Recently, Travis Mitchell of Stepping in Faith interviewed me about my thoughts on blogs. Because of the length of these thoughts, I am offering them to you in several parts. You can read part 1 here or read part 2 here. Here is part 3:
What are your Goals?
The primary goal of my blog is to use it is an outlet for influence in people’s lives as a way to minister for Christ by helping people grow in their understanding of a Christian worldview in such a way that it will help them apply biblical principles to daily life.
Who is your Target Market?
My blog focuses on the intersection of college, Christ and culture. So, my target audience is anyone who has an interest in at least one of these topics and preferably all of them. While my original audience consisted primarily of college students from Texas A&M, I would now estimate that they count for only about 1/3 of the people who visit the site. The longterm target market is on the younger generation, especially college students, who want to understand the events of their world more clearly from a Christian worldview.
What are your Strategies?
There are several strategies that I implement to try to reach my goals for this blog:
- Increase interaction–I value and encourage people commenting on material at the blog. Conversation that occurs there can greatly enhance the impact that content can make.
- Address current events–I use current events as a springboard to draw attention to God’s timeless character and the need to understand things from a Christian worldview
- Link to other sources–There is a lot of quality content on the web that is valuable to my readers. As I link to other sources, there can often be a reciprocal effect where they link to me.
- Direct contact–If I know something that I posted is of particular interest to an individual, I will directly contact them and encourage them to check it out.
- Statistical Tracking–One of the beauties of the blog is the massive amount of statistical information you can gather about your readership. Using resources from Sitemeter, Mybloglog, Technorati and other places allows me to know the number of visitors, how long each visitor is spending on the site, where they are coming from to my site, where they are located, and where they are going to from my site. This information allows me to tailor the content of the site to better fit their interests.
Do you read blogs?
Yes, I use bloglines as my RSS feed reader to track about 50 sources of information including 25-30 blogs. Using an RSS feed reader like bloglines is great because it makes access to content much more efficient than having to go to each of these 50 sources individually. It is easy to keep up with this much content if you stay on top of it, but it can become a burden if you get behind.
Where do you get your ideas?
It is my goal to approach life always searching for teachable moments in which God is showing me new things about himself or about the world we live in. The blog provides me a new outlet to convey those things that God is challenging me with to others. There is also no question that prayer is important in the process as I discern what to share about. Many of my ideas come from other material that I read which force me to think about things that I haven’t previously considered.
What are the dangers of blogging?
I can think of several major dangers to blogging:
- Pride. If you don’t watch out, a blog can become a major source of pride as you become overly concerned with numbers or with the opinion of others about your blog.
- Time consumption. If you don’t watch out, a blog can consume as much time as you allow it to. You could spend hours a day fine tuning your content with only a marginal benefit to its success.
- Losing sight of goals. After you have been blogging for awhile, it becomes easier to lose sight of what you are trying to do and how you are trying to do it.
- Inconsistency. One of the biggest barriers to readership on any blog is inconsistency–if people cannot count on new, quaity material being produced at your site on a regular basis, then it drastically reduces their likelihood of consistently partaking in it.