So you dove in the deep end and started a blog with WordPress/Blogger/etc. You have even contributed world shaking content to the internet conversation and have multiple published pieces submitted on your site.
You’ve shared the work with family and friends through email/Facebook/Twitter/etc.
Everything is perfect, right?
You’ve probably noticed that barely a drizzle of traffic has been the standard for your daily stats. One day a tumbleweed even rolled across your Dashboard. Some SEO algorithm god has thrown a few stray bones your way, but they have been totally unrelated to your blog discussion (real example: “Rastafarian polygamous women”).
Now I know numbers don’t tell the final story (Jesus only had a “following” of twelve for Peter’s sake!).
But let’s be honest. No one cuts their wrist open on a computer screen, hits “Publish” and then says,
“Man, I really hope nobody reads this. And if they do I really hope they don’t comment on it….”
We all hope for an audience. And the only blog tip I’ve successfully used (other than trying to build great content) in growing an audience platform is simply this:
Not random machine gun networking. Networking with like blogs that have like interests. On this blog, I try to relate everything I write about back to a Christ centered message. So I may write about Tim Tebow, Call of Duty, Lil Wayne, or fatherhood. But I always try to relate everything to Christ, because in the end all that matters for all eternity is our relationship to Jesus Christ.
So when “networking” I try to find blogs like mine, with writers who simply have an invincibly high regard for the person and work of Jesus Christ. There is a large and flourishing Christian community among WordPress bloggers, and it is quite easy to find them through tag surfing and searching titles and keywords through the WordPress reader. And when I find those blogs I do something equally simple:
Whether it be through a short encouraging comment, a like, maybe a follow (have to be more conservative with those), or whatever “connecting” means available. I have found this to be true:
People want to connect.
They want to be encouraged. They want to know other people are reading, digesting and appreciating their contribution to the e-world. Many times I will connect with people with completely different denominational influences, worldviews, and outlooks on life. I appreciate their content not because I always agree with it, but because I enjoy their writing style or ability to form a compelling story or argument.
You can stay within the comfortable bounds of your Dashboard, keep submitting excellent content, and just cross your fingers and hope the SEO gods are good to you. Or you can connect. Maybe it is the timeless biblical principle of reaping and sowing, but after you reach out and connect then usually the favor is reciprocated. You may get a friend and follower out of it.
This is for my readership who have gospel saturated Christ exalting blogs: I want you to build your platform. But you’ll have to spend about as much time networking as you do writing for consistent growth to happen. We don’t have to have subversive motives, this is just the way the world of blogging works.
Don’t worry so much about your own writing platforms, site stats and getting a mad following. Get out of your Dashboard and make a big deal out of other people’s blogs.
Connect, encourage, and make someone else’s day better.
They’ll probably return the favor.