If you haven’t read last week’s blog post about the five reasons why you will want to write your testimony online, then you may want to click here to read it.
Today I’m going to share with you ten tips on how to write your testimony online so people will want to read it and share it on social media.
I’ve read a few Christian testimonies online. Some were good, and some made me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.
There were also some that had heretical teachings and doctrines that were not biblical.
You don’t want to publish anything that wouldn’t honor the Lord, right?
Then keep reading.
Will These Tips Work?
I published my testimony on this blog in July of 2014.
It took me a while to prepare it for the world to read it.
After I had published it, I got a huge reaction from the Christian community that was overwhelmingly positive.
However, in a few minor cases, I got a negative reaction from some people from the atheist community.
That’s because I’m a former atheist, and some of the things that I wrote in my testimony were drafted in a way that didn’t make sense to atheists.
So how can you write your testimony for both believing and non-believing audiences?
Some of the tips in this blog post are going to show you exactly how to do that.
10 Tips That Will Make Your Testimony Awesome
Tip #1 – Start With Prayer
Writing your testimony is a spiritual exercise that isn’t going to be easy.
You have to take into consideration that the enemy does not want you to share with the world what Jesus has done for you.
So just to manage your expectations, writing your testimony is going to take you a few days, maybe even a few weeks.
Don’t just cover your writing in prayer when you first start.
Instead, pray over your testimony every time that you begin working on putting it together.
Don’t forget what it says in Psalm 127:1
Unless God guides you in writing your testimony, you’ll be laboring in vain.
Tip #2 – Create an Outline
I recently took a vacation where I took my family to San Diego for three days.
If you ask any members of my family, they’ll tell you that the vacation was a blast.
That’s because every day we had something planned in advance that was a perfect fit for our family.
Likewise, when you plan your testimony in advance, then it will also be a perfect fit for your audience.
I highly recommend that you create an outline of your introduction, the middle, and your conclusion. (more about that below)
It should be a journey in which you take your reader on your transformational life story.
Tip #3 – Consider How You Should Start Your Story
I want you to think of some of your favorite movies that grabbed your attention right from the start.
Maybe it was an action movie or maybe it was a romantic comedy.
Either way, they had one thing in common probably; they had a great start.
For my testimony, I chose to start telling my story from the middle, and then to rewind and start telling my story from the beginning.
I chose a story that sparked my reader’s curiosity, and I made sure to not give them the ending until the end of my story.
If they wanted to find out how everything worked out, then they had to read everything in my testimony so that it would make sense.
Here are four parts of a testimony that you should consider including. You’ll find these in every great movie or story.
The 4 C’s of Great Movies and Stories
Characters – this is where you introduce the characters of your story.
You can give some background information about them.
Who are the main characters in your life story?
Briefly introduce them but make sure that you don’t add too many details or else people will find it boring.
Conflict – This is where you talk about the problem(s) that you faced.
The more problems that you talk about, the more that tension will build up. The more tension that builds up, the more that the reader will be pulled in.
Think about your favorite hero in movies like Spiderman or Lord of the Rings.
The main character faced numeral obstacles and setbacks.
Most of our life stories are exactly the same way because of the sin that’s in our lives and in the world.
Climax – this is where all the problems and the main characters in your story reach a boiling point.
It’s usually the scene in the movie where the main character ultimately confronts the villain or problem, and he/she is given victory.
Conclusion – this is the last scene of the movie where things are winding down.
This is where you would talk about the lessons learned and reflect back on the transformation that you have gone through.
Tip #4 – Create Lots of Headlines and White Space
Since I’m talking to you today specifically about writing your testimony online, then you have to follow some best practices for the web.
You should include headlines just like what you see in this article that you’re reading.
Each headline should be intriguing and should cause the reader to be curious about what that section of your story is about.
Additionally, you need to add what is called white space between your text.
That means that each paragraph should not be more than 1 to 3 sentences long.
This goes in direct opposition to what you are taught in your English class.
You’re taught that you should group sentences with a common theme together which can result in five to seven sentences per paragraph.
But that’s not the case when you’re writing for the Internet because people are reading on a computer monitor, their phone, or their tablet.
When they see a paragraph that’s one big block of text, they’ll feel overwhelmed, and they will not want to read your story.
Personally, I usually write only one sentence per line before I hit the enter key on my keyboard.
That gives you lots of white space and helps you to continue reading down the page.
Tip #5 – Include Images
We’re all visual people. That’s just how the human brain is wired.
Whether it’s beautiful art, a stunning sunset or even a good-looking person, we all like to look at beautiful things, scenery or people.
Don’t go too long in your testimony without including some kind of image.
It can be a picture of a quote or a Scripture. Don’t forget, God’s Word does not return void, so it’s an excellent idea to use Scripture.
Additionally, you can include a relevant image with a caption.
You’ll be surprised by the number of people who scroll quickly down the page but then slow down when they see an image with a caption.
The bottom line is that images keep your reader engaged.
Tip #6 – Get Your Testimony Edited for $5
Fiverr is a great website where people list things that they are willing to do for five dollars.
Each item that’s listed on their website is called a gig.
There are several gigs on Fiverr where people advertise that they are willing to proofread 1,000 words for five dollars.
So if your testimony ends up being 4000 words long, you would end up paying somebody $20 to have them proofread it.
Trust me, it’s worth every penny if you find a good proofreader.
It’s easy for you to find a good editor because every gig provider is reviewed by their customers with both a written review and a star rating.
So if they don’t do a good job then they’ll get bad reviews.
Get your testimony proofread for spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Tip #7 – Have a Friend or Family Member Give You Feedback
When you’re writing anything, especially when it’s as important as your testimony, you want to make sure that it doesn’t just makes sense to you but more importantly, to your reader.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had somebody read some of my writing and I thought I was going to get amazing feedback.
Instead, that person comes back and tells me that they didn’t understand a certain part of my writing, or I’m told that a certain part is awkward.
It’s a humbling when you get that kind of feedback but it’s always worth it.
I always choose people who will give me honest feedback and I tell them how I’d like for them to give me constructive criticism.
I don’t want somebody to say to me, “Peter, this sucks!”
I want somebody to tell me, “Peter, this section over here is good but needs some improvement. Here’s a suggestion…”
The value of having a friend or family member reading your testimony before it gets published can’t be overstated.
Have your testimony proofread by a friend. You’ll be thankful that you didn’t skip this part.
Tip #8 – Clarify Any Confusing Parts
If you read the beginning of my blog post, then you remember that I shared with you that some of the feedback that I got from the atheist community was negative.
That’s because some of them were confused about a certain part of my testimony.
The mistake that I made was that I used Christian words in my testimony that only makes sense to Christians.
Additionally, the family member that I used to give me constructive criticism was a Christian – my wife.
So naturally, she didn’t see any of the problems that some of my atheist readers had when they read my testimony.
I made the corrections after I received the feedback.
If you’re writing for both believers and unbelievers like I was, then you have to keep both audiences in mind.
One way that you can do this is to address both audiences at certain points in your testimony.
For example, you can say, “If you’re a Christian, then you know what I mean. But if you’re not a Christian, then let me give you a few details to help you understand.”
Something like that will set the stage so that you can be speaking to two types of readers at the same time when necessary.
Don’t forget that if you release your story online and you get some feedback from your readers that some part is confusing, then don’t panic.
Go back to your testimony and clarify the confusing parts. That way your future readers will understand what you mean.
Tip #9 – Measure How Much of Your Testimony People Are Reading
Did you know that most people on the Internet don’t read articles or blog posts all the way through?
The scientific research shows that most readers only read 50% through of an article.
The first time that I heard about this statistic I was offended.
“What do you mean that most of my readers only read 50% of each blog post? Maybe that statistic is true for other writers, but not for me. My stuff is good, REALLY good!”
So I decided that I was going to measure how much of my articles people are actually reading.
I installed a free tool on my website called SumoMe.
So what did I learn after I installed SumoMe?
People were only reading 50% to 60% of the way through my articles. Oh man 🙁
But guess what? That’s not the case with my testimony.
For the longest time people were reading a whopping 90% of my testimony. That’s awesome!
I definitely do not deserve the credit for that, I give the credit to the Holy Spirit who is drawing people in to my story.
So my recommendation is that you install SumoMe on your website.
It’s easy and it only takes a few minutes.
Then after that start measuring how far people are scrolling down your articles as well as your testimony.
If you’re not happy with the results, then you can make corrections.
Tip #10 – Keep Your Comments Open
I highly recommend that you keep your blog comments open.
It doesn’t matter whether you are using WordPress comments, Disqus, or Facebook comments.
I highly recommend that you leave a way for people to be able to leave you feedback and comments on your story.
At the time of writing this blog post, my testimony has 61 comments.
I also recommend that you have an easy way for people to contact you through a form on your website.
I’ve had tens of people contact me privately to discuss something with me about my testimony that they didn’t want public.
Do You Have Any Tips?
Did I leave anything out?
I’m sure I did, so this is your chance to share with the community any additional tips you might have.