Tactical Blogging from Inception

I recently wrote a recommendation to a client who was curious about what it takes to get their blog off the ground. I began by sharing just a few do’s and don’ts on what tactics the client should employ. Eventually, the dialogue morphed into a simple layout for first-time bloggers to get their site firing on all cylinders. The excellent response I received from the client motivated me to share a small portion of the discourse.

I have said before that the blog has to be a mindset to make it simple. By that, I mean that you should always be considering how an interaction or informational nugget could be used for a blog post. I.E. Phone calls, relevant (and current!) articles, email correspondence, etc. The beauty of a blog is that people don’t have time to sift through all of the information out there about a topic so a blog is a safe-haven for the research-disinclined. Think of it this way:

Three articles are written about a trend-setting church. Each article contains nuggets that contribute toward a better understanding of the church itself. Joe Schmo doesn’t want to read all three articles so, he goes to the blog where we take that collective information and turn it into a readable and understandable post that won’t take more than 2-5 minutes of his time.

Here are some critical elements that must be present:

  • Original content – I recommend maintaining a minimum of 70/30 where 70% of the post is your thoughts, your words, your ideas.
  • Simplicity – blogs are often rated by their readability. I have found that the closer you are to middle-school levels the better your audience will be able to digest your material (especially in matters of mission and purpose!).

  • Truth – many people who use the web are tenacious and love to destroy or ridicule people who post their ideas. You can control what actually shows up on the blog but be careful not to walk into something by posting easily-refutable information. Create a conversation, not a war zone.
  • Openness – many blogs miss the human element by trying to remain above mistakes. If you admit a mistake or mention an old post that presented one perspective and then say ‘hey, I’ve changed my mind about ABC as a result of XYZ,’ readers frequently respect the humility.

  • Videos – there is so much written content on the web that a video is often a welcome relief to the paragraph.
  • Networking – when you see someone who has commented on a post in a similar field, network network network. It is the currency of cyber-space.

Things to avoid:

  • Excessive use of other’s articles – a post that is just your work is of greatest value.
  • Elitism – anything that makes the reader feel inferior will alienate them.

  • Inconsistency – try to get into a rhythm of having 2 or 3 posts a week on the same days.
  • Novels – the shorter the posts the better in many cases. You have mere moments to capture your audience.

Here are some great blogs to use as reference points for how to attack a post:

Church Giving Matters

MicroExplosion Media

Steve Fogg

Human 3rror

Brandon Cox

Where do you find your inspiration for blogging?

Comments

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7 thoughts on “Tactical Blogging from Inception

  1. Hey thanks a million for considering my blog as a reference point – quite humbled! Very important points! In fact, my own blog has gone through a lot of changes in seven years and I've found that when I focus on readability and content, it always grows in popularity.

    • Sure thing, Brandon. I like your style and the role that simplicity plays in conveying your message. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks for including the MicroExplosion Media blog on your list. I use the Old McDonald "E-I-E-I-O" system for creating good content. It's kept me going for several years now and my clients have found this approach helpful as well:

    E – Entertain

    I – Inspire

    E – Educate

    I – Inform

    O – Outrage

  3. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the reference! I really do feel like a beginner as far as blogging goes.

    A piece of advice I would give any aspiring/tactical blogger is find out your purpose for blogging before you even consider blogging.

    My only goal in blogging is to serve those in smaller churches who may not have the luxury of someone like me on staff.

    That's my primary/tactical audience. They are the only reason why I do it.

    I've found my inspiration for blogging from the likes of Kem Meyer, Kerry Bural, Fast Company, Shawn Wood, Steve Kryger from @Commun8Jesus, copyblogger, problogger, Financial Times… amongst many others.

    I find my inspiration for what I write from what happens in my life and ministry. I now take bite size thoughts and jot them down on my iPhone.

    Oh, I would also add any aspiring/tactical blogger needs to 'find their own voice' . The blogger needs find their own voice in how they write ;-)

    Hope that helps!

    • Good stuff, Steve! I think your point about investigating your motivation and purpose behind blogging is a critical element. Being wishy-washy will become apparent over time. In the words of Kerry Bural, "Be intentional!"

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!