog is the wrong way to look at the whole blogging endeavor. Readers can see right through it. If your blog merely exists to push yourself in front of others or sell your products, your blog will never be very interesting. The best blogs are driven by the curiosity and generosity of the blogger. Curiousness pushes the blogger into interesting subjects and territory. Generosity is the ability to point to good content wherever it may be found, even if it doesn’t increase your own stature or necessarily build your own reputation.

Three Curious Examples

Here are three blogs that excel at provoking my curiosity:

  • Roasted Peanuts: This blogger has interesting content because he posts multiple strips of Peanuts each day. (His goal is to make it through all fifty years in the next decade or so.) But what really makes this blog interesting is the blogger’s comments on Schulz’s work. JohnH finds neat aspects in every panel. He points out interesting art features and unusual character developments. It’s JohnH’s curiosity regarding Peanuts that makes this such an engaging blog.
  • Timothy Dalrymple: Though the saying goes, Politics and religion aren’t discussed in polite company, Dalrymple recognizes that without politics and religion, you lose two of the most important and most interesting topics of conversation. Timothy demonstrates his innate curiosity by tackling a variety of subjects. He also succeeds at stirring up interest in the way he delivers his content.
  • Mere Orthodoxy: It’s rare that a group blog consistently delivers fresh, engaging content. Why does it work in this case? Because the ever-engaging Matthew Lee Anderson has assembled a variety of interesting thinkers and writers to speak to issues concerning faith and culture. The word that best describes MereO is “thoughtful,” though I would contend that this thoughtfulness on behalf of Matt and the writers is actually rooted in curiosity, a love for good conversation about issues that really matter.

What about You?

I could continue with a long list of blogs that cultivate curiosity, but three should suffice. Now I’m curious to get your feedback on the blogs you read. What are the factors that determine a good blog for you? How important is curiosity (both the blogger’s curiosity and the ability to stoke yours) in blogs?

 
 

Jul

13

2011

Guest Blogger|3:34 am CT

Learning to Blog with Maturity

Today’s post is contributed by Derek Ouellette, who blogs at Covenant of Love.

Over the years of blogging I have learned through trial and error many Christ-honoring principles. In this brief testimonial, I offer four. I have no doubt that if I were to write this article again, four completely different principles would emerge.

Principle #1: Nobody likes somebody who writes against everybody.

When I think back to my first attempt at blogging four years ago, I’m actually quite ashamed. It was as though I had an axe to grind. Blogging became my vent, my release, my grinding mill. I convinced myself that I was blogging to “explore” theology, but in short order my posts began to take aim at every view I had come to reject. At the same time I wondered why I had virtually no visitors to my blog. I let all of my friends know about it, but none of them ever seem to have visited more than once.

Today, I am not surprised that I had so few visitors back then and that nobody ever left a comment. Axe-grinding requires a heavy hand, and it’s the same when blogging with an axe. Exclamation marks [!], CAPLOCKS, as well as bold and underlined words and sentences were all common features of my blog. I thought I had an important message to get out, so I added emphases as often as I could. But for the reader, this translated into a lack of substance. I remember reading somewhere that, like 24-hour cable newscasters, we compensate for the unworthiness of our meanings by being emphatic! Ouch. If everything is emphasized, nothing is. I felt I had an important message to get out, but no one was listening because I was saying it too loudly.

Principle #2: Less is more.

Seeking a fresh start, I opened a new blog and named it Covenant of Love (inspired by N.T. Wright’s book, Climax of the Covenant and Deuteronomy 7:9). I began to make an effort, sometimes with notable relapse, to bring an even-hand to my articles, to write for things I’m for and not just things I’m against, and to add emphasis in a manner that enhanced and strengthen my message. Slowly I watched my stats rise. Occasionally, people would leave comments. But this presented a whole new dilemma for me: not everyone agreed with what I had to say, and often the discussions that ensued would turn ugly, especially if I felt like my views were being challenged (which was always). At this stage I quickly learned two more things:

Principle #3: Know your stuff. Be certain, but be humble.

I blogged like I was the jack of all trades and the master of none. That is, I had an opinion about everything, but was an expert on none of it. Yet the internet is a big place; filled with experts on stuff I didn’t even know people could be experts on. And so these people, more capable than I in their field of interest, would often correct me. It was irritating – like a stranger barging into your home and telling you how to run it. I discovered that something had to change. I had to apply greater care to my words, have some basic critical knowledge of my main points and I had to learn to write in modesty (keeping in mind that certainty and humility are not antithetical). I also had to learn to be teachable, engaging, un-defensive, non-argumentative and a whole bunch of other adjectives that bring me back to Philippians 2:4-11.

Principle #4: Always answer direct credible questions; engage often in conversation; reply occasionally to opinions; never respond to trolls.

I often received blog advice that instructed me to respond to as many comments as possible. The thinking is that if the author personally replies, the audience will return. But I discovered how dangerous to the health of your blog that can be. Not every comment is worthy of a response. Some people think they know everything and feel the need to make the world agree with them, usually by means of derogatory force. By responding to these people you actually lower yourself to the level of the troll and in the process you discredit yourself in the eyes of your regular audience. Other times people just want to give their opinion about your post, often there is no need to reply. And still other times your audience will engage each other in conversation.

Conclusion

Over the past six months my readership has grown significantly. I’m learning plenty of cool stuff from my readers, and they seem to be learning some things from me. Someone notable recently sent me an email saying “I also like the irenic atmosphere of your blog. I like low decibels and an atmosphere where Christian differences are respected.” When I read that I wanted to cheer. Four years ago nobody would ever dream of paying my blog such a compliment. It’s a testament to a new plateau in my journey.

If you are on this blogging journey too, I hope that my testimony would encourage you to stay the course, make necessary adjustments where needed and strive above all to blog in a way that honors Christ. N.T. Wright has said “It really is high time we develop a Christian ethic of blogging” (Justification, p.26). This is true. I’m looking forward to someone writing that book, but in the meantime, I have signed the Blogging with Integrity pledge, and I encourage you to do the same.

What is one blogging principle you have learned through experience?

 
 

Jan

10

2011

Trevin Wax|3:20 am CT

Roundtable Discussion on Christians and the Internet

Today, I’m foregoing a regular post in order to point you to a roundtable discussion about Christians and internet presence. Brandon Smith moderated a discussion between myself, Jared Wilson, and Steve McCoy on the practicality and benefits of social media, not limited to but including blogging.

I hope you find our conversation engaging and that you’ll join in the comments section.

Here are some insightful quotes:

Steve McCoy: Tell your pastor about your blog for accountability. Or maybe find a trusted, knowledgeable friend who can challenge you when necessary on what you are writing.

Brandon Smith: I always remind myself of this: God has given me X number of blog readers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and other contacts in order to glorify Him and fulfill the Great Commission in whatever small or large way He has granted me to do so. I would be remiss to prostitute His gifts for my own gain.

Jared Wilson: The best practical way social media can benefit churches and leaders is through the rapid updating of informational “bullet points.”

Steve McCoy: For me social media isn’t about permanence of what is said but the permanence of those saying it.

 
 

Jan

27

2010

Trevin Wax|3:43 am CT

So You Think You Can Write…

Occasionally, I receive questions from blog readers who are curious to know how I wound up writing a book. Many bloggers have similar aspirations of writing for a larger audience. So questions inevitably come up:

“How did you get published?”

“What kind of proposal did you do?”

“What is the key to getting a book deal?”

Of course, the questioners are not merely interested in my personal story; they want to follow the same road and get published themselves.

The only advice that I can give about publishing comes solely from the author’s standpoint. I usually recommend that you try to get published in some magazines first. Building a blog audience is a good idea. Try to get your work into other places (whether there is a financial benefit or not). Sometimes, I will tell someone to consider self-publishing, especially if they have many traveling and speaking opportunities.

Of course, all this advice is from the author’s standpoint. The best thing you can do is hear the editor’s point of view.

The world of Christian publishing differs quite a bit from the world of non-Christian publishing, but enough of the same rules apply to non-fiction that one can glean important insights from editors of secular non-fiction. Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction–and Get It Published (W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2003) by Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato is a good place to get started.

Aspiring authors need to know what editors look for when they see a book proposal. They also need to know a little about the decision-making process. I learned from experience how to craft a book proposal, but it would have been helpful for me to have known some of the suggestions in this book before starting the proposal.

For example, when I first began speaking with an editor of a Christian publishing house, I quickly came to discover that although my editor really liked my proposal, the decision was not his alone. He was going to have to “sell it”, so to speak, to the board of editors that makes these decisions.

It’s a little like American Idol. The first major step forward is simply getting your work to an editor’s desk, just like the thousands of Idol contestants hope they will get the chance to audition for the judges. Once you have an editor who is in your court, you move pass the initial round of going “solo” and now must compete against all the other proposals. (It’s like Hollywood Week.) It’s no longer just you and the editor. Now your proposal has to stand out in a room with lots of other proposals, each of which has support from other editors. If you pass this test, you’re on your way.

If you want think like an editor, I recommend this book. It comes highly recommended by my friend, Justin Taylor, editor at Crossway. And no wonder. This book takes you through the thought processes of a non-fiction editor. The five big questions that every editor wants to answer are:

  1. What is this book about?
  2. What is the book’s thesis and what’s new about it?
  3. Why are you the person to write this book?
  4. Why is now the time to publish this book?
  5. Who makes up the core audience for the proposed book, and why will they find it appealing?

If you can satisfactorily explain all five of these things, you have at least a shot at getting published.

The book also includes a couple of chapters on how to write well. The authors give tips on writing, using narrative tension, and treating other arguments fairly, etc. There is also a good deal of advice for authors once they have a book proposal that has been accepted. What can an author expect from the publisher? What can an author expect in terms of marketing?

Reading this book after going through the publishing process was especially enlightening. Looking over my initial proposal for Holy Subversion, I can see some of the things I did right. And thinking ahead, I can see some things I will do differently when making future proposals.

Thinking Like Your Editor is what I’m going to start recommending to people when they ask about being published or how to be published. You really don’t need to talk to an author so much as you need to talk to an editor. If you don’t know an editor, this book is the next best thing for writing non-fiction and getting it published.

 
 

Oct

29

2008

Trevin Wax|3:22 am CT

Book Review: The New Media Frontier

Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for ChristThe blogosphere is changing the world.

Am I exaggerating? Maybe. After all, there are plenty of people who have never seen a blog. Many people give you a blank stare if you ask them what a “blogger” is. But there is no doubt that the way we obtain information in this Internet age is changing, and the blogosphere is a big part of that information revolution.

Blogging has democratized the way we access information. It has also democratized the way we publish information.

The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ (Crossway, 2008) illuminates the promises and pitfalls of engaging in this new media. Especially helpful is the Christian focus that this book brings to blogging.

John Mark Reynolds starts off the book by describing the difference between “live” and “preserved” discourse. He shows how the world has moved from “live” performance to “preserved” performance. Now this pendulum is swinging back towards “live” performance. Maintaing the balance between instant communication and preserved communicatio is of the utmost importance.

An interesting phenomena that Reynolds does not address: ”live” performance sometimes leads to “preserved” performance. Take American Idol for example - direct performances (“live”) that (hopefully) lead to recording contracts (“preserved”). Or the success of bloggers (“live”) who wound up writing “preserved” discourse for this book!

Matthew Lee Anderson warns us about the blogosphere. He sees a number of deficiencies in online communication and so he points out some dangers that should be avoided. Of primary concern is the way that connecting online is inferior than connecting face to face. Likewise, the emphasis in blogging is on posting and publishing. You cannot simply “be” an online presence. He worries that our souls might become shallow and that we might mistakenly assume we can and should control how we present ourselves to the world.

Because this book comes from a variety of bloggers, it contains a wide variety of insights.

  • Technical advice on starting a podcast? See the “Beginner’s Toolbox” on podcasting.
  • Want to start a blog? Make sure you read Joe Carter’s terrific chapter before you begin.
  • Are you a pastor wanting to facilitate more discussion with your congregation? Then see Mark D. Roberts’ chapter (and his blog) for a great model of how it can be done.
  • Thanks to Rhett Smith’s chapter on youth ministry, I have now opened a FaceBook account. Otherwise, according to Rhett, I might be unintentionally telling the 20somethings in my Sunday School class that I do not care about their online life.

Blogging is changing how pastors relate to their people, how people engage in apologetics for Christian truth, how classrooms and ”the academy” relate to one another. The New Media Frontier is a must-have book for all those interested in the current revolution in media intake and output. Get this book. And then get to work glorifying Christ on your blog.

 
 

Nov

08

2007

Trevin Wax|3:23 am CT

So You're Thinking about Starting a Blog…

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Blogging is fun. It takes work and discipline, but it can be a lot of fun. Recently, a friend who is beginning a new blog asked me for some blogging advice. I thought I would pass along my advice to him. If you’re thinking about starting a blog, here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Choose a WordPress Theme that has two or three columns.

It will help your readers if you have a sidebar with some important information in it. For example, at Kingdom People, the sidebar offers ways for people to connect with me, find out more about the blog, see other bloggers I like, and so on.

Most importantly, the top ten most visited posts for any given day are listed down the side. This feature helps first-time visitors find some good material.

(I only have two columns because I don’t like the “crammed” feeling I get when I visit some three or four column blogs.)

2. Include pictures if possible.

I don’t include a photograph with every post, but I try to when I can.  The post should stand on its own merit, but a picture can help it make a greater impact.

3. Don’t worry too much about the name of your blog.

More than likely, people are going to search for ”Your Name” and not the blog name you have. Some link to me as “Kingdom People,” but the majority use my name. Whichever is fine. I know some guys who change up their blog names every now and then for fun.

4. Be personal, but not always personal.

Some blogs are running journals. Whatever is going through the writer’s head makes it way onto the site. While this is a good discipline for someone to get into, I don’t blog this way. I try to vary my posts from day to day, and I will usually take an hour or two a week to lay out the structure for my posts the following week.

For example, this Saturday, the post that will drop (it’s already time-stamped, so I don’t have to actually go in and make it appear – WordPress will do that automatically) is a thought-provoking quote for the week.

Sunday’s post is always a prayer.

Monday’s post is the continuation of a series on the Prodigal Son that will take up 17 Mondays.

Wednesday is my day for book reviews. Two new book reviews will show up on Wednesday. (I’m a big proponent of including book reviews on a blog.)

Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually reserved for a variety of personal insights on the church, culture, or my experiences in Romania.

And then Friday is the day I link to everything I came across that I found worthwhile that week.

I’m not suggesting that everyone work a blog the same way… but adding a structure to your blog will increase variety.

Plus… if you’re in a writing mood and write three or four posts in an afternoon, don’t feel like you have to publish them all the same day. Stretch them out. Let them breathe. Let each one get the emphasis it deserves.

I have found the following sites helpful: they are from some “successful” bloggers on what it takes to be a good Christian blogger:

Blog Appraisals – SaidatSouthern
Tall Skinny Kiwi Blogging Tips
Scot McKnight on Blogging

written by Trevin Wax © 2007 Kingdom People blog

 
 

Sep

06

2007

Trevin Wax|3:22 am CT

Random Thoughts on Blogging, the Church, and the Future

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Many of the most popular blogs on the web have risen to prominence from pointing out the shortcomings of other believers. This is a cheap and easy way to gain traffic for your site and build some sort of “name” for yourself on the internet.

Yes, it’s easy to criticize the Church for failing to live up to all that Scripture would have her be. After all, our shortcomings are often evident – and more visible than we would wish.

Much more difficult is the task of going past the critique of today’s Church towards setting a vision for the Church of the future.

I have decided to devote more time to thinking and writing, not about the current state of the Church, but about what the Church could and should be. I want to spend time, not reacting to the current trajectory of the world and the Church today, but proactively seeking ways to navigate through this postmodern morass and out to the other side.

Despite the valiant efforts of many of my brothers and sisters, our society is not returning to a world before postmodernism. Neither is the Church. And I’m not sure we should be trying. Instead, we must be the same Church in the midst of a postmodern culture, adapting to our new environment without compromising the core doctrines and essential beliefs of our faith.

Let’s take a deep breath and remember that the true Church’s survival through this postmodern era is already assured. Jesus told us that “the gates of hell will not prevail against us.” Jesus’ bold words do not describe the Church as a fortress being attacked by the forces of evil. His picture describes the Church storming the gates of the enemy. We must make sure that our focus is not so much on defending whatever remnants of Christendom remain in our world. Instead, we must concentrate on moving forward the mission of God into our fallen, confused society. Continue

 
 

Jul

18

2007

Trevin Wax|8:05 am CT

Kingdom People Rated NC-17

This is funny. Because we talk about “death” being “dead” and other religious things like “missions” and “missionaries” here that are “dangerous”… my blog has officially been rated NC-17. Watch out kids! Parents, beware…

Free Online Dating

HT: Timmy Brister