Recently a friend wrote asking, “How do you start a successful blog?”
I was surprised because I don’t necessarily think of my blog as “successful.” I wrote her back, but God has been YANKING at my heart to share on this topic because I think there is more to defining “success.”
From a practical standpoint, this is what I would have to say-
1) Know your voice: There are a million blogs out there and each has their own flavor. Some bloggers are great at pulling you into story. Others draw you into every day experiences through straight forward explanation. Some have an upbeat tone while others are more serious. A tendency can be to try and “speak like” a blog you deem successful, but if the voice is not uniquely yours you will not be able to effectively convey your message. God made you unique. Be you.
2) Know your audience: Who are you trying to reach? You can’t be all things to all people. And, you shouldn’t be because then you would not be staying true to you. My blog appeals to those seeking Truth in the everyday life. This base builds through family and friends, readers who like my book, MODsquad writing, other published pieces, blog hops, and those who accidentally stumbled upon it through twitter or a google search and liked what they saw. I share my heart, projects, and updates in my written ministry, creating a fun mix of the personal with the “business.” What do you share? Rest in knowing that there is an audience for every message.
3) Know your posting goal: Bloggers vary in how frequently they post. Some post everyday while others do once in a while. I fall into the latter category. I pray over my posts and typically have a sense of when and what the Spirit is calling me to post. There isn’t one “right” or “best” way. It just depends on what you want to do.
4) Use your public networking platforms: Posting your blog posts to your Facebook, twitter, and other social networking accounts will give people (that you probably already share interests with) the opportunity to see your postings. This will serve as a good springboard to building readership.
5) Don’t get too caught up in numbers: Believe you me, I love seeing my google connect and networked blog numbers increase just like the next person. But, sometimes God reminds me that when He inspires a message it is meant for a purpose larger than a committed group. You never know what impact one post will have on an individual. And, if one person is deeply moved, inspired, or transformed than it doesn’t really matter if anyone else saw it or even if they are a public devotee of your blog. Committed followers make us feel good, but the unseen ripple effect has greater impact.
Which probably brings me to why God has been calling me to post this. Because even though I know number five to be true, as a relatively new blogger I still struggle with it sometimes. Although I bet if we went around the virtual blogger room I wouldn’t be the only one. :) Somehow it feels like followers equals being liked, and who doesn’t like to feel liked?! Then my mind will get ahead of me and I begin questioning if a white background would make this space more visually appealing. I start wishing I had “techy skills” to build a custom header/template. Insecurity rears its ugly head.
And then God shakes me.
Because I am sidetracked. My focus is shifted away from being confident in the heart of my posts He's inspired to my perception of how the blog looks on the outside. But, if my goal is for people to know and follow One, than I can’t be a distraction. So, I quite focusing on the gifts I don’t have and hone in the one’s He’s given me. More importantly, I quite trying to measure “success” and simply trust what is.
Ultimately every blog is a success if the author shares the message their Author has given them!
Be you. Share what you have to share. And trust that the right people will see it.