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Do you want to start a Christian blog but are not sure what steps to take?
Are you looking for a blog launch checklist? Or maybe you already have a blog but you are so new to blogging and need more help trying to figure everything out.
Or maybe you just don’t have the money to invest right away so you’re just trying to find out if you can start a blog for free to decide if it is really what you want to do. I know that feeling… unfortunately,
ALL TOO WELL. That’s okay.
Or maybe you are kind of like I was before I got started. You feel the Lord prompting you and you’re just exploring the idea. That’s okay, too!
There are lots of bloggers out there creating all kinds of blogs, and do you know what? Some of them are making money doing it. Some of them are fulfilling their calling. And yet, some of them are able to encourage others and point them to Jesus. These are all great reasons to start a blog!
There are a whole lot of fabulous bloggers, of all faiths, with a passion for whatever, providing resources and blog posts for you to read.
But, one thing I found when I started my first Christian blog, Sincerely Christi was that I had a really hard time finding bloggers who were teaching all of the ins and outs of starting a blog that I could identify with, and were running a faith-based blog.
While I gained so much from many of those that have created blogs teaching people how to do it too, I was looking for faith-based encouragement too.
That’s where the idea for How to Start a Christian Blog was born.
But I wasn’t ready yet.
Anywhoo… that’s a story for another day. OR you could just read about how it all began here.
The bottom line is that before I spent any money, I wanted a taste of what I was getting into!
A Blog Launch Checklist would have been helpful in the beginning before I started.
After searching and searching, I never found exactly what I was looking for in the way of a checklist of things I can prepare in advance. Just about everything I read was also encouraging me to spend money.
I just wanted to know if there was anything I could do BEFORE I spent any money on blogging. After all, when I decided to start a blog, I had no money to put into it.
I guess I really wanted to know how to start a blog for FREE.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of valuable resources and all kinds of checklists out there in the internet world, created by all kinds of bloggers, free and for sale! Believe me, I have taken advantage of lots of those resources, especially the free ones.
One of my favorite bloggers that I have followed since the beginning is Suzu Whitford. Her course, Suzi Whitford’s Blog By Number course, shows new bloggers in a very simplistic, easy to understand way, how to get started. She uses the “paint-by-number” sort of sequence to help you figure out the basics of what you are getting into.
Suzi makes thousands of dollars every single month from her blog business and is very successful at what she does. Love her and her resources, and like I said, I have used many of her resources!
I have also stumbled across a community of Christian women running wonderful faith blogs, because I wanted to learn how to create my faith blog as a Christian, with the encouragement of the Word of God, as well as the heart and testimony of ministry, wrapped up in the teaching. Does that make sense? It’s difficult to find many Christian-based “How-to” websites like I was looking for so that is where I got the idea to start How to Start a Christian Blog.
Why should I start a blog?
At one point, I got this notion that the primary purpose of many “start a blog” business blogs are just that, “start-a-blog in 15 minutes and replace your full-time income” as a means for the owner to make money off of me when I purchase through their links. WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY FINE! By the way, being an affiliate for a product is one way that websites make money.
Making money is a valid reason to start a blog. Why else do you go into business? Honestly, making money was in my top 5 reasons for starting a blog.
For Christian bloggers, there tends to be altruistic reasons intertwined. We want others to meet Jesus. We want to do good. We want to share a testimony of what the Lord has done for us! We want to be stay-at-home-moms. So many other reasons to start a blog than just financial opportunities.
You may be wondering like I was if there is anything you can do to prepare to launch a blog.
I’m here to give you a BIG GIANT RESOUNDING YES!!!!
There are lots of things you can begin doing to prepare yourself for starting a Christian blog.
Step 1. Pray, Listen, and start a Journal for all of your ideas that the Lord gives you.
As you create and maintain your blog, you will get lots of ideas to write about. I would encourage you to start with a single notebook, journal, or binder to hold all of your ideas in the same place.
If you don’t, you will end up with scrap pieces of paper, post-its, paper towels, and random notes everywhere! True story. Trust me.
Step 2. Establish what your niche is and who your follower is.
Your niche is your SPECIFIC area of focus, such as DIY crafts for the home, fashion for moms, bullet journaling, and so on. Soooo many different opportunities for creating.
You don’t want readers. You want people to identify with you and feel like a kindred spirit, and want to come back to you week after week.
How do you figure out what your niche is? That’s a big question that I will address in another post. I’m keeping it simple in this one.
Simply put… the best niche is the topic you are passionate about, have some experience with, or could talk about ALL DAY LONG.
Step 3. Pick Your Domain Name, Hosting Plan, and Theme. Budget for them so you can purchase it when you are ready.
One big exception to this is that if you find a domain name that you love, go ahead and get it because it may be one someone else loves too.
A big bonus in deciding on a domain is to consider what your ideal follower might be searching for. For example… My ideal follower was looking for How to Start a Christian Blog! Bingo!
Step 4. Decide on a color scheme, logo, and branding.
This one was hard for me. I still struggle with it from time to time. I start with colors I love and then they grow old to me so I want to change it up.
That is the value of using the Divi theme though. It’s super easy to change my colors and the look of my blog.
Peruse other blogs in your niche and make notes about things you like and don’t like. Hop on Etsy and check out some logos there while you’re brainstorming some ideas.
Step 5. Write 8 to 10 great blog posts.
You want to write to your specific follower to help them solve a question or problem they have, or that connects with their struggle.
There is a lot to learn about Search Engine Optimization (how people find you organically through search engines) and “keywords” but we will talk about that in another post. For now, consider what questions your followers are looking for in Google.
This is a decent start. As you learn more about that topic, you can set yourself a schedule to update them at that point.
Step 6. Learn Canva or PicMonkey and start creating images.
There may be a learning curve to create all of the various images so I would encourage you to begin playing with it as soon as possible.
Canva and PicMonkey are both great tools that have both free and paid versions online and in an app form for your phone or tablet.
Sites like that (or even PhotoShop) are what you will use to create a blog post featured image, Pinterest pins, Instagram images, and pretty much anything else you would make to add color and interest to your blog pages. You can also use Canva to make great e-books, coloring pages, planners, and printables.
Step 7. Create an “opt-in” that people will want.
Consider what kind of helpful freebie you could give people visiting your blog.
I know you have visited many blogs that ask you to sign up for an email list and get a free printable, or e-book, or devotional, or some other exclusive access.
There are so many options for this, but the most important thing to remember is that it should be something your follower feels like they need. We are protective of our emails and don’t just give it to anybody willy-nilly.
Why is an opt-in important? Your email list belongs to you. This is your audience of believers. It’s who you are going to help. It’s also going to be the first people willing to trust you as you build a relationship with them, to come to you for advice or to buy something you love or have created especially for them. These are your peeps.
Step 8. Learn email automation and write your welcome series.
Oh my gosh! This was so tricky to me when I started. I still can let it be overwhelming at times. I am not good at this part of my blog world BUT it is sooooo important!
Get ahead of everything and go ahead and create a welcome series of letters that you can send to people when they subscribe to your opt-in.
Maybe start with about 8 to 10 letter templates. You can actually just write these out in a document or go ahead and create them using MailChimp or Mailerlite. Both have free plans for beginners.
There are lots of tutorials on YouTube to help you learn too. Go ahead and do some learning while you are planning everything out.
Step 9. Create your top 2 social media accounts and begin populating them with posts for your audience.
You might think this is silly but go ahead and start creating a following on social media. Just start with 2 until you get a rhythm going.
Consider where you would be most likely to find your peeps hanging out.
One other thought to consider is that Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media site. People go on Pinterest to find things. They type things in the search bar the same way and therefore, can be a booster to people finding you and visiting your blog as a result.
Step 10. Purchase theme and hosting now.
Now, this is where the rubber meets the road…so to speak. This is where you get busy! You are already ahead of the game though because you have already done a lot of the work on the back-end, so now it’s just bringing it all to life.
Another magical thing happens when you go through this checklist, is that you find out if you are really committed to creating and maintaining a blog.
It’s more than just writing a little and tossing something on the page. There is a lot that goes into it, but it is so rewarding in the end.
Do you feel called to start but can’t seem to get past the fear? That was me several years ago. You will want to read this to encourage you so you can step into whatever God is calling you to.
Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest. I’m just getting started with How to Start a Christian Blog, but there is so much that I have planned that you aren’t going to want to miss!
Also, a printable checklist coming soon!