Welcome to the CMBA Newsletter!
This month’s newsletter gives us a behind-the-scenes look at Rob and Lori Ferguson, guides you through pros and cons of having a Facebook page for your blog, and invites you to an affiliate opportunity. We hope the newsletter encourages you. Sometimes it is difficult to persevere with blogging. Life gets in the way with the end of the school year, moves, job changes, and illness–and sometimes we just hit the “blahs.” Maybe we struggle to come up with topics, we aren’t motivated to sit and write, or we are frustrated with comments on the blog or maybe with the lack of comments. Remember that what you do makes a real difference in people’s lives. If only one person is touched by what you write, your work has mattered.
New Members The following blogs joined CMBA since our last issue. Do visit their sites and share an encouraging word.
From the Forum
The CMBA Member’s Forum is a safe place for us, away from the eyes of our readers, where we can gain insight, encouragement, practical help, and prayers. Have you visited the forum recently? Come by and take a look. Update your profile, post a question, and see if there are questions from others you can weigh in on. If you’re new to the forum, you might find it helpful to start in the Getting Started area. You’ll find information about how to use the forum. Click here to join us. If you have questions about the CMBA Member’s Forum, contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a Christian marriage blogger, you are probably aware of the many ways the internet poses temptations for people. If you would like to encourage your readers to make healthy online choices, consider being an affiliate of X3Watch. It’s a great platform developed in collaboration with XXXChurch. X3Watch has an affiliate program that is as easy as placing an image on the side of your page or including a text link within a blog post. Affiliates earn a commission when their readers make a purchase by linking from your page. You can find an overview of the affiliate program here: http://x3watch.com/affiliates/. For more information, contact Gavin Griffin at email@example.com.
How Do I . . . ?
Should You Have a Facebook Page for Your Blog?
By Chris Taylor, The Forgiven Wife In the beginning, there is the blog. You have things to say about marriage, you start to write, you get some readers, and you start to feel settled on your blogging feet. Before you know it, you have a reader asking you if you have a Facebook page. Or you notice what other blogs do with their Facebook pages. Or you think about how nice it would be to share other bloggers’ work with your readers. There are pros and cons to having a Facebook page for your blog. Pros
- It can drive traffic to your blog. When you share one of your posts, potential readers will see when their friends Like or Share—and you can get new readers.
- You can share posts from other blogs more easily, even adding some commentary or links to your posts that address similar subjects.
- It extends the ways you can interact with readers. Some readers may have a quick question that they don’t want to bother you with in email—but they will post on your Facebook page or send you a quick message there.
- You can share things that don’t really fit on your blog—memes you like, pictures of your daily life, snippets about your life, etc. It’s a fun way for your readers to get to know you
- You can schedule posts. Many bloggers regularly share posts from their archives on Facebook. It keeps your page active, even if you’re in a writing slump. You can sit down on a Saturday afternoon and schedule a different post to be shared for every day of the following week.
- You can run contests.
- You can interact with other blog pages using your page identity. It is a way of networking.
- It expands your “brand.” Your blog’s logo and header image can be adapted for use on the Facebook page. It keeps you in front of your readers in a different way than if they have to go to your blog to see if there’s anything new going on.
- You stay anonymous. Your posts and comments on your page will be made with your page’s identity, not with your personal identity.
- In order for your Facebook page to stay dynamic, it will need regular attention. It might mean daily posts from your archives or even just one post a week—but if you aren’t sharing anything, your fans won’t be seeing anything from you.
- If you get one difficult post from a fan on your page, a conversation between fans can erupt fairly quickly. You need to be able to get to the page to smooth things over and delete posts if necessary. While it isn’t likely to happen, if it does, you’ll be glad if you can get there quickly.
- It gives you one more account to monitor. You already have your blogging account. You likely have an email address for your blog and maybe a Twitter account as well. This is one more thing to keep track of.
- If you have limited time, it may take away from time you can spend writing. While a Facebook page doesn’t have to take a lot of time, it doesn’t take care of itself.
- If your blog writes about a sensitive subject (such as infidelity or sexual intimacy), you may not see much interaction, and some readers will be hesitant to Like your page out of concern that their friends will see and wonder what is going on in their marriages. This may mean that you don’t see as many of the pros as if you wrote about other aspects of marriage.
In deciding if you want to have a Facebook page for your blog, prayerfully consider these questions:
- Is it likely to expand the ministry that happens on my blog or distract from it?
- Do I have time to add that on to what I am already doing?
- Am I interested in interacting with readers in a new way, or do I prefer it the way it is?
While you’re still in the process of deciding whether to proceed with a Facebook page for your blog, you can set one up and not make it public right away. If you decide to go ahead, Facebook’s Help Center for Pages will guide you. It covers basic setup, procedures for setting the name, thinking about moderation, running contests, and more.
Are you on social media? Follow CMBA!
- Pinterest (If you would like to be added to CMBA’s collaborative Christian Marriage and Sex board, email Bonny at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Looking for some marriages resources and want to support other CMBA members?
- Discovering a More Intimate Response, by Philip D. Cole. The book is designed to help married couples consider the various ways in which they respond to each other and how their response impacts their relationship. The book can be purchased at http://intimateresponse.com.
- Ruth Buezis has developed a curriculum for a six-week sex class for Christian wives. You can learn more about the course here. She has begun to have some of her former students (in person or via Skype) to teach the course as well. If you are interested, you can contact Ruth on this page.
Do you have an e-book, devotional, printable, or other resource that you’ve developed? Let us send a little love your way. If you have a resource that you’d like help promoting, send an email to Chris at email@example.com. A list will be included in a future newletter. It’s a great way to help us encourage each other and see what we’re all up to.
Behind the Blog
Meet Robert and Lori Ferguson from Encourage Your Spouse
Who are we? We’re a husband and wife team — Robert and Lori — who write about marriage on “Encourage Your Spouse.” We’ve been married for 31 years, with 3 grown kids: a daughter, son and daughter-in-love. Why are we writing about marriage and encouragement? It stems from our larger purpose: “Our purpose is to encourage husbands and wives to lead meaningful lives.” Support: We want to support husbands and wives, because marriage can be hard. Our society doesn’t do much to make it easy for marriages to thrive. We also want to bring honor to the role of husband and wife. Enrich: We seek to enrich marriages, so men and women can first imagine, and then plan for and take action to have a positive impact on everyone around them: kids, parents, siblings, communities and countries. The blog “Encourage Your Spouse” first came from the realization that encouragement in marriage makes a huge difference in how husbands and wives interact, and the success they feel, both in marriage and life. If your spouse doesn’t encourage you… who will? What else do we do? We’ve been on-the-road full time for a year, traveling in North America, as Robert presents to leaders in business on Values and consults with companies on marketing initiatives. We also work with couples in business – that’s on our site http://LeadershipCouples.com – and it’s quite appropriate, ‘cause we’re a couple in business… together. This year on the road has taught us that stuff isn’t important – people and experiences should take precedence. We kind of knew that, but this year has proved it. What’s our writing process? We have very different processes! Robert makes a commitment for a specific number of blog posts, and then follows through on a deadline. Lori is more of a “when the inspiration strikes,” or she’s feeling motivated in a specific area. What do we do that works? We talk. A lot. We talk about our ideas, we brainstorm, we share resources we’ve found, and we keep trying. Advice for new marriage bloggers…
- Keep going – don’t stop! And if you have stopped… start again!
- It’s not only about the “writing.” Listen. Develop your thoughts, and discuss those thoughts with other married couples, starting with your own spouse.
- Surround yourself with couples who are strong in their marriages, and if you don’t have couple-friends like that… then look for them, as you pray!
- Challenge yourself to grow – learn new techniques of blogging, develop your voice, use social media to reach out, and only compare yourself to what you were! (Never compare yourself to other bloggers. Never.) If you’re growing, you’re successful!
Connect with us! People are important – we’d love to connect with you! (Hey – we need other couple-friends too!) We’re on Twitter: Lori is @Ready2Encourage and Robert is @FergusonValues. On Facebook we’re at http://facebook.com/EncourageYourSpouse. You can see all our pictures on Instagram from our travels – http://Instagram.com/Robert_and_Lori If you would like to be featured in one of our upcoming newsletters, contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll provide you with some questions if you like. It’s a great chance to bring some fresh attention to your blog and let us know a little bit about you.
Image courtesy of Dr Joseph Valks at FreeDigitalPhotos.net