One of the biggest challenges in blogging is prioritizing your time. On the days I blog, I usually put in about four hours a day. Of course, with our smartphones, this isn’t an accurate assessment of my time. I can, and do, reply to blog comments an emails and social media posts all hours of every day. But when I set aside this specific time to blog, here are some examples of things I do:
Respond to emails.
Read other blogs (approximately 12-15 coming from Twitter, various Facebook groups I participate in and blogs I subscribe to via email).
Write an article. This includes doing any research needed. Tracking down photos that assist in telling the story. Then share the post on Pinterest, Twitter and FB in multiple places. If it’s a book review, I email it to the right contacts, share it on Netgalley and post it on Amazon.
Interact with Facebook and Twitter communities. Try to grow my number of likes and follows (which gives me the heebie jeebies to think of me trying to recruit followers - please not me, but Jesus).
Consider sharing articles on various blog link-ups and a handful of blogging communities I read regularly.
Look for new books to review. If there is one area of my life where I need to learn about discipline....
I haven’t made a single dime blogging but it has become real work for me. You might be wondering Why do I put in all this time? I’m so glad you asked.
First, It has brought me so much joy to write again.
God made me a writer and I told you about that here. As far back as second grade, I remember having a passion for putting a pencil to a blank piece of paper and recording a story. I love a blank piece of paper. Some will tell you it intimidates them. Not me. The possibilities are endless when you sit down to a blank page.
Secondly, I always knew I wanted to teach.
I didn't grow up wanting to be a blogger, which probably goes without saying since the first memory I have of the Internet is in college when I received my very first email address. But I did grow up wanting to teach. That has taken various forms over the years and I wrote a bit about that here.
Finally, I also grew up learning that Jesus loved me.
A truth I internalized deep within. I have lots and lots and lots of questions (what is the name of Noah’s wife for example) but I know God loves me and sent His Son to die for my sins like I know I need to keep breathing in order to keep living.
This knowledge has changed me. The Holy Spirit at work in my life since I was seven years old has taught me:
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6)
And I think your life will be changed, for the better, the more you realize Jesus loves you as well. In fact, the more we all realize this, the better off our world will be. Thy kingdom come. Hallelujah. That’s the reason why I write and teach. For Him. For you.
My blog meets with success when I help each reader draw one step closer to Jesus.
The authors who have read my reviews and received encouragement because I could see they’re doing exactly what God would have them to do right now.
The lady who decided she’d try church one more time because I reminded her she’s never alone in God’s house.
The number of people who join me in learning about church liturgy, feasts and holy days. Wondering why on earth we didn’t know about these ways of focusing on Jesus before now?
The folks I read the Bible with every single day. We learn together. Growing ever closer to Jesus as we realize He was always God’s plan for us since before the beginning.
Yesterday, I added a new piece to my blogging efforts. After considering all the different things I could do, I decided on this one. Another way that I hope will center us on Jesus. Calling us back to Him in the midst of our very busy days.
Sacred Spaces. An email I plan to send out to my subscribers 2-3 times a month. Each email includes a photo of a place where we worship along with a few words reminding us of our holy God. Nothing complex or lengthy. A simple way to help us remember.
Here’s the very first one.
I’ll be very honest here when I tell you it’s hard to separate blogging from the numbers game. I have no idea where this blogging thing will take me. Already, it's provided some wild opportunities and introduced me to some amazing people. I do trust God to do His work through the words He lays on my heart. But it’s a whole lot of fun to see the numbers grow or to hear how stories impact lives.
So, yes, part of the reason I’m sending out these emails is to grow my email subscription numbers. But I pray it always goes hand in hand with the real reason I write. I know we could all benefit from drawing one step closer to Jesus.
If you’d like to receive Sacred Spaces in your inbox a few times a month, go to the top of this page and click on the link: Traces of Faith Email Subscribers.