Recently I read an article from T.R. Noble of Inside Cup, where she details how her blog grew and I found it very interesting and insightful. It got me thinking about all that has happened here on Stand Tall For Christ in the very short time this blog has been online. This post is directed towards New Christian Bloggers, to give you a short glimpse down the road ahead, and to myself so I can look back in the future and see how it all worked out.
When I first launched the blog it was January 17, 2018 and my plan was to get close to 10 articles on the site, before I actively began sharing it with anyone. Here is how the posting went by month to month…
- January – 9 articles
- February – 8
- March – 2
- April – 15
- May – 31
- June – 12 so far
At the end of January I began sharing about the blog with people I know, but didn’t really know anything about TAGS and CATEGORIES so I never really messed with them. Telling all of your friends at church about your blog, and none of them visit once – Priceless. Needless to say it didn’t take long to feel as though I was writing and writing but no one was ever going to find my blog let alone read it.
Now as you can see there was a major lag in activity early on, at the end of Feb thru Mar, and the reason? I was letting frustration defeat me as I struggled to break single digit followers and there were no comments or likes on anything.
What I was doing wrong
One day my wife asked me why I hadn’t written on my blog in a while and I explained, in my best WOE IS ME storytelling mode. It is quite embarrassing looking back LOL. My beautiful wife who is 8 years my junior is ALWAYS full of wisdom, God bless her.
She explained that she followed a Minimalist blog for a long time, and it started out very slowly but grew over time, and that blogging is hard long work that it takes time to develop. She said to lower my expectations and see where the blog is at in 2-3 years, and form a long term plan for growth.
Her talk made me see the two things that were getting in my way, first my pride…oh poor Keith no one is reading his articles. And second, my need to have everything right now, my incredible impatience (which appears in many areas of my life).
So I immediately did two things… I changed my mindset to long term, focusing on building a blog that could grow as God desired and not me. Then I began writing and writing… but not just on my blog. What I discovered, and I am sure you already know, is that most of your time blogging will be spent on OTHER people’s blogs.
This is where people will get to know you, not just other bloggers, but their readers as well, so while I spend probably 4-5 hours a week writing for my own bog, I easily spend 2-3 times that commenting and interacting on other blogs.
Once I did those two things, starting back in April, things started to pick up as people began to like, comment and follow my blog. When I hit 50 Followers it was like… a massive milestone for me LOL. One day you and I will looking back on 5,000 followers and think…. remember back then?
You might ask, Keith – why are you concerned about a follower count? Just write for the Lord and be happy! You might be correct, maybe I shouldn’t be looking at that number, but darn it all I can’t help it… it’s right there!!! LOL. Plus at least I can look at it and see growth and this gives me encouragement.
My advice to you
- Keep writing, if people find your blog, the more content the more likely they will be to revisit your writings.
- Make use of Categories and Tags early on, and decide how you want to structure your site. This will help you get discovered through search engines more quickly.
- Write about something that you have lived and experienced when you can, really connect with your audience by being authentic.
- Comment on other blogs and connect with other bloggers (follow them). I never leave a comment like “great to meet you, nice blog, please visit mine“. How lame. Instead I read an article and give a thoughtful response, this blogger spent a good deal of time writing this article the least I can do is spend a little time writing a comment.
- Visit blogs with counter-thoughts and ideas. This may seem weird to some, but I spend a lot of time on Atheist blogs, commenting on their articles. You know what’s interesting is some of them have come back to my blog and when they do, the conversations are LONG. Not always in a negative way, although sometimes that happens. Plus if I am just writing to Christians all day, how do I reach the lost? One word of caution, if you decide to venture out into the lands of Atheism, be prepared. You will be challenged greatly and need to know the reasons for your faith. Equip yourself.
- Get comfy and buckle in for the long haul, blogging is not easy and takes a lot of time. If you desire, as I do, to blog full time – understand it will be a full time job… not some dream where you write three hours a week from a beach in Jamaica.
- Have fun! You are serving the Lord, building the Kingdom… what greater joy can be found?