Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

10 blogging mistakes pastors & laypersons should avoid

Scenario – church uber geek gets the pastor all hooked-up with WordPress with Google Analytics. No long afterwards, pastor begins to pontificate like Spurgeon (or at least Phil Johnson). After a month, both geek-boy and the pastor are shocked to find out that the site averages 0.75 visits a day, with a bounce rate of 95%. What happened?

I think a good number, specifically 10, of the reasons are best summed up by Jason Kaneshiro in his Webomatica post entitled “Ten Blogging Mistakes I’ve Made,” where he writes:

“After several long months of blogging with steadily increasing results, I’ve encountered some bumps along the road. I thought I’d post some mistakes that I now regret and am working to rectify in my quest to improve this blog. Save yourself some pain and frustration: avoid doing these things; I wish I had!”

I’ve modified his list a bit for application (and relevence) to your church and/or charity’s website – but here they are in no particular order of preference:

  1. Getting hung up on high-tech instead of compelling content;
  2. Assuming Google will do all of your site’s ‘networking’ and ‘advertising’ for you;
  3. Shoot-off-mouth first, ask questions later;
  4. Shotgun topics – too many points (pellets) in one post;
  5. Anemic headlines that have no zing;
  6. Ignored or devalued commenters and their input;
  7. Shotgun categories – not taking control of your niche of expertise;
  8. Assumed it would be easy;
  9. An ugly URL that is hard to remember (lest spell)
  10. Know-it-all-itis

My personal favs of the above enumeration is anemic headlines and shotgun topics & categories … and with apologies to Kaneshiro, I’ll add one more to his most excellent list:

  1. poorly constructed exceprts and/or lead paragraphs.

Three things I keep repeating here, and will continue to repeat:

  • People don’t read the web, they scan it;
  • Aggregators and search engines index and list titles and excerpts (or lead paragraphs where excerpts aren’t present) – write to that;
  • We cannot serve two (or more) masters – write to a single topic, if you have more, post more tomorrow.

What about you, any other suggestions on how to drive in traffic through compelling, well-focused content?