Here are my Top 5.
5. It's Okay to Use Blogger
Like coke vs. pepsi or nikon vs. canon, in the blog world it's wordpress vs. blogger.
There are numerous blog posts and articles out there explaining the benefits of wordpress, and I'm certainly not here to deny that it offers a lot more than the blogger platform. But, it's okay to make the decision to stick with blogger. It might surprise you to learn I use blogger. I have put in long hours of research and coding to make my blog unique, to go beyond the basic blogger layout and design. Sure, there are downsides, but I'm happy where I am. I have no plans to switch anytime soon.
4. It's Okay to Change
There are niche bloggers -- you know, foodies, DIYers, fashion bloggers, etc etc -- and then there are non-niche-write-about-it-all bloggers. I've been both. I've been a write-about-it-all, post-whatever-comes-to-mind blogger. Then I was a Christian blogger. It's okay to change. We grow. We go through new seasons of life. We adjust. Don't worry about losing readers when and if you change. Just as you grow and move through seasons, your readers will, too. Write about what you love, and write honestly, and the readers will join you. That said, though... let's move to number 3.
3. Get Comfy with Self-Promotion
Even if you have the dough to shuck out for ads on numerous big blogs, at some point as a blogger, it will be necessary to promote your own posts. This isn't about boasting or letting pride take over. This isn't about bragging or being haughty. This is about understanding that few will work as hard to get you traffic as you can. There's a finesse to doing this well, which leads to number 2.
2. Growth Takes Time and Hard Work
There is no magic cure for blog growth. There is no shortcut. Growth takes hard work, time, and energy. And there's a good way and a not-so-good way to pursuing growth.
It's good to network, engage your readers, join link ups, promote on social media, advertise, and partake in group giveaways.
But it's best to avoid tacky growth tactics -- first, they don't help your reputation and second, they don't really work. By tacky I mean commenting on a blog and asking them to visit your site, following people on twitter and then unfollowing them immediately if they don't follow you back, or using aliases to promote your blog in forums or comment threads as an imaginary reader.
1. The Internet is Huge and Not Everyone will Like You
If you're going to have a presence on the internet at all, it's time to thicken your skin. I struggle with this personally. I do not take criticism well. It hurts. I dwell on it. But I've learned there will be those who disagree with you or those who plain dislike you and your personality. It's not the end of the world. You cannot be everyone's friend, everyone's favorite blog, etc, so try not to worry about those who disagree or dislike you.
That being said - a few tips: Be as polite as you can in all communication - whether it's on social media or in email. If and when you mess up and stick your foot in your mouth - apologize and move on. Don't beat yourself up.
Whew. I didn't mean to write that much, but hopefully it helps someone out there.
Now... going back to number 4, it's time to talk about change and the future of this blog!
Starting tomorrow, it will be pretty quiet here.
My husband and I decided it was time for a brief hiatus, and with the Lenten season rolling in, the timing felt right. So you won't see any new posts for a while, nor any updates on Facebook or twitter... and perhaps not even Instagram.
Instead I'll be spending time with my family, diving into the Book of Concord to continue building my foundation in our Lutheran confessions, and planning a major rebrand and overhaul of the blog.
Last week I announced on social media my plans to change my blog's title and URL to Bible, Beer, & Babies. But this change means more than just a new address -- you will also see a bit of a change in my posts.
The Theology posts are staying. If you're here for the deeper, more serious theological writing - don't worry. That's not going anywhere. My hope is to write one theological post per week.
So far my love for good craft beer has only really been expressed on Instagram and Pinterest. But now you can expect to see more beer on the blog. These may be posts about home brewing, reviews on craft beer, or posts on our favorite breweries/tours/festivals.
With our third baby expected in August, I have a bit of parenting and baby-stuff on the brain. I'm hoping to write more about parenting and family.
... AND MORE...
With my husband in the Army National Guard, you can still expect some military posts to pop up. With my weekly meal planning, you can still expect the Sunday recipes and menus linked up with Jessica (for as long as she runs the link up). With my novel still in the works, you might see posts on writing, publishing, and that whole crazy journey.
I simply want to widen my scope. I have a varied audience, and I'd like to offer a little something for everyone (if at all possible), while giving myself the freedom to write about my various passions and joys.
... ONE LAST THING...
With this rebrand, I'm also hoping to grow this little blog. As part of that plan, I'm looking forward to opening my sidebar up for sponsorships and advertising from bloggers and businesses. My hope is to use the earnings from sponsorships to sponsor other blogs and offer nice giveaways for my readers more often.
If you're interested in sponsoring, look for more info to be available once the new blog is up and running.
Look for the changes to be live after Easter!
See you in April!