An effective missions blog will generate a steady amount of content. But what kind of content will keep your readers engaged, supporters up-to-date, and keep you (the actual writer) … sane?
The key is diversify your content. But don’t stop at simply mixing it up; have a strategy on how much of each type of content will make up your blog. A healthy and balanced diet will keep both you and your readers coming back for more.
1. Case Studies & How-To’s
As a missionary, you’ll have a lot of case studies (or testimonials) of your work. Share them! Write about the week-long excursion into the Amazon, or the latest freshwater project, or the service where people were miraculously healed.
Most of your readers will be people that already know you, and even support you financially. Keep them in the loop. You’ve launched a blog … don’t let yourself fall “out-of-sight, out-of-mind.” You can go the “news story” route with this type of content. For “How-To” content, just put that into your headline. Some samples:
- 8 People Miraculously Healed in Remote Village’s Church Service
- “Dios Mio! I Can See!” Woman Healed of Blindness After 18 Years
- How To Cut Through Brush With A Machete
Tacky? Maybe. Sensationalistic? No! The job of your headline (and this type of post) is to rally your readers. Case studies and How-To’s should be the foundation of your blog content.
2. Left-Brain & Right-Brain Content
Are you left-brained? Right-brained? Chances are your supporters are both … so gear your content towards each. Numbers are a huge help in engaging the logic-driven left-brainers:
- 10 Things We Could Do in Kenya with $4,392 USD
- Investigating Our 217% Increase In Salvations
The right-brainers will gravitate more towards the philosophical stuff. Questions work great in these kinds of headlines:
- Is Lying Ok … Even If It Means Bringing Bibles Into China?
- Is the Prosperity Gospel Killing Missions?
The right kind of headline will be irresistible to the thinkers and philosophers in your support base.
3. Product Reviews
Reviews are one of the easiest ways to create content. Books, movies, heck — even sleeping bags — are all fair game. I knew a missionary that spent a lot of time in Africa. When I was about to go on a mission trip, I asked him what type of safari shirt I should buy … and blindly purchased it.
If he had that product on his blog via an Amazon affiliate link, he would have made a small commission. If you cover someone’s blog or product, there’s a chance you will get that person’s attention and your content shared with their networks.
Here are some headlines I’ve written that have grown my audience exponentially:
- The One Blog Every Leader Needs To Read Right Now
- My Review of Michael Hyatt’s Platform Conference
- 3 Top-Of-The-Stack Personal Development Books
4. Opinions and News
The Christian blogosphere is always full of lively (ahem) discussion. Be brave and chime in on current events … or if there’s something happening in a region where you have boots on the ground, share your firsthand account. I knew a guy who was in the Philippines when Typhoon Haiyan hit. I helped him write a blog post, and it was shared on Charisma Magazine’s website. Who would have known?
Whether you get on a major site or not is irrelevant. An opinion or news post shows your readers you are current and engaged in current events, and makes you an authority.
5. Personal Updates
People want to know what’s going on in your life on a personal level. On my business blog, personal posts are often the most engaged … but that’s not why people read my blog. They read it for how-to’s. Personal posts are powerful, but the key is to not overuse it.
Consider making this the least frequent type of content you share. You’ll have to find out what works for you, but I write a personal post once every 3 months or so. Some examples:
- Why I Stepped Down As Pastor
- 12 Years Scott Didn’t Have: A Teammate Lost on 9/11
- Iris Scares Off Swindlers … And Other Things We Did on Our Paris Vacation
So, how much of each type of content?
There’s no exact science … you’ll have to see what your readers respond to, but I might recommend something like this (out of 10 posts):
- How-To’s & Case Studies: 4 out of 10
- Left-Brain / Right-Brain: 3 out of 10
- Product Reviews 1 out of 10
- News & Opinions 1 out of 10
- Personal: 1 out of 10
Remember, your blog is really about your reader making a connection to you. That connection leads to relationship which may lead to financial support. Balancing your content to keep your blog interesting.