blog deux: ne le faites pas

Yesterday I recommended lying down until the urge to blog passed and then went on to give the start of our 6 common denominators of better blogs. Thanks for stopping back by.

The first two denominators were:

1. Publish Constantly. No matter what.
2. Have a team. As they say: Many cooks make the soup light (well, you know what I mean).

I ended yesterday pondering what happens if you don’t have a team (maybe because they’re all lying down in dark rooms waiting for the blogitis to pass). What to do?

That’s where our 3rd item on our list comes into play:

3. Get creative with content.

While advice and opinion do count, the bulk of the biggest blogs fall under a single heading.


Often, it’s not just this morning’s news either. It’s hot off the press news at 6:03 AM. Then here’s 7:12 AM’s news flash. If you’re a constant source of interesting stuff to talk about, people will come to you…constantly.

But it’s tough to be more newsy and faster than these big bloggers, so you may have something else they don’t.

Content. Piles and piles of content. Maybe your ministry has published a magazine for 20 years or produced radio programs or TV or whatever. You may have oodles of content that you can “repurpose” (“repurpose”: swipe good thoughts produced for one use and, with minimal rewriting, use for another while making yourself look like a GENIUS). Repurposed content will usually need refreshing with recent examples and illustrations. But you’ll have a structure to work off of, which is a good thing.

With a little help, you could quickly edit that material for the web. Editing is much faster than sitting in front of a blank monitor asking yourself, “what do I have to say?”

And on that whole “what to say” point, you are probably going to need what the publishing world calls a “voice.” That’s a writing style that’s distinctive. Another way of thinking about it is that you’ll have to have:

4. An attitude.

Each of the top 10 blogs has a distinct voice, a certain unique feel, that’s woven through out its content. If you read the blog without the website context, you’d find the writing familiar, maybe even know where it came from.

Attitude is memorable. Blandness not so much.

And (obviously) the memorable tends to become more popular than the forgettable.

For some reason most non-profits and particularly Christian ministries struggle to have memorable voices (sorry to say that). I think we’re so afraid that we’ll offend someone that we take all of the “interestingness” out of our material. Maybe we’ll talk more about this in another post.

I’ve had a hard time finding really unique voices on the Christian ministry side of things that I like. Although I recently came across ThinkChristian.net. It’s an interesting site in that it seems to use a team writing approach and they speak with a refreshing and slightly daring voice. Good for them.

Tomorrow the last two items on our list of 6 plus a bonus item just because I’m trying to have that daring, distinctive and clever voice.

We received tons of good suggestions yesterday, some posted and others emailed. But not that many Christian sites. C’mon, when you need refreshment or inspiration, where do you go?

Christian blogs that are wonderful? Let’s hear ’em.

Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credits: Robert Scoble, ginnerobot, and cinnacinna25)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

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