Yesterday we talked about the first five tips I would offer to a new blogger. This two-part series also pertains to those even thinking about starting a blog, those who ever want to write for publication, and those who feel called to speak.
We left off with discussing the importance of starting small and not overwhelming yourself to the point of burn-out. Remember, we want to think like David. It took him 15 years from the point he was anointed to be the next king to actually become the king. God knew David needed to learn valuable leadership lessons in the process of preparing.
The same is true for bloggers, writers, and speakers. Process, not product.
So let’s continue on, shall we?
6. Don’t try to do every avenue of social media all at once. We live in a social media crazed world and I will be the first to say it has more redeeming qualities than not. It’s a tool and like any other tool, it depends on how we use it, right? A hammer is great for pounding nails but not so great for hitting someone over the head.
Once you know your target audience (and you come to this conclusion by identifying your purpose and passion) then determine where that audience “hangs out” in cyberland. For instance, my target audience loves Facebook and Pinterest so these are the two I prioritize when time is limited. Twitter is a valuable tool as well but I’ve found
those hanging out there are mostly other writers, bloggers, and speakers. It’s important to be connected to your community of peers but I’m not as consistent with Twitter as I am with Facebook and Pinterest. When you are just beginning, it’s wise to choose one social media avenue to target and when you’re comfortable with that one, add another.
7. Don’t get it twisted, sister. It’s not about you. In today’s world, it’s easier than ever for anyone to become a “mini-celebrity.” This has its pros and cons but the bottom line is this: once you get dazzled by the attention and your motive becomes all about you and not about Him, you’ve lost sight. Trust me. I know this from experience, friends. When it’s all about you and furthering your own writing or speaking or whatever, it’s far more stressful and frustrating than when you embrace this journey as being led by God and trust his timing. I do a motive-check each day and if I’m off-kilter then . . .
8. Lay it down for a bit if it becomes about you. I’ve had to take months-long blogging breaks to get myself centered again. Initially, this was a bit stressful to me because I thought “I’ve worked hard to build an audience and they’re all going to quit reading my blog.” And you know what God said?
Because if it’s about Him and glorifying Him alone, then it doesn’t matter. What matters is our own obedience to Him and good things come to those who obey. (I think I say this to my children at least five times a day but it’s true for us as well, isn’t it?)
9. Behavior grace (as opposed to forgiveness grace) and class will solidify your reputation. Cattiness, complaining, incessant negativity, and low tolerance for others will discredit you and contradict how God wants us to live. This is true in real-life and it’s true in the cyberworld as well. How we use the tool is critical. There’s enough drama and negativity in the world, isn’t there?
OK. I saved this last one because I think it’s the most important. So let’s all sit up a bit straighter . . .
10. Comparisons will deflate you. Don’t look sideways – look up. I love the story about Peter in John 21:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:18-22)
Oh, Peter. I love that disciple. I identify with him so much. See, Peter was looking at everyone else and not at the one who was leading him. Jesus’ simple response of “What is that to you? You follow me!” is one I repeat often.
There will be bloggers, writers, and speakers out there who are more popular than you. It will seem as though it has happened overnight and there you sit, trudging away. You’ll read a great post or listen to a podcast that knocks your socks off and the enemy will start to do what he does.
He’ll start to make you doubt. He’ll rattle your confidence. He’ll make you think you might have not heard God correctly when He called you to writing and/or speaking.
We start to listen to the wrong voice and then we get it twisted again, sister.
But if we look up instead of sideways, as Peter did, it won’t matter what everyone else is doing because they’ve got their own gig with God, too.
Each of our journeys looks different. Let it be so.
Write/Speak/Lead/Blog on, sister.
Just be sure to listen to the right voice.
I would love to hear your thoughts – what questions do you have about starting a blog and/or the writing process?