These tips on how to start a Christian blog will help you write like you have a message from the King (because you do). Creating a faith-based blog involves humility and courage. You don’t need talent to start a Christian blog, but you do need a thick skin. If your image and identity is founded on Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, you will have no problem starting a Christian blog – and writing through the storms.
A fellow believer asked me for tips on how to start a Christian blog. “My husband will be retiring in about three 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 an inspirational 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: Both Darlene and I started new blogs! Hers is called Rooms Filled With Treasures. My new blog is Travel in Faith: Tips and Tools for Travel That Transforms You.
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 Do You Start a Christian Blog?
I’ll weave the rest of Darlene’s comments through my tips. Her thoughts will inspire and inform you; she also has excellent questions about writing inspirational blog posts.
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.
The most important thing is to start 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 bigger and scarier giants! It’s always a risk, and it requires discipline and focus.
1. Know why you want to start a faith-based blog
Darlene summarized her reasons for starting a Christian blog:
- I believe I have a writing and 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 an inspirational 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.
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. Explore different WordPress blog themes and styles. Be creative!
In How to Start a Blog, I share the basics of starting a WordPress blog. The most important tip for starting a Christian blog is to take it one step at a time. Your first step is to get on WordPress. Your second step is to choose a theme, which is what your blog looks and “feels” like.
Choose a theme that represents your blog’s purpose. My main website is The Adventurous Writer; it showcases my new Travel in Faith blog. My blogs are relatively simple and straightforward, so all I need is a basic no-frills theme. This WordPress theme (Neve) is the free version and works like a charm. When you’re choosing a theme, make sure it suits the purpose of your blog. Are you starting an online faith-based retail shop, or a blog about your and your Christian family? Choose a theme that suits your purpose.
Experiment with different free WordPress themes for your blog. When I first started blogging I purchased three of my six themes from Solostream. This theme – Neve – is a free WordPress blog. WordPress has forums for bloggers to ask and answer questions. Explore the different themes when you’re starting your Christian blog, and know that you can always change them later.
Expect glitches when you “load” your blog. My best tip for finding the best WordPress theme is to be prepared for snags and snafus. Even when you buy recently created WordPress themes, you’ll run into problems – but the beauty of buying a theme is that the programmer or creator may help you solve problems. I wrote all about solving my WordPress blog problems in 10 Tips for Starting a New Blog for Writers.
Make sure the theme creator is available. I’ve tried several free WordPress themes, and found that some programmers just don’t have the time or desire to help you solve problems. If you’re buying a theme, make sure the theme creator has an active forum or discussion page – anything that shows that he or she interacts with bloggers who purchased the theme.
Find bloggers who use that theme. To find the best free WordPress theme, find bloggers who actually use the theme you’re considering. Ask them how they like it, if they paid for it, if they’ve had any problems with it. This is easy on WordPress forums because there are thousands of bloggers trialing the themes.
Learn to tweak your WordPress theme yourself. Whether you’re buying a WordPress theme or installing a free one, I think it’s important to know how to fix your problems – or at least find the solutions! For instance, I now know the piece of code that centers my Quips & Tips widgets in the middle of a column. I learned how to create my own blog widgets or buttons – and I wrote about that in 9 Tips for Creating a Blog Button or Widget in WordPress. Learning those little things is empowering, good for your brain, and not that difficult!
Play around with your new blog, have fun, and lighten up! Go easy on yourself. You’re starting an inspirational Christian blog; your job is to make mistakes, fail, and try again. If you need in-person help, search the internet for blog or website experts near you. Include your location in your query. So you might ask Google, “Who can help me set up a Christian WordPress blog and website in my city, state, or province?” or “Faith-based bloggers and website creators near me.”
4. Join MeetUp or take an in-person “how to start a blog” class
You’ll find plenty of webmasters, web design professionals, 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 inspirational writers and Christian bloggers is valuable. 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 an inspirational Christian writer and blogger, then you can too. Also – almost all my blog posts are tips-oriented. This makes them evergreen and thus easier to revive. I want to help readers find solutions to their everyday problems. They want to solve their problems, and they’re often looking for quick and easy solutions.
6. Consider creating 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.
Also, having a specific blog focus makes it easier for you to find topics to blog about. I’m still trying to narrow down my Christian travel blog, so it’s not just Travel in Faith – Tips and Tools for Travel That Transforms You. I think I found my specific blog topic in 18 Ideas for Creative, Meaningful Theme Vacations, actually. It took a month to narrow it down, but I think I have it.
7. Trust God and start to blog
“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?”
Trust God, and create the best blog you can. You might even try unusual ways to promote your blog for the first few months. Make it your goal to try a new way to promote your blog every month, and keep doing what works! Listen to your intuition or the Spirit; you have access to a wealth of information that can’t be found in online articles about Christian blogging.
8. Diversify. Weave general blog topics through your specific posts
Even though I lean towards a specific and narrowly focused blog, I also know how valuable it is write different types of blog posts. It’s not just about multiple streams of income, though I made money blogging by creating several different types of blogs. My Christian blogs were least profitable. Diversification is also good for your writing and your faith. If you blog about different things (faith and food, Christian travel, blogging to strengthen your prayer life, etc) your blog will be more well-rounded. So will you, as a Christian blogger.
Based on my experience starting one big general blog (“Quips and Tips” back in 2008) and then branching off into about 15 more specific websites (including two Christian blogs), I would say it’s too much for one blog to handle a wide variety of general topics. Why? Because, for example, readers who are interested in contemplative prayer may not care to learn how to be a travel writer.
One of the most important things to know about starting a Christian blog is who your readers are. 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 a blog that you’re passionate about. Pray about it. Where is God leading you? What is God teaching you? Blog about it! That may contain the seeds of your Christian blog. Maybe God will guide you towards something specific, such as starting a Christian blog for women over 50.
Resources for Starting a Christian Blog
If you want to be a writer, read Christian Writers Market Guide: Your Comprehensive Resource for Getting Published. You’ll 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.
Remember that starting a blog for Christians is about learning from a variety of different types of writers, bloggers, and authors.
In Starting a Successful Blog when you have NO CLUE! – 7 Steps to WordPress Bliss Gundi Gabrielle offers a proven 7-Step formula will get you started quickly and efficiently. She starts with web software (“What is WordPress and why do most successful bloggers use it?” and ends with Blogging and Marketing Training.
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.
When you start your Christian blog, share your link in the comments below. I’d love to see what you’re writing about 🙂
Travel in faith, and be transformed.