I was asked a series of questions by one of my readers, who is aspiring to become a Christian Blogger too. I thought maybe it would be good to use it to kick start my Reader Questions series again. I hope my answers are beneficial to others too.
1. What has kept you going for the last four years?
Passion, interest and talent! I am good at writing. I have known this since I was a child. And we all love to do what we are good at. Plus, I also have a passion to share the Gospel. I’ve had that passion since I became a Believer. And it is the most natural thing to combine my passion for God and my passion for writing. When you have passion, you can accomplish a lot, and go far without realising the energy you have or are exerting.
2. How have you been able to manage blogging alone?
Easily. I didn’t set out to become a Blogger. I just wanted to write what was in my heart, and what was in my heart were my thoughts about God, life and love. I didn’t need anyone else to be able to do this. It wasn’t a ministry when I started. It was more like a sounding board, a way to express my mind and heart, and keep it to read later.
3. Do you have any regrets over anything you feel should have been done before and even when you began blogging?
Yes, but my regrets have nothing to do with blogging. Blogging was a journey that I learnt a lot about while on it. I wasn’t an expert, and I am still not an expert. There’s a lot of tricks that many use to get ahead in blogging. I don’t know much about that. My regrets are to do with life decisions. However, blogging has helped me to turn every mistake into a blessing, as I share it and learn and grow from it, and use my experiences to teach others.
4. Would you advise one to start blogging alone or he should engage the help of others?
If you are a Blogger, you really don’t need anyone else to be one! A Blogger is simply a writer with a blog! So get a blog and start writing. Unless you have a business plan or strategy for your blog, and then maybe your first passion is not writing but something else. In which case, blogging might be discouraging for you, because the inspiration to write may be slow, and the feedback will likely trickle in at the beginning. If you are writing because it is an expression of yourself and what you love to do, you will survive this period, until people start taking notice and appreciate what you have to say.
5. What has been your most challenging experience with blogging?
Getting read. You can have many followers, but very few readers. It can be discouraging to see that most of the people who follow you don’t actually read what you write. Even the statistics may not be accurate, because it doesn’t tell you who is scheme reading, or who opened your blogpost, but never got around to reading it. And every writer writes to be read. Even if people don’t like what you have to say, they have heard you and you have left them with something to think about.
6. How have you been able to balance blogging with other life activities?
It was been pretty easy for me because of the element of passion. Writing comes easily, and the inspiration and ideas to write are also abundant! I have a lot of posts in drafts. My problem is allocating time between the other things I am passionate about, I have a duty towards, and this. Lately, blogging has been taking more of my time, as my passion has grown and the inspiration has also increased. My struggle has not been about how to keep my blogging going, but how to keep the other things going while blogging… Sometimes, to help me ensure that I do other things besides blogging, I write to do lists, so that I remember my other responsibilities and commitments.
7. Please can you share some blogs that serve as inspiration to you?
I find these blogs and Bloggers inspiring. I met them at some point during my blogging journey, but there is no blog that inspired me to start blogging.
There are many others, and I find new ones all the time.
8. How did you attract readers when you first opened your blog, and what do you do to keep attracting more?
When I first started blogging, I didn’t really know I had to push social media promotions to get readers. My posts publicized on my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and I was content for that to draw readers to my site. I didn’t know what to expect or that I could do more. And I also wasn’t too bothered. My Facebook friends sometimes read and commented on my posts, and it was encouraging to know that they were reading.
Now that I am more experienced, my message is clearer and my ministry is growing, I have a desire to gain more readers and followers. So I not only publicize on Twitter and Facebook. I signed up for a Tumblr blog and opened a Facebook Page first. The Facebook page allows me to promote some posts and get more followers. I am also now on Medium, Instagram and Google +, and now send out my Editor’s Picks on all my social media platforms everyday. The Editor’s Picks have really helped to revive my site, as people see my old posts and appreciate them, and it sends traffic daily to my site, even if I don’t write anything new for days.
Right now, the story series I write bring the most readers to my site. Some of them are not even followers. But after a while, when they continue to read my content, they sign up! I didn’t plan to start writing story series, it just sort of happened, and I’ve become exposed to this new realm of blogging. I don’t plan on stopping, because I am able to reach a much wider audience and get the Gospel message across to them in a way they will not easily forget. And some have even begun to share it, which is awesome!
9. How have you been able to deal with ‘falling in the Christian race’ and blogging?
Smashing my pride and writing about it, as I do the other things I learn. I learnt when I was much younger that if you are the first to laugh at yourself, no one can laugh at you. And if you are the first to judge yourself, no one can judge you. So rather than hide or cover up or give in to shame, I come out and own up to my fault, and then there is no more shame! And it has become just another lesson I learned!
The Bible also tells us that the just man may fall repeatedly, but he will always arise again (Prov 24:16). Sin is not unusual, and in fact, the biggest sin is the pride that stops us from owning up to our faults and asking for forgiveness, so we can be cleansed of it and restored in fellowship. This is bigger than any sin that separates us from God. So, being humble and sincere is important to keep going, even when you fall. Being right with God has to be more important to you than appearing righteous to men! Confession is very liberating, and yes, even to a public audience. Those without secrets have nothing to fear.
10. What are the things you did as a young blogger that has made you an established one today?
I was faithful. So don’t give up. Don’t compromise yourself or your message. Just keep doing what you love to do, and God will surely prosper you in it.
11. There was a time you talked about leaving WordPress. Please can you shed more light on that?
I thought I had to leave wordpress.com, so that I could use a wordpress.org account for my blog instead. I wanted to add various functionality on my site that I am not able to do on wordpress.com. I wasn’t actually thinking of leaving WordPress nor blogging. However, I know now that it was a silly confusion, and I am still very much on wordpress.com, except now it is more like another social media platform where I publicize my blogposts. Now, I only publish my full posts on this site, which I built on wordpress.org (Update: I run two blogs on WordPress, this on .com – Grace and Truth, and the other on .org – Ufuomaee’s Series Blog).
The difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org is management. Wordpress.com sites are fully hosted and managed on WordPress, while the latter is self managed on a hosting site of your choice. There are benefits to both. Combining them is magic, and that is what I am doing!
Thanks for your questions. I was initially weary of answering them, but I am glad I got over that. I feel like I just had my first interview on blogging! I hope you got what you were looking for.
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