How to start a Christian blog broken down into 10 steps you can do. Everything you need to know to get started on your blogging journey awaits you here. Welcome fellow writer!
Beginning a Christian Blog
I’m thrilled you’ve stumbled across this post, and you’re interested in writing a Christian blog. I believe we all have a story to tell. The internet needs more positive voices standing up for Jesus.
I’ve outlined how to start a Christian blog in 10 steps below. As you’ll find, this resource, as with any blogging support, isn’t meant to be exhaustive. There’s too much to cover.
Once you start down your blogging path, you’ll find there’s always something new to learn. That’s why I think steps #1 and #10 below on how to start a Christian blog are the most important: don’t get led astray and stay faithful to your calling.
Best of luck!
How to start a Christian blog in easy, broken down steps
- Find Your Why
- Determine Your Niche
- Choose a Name for Your Blog
- Choose a Webhost
- Install a Theme
- Write, Write, Write
- Promote Your Blog
- Make Money
- Email Lists
- Put Your Head Down
Step 1: Find Your “Why”
It’s no secret that writing a Christian blog won’t bring in the big bucks. You can be successful, but compared to other niches, Christian blogging doesn’t always make as much money as other avenues.
That’s not to discourage you from starting a Christian blog, but I encourage you to find a reason for your blog outside of money. Discover your purpose to keep you going during the early months (possibly years) when you aren’t making any money.
Blogging, in general, is a long game, and Christian blogging even more so.
Discover what’s your “why.”
- Who do you want to help?
- Do you have a story to tell?
- Do you hope to write a book one day?
Going to God in prayer before you go any further is crucial.
Ask Him to show you the purpose of your Christian blog and the direction you should take. Writing down your “why” and keeping it where you can see it when you work will help you over the years. You can turn this into your mission statement if you desire, but the critical part to remember is that you are writing for a reason bigger than yourself and money.
Step 2: Determine Your Niche
A niche is a segment you want to focus catering your blog towards. Although you’re most likely considering a Christian blog since you’re reading this post, the more you narrow your niche, the more your readers become invested.
For example, Grace for Single Parents caters to Single, Christian Moms. I write posts such as Praying with Your Children or God as Your Co-Parent.
The articles on my site don’t include marriage or speak directly to churches or pastors.
Whom within the Christian space do you want to write for?
Step 3: Choose a Name for Your Blog
Probably the most exciting part of starting a blog is choosing your name. You will want to choose a name for your blog that is easy for other people to remember.
That means as much as you may want to be clever, don’t intentionally misspell words or try too hard to make it catchy.
Spend some time brainstorming names that speak to your “why” and match your niche.
Since you’re writing in the Christian niche consider using words like God, Bible, Faith, Christian, etc. in the title for SEO purposes. It’s not necessary, but it can help you get a leg up to tell Google what your blog is about.
Purchase Your Domain
Once you have a list of potential names, you can go to GoDaddy or NameCheap and do a domain name search to see if your domain ideas are available and get ideas for other names. You can do this step without buying anything.
Once you’ve decided on a domain name, it’s time to purchase your URL. It’s good practice to purchase your domain from a separate company than from your web host. So for the domain, I’d suggest buying from GoDaddy or NameCheap because you can get good deals for your URL.
However, I would not use these as your WebHost because they don’t provide great support or reliable hosting. Your WebHost is very important.
Step 4: Choose a Webhost
I started with Bluehost because they are very cost-effective, and they were adequate for my purposes for the first year. If you’re unsure if you’ll sustain blogging for the long term, or if you don’t want to spend very much money at the beginning then go ahead and get started with Bluehost.
One of my clients uses Bluehost for over a decade now with no issues.
When you’re ready to grow, I suggest Siteground.
They have many growth options and unbeatable support.
It can be a bit of a technical process to switch web hosts. If you’re nervous about doing that down the road then either start out with Siteground or plan on having your new host do the work for you.
Step 5: Install Your Theme
Once you’ve chosen a host, you’ll be prompted to install WordPress then a theme.
Here’s where it gets fun and a little overwhelming! But the fun part is that you get to design your Christian blog.
First things first – you want WordPress.com, not .org, so you own your content. You work hard, you don’t want anything to happen to your work!
If you’re new to WordPress, I suggest taking the course WordPress Quick Start from WP Apprentice.
Learning new software can be confusing, but you’ll be using WordPress every day so you’ll need to get familiar with it. Even if you think you’ll rely on a developer in the future, these necessary WordPress skills are something every blogger needs.
Install Your Theme
You’ll be prompted to install a theme. Everyone has an opinion on which theme is best. Rest assured: you can change your theme throughout your blogging journey. I’ve changed mine three times in two years, and I didn’t use a developer.
I started with a free theme to get going, and you can do the same if you want.
Bloggers can get caught up in the weeds with theme design and never see a post published. In the beginning, there’s nothing wrong with picking a free theme and moving on for now.
Later you can buy a user-friendly theme and redesign your site. Once you have a better feel for what you want to accomplish and feedback from your visitors.
When you’re ready to buy a theme, I suggest Genesis Framework and the Restored 316 themes. Take a look at their site and all the different themes they have. Restored 316 is known in the blogging industry for having a great selection of feminine themes that go great in the Christian niche.
My site is using the Captivating theme. It’s my second theme with Restored 316. The beauty of their themes is that you can easily switch them out, once you’ve installed one theme.
Take their quiz to find out which theme would work best for your website:
Step 6: Write, Write, Write
Now you’re ready to write! But what do you write about?
The best advice is to determine 4-6 categories you want your blog divided up into and that you can consistently blog about. Then brainstorm multiple article topics for each category.
How to Create Awesome Posts
Practice, practice, practice
There is no other way to become a better writer than to practice. After a year of writing, you’ll look back at your posts from the beginning and surely see your progress.
Write to Your Avatar
An avatar is a specific person you make up who you direct all your posts, emails, and communication towards.
In the Making Oprah Podcast, Oprah explained how her team discussed each show together and how their avatar whom they’d given a name and personalized, would relate to the show. Their avatar for the show was a made-up person who embodied everything the show stood for.
They created the shows specifically for that one person, their avatar. I don’t think anyone would argue over The Oprah show’s success!
Grammarly is software that’s similar to having a copywriter double-check all your writing for you. It goes above and beyond what MS Word’s spellchecker does. Grammarly gives suggestions and checks your sentence structure.
I use the paid plan, but the free version has plenty of perks.
Take a class
Learning to write online is different than what we learned in English class. There are separate, unspoken rules, and ways to keep your audience engaged. The best teacher I’ve found to explain this is Kelly Holmes from Sticky Blogging.
Sticky Blogging is an instructor-led course. If it’s not open when you’re reading this, you can click below to get on the waiting list. She will send you a 5-day email series about how to get more traffic from fewer posts.
Or you can go the self-pace route for Sticky Blogging. I took the class when it was instructor-led. Kelly offered each of the students an opportunity to have our posts graded by her so I enjoyed the “live” class. If you don’t feel like waiting or taking the class with others this is a great opportunity and registration is currently open. Click on the link below.
Step 7: How to Get People to Read Your Christian Blog
You’ve written your first post and hit publish, but nothing’s happening. You write more and more, and still, nothing’s happening.
Once I realized blogging has little to do with writing and more to do with getting people to read your blog, I almost threw in the towel.
But once you learn the different ways to promote yourself and the tools available, you develop your processes, and it becomes about writing once again.
There is a learning curve here, and it helps to prepare yourself for it mentally. You’re going to spend additional time and money learning the online space that you’re probably already aware of as a user. Now, you’re a marketer. It’s a different ballgame.
Most of us didn’t go to design school. We don’t know which colors look good with each other or which fonts you can’t mix together.
Luckily, there are designers out there to help us.
My favorite is Simplifying DIY Design. She provides templates you can easily modify to make amazing graphics look custom-made for your blog. And for a fraction of the cost and time.
Don’t overlook free graphics! Canva now has a ton of free templates you can use on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, feature images, and more.
Reserve All Social Handles
Whether you plan on using them or not, you’ll want to reserve all the social handles that match your blog name.
If you find your social handle is already taken then reserve the closest one available.
For the social platforms you’re comfortable with, share your posts. For most of us, that’s Facebook and Instagram or maybe Snapchat or Twitter.
Take a Pinterest Course
For Pinterest, you’ll need to do more than simply reserve your handle and use your user knowledge.
Take a Pinterest course. So much work goes into the image and the strategies behind pinning the pictures and the majority of your traffic can come from Pinterest.
You can read the information available from Pinterest itself or search for a class. Just be careful: I paid over $200 for a class that didn’t teach me anything. There’s a lot of free information out there. I like listening to the Simple Pin Media podcast. Their site has a lot of useful information. You can find it here.
I also recommend checking out Tailwind. Hands down, it’s the easiest and most cost-effective way to schedule your pins.
You can only get so far relying on social media to boost your blog. You’ll need Google juice to begin making money and reaching your true fans.
I’ve taken more than one course on SEO, so you should learn from my mistakes and take just one class.
I recommend Stupid Simple SEO. This course used to be open a few times a year but now you can take it on your own at any time.
Yes, it’s on the expensive side, but that’s because SEO has such a large payoff.
If you just want to dip your toes into SEO or into this particular course, then check out this FREE 6- Day Video Training on SEO.
The strategies I learned in Stupid Simple SEO I hadn’t heard of anywhere else and I immediately began to see an increase in organic traffic.
Step 8: How to make money on your Christian blog
So perhaps you’re convinced your Christian blog needs a reason for existence other than money. I hope you have your “why” cemented in your head.
But let’s be real: after putting in hours every week and seeing no payoff, it can be challenging to keep going. Not to mention, there are expenses for running a blog.
So how do you make money on a blog?
Many bloggers put ads on their sites. You can start with Google Adsense when you have zero page views and work yourself up to Monometric then Mediavine.
Most ad networks have a pageview threshold. Once I hit 20,000 pageviews I signed up with SheKnowsMedia. It’s nice to begin getting a monthly paycheck without sacrificing my user’s experience with site speed.
Some bloggers chose not to put ads on their site because it can slow their site down or they don’t like the look of advertisements on their website. You’ll probably be fighting for pennies if you go with Adsense so it makes sense to wait for a higher number of pageviews until you can apply for an ad network like the one mentioned above.
But ads, in general, are a personal decision you make for your blog.
2. Become an affiliate.
An affiliate is when you naturally write about a product you like in your blog posts, and you link to it. When the reader clicks on the link and buys you get a small percentage of that sale, and it costs the reader nothing extra.
A popular affiliate for bloggers is through Amazon, but it often pays out just pennies. It can be difficult to find higher-paying affiliates, but they are out there.
This post, for example, has affiliate links.
The key to affiliate sales is to give your opinion honestly. Don’t talk about a product you’ve never used or lie. Your readers will quickly lose trust in you – all for the sake of a couple of bucks. It’s not worth it.
3. Create your own product.
Many bloggers make the majority of their money by creating and selling products. Some examples of this include digital products like a shop, VA services, coaching, direct sales, online courses, speaking opportunities, etc.
Step 9: Email List
When you’re first learning how to start a Christian blog, the key is to connect to your audience personally. The best way to do this is through an email list. The number one piece of advice I’ve seen time and time again from all bloggers: begin your email list from day one.
Most email service providers have a charge, but there are free services. Since growing your email list can take a long time it’s worth considering a free service.
MailChimp – For my first 1,000 email subscribers I used MailChimp. It’s free for the first 2,000. Lots of big companies use it, and the email delivery rate was always on point.
Many would say it’s not perfect for bloggers, and I would agree. Be prepared to manually move contacts from your welcome email sequences into your primary email campaign.
There is also a learning curve with MailChimp that many complain about. I found it reasonably easy after seeing a video on YouTube and learning the lingo. But if you are at all technically challenged, you may consider a paid service from the get-go.
Once I crossed over the 1000 threshold and began making money, I switched to a more robust email service provider.
Today, I use Flodesk, and I’m pleased with all their services and found their software easy to use with little training.
Why Use Flodesk?
I recently switched from ActiveCampaign to Flodesk.
I love Flodesk because:
- One monthly price, unlimited subscribers: unlike competitors, Flodesk doesn’t penalize you for growing your list. This is huge! Regardless of your email list size, you pay the same monthly price.
- Creative freedom: with Flodesk, you can use custom fonts and image collages.
- Click and Drag Email Builder: This is a must for anyone who wants to create beautiful emails and who isn’t a graphic designer.
- Templates designed to convert and customizing them is simple. A few clicks and the templates transform to match your brand’s unique look and feel.
- No more tag confusion: You can forget about all the stress that comes from tagging. Flodesk does all of the tagging for you! You can see which of your subscribers are most engaged, what they signed up for, what they clicked on, there’s tons of data automatically captured for you. And you have full segmentation capabilities!
Step 10: Put Your Head Down
Steps 1-9 above explain how to start a Christian blog but the hardest part may be how to continue blogging once you’ve started.
This is the hardest part, as blogging will take time, and it may take much longer than you ever expected to see rewards from your progress.
If you get caught up in Facebook groups comparing successes with other bloggers, you’ll be sure to feel like a massive failure. All anyone talks about is how great they’re doing, and you’ll quickly feel like you’re behind.
Here’s a secret: it’s not a race.
How to keep up your positivity and keep going:
1. Engage with your readers. If one of your readers emails you, respond! Getting to know your readers and why they are reading your blog and care enough to email you is a gold mine of information.
2. Keep a record of your wins. What constitutes a win is up to you and is a moving target. It may start as 100 views onto your blog and move to earn your first $100. Record them all and review them whenever you’re feeling down.
3. Post your “why” from step one where you can see it.
4. Don’t be afraid to take breaks. I’ve stopped writing for a couple of months, and no one noticed, and I didn’t lose any readers. Blogging is supposed to be fun.
5. Keep God in your business. Ask Him daily for insight and to hear his voice.
I hope this guide helps you answer your questions on how to start a Christian blog. I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to drop your URL below or if you’re not there yet what are you thinking of naming your Christian blog?