Celebrating 100 Followers + 6 Ways to Love Your Blog So That Others Can, Too (And Even If They Don’t)

Disney’s Aladdin

Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.

Leo Buscaglia

100 followers and counting! I can’t believe it. Thank you all so much for sharing this journey with us.

Blogging has been such a source of joy for me, and I have you to thank for that. I cherish the outpouring of faith and compassion, the growth and learning, and the sense of community that you, dear reader, bring into my life.

I won’t lie though, I also feel stressed out sometimes. I’m learning to navigate a whole, new world. And that’s a big deal! Assuming I’m not alone,

I thought I might offer you a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

#1: Choose your why wisely and write with that in mind.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This blog was not my first attempt.

I first started blogging in 2018. I shared my posts on Facebook. I worked my blog into every conversation. I had no specific focus.

Numbers crossed my mind, but mostly, I sought validation. I was at the height of people-pleasing at a difficult time in my life, and it bled into my digital life.

It wasn’t a safe space. And that looks different for everyone. We all believe differently, and we write what we believe in. But, remember:

So write about what matters to you. Be bold. Be creative! But, most of all, choose your why wisely and create a safe space by recognizing that your worth is inherent; it isn’t earned.

#2: Be genuine. Love your reader, and talk to them!

I watched a video recently about the principle of attraction. The one-liner being: when cultivating a following, attract, don’t chase.

The question is, how?

To be fair, I don’t blog for money, so I have the leisure of taking things slowly. But I do this by focusing on genuine community.

I find blogs I enjoy reading and share the thoughts those posts provoke. I explore the interests of my readers. I meet new friends and get a sense for what matters to them, and what we have in common. When I disagree, I try to do so with compassion. I express gratitude, and I mean it.

The best thing about this approach is that you get to be truly yourself, and your readers truly want to be there. What you have to say resonates with them, and vice versa.

In the words of Albert Camus:

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

I also want to tell my friends and followers out there that you do this so well. Thank you for all of the genuine comments and articles and wearing your hearts and beliefs and talents on your sleeves. Thank you for using your voice to lift me up. I feel truly blessed to know you.

#3: Don’t wait; just do it.

As my Instagram followers might know, Joe and I are working toward launching our very own podcast! I’m super excited about it, but branching out to new avenues has been scary for me, too. In fact, Instagram itself was intimidating.

I feel inadequate as an “influencer”. That’s not a significant portion of my why. But I do want to touch more people and grow organically. Maybe you can relate.

So what if the numbers don’t merit taking big ventures? Do it for you!

Make changes to your layout. Invest in your own domain name. Open up to social media. Offer extras you’re excited about. Write what’s in your heart.

Big ideas don’t have to be scary. Treat your blog like it is where you want it to be, and don’t worry about the stats.

#4: Format for scanners by highlighting what matters most to you.

This is a recent tip I learned, largely from following The Art of Blogging (which I highly recommend!).

As writers, we put so much heart and soul into our words. It’s hard to imagine someone might skip a meticulously crafted paragraph of a precious work.

But even well-intended readers budget their time and invest it carefully. This is why formatting for your average scanner is a big deal.

Here are a few things to consider that might help:

  1. Ensure your title and your opening paragraph highlight the value your article brings to the table (How will your reader benefit from reading your post?).
  2. Add headings and sub-headings that do the same for their respective section (What portion of that value will this paragraph review?). This will help your reader find areas they would like to read in more detail.
  3. Make lists and increase your white space (re-structure lengthy paragraphs) to keep readers from getting lost.
  4. I also tend to bold what is important to me, because, as a reader, bold lettering catches my own eye.
  5. Close with a recap (What one thing would you like to leave your reader with?) as well as an invitation to collaborate (maybe a question, or a challenge).

#5: Tackle writer’s block with exposure.

For sanity’s sake, I also try to write on a schedule, which means I often need to write when “I’m not feeling it”. I tackle this with lots of reading, conversations with friends and family, and listening to several podcasts, interviews, audiobooks, etc…

Essentially, browse the topics that interest you, and you will find plenty of food for thought. Then, free-write until an outline becomes apparent, or start with an outline you already have in mind.

#6: Know when to look up.

Blogging on a schedule also means I don’t always write “when inspiration strikes”.

If you’re like me, you might have trouble letting go of passionate words until they are in print. The dangerous thing about this (for me at least) is that pretty soon you will find yourself blogging, or thinking about blogging, 24/7.

And it is 100% a worthwhile investment, but I recently heard the idea that, we often use our digital community to meet needs we can better meet in our physical community. We need to invest in both.

Particularly as a parent, I am discovering how important it is to look up when my kids need me, not just after I finish, and show them they are important by being willing to come back to a given project later. It isn’t easy, but they are worth it.

Find Joy in the Journey

Hopefully some of these ideas will help you find as much joy in blogging as I do. Thank you so much for being a part of this.

Here’s to why we write, and bravely putting it out there!

❀ Jenny

Ideas for Discussion

  • Why do you write?
  • What do you love most about blogging?
  • What do you find the most difficult about blogging?
  • Do you have any of your own tips?

43 thoughts on “Celebrating 100 Followers + 6 Ways to Love Your Blog So That Others Can, Too (And Even If They Don’t)

  1. Congratulations! Thank you for adding value. I agree with your propositions. Blogging is more fun when one takes time to get to interact with fellow bloggers, especially those who follow and comment on one’s blog. God bless you!β™₯️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Attract, don’t chase.” This was something I heard outside of blogging/writing but it has rang true for quite a few things. Along the same lines, it is creating a “destination.”
    Thanks for the sound advice and congrats on the followers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you friend 😊. I love that – creating a destination so we aren’t chasing the impossible and never being satisfied. Your thoughts and comments always teach me something new. God bless you on your journey today! ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This brings up a lot of thoughts with me.

    I started my previous nonfiction blog in 2014, partially just to have somewhere to get some thoughts off my chest, but honestly, I think part of it is exactly like what you’re describing. I wanted validation. I had heard stories of writers who got their start through blogs that went viral, so to speak. But I wasn’t writing the kind of pieces that got that kind of attention. I was just writing what was on my mind, and there wasn’t a market for that.

    I started DLTDGB last winter because I have a lot of interesting stories from my past and I wanted to put them together into something that people could read as a continuing story. The mid-to-late-1990s were a particularly formative period in my life, and I’m also at the age now where a lot of people who are old enough to read and be functioning adults don’t remember the time period I write about and what life was like for us back then. (And also, while I’ve never had the patience to learn a musical instrument well, listening to music has always been a big part of my life, especially those moments where I can find just the right song to go with what I’m feeling, which is why I always share a song from that time period, or one I was listening to during that time period, with each post.)

    There are two things I have to be very careful of with my writing, though. One is what you describe with validation. I like to see that people read and liked my post, even though I know ultimately that my worth does not come from that. There is also the temptation to live in the past since I’m writing about the past. Life was simpler back then, and I’m not doing too well at life in 2019. It’s a hard line to walk sometimes, but there is a way to tell about and learn from and reflect on my past while still accepting the reality of the present.

    I have come to accept the fact that I enjoy writing more when I’m not doing it on a schedule. My other blog was weekly for a long time, and I would tend to apologize when I missed a week. Now I have too many other things going on in life to stress about that, so for both blogs, I just write when I can. I have another creative project that I don’t think I’ve told you about that I work on very little these days; I feel bad about that one too, because that one has been with me for more than half my life in various forms, but I’m doing the best I can, and it’s ok to put interests aside for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You share some great points, Greg 😊. And I love how you end each post with a song!

      I think, on some level, validation is an actual human need. Healthy validation may even deepen our connection with our peers. But I think the danger comes in making that the goal, and the measure of our self worth. So knowing that your worth doesn’t derive from that is a great step πŸ‘Œ.

      And I completely agree that writing on a schedule isn’t for everyone. In my case it actually helps me moderate my time on WordPress, otherwise I would be writing all the time πŸ˜‚. But maybe that will wear off the longer I blog. If so, I hope I can learn from you and be gentle with myself, rather than feel guilty. I’m often very all or nothing so that’s difficult to do, but I always want my family to come first.

      I’m curious about this other project of yours!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Healthy validation may even deepen our connection with our peers”… that’s what I’m going for here. I’ve made a lot of friends through blogging.

        If I may ask, is there an email I can use for you? I’d rather send you the other project privately, with an explanation, and the only way I know to contact you privately is Instagram, and it’s harder to type on there. If you don’t want to post your email publicly, you can send it to me privately on Instagram, or I can send it to you there if that’s the only way that works and you don’t want to share your email.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh… and as for ending with a song, my stories are linked to a specific time period, so I use mostly music from that time period, but I also want to make it authentic to my actual past. I was listening to a lot of classic rock during that time period too, and some of the music that was popular during that time period (specifically gangsta rap and Garth Brooks-era pop-country) I was NOT listening to (although I haven’t ruled out using songs that I didn’t like at the time, especially for stories involving Mark, my younger brother, who listened to a lot of gangsta rap).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations, Jenny! I am blessed by your blog and to be one of your followers. I find your blog to be insightful, encouraging, informative, uplifting, and God honoring. The best blogging tip I know to give is to be yourself and to write from the heart. When I started my blog, I asked God to be my inspiration, and my #1 goal is to influence others to love and to follow after Jesus. May God bless your writing for His glory✝️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the most beautiful and inspiring goal ❀️❀️❀️. Thank you for such a meaningful compliment and for all you do to uplift and inspire me through your blogging as well, Deborah. For His glory πŸ™Œ Amen, I love that so much. It shows in all you do. God bless you dear friend ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations! Great post by the way! Everyone says to have a schedule so your readers know when to expect your post but that’s something I still can’t organise to do. I write in between doing everything from parenting to chores, so I’m lucky to even get a post out weekly. I just hope my followers don’t mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you friend!! 😊 I love reading your words whenever you have time to write. In my case, early on I was writing little bits at a time every day and I just felt like I never took any space or protected enough time for my family. So I like forcing myself to have designated days off haha πŸ˜…. But I don’t think any blogger should feel bad for prioritizing their time in the ways that work best for them. Blessings to you on this beautiful Sunday ❀️❀️❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations!
    I find blogging to be therapeutic for me during a very difficult season. We lost everything in the Paradise Camp Fire last November. My blog helps me keep my head above water. Writing/photography helps me change my perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a meaningful outlet, I agree. I just looked up the fire to refresh my memory, how devastating. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how difficult that would be to come back from. You absolutely share a light in your pictures and your writing, though, and I am glad it helps to lift you up as you lift up others. May God bless you and your family on your journey πŸ™ ❀️.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations Jenny on your wonderful start! I’ve been writing and publishing on WP for a year, and your points about the “art of blogging” are excellent.

    I am a retired teacher who has found a new passion in writing (especially poetry). When I began using WP, I didn’t really know how the community works and interacts. This has been a pleasant part of this journey for me. The most challenging part for me is staying in touch with my readers, their blogs, and other blogs which I am following. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to keep up. My most important suggestions to new writers (bloggers) include: keep writing, remain patient with your blog, don’t get too hung up on blog statistics, write engaging comments, and publish on schedule (your faithful readers will appreciate this).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the uplifting words! I agree with you about the difficulty of keeping in touch with everyone. I want so much to be genuine and read and interact and care about works that are so precious to my readers and friends here, but I struggle with time as you say, and making sure I’m meeting the needs of my physical community as well, especially my family.

      And thank you for the helpful tips! I so appreciate your giving some of your time to share your insights with me πŸ’•.

      Liked by 1 person

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