I read a post by Ed Cyzewski recently entitled, “I can’t review/endorse/blog about your book, but this may help,” in which he explained the real life of an established blogger. He’s been at it for ten years. I figured he had some worthwhile things to say.
He did. He does.
Here is one of his ideas:
"When people ask me for ideas on growing their online platforms, I suggest that they try to follow and dialogue with at least 50 people with whom they share common interests. They could have large or small followings. As long as you actually care about that person’s perspective, you’ll be able to have real interactions with them that will benefit both of you."
As I thought back on my blogging experience, I realized I'd done this. I remembered in the first few months of blogging, I looked for an article that could give me that list. A good, updated post about current bloggers is hard to come by as the online world seems to constantly change.
I began writing down those bloggers who’d influenced me. Whether through their blogs or on social media. I’ve had dialogue with most but more than that. They offer something I admire.
I’m not necessarily saying they’re the most popular. As Ed suggested, “They could have large or small followings." They also aren’t the only writers who have influenced me since I’ve been blogging. I don't always agree with everything they say. But they’ve cross my path on many occasions. For a reason. And I’m better for it.
If you’re a Christian blogger just starting out, this list will help (although a few don't write about Christianity). Most of these bloggers are well-established and I hope they’re around for a good long while. If you’re a reader just looking for excellent bloggers, enjoy selecting a few of these folks to follow. At the end of each writer description, I've included a link to an article I like. There’s something in this list for everyone!
My Top 50 Bloggers (Except, it's actually 36)
Shauna Niequist (shaunaniequist.com) - A favorite. Just every bit of yes! I’ve read her three books and she has a fourth coming out in March. I’ve preordered that one too. No matter the topic, she writes beautifully. She's Not a Megachurch. She's My Sister.
Sarah Bessey (sarahbessey.com) - I made the statement on Twitter once, “If Sarah Bessey writes it, I’ll read it.” Also a favorite of mine. And she’s Canadian, so very exotic. In Which I Explain Why I Like Going To Church.
Seth Haines (sethhaines.com) - He writes from an honest place. The kind of vulnerability you appreciate because it gives you permission to live real yourself. Recovery Room: A Sobriety Hangover.
Rachel Held Evans (rachelheldevans.com) - She has more fire in her belly than I do. Plain and simple. She’s all over the Christian writing world. Sometimes she makes me shake my head and other times I want to head down south and give her a big hug. Browse around the Christian writing world online, and it won’t take you long to run into Rachel. Most weeks, she writes a Sunday Superlatives post where she lists great articles and books she's read. Valuable. What Newsweek Gets Wrong About Evangelicals.
Melanie Shankle (thebigmamablog.com) - This Texan can weave a tale about her trip to Target and have you busting a gut. Really, when is the last time your trip to Target was worthy of a novel? Speaking of books, she’s written two. Very. Funny. You Say Paleo, I Say Peanuts And Cheese.
Preston Yancey (prestonyancey.com) - I have come across a lot of critical bloggers. I realize controversy means popularity and some people just have a natural bent to buck the system. But often times, I can’t get past a negative attitude to see the point. Preston will discuss controversial topics with you but he does so from a place of grace. He has stopped blogging in favor of email newsletters. For now. I highly recommend his book, “Tables in the Wilderness” too. When I Am Not Jesus In This Story.
Jen Hatmaker (jenhatmaker.com) - Jen probably has about a thousand best friends. She’s one of those writers that can teach you and make a point but still feel like she’s just talking to a friend. Her writing style is all her own. She’s making her life count in many ways! Where I Stand.
Glennon Melton (momastery.com) - Creator of a movement really over at Momastery.com. What I most admire about Glennon is her ability to reach beyond the Christian circles of readers. Her audience is huge and varied. She reminds us we are more. Share This With All The Schools Please.
Kristen Howerton (rageagainsttheminivan.com) - She's very active on her Facebook account and writes for several national publications. Another writer who does a good job of writing to a larger audience. Very supportive of adoption. Why The Lack Of Indictment For Mike Brown's Shooting Is A Devastating Blow.
Micha Boyett (michaboyett.com) - Her words take you deeper. Probably due to all the time she’s spent with, um, monks. In the last year, she was ordained as an elder at her church. A journey she didn’t realize she’d ever travel. I am reading her book “Found: A Story of Questions, Grace & Everday Prayer” now. Deacons And Elders And Me.
Deidra Riggs (deidrariggs.com) - Beautiful Writing. God moves her to teach us. In the linked post below, she said: "My primary calling, as I understand it, is to the North American church, and primarily to the white people in those churches - locally, and nationally." It’s a tall order and she needs our prayers. Selma. But First, Context.
Cara Strickland (littledidsheknow.net) - A great writer. Some writers tell their stories so eloquently. Like Cara. She’s also very connected with other bloggers. Hydration.
Shelly Miller (redemptionsbeauty.com) - She’s making kind of a big move. Across the Pond, so to speak. To London. It’s a pleasure reading about her great adventure. On Avoiding The Church.
Kris Camealy (kriscamealy.com) - A good writer but also too, especially active in reading and encouraging others. She just started a blog community called GraceTable that I love. Welcome To The Table.
Bethany Bassett (bethanybassett.com) - I came across her towards the end of the year. A former Southern Baptist now living in Italy. She had me... at Southern Baptist. And Italy. Seven Years A Gentile.
Laura Tremaine (hollywoodhousewife.com) - An expert in the trade. And she replied to one of my replies once :) A midwest gal who up and moved to Beverly. Hills that is. She writes on a variety of things and is good at sharing advice. HH Turns 5!
Boze Herrington (Twitter: @SketchesbyBoze)- He seems to enjoy stirring the pot. But his Twitter and FB comments are thought provoking. I’ve enjoyed his insights. And although opionated, he's never downright mean. The Seven Signs You're In A Cult.
Meredith Hale (mommyatoz.com) - Most of the bloggers on my list write about their Christian faith. Because that's mostly what I write about too. But I’m also a mommy and I am a part of some mommy blogging virtual communities. That’s where I found Meredith. She writes over at Mommy A to Z. She is Jewish and I am fond of the posts she writes about teaching her kids about faith. E Is For… Eight Ways I'm Rockin' Hanukkah This Year.
Ed Cyzewski (edcyzewski.com) - A prominent voice on my FB and twitter feeds. In addition to thoughtful prose, he gives solid advice. (See article reference and quote at the beginning of this article.)
Jennifer Dukes Lee (jenniferdukeslee.com) - In Iowa. She writes such thoughtful pieces. And shares tips too about being a mom now that her girls are a bit older. I appreciate the advice. How We Can Pursue Hospitality.
Kate Motaung (katemotaung.com) - I found Kate through my involvement with Five Minute Fridays. But from there, I have read some of her other pieces too. She writes with passion and wisdom. I'm a White Girl From Michigan, And I'm #goingthere.
Lisa Jo Baker (lisajobaker.com) - Funny yet heartfelt. She writes on motherhood. Often, I’ll laugh and cry in the same post. Also a good supporter of other bloggers. Mother's Day For The Motherless Mother.
Nish Weiseth (nishweiseth.com) - Her book, “Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World” is encouraging and good. So good. Also founder of another blogging community I love - A Deeper Story. In Defense Of The Suburbs.
Daniel McDonald (panhandlingphilosopher.blogspot.com) - My friend on the Internet. He is a faithful reader of my posts and always has encouraging things to say about what I write. He blogs too over at Panhandling Philosopher. And I’m ever so thankful that he finds me among all the cyber-noise. My Troubled Thanksgiving: "Thanks For The Lamb."
Jeremiah Gibbs (jeremiahgibbs.com) - He writes a lot of pieces in support of the church and the role women should play in it. I feel supported when I interact with him. Four Reasons Why Ordaining Women Is No Longer An Option.
Eugene Cho (eugenecho.com) - His book, “Overrated” still has me thinking. He practices what he preaches. And he’s very good at social media. I see him quoted on Twitter and Facebook all the time. It's Official. I Am Writing My First Book. Someone Please Pray For Me.
Claude Mariottini (claudemariottini.com) - My Twitter feed got full rather quickly and I’d lost this guy for a while. Which saddened me. A seminary professor who writes on what Scripture has to teach us. He is very good at biblical exegesis. God's Covenant With Israel.
Lisha Epperson (seespeakhearmama.com) - She writes with great emotion and compassion. Soulful. We need voices like hers on the Internet and beyond. At The Kitchen Table: A Memory.
Mathew B. Sims (graceforsinners.com) - He writes to support ministries. A positive voice who is for Kingdom work. And it shows in his tweets and articles. Our Earthly Future Home.
Karen Swallow Prior (Twitter: @LoveLifeLitGod) - I heard her speak at The Festival of Faith & Writing at Calvin College this past spring. And I keep coming across her online as well. She knows many of the bloggers I mention here. Also a talented writer herself. They Will Know Us By Our Angry Blogs.
Jerusalem Greer (jerusalemgreer.com) - I don’t see her around Twitter a lot but I’ve treasured everything I’ve read of hers. I bought her book, "A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting & Coming Together" and it’s gorgeous. One that I keep out all year to see what’s what in the liturgical calendar. Church Story: I Hold All These Things In My Heart.
Caryn Rivadeneira - I listened to her panel at Festival of Faith and Writing too. And she’s from around here. I have wholeheartedly agreed with a couple of Caryn’s pieces. A solid voice on my Twitter feed. I Am One Of Them.
Elizabeth Esther (elizabethesther.com) - A brave writer. Her book, “Girl At The End Of The World” is excellent. No matter the topic, Elizabeth has put a lot of thought into it and will write honestly about it. She’ll even call BS if she sees it. How To Recover From A Damaging Church Experience.
Carly Gelsinger (carlygelsinger.com) - She writes honest stuff. About motherhood, faith and the church. In a way I very much relate to. Why I Left Pentecostalism.
Lori Harris (loriharris.me) - As her Twitter description says, she’s a “Hood Dweller.” She’s left behind a life of quiet comfort and is living ministry. I always appreciate her articles about her new reality. When Hospitality Is Jesus Come Near.
Jennifer Fulwiler (conversiondiary.com) - A Catholic who writes openly about motherhood and her faith. I give both topics a great big YES! In Defense Of Crying About Jesus.