Alright, so you’ve decided that your church should have a blog and you’ve chosen who will manage the blog (or blogs) and what the blog will be about. But your job isn’t over yet. Now you need to get people to read the blog. So, how to do you distribute and promote your blog to make it successful not only within your church, but also as a church marketing tool?
1. Blog Directories – These are just like website directories except they are for blogs. Some of the more popular blog directories are Blogarama, BlogCatalog, and Bloggernity. If your blog is separate from your church website, you can also submit it to regular website directories. If it’s part of your church’s website, most directories will only except the church site and not the subsection that is your blog.
2. Blog Rolls – A blog roll is a feature on a website that lists blogs that the webmaster either recommends or subscribes to. There are a lot of websites, especially blogs, that have blog rolls. Do a search for blogs that are related to your church’s blog topic or just related to church blogs and ask them to add you to their blog roll if they have one. You can offer to add them to your church’s blog roll as well if you want.
3. Comment On Other Blogs – This is one of the more important things you can do. Engage other bloggers who are blogging about topics related to your blog. This can get you involved in the conversations on other blogs that already have readers interested in what you are blogging about. Be sure to include a link to your blog in your comments.
4. Article Distribution – There are several websites that publish and distribute articles. Some of the more popular article distribution sites are EzineArticles, Isnare, and ArticleBase. These sites have thousands of publishers who have signed up to receive articles about certain topics or genres. The articles include a bio about the author, in this case your church. These publishers can then publish those articles and your church’s bio is listed on their website. The one drawback to article distribution is other websites will be able to freely post your articles on their site. So, if you want to keep the articles solely on your church’s website, article distribution is not something you should do. An added benefit, however, is one-way inbound links that are helpful with the search engines.
5. Tweet It – Twitter even has an way to automatically have your blog posts tweeted in your Twitter account. You can not only tweet the articles on your church Twitter account (if you have one) but church members can all tweet about the articles as well to reach all the people that are following them.
6. Facebook Blog Feed – As with Twitter, Facebook also has a blog feed feature that will automatically post your church’s blog feed. This is good to setup with your church’s Facebook Page, but again, ask your members to do this in their Facebook accounts as well.
7. Announce It – I assume that as a church you have church services and that you members attend. Announce the blog. Then announce it again and again. Put it in the bulletin and the church newsletter. Make a special announcement on the homepage of your church website.
8. Tell Others – Talk about the blog with friends and co-workers. Encourage your members to do the same.
9. Ask Members With Websites To Link To The Blog – Chances are that many of your church members have a website. Ask them to link to the church’s blog (and the church’s website). This helps with the search engines by providing links and can provide visitors you would not normally reach.
10. Have Your Denomination Headquarters Link To The Blog – Assuming your Denominational or Association headquarters has a website, ask them to link to your church’s blog. Since blogging is still a relatively new thing for churches, you may even be able to get the denomination/association to write an article for the whole denomination about how your church is blogging.
11. Auto Feeds On Websites – Some websites have an automated blog feed on the website. It’s like an RSS feedreader you may use personally, except it’s displayed on a website. Basically, the title and excerpt from a blog (or possibly even the entire article) are displayed on the page of website. Usually all the blog entries are related to a specific topic (e.g. “news of the day” or “church marketing articles”). It’s a way to have fresh content added automatically to a page.?
Some blog sites are solely auto feed blogs automatically posting articles from other blogs and not actually add any of their own original content. I don’t recommend getting added to these types of sites, but some websites provide a page with an auto feed as a resource page for their visitors. If you can find sites with auto feed resource pages like this. Ask them to add your church’s blog. You may even want to check with your denominational headquarters to see if they have a auto feed page for member church’s blogs. If they don’t suggest they add one. If you have more than one blog for your church, add an auto feed page on your church’s website for the various church blogs.
12. RSS – While RSS doesn’t really promote your blog in the sense of getting new readers, it does promote it with your existing readers. It’s always easier to get a visitor to return then it is to get a new person to visit. The RSS feed delivers the blog posts directly to the people who subscribe both notifying them about the post and inviting them to return to the blog.
What other ways do you promote your church blog?
Kurt Steinbrueck is a Deacon at his church and has been Director of Marketing Services with Ourchurch.Com for over 5 years providing Christian search engine optimization services including a service specific for church marketing, the Top Church Search Rankings service, a church search engine optimization service. Please contact Kurt at OurChurch.Com if you would be interested in getting better rankings for your church in the search engines.