Christian on-line blogging runs parallel to secular blogging but with money through other avenues

Published 29 November 2012
Turning Blog into a Business was a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald where it noted that Darren Rowse is Australia's most financially rewarded blogger. He's shown that blogging is now an industry. (www.smh.com.au)

Darren Rowse started blogging in 2002 and began making a full-time income from it in 2005. He earns money from blogging through advertising, affiliate links and selling products such as ebooks. When Rowse released his ebook 31 Days to a Better Blog in 2009, he says it generated more than $70,000 in eight days.

The annual PloBlogger Training Event conference he initiated is now in its third year. Rowse's initiative.

Nikki Parkinson also featured in the article. Her blog is a marketing tool for her styling business. However, her Styling Blog grew in popularity and she began to accept small amounts of sponsorship and advertising. "I saw that there was a whole community around blogging," she says.

It appears as though some Blogs have come of age and some Bloggers have figured out a way to earn a living from their writings on their computer.

Christian blogs in three categories

There appears to be three categories of Christian blogging and all three are valid but only two of them at the moment are related to finances.

Christians have a long history of writing papers for posterity. Many of the great figures of Christian history either wrote down themselves what they thought and spoke, or on the other hand, there were secretary's or copyists hard at work.

We note that the preacher John Chrysostom 347-407 coined 'golden mouth' had secretary's writing down what he preached and then distributed. This was an ancient type blog. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Chrysostom)

The same happened with London's Charles Haddon Spurgeon 1834-1892 where his sermons were copied and sold on the streets of London and the London docks for 2 pennies. This too was a kind of a blog. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Spurgeon)

In this sense, Blogs have been about within Christian circles for as long as memory serves. In this more modern era of Internet blogging these are three categories of existing blogs.

Christians with a specific interest

Dr Roger Morris is one of the Press Service International young writers and is a medical practitioner on the Sunshine Coast. Roger Morris has a particular interest in the interface of the Christian faith with science, philosophy and culture. He has a blog called Faith Interface (www.faithinterface.com.au).

Roger Morris is the tip of the ice berg of Christians with blogs of Christian interest. They range from stamp collecting of Christian interest to scientific astronomy and the Scriptures. These bloggers have their own following and can range from family members and friends to a vast array of interested people.

They realise their blogs have a limited interest and have no real expectation that a Michael Spielberg will read their blog and get so excited he decides to make a block buster from it.

Ministries focusing on Blogs gaining paid ads

John Mark Ministries led by Reverend Dr Rowland Croucher is such an example. The largest Christian web site in the southern hemisphere its focus is that of Pastor to Pastor and its range of ministry has a wide breadth. (jmm.org.au)

On this site are any number of blogs, some by Rowland Croucher himself, but largely there are subject lists for which are innumerable articles. These are all very well read with a usual readership of around 1 million each month.

Such a site draws Google adverts for which funding is raised for John Mark Ministries and this represents this second genre of the Christian blog market.

Christian Mission blogs 'cycle funding'

These are most common Christian blog and it needs a little explanation as to how 'cycle funding' works when they don't draw down advertising. The function of these blogs, is that although they do not earn income themselves, they illustrate the benefit of the ministry or mission.

As Ministries and Missions seek funding for their Christian activities, they require a mechanism by which their prospective supporter base can see and read what is happening on the ground. This is where the blog comes into its own.

Two quick examples – KeyLife is largely the preaching ministry of Reverend Steve Brown, a highly recognised US Presbyterian pastor whose gravely deep voice is his calling card (having been a DJ earlier in his career) along with his theological voice on "Grace". His Pooped Pastors web site where he gives a regular video talk has many specific blogs aimed at ministering to those in Christian Ministry. The funding to keep this very effective ministry up and running is derived through generous gifts and the Blogs clearly demonstrate the veracity of the ministry. (test.poopedpastors.org)

A second example is our own mission blog, it is promoted to our E-Network each Sunday afternoon with 1-3 photographs of our mission activities. We call this the E-Blast. A friend suggested we should change it's name to the E-Whisper as it is such an effective ministry communication tool. Again, it clearly identifies our ministry in pictorial form and engenders our faith finances (we've been faith financed missionaries for 30 years). (regularupdatesonournews.blogspot.com.au)

There are literally hundreds of thousands of such Christian ministry / mission blogs and each illustrates the remarkable value of financially supporting that work. In this sense, Christian blogging may well be amongst the highest money spinners in any blog contingency.

Indeed, the Blog is a remarkable tool for Christian outreach.

Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.

Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html

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