I started blogging in 2011, and make no bones about it, I was clueless. As in totally, DUH. Little did I know that I would soon be blogging daily and loving every minute of it. Blogging has provided me with so many blessings it is absolutely mind boggling. From free books, surprise gifts in the mail, connecting with published authors and others who graciously extend friendship and encouragement to newbies, to a free blog makeover and friends on every continent (yes, REAL friendships, with real people- don’t get me going with that one) blogging has been quite an amazing experience. I credit this little gift, as a Faith Life Preserver for transient times. May I say, life is a transient time, continuously, in my opinion. It ain’t stopping for us. Or as Steve Miller sings, it keeps slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future. So for those who may be new to blogging or even in case you may glean something from my lessons learned stumbling through the blogosphere, here you have in these posts, all I have learned that is useful.
I have included a Challenge at the end of each lesson learned to
torture prompt you in your own blogging process. You can accept these or tell me to stuff it. Either way, I’m not offended. Well, I’d prefer you don’t really tell me to stuff it, but whatever.
Lesson # 1- It Never Hurts To Ask– OK, I was out of work and injured when I started this blog, so out of my potential boredom (going from teaching numerous fitness classes a week to sitting on my duff all day and night) I got brazenly bold. I asked strangers, who I admired or thought interesting, for interviews via the internet. Why not? What have I got to lose, I thought. Really, if I make an ass of myself, who cares. I have nothing to lose and a possible yes. And Yes, happened every time. Only ONCE was I turned down, very graciously, mind you. It was an interview with Sarah Young, in 2012. I have yet to finish my yes-es, of all I have asked. Thanks to the gift of ADHD, I never run out of ideas, and everywhere I go, another story pops up before me. Which makes it hard to keep up. ASK. If you have an inkling, ask somebody. It’s how I started Random Journal Day with my dear bloggy friend, Susie of Recovering Church Lady. It was a post I saw on her site and I asked if she was going to continue, and wouldn’t it be cool to have a link up, too? My first year blogging was to get over my fear of REJECTION. No is not death. We go on, after no. And it gets easier to risk. Ask someone you admire to Guest Post. I do. Don’t be afraid to ask. Your Challenge: What is the one thing you want to try this year on the blog but haven’t yet? Try it.
Lesson #2- The Numbers Thing- OK, so when I started blogging I never even looked at the followers, views, etc. Unfortunately, as a blogger it won’t take long before you will overhear bloggers in the blogosphere talking about increasing followers, etc. Well, depending on what you are in blogging for, it may or may not matter. I am not going to be a liar, let’s face it, I used to stand on stage in a bikini competing with other women for a trophy…sigh. It’s true. And although I am not who I used to be – Praise God! – I found myself starting to compare and it became a negative thing…whether the blog or other Social Media, so I have had to work at letting God purge it out of me…this little competitive, fleshly remnant. Blogging for me is an extension of His grace in my life, uniquely shared by my perspective. It is a gift I give, because freely I have received and so, this little piece, honestly, I just continue to let Him remind me of the reasons I started: His prompting. You are not a number. I am not a number. That being said, God will grow your numbers as He sees fit, or not. It’s not my thing (personally) to make it happen. For me it is a distraction from that which is my focus. There are many others who are more business savvy who can help with that. My goal is to be careful to keep myself reflecting His grace and glory…and allowing Him to keep me from seeking my own. I am in process, friends, a mere mortal of flesh and blood. But, as far as I can, my desire is to let Him shine here-albeit imperfectly through me. And enjoy the journey! Your Challenge: Know why you are blogging. If it is for business, then do it heartily as unto the Lord. If ministry, the same. Clarify for yourself your motives, and then go after that which God leads you to do.
Do you have any epiphanies or tips you’d like to share?
Please leave them in the comments, I’m all for sharing thoughts on this journey!
**Here is Lessons I’ve Learned From Blogging: Part 2.