Thursday, August 25, 2011

Encouraging Bloggers: Small or Hobby or Nicheless or New, This Blog Series Is Written For You {Intro}

See that?  I already broke some blogging "rules" with that title!  It's too long, but I like to live on the edge sometimes.  :)
I have been feeling the need to write this as a blog series, which took me by surprise as I've never written a blog series.  The urge became stronger and stronger and the last little push came from reading my friend Brooke's book Notes to Aspiring Writers: Your Dream, God's PlanWhy 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!


  1. Very well put my friend. I fall into the first 3 categories.
    We've been blogging about the same time as you know and I often wonder how between subscribers, readers and followers, I can have less then 5 comments on a post. LOL! That alone can be discouraging. Well unless I have a giveaway, then they come out of the woodwork. Ha! Ha!
    People need to know that if the content was worth reading then leaving a comment is important to the person who wrote it. Because we who write often think that maybe they are getting boring or irrelevant.
    Okay I have more to say but this might end up being a series all in of itself. LOL!
    Love you my friend.
    Big no one has commented on your posts more than me and I know it and that's the way it will always be size hugs to you. LOL!

  2. I definitely fit into the first three categories. I will get a couple comments on a post, but then a few posts go by with no comments. But I am not writing a blog to win a popularity contest, but as an easy way to keep up with friends and family I don't see on a regular basis. And I know they do week I was down with the flu and missed my weekly Monday Musing. My dad, sister and aunt all called me the next day to see why I had missed my blog post. They read, but just never comment.

    And the number one reason why I blog? For my kids. Sometimes I come up behind them while they are on the computer and they are reading through my archives, remembering good times. This online journal, unless I take it down or the world ends will never get lost, destroyed or have milk spilled on it. :-)

  3. Looking forward to this series!

    I'm a new(ish) blogger, still trying to find the perfect fit. All I know is that I'm a missionary and Mom-of-many. Which basically means I have very little time to devote to blogging. But my little piece of the blogosphere is my outlet.

  4. I'm so glad you are using your voice for this!

  5. I love this and can't wait to read more! Thank you!


  6. Lisa,

    This is awesome and sooo very needed! Who in the world doesn't need some encouragement!?!?!?

    I can't wait to join you and I pray many others in this series! So thankful the Lord put this on your heart and that you have been obedient to do it!! I think it is going to be such a blessing to so many and especially for you!

    Are you starting this tomorrow!!

  7. I heard about this series through Kim's latest post. (I love Kim, she's a dear friend.) You are hitting me right where I'm at, so I will definitely be wanting to get in on this series.

    While I've been blogging on and off since 2006, I feel many of these things you've described. Especially because I've recently added a genealogy focus to my blog. It's not fully genealogy, so I don't fit into that "niche." Yet, I'm no longer exclusively home decor and "pretty things." This change has resulted in a decline in readership (and I've never had a huge readership anyway), and I've wondered if it's even worth continuing to blog.

    And by the way, for what it's worth, blogs whose main purpose is to promote the author's Etsy store are quite a discouragement to me. We are a single-income family, who has taken a nearly 40% pay cut in the last 3 years, so I rarely have any extra money. When I go to those kinds of blogs, #1, I feel like a customer not a blog friend, and #2, I feel discontent that I can't buy their products.

    I have a blog friend who just last fall was celebrating 300 followers. That was only a year ago, and now she's got over 570 followers. My blog has probably only grown by 50 followers in that amount of time, and I can wonder, why don't people like my blog.

    Anyhow, this series is right up my alley, so I'll be looking forward to reading more.


  8. What a great series ~ I think I fall into all the catagories! Usually it doesn't bother me, but occasionally it does. Thanks for the encouragement!
    Have a wonderful day

  9. I came over from Loren's blog. I also fit into the first 3 categories, and always can use and give some encouragement! Thank you for this series! Looking forward to it!

  10. I am coming over from Renata's blog and have to say that I wish I had read this a couple of days ago. I just wrote a farewell post...or at least a taking-a- sabbatical-of-unknown-duration post today. Sometimes it just takes a little nudge that says "you're way is just fine" to keep going. Thanks for your post.

  11. What an encouragement it is to me to find someone in the blogging world who wants to encourage the eclectic bloggers and the 'village' size bloggers. I like to think of my blog as a village in the countryside - small but a lovely place to visit! I think I'm a eclectic blogger - my blog focuses on raising a family in a beautiful place and I decided at the onset I was not just going to write for a specific audience. I'm a homeschooler and it seemed to me there were already plenty of homeschool blogs out there and so I am encouraged that among my readers are ladies from very different backgrounds. I have read that in order to gain readers you need to blog daily and give people 'new' and exciting things to read and look at. I just cannot manage that as I have a real life but I blog to give and not receive. To put it all in perspective - if only one person is helped or encouraged by something that I share then it has been worthwhile and if no one was ever to comment or visit never mind - I am still creating a journal of memories that one day will treasured by my children and God willing future generations!


I would love to hear your comments! Thank you for stopping and smelling the chocolates with me!! Currently disabled anonymous comments due to spam attempts - thanks for understanding!

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