I submitted an article to a Lutheran newspaper nearly a year ago. Since I never heard anything back, I assume it was not the kind of article the publication was looking for. In fact, it might make sense that a newspaper, sent out via real mail, might balk at publishing an article about website design. That's OK, since I recently found the article and published it to my Satisfamily website. I have several articles on that website that have had thousands of views. While I am disappointed my ideas were not seen by the hundreds who read the print copy of the newspaper, maybe it's better that I publish it myself in order to reach even more people.

Now let's apply that thinking to your church. Do you have a weekly bulletin? Monthly newsletter? And how do you send these out? I remember seeing some mailboxes at church full of documents--the people who needed those reminders the most were not in church to get them. In the same way, if you use a newsletter services online, people will just unsubscribe. Then nothing. That's why it needs to be ON your website, so that thousands of people over decades can read about it. Content that keeps getting new hits all the time is called evergreen, and your website is golden if it can be evergreen.

One simple way to have an article people will always read is to have a history section, and I'd even suggest a lot of name-dropping in this section. When I research my grandfather's name, for example, it should appear on the website of the church he attended most of his life, as well as possibly the one at which he was married. Think of all the relatives of former members who might be researching family history and who might stumble upon your website. As an example, I will add the following text to this website: Franklin Jaeger of Ixonia, WI. That's Grandpa, and I barely knew him, but now his name is linked to my article and this website for as long as I have it, so that when my cousins' kids look up the name, they will find this website. That's what indexing does, and that's why it's powerful. A newspaper article, if not indexed, might not have helped my help more than a few hundred people, but a properly-indexed article on a website can continue to help others for years to come.