We see from the Blogging Pastor Poll Results that were posted back in November that 72% of pastors aren’t blogging successfully. I can’t imagine that the percentage has changed over the Christmas season, so we’ll assume those numbers are still accurate.
Ignoring the fact that 56% said that they don’t even have a blog, we’ll jump straight to the next issue. What’s keeping your blog from being as effective as possible? We’re going to look at four common problems and offer four easy ways to fix them.
1. Using misspelled words and poor grammar.
While distracting readers is one risk, another is the possibility of losing credibility with your readers. Although there’s little need to stick to MLA or Turabian formatting rules, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to throw out intelligent writing altogether.
There are a couple of steps you can take to make sure you avoid this pitfall. First, use your automatic spellchecker. If your blog platform doesn’t offer it built-in, then use an external text editor that does have one and then copy/paste the purified text into your blog. Second, have someone else read the post before it’s posted. A second pair of eyes will catch misspelled words, poor grammar and other oddities that your eyes won’t see.
2. Posting sporadically.
Finding a rhythm can be one of the most useful habits you can form when it comes to blogging. If you can’t dedicate yourself to a daily posting regimen, then post every other day or on Mondays and Thursdays. It doesn’t matter when you post as long as your readers can somewhat predict when it will happen.
3. Using inside jokes that only few of your readers understand.
This is less obvious because inside jokes don’t seem that way to the folks who are on the inside. The best way to remedy this blogging faux pas is to blog consciously. Think about or maybe even outline what you write before you start writing. Another benefit of this is that you’ll find the content (the meat) of what you write will begin to improve and become more worthy of being read.
I’m going to get in trouble for this one, but it’s one of the biggest hindrances and turnoffs to readers. Mind-dumps should not take place on your pastoral blog. They’re disorganized, choppy, difficult to follow and usually pointless. After encountering several mind-dumps, your readers will become either frustrated or bored with your blog and leave. Move that sort of content to another blog or mini-blog (try Tumblr) that you use for more personal topics. A fix for this taboo is, again, planning.
Any one of these taboos can send readers packing. Beware and be aware that your blog is fragile and your readers are fickle. Don’t assume that people will read simply because you’re the pastor. Valuable, logical, intelligent content can take your blog from good to great.