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The first thing you should always do before beginning to write your articles is identify your target audience.  This goes for writing articles on any website.  How can you write effective articles if you don't know whom you want to view your church website?  So what type of person should a church website target?  Actually, the challenge of writing great church content is that you need to target two audiences - one primary and one secondary.

Your primary (and most important) audience should be people who do not attend your church - especially non-Christians.  You should view your church website as a modern outreach tool.  A website offers a comfortable, convenient way for potential visitors to find out about your church.  They will most likely make a decision about whether or not to attend based on what they see on your website.  Therefore, your articles need to be written with that person in mind so they can get a clear understanding of what your church believes, teaches, does, and what kind of people make up your church.  You want them to be attracted to attend in person.

Your secondary audience should be people who already attend your church. This group is less important than the first (in the context of article content), simply because their visit is driven to follow-up on information that they already know about.  Definitely use your articles to promote series, events, programs, meetings, etc.  But not at the expense of losing your primary target audience.  Don't make the mistake of focusing on existing members and sending the message that your church is an exclusive club.

Once you've identified your target audience, you then need to understand what that audience wants to see.  This should determine your site's content.  Keeping in mind that a great church website serves two audiences, you will need to make some decisions based on the primary audience over the secondary.  I would recommend beginning with some basic questions about your primary audience and let those answers drive your initial content. 

Simply by identifying visitors as your primary audience, you've already determined a prominent part of your content, the "Newcomers" section.  Make your article stand out so that your visitor will immediately notice it and be attracted to click on it.  You've only got a few seconds to grab the attention of a web surfer...make it count. 

So what do visitors want to know about your church?  Here are some basic questions that should be answered for a newcomer:

  • Where is your church located and how do I get there?
  • What times are your services?
  • What should I wear?
  • What is the atmosphere and people like?
  • Is there childcare available?
  • What programs/activities/events do you offer that may interest me?
  • What does your church believe?
  • What is your church's purpose?
  • Who is your pastor?
  • How can I contact someone at your church?

Article submission is then a breeze. Simply type your articles using any Rich-Text Editor (Word, Works, Notepad Wordpad, etc.) and submit them to me as an attachment via email. You should also email me any photos that you would like to be included on the website.

As always, should you have any questions do not hesitate to call me for further information or clarification.

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