Blog About Atheism:
Blogging has become very popular and anyone can start a blog to write about the things that interest them. Not every blog is created equal, however, and there are strategies you can use which will improve the quality of what you write, attracting more readers and attention to your ideas. This advice focuses on blogging about atheism, but the key to writing a better blog about atheism or anything else may simply be to avoid doing the same things everyone else does. Create something different.
Find Something Different to Write About:
There are thousands of blogs chasing and writing about the same news stories every day. Resist the urge to join them too often. Instead of quoting and commenting on the same CNN article, quote and comment on something else (like a book) and connect it to the larger issues or explore unusual aspects of the issues. Examples: when writing about gay marriage
, explore questions about divorce; when writing about church/state separation, use the history of the medieval church to illustrate a point.
Offer a Unique Perspective on Topics:
Every person is different and brings to an issue their own unique perspective. This includes you, obviously, and you should use this as much as possible in your writings. Sit down and think about what experiences you bring (your family, your major in school, etc.) and find ways to use these experiences to offer different kinds of commentary on religious issues than is found on most blogs. Does your experience with interpreting literature, for example, offer insight on biblical interpretations?
Write About Things that Interest You:
The purpose of a blog is to write about things which interest you, but sometimes bloggers find themselves writing as much out of a sense of obligation as out of the simple pleasure of writing for its own sake. This may be unavoidable to some degree, but when a person is really interested in a topic it shows because their writing is better. If this means writing less sometimes, then so be it — better to have fewer posts that are better written than lots of posts that are barely worth reading.
If you hope to attract regular readers to your blog, you’re going to have to provide regular reading to people. This means developing some sort of posting schedule and sticking to it as closely as possible. Whether it’s one post every other morning or several posts a day, readers are more likely to keep coming back if and when they know there will be something to read. Consider writing and holding back a few posts in reserve for when you are out of ideas or short on time.
Link to Others:
Blogging isn’t just about posting a few random essays now and again, it’s also about participating in a worldwide community of writers with similar interests. When you see a blog post that you like, tell others by linking to it and perhaps offering comments either on your blog or in the comments section of theirs. If you find that a blog is regularly worth reading, link to it permanently on your own blog — this makes your blog a resource of interesting writing in general, not just of your own.
Read as Much as Possible:
Writing is a skill, and like any other skill it improves the more you use it. Reading is also important because it entails closely observing how others exercise their writing skills. Thus, regularly reading — and especially reading at a higher level — can have a positive impact on how well you write. Read as much as possible on philosophy, religion, and science not just for the information, but to help you write better about those topics when the time comes.
Should You Write Anonymously?:
Anonymous blogging is an especially serious question for atheists because of how much prejudice and discrimination there is against atheism. If you sign your real name to what you write about atheism and religion, assume that your parents, coworkers, and neighbors will find it. Assume that future dates will also find it. Assume that people where you apply for your next job will find it. If you don’t want them reading it, blog anonymously.
The Importance of Blogging for Atheists:
Does it seem to you that atheists, agnostics
, skeptics, and critics of religion are unusually well represented in blogging? I may be mistaken, but it certainly seems that way to me. Atheists have made heavy use of most internet technologies which have come around: newsgroups, discussion forums, chat rooms, and now blogging. Given how much prejudice and discrimination there is in the “real world” against atheism, it’s only natural that nonbelievers will seek the ability to express their feelings and find like-minded people online.
The anonymity of the internet is helpful to atheists. People who would never express their atheism to someone they know can feel far more comfortable letting off steam in a newsgroup or on a blog where no one knows who they really are. The internet has also allowed many isolated atheists to make connections with others. These atheists have often had to endure years of feeling completely alone in the world, afraid to let anyone know what they really think. With the internet, however, someone halfway around the world can feel as close as someone right next door.
On the internet, religious sites and religious blogs don’t automatically get preferential attention. When someone does a search about Jesus, Christmas, or religion, they may just as likely get results from critical articles written by atheists as uncritical pieces written by believers. Indeed, it’s possible for atheists and skeptics to help the process along: write interesting material; pay attention to Search Engine Optimization with proper keywords, keyword-rich text, and key-word rich titles; link to others’ articles using keyword rich phrases in the title (linking with the phrase “Jesus and the Gospels” is far better than “this is an interesting article”).
Atheist bloggers have the ability to make a difference and reach people who probably never would have been reached before, but you have to know what you’re doing and work with others.