Jesus Blogger Day 12 – Christian + Marketing = I Hate the Words

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If you want to start from the beginning of my 31-day challenge click here.

Hate 1490920

What, drawn, and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. Have at thee, coward!

Notheblog 300x249 6762979 Remember these lines from Romeo and Juliet? Tybalt hates the word peace. It’s kind of how I feel when the words Christian and marketing are used in the same sentence. It gives me the heebie-jeebies.

When I first started thinking about this Jesus Blogger series I was scared people would think I was “using the wisdom of the Bible to run a successful blog.” It’s not. I’m not a successful blogger in that way. If that is what you seek: Move along, this is not the blog you are looking for.

Somewhere down the line we’ve associated marketing with lying and trying to make a buck. At the very least, we’ve associated it with “not trusting God.” We assume that if our product (or service) is Godly it will magically sell itself. Or maybe we allow certain “Christian” things to use advertising, like Chik-fil-A. They can have their cute little cow billboards. But we won’t allow it for our blogs. Never our blogs.

We say:

  • God will send people
  • I don’t have time for promoting my blog
  • I’ll just pray.

I’m not discounting moves of the Holy Spirit on people. It happens. The Hebrides Revival (considered one of the greatest revivals of all time) started when two sisters, Peggy and Christine Smith (age 82 and 84), spent months praying for revival. One night a few months later drunks were coming in off the street with a strong desire to go to church. None had been invited. (The link I posted is to a YouTube video that is totally worth the watch if you have an hour to spare!)

It happens.

But for those of you considering marketing but feel guilty, maybe somewhat shameful, about it, I am going to show you a verse to lean on:

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

If you believe your blog is a great light from Day 9, then you shouldn’t hide it! Sing it with me! (No, for real…sing it, baby! Or just scroll down for the rest of this post…)

This little blog of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
This little blog of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little blog of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine!

Hide it under a bush, OH NO!
I’m gonna let it shine,
Hide it under a bush, OH NO!
I’m gonna let it shine,
Hide it under a bush, OH NO!
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine!

Not gonna let Satan (blow) it out,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Not gonna let Satan (blow) it out,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Not gonna let Satan (blow) it out,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine!

Okay, I got it out of my system. (Ahem! There went my word count!)

But seriously, can we get “okay” with promoting our blogs? We have a talent. And we shouldn’t bury it! (Matthew 25).

How we approach marketing is a different story

Matthew 5:13 talks about how we are the salt and light of the earth. We got that. But there is this weird little word-picture included:

But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Pure salt can’t lose it’s saltiness per se. But in the region where Jesus lived, salt was collected from the evaporated water of the Dead Sea and not from salt mines. If the salt was improperly packaged or exposed to the elements, the other minerals would take over and make the salt seem bland — unusable. This useless salt was thrown onto the paths to prevent grasses from growing up.

Other elements caused a bitter or bland flavor. If we are salt in this metaphor, what are these other elements?

There could be issues of the heart or issues in our life that can “unsalt” us, but also marketing can “unsalt” us, too. All to easy, I have lost myself in the promotion aspect of running a blog. Too much time linking my post on all my social media sites. Too little time praying about where God wants me to spend my effort and energy.

What I want is “careful marketing” = marketing and advertising full of careI want to think about my reader. I want to look at my Google Analytics and figure out which post is resonating with my people.

Did you know that the absolute most popular post I have on my blog is one that I didn’t even write? My best friend wrote it: The Christian Response to Unplanned Pregnancy.

I have to stop and ask myself why is that post so popular?

I think it’s because people are tired of hearing horrible stories of how pregnant women who aren’t married are treated in the church. I also think it’s because people love a good story.

How do I know? Because the second most popular post on my blog are my testimony and my other friend’s testimony: Not My Plan: How a Mother Coped with the Loss of Her Child.

It’s part of the reason I’m starting a new series in November called “Testimony Tuesdays.” The overcoming stories of people in the body of Christ can set people free.

Through prayer, God has shown me that this is a good fit for my blog. My analytics has shown me it is a good fit for my user.

As someone who spent much of my “employed life” talking and thinking about SEO, I know that Google (and other search engines) values being relevant to your end-user. Don’t try to take a short-cut. It might work in the short-term, but in the long term it will hurt you. It actually has a name: Black Hat SEO. Make sure your blog doesn’t wear a black hat…in any area! (You don’t want a witch blog, c’mon!)

I believe marketing can add value to your blog, but only if it’s done in the right timing and spirit.

My prayer for your blog and mine is based on Psalm 127:1

May we allow the LORD to build our blog, lest we blog in vain.

Elaine Mingus

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