Trying to get this blog growing is A LOT of work! There are so many different rules to follow that it is overwhelming sometimes.
I think other Christian bloggers in particular will feel me on this. I started my blog as a ministry and I still use it that way. Of course I want to grow my blog because that is more people Christ can reach through me and I would LOVE for my blog to be an avenue to bring in extra money. However, my main focus is not how many likes I get or how many followers I have on IG . This post has been on my mind for a long time so I had to get it out.
One rule in particular that I hate is: Followers & Following
Who has time to worry about this all the time?! It makes me feel like I have to start unfollowing people just so that my numbers are proper. If I see someone's page that gets my attention, I like their content and what they stand for I am going to follow them and vice versa. There is too much emphasis on this. Or, "If you don't have this many followers I'm not following you back". You can't be serious! It's just a circle of negativity and not enough supporting each other just to support.
Another rule that gets to me is Catering to Your Audience
Don't get me wrong, I understand the logic behind this. But, as I said when I started, my blog is a ministry. I'm not going to just tell you what you want to hear, sorry not sorry. I saw something the other day that basically said something to the effect of change your blog posts so that it is what your readers want. Here is the issue with that...the people who are interested in what I have to say are interested because of what I have to say. I am not going to change my content just to get more followers. I write what God gives me. Maybe my audience will grow a little slower than the next person because I stay true to myself and I am okay with that. I would rather stay true to myself and give my readers authenticity and make sure they KNOW that I am being genuine than to be writing just to be writing or just to catch someone's attention who really doesn't even matter if I have to change my style or my content to fit their needs. There are all kinds of bloggers out there and the same way I do, if they don't find what they're looking for on my page they will find it on another and I am fine with that.
Last one...Consistency is Key
This is true...in multiple ways. Referring back to my last point you need to be consistent in your writing which is why I won't change what I write about, how I write, or who I write for. Writing is a passion of mine and a gift that God has given me...not just something I do in my free time. That is why I don't have posts every single week. I try to at least give encouraging words on my facebook and IG throughout the week but as far as what gets full posts I can't force it. I've tried it. It doesn't work. Typically the way that it works is that God speaks things to me, shows things to me, I see things on social media, etc. and it sparks something. Like this post, I can't let it go. The words and sentences are literally being formed in my head as I am working, walking, at the gym, sitting in church, trying to sleep and if I don't get it out immediately it will continue until I do and sometimes that is weeks at a time. When I have tried to force out posts because I needed to get something out it was a major fail and I could tell when I read it and I am sure readers could tell as well. The passion isn't there and the dots don't connect correctly.
Another issue that I have with trying to get things out consistently...I have discussed my mental health briefly so it is no secret and often times that gets in the way. Yes, people want to see you post consistently and with all these new stupid algorithms that no one wanted it has become important. But, if I am feeling anxious or depressed sometimes I don't have the encouraging words to post on social media or to put in a blog post. I just want to be alone, under the covers, away from everyone and everything with my phone OFF! Now, there are times that I am in those modes and God will speak or send a word to me and I will share it because I know that others need it too. MH just adds additional struggles that many people who come up with all these blogging rules don't take into consideration.
So what rules do I like to abide by?
If following the blogging rules by the book is what works for you, do it! If doing your own thing is what works for you, do it! If you are like me and you write because it is a passion, it is what gets you through the day don't throw that away trying to conform what other people want. Because my blog is a ministry for me I believe that God will send to my page who needs it. Now, I will do my best to do what I can, using my #hashtags, engaging with people, particularly other bloggers, and all of that I just don't want blogging to become a chore. I want to continue to love it. It is my escape so it shouldn't be something that adds more stress.