Sermon Structure: Try It For Your Blog Posts
I’m a huge advocate of using templates to help give structure to your blog posts and speed up the writing process, and what better template than one that’s been used for hundreds of years – the sermon template.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
When you hear a sermon, you sit up and pay attention to the message, which is exactly what you want your readers to do. So say it like you’re preachin’ it from the pulpit! Can I get a “Hallelujah?!”
What’s the theme for today?
You might think it’s easy for a preacher to come up with a theme for his sermon. All he has to do is turn to the Bible, right? But the Bible was written hundreds of years ago. While the messages are still appropriate, in order to make the messages more clear and make a bigger impact he has to find a way to make them relevant to his audience today.
For example, the preacher may open his sermon by saying, “Today we’re going to talk about Jonah and the Whale and how it applies to your struggle with faith in today’s economic decline.”
Obviously, you can see I’m not a preacher, but you get the picture. The preacher is going to use an example from a reliable source, The Bible, and explain how his audience can use that experience to improve their own circumstances, the relevancy connection.
So the preacher has already decided what lesson he’s going to teach and he knows that the best way to get that message across is to start out, in the very beginning, letting his audience know there’s going to be a benefit. This is how you want to structure your opening paragraph.
Deliver The Message
In your next paragraph you want to cite your information. For example, the preacher might say, “The Bible tells us that Jonah was a young man who…” and then he’d briefly touch on the relevant details in the story. You might say, “Last month Google released another version of the Panda update…” and go on to briefly explain the relevant detail.
How does this message affect your readers? For the preacher, very few of his audience members are ever going to be swallowed by a whale, but many of them are facing personal challenges and hardships in today’s economic climate that may be testing their faith. For your readers, most of them don’t have a clue what really goes on when Google updates but they do know their websites were affected and they need to know how.
In your next paragraph you want to provide solutions. The preacher might tell his congregation that if they have faith they’ll survive these current economical hardships and come out stronger on the other side. You might tell your readers that if they improve the quality of their content or build stronger backlinks they won’t get smacked down by Google.
Can I Get A “Hallelujah!“
Bring it all together in your closing paragraph. Start with a one-sentence description of your example: “Jonah was a young man who experienced something more extraordinary than we can possibly imagine but his unyielding faith pulled him through.”
Follow it up with relevant statement: “Today you’re behind on your mortgage and the wolf is at the door.”
And then one or two sentences that drive home the solution: “Keep the faith and this, too, shall pass!”
In your case, your closing paragraph might go something like this:
Google hit us all hard with the latest updates and bloggers all over the Internet have seen the rankings drop like a stone. But if you focus on providing stellar content and building quality, natural backlinks, you’ll rise to the top in no time. Can I get a “Hallelujah!”
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