Churches create much content, so it’s important to learn how to write better. Church content, even when spoken from a stage, often starts with a pen to paper or a blank document in a word processing program.
It can be scary and challenging.
With just a blank sheet of paper, it’s often difficult to get started. And will anyone really want to read the content? These five writing tips will get you started and deliver content that will be read or listened to:
- Identify your audience. Start here. Think stereotypically about describing the group God has given to you as an audience, or think about a potential audience. Be realistic, though. You can’t reach everyone.
- What are they searching for? When describing your group, consider what makes them unique and what they’re seeking. Perhaps it’s a need or concern they need help obtaining, something that wakes them up at night or weighs on them all day. Perhaps it’s an unattainable goal they want to achieve but just can’t. This step alone will probably suggest content ideas as you consider what they need.
- Niche down. Now you may have too many ideas. Consider targeting a smaller audience based on needs, concerns and goals. Don’t target large groups or create content that’s too broad, with too many options. You’ll not cover it well in your limited time. And when people are searching for something, they often look for a solution that’s more specific than broad.
- Create a relationship funnel. Everyone’s on a path. Some are Christians who attend church regularly. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those who don’t understand why anyone would consider a relationship with Jesus. But how many steps are in between? Structure your content so you lead from one step to another. Don’t try to move people much more than one splash in the funnel. Use links online to take them to their next step. In a sermon, give next steps like Bible references, website pages or ministry opportunities.
- Narrow keywords. Once you’ve defined and refined your audience with a solution in mind that will move them along their journey, you need to write. A tip is to say their name and speak their pain with solutions to proclaim. Edit based on keyword research, determining what people are searching for. Look for search terms that have a large search volume. Why is this important for how to write better? Whether someone is online or in person, you need to provide them with the solutions they’re seeking. Free keyword research tools (such as Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Surfer, Moz, etc.) let you get into the minds of your audience and deliver great content that’s desired!
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is a communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and executive director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, & social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.