While blogging may not be quite a popular as podcasting in the moment (someone recently suggested that starting a podcast is the Millennial version of 70s kids starting a band), blogs remain a viable means of getting one’s thoughts out for public consumption.
I previously suggested three ways having a blog can make one a better pastor. These were blogging helps us think through subjects better, makes us more concise, and teaches us how to interact with people who do not think like us. Blogs are good tools.
But, there are a number of mistakes bloggers make that hurt their efforts. None are fatal unless they are unaddressed.
1. Infrequent Posting
This is my number one personal faux paux. Though my personal blog has had a number of highly read posts, these are now on the distant past. I’m too busy for regular posting and pitifully low traffic numbers attest to my inconsistency. You are far more likely to hit a home run if you’re actually in the game.
Solution: If you are time crunched, consider these options: regular brief posts of 300-350 words, or a single weekly post of 800 or more words. Consistency, not length, is a key.
2. Addressing Too Many Subjects
This is a “deadly sin” of regular bloggers. There is no way the average blogger (especially a pastor) can address sports, sin, devotionals, foreign policy, particle physics, and scads of other subjects with quality. Most of us have limited ranges of knowledge and even fewer areas of expertise.
Solution: Focus your regular content on areas you know well or have a strong interest. Become the “go to” source for others with your same interests.
3. Using Bad Sources
If you write on current events there is no greater problem that using bad sources (“fake news” in the current nomenclature). You may find your blog gaining traction with those unconcerned with facts, but our standing as people of truth needs to be supported by telling the truth.
Solution: Rely on those who do primary reporting (Reuters, AP, AFP) for the underlying facts in a story. Then, always distinguish between facts and opinion. Attempt to base your writing and opinion on facts rather than talking-heads’ opinions.
4. Insufficient Social Media Sharing
Some may feel awkward about promoting their own writing, the fact is if you want people to read your blog content you have to share it first. Most of us do not write for heavily read news or theology sites. It’s up to us to promote our own writing.
Solution: Make sure your blog has social media sharing buttons enabled. Be the first one to share your new content. Ask others to consider sharing your posts when they find it interesting or helpful.