Sunday, February 28, 2021

What makes a Christian blog successful?

by Sue Schlesman @SueSchlesman

If you’re a writer, you probably have a blog. Or you’re thinking about writing a blog. Or you’re overwhelmed managing it. Or you’ve given up. Or maybe, you’re doing so well, your posts are going viral. (If so, I’d like to talk to you.)


Blogs can feel like an enormous amount of extra work for decidedly right-brained “just let me do my art” kind of people. We wish that social media/platform-building wasn’t a thing, but it is. I have two blogs, and I have a love-hate relationship with both of them. I always feel like I should be doing more and that I’m not successful at either one. And yet, I love the writing platform, and I love the readers.


Herein lies the all-important question for those of us who blog our hearts out: What makes a Christian blog successful?


I’m not going to speak about numbers. Many experts can inform you about desired numbers for subscribers or analytics. I’d like to talk about a different kind of success--personal, spiritual success. You must measure your blog’s success by the interactions you have and the people you touch.


Recently when I clicked on the “comments” section of both of my blogs, I realized I had several comments sitting there awaiting moderation. (By the way, you should always respond to a comment on your blog. That’s Blogging Etiquette 101.) I guess I’d forgotten to check for a couple days.


My readers contact me through blog comments or personal email. They might share heartbreak, a request for counsel, or even harsh disagreement. Regardless of the style and tone of their communication, they are willing to engage in conversation. And conversation—real communication—forms the backbone of a successful blog. 


As the moderator of your own blog, you can choose to approve, reply, trash, or spam any comment that comes in. In general, I approve anything that’s not solicitous or suspicious, even if a response is negative toward me. I do not allow comments that are prejudiced toward a people group or inflammatory against faith and God. Questioning faith is good; defaming God is not something I want on my blog for two reasons: 1) I don’t want to give the argument a platform; 2) I don’t want to argue/debate that person on a public forum. I will, however, email back and attempt to have a grace-filled discussion with someone who disagrees. As long as the reader can converse, rather than attack, I will continue the conversation.


How to respond to comments on your blog


1.     Thank the reader for his/her comment, whether it’s critical or complimentary. Someone took the time to read what you wrote and write back. Show appreciation.

2.     Answer any question he/she asked if it’s a simple answer that benefits your readers as a whole. Don’t assume you always communicate what you’re thinking. Looking at your writing through another person’s eyes is invaluable. Try to see what they saw and clarify your writing.

3.     If a reader shows strong interest in a particular topic or asks for more information, share links, book recommendations, or articles in the comment section so everyone can benefit from the information. This also shows you care enough to treat each reader personally.

4.     Email your reader if he/she shares something personal, attacks you personally, or posts a lengthy comment that requires a significant response. Take the time to have the conversation. You may win someone to Christ or at least open the door to truth.

5.     If you feel you must cut off communication with someone, kindly respond, explain why the debate or discussion is unproductive, and inform him/her that you will not continue the conversation any longer. You can unsubscribe any of your readers if you think it’s necessary for the benefit of the whole.


Just this week, I’ve heard from a Middle Eastern Christian woman married to a Muslim man who won’t allow her to practice her faith. I’ve heard from an angry reader who misinterpreted my heart over issues of justice and mercy. I’ve been thanked for sharing about my own grief because my blog comforted a grieving reader. People have shared how God spoke to them through a prayer I wrote. The reaching out from writer to reader and back again is a gift and a responsibility.


My blogs are not particularly successful by industry standards, yet they bring responses from people all over the country and the world. People ask about faith. About hope. About recovery. For prayer.


That’s success. And all of us can have this kind of success. We can all write what we feel, explain how God heals, and reach into cyberspace and give comfort freely.


If you feel called to write a blog—and you write it to the glory of God—you are a successful Christian blogger. Christian writing on any forum requires faith and courage. We must be in tune with the Holy Spirit so we know what to say, and perhaps more importantly, what not to say to an audience made up of strangers as well as friends. Believers and unbelievers. Seekers and critics. 


Blogging as a ministry doesn’t mean your SEO isn’t important. It is. Let’s just not confuse spiritual impact with market success.


What Makes a Christian Blog Successful? @SueSchlesman on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Sue Schlesman is an award-winning author, speaker, blogger, English teacher, and pastor’s wife. Her second book, Soulspeak: Praying Change into Unexpected Places, won a Selah Award in 2020. Sue was also a top-15 contributor at in 2020. Sue has a BA in Creative Writing and a Master’s in Theology & Culture. Her material appears in a variety of print, online, radio, and podcast mediums. She has a passion for poetry, missions, justice, traveling, reading, and the local church. You can find her writing about life, education, and Jesus at


  1. Love this: Let’s just not confuse spiritual impact with market success.
    It's easy to get discouraged, but God promises His word will not return void. He will reach those who need a word when we are faithful to write it.

  2. Thanks, Jeanne! I'm glad this encouraged you. Praise Jesus.

  3. Thanks, Sue. I'm just beginning to blog so truly appreciate your post this morning. I learned so much. Thank you for sharing.

  4. So much truth packed into this post! Thank you for the great tips as well as wonderful reminders.

  5. Thank you for your encouraging and hopeful message. I, too, have a love/hate relationship with my blog. It's good to know I'm not alone. Wishing you continued blessings in your ministry.

  6. Thanks, Diane, Crystal, and Katherine! Blessings to all of you on your writing and changing the world!