Okay, don’t laugh at me. This post was inspired from Tony Morgan’s breakout at the 2008 Unleash. Yeah, the 2008 conference. Yes the 2009 conference was last week… I’m just a little behind. No, I didn’t go, but I read Rich Butler’s notes from the breakout a year ago and I saved this as a draft and have been putting off writing this post. I’m not really sure why, but I’m glad I did.
Here are the main points:
1. Determine your primary audience.
2. Post regularly.
3. Keep your post short.
4. Don’t sell yourself.
5. Use Humor
6. Stop Attacking other people and ministries on your blog. (Hurt people, hurt people!)
7. Remember blogging isn’t private.
8. Be a thought leader.
9. Don’t listen to your critiques until you know their heart and motivation.
10. Reveal the real you.
In the last year I’ve seen the audience to this blog triple. I’m no expert at all, but I’ve seen these things work. Here’s my take on Tony’s notes:
1. Determine your primary audience. He’s right. Seth Godin talks about this a lot on his blog. Find your niche. Honestly, there aren’t that many Children’s Pastors out there blogging (more now than ever, but the market isn’t saturated).
2. Post regularly. This is a big one. I see my audience grow most when I’m posting at least 5-7 times a week. Oddly enough, I see a huge surged when I take a week or two off and then slam out 2-3 weeks of 1-2 posts a day. Although, I think the better pace to to post ahead of time and not take any breaks in blogging.
3. Keep your post short. I suck at this. My wife is a skimmer and I know there are a lot of skimmers out there. She doesn’t read all of my long posts and she’s my wife, so I know the other skimmers aren’t either. When I’ve got longer posts, I try to make a series out of it, chopping it up into bite-sized chunks.
4. Don’t sell yourself. I’m assuming he’s talking about self-promotion. I’d agree with this. You can tell when you meet someone who’s really taken with himself. I don’t want to be that guy. I was probably over-cautious on this originally until Karl Bastian recommended that I put my profile on the blog as he couldn’t even figure out who was the author. I figured that if you’ve got good stuff to say, people will figure out who you are.
5. Use Humor. Funny blogs are certainly more fun.
6. Stop Attacking other people and ministries on your blog. (Hurt people, hurt people!) Honestly, I haven’t encountered too much of this in other places and see no value in this. The only criticism I’ll put out there is on a product and I’m not afraid to be honest with my opinions on a product or resource.
7. Remember blogging isn’t private. My wife helps me remember this one. There is a line between “authenticity” and TMI. Many posts have been edited or deleted after they’ve been published. Seriously, my wife makes me so much better than I am on my own.
8. Be a thought leader. You know, every now and again inspiration hits and I’ll have a stinkin’ cool idea (It doesn’t always come naturally. Ha!. I publish it and bam, my audience spikes, comments are left and new ideas and thoughts are generated. It doesn’t happen all the time, but once it does, it’s really fun. It challenges me to think about my posts a little more. Anyone can blog about what they’re doing, but it takes some forethought to push the envelope with new and creative ideas.
9. Don’t listen to your critiques until you know their heart and motivation. It’s like water on a ducks back. Seriously, although it would be fun to read a fight in someone’s comment thread, I think it would be embarrassing to get into it with a commenter. I haven’t had any of this on my blog yet, so this is still theoretical. However, I have a feeling that if you’re not getting some critiques, you’re probably not really pushing the envelope enough.
10. Reveal the real you. This is why I love twitter and why so many people don’t get it. If I’m a reader of your blog, I do want to know who you are. The way we write helps and so does twitter.
Okay, that’s my assessment. Hope it helps.
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