Some time ago a friend messaged me asking if we could get together because she wanted some guidance on beginning her own blog. I love this friend and truly believe that what she has to share will be an unbelievable encouragement to people. I chuckled a bit though as I responded with, “I’m not the most experienced, but I do know how to use WordPress!” In my head, I was thinking, “By ‘not the most experienced’, I mean that maybe five people a day read my blog.” Okay, some days it’s more than five. A couple of days it has been notably more.
To be fair, we have only been up and running for four months, and I am by no means a full-time blogger. Also, in the spirit of fairness, we are a niche-within-a-niche blog, primarily aimed at offering encouragement to Christian women. Our focus is narrow and our experience and available time to invest are low, but we decided to go for it anyway.
If you clicked on this article, my guess is that you either have your own blog or have considered starting one yourself. Maybe you’ve read articles with exciting titles such as, “How I Reached 40,000 Views My First Month Blogging” and you were led to believe that it is easy. The reality of blogging though is that it takes an enormous amount of work, thought, time, and effort. And if you do not have a motivation beyond making bank, then my guess is that you won’t be in the game long.
If you are considering beginning a blog and asking yourself, “What if no one reads this?” or if you already have a blog and are questioning if anyone ever will read it, here are three (more important) questions to ask instead:
Why Did I Begin?
No really, why? If it was solely to make money, then that will likely take some time. Also, it probably will not come as a result of blog posts but rather from products that you design, create, and sell. This also takes time. It won’t be instantaneous, but it is possible. Be in it for the long haul!
Likely though, there was another reason; a deeper one:
You have a unique story to tell that you believe will encourage others.
You want to grow as a writer.
It’s a form of self-care for you.
You love writing.
You desire is to equip others in faith and life.
You feel God calling you to use your gift of writing in this way.
Whatever your reason for adding your voice to the internet, keep it at the forefront of your mind. Sure, it would be nice to have thousands upon thousands read your words, but if only one person does and is impacted, would that be enough? As Christians, our aim is not our fame. Our aim is Christ’s fame. This is true regardless of if our genre is Christian or not. We are ambassadors for Christ, both in the real world and online. Know why you started and trust Jesus with the outcome; this will keep you going on the hard days.
How Can I Best Run My Race?
There are so.many.blogs out there. There will be blogs that are more established, better designed, and with a higher readership than yours. You may find yourself envying another author’s writing style because it’s one that doesn’t come naturally to you. And don’t get me started on the social media game. I’ve just come to terms with the fact that everyone else far surpasses me in that area!
It’s easy to compare but the truth is that you are not called to run someone else’s race. This is true in the real world and online. Even the disciples found themselves in the comparison trap at times. One example comes in John 21 when Jesus, after his resurrection, has restored Peter and given him a glimpse into his future. Peter’s reaction is to ask Jesus about John, saying, “What about him?” Jesus replies, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
Friends, we need to fix our eyes on our own race by firmly planting our gaze on Jesus. It’s possible that He may will that we be a bestselling author, but He also may not. Running our race requires contentment, gratitude, and a continual submitting of our life (including our blogs!) to Jesus. He will fulfill His purposes. And that is quite enough in my book!
How Can I Serve Others?
Rather than focussing on people reading your blog, consider how you can serve others through it — whether millions or the few. Your life is not an accident. Everything in your past and present can be redeemed and used by God for the building up of His people. Honestly, it’s just not about us.
Case in point: As I write this, there is an article that I recently wrote making the rounds. It is easily the most widely read piece that I have ever written. Here’s the catch: I had to write it anonymously due to privacy concerns. I am enormously grateful to the site that agreed to publish it but, if I can be honest, it hurt my pride a little at first that no one will ever know who the author is (aside from a few close friends).
When I realized that I was feeling this way, I quickly checked myself and began reading the comments people had left on it instead. Let me just say, it was entirely worth the anonymity to be able to read things like, “this is literally my life”, or “made me cry, thank you for this”. I realized then that what people want most is to be understood. To feel like they are not alone. Having the ability to provide that with a few mere words pieced together was ridiculously humbling. Being able to pray for those people by name was even more humbling. We are to be servants of Christ, both in the real world and online. When we consider how we can serve our readers, that is a much higher calling and purpose than any statistic can provide.
We live in a time where our voices can reach far beyond our immediate environment, providing an incredible opportunity to impact people that we do not even know. Rather than getting caught up in the numbers game, let’s concern ourselves with using this powerful tool to love others and leave the rest to Jesus. As John Piper says, “Don’t waste your timeline.” Let’s not waste our blogs, be they big or small.