wordpress blogging site

Blogging Tips and Tools: Theotek Podcast #094

Do you want to start a blog? Do you have something to say? Blogging offers a great outlet for ministers who want to share their ministry with the world or communicate directly with their church members outside of regular worship services or church meetings. No matter why you want to write on the Internet, we’ll share what we’ve learned after decades of combined blogging experience between our four co-hosts in this week’s episode of the Theotek Podcast. Watch it below or listen using the player at the bottom of this post.

In this week’s episode we mentioned a few tools. Here’s the list of places to put your blog online:

wordpress blogging site

Some of the tools we’ve used to post to our blogs include:

  • Mars Edit for Mac
  • Windows Live Writer – now defunct but an open source version called Open Live Writer now exists for Windows.
  • WordPress app on iOS and Android
  • Your browser

The following tips will help you to stay successful as a blogger.

Be Specific in Subject and Stay With It

Even if that topic is you and your ministry, stay with it. If you choose to blog about Bible verses you’re studying and build an audience of people who want to read your posts about Bible passages, then throwing in a post about your favorite football team or politics might turn people off.

Some bloggers start making it clear that they will post about all sorts of topics. Then the subject is their opinions. If that’s what you want, great! Make it clear from the start.

Blog consistently

painfullyhopeful
Wes Allen’s site PainfullyHopeful.me

On Theotek we put out about one post a week. Wes Allen posts almost every day on his blog PainfullyHopeful.me. Don’t go weeks or months without a post. People will lose interest and start ignoring when you finally do post.

Include Images

blogging
Photo credit: Unsplash on Pixabay.

Not everyone agrees with this, but most successful blogs include images or even embedded videos. Most of the blogging software we mentioned above works fine with these media forms including JPG, YouTube Videos, Vimeo Videos, GIF and animated GIF and more.

Don’t just throw up a picture. Give it an ALT tag. A post from Yoast Search Engine Optimization explains what an ALT image tag is and why it’s important.

Posts with images and videos show up better in searches. So try to include them.

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

The Value of Free Stuff: Theotek Podcast #080

Sometimes churches or believers can’t afford the high-end or expensive option in many categories like Bible software or web services, so we’ve got some of the best free stuff or free alternatives for you. We shared our favorite freebies that churches, pastors, and believers can use to help build the kingdom of God in their context without wrecking their wallet or bank account balance.

Below the video you’ll see the list of freebies starting with the Bible Software free stuff and then a simple list of the other free stuff we talked about in this episode of the Theotek Podcast.

Bible Study Free Stuff

e-Sword is the best free Bible study app available. They make both PC version and a Mac version, that’s not free but really inexpensive.

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

Sticking with Bible study Rick Mansfield showed off the free Accordance Mobile app, which people can download on their iPhone or iPad and get a ton of free content, especially if you sign up for a free user account with Accordance. Rick showed off the great ESV interlinear Bible available in the app.

accordance-mobile-esv-study-bible-app

Antoine showed us his favorite Bible app called Verse3. We had the developer of Verse3 on show #044. It’s not free, but only costs $5.

verse3 ipad app

Olive Tree offers a free version of their Bible app for almost every platform you could want. Download the app on your computer or mobile device, get some free content and then, if you prefer, add some premium content later as needed.

olive tree ipad app
Olive Tree Bible app

I showed off some free online Bible study sites that I wrote about a while ago in a two-part series. Here’s part two.

Finally, LaRosa also reminded us that WORDsearch, his former employer, offers what used to be called Bible Explorer. It’s now called WORDsearch Basic and it’s now their free option.

wordsearch-basic

The Other Free Stuff

Here’s our list of other Free Stuff to help you do your work for free or almost free.

  • WordPress website management system also called a content management system or CMS. You can set up a free website and even buy a domain from a company like Hover that will forward that domain to your free WordPress site.‘
  • YouTube for video hosting and for playing videos. Find tons of content from entertainment to music to educational content all on YouTube. Of course we use it to stream our Theotek Podcast.
  • Microsoft Sway is a great presentation app that lets users share images and pictures. Think of it as a PowerPoint or Keynote alternative for online presentations.
  • Facebook Live lets you record and host live video which people can then find later in recorded form on your Facebook wall.
  • Libre Office offers a full free office suite with alternatives for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.
  • Google gives away tons of free tools, including free office software like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms.

iPhone 7

We ended the show discussing the new iPhone 7, which Rick and I both had our hands on. I did an unboxing of the wrong phone. Watch me get totally disappointed because T-Mobile screwed up and sent me an iPhone 7 instead of the iPhone 7 Plus I actually ordered. Watch the above video to hear what Rick thinks of his iPhone 7 Plus.