Do you love checklists? I do.
I have checklists for everything – my housework, my grocery list, and even my blog.
Perhaps you’ve seen some of the blogger checklists floating around Pinterest. They look something like this:
For every post, make sure you:
- Optimize for SEO
- Create a catchy title
- Include images for Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram
- Link to other articles on your blog
- Link to other bloggers
- Use plenty of subheadings and bullet points
- Double check your grammar
- Submit to social media upon publishing
The list goes on and on.
And really, there’s nothing wrong with a blogging checklist. I use a few myself, and they help me remember everything I need to do before (and after) I hit publish.
When you’re a Christian blogger, though, there are a few unique items you should add to your blogging checklist. I’m not perfect about doing any of these things, but I find my blogging is generally more effective when I use this list.
4 Things a Christian Blogger Should Do Before Hitting Post
These days anyone can write and publish anything. But when we write as Christian bloggers, we need to remember that we are representing Christ.
The stakes are high, because we want to represent him well, but we are not perfect, so we can’t represent him perfectly.
Before you begin to write, let go of the notion that you can represent Christ perfectly. Represent him to the best of your ability. That’s all he calls you to do.
Then take the following steps.
Before writing a blog post pray about what you will say. I’ve found that sometimes when I pray, God enables the words to just flow.
Other times I’ve found that God does not want me to write about what I thought I should write, and he completely changes my direction.
If you’re representing Christ with your writing, doesn’t it make sense to ask him for direction and help as you write?We, as Christian bloggers, need to remember we are representing ChristClick To Tweet
Ask These Questions
Getting clear about who you are writing to and why you are writing is important for getting your message out there.
Before I even outline my blog posts, I like to answer the following questions.
Who is the ideal reader for this blog post?
The reader should be someone who is also the ideal reader for your overall site.
On my blog, I write for women who want to deepen their relationship with Christ. Not all, but a large portion of my readers, also love to read books, and some of my readers are Christian bloggers (hey, that’s you!).
I write almost all of my blog posts to that audience. It’s less confusing to my readers when I’m consistent. It will be less confusing to your readers if you’re consistent, too.
How will this post benefit my reader?
It’s not enough to know who your reader is. People read blogs to gain a benefit. If you’re a Christian blogger, you’re probably wanting your reader to see a spiritual truth or begin a habit that will help them grow in Christ.
Knowing what thoughts you want your reader to walk away with or what action you want her to take will help you write your blog post effectively.
Do I have something important to say? Or is this post just noise?
The blogosphere is a noisy place these days. Don’t write a post just because you feel like you need to publish something this week. Make sure you publish quality content.
On the flip side, it’s easy to talk yourself out of publishing a post, because someone else has already said what you have to say. As Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV) says,
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
And it’s true. Someone probably has said what you have to say before. However, God has given you a unique story, and you may be able to reach someone in a way that another blogger with a different story cannot.
How many times has the gospel story been told? And yet every time it is told, seeds are planted. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. Write what God has called you to write.Do you have something important to say? Or is your post just noise?Click To Tweet
Does this post represent Christ and Christians well?
This is perhaps the most important question you can ask. Is what you are going to write and how you are going to write it a good representation of Christ?
By reading your words, is a non-Christian going to be drawn to Christ or turned away? Because there’s always a chance that a non-Christian will read your writing.
You don’t want to be the Westboro Baptist church of the blogosphere. Think about your post from the position of someone struggling in their faith.
Because we are representing Christ, it’s important to make sure our posts are scripturally sound.
Before hitting the publish button, read your post over to check for scriptural accuracy.
When you quote scripture, are you quoting the verses in context? Does your post reflect what the Bible says on the subject you are writing?
I’m not saying don’t write about your opinions. I love a good opinion post. Just make sure your readers know the difference between when you are stating your opinion and when you are writing about biblical truths.
Frequently before I hit publish, I look up verses I’m quoting in my ESV Study Bible or an online concordance. The extra time it takes to be accurate is worth it.
As a bonus the extra study helps my own understanding of the Bible, too.
The last thing I try to do before I hit post (and I don’t always remember) is to pray again.
I pray that:
- The post will bless the people who read it.
- God will point readers to the truth.
- Readers will overlook any area where I am inaccurate.
- God will use my writing for his glory.
This last prayer helps me keep the focus on God and my readers and takes my focus off myself.
If my writing is truly for God’s glory and the benefit of my readers, my blog post belongs to God to do as he pleases. That may mean 10 readers read it, or it may mean the post goes viral.
It’s not up to me. My job is to be obedient in my writing. God’s job is to provide the results as he sees fit.
And that’s the freedom of being a Christian blogger. We can do things to increase our page views and site traffic, but in the end we can rest in the fact that the results are up to the Lord.
We don’t need to be in competition with other bloggers. We don’t need to do everything the blogging “experts” say we need to do. We need to be obedient. Then we need to let God do his work.