Bible Blog Project: May, 2024 (UPDATE)

It’s May 1st, which officially means it’s time for an update.

From the beginning, my goal with this project has been two-fold.

First, provide a replicable framework for other people to follow to build their own blogs. Good or bad, I want to show you what works (and, just as importantly, what doesn’t), so that anyone reading this can create a blog that actually attracts visitors and spreads the Gospel.

Second, in order to do that, I need to be 100% transparent with everything that I’ve done. That means giving an honest account of where I’m at so you can track the progress on your own.

So, here’s my honest opinion as to where I’m at: This stuff is hard

You probably already knew that though, didn’t you? There’s a reason the overwhelming majority of online content fails to reach an audience, and only a microscopic amount of that comes down to work ethic.

There are so many things to juggle: writing for the internet, solid SEO skills, connections, money (possibly), and more than anything else, just dumb luck. I’ve written blogs that took me ten minutes that went off like a rocket. Others, I’ve poured endless amounts of time crafting a piece that got zero eyeballs.

That’s the name of the game. I’m willing to roll with it as long as you are. That’s faith though, isn’t it? The ability to hope in something and expect it to happen? 

I have faith this will work. Maybe not in 12 months, but eventually, it will work.

With that in mind, let’s see what happened this month.

What Happened in April?

I’m really happy with my current writing setup. I’ve established a nice pace of writing two blogs of less than 600 words each day, which keeps up a consistent stream of content. If I get too far behind, it gets overwhelming, so establishing this pace was crucial to any kind of success.

I also have my apps all streamlined and ready to go, too. I’ll write a longer post on the writing process later, but for now, here’s a breakdown of what I’m using:

  • Canva Pro: To create featured images for the articles.
  • Sendfox: To send the emails (lifetime subscription for $50).
  • ProWritingAid: For light spell checking and grammar.
  • SERanking: For keyword research

That’s pretty much it. At the end of the month, I pull up the file with all my articles on it, and format, set, and schedule each article. It takes a couple hours, but it’s much easier to work in batches than do each one of them individually.

In terms of traffic, the site continues to grow. My direct searches are up (which means people are looking more intentionally for me) and my email traffic is down (which means people aren’t clicking through on the emails). 

I’m fine with both of those, because organic trafficis what I’m after. That number has gone up from last month, even when you consider that March has one more day than April.

Here’s the graph. 

In hard numbers, my blog got 73 organic visitors, which is more than the 56 I received in April – a 62% increase. Are those numbers extraordinary? No, but they are increasing, and that’s all that matters.

And it’s without any kind of link building efforts, which will change the game dramatically. 

What About My Kindle Books?

Honestly, most of my time has been spent with writing a follow up to my first book. You have to build on what people are gravitating towards, and that’s been a runaway success.

In March, I sold 438 copies of that one book, to go along with 22,941 page reads. As a reminder, those are two separate metrics. My book is in Kindle Unlimited, so the book sales are coming from people who buy it, whereas the page reads are coming from people that are “borrowing” the book. 

My book is 100 pages long (ish), so that means the book was read around 667 times.

Last month, I upped the ad spend a bit, tried out some new targeting, and surpassed March’s total. In April, I sold 721 copies alongside 33,217 page reads, which means my book was read 1053 times. Not too bad for a random preacher from Texas. 

What’s even more gratifying than the sales numbers are the reviews. They’re overwhelmingly complimentary, which is always nice, but more importantly, they sound like they’re having a real, spiritual effect in people’s lives.

I don’t show these to brag — I’m showing them to open up our eyes to the very real impact that other online mediums can have in bringing people to Christ. As preachers, we tend to hyper-focus on sermons and classes, when something as simple as a fiction novella can be just as powerful.

So, yeah, book 2 is coming. Prayerfully, it will have the same impact.

Til Next Time!

I have a lot more in the tank that I’m looking forward to discussing next month (or the month after), but I sincerely hope that you like these updates. Not because of anything to do with me, but because they help us brainstorm multiple ways to evangelize.

One of my favorite parables is the parable of the Shrewd Servant. In it, the master praises an unrighteous steward for thinking outside the box to secure his future position. Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus is not praising the unrighteousness, but the creativity.

That’s the parable that led us to start Diakonos — what other, out-of-the-box, yet Scriptural ways can we evangelize? Online is just one, but there are thousands of others.

How will you share the Gospel today?

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