Monday, April 20, 2009

To Branson or Bust and Thoughts About Blogging

Barring any unexpected events, I’m either on my way or packing to go to the Annual Meeting of the Baptist Missionary Association of America in Branson, Missouri. I’ll have my laptop with me this year, but the meeting schedule will prevent me from spending much time online. For that reason, I am writing this post in advance. I know it’s the practice of some to repost blogs when they are away. That’s fine for them, but I don’t care for it. If people want to find read what I’ve previously written, they’ll use Google. A few years ago, I was traveling with my pastor and his wife. He turned to me from where he sat in the passenger’s seat and said, “I have my sermon prepared for next Sunday. I sometimes prepare weeks in advance. Some preachers don’t like doing that because they want to preach what the Lord lays on their heart for that week. I believe the Lord can lay a sermon on a preacher’s heart weeks in advance just as easily as he can the day before.” On other occasions, he has mentioned that while preaching a series of sermons from a book of the Bible the lesson in the Sunday school quarterly, which are scheduled many months in advance, frequently falls in line with the passage from the Bible. Since that is true of sermons, then I shouldn’t hurt that today is Friday, April 3rd, as I type this post. If you leave comments or send e-mail, I promise that I’ll read it eventually, but there may be a delay.

I’ve been thinking about blogging about blogging for some time, so perhaps it is fitting that today Michael Hyatt posted a link to the presentation on why to blog that he gave at the O’reilly Tools of Change Conference. He has some very good thoughts and he is an entertaining speaker, so the video is well worth your time. I have some of my own thoughts about blogging, though I may mention some of the same things he did, after having watched the video. So, Mike, I apologize in if I steal something you said and don’t give you proper credit.

If you’ve read Church Website Design, you know that besides planning ahead, which I’ve mentioned above, I believe that content is key to a website or blog. The content of a blog is a key determining factor in who finds the blog, who reads the blog and who returns to the blog. Mike says that one of the reasons we should blog is because we have something to say. This is true, but few people want to hear most of what we know and we know little of what many people want to hear. In choosing the content for a blog, we must find those things that a large portion of our target audience want to hear. Most of us aren't like Michael Hyatt, with an inherent audience of authors, literary agents and publishing industry professionals. We have to work hard to get people to pay attention to our blog.

Come back tomorrow and I'll give you my thoughts on that, as well as how I settled on the content of this blog. In the meantime, tell me about your blog, post links and tell me what you hope to accomplish with your blog.