Faithful readers, I promised you a post earlier this week and life just got in the way. However, I do have some great tips to pass along to those of you who are bloggers, so even though I’m very late with this post, I want to be sure it gets to you. Better late than never, right? 🙂
When I first began blogging, I really had no idea what a huge industry the blogosphere is. I never “followed” any blogs before that time. I had no idea bloggers could earn income from their posts. I hardly even knew what a blog was. So, why create a blog?
It was purely out of obedience to the Lord, honestly. No, He did not speak in a loud clear voice saying, “Jen, I want you to create a blog.” However, He did use the Holy Spirit to convict me of neglecting one of the gifts He had given to me. I was too overwhelmed to imagine writing a book or for any other sort of publication right away since I had not “practiced” writing in such a long time. Thus, from what little I knew about blogs, creating one of my own seemed a simple, inexpensive, and the least terrifying way to walk forward in obedience.
To read more about my blogging journey thus far (a year and a half in!), check out the “For the Writers” tab on my sidebar or click here. I would suggest starting with My Monday Morning Confession as it was my first post ever! You might also read A Blogger’s Prayer to see what I have learned so far from this faith walk online.
I think I’ve been most surprised that rather than using the material the Lord gives me to encourage others (which is what I first expected), He so often uses the writing to encourage me! Although others might find the words here encouraging, as is my deepest desire, even if no one else read them, this journey would be well worth it solely for the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
As a “seasoned” blogger of a year and a half (ha!), I do have some more practical blogging tips to pass along to you:
Pinterest – once I learned the value of creating a somewhat “pinnable” image, I began to receive most of my traffic from pinterest. In fact, this past month, I received close to a thousand views daily from a single post (The Pumpkin Gospel) that is doing well on pinterest simply because of Halloween. I rarely reach that number even on a good day, normally. That’s the power of pinterest, my friends!
What I know about creating “pinnable” images:
The better the lighting, the more attractive they are to the eye, as far as Pinterest goes. Lighter images tend to work more effectively than darker ones. Also, collage-type images (several pictures together) are more eye-catching. A good description also helps the reader to click through to the actual blog post. I recently started using hash-tags, as well.
I’m no pro at creating pinnable images, but what little I can do has helped tremendously. Therefore, I try to always include a photo of some sort in each post for easy sharing on pinterest. Sometimes when I don’t have an image that goes along with the theme of the post, I just include something beautiful from nature. I keep my camera in my purse to capture scenery along the way; this allows me to avoid the issue of photo rights altogether, which is just easier for me. Lately, I’ve really enjoyed adding verses to beautiful photos using either picmonkey.com or ribbet.com (photo editing websites). Someday I would love to learn photoshop! 🙂
Pinterest works well for me because I liked it and used it even before I started blogging. Twitter, on the other hand, is another story altogether…
Key-words and phrases – recently I’ve been learning more about how search engines work and am working on including more key-word phrases, especially earlier on in my blog posts. This helps anyone who is searching for information on a specific topic to find your blog post. I have one post in particular that does well from searches, and that is How to Love When You Feel Unloved. I usually receive several hits daily from that post ever since I updated it with a pinnable image and some bolding on key words and phrases.
This is another area in which I have plenty of room to grow, as I’m still learning and probably always will be. 🙂
I just learned this past week NOT to include a picture before the words in your blog post. If you’ve followed Being Confident of This for very long, you know I’ve been guilty of this, so I have many past posts to make changes to. Apparently, google and other analytic programs scan the first words of a blog post, and when you include a picture first, they end up reading a bunch of html code rather than the topic of your post. I read about that here.
For more practical blogging tips, I suggest pinterest as a wealth of information. I have a board just for Blogging that contains even more information than I have shared here. Some of it I haven’t even had time to look at or use. Some of it is easy to incorporate once you know how. I’m sure some of the other hosts have similar boards, as well. 🙂
My Best Blogging Tip
My best blogging tip, however, has nothing to do with pinterest or even with the mechanics of blogging. My best tip is to avoid getting caught up in blogging perfectionism. As I mentioned above, I knew so very little about blogging when I first began. My only desire was to have a space to write that wasn’t too intimidating, in obedience to the Lord.
However, once I learned about linky parties and began reading other blogs, I began to realize I knew literally nothing. And after a month or so, the desire to be “successful” started to creep in. I became concerned about things that I never even knew to be concerned about before. Blogging became a lot less about glorifying Christ and more about glorifying my own meager abilities.
Don’t get me wrong, learning how to blog well or write well isn’t wrong in and of itself, but I think it can quickly become an “idol” in our lives if we allow it to.
So my best blogging tip is simply this – fix your eyes on Jesus.
If you have time and the inclination to learn some of the rest of it along the way, great. But don’t lose the vision He’s given you to the trappings of blogging perfectionism. Write in faith instead.
Trust Him to guide you to the “right” content, my sisters in Christ. Trust Him to bring you the “right” audience.
Fix your eyes on Jesus.