#163: 5 Quick Ways To Jumpstart Dead Blog Posts

Have you ever written a blog post, one you thought was going to be brilliant, only to read it afterward and realize it falls flat? Have you ever gone back through your library of past posts, and occasionally wondered, “How did I write something this boring?

If so, don't despair. I think all of us who write experience this phenomenon. The good news is you can resurrect “dead” blog posts. In this episode, I will describe 5 quick ways you can jumpstart  a dead blog post.

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Spiritual Foundations

The Reckless, Dangerous, and Rebellious Prosperity Gospel

I'm always a little amused when I hear a criticism leveled and those of us who believe God intended man to prosper and be in good health, especially when it sounds like this: “Oh, so you believe in the prosperity gospel?”

The term itself is used with derision. Another form of this question is, “Don't tell me you're one of those ‘health and wealth gospel' believers?”

I always want to reply, “Would you prefer a sickness and poverty gospel? Do you think Jesus came not to give us life, and life more abundantly, but rather sickness, and death more quickly?”

Of course, I don't reply this way because I do understand that most people who say these things are speaking out of true conviction. They believe their criticism of the so-called “prosperity gospel” is valid, that the “prosperity gospel” distorts the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I do agree that the gospel of prosperity and health is reckless, dangerous, and even rebellious.

It represents the reckless love of God for us as humans and his children.

It is dangerous to the spirit of religion, the same spirit that led the Jewish leaders of Christ's day to nail him to a cross.

It is rebellious, in the same way the Romans felt this rabble-rouser Jesus was rebellious. The gospel of prosperity, of health, of wealth, and peace for all mankind is dangerous and rebellious … against the system of the world.

And that is exactly why we must embrace it. That is why the Apostle John wrote, “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. ” (3 John 1:1)

One of the most damning criticisms of the prosperity gospel is: what are we to make of people who live in Third World countries, who have no real chance of prosperity? If God really wants everyone to prosper, how could he allow such conditions to exist? I suspect that His response would be, “How can you? I left you in charge.”

Ultimately, when the full Kingdom is consummated on the earth, every injustice will be set right, every person who is lost anything will be repaid seven times what they lost, and all of us will be made whole, well, and will lack nothing. That Kingdom reality is already here, but not in its fullness, and our current assignment is to bring more of that Kingdom reality to all those around us, and to every place we go.

It doesn't matter that it makes us uncomfortable, it is still our assignment.

Jesus modeled for us the behavior of a person in full relationship with the Father, and with the Holy Spirit. He healed every person who came to him for healing. He paid his bills-for the first part of his life by working at a trade and having a business, in the years of his ministry he paid his taxes by finding money in the mouth of a fish. If I suggested that you pay your taxes in a similar way, because you have faith in God, I would be branded as some sort of heretical “prosperity preacher”. So be it.

Here's what I know: Scripture says that we are to be in good health, and to prosper in all things, even as our soul prospers. I believe it all starts with “soul prosperity”; with our mind, will, and emotions being in perfect alignment with those of the Lord. This is only possible through the indwelling life of the Holy Spirit. The more we can experience that reality, the more the reality of material wealth, and physical health, will be ours.

So don't be discouraged by criticisms about the “prosperity gospel”. And don't be discouraged by the fact that you don't see everything you want to see in this regard-yet. Know that God's promises are true, he never lies, he is never late, he never fails to deliver.

You are blessed immeasurably by the Creator of the universe. You are promised there will come a day when you will live in your perfected body the way it was intended to be originally, that you will suffer no illness, that you will not weep any longer, and there will be no lack of money, food, love, safety, or anything else you need. If that isn't true health and wealth, and I don't know what is.

Feature Presentation: 5 Ways To Jumpstart Your Dead Blog Posts

You've written a blog post, and it feels to you is though it has fallen flat. Or perhaps you're looking through your back catalog and found some old posts that really did fall flat. They got no engagement, very few if any comments, and you just feel overall it could've been better. Is there an easy and simple way to jumpstart these “dead” blog posts-shock them with the paddles, so to speak, and get their heart beating again? Absolutely! Here are 5 ways you can jumpstart a dead blog post…

  1. Headlines. Exchange that old, plain-Jane, boring headline for one that invokes emotion, uses power words, is controversial, cutting, inflammatory, or creates great hope. Go crazy and brainstorm many different headlines for your old, dead blog post. Sometimes all a post needs to bring it back to life is for someone to actually read it.
  2. The Lead.  Just like a good novel or movie, a blog post needs to start in the middle of the action. It needs to capture the imagination of the reader right away. If you've written a piece that just doesn't seem to have life in it, after you've readjusted the headline, consider rewriting the “lead” (the first few sentences or paragraphs) that set up the rest of the post. Instead of relating dry facts or a boring thesis statement, perhaps you could tell story, share a personal experience,  or ask some penetrating and thought-provoking questions. Simply ask yourself, “How can I make the beginning of this post more outrageous, more imaginative, more inspiring, or even into something that would evoke more skepticism?”
  3. Subheads.  Often, long blog posts die a quick death because people simply cannot wade through the wall of text that confronts them. This is why we break up our writing online into shorter paragraphs; it makes it easier for people to scan, and it looks as though it will be easier to read. One of my favorite devices for keeping people reading a post is to use mini-headlines or “Subheads” to string the main part of the story together throughout the text.
  4. Images.  I'm talking about pictures here. Actual pictures. If you can find a photo that perfectly illustrates the point you're trying to make, or one that is representative of the idea you're trying to convey, then by all means use it. Make sure you use a photo that you have the rights to use (either by the photo through a stock photo service, one you have otherwise obtained a clear license for, or a photo you took yourself). Do be careful not to use cliché photos: if you're writing about how to negotiate, for heaven's sake please don't show photo of two men in business suits shaking hands! You can be more creative than that. One great source of unusual but creative photos for this purpose is a stock photo website called Unsplash. Many thanks to my friend Mike Kim for pointing this resource out to me.
  5. Enhanced Content.  Offer an enhanced version of the content in your blog post. This might mean creating an audio file to accompany it, making a short tutorial video to go along with the blog post, or creating a checklist, infographic, or cheat sheet that can be downloaded. This enhanced content should add to the value of the post by making it readily implementable. Amy Porterfield does a great job of this on her blog. Not only is this something that is fairly easy for you to do, it can definitely increase the size of your email list if you use the approach that Amy uses, asking for an email exchange for the download.

Using any one of these five jumpstart tactics should infuse your blog post with new life; using all of them is almost guaranteed to “resurrect the dead”. Your assignment: put one or more of these tactics to work and apply them on your blog. This is something you could do today and begin to see the results immediately. Will you?

Which of these 5 “jumpstart tactics” will you  put to work on your blog today? Post a link!

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Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.