Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Greatest Blogging Advice Ever

Blogging Tip #1 - Create eye catching titles and make outrageous claims!

Actually, I'm fairly certain that this won't be the greatest blogging advice you'll ever read but as a relatively new blogger (a little more than 8 months) , I wanted to draw attention to tips and advice that I've found useful.

Bob Kauflin, who blogs on Worship Matters has great advice on blogging as worship to God. A must read for every Christian who blogs. Here's a snippet of what he says, applicable to the unfruitful conversations that occur on many blogs, sadly Christian blogs as well.

It never seems very sinful when we're writing from our heart, striking a few keys and, pushing "post." No one's there to give us feedback and we're just happy we said what we wanted to say. That's why Christian bloggers need a generous dose of humility. The nature of blogging implies that I think I have something worth saying. That's misleading. The ability to post my thoughts on the Internet is no guarantee that I have any idea what I'm talking about.

Blogging with humility? What a concept.

On a practical note, when I was getting started, I found the How to Start a Blog series from Joe Carter to be extremely helpful. In particular, his post on The 5/150 Principle is a great one because he encourages Christian bloggers not to focus on the pure numbers (visits, subscribers, etc...) and turns our attention to making a positive impact on readers. Blogging to serve others, perhaps?

I also heartily recommend my blogging friend, Marcus Goodyear who blogs at GoodWordEditing. In a current ongoing conversation, he offers five tips for building a community of readers. Marcus has done a great job, not simply in building his blogging community but also spurring positive discussion on his blog and elsewhere. Here's what I know about Marcus' blogging persona - he is both generous and encouraging to other bloggers which is probably why he's been successful building a community of readers.

I'll finish up with my bit of advice. Be accountable for what you write. Enlist a couple of other mature christians who will commit to occasionally read your blog and be willing to hold you accountable for unfruitful discussions, incorrect theology... or simply bad grammar.

Fellow bloggers, why do you blog? What piece of advice would you pass along to others? It may be reflective like Bob Kauflin's or practical like Marcus Goodyear's but please share it with us.

22 comments:

daud said...

Why i blog? :) Erm... perhaps the driving motivation behind the Agora and Confessions of a Hedonese, is to display the supremacy of Christ in all things (sounds very piper/kuyper eh?) hehehe...

But seriously, in our faltering and not-so-successful ways, we try to encourage Christians in Malaysia to bridge the 'secular/sacred' divide in a language that is accessible and maybe, fun... :)

Ted Gossard said...

Andre, I look at blogging as simply sharing some things from the heart. And engaging others in it. And then, hopeufully from that, conversing on it.

I see blogging as a work in progress. So that I really don't care if my post could be published or not. It's more like sitting down in a living room and talking about what's important to us. Or what's on our minds. Something like that. (This is for me. Others, by their personality and gifts will surely approach it differently)

By the way. I used to go over each post like I needed to get it just right. Not any more. I let it flow. Edit it once normally, and let it go. (sometimes again, after rereading it after being posted).

I don't want to take so much time on my own site when there are other blogs I can learn plenty from (including your own), and there are other things I have to do. Just my own thought here......

Ted Gossard said...

Sorry for the length of the last comment, and for adding this.

But I acknowledge that posting something everyday as I do, probably goes against the idea of facilitating a good conversation (with maybe 20 or more commments; of course I'm more apt to get something like that from some, when I do something political- ha). One of my fellow bloggers encouraged me or others to blog less than daily for that reason, I think. Others say it is good to blog daily. (I do like this new community that I became introduced to, through L.L. Barkat. It seems to be so friendly with great stuff on blogs and comments.)

For me it is kind of a discipline that is an outlet, which is a thinking through project. Often related to what God is doing in my own life. Or thoughts I've been pondering. Okay, enough.....

andre said...

Daud,

Thanks for commenting and sharing your reasons for blogging - they may not be original to you, but they're commendable.

I'm sure that your effort in leading the blogging in the agora is a wonderful resource to many.

Fun is important too!

andre said...

Ted,

I think your blog is great! There aren't a lot of blogs that combine honest writing with sound doctrine. Yours is one so keep on truckin!

Your reason for blogging - "sharing from the heart" really comes through in your writing...the fact that you can do it almost daily amazes me. How do you find the time?

Have any advice for other bloggers?

Ted Gossard said...

Andre, First, thanks for your kind and generous words! Your blog and comments are both a blessing to us all.

Ha. It's more like a season of life in which I have more time than most other bloggers I know. And working in a factory setting allows me to meditate on Scripture and work through the monotony of factory work. Being faithful through that, there. And so I just share.

Everyone should be themselves. We can't be someone else, other bloggers we admire. Though we can learn from each other. Though for me, I just like to enjoy the differences in people/bloggers.

I really do like how some bloggers have a great blog with regular, but not daily posts. They do seem to get a better conversation going. Which is a drawback in the way I do it.

Ted Gossard said...

I should put- Learning to be faithful through my factory work. Not really in the work itself, which I always have sought to do as well as I can. But more like as to my attitudes in it. Like dealing with, "Why am I here?" etc. Learning to be faithful in my heart and out from that there.

andre said...

Ted

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on being faithful at work. I like what you said - it starts with your heart attitude...it's part of the conversation I hope to stimulate through Every Square Inch. Thanks for participating.

Llama Momma said...

Why do I blog? This is such a great question, and I'm not sure I have a good answer for it. I enjoy writing, so that's the obvious answer. I enjoy the sense of community I find in the "blogosphere." But if I'm honest, my main motivation is probably to feed my own ego. I find it very gratifying to put my thoughts out there for everyone to read.

When I get an email from another diaper-weary Mom trying to find meaning in her own pile of laundry, it brings meaning to MY pile of laundry. When she is encouraged to pick up her Bible and find her strength and identity there, I'm encouraged.

So, my motives are a LITTLE bit noble. Maybe. Mostly, I just want to think and communicate with other grown-ups! :-)

Thanks for stopping by.

andre said...

llama momma,

you wrote "my main motivation [for blogging] is probably to feed my own ego. I find it very gratifying to put my thoughts out there for everyone to read....I just want to think and communicate with other grown-ups!"

I'm not sure anyone could provide a more honest answer than the one you've offered. Thanks for your humility. I'm sure God will reward your blogging endeavors.

Any advice for the rest of us?

Llama Momma said...

Andre - Thanks for your kind response. I still feel like a blogging "newbie." No real advice to offer, except to keep it real. Sometimes I look back at my old posts and think, "Well, that's true, but after that tender moment with my preschooler, he actually whacked me in the face and ended up on time-out." :-)

L.L. Barkat said...

I started blogging as an extension of my writer persona. But, my reasons have changed significantly. Now, I really just enjoy meeting so many wonderful, thoughtful people. (And their thoughts have actually resulted in changes in my life).

Btw, I came over to thank you for that sensitive response on Craver's blog. It's so easy in blogging to sometimes just whip off a response that is less than helpful. It was a blessing to me to see what you had to say.

andre said...

LL

Thanks for stopping by. Blogging when "done right", provide an opportunity to interact with others in a positive way. As you've pointed out, we can learn from those conversations.

Any advice on how to "do it right"? What's the essential ethic you hold to in blogging?

Craver VII said...

Thanks for leaving your gracious comment.

Why do I post? Let's see... may I rephrase that? When talking to non-bloggers about this phenomenon, I suggest why they would post.

Imagine having space reserved for an article in your favorite magazine or newspaper. You have full license to say whatever you want, as frequently, or infrequently as you please. You have the option to show, exclude or moderate letters to the editor. That’s reason enough for some, while others remain uninterested.

Ultimately, I want to be a mouthpiece for the gospel, proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Many Christians spend a lot of time with other Christians, and the blogosphere provides opportunity to develop friendships with people who may still need to hear what the cross is all about.

There are other benefits too, like rediscovering the lost art of writing. Or exploring how I might contribute to this community, which may be electronic, but real, nevertheless.

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, you don't let me get by... okay, let's see.

How to do it right:
(is this an exercise in "why I'm always right"? feels like it... ooo, fun!)

- keep it short (I sometimes break this rule)

- keep it focused (I like to think I don't break this rule)

- invite others into the conversation through direct invitation or simply through an open tone

- consider co-posting. I'm having fun with this right now, as a few of us are co-posting on "Smallness of Scale." I hope to do this right through a mini-series based on Berry's observations about farming (sound weird? stop by and see just how weird, or unweird, it is)

-cross turf... don't wait for everyone to come to your blog. Go to theirs. Always visit your visitors.

- remember people, and don't hesitate to repeat inside jokes and things that are important to your visitors. It's kind of like being a fun person at a party.

- never reveal your secrets (just kidding... now you've heard mine!)

andre said...

Craver, I've noticed your love for the gospel in your posts. Your zeal to be a mouthpiece for sharing the gospel is commendable. Any advice for the rest of us?

LL, Thanks for sharing your blogging wisdom. There's lots of good advice in what you said. I definitely fail the "keep it short". I think Marcus has characterized some of my posts as mini essays. My observation is that you do a great job with inviting conversation.

Meng said...

Hi Andre;
This post has brought the greatest response/comments!! and so I just needed to make it no.17!!!

I blog beacuse I enjoy writing and find it easier to articulate my thoughts through writing than spoken words. Also enjoy meeting a community of bloggers with the same interest.

Saw Craver vii's site and enjoyed his spider post. We don't have that large spiders in Malaysia but I know what you mean about geckos on the walls and roaches running around!

For now... said...

Why do I blog? Good question! The llama said it would be fun! I am not a writer so that is out. I wish I could work it to be a tool to share God's word, don't think I'm there yet. I am still figuring this out. The comment about the grammar - "or simply bad grammar." YIKES!! that scares me! Your looking at the grammar!! Thanks for the links I will check them out and try to figure out what I am doing in the blogosphere.

andre said...

Meng, thanks for commenting. Meeting fellow bloggers who can stimulate challenging, positive conversation is a definite plus to blogging. You're not limited by locale or time zones. It's a different kind of community. You still need the face to face fellowship of the church community and there are limitations to blogging but there's still wonderful, encouraging, uplifting discussions that can take place.

andre said...

for now,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart about blogging. On this blog, you never have to worry about bad grammar or poor sentence construction. I'm sure I've committed many writing no-no's...which can be intimidating, knowing that there are writers, editors and publishing industry types lurking. :-)

Any advice for us?

Craver VII said...

Andre, I’m afraid I’m not really qualified to give advice. But having been born again, I am sufficiently able to testify that God has done something in my own life, (and the same goes for all who are Jesus’ disciples, whether they got saved last week or last century.) Wait… does that count as advice? Yeah, let’s go with that.

mark goodyear said...

Wow! Andre. Great work on this post! Thanks for the encouragement too. Seems I'm a few days late to the discussion!

As you noted, for me blogging is just another way to manifest the Kingdom of God, Christ's church.

At my best, I hope to blog in ways that honor God and my neighbor bloggers.

At my worst, I blog to honor myself.

The community, God has provided (through Al and Craver and L.L. and Ted and you and others). And the community helps me be my best self more often than my worst.