Highly recommended blogging resources to start your Christian blog are throughout this post.
***Affiliate links are throughout this post. That means if you make a purchase using any of the links on this page, I will make a small referral fee. However, your price remains the same and I only promote products that I highly recommend.
So you want to start a Christian blog, huh?
Or maybe you already have one but you are so new to blogging and need more help trying to figure everything out, or maybe you just don’t have the money to invest right away so you’re just trying to find out if creating a faith blog is really what you want to do. I know that feeling… unfortunately,
ALL TOO WELL. That’s okay.
Or maybe you are kind of like I was before I got started. You feel the Lord prompting you and you’re just exploring the idea. That’s okay, too!
There are lots of bloggers out there creating all kinds of training, and guess what… making tons of money doing it. But, one thing I found when I started my first Christian blog, SincerelyChristi.com was that I had a really hard time finding bloggers that I could identify with, that were running a faith-based blog.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of valuable resources out there in the internet world, created by all kinds of bloggers, and believe me, I have taken advantage of lots of those resources.
One of my favorite bloggers that I have followed since the beginning is Suzu Whitman. Her course, Suzi Whitman’s Blog By Number course, shows new bloggers in a very simplistic, easy to understand way, how to get started. She used the paint-by-number sort of sequence to help you figure out the basics of what you are getting into.
Suzi makes thousands of dollars every single month from her blog business, so she is very successful at what she does. Love her and her resources, and like I said, I have used many of her resources.
I have also stumbled across a community of Christian women running wonderful faith blogs, but I wanted to learn how to create my faith blog as a Christian, with the encouragement of the Word of God, as well as the heart and testimony of ministry, wrapped up in the teaching. Does that make sense?
At one point, I got this notion that the primary purpose of many “start a blog” business blogs are just that, “start-a-blog in 15 minutes and replace your full-time income” as a means for the owner to make money off of me. WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY FINE! Why else do you go into business?
Right? Well, for me, it’s a little different.
My reasons for starting a blog were three-fold.
- My genuine passion is to help people struggling in life with fear, grief, and relationship challenges. My life experience and testimony, educational background in Marriage and Family Therapy, and faith in God are the catapults to this passion. I just want to see people live a free and fulfilling life.
- My desire is to earn a full-time income while working at home so that I could be there for my family… that’s another story though. 🙂 I know. It’s everybody’s dream. Right? Well, it truly doesn’t have to be a dream. God orders our steps and if yours and mine are being ordered home, then guess what? The Word says He gives us what we need to carry out His will for our lives. Okay, so it’s not just handed to us though. Sometimes we have to really work for it. But still, at the end of the day, He is the provider.
- My story, my journey, and my testimony is my second ministry. My first is, of course, my family. The fact is that our life experience is meant to be shared. It’s how we connect with others. Our personal experience, struggles, and growth are meant to bring encouragement and edification to others through the testimony of what God has done for us. The Word of God says that what He has done for me, He will do for you too! How awesome is that?? But blogging isn’t for everyone. It’s not everyone’s gifting, just like preaching isn’t everyone’s gifting. For me though, it feels perfect…even with the challenges it brings.
What can you do while you are trying to decide if creating a faith blog is for you BEFORE you invest your hard-earned money?
And also, what do you actually need to do before you launch your faith blog??
I’M GOING TO TELL YOU NOW!
If you put the time and effort into getting all of these things done, you will be a few steps ahead of most brand new bloggers, who start out without any idea who their audience is, or what their plan is.
1. Establish what your niche is and who your reader is.
Your niche is your SPECIFIC area of focus, such as DIY crafts for the home, fashion for moms, bullet journaling, and so on. Soooo many different opportunities for creating.
How do you figure out what your niche is? Well, here are a few questions to help guide you a bit.
What are you naturally passionate about?
What do you like to talk about a lot?
What do you like to do with your spare time?
Here’s one… What do you spend so much time pinning on Pinterest? Haha!
What are your gifts?
What skills do you have to offer people?
Who are the people you want to help?
What are their problems?
How are you going to solve their problems?
Do you get it? The point is you want to solve a problem or answer a question… to some extent. You are talking to a specific person. That specific person needs to hear from you!
My blog, Sincerely Christi is about overcoming fear and coping with loss through a growing faith in God. I provide encouragement and help people through a difficult loss so they can find hope. This blog is solely about providing resources for people wanting to create a faith blog. It’s meant for brand-new beginners just starting out on their journey, as well as those who are already on their blogging journey but are still learning.
2. Pick out Your Domain Name and Purchase it.
I say pick it out like you’re getting something off of a shelf at the store, but actually, if you are a Christian who is attempting to walk on the path that God is leading you on, I highly recommend praying about it, and following through with whatever the Holy Spirit is telling you to do.
For SEO (search engine optimization), you should name your blog something that people will be searching for. Put keywords that people are looking for in the title. Your domain name needs to be descriptive, as to what your blog business is about. All of this is important. Very true.
There are lots of successful blogs out there with catchy titles that have nothing to do with keywords, or search criteria, or even defining what their blog is all about.
I say all of that to say this. Do your research, but ultimately, I would prefer to listen to what the Lord is telling me to do and go with that. After all, He pretty much knows everything. Haha! Trust His plan.
He gave me SincerelyChristi.com because it was sincerely my journey and all that I have learned along the way, but it’s also genuinely and authentically my growth-process and faith journey that I’m STILL going on! So, it fits me and my blog, perfectly.
Bottom line is, listen.
You can get a domain name from just about anywhere, GoDaddy, Siteground, Bluehost, Wix, and Weebly all sell them with or without a hosting plan. These are the web-hosting sites that I have the most experience with. I actually purchased my domain names from Go Daddy. No reason why other than it was super cheap and it was my very first step on this path.
Many hosts, like Siteground, will give you your domain name for FREE with certain hosting package purchases. When I started out, I didn’t know that.
3. Decide on a color scheme, logo, and branding.
I struggled with this at first. Many seasoned bloggers will tell you to look at your Pinterest boards and see what colors you are most often drawn to. What have you pinned most of? What colors are in your closet, your home, or make you feel happy? I followed some of these rules at first.
What I ended up doing was creating a secret Pinterest board and searching color schemes with hex codes. There are some great ones out there explaining color combinations but I’m going to give you 2 of the most valuable pieces of information that really helped me make my vision concrete.
This post from Elegantthemes.com about applying a color scheme to the Divi theme (which is more about choosing a scheme… and by the way, the Divi theme is a drag and drop theme I use on my websites and love because it saves my sanity, (due to the ease of use), and then this website called HTML-Color, which allows you to look up any color by name, hex code, or gradient, and then gives you all kinds of suggestions for color combinations, including the hex codes. One more tool that I use is called Eye Dropper. It’s an extension for the Chrome browser. LOVE it! With this tool, I can find the hex code of any color I find on any website.
I found all of the colors I wanted to use, wrote down the hex codes and names on an index card, as well as a Google Sheet on Drive.
For logos and other branding pieces, you can create your own on Canva or find something you like through Etsy. On a side note, I actually got my logo for SincerelyChristi on Etsy. I created the logo for this site on PicMonkey. I love them both!
4. Write 8-10 great blog posts that add value to your specific reader, solves a problem they have, or connects with a struggle.
It sounds like a lot of work. Maybe it is, but in the scheme of things, cranking out quality blog posts is what you want to do. Did you get that? Quality is always over quantity. Eight quality posts are way better than ten so-so posts any day. But 8 to 10 posts, in the beginning, is a great start. Maybe you already have ideas about what you want to write about.
Well, then… Get to writing! Times-a-wasting! Haha! I’m kidding.
It’s okay if you don’t really know what to write about yet. You can start with writing your “Why you want to create a blog” post, and your “About Me” post because your readers will likely want to know those things. You can also go ahead start writing about a recent experience you had where your faith was an important value to you or something along those lines. Or maybe you have a meaningful scripture that you want to write about how it applies to a recent struggle. You could also start with your testimony of what God has done for you. Start brainstorming some blog ideas, some key points, make your outline, and then fill it in from there.
5. Create at least 4 Images for each of your posts.
You’ll want to create one image that is more of a rectangle to share on Facebook, a square one for Instagram, and then two vertical pins for Pinterest.
My most favorite website for creating awesome professional-looking images is hands-down, Canva.com. They have a free plan, but also have a paid plan as well. It just depends on your needs. I’m actually content with the free, but I know there is a great value in what you can do with their paid plan too.
Another image creation site that I love is PicMonkey. There is a tiny bit of a learning curve for PicMonkey, but after watching a few tutorials, it’s pretty easy to master. There is a free version and paid too.
Another website I absolutely love for pics is Pexels.com. They have a huge supply of free photos with a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) License. This license is important because they are free usage. However, it is important to understand, you are trusting Pexels for providing you with photos without true knowledge of where they came from. Do you sense my hesitation? As you should. The real goal here is to get to a place where you can do your own photos or purchase the rights of photos that you know who the photographer is. That’s always the safest route when putting photos on your site. With that being said, I have many photos that come from Pexels, so I guess I’m taking the risk. My goal is to work on replacing them here and there as I create my own. I would encourage you to do the same.
6. Make an Opt-in.
What’s that? The reality is that it’s your hook to get people to sign up for your email list. It’s your offer. It can be an email course, a PDF or ebook, resource library, a pretty scripture printable or coloring page that you created to print, a planner, or whatever you think “your” readers would want when they come to your website.
The hope is that they will want it, sign up to get it, and you will be able to keep in touch to help them remember you had something they liked and might want to continue to check you out on occasion. It’s the basis for starting a relationship with your visitor so they turn in to followers.
The other value of an email list is that if you decide to create something to sell (which is one of the ways to make money from your site), you already have the beginning of a customer list. Your opt-in needs to be something special though, not just “sign up for my next post.” That might be just me though.
7. Learn email automation and create your welcome series.
What in the world am I talking about? This concept alone took me some time to figure out. So, take some time and learn it. Decide on your email service, get registered and start watching some tutorials and writing some emails. Believe me, when I say, you’ll thank me later for getting you started on this before you launch. I started with Mailchimp, which is free up to 2000 subscribers.
Another big one that people often use is Convertkit. There is a monthly fee for it but you have so many great options to create and manage your email marketing. While I haven’t had any mishaps with Mailchimp, personally, I have read a lot of reviews from others having difficulties with subscribers not receiving emails or sent emails going to the promotional tab in GMAIL. I haven’t read any negative reviews for Convertkit. Just a thought
8. Create your top 2 social media accounts and begin populating them with posts.
I personally suggest Pinterest and Facebook just because they are my favorite. However, there are lots who would say Pinterest and Instagram. And then other bloggers promote starting with Instagram and Facebook. LOL! It can be so confusing to know where to start. It’s really up to you, but I would consider choosing the 2 platforms that you are most familiar with, or is already a part of your routine to some extent. Of course, you want to consider who your reader is and where they are most likely to hang out. Oh yeah, and remember, Pinterest is a search engine.
You may be wondering why you would go ahead and create your social media platforms for a website that doesn’t exist. Well… are you wondering why? I knew it! My rationale is because it usually takes some time building a following… well … anywhere. So, you can go ahead and start engaging people with quotes, memes, and even sharing other blogger’s work that would be meaningful to your audience. Create momentum for your website with a countdown. But stick to it!
Don’t build it up and then fizzle out on your deadlines. Get it done!
9. Research and Decide on Website Hosting and Theme Options.
This is another concept I didn’t completely understand when I first started. I got the point of a domain name and web-hosting, but theme? And then you will read some bloggers promoting a child theme or a Genesis theme, or free themes, or framework themes, and the terminology goes on. It’s best to figure all of that out now.
In a nutshell, web-hosting is like your land, and a domain name is like your address. The regular free themes you see out in internet land are typically all-inclusive, so it holds all the coding it needs to function and look pretty. It’s kind of like a home, being resold. It’s already there, looking pretty, and functions the way it’s supposed to. A framework theme is just like it sounds. It is the structure of the house (with all the main coding), and then you would add another child theme to it, which provides the pretty little details and finishing touches. The framework theme with a child theme is easier to upgrade, from what I understand.
The all-in-one themes though, (from what I understand) will overwrite anything you have done when you go to upgrade it, so it’s not so easily upgraded.
After struggling along with a free WordPress theme for a bit, I decided my sanity was more important than money and splurged on Elegantthemes.com, Divi theme. The drag and drop feature gave me the ability to make my site look the way I wanted it to without having to figure out all of the codings.
There is a downside though to Divi that you need to be aware of. Apparently, once you go with Divi, it’s difficult to change to another theme. I’m not worried about that because I love the Divi theme so much that I’m not concerned about ever changing it. There is so much design flexibility, I could change my website every season if I wanted to (within the Divi theme). But, I think I have other things to invest my time in. Haha! Did I say I love Elegant Themes?? Okay, I think you get the picture, but if you’re the least bit curious, watch their video showing how powerful and flexible it is.
10. Now it’s time to purchase your web-hosting and set up your website.
I think I just heard you yell “FINALLY!” Haha! Yes! If you have accomplished the majority of the things on this list and you’re still excited and focused on meeting your blogging goals, then you just might be committed enough to get it going for real! I’m so excited for this journey you are considering.
Don’t be fooled when you read posts like, Start a blog in under 15 minutes! because the reality is, YES! You can get your blog up in about 15 minutes, but it’s going to take you hours to tweak. It took me 2 weeks to get it the way I wanted on my first blog! It’s going to take hours to write all of your initial pages and posting to populate the site.
Of course, with Siteground and Divi, you will get it all going so much quicker than I did. SIteground is under $50 for the first year, using my link. That comes out to only $3.95 per month. AND they have the most amazing customer service, and I have never had to deal with any time that my sites were down.
Yes, blogging will take time, lots of effort, and lots of work. BUT… when you get in a rhythm and get past the overwhelming feeling like you have to learn ALL the things RIGHT NOW, blogging, especially starting a Christian blog, is an incredibly rewarding ministry.
Just remember, if you are being called to start a Christian blog, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Just stop for a few minutes and trust in the One who is leading you to this place. He sees the big picture. If He calls you there, He will give you everything you need to sustain you and equip you. Trust Him in the process.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Continue on and read about how I started Sincerely Christi under $220.