I feel like I write this every time I start a post about my blogging process, but that doesn’t mean it loses its relevancy, so here we go again: dang blogging is not easy. For those of you nodding along, sighing “amen”, I’d like to give you a virtual high-five of solidarity.
Since I’ve started posting consistently two months ago beginning with this little gem of a post “Let’s Talk God & Covid-19”, I’ve learned more than just a handful of important lessons on blogging.
For example, did you know writing a post a week a few days before its deadline is disastrously unsustainable?
Or that to know your target audience, you have to figure out your niche, which means slimming your focus from “faith/college life/books/lifestyle/battling slimy garden fiends” to just one or two related topics? Don’t get me started on the SEO research, legal pages, and Pinterest strategies, you know, all those procedural stuff that still makes me want to crumple into a tear-sodden ball then melt.
So obviously, I’m the last person qualified to write a “Follow these 4 FAIL-PROOF tips for Blogging success!”, so I’m not going to pretend to be. Instead, I want us to have a down-to-earth writer to writer conversation about the struggles of intersecting faith and blogging. I want us to find solidarity in our pains, and learn from them together.
Over the course of praying and reflecting on my personal struggles, God revealed three important lessons of faith through blogging that I’ve since started incorporating in my life and hope you will as well. Even if you’re not in the Christian niche, I encourage you to keep reading as these insights can still help you define your vision for your blog.
Lesson #1: Know your Purpose
For me and for many bloggers, having no idea what is the purpose for starting a blog is our most common mistake. Fortunately, “mistakes” is just code word for “learning opportunity”, so here’s the first lesson of faith God taught me through blogging: know your purpose.
As a complete novice dipping a finger into the big, scary internet world dominated by thousands of well-established blogging titans, I was trembling, not just because I felt like a nobody but because I didn’t know what I was doing. Pretty soon, I’d realized I didn’t know what I was doing because I didn’t know why I wanted to blog in the first place.
Now, purpose goes beyond finding a niche. It involves prying deep into your core identity to discover your passion(s) and how to achieve them. For everyone, that’s different because we all have different things we’d like to contribute to the world, different gifts God has given us, and different areas of improvement.
So how’d I find my purpose for blogging? Simple. I’d contemplated and prayed long and hard about what am I passionate about and whether i can employ blogging to achieve that passion. My answers are: Firstly, I want to glorify God, and secondly, I want to challenge myself as a writer. A blog was the perfect platform for achieving both.
Once I knew why I wanted to blog and what I’d hoped to accomplish through it, pumping out new posts, singling out my niches (Christian faith & Personal Growth), and pining the tone of macythoughts became a whole lot less daunting.
Of course, you might be thinking, gee, this seems to involve a lot of introspection, so where do I begin? Don’t worry. I’ve designed a few simple but nevertheless challenging worksheets to get your mental gears whirring and your blogging journey on track. Click the here to download them for free.
Lesson #2: Patience
My second lesson on blogging is patience, patience, PATIENCE, something I certainly struggle with especially when it comes to blogging.
I cannot emphasize enough how anxious I was earlier this year for my email list or my Pinterest engagements to rocket overnight. A few other creatives familiar with the challenges of building an online presence warned me against expecting instant results, but like any novice, I didn’t take their word to heart.
Gradually, the importance of patience did dawn on me one night during a prayer before bed. God drew my mind back to the question of why am I blogging. Is it not so I can share the wonder of knowing Him to others and spur them along in their own walk of faith? Why then was I constantly pitting my figures against other bloggers or constantly fretting over the possibility of failure? The answer: I was making blogging all about me.
A few weeks back I’d written a post analyzing our tendency to root our identity in things other than Jesus (you can find it here). That was exactly what I’d begun doing with blogging. I was finding my identity and eventually, my worth in the success of macythoughts. Realizing this development was the easy part. Confessing it to God was what’s hard, as with any other confession of sin, but I knew I would not have peace until I’d done it.
So that night I finally humbled myself before God and admitted what I should have admitted with that first post two months back. And what do you know? After I confessed my battle with identity, God actually replaced my anxiety with…yep, you guessed it, patience. But the road to patience would have been impossible without one other pre-existing factor: trust.
Lesson #3: Trusting God
Trust God with your blogging ministry is the third lesson He has taught me from blogging. Trust in your heart that God is leading you, then pray. Pray earnestly for wisdom in discerning if this is the right path for you, for God to use your blog and your role as a blogger for His service, and for your identity to remain rooted in Christ.
Just as with everything else in life, blogging is just another thing we need to acknowledge is under God’s control. If we don’t, easily, quickly, without our noticing, it will balloon into an idol out of our control. “10 Clues That Something Has Become an Idol“ is an infinitely helpful article, if you’d like in-depth help determining whether blogging has become your idol.
Lastly, only in trusting God with your life, your plans, your passions can you be freed of anxiety from them. That’s because as long as you continue trusting yourself or these worldly things, there’s always a sense of insecurity. Things might not turn out the way you want them to. You might wake up one day to find everything you’d worked hard for crumbling to dust. Even the most confident person in the world cannot logically guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to them.
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed trusting in the Lord.
In trusting God and giving our life to Jesus, we don’t receive a life pass from experiencing loss and grief but we no longer have to be slave to things like anxiety, insecurity, fear, purposelessness when we do undergo loss. No matter what happens, God’s people cannot lose their greatest source of satisfaction and fulfillment–Jesus. So even if our blogging career flops or we don’t achieve our next big dream, we will always and forever have Christ, our greatest treasure.
Unto the upright there arise light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
This is the kind of infallible security every child of God enjoys, but if you’re not a child of God yet, it’s not too late to seek a relationship with Christ. If you feel in your heart the desire to begin, that’s a sign you have a little seed of faith. God can multiply that seed of faith into a thousand times its size just as He multiplied the five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand plus people or as He multiplied one man, Abraham, into an entire nation. Trust Him, trust that He is able.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Hey there, it’s Macy! If you’re new to macythoughts, I encourage you to check out my About page to learn more about who I am and what macythoughts is all about. Also feel free to connect with me via social media. I love meeting people and would always cherish a new friend.
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