Sometimes I write these long emails to readers of my blog to answer a question they have, and I've realized that some of these emails would probably make some pretty good posts. Maybe others have the same question.
Below is a modified version of an email I recently sent to a woman hoping to start a blog that mixes devotions and faith with everyday life stuff. Before she actually starts her blog, she's been seeking advice from other bloggers. Here is what I told her...
There are two realms of advice I can give... one is what you are supposed to do to grow your blog if you want to intentionally try to increase your readership. This might include:
- posting regularly (at least 4-5 days a week)
- using social media to connect with other bloggers (especially Twitter and Instagram)
- using lots of pictures on your blog and making them BIG in size
- writing shorter rather than longer posts
- making sure you aren't a "no reply blogger" so you can converse with people over email (read this post and this post for more information)
- perusing and commenting on a few new blogs every day
- responding to those who comment on your own posts through embedded commenting or email
But then there's also the spiritual realm of blogging... which means acknowledging that God is in control of who and how many people read your blog. The above tips do work, and they are not bad, but I find that I must always keep them in check with what the Lord wants for my blog. Sometimes that means posting less often, because He has given me other duties and opportunities in my week that don't allow for a lot of blogging time. Sometimes that means praising Him for a post that receives one personal email from someone asking about Jesus or seeking advice for Bible reading plans rather than 50 comments and 5 retweets. Of course, both these scenarios can be used for His glory, but I often see God at work through conversations I have in person with unsaved friends who read my blog or random emails I've received, instead of by gaining followers and receiving comments and other things that make me look popular online.
So there you have it... my straightforward advice for blogging. Because unless He wills it, your blog is not going to grow. And if you aren't blogging for Him, what's the point anyway?