Three ways to make your church blog awesome

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There is a debate out on church blogs, should your church have one or not? I will try to address this briefly before I recommend to you the three ways to make your church blog looking awesome.

As a pastor, I believe that one of your goals is to be able to reach your community in an effective way. Starting a blog can be daunting for any church especially if it’s not planned well. On the other hand, it’s very rewarding and one of the best ways to make an impact in your community. Some of the key benefits of having a church blog include increased visibility of your church in the community, increased website ranking on search engines. Blogging is an easy strategy to make search engines like Google rank your church website higher. Online search engines value websites with unique and updated content—a natural by-product of a well-kept blog.

Now, let’s dive in on the three ways you can liven up your church blogs.

1. Use images

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: People LOVE pictures! Pictures tell a story like nothing else, the English idiom that says “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true. Take a look here at some interesting statistics about visual media in marketing. Never post a blog without an image! Adding images to your blog posts will make your posts perform higher in searches and on social media. Your blog posts will be more engaging and attract more traffic. Don’t stress too much about finding the perfect image that faultlessly captures the essence of your writing — just grab a photo that works! You may say we don’t have lots of images from our church, well there are now plenty of alternatives online. I will list the ones we use mostly.

Unsplash logo | Church Websites UK | Church Blogging

Unsplash is one of my favourite places to find stunning images that are completely free with no copyright attached.

Pexels logo | Church Websites UK | Church Blogging

Pexels offers free stock images and videos that you can use on your blogs and projects. They have a good choice of images and the quality is always good.

Pixabay logo | Church Websites UK | Church Blogging

Pixabay is similar to pexels, you will find some great images and some videos for your choosing.  

LightStock logo | Church Websites UK | Church Blogging

Lightstock is one of our all-time favourites sites, as it’s the main focus is Christian images, videos and vector graphics. They offer free image in jpg and vector graphic as well as video monthly. The rest you can grab at a small monthly cost or yearly plan.   

Have a quick scour through and you’re bound to find something that semi-relates to what you’ve just written about!

2. Use featured title images

So, this is kind of similar to the first point, but it goes one step further. If you have a spare 10 minutes up your sleeve each time you blog. Consider using a free graphics application like Canva to create a title image for your blog post. We use Stencil App, and Photoshop for most of our title images in the ChurchWebsitesUK Blog and we love it! There are loads of free templates and stock images on Canva (including lots of the Unsplash photos we just talked about!). But if there’s something specific in their premium library that you love, it will only cost you $1 per item to use it. Using title images is a great way to capture the attention of Facebook users who might not always gravitate to a typed blog title, but a title image might just be enough to get their attention.

We generally use the “Facebook Ad” Stencil template for creating blog title images but use whichever template gives you the dimensions you need for your blog.

3. Run your writing through a text editor

Grammarly logo | Church Websites UK | Church Blogging

A little while ago we discovered the Grammarly & Hemingway Apps. Since then, we’ve rarely posted any written content on the ChurchWebsitesUK Blog without first running it through Grammarly & Hemingway to get a “second opinion” on how we’ve used language, phrasing, words, grammar and punctuation. Just for fun, this sentence you’re reading now came straight from my head to the page. No editing or proofreading — freshly typed content. We use Google documents with Grammarly to write once I’ve finished the paragraph, I’ll run it through the Hemingway Editor, follow all of its suggestions for my work, and paste the finished product below. It’s worth noting that there are no rules that you must obey every command Hemingway gives you. There’s nothing quite like human eyes to read over and edit writing, and often I’ll ignore many of Hemingway’s suggestions for my writing, but there are always times that Hemingway identifies particularly unclear writing, absurdly long sentences, and unnecessary adverbs, passive clauses and complex language that a simple change could fix.

Hemingway stands apart from the other tools in this list in that its goal isn’t to catch misspelt words or grammar mistakes. Instead, it’s designed to make your writing “bold and clear,” more like the writing of Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway App | Church Websites UK | Church Blogging

And here’s the “Hemingway version”:

A little while ago we discovered the Grammarly & Hemingway Apps. Since then, we’ve rarely posted any written content on the ChurchWebsitesUK Blog without first running it through Grammarly & Hemingway.  This gives us a “second opinion” on how we’ve used language, phrasing, words, grammar and punctuation. Just for fun, this sentence you’re reading now came straight from my head to the page. No editing or proofreading — freshly typed content. We use Google documents with Grammarly to write. Once I’ve finished the paragraph, I’ll run it through the Hemingway Editor. I will follow all the suggestions for my work and paste the finished product below. It’s worth noting that there are no rules that you must obey every command Hemingway gives you. There’s nothing quite like human eyes to read over and edit writing. Often I’ll ignore many of Hemingway’s suggestions for my writing. But, there are always times that Hemingway identifies particularly unclear writing. That has absurdly long sentences, and unnecessary adverbs, passive clauses and complex language that a simple change could fix.

Interestingly, Hemingway identified my first paragraph as being at a “Grade 14 level”, which Hemingway says is “POOR”. The edited text was given a “Grade 9 level”, which lies in the “green zone”, or the level Hemingway thinks we should aim for when we write.

Hemingway’s suggestions certainly aren’t gospel — you won’t agree with them all. But it’s always a good idea to break up your long sentences, limit your adverbs and usage of the passive voice, and make sure your writing is at a level accessible to the masses, and Hemingway App can help you do that.

Now that we’ve taken a look at why your church should be blogging, and how to make those blog posts awesome, now’s the time to start thinking through a strategy to get your church’s blogs written and online!

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JimPatrick Munupe

JimPatrick Munupe

Pastor JP is the founder of Church Websites UK. He is a self-taught designer, developer and marketer with over 10 years experience. He is passionate about connecting the Church to this generation. Through the web, mobile apps, creative designs and digital technology.

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