I have a few thoughts on the role of blogging for those of us who lead children’s ministries in the church. Whether you are an experienced blogger or have yet to try it out yet, you want to test your ideas in the broader marketplace, blogging can be a great tool to give you practical experience. Here is a short list of how you might find your voice in writing, improving your technical skills along the way as you also refine your ideas.
- As you blog your thoughts, do your best to use correct grammar and punctuation, unless of course you have some reason to divert from proper usage in order to illustrate a point. Why? Your writing will be easier to read for the average user. The real writing begins after your initial post is written. Editing is writing. This is true for authors of articles and books, and for bloggers who wish to be taken seriously in the marketplace of ideas.
- Read well-written blogs which cover your desired general topic, such as children’s ministry or technology in ministry. Know what is being written. Be conversant in the ideas which are being discussed. Note the exchange of ideas in the comments sections. What would you do similarly or differently and why?
- Ask experienced writers to critique your writing.
- Ask people who represent your intended audience to give you feedback on the clarity and content of your writing. How do you do this? Go live with your blog and ask for feedback. When you feel you are ready, then you can begin to market your blog.
- Market your blog through social media such as twitter, facebook, myspace, etc. Make sure rss readers can detect and use your content. If you have questions on how to do this leave a comment and I will direct you to good resources.
- Be yourself. Do not try to be someone else. Early on in my blogging I tried too hard to put content out there that I thought people wanted to read. Then in other posts I would post content which was totally irrelevant such as the progress in developing a website which never really took off. It was inconsistent and probably confusing to blog readers. The reality is I had not really done my homework on what was out there in blogging content. Plus I was a novice who did not fully understand the blogging world and its social dynamics. What I realized is that I was trying to seem professional but I ended up seeming cheesy, at least to my eyes at this distance. Now I am simply trying to be myself in the blogging and social media world as God made me. Sometimes my blogs are personal and at other times they deal with professional stuff, but it is the natural outflow of my life and experience, rather than what I think people want to hear. I think it is helping me to find my authentic writing voice.
What do you think? Do you agree with my thoughts above? Disagree? Anything to add?