Many Christian authors want to write online, but they don’t really know how to start a Christian blog. Some seem to think that blogging is like the movie “Field of Dreams” where “If you build it, they will come.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
This means that if new Christian bloggers want to get found and be read in the crowded blogging world, they need to follow a few key practices when they first begin their blog. They also need to follow some best practices as they continue writing and building their audiences. Read on to learn more.
How to start a Christian blog in 7 steps
If you want to know how to start a Christian blog, these are the seven basic steps to follow.
Name your blog.
Choose a blog builder.
Pick a web host.
Link your domain name to your blog.
Design your Christian blog.
Publish your first post.
Share, write more, repeat.
But before we look at how to start a Christian blog, it’s important to first discuss why you should start a blog.
Why start a Christian blog?
There are numerous reasons why a Christian might want to start a blog.
Some want a way to express their spiritual insights online so that others can read and benefit from them. Such people might want to start more of a devotional Christian blog.
Others want to explore ideas and investigate various theological avenues. These sorts of authors would likely want to start an academic or theology blog.
Beyond the benefits of sharing insights and exploring ideas, starting a Christian blog can also help Christians find like-minded people online.
Laypeople can find a community of believers around the world who encourage and edify each other online. A Christian author or ministry professional can find readers who wants to buy their books or hire them to speak and teach at a seminar or conference.
But regardless of the reasons you might have for wanting to start a Christian blog, you must make sure to get started in the right way. So here is my seven-step guide for how to start a Christian blog.
1. Name your blog
The first thing to do when starting a Christian blog is decide what to name your blog. This not only refers to what you will call it but, also, what the website address will be. For example, my blog, Redeeming God, uses RedeemingGod.com.
Some people like to just use their own name for their website, but for Christian blogs, it’s often preferable to try to put something spiritual or religious in the blog name so people understand what the blog is about.
As part of this process, you will also want to decide on a domain extension, which is basically just the letters that you find after the “dot” at the end your website address. The most common domain extension is .com, but this isn’t your only option. For the Christian blogger, there’s:
Once you’ve decided on a name for your blog, go to a domain registrar like GoDaddy.com to see if the name you want is already in use. Find one you like that’s available? You can quickly, easily, and cheaply register it at GoDaddy.
Try it now!
2. Choose a blog builder
Once you have the blog name figured out, you need to pick the software or platform that your blog will run on. This is the piece of software that will allow you to write and publish your blog posts on the internet.
Want to skip steps 3 and 4? Try GoDaddy Managed WordPress and let GoDaddy worry about the tech.
There are several out there, but take my advice and just use WordPress. It’s far and away the most popular blog builder software available. It has the most options, the most support and best of all, it’s free (although you will have to pay for hosting). Check out other popular blog builders in this post.
3. Pick a web host
After you choose your blog name and the blog builder you’ll use, you need to find a company that will hold (or “host”) your blog on the internet and give (or “serve”) it to people who want to read it. These companies are called web hosts.
Many companies offer new account deals that can get you started for much cheaper, even for as low as $40 to $50. Very often, if you register your domain name with the same company that you buy your web hosting from, you can get the domain name for free. Read this for tips on how to choose the best WordPress hosting plan.
4. Link your domain name to your blog
Once you’ve bought a hosting plan from a web hosting company, they almost always have a quick and easy way to install the WordPress software onto your site and get your blog up and running. This process often takes less than five minutes.
If you registered your domain name at one company, but purchased hosting at a different company, the process is a little bit more complex. But all you really need to do is contact the customer support teams of both companies and tell them you need to “point your domain name to your hosting company” and they will either do it for you, or will tell you exactly how to do it.
5. Design your Christian blog
Once your WordPress blog is installed and running, you’re in business. WordPress comes with a default appearance (called a theme), but you can swap this out for any of the millions of free themes that are available from right inside your blog dashboard. You can also buy a premium theme from various companies.
The learning curve on designing your blog can initially seem a bit steep, but don’t get discouraged. Find a blogging friend to help you out, google “how to build a WordPress blog” or look for tips and suggestions on WordPress.org.
Like step-by-step instructions? Read “How to build a WordPress website for the first time.”
6. Publish your first post
Once WordPress is installed and beautified to your liking, it’s time to write your first post! But don’t worry. WordPress is so easy, if you can write an email, then you can write a blog post. Once you log in to your WordPress dashboard, all you have to do is find the menu item at the top or along the left sidebar that allows you to Add New posts.
Then in the post editing screen that opens up, just start writing. It’s no more technical than writing an email. There are a few buttons at the top of the post editing screen that allow you to make text bold or italic or change font sizes and colors. You can even add images and headings.
Make the title intriguing
When you craft your blog title, make sure it’s clear, creative and clickable. It should tell the reader exactly what the article is about (clear), should inspire some curiosity (creative) and should make the person want to read more (clickable).
Make sure you don’t write “clickbait” titles that promise great insight but leave the reader empty or frustrated. What you want is for people to be intrigued enough by your title when they see it on Facebook, Twitter, or a Google search that they will click through to read your article to find out what it says.
So, for example, if you write an article on how to understand the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25, don’t just call your post “The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.” That is clear, but it’s not creative or clickable.
Instead, call it “One insight on the Parable of the Talents that will change the way you read Matthew 25.” This title is a little long, but you get the idea. It explains what’s in the post, and it creates some curiosity in the reader to click through so that they can discover the one insight. Learn more about how to write great blog posts here.
Break up text
When you write your blog posts, don’t use long columns of text. Instead, include lots of white space. Break the blog post up into short paragraphs of no more than two or three sentences.
Initially this seems like an unnatural way to write, but if you look at most of the articles you read online, you will see that this is how they’re written. People read online differently than they read magazines or books. Write with that in mind.
Similarly, break up your paragraphs with several headings and subheadings. People who read posts online like to scan an article for the sections that interest them most. Your headings and subheadings will make this easier for them to find what they want.
Tell and show
Along with telling your reader what they need to know, you also need to show them. This means that you should always include several images in every single blog post.
This is true even if it’s difficult to find images that fit with the content of your writing. For example, what image would you use to illustrate an article on God’s grace? If you search Google images, you will see that nobody really knows how to “show” grace. (There’s a bit of irony there.)
Regardless, even if you use a picture of a mountain or a tree, this is better than nothing at all. Put a bird on it if you must. The images add color and creativity to your Christian blog post. Check out this article for seven places to find free photos to add interest to your articles.
Once you’re done writing your blog post, click the blue Publish button on the right, and you have just written your first post! Congratulations! Go visit your blog in your favorite internet browser to see your post online, now available for the entire world to read and enjoy.
7. Share, write more, repeat
Your your first post is only the beginning. The key to attracting a following is to keep blogging. It might take a while before your Christian blog gets noticed or gains readers, so persevere! Most people give up way too soon.
To gain readers more rapidly, tell others about your new blog post. Every time you write a new one, you should let people know on various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, or wherever you like to hang out online (you can even automate this using the JetPack plugin). Don’t spam people, but be proud about what you’ve written, and tell them why they might like to read your article.
Once you’ve done this, just keep writing, publishing and promoting your blog posts. Pick regular themes to write about — scripture on Tuesday, relationships on Friday, for example. Ask other Christian bloggers to guest post for you and vice versa. Over time, your blog will gain traction and readers. And who knows? Maybe one day you’ll have one of the most popular Christian blogs on the internet!
Bonus tip: How to get attention
Yes, write it for people, but also write it for people who are online.
Christian bloggers sometimes forget that the people who will read their Christian blog posts and articles are doing so online. This means that the blog posts a Christian writes should be somewhat different than an article for a newspaper or magazine, or even for a devotional piece you might use as a church bulletin insert.
In other words, since people will be finding and reading your blog posts online, this means you need to write your posts in a way that they can easily be found and read online.
Here a suggestion on how to do this.
Think about search engines
One of the best ways to gain readers is to have search engines send them to you. How? By thinking like someone who uses search engines such as Google.
You have performed a search on Google, right? Maybe you found this article by performing such a search.
If so, you know that when you use Google to find something, you enter a question or a phrase into the search box. This is how people find things. Knowing this, you can craft your blog post in a way that makes it more likely for Google to deliver your post to the people looking for answers on this topic.
By thinking about what question or phrase your article addresses, and then inserting this question or phrase into your post in various ways.This is called search engine optimization (SEO) and you can find more details on how to do it here and here.
When you do this, make sure you keep it natural. Don’t ruin the readability of your article by forcing these keywords or phrases into your post. Readers (and search engines) can tell when writing is unnatural, and they will not return.
Also, when it comes using keywords in your post, you should focus on one keyword or key phrase per post. When a person searches for something on Google, Google will likely only offer up one result from your blog (if they think it’s a close enough match). But if you have 10 or more blog posts that all focus on the same keyword or phrase, then Google will not know which one to offer up on the search engine results page.
So write a good article that focuses on something people are actually searching for, and then Google will offer it up, which means more readers for you.
Go, therefore, and blog!
Jesus told His disciples to “Go, therefore, and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). In today’s world, one of the ways Christians can do this by starting a Christian blog. Every time someone reads your blog articles, you are obeying Jesus and helping make disciples of all the nations.
So what are you waiting for? Go out into all the world and start blogging!