8 Tips for Starting a Christian Blog – Inspiration for Believers
You’re ready to share your faith in writing, but where and how do you start a Christian blog? These 8 blogging tips will help you find your voice as a blogger, write the good news of the gospel truth, and even make money with your blog.
My inspiration for this article came from a Christian writer. “My husband will be retiring in about 3 years and I work part-time as an at-home medical transcriptionist,” says Darlene on How to Know What to Blog About. “I also teach a weekly women’s Bible study group and have been helping women apply God’s word to their everyday lives for 30 years. We will soon be transitioning into permanent 5th wheel living and I have been looking for a way to make money from anywhere as we travel. I want to start a Christian blog both to share my faith and our process of going full-time from a home into an RV, along with our subsequent learning/traveling experiences.”
What a wonderful idea for a Christian blog – I love it! It’s practical and faith-based, interesting and inspirational. And yes, Darlene can actually support herself and her husband financially as a writer…if she learns how to make money blogging. Update from Darlene: her new blog is called Rooms Filled With Treasures – and is it beautiful! Visit her, sit awhile, enjoy meandering through her lovely space.
These seven tips for starting and writing a Christian blog apply to all types of faith-based writers. I’m riffing off Darlene’s questions and comments on my “how to know what to blog about” article, but my tips will apply to you, too.
How to Start a Christian Blog
I’ll weave the rest of Darlene’s comments throughout my tips on how to write a Christ-centered blog. Her thoughts will inspire and inform you, and she has excellent questions about starting as a new blogger. If you have any thoughts for her – or questions for me on how to start blogging as a Christian – please feel free to ask below.
Don’t delay – start blogging today! “Act on what you hear!” says Paul in James 1:22-24. “Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” – The Message.
Every person in the Bible had to step out of boat before they were blessed. No, they weren’t Christian bloggers – they were facing much scarier giants! Take a deep breath, and move forward in your walk with Christ.
1. Know why you want to start a faith-based blog
Darlene summarized her reasons for starting a blog:
- I believe I have a writing, communication gift that would serve me well with a blog.
- I want to share my faith in God and encourage others by bringing the Word of God to life through short devotional teachings, plus share our RV preparation/fulfillment from the beginning as we move toward retirement.
- I want to make an income to support us after my husband’s retirement.
Perfect. Darlene has already created her vision of what she wants her blog to be about, why she wants to start blogging, and who her audience is. This clarity and focus is more than half the battle.
What about you? Why do you want to start a Christian blog? List three reasons – not just the standard “God calls us to share the good news of Jesus Christ” — even though that is 100% true. God DOES call us to share our testimonies of how Jesus has changed our lives and given us joy, peace, freedom, and grace. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a Christian blogger and spread the gospel in your writing! But if you want to consistently blog for years to come, you need a more personal and specific reason for blogging.
2. Be honest about the gaps in your knowledge
“Quite honestly, I am not too worried about the writing side since I have been writing devotionals and teachings for a long time,” says Darlene. “I know I will need to focus on keywords in order for the search engines to pick me up, etc., but I can understand that kind of stuff. What scares me to pieces is the actual setting up of the blog and webpage itself. I am not tech-savvy, nor am I a good self-learner in regard to computer programs. I learn best by someone showing me as I do it and then I’m good to go. So, any help in that direction would be awesome!”
I love how humble and honest she is about her strengths and weaknesses. Darlene knows exactly what she is and isn’t good at. She knows where she needs help, and where she’s fine to fly like an eagle.
And you? What are your fears and worries about starting a Christian blog? Maybe it’s the idea of writing online, or expressing your faith-based beliefs without knowing how you’ll be received. Maybe you’ve already started blogging but nobody is reading your posts…and maybe this is testing your faith in God and yourself as a writer. Or, maybe you need help with the tech and computer part of starting a Christian blog.
3. Get help from professional (Christian?) bloggers and writers
In How to Start a Blog, I share the basics of starting a WordPress blog. I learned how to be blogger by simply jumping in with both feet and trying different delivery systems, blog themes, WordPress plugins, and even coding programs until I achieved the results I wanted.
But everyone is different, right? I’ve been approached many times by writers who are more comfortable with in-person help setting up a blog…but it’s not my calling. I’m a writer. All I want to do is write and work on my own blogs. I’m not teacher (even though I’m actually formally trained as a teacher – I have a Bachelor of Education! That’s how I know I’m not a teacher 🙂 ).
A smart way to start your Christian blog is to figure out exactly what type of help you need, and do an internet search for your specific question. If you’re more comfortable with in-person help, include your location in your query. So you might ask Google, “Who can help me set up a WordPress blog and website in my city, state, or province?” or “Christian bloggers and webmasters in X.”
4. Join MeetUp or take an in-person “how to start a blog” class
You’ll find plenty of webmasters, web design gurus, SEO experts, bloggers, online writers, and freelancers who would be happy to help you start your Christian blog remotely if you pay them lots of money. Skype, Facetime, Google groups – there are many ways to connect and get help online. Computer techs have long been able to log into and even do work on your computer from a distance.
However, learning in-person is more effective and valuable for many people…which is why I encourage you to look for a blogging or WordPress class in your area. Go in person, learn from somebody you can grab by the elbow! Another possibility is joining a MeetUp group for Christian bloggers, faith-based writers, WordPress publishers, affiliate marketers, etc. The networking aspect of in-person interaction with other Christian writers and bloggers is invaluable. You may find the perfect person to help you start your blog – and you may even be able to barter your goods or services so you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars in fees.
5. Learn how to make money blogging
When I last updated 8 Ways I Make Crazy Money With My Blogs, the most I made from Amazon in one month was $15,000. That was a whole year ago. Believe it or not, last month alone (December 2016) I made $41,000 US on Amazon.
I honestly have a hard time accepting that I make so much money blogging. I don’t feel guilty or embarrassed…I just find it shocking because I love writing so much! I could work on my blogs 12 hours a day and still have to be dragged away from my laptop because I feel like I’m just starting my day. It feels weird to be making such a great living doing something I’m passionate about. But I guess that’s God for you! He gives us a calling, and if we follow it we will be blessed in all aspects of our lives.
If I can make money as a Christian writer and blogger, then you can too.
6. Consider finding a specific niche for your Christian blog
Here’s my response to Darlene’s initial comment:
“These are awesome reasons to start a blog! It sounds like you have a great deal of experience in Christian teaching for women – which you’re also passionate about. I love the idea of living in an RV. That’s my dream, actually. And now with the internet and the ability to make money blogging, it’s totally possible to live the dream! I also love that you and your husband are planning in advance. Three years is a good amount of time to get your blog going and learn how to make money blogging – as well as learning what to blog about. I encourage you to get as specific as possible with your blog topic. Not “just” a Christian blog for women…but something even more niched and focused. Do you have any ideas for specific topics to write about?”
The reason I encourage specific niches for Christian bloggers and freelance writers is because there are a million billion general blogs, magazines, and newspapers online. The best way to make money when you’re starting a Christian blog is to be as specific as possible. Why? Because you’ll attract an audience of readers who are interested in your topic, who will follow your blog, and who will invest in the products and services you recommend because they trust and like you.
7. Trust God and take your next step – even into the general blogosphere
“As far as topics, I have some ideas on how to broaden the blog,” said Darlene. “Following the commandment Jesus gave us to love God and love others, I want to address both of these areas of daily life.
Along with sharing my spiritual side, I also want to bring in everyday life topics that will encourage and inspire others to use their giftings to bless others. For instance, I am passionate about cooking (kitchen), hospitality (dining and living room), and again, walking through the emotional and physical plan to move from a sticks and bricks home into an RV (tiny rooms/home). So I would love to incorporate my passions for God and life within the same blog as well as appeal to those like us, who desire or need to live smaller due to financial reasons. What do you think? Too much or do you think the blog can handle it all?”
Ah, our God is a good God! He walks alongside us, supporting us through the highs and lows, the peaks and valleys, the pains and joys. He doesn’t protect us from the realities of life – just like He didn’t protect Jesus from the grief and pain of saving us from ourselves.
One of the many things love about God is His requirement that we act in faith and trust that He will guide us. So when Darlene asked the following question about starting her Christian blog, I have to defer to the good old “test it and see if it is good” Scriptural tidbit.
8. Diversify your Christian blogging portfolio
Even though I lean towards a specific and narrowly focused blog, I also know how valuable it is financially to have multiple streams of income. I made money blogging by creating several blogs – and I did find that my Christian blogs were least profitable. So is this writing blog, by the way. I love writing about writing and blogging, but it’s definitely not a good ROI.
Based on my experience starting one big general blog (“Quips and Tips” back in 2008) and then branching off into about 15 more specific blogs (including two Christian websites), I would say it’s too much for one blog to handle all those different topics. Why? Because your RV-passionate readers might not care about hospitality or cooking. They may stop reading your blog because they don’t want the distraction of a recipe or living room furniture article. Your Christian readers who want to explore and express their God-given gifts may not want to read about going potty or cooking in an RV.
That’s why starting a niched or specific Christian blog may be more effective than a general blog that covers many different topics. I’d recommend starting one blog that you’re most passionate about. Pray about it – ask God where He’s leading you. Maybe He’ll give you total freedom; maybe He’ll guide you towards a specific type of Christian blog for women. Experiment with it, learn, write, grow…and see where God takes you next.
Freelancing in a niche market is an excellent way to diversify your blogging portfolio. In How to Start a Life History Writing Business, I described how to help people write their autobiographies and memoirs. This is an excellent way to supplement your Christian blogging income…which, by the way, will be pennies a day when you first start your blog.
Resources for Starting a Christian Blog
Read Christian Writers Market Guide 2017: Your Comprehensive Resource for Getting Published if you want to learn how to write for publishers and editors, in addition to writing a Christian blog. This guidebook is the most comprehensive and highly recommended resource on the market for finding an agent, an editor, a publisher, a publicist, a writing coach, or a place to sell your Christian or faith-based writing.
Wherever you are on the writing spectrum – from beginner to seasoned professional – the Christian Writers’ Market Guide will help you find what you are looking for. Over 1,000 listings including more than 200 book publishers, 200 periodical publishers, 70 agents, 100 freelance editors, and much, much more.
Remember that one of the biggest secrets to making money as a Christian writer or blogger is to develop several sources of income – not just one.
ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse was my go-to guidebook when I first started blogging. Darren is one of the world’s most successful bloggers, and he openly shares everything he learned about how to start and write a blog for beginners. This new edition features new material on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn; plus new ways and tools to grow your audience and expand your business beyond your blog.
This blogging book:
- Helps beginner bloggers choose a blog topic, analyze the market, set up a blog, promote it, and earn revenue
- Gives new bloggers proven techniques and tools to succeed in building a business and making money from their blogs
- Reveals 20 key ingredients for a successful blog post
- Offers solid, step-by-step instruction on how bloggers actually make money, why niches matter, how to use essential blogging tools and take advantage of social media and content aggregators, how to optimize your advertising, and much more
- Includes techniques for attracting and growing an audience and how to mine new business opportunities beyond your blog
Plus, Darren Rowse is a former pastor – so you can’t lose with credentials like that! 🙂
What do you think of these tips and resources for writing your truth as a Christian or faith-based blogger? Your comments – and blog links – are welcome below…