Your writings and audio content (including sermons) may be what people are looking for, but there’s an obstacle standing in their way which you can remove.
In this episode:
- Learn from my mistake: Research before buying
- Facebook EdgeRank experiment: Posting more
- Better titles mean more readers/listeners
- Should you podcast?
Learn from my mistake: Research before buying
Not long ago, the Audio-Technica ATR2100 microphone was recommended and donated to me. It’s an even better microphone for a fraction of the cost. But I needed a new shock mount and studio arm.
Long story short, always do thorough research before buying anything.
Facebook EdgeRank experiment: Posting more
Despite expert advice, I’ve started posting more. Instead of posting three times a day, I’ve tried posting five times a day. Instead of spacing my posts three hours apart, I’m spacing them 2 hours apart.
The engagement (likes, comments, and shares) of each post has slightly increased. The reach of each post has slightly increased. Only slightly. But engagement and reach overall is vastly greater.
Only time will tell if this strategy is sustainable.
Better titles mean more readers/listeners
Perhaps the most neglected aspect of publishing on the Web is the title of a post. But it also happens to be the one thing standing in the way of what would be potential readers or listeners.
RSS subscribers are subscribed to x-number of blogs and see x-number of new posts each day. Podcast subscribers are subscribed x-number of podcasts and see x-number of new sermons/episodes each week. Email subscribers get x-number of emails each day. Social network friends see–well, you get the point.
Time is limited and people will scan the titles (or email subject lines, tweets, etc.) and decide what they find appealing. They will judge the content you’ve published on the title alone.
Let’s say you or your pastor preached a sermon on Psalm 23. What might you title it?
- Psalm 23 (descriptive but not captivating)
- The Lord is My Shepherd (a cherished phrase but won’t peak the interest of most people)
- 6 Verses of the Bible Every Christian Should Memorize (Hmm? I wonder which 6 verses)
- What Everyone Ought to Know About Psalm 23 (descriptive and I might learn something new)
The goal when crafting your titles:
- Be descriptive (it should be relatively obvious what your post is about)
- Encourage curiosity (it should make people want to see more)
There’s a third factor when it comes to search engine optimization. You should include words or phrases people will use when searching. You might phrase your title in the form of question.
4 effective principles when creating titles for the Web:
- Social proof (Who else wants [fill in the blank]?)
- Privileged information (The secret to [fill in the blank])
- Provide benefits (Here’s a method that will help you [fill in the blank])
- Provide solutions (Get rid of [fill in the blank] once and for all)
According to MailChimp, the open rate of “religious” emails is about 28 percent. My open rate went from 20 percent to 60 percent by putting more time and attention on my subject lines.
Try split-testing. Send the same email using the boring subject line to half the list and send the better subject line to the other half. Watch the open rates of both and see which performs better.
Should you podcast?
Advantage: Podcasting opens up your content to a whole new audience.
Disadvantage: The cost of equipment and the extra time required.
In the end, you’ll have to decide for yourself. Obviously, you know what I decided for me.
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