I’ve spent some serious time learning to use social media more effectively in recent weeks. It’s becoming a dependable communication outpost for Ministry To Children. We’ve broken past 10,000 fans on Facebook and growing about 500 a week.
In other news, I threw up a random website today I’m falling Fortune Cookie Fans. It started as a wild idea and I had to get it out before it wasted too much time. Basically, readers can email me a photo of their fortune cookie sayings and I’ll post it along with a few lines of interpretation. If you eat Chinese food less than twice a week it’s won’t be that exciting for you.
Not much has changed over the past few months on our managed websites. Devotional Christian has gone a little dormant as we struggle to keep consistent writers. Personally, I haven’t had the energy to maintain that site beyond the basics. Traffic has continues strong, but overall the onsite content has grown very slowly. The one upside has been our post about forgiveness bible verses.
On SBC Voices, comment counts have gone through the roof. The site has moved into a more debate mode rather than pure aggregation. Hats off to all those passionate bloggers making it happen. One top resource page has been the David Platt sermons. I’ve been pleased that the site has continued strong even after the SBC convention season.
The main site I’ve been working on has been Ministry To Children. The real needs addressed by that site have caused rapid traffic growth. One highlight has been the Sunday School Coloring Pages we’ve been adding. These have been well received and very popular among our readers. Of course, the Sunday School crafts page gets lots of traffic too.
It’s been a good few months. I’m looking forward to the winter traffic too. I’ll bring an update here sometime next month.
Over on my Christian devotions website, I am starting a new program called the “Fellowship of Christian Bloggers.” My plan is to promote some of the helpful God-centered blogs that sometimes go under the radar. To that end, I’ve added an aggregator page and a meta feed from those blogs to the Devotional Christian homepage.
Also on that website, I’ve just posted some Bible verses about strength. These are designed to encourage people who need to remember that strength comes from God.
In other news around the network blogs, I have been posting some printable Bible coloring pages on Ministry-To-Children. These are being created by an artist in Louisville and have become very popular with the readers.
I am still amazed at the traffic growth from that website. It’s been a surprised how it continues to help more and more people. We’ve also posted some new recommendations for children’s worship songs. One more link, Wayne has been writing about some great AWANA children’s ministry games.
Yesterday, I took part in a fellowship luncheon known as “Band of Bloggers.” This is a bi-annual event planned by Tim Brister for Christian Bloggers right before the “Together for the Gospel” conference. It is always an encouraging event, and this year was no exception.
Here is the video I made of the event. This playlist has all 10 clips I’ve uploaded. Most are just the guys talking, but the first one has some behind the scenes footage of Tim setting up. You can watch all these Band of Bloggers videos on YouTube.
It was great to see some old friends and meet a few Internet friends. I was especially proud of Trevin Wax and Owen Strachen who participated in the event. Looking back it’s cool to see how God brought us all together to work on Said at Southern back while we were in Seminary.
The whole process has been much easier now that I have a straight-to-web camcorder. Check them out and rate them if you have a YouTube account. Below are two examples.
Video content has great potential both as a communication channel for the sites and for revenue in the long term. Now that the technology is so simple, I plan take make the most of it. The local content will help me target local search terms and the Children’s Ministry clips will help me build trust with my readers.
My latest project is now taking shape. It’s a local directory and visitors guide for Madison Indiana. It’s a WordPress installation with the Thesis theme and all my favorite plugins. The framework is up now and I’ll be adding a few articles each week to build out the content. I’m excited about all the new approaches to content available in running a local website – especially integrating video content.
This project came about as I was thinking of opportunities for new websites in the next few years. Our town has a solid tourism base and many businesses who need more exposure on the Internet.
I created Devotional Christian in February 2009 mainly to be an aggregator for all the helpful Bible devotionals online. Then I ignored the project for the past nine months, but my neglect did not stop the organic traffic growth. The metrics have show there is a real opportunity to develop this site further.
Last week I began recruiting writers to rapidly expand the site’s content. This weekend I completed the bulk of my redesign using the Thesis Theme for WordPress. I’ve kept the most popular devotional feeds displayed on the homepage with the newsPage plugin. I have also created an email newsletter to begin building a consistent reader base.
Check it out, link to it, and watch for promotions coming soon.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve found four new writers for my children’s ministry blog. This makes 9 active contributors alongside me. The main role of the new writers is to produce new Bible lessons of children. This is the most popular resource on the site. I just wrote a recap of Septembers most popular kids ministry ideas.
It’s an exciting development and that website continues to grow into a more professional project. I’m learning how to manage writers and edit fast growing blog staff. We’ve gone to a pay-per-post method of compensation.
The other big development for Ministry-To-Children is the new Facebook page. It has only been two weeks but over 500 people have became fans. This opens a whole new communication channel for the sites content.
The first website I owned was TonyKummer.com. But I let it go back in 2003 when I left the real estate business to return to seminary. It was owned by a domain grabber for while then finally released sometime last year. I quickly bought it back but did nothing with it.
Just last week, I updated the site to serve to host my sermons and adult bible teaching ministry. Most of what I do at my church is focused on children, and has its own website. So, I don’t expect to post more than once per month to the new site.
Either way, I enjoyed setting up the site. It might be a good example of what a ministry resume blog should contain. Plus, I love the look of the new theme.
Over the past few weeks, I have been helping Trevin Wax to update his personal blog. Trevin is an up-and-coming author and was ready to invest more in his web presence. The project included several steps:
Transfer hosting from WordPress.com to a self hosted installation of WordPress
Transfer his domain registration to the new host.
Install and customize a WordPress template
Install and tweak plugins to fit his needs
Consolidate his RSS subscribers to one feed burner account
It was a fun project and I was glad Trevin picked us to guide him through the transition.