So, today marks FIVE years that I have been a Blogger on WordPress.com. They reminded me, or should I say, celebrated me with a notification this morning. It made me smile, though I was a little sad too.
Sad? Yes, a little. When I first got started blogging, I didn’t think much about followers and readers. It was really just about my discovering me and walking with God, and sharing the things I was learning in writing for whoever would be blessed. I had few followers, fewer readers and a growing engagement. The thing I was most concerned and excited about then, was my message. And I was happy blogging those growing years…
Along the way, when my message became clearer…I became more concerned about my engagement, my readers and followers. I had a message to deliver; it was important and a unique perspective, and I wanted to be heard. But as I was gaining followers, I was losing some. It was and is the strangest thing.
I became aware that my followers were not really growing as one would expect. In my first three years, I still had less than 200 followers on WordPress. And I had (have) great content. I wrote well… I had even began to write on another blog, which boosted the growth of my followers on WordPress. My following took a dive when they discovered that I am one of those who doesn’t believe that the Bible is infallible. So it wasn’t until March 2016 (just over a year ago) that I hit 200 followers, many thanks to my discovery of my gift in suspenseful story telling!
I hit 500 WordPress followers on my blog about a couple of months ago. But my readership is still way low and my engagement is even lower. My story series, which helped boost my traffic and following over the last year, seems to be all that keeps them coming (apart from a faithful few – God bless you!). I love telling stories, but that’s really not all I am about.
I love to write critical pieces and have deep conversations on spiritual issues, which for me is the real gold in blogging. This is how I love to fellowship with other Believers, and also reach the world for Jesus. I never ever want to lose that just to pander to an audience, who only like to be entertained. So, that has made me a little sad… How I am still struggling for my content to be read and appreciated as a Blogger.
Earlier this year, I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by TJ, who blogs at www.studiotj.wordpress.com. It is my fifth award nomination, if you count the Liebester Award I was nominated for twice :). I have been waiting for the right time to accept and pass on the award to someone else. I think today’s as good a time as any…
TJ didn’t specify any rules about passing on the award, but only that we should pass it on to support other new bloggers. I would like to pass it on to my good friend, Chioma Oparadike, who is indeed a versatile blogger. She started out as a Finance Blogger, but obeyed God’s call to blog for Christian women, and has been doing a great job of that at www.chiomaoparadike.com. She posted a two part series recently about how our marital status can impact our friendships with other women. Please check out her site! Chioma, please accept and pass it on!
I also must thank TJ for this award. It was very encouraging to me, and came at a time, when I was feeling discouraged about my blogging, wondering why despite all my efforts I wasn’t growing as I had hoped. But I realise now that my audience is not so much growing as it is changing…and maybe that’s a good thing. Yes, I have lost some along the way, but I also gained a whole new generation of readers who are not on WordPress.
Most of my Readers originate from Facebook, where I have a better following among the youth. And I have discovered, through my Reader Questions series, that a lot of the things that they are concerned about are to do with relationships, marriage and sex. As I have engaged with them, my writing has also developed, as well as my story telling. So, I am still evolving as a Blogger. Still fighting for the message – Grace and Truth – to be received, whichever medium I use.
I am still learning a lot about how to be a successful Blogger. I am learning about how to remain a humble Minister. And I am learning about how to become a bestselling Author… They don’t have to be conflicting goals. Maybe in my Sixth Year, I will discover the magic of achieving and combining all three.
Thanks for reading and following me here on Grace and Truth. Thanks for the support you have given me on this journey. I pray that you have been blessed by my ministry here, whether it is through my stories or my critical pieces. And I hope that you will be one of those who will help me to reach the world for Jesus by sharing the posts you love and even becoming a patron too! God bless you!
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