I started blogging almost two years ago as an attempt to document my first summer with YouthWorks. Needless to say, I sparsely wrote during a hectic and anxiety-riddled summer. But it gave me a small platform to later return to later.
I returned to blogging several months after my initial attempt. I’d experience more phases of writers block or bloggers apathy, though have more recently settled into a routine–a routine that has now lead to my 100th blog in this post. An admirable accomplishment for any on-again, off-again writer.
But while I haven’t always been routine, here are some lessons I learned along the way:
1. Few people care about what you think…
Let’s get the depressing point out of the way first. Many people come into blogging with grandiose expectations that leave them disappointed and shy to write. You’d think that access to a global network of computers would generate a few views, but no new blogger becomes an overnight sensation.
2. …But more people will care if you write about important and relatable topics.
But there is good news! People may start to care about your opinion if you write about relatable and important topics. If all you write about is your last vacation and your day-to-day life, you won’t generate many readers apart from a handful of close friends and family. If that is all you wish to accomplish that is fine, but if you are looking for a large base of readers then you are going to have to find things to write about that exist apart from yourself. For instance, I have several categories on my blog including: Cedarville, Diversity, Sports & Media, Gender, Ministry, Poverty, Theology, Worship, and YouthWorks. I’ve managed to cover a fairly expansive group of topics through their centeredness in Christ and His redemption.
3. The more you write, the better blogger you’ll become…
Like all things worth doing, writing takes practice. I’ve been writing academically for years, but my skills can continue to be improved. Blogging itself is a unique literary experience that takes practice. In contrast to most academic writing, the tone can be very conversational. Additionally, you can use media to your benefit by including videos, songs, links, et cetera, that would otherwise be excluded in academic writing. Writing in and of itself takes practice, as does blogging.
4. …And the more readers you’ll get.
But the good news is that as your produce more blogs you’ll get more readers because A. You have more articles to read from and B. Your quality of writing continues to improve. If you want more readers, you’ve got to keep writing.
5. But blogging isn’t necessarily about getting readers (for me).
My blog has generated a decent core of readers lately and I have been pleasantly surprised by the platform that’s been built. But regardless of readership, I’d still blog without them. Blogging, for me, is about sharpening my writing skills and my thought processes. For me, to write a blog is to think extensively about an issue or topic. It is for me to process multiple sides of a conversation and display them together in my work. Blogging is about learning to think and write well–and you don’t need readers to do that.