12.27.2013

Lessons I've Learned About Blogging (Part 1)

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    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.


What lessons have you learned from blogging?

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!

PS. HELP A GIRL OUT AND TAKE THE LITTLE POLL AT THE TOP LEFT CORNER OF THE BLOG- PRETTY PLEASE?

**Here is Lessons I've Learned From Blogging:   Part 2.


http://christianmommyblogger.com

Missional Women


12 comments:

  1. Yowza! Great post Dawn! #1 Lesson learned - I am not alone and people are not as scary as I thought. #2 Blogging tip - Be real and do not worry about pleasing every one. Cannot be done and would be boring anyway. :)

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    1. Thanks, Susie! I love your lessons! Oh, and #2 I tackle that tomorrow Sally Field style! lol. Thanks for sharing, as always- still smiling at our Skype. We'll have to figure a weekly or Bi weekly coffee chat! Wouldn't that be fun?

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  2. Lessons I've learned: write as you are led. A few months into blogging (I began not long after you, Dawn), I found myself panicking as I saw others posting every day, and would spend hours in front of the computer, scrambling to come up with SOMETHING to 'keep up with the Joneses.' It doesn't work...at least not for me. When the Spirit moves me to impart some encouragement, wisdom, inspiration or some lesson, the words flow easily. When He doesn't...then they don't. I've made peace with myself over the fact that weeks...even months...may go by before I share something on my blog. This doesn't work nor hold true for everyone.

    And yeah...that whole numbers thing can drive you nuts. I have to focus on and remember WHY I'm doing this blogging thing, as well as Who I'm actually doing it for. I'm not going to lie either, and say I wouldn't like to see a lot more traffic coming through.

    But...at the end of the day, I have to be content with the hope that maybe only a few people were touched, convicted or encouraged by something they read on my blog. And that needs to be enough for me.

    Well done here, my BBFF. Looking forward to Part 2!

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    1. Oh, thanks so much for sharing your honest thoughts...I think you are speaking wisdom, my friend! So grateful for you...and FYI, you and Susie have two of the most viewed posts on my blog! How do you like that. Not that I noticed...Buahahahaha. For awhile it was bugging me that my guest posts got more views than my own...I 'm like what's wrong with me, people like guests on my blog better than me??ACK! But again, I made peace with that as well..after a whiny long attitude adjustment with my the King of all (including attitude adjustments). See you tomorrow!

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  3. This is SO easy, Dawn. I blog because I breathe. That is, I have to write what He gives me to write. And who reads it is up to Him. I turned off my visitor, follower, etc. stuff so that wouldn't get in the way with what was in me to write. Sometimes it's stuff and nonsense. Sometimes it reaches no one. Not even me. Other times...well, it's up to Him. I just keep putting hands on the keyboard, and letting it rip. If you'd like to read my latest musing this week, hop on over. :) Love, Carolyn

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    1. Carolyn, I so love that about you" I have to write what He gives me to write." - that sums it up for me, too. Appreciate your sharing that perspective. You are wise, my friend.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! What have I learned? Lesson #1 - Know the purpose behind your blogging. For me, it's ultimately for God. So knowing that, I cannot get depressed when there are no comments left, etc. and so on. If it really belongs to God, I write, hit publish and leave it at that. (I am still working on this, but it's getting better!) Lesson #2 - Interact with your readers! This has been key in the growth of my blog. Leaving comments for those who comment for me, visiting and following their blogs. It can get exhausting, but it's so necessary.

    Looking forward to Part 2!

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    1. Barbie, thanks for sharing YOUR encouragement and wisdom - you are right interaction is important...it's amazing the fellowship and impact we can have for Christ in the Blogosphere! Hugs!

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  5. You've learned 2 big lessons very quickly. I've been blogging since 2001 and the numbers thing took me a while, though back in the early days of blogging we didn't do a lot of keeping track. I've reinvented my blog many times over as I've entered different phases in my life. Some have been very popular...some not so much. The thing I've had to learn is that if I am writing what God wants me to write then he will bring the audience he wants to read it. It doesn't matter if it's only one person. It doesn't matter if they never comment. Being faithful to God's direction is all that does.

    As for the something I've never done....perhaps I will try a giveaway this year. I will have to build my following back up, however. I've really neglected the blog in recent months and I don't think I have any regular readers left.

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    1. Stacy, those are great thoughts and I do agree. I love your blog and you were one of the first bloggers I followed. I remember you were going to a blog conference and I was so intrigued! Plus at the time you had your beachy theme, which I loved. I do love your new blog look- and try to keep up with you! I think a giveaway is a great idea! Also Rafflecopter is free and so easy, and fun to use. Let me know if I can help in any way! Happy New Year...PS who did your blog makeover?

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  6. Jeepers, I'm late reading this...been a little busy the past few days, so now I am playing catch up before I go back to work tomorrow. (yikes! tomorrow?) Anyway, I also started blogging when I was out of work and I had attended a writer's conference because I thought I could write a book...and I came away from there thinking, "who would want to read anything I wrote?" But I met some people there who were talking about blogging, so I decided to check it out...and found out I could figure it out and do that...and it didn't cost me a cent, and it gave me a way to start writing and helped me to get over my fears of what other people might think of what I was writing! It has been a wonderful adventure...as you said, meeting so many wonderful people (like you, Susie, etc....) and feeling such a fellowship /kinship with you all. It's been a true "open window" for me when before all I had were closed doors! (Hence the name, "Closed Doors, Open Windows". Thank you for being here and helping us bring our dusty journals out of the closet and sharing them with the world. That has been a huge event for me! God bless you dear Dawn!!!

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  7. Great post, both parts. My biggest challenge with blogging has been who I blog for - and when it is my faith blog it is for an audience of One. Those who come are a blessing, those who leave a comment bless me.

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