I did a lot of research for this workshop. I cite every source for the information I present here. I hope this information is helpful. I’m going to post the final section of my NACC presentation in several smaller parts.
Soon after I started my blog, http://www.reallivepreacher.com/, I began communicating with a gay man in California who is living with AIDS. Through my blog, we began what has become a four-year friendship. Recently, he called me. I had written something on my blog that had moved him, and he phoned to tell me, “I just wanted you to know, I kind of think about myself as a Christian now.”
I’ve had a number of these types of encounters through my blog, and all of them came out of an honest sharing of who I am, instead of attempts to evangelize. I now believe, as do many pastors around the world, that my blog is as fruitful an instrument as my pulpit.
How to do it by Anthony D. Coppedge:
Set-up Time: 20 minutes to set up your blog
Maintenance: 15 minutes a day to blog
1. Choose blog software. http://www.typepad.com/ and http://www.wordpress.com/ offer both easy and inexpensive ways to create a professional blog. Blogger.com is free.
2. Register a domain name (such as Johnsmith.com), and direct it to your blog URL. If you switch to different blog software or another service, you’ll be able to take your name and your readership with you. Register a domain name at Yahoo.com under the Small Business section.
3. Start writing. You’re entering a system of writing and publishing that’s purely natural selection. Be honest, talk straight and write well. If your blogs are intriguing and eloquent, you’ll eventually attract readers. Make sure you include an “About” section to let readers know who you are.
4. Promote your blog. It’s rare that someone starts a blog, and a lot of people find it immediately. However, you can promote your blog by using targeted keywords in your titles, links and blog posts. Search engines like Google look for these words, and you’ll maximize the chances of your blog appearing in search results.
You can also promote your blog by actively participating in the blogging community. Some simple ways to do this:
• Visit other blogs, read them and leave a comment with your blog address.
• Reference, quote and link to other blogs in your blog.
• “Blogroll” other writers, which means listing their blog among “favorite blogs” on your site. Understand that in the blogosphere, being blogrolled is a big deal, but when people list you, they often expect you to return the favor.
5. Use good blogging etiquette. It’s OK to give your honest opinion in a blog comment. Don’t be surprised when people do on yours. When you’re leaving a comment on someone else’s blog, realize this is not objective journalism—it’s a blog.
6. Write several times a week. When you don’t update your blog frequently, readers move on.
7. Be aware. Everything you say has consequences. In any church, pastors who write honestly about their struggles will have critics.
8. Don’t preach. The blog world is particularly sensitive to agenda-driven blogs. Instead, think “conversation” and honestly share who you are. Blogs are a wonderful way to share with people you might never meet, but remember to do other bloggers the honor of being in relationship with them.