I don’t consider myself a big-time blogger. There are many Christian bloggers with readerships far larger than mine.
Neither do I consider my blog to be the home of the best content on the Internet. I know of many blogs with better content and superior authors.
Indeed, I am still a novice in the blogosphere, and I have much to learn. But perhaps my perspective as a novice can offer some encouragement to current and potential bloggers. In the relatively short time I have been blogging (my seven-day-a-week blog schedule is only six months old), annualized page views have passed the one million mark. The growth rate is steep for the future as well.
Let me be clear that it has taken a small village to get me moving as a regular blogger. Al Mohler was the first person to push me to blog. Ed Stetzer has given me incredible advice and encouragement in my blogging endeavors. Both of these men are huge names in the Christian blogosphere. Jonathan Howe is my social media right hand man. This blog reflects his keen mind and unwavering work ethic. And Amy Jordan (a.k.a. Superwoman) is an ongoing and untiring worker for this blog.
I wrote my first blogpost in May 2009. I would write only sporadically for the next nineteen months. Then in January 2011, I began writing with consistency. It was also the first time I opened the blog to comments. But it took another year-and-a-half period before I began writing daily blogposts, an event which took place relatively recently in July 2012.
So what I have learned in this short time? Some of the lessons have been expressed multiple times on multiple blogs, but maybe I can add something to the conversation.
- Content is king. Nothing else matters if you don’t have something worthwhile to read. Believe me, I’ve had some blogposts that were hardly worth reading. It’s also important to communicate clearly and with good grammar. A blogger loses his or her credibility if the blogposts have consistent grammatical errors.
- Consistency is critical. My blog took a big jump in readership in 2011 when I began writing with consistency. It took another leap six months ago when it became a daily blog.
- Writing a consistent blog is work. Those with weak work ethics need not apply to be a serious blogger.
- Good bloggers are voracious readers. They are thus able to share with you their perspectives and the perspectives and news of others.
- Most of the better blogs have a clearly-defined niche. Al Mohler addresses cultural issues through the lens of a biblical worldview. Ed Stetzer is known as the missional blogger. Michael Hyatt is the social media expert. I have focused my blog on local church issues and leadership.
- Other social media can complement blogs. I have success in using my Twitter account to direct readers to my blogs and vice versa. My Facebook page has been another good referral site for my blog.
- Tone matters. The tone of the blog sets the tone for the comments. Sarcastic, angry, and controversial blogs attract sarcastic, angry, and controversial readers and commenters. My strong desire is to provide a place of Christlike and civil discourse. Such a tone must begin with me.
Such are a few of the lessons this novice blogger has learned.
What have you learned about blogging? What advice can you give me? How can I make this blog a more effective one?
I would love to hear your input.