Christian Blogging 101: How to Get Started
If starting a ministry or faith-filled blog has been heavy on your heart, this post may be just the tug you’ve needed to dip your toes in the virtual waters and share your love of Jesus, and His word, with your potential audience.
Blogging is not only a fun hobby, but it’s an amazing way to connect with an audience, share your message, be creative, and can even earn you a little (or a lot) of money.
If you’ve been considering starting a dot com for awhile, here are some tips and tricks to get you started successfully in the world of christian blogging.
Christian Blogging 101: How to Get Started
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Can christians be bloggers?
A common question I’ve seen pop up in various forums is “can christians be bloggers?” and “can christians be business owners?”
The answer to both is yes.
But really, keep in mind that any doubts or questions you have should first be directed to the Man himself.
Pray about it. If you’re feeling like you want to start a faith-filled blog or business, turn to God to know if that’s the path you should follow.
No one else can tell you what your calling should be.
What does God say about blogging?
Now, I don’t know what translation you’ve been reading, but blogging wasn’t really a thing in the Old or New Testaments, which means there’s not a dedicated book to this very topic.
But the bible does touch on some scriptures that I think can be helpful.
“For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”1 Corinthians 9:16 NIV
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””Matthew 28:19-20 NIV
Why start a christian blog?
We are taught that it is our job as christians to help spread the word of God. This is in the daily conversations we have, spreading His good news, sharing our testimony, and ministering to others. You can also make Him and His message the primary focus of your blog.
But one word of warning to anyone who enters the world of blogging. It often goes hand-in-hand with social media, which can sometimes be a good, or bad thing.
Do not forget..
“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”1 John 2:16 NIV
If your focus shifts to caring more about numbers than it does spreading God’s word; if you become consumed with gaining more likes and followers, then it may be time to take a step back and remind yourself why you wanted to create this space to begin with.
How do I start a christian blog?
Starting a blog may feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Just answer these questions and follow these steps, and your bright, shiny, new blog will be ready to publish in no time.
Identify your niche
The very first thing you’ll want to do is decide on your niche. Your niche is the specific topic you want to cover in the market. It also encompasses your target audience.
To identify your niche, ask yourself the following questions:
- What problem am I trying to solve?
- What topics do I want to talk about?
- Who is my ideal reader? (You can even go as far as creating an avatar for your ideal reader. What is her name, where is she from? What does she do? etc).
Maybe you want to focus on creating a blog that studies and provides resources for the Old Testament. Or maybe your niche focuses on bible school resources for church youth leaders.
Maybe you want to create a faith-filled marriage blog, or one for christian moms.
Identify your specific area up front because it will make everything else so much easier as you go.
Why is it important to define a niche?
Identifying a niche is important for growth (traffic) of your blog, as well as the potential to monetize someday. Yes, you could in theory create a “lifestyle” christian blog that encompasses a variety of topics, but you’ll have a harder time nailing down a target audience, as well as a more difficult time ranking on Google.
Instead, when your site is specific, and Google can clearly see the topic of your blog – that’s a good thing. Of course, SEO also plays a big role in this but that’s a topic for a different day!
Name your blog (and secure your domain)
Once you’ve identified your niche, problem you’ll solve, and target audience, you’ll want to decide on a blog name.
You’ll want to pick something that fits your brand, and make sure that it’s something simple to remember, and easy to use in a URL.
Yes, you can go back and rebrand/change things later. But I promise you it’s easier to start out from the beginning with a name you love, and a name that fits.
Before you commit 100%, do a little backend research. Type the name you’ve selected into social media platforms and also, Google it. Do you see any other pages coming up with the same or similar name? And if so, what industry are they?
If you’re hoping for your page to be one of a kind (which honestly, is a little harder to do these days in terms of names), make sure you’re picking a name that’s unique, and doesn’t have any other businesses (especially similar businesses) associated with it.
The potential issue that could come up down the road if you do choose a name that’s already in use could involve trademark law (not to mention confusing potential readers).
BUT – if there’s a similar name out there for a small business that’s nowhere close to the same topic or industry as you, and it’s not in your state, you may be okay.
Just know that it’s a chance you may be taking.
Secure and register your domain
After naming your blog, you’ll want to secure and register the domain name. The domain name is the web address (url) for your website. Example: saltsparrow.com.
You can get a dot com for less than $7 through Namecheap, or less than $5 through GoDaddy. Both are great deals, and trustworthy providers. I tend to use GoDaddy as my default when I need a domain, but I’ve used both with great outcomes.
The internet currently shows there are over 350 million registered domains out there, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a little trial and error to get your dream name and domain name to both line up.
If you’re running into a situation where it’s not lining up perfectly, don’t stress. You can tweak the domain name to match your business name, shorten it, use abbreviations, or – you can change the name altogether.
On the other hand, if you have a brand name and domain name in mind and it is available, snag it while it’s there. Domains get purchased every single day, so if one is available that you like, grab it. Even if you’re not ready to build the website that it’ll eventually belong to.
Note: this would also be the time to secure your blog name on social media! Even if you don’t plan on using every platform, or starting out on social, still secure those handles so you have them in the future, and so that someone else can’t snag them!
Choose your blogging platform and hosting provider
The next step is deciding which platform you’re going to use for your blog. A blogging platform is where you create and maintain your blog. For example: Wordpess, Wix, ShowIt, Blogger, etc.
If creative control and the potential for monetization sounds appealing, then the best platform to choose is self-hosted WordPress. If you’re wanting to incorporate a virtual storefront where you can sell digital or physical goods, you can download a plugin called Woocommerce for WordPress, or opt for using Shopify as your platform instead (this is also a topic for another day, because there are a LOT of options you can consider with this!)
Can christian bloggers make money?
Absolutely! All it takes is a well-defined business plan, a clearly defined niche and target audience, problem you’ll solve with a solution, and practice + SEO.
Ways you can monetize your christian blog include:
- Affiliate marketing
- Brand sponsorhips
- Selling digital products
- Selling physical products
Just to name a few! But that’s also a topic for another day. Let’s get back to the basics..
Since I recommend WordPress, let’s dive into that just a bit.
Choosing self-hosted WordPress over WordPress dot com will be vital, because self-hosted is the better option (even though WordPress dot com is free). This may sound super confusing, but basically all it means is that you’ll fully own your site, have total control over what you post, and you’ll have the option to earn money from your website down the road.
Whichever platform you choose, just make sure that it’s going to provide the features you’re wanting for your blog.
Find the perfect hosting provider for your self-hosted WordPress blog
Hosting can be thought of as your blog’s “home” on the internet. It’s like paying rent and utilities for your website. It’s the virtual space that’s going to keep your blog and content going and allowing them to be visible to anyone who lands on your site.
If you opt for a platform such as Wix, ShowIt, or Shopify, the hosting plan will be included through the platform and with the initial/monthly/annual costs of your site.
If you select self-hosted WordPress, then you’ll get to choose who your hosting provider will be.
When researching potential hosts, you’ll want to pay attention to their reputation, support options, site speed, and overall cost.
Faster hosting providers are typically going to be a little more expensive, but site speed is a core vital that Google will pay a lot of attention to. So you’ll need to determine what’s important to you.
I’m a big fan of Siteground for hosting. Yes, they’re a little on the pricier side, but I have used them for over ten blogs that I’ve managed and cannot say enough good things about them – from the speed, the features, and the support.
One thing to remember is that you do not have to buy your domain name through the same place where you’re receiving hosting services. In fact, some experts would say it’s better to keep them separate.
When you get your host set up, you can point your domain name to the host. If that confuses you, don’t let it. You should be able to have technical support through your hosting provider help with this as needed.
It’s super simple, and takes just a couple minutes, tops, to do.
Congratulations, you’re now a blogger!
Now that you’ve got this new project up and ready to go, it’s time to install a theme, get your pages set up, start creating content, and get some traffic rolling in!
Bonus: download a FREE blogging starter checklist that tells you step by step what you need in order to make this blogging dream a reality, plus a list of additional resources that will be helpful to you along the way!
If you found this post helpful, or have more blogging questions, be sure to add a comment on this post!
Very helpful! Thanks for writing this. What are your thoughts on how often a writer should post a new blog post?
Hey Sandy! So glad you liked the post! Honestly – the biggest thing with publishing new posts is to be consistent. If that means publishing daily posts, 3 posts per week, or only 1 post per week… figure out a schedule and rhythm that works for you and stick to it. Blogging, SEO, and Google Rankings are a long-term project. So the more quality content you can produce (and keep producing) will serve you better over time! 🙂