See that? I already broke some blogging "rules" with that title! It's too long, but I like to live on the edge sometimes. :)
Notes to Aspiring Writers: Your Dream, God's Plan. Why should I be the one to write this series to encourage bloggers? Why not? I've been blogging for a while now. This message is important to me and I trust that God will bring the bloggers that need to hear this encouragement to my little corner of the blogosphere.
I started blogging over 3 years ago and in a way that makes me an old-timer (though there are plenty of older-timers around!). Hard to believe, but blogging, especially by moms - whether or not they consider themselves mommy-bloggers - has changed dramatically in that time. And while so much of it is good and has given greater opportunities to female bloggers to have their voices heard and to help earn an income for their families, I feel that the focus on making an income and doing everything the "right" way to be successful might be intimidating some bloggers right out of the blogging scene. And that makes me sad.
Bloggers certainly come and go on a regular basis. But I have been more and more surprised lately by the number of bloggers who have quit or taken an extended break, or made their blogs private. Some of these women are making wise decisions, choosing not to let blogging take over and cause them to neglect family (that happens quite often). That is a good thing! But some may be saying - I don't fit into a category; I don't have money to spend on blogging; I can't keep up with all the things I'm supposed to be doing online, I don't think anybody's going to want to hear what I have to say. They feel discouraged, inferior, invisible. These are the bloggers I'm talking to - and often fit into the categories of small bloggers, hobby bloggers, nicheless bloggers, and new bloggers.
What is a small blog? That definition is really up to you. Maybe you define it as less than 100 subscribed readers. Maybe you define it as a small percentage of comments compared to readers. Maybe you just get the feeling that nobody has heard of your blog. Being small is not a bad thing. I consider myself a small blogger. But to a newer blogger, my "numbers" may look big. Part of the reason I define myself as "small" is because I have not experienced near the growth of many bloggers who started around the same time I did.
What is a hobby blog? I don't mean somebody who blogs about hobbies (though you could). I think of a hobby blog as one who is not a money-making blog or a blog to promote products or a blog for a published author. I would say the hobby blogger blogs simply for the enjoyment or creative outlet. I consider myself a hobby blogger. Though I am certainly not opposed to making an income from my blog, that isn't why I do it. And I really don't have anything to promote or a specific message to get out. I blog because I like it and I like what I've created here - it's a scrapbook of me and how I think and a record of my favorite recipes.
What is a nicheless blog? Well, it's when you just don't fit into one specific category. You don't just blog about kids or food or devotions or photos. You blog about some combination of those things. It doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have a vision for your blog; it just means you can't neatly put yourself in one column or the other. And I do consider myself a nicheless blogger! Though I'm sometimes mistaken for a food blogger, I'm most certainly not. I blog about everything and anything in life, but I throw in some recipes too.
What is a new blog? A new blog might be a blog that isn't even in existence yet, but just a thought in someone's mind. It might be the blog that's less than a year old or maybe less than 6 months old. Or it could be a blog that's been around for a while, but hasn't been very active in the blogosphere. I don't consider myself new! I feel like I've been around the block a bit in blog years (over 3 doesn't sound like a lot in real life, but in blog years I think it means I'm middle-aged). :)
There are already many great blog posts on the best ways to start a blog, how to have a successful blog, mistakes to avoid, and helpful tutorials so you can do things yourself for your blog. That's not what this series is about! When I can, I'll refer you to some of those helpful resources. Really I'm just here to say - you can DO this and it's OK to do it your own way!!! You can have a successful blog - it comes down to what your definition of success is (and what God's purpose is for your blog)! :) And I would love for some of us to join together and encourage a few bloggers who are struggling out there, so later on I'll be asking people to share blog links.
Do you fit into the above blogging categories? Do you need encouragement? Do you want to help encourage other bloggers? Do you know bloggers that might need to see this series of posts?
Then please join me for this series as I do my best to encourage bloggers! I'm hoping for this series to run every Thursday for a few weeks, but my schedule could change a bit - I'll keep you posted! Feel free to post the button at the top on your blog! And if you'd like to help encourage bloggers on Twitter, please use the hashtag #encouragingbloggers (I'm @stop4chocolate on Twitter)!
Take heart blogging friends and soon-to-be-blogging friends! There's a place in the blogosphere for all of us!
**I'll start posting the links here as the series continues:
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 1: A Blog is a Blog no Matter How Small
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 2: One *Why* Or Another
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 3: Money Can't Buy You Love
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 4: Variety Is The Spice Of Life
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 5: Go Forth And Comment
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 6: Out of Clutter Find Simplicity
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 7: Thrive on the Encouragement of Others
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 8: The Art of Getting Noticed Naturally
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 9: The Blessings of Blogging
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 10: Send Some Blogger Love Letters
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 11: Be YOU, But Better
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 12: Your Turn
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 13: Sharing is Caring
~ Encouraging Bloggers - Part 14: Link Up
Have a blessed day friends!