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Helping Churches, Our Deepest Desire

What’s your Motivation?

What motivates you in life? If you’re a pastor, why do you preach, visit people, and do so many other things every week? If you just attend church, why do you attend church regularly? Why do you pray for your pastor? Why do you give to your church? Does it bring you some sort of personal pleasure or is there another reason, a reason that is bigger than you? Maybe you believe that helping churches is a way to do good in the world and ultimately to please God. If that is your motivation, we applaud you and stand beside you. The reasons you serve in your church are the very same reasons that Bloggo Media was founded. The mission of Bloggo Media is to help churches by educating and equipping them to be successful on the internet.

Pleasing God

Bloggo Media is a Christian-based business. This means we are different from other businesses in two ways:

  1. Our decisions are guided by the Bible. We follow Biblical principles of honesty, love, and service.
  2. Money is not the primary objective. We all need money so we can eat, but money is only a secondary objective. We would rather spend our time helping churches.

Ultimately, our business is motivated by our desire to please God in everything that we do.

The Bottom Line: Helping Churches

Here’s the bottom line: everything we do is to help churches and other Christian organizations. We believe in the transforming power of the message of the Bible. We know that churches are tasked with spreading the message of the Bible to the entire world. Our goal is to stand beside these churches to help them be even more effective in their online ministries. At Bloggo Media, helping churches isn’t just what we do. Instead, helping churches is our deepest desire that guides every decision that we make.

 

Church Website: Getting It Ready For Easter

The Great Commission commands Christians to go into the world to proclaim the gospel. Often, this means befriending un-churched coworkers, talking and praying with family members, knocking on doors, giving tracts to those we meet, or explaining the good news to a passerby on the street. Twice each year, this pattern shifts. Instead of Christians inviting people to church, people come looking for a church to attend. When does this happen? You probably guessed it: Easter and Christmas.

The Facts

Christians (and churches) would be wise to focus some extra effort on these two times each year. When people come looking for a church, will your church be ready? The first exposure many people have to your church is your church website. You can see from the graph below that in 2014, searches for the word church increased about 40% during the weeks before Easter and Christmas. They evidently are searching online for a church to attend for Easter and Christmas.

Church Website Searches

This means a lot of people will be visiting your church website during these times. Will your website convert these online visitors to in-person church visitors? Keep reading to find out how to make the most of these searches so your church website will attract more people to your church.

Attracting More People with Your Church Website

If you want more people to attend your Easter and Christmas services (and I’m sure you do, don’t you?), follow these tips:

  1. Place your holiday service times prominently on your website’s home page. People want to know what time to arrive at your church. Place this in an easy to find spot on the home page. Also make sure to label these times as specifically being for your Easter or Christmas service. Don’t make them hunt for this information, or even worse, show up at the wrong time.
  2. List any special events that you are having. If you are having a sunrise service, special breakfast, concert, etc. list that with your service times to give your online visitors a special reason to choose your church for Easter Sunday.
  3. Make sure people can find your church. Give good directions, your address, or a link to a map so people know how to get to your church. Once you’ve impressed people with your high quality church website, you don’t want them to accidentally go to the wrong church!
  4. Make it mobile friendly. Many people use their phones to access the internet and searching for churches is no exception. We only have one month until Easter. Making your entire site mobile friendly that quickly is probably unrealistic, but you can definitely begin the process and try to get parts of your website mobile friendly. You can certainly continue the process so it is ready for Christmas and next Easter.

Bloggo Media can help make sure your website is ready for Easter. Contact us for a free consultation.

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Defining Words: Domain Name

In part 1 of our Defining Words series, we will answer the question, “What is a domain name?” (or maybe more accurately, “Do I even care?”)

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the website address that you use to access a website. Example: the domain name for this website is bloggo.me.

How do I get a Domain Name?

Getting a domain name is easy. They are purchased at a domain registrar, generally for $10-$20 per year. Bloggo Media can help by dealing with the domain registrar for you so you don’t have to.

Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

Here are three tips you should follow:

  1. Shorter is better – generally, shorter is easier for people to remember and type. Sometimes the shortest domain names are not available, but you should strive to choose the most concise domain name that is available.
  2. Avoid Initials – if your church’s name is First Baptist Church of Bigtown, using fbcob as your website address probably isn’t wise. Though the initials are shorter, they are also harder for people to remember.
  3. Make Sure it Describes your Church – typically this means put your church name in the domain name. You are going to be putting your website address on flyers, bulletins, and emails. Make sure the domain name is good advertising for your church and not totally random and irrelevant to your church.

Of course these are just suggestions to help find the perfect domain name. If Bloggo Media can be of any assistance with choosing or purchasing a domain name, please contact us.

Finally, Why Should I Care?

Your domain name is the first thing people see related to your website. Its like the curb appeal of the web world. It will be posted on flyers and bulletins and will be announced from the pulpit. Strive for good curb appeal and impress people before they  even see your website.

Defining Words: Introduction

What do these three items have in common: taxes, schoolwork, and church websites? They all are confusing, annoying, and complicated, but you BETTER do them right.  Unfortunately, we can’t help with taxes or schoolwork, but we love to help with websites! To help you make more sense out of websites, we are starting a series of posts defining words that are common in websites but may be unfamiliar to most people. Keep watching as we define words to help make websites a little simpler for you.

What to Look Forward To

In these posts, we will be defining words such as Web Host, Domain Name, and CMS. Even if you’ve never cared what these terms mean, reading this series is a must. The people to which you minister are on the internet looking at websites. If you want them to be attracted to your website (and then hopefully to your ministry) you need to understand as much as you can about websites.

Why Should I Read Defining Words?

Reading this series will help you better understand the entire website process. Even if you already understand the terms listed above, still read the Defining Words series. In addition to defining words, we give practical advise that will help you make your website better.

Warning for the Newsletter

A newsletter is a great way to stay connected with church members, supporters, and visitors. However, there are some rules you should follow if you are going to send an email newsletter. These rules may be required legally, but they are definitely required by email providers and common etiquette. Here’s the quick list of rules:

  1. DO NOT send the newsletter using your personal (or church) email account – A mass mailing is most likely against the terms and conditions you agreed to when you signed up for you email account (more on this in a minute).
  2. DO obtain explicit permission before sending a newsletter to someone – Just because someone gives you their email address doesn’t mean its OK to send them a newsletter. They must explicitly state that they want to receive your newsletter. If you send a newsletter to someone who didn’t sign up for the it, they might mark the newsletter as spam. This increases the chances of your newsletter being AUTOMATICALLY marked as spam for other people, even those who really want your newsletter.
  3. DO provide a method for unsubscribing from the newsletter – this can be a link to an online form or, more simply, instructions to the recipient to reply to the email asking to be unsubscribed. When you receive a request to unsubscribe, make sure to unsubscribe the recipient. If you continue to email the person, you may be labelled as a spammer.

These rules may or may not be legally required for non-profits (churches), but they are definitely good online etiquette. An easy way to ensure these rules are being followed is to use an online service such as Mail Chimp. Mail Chimp offers a free plan that allows you to send 12,000 emails per month (this should be plenty), and you don’t even have to provide a credit card. They provide multiple high quality templates so your newsletter will have a professional appearance. Best of all, they will help ensure you are following good etiquette with your newsletter and help prevent others labeling you as a spammer.

Make sure to only send a newsletter to people who signed up for it. Don’t send it to people who didn’t sign up for it. They won’t like you, and it will make your church look bad. So now, warnings completed, send out that newsletter.

How Much Does a Website Cost?

How much do you think a website costs? Let’s look at a couple of different ways you can get a website:

Website Builder

A website builder allows you to build your own website. The cost for a website builder ranges from $10-$50 per month. Some of these even have setup fees of $200 or $300. Website Builders are easy to use, unless you want it to do something it wasn’t designed to do. If the website builder isn’t designed to handle a specific feature (sermon recordings or videos, website visitor statistics) there is no way that you can get that feature on your website. The designs that you can choose from on the website builders typically are of lower quality than a professionally designed website. Some of the lower cost website builders even force you to have advertisements on your website. Overall, a website builder is a low cost way to get a website, but you will be more limited in website features and you will have to do all the work yourself.

Web Design Agency

A website design agency is a company that specializes in building websites. They can help you with all of your marketing needs (website, brochures, sometimes even TV/radio ads). They are (sometimes) very good at what they do. The catch is that you will pay a lot of money for the website. They will cost $2,000 to $3,000 MINIMUM (and often much more than that). A web design agency typically will provide a high quality website, but most churches don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a website.

A Friend

Another route that a lot of churches use is to have a friend (or relative) build a website. This approach is very hit or miss. The friend almost never has experience designing websites professionally and can unknowingly get in over their head. They may have the best of intentions, but they often lack the experience necessary to create a high quality, professional website.

So what is the best option? How about none of the above. Choose a company like Bloggo Media to make your church’s website. Bloggo Media has experience professionally building websites. For $50 setup fee and $50 per month, you can have a professionally built website. Imagine your church getting a new website, and you don’t have to do anything. No need to understand HTML, domain names, web servers, or PHP. Let a professional handle that. That surely is worth $50. Contact us today and we’ll get started building your new website.

The Danger of your Old Website

Danger probably isn’t the first word to come to mind when you think about your website, but maybe it should be. An old website is a liability to a church. Do you remember in our last post when we said, “Your website is a reflection of your church?” This is especially true if you already have a website. What does your website say about your church? Old? Out-dated? Dead? If you have an old website, those could be the exact words your potential visitors are thinking about your church. Everyone needs the opportunity to visit your amazing church. Give them a fair chance. Don’t chase them away with your website. Let us help you revamp (or totally rebuild) your website. We can build you a fresh, modern website so you can focus on what’s really important – people.

Three Reasons your Church Needs a Website Today

Here’s three reasons you need to get a website TODAY!

  1. Your website is a reflection of your church – Many people equate the quality of a website with the quality of the church. I know this isn’t fair, but it happens. When potential visitors can’t find your church on the internet, it reflects poorly on your (otherwise excellent) church.
  2. Your website gives potential visitors a taste of what to expect – You have a great church. A website is a chance to show potential visitors just how great your church is. If they can feel the warmth and friendliness through your website, they just might come visit you.
  3. Your website is a place for members to congregate throughout the week – A blog post from the pastor could be the perfect encouragement that a church member needs during the week; or your church members can be lifting up a request in prayer that, without the website, would have gone unspoken.

Still not convinced that you need a church website? Contact us and let us show you how Bloggo Media can create a professional website that is perfect for your budget.