We bloggers are obviously here to become echoers of God’s glory, not our own. Yet there are still valid reasons to seek a larger audience.
I have two previous posts (here and here) in what has now become a series on this subject – just the best things I’ve found have helped me. I’m no expert – just speaking out of experience. Here’s 5 more.
11. Don’t like your own posts.
12. Respond to every comment.
They’ve taken the time to comment on your site. Reward their time by responding! It’s accepted WordPress etiquette and it helps boost the likelihood that they’ll return, because they feel appreciated and seen. I know that on some days, all I have the energy for is a quick “thanks for coming by”. I try to mix it up, but sometimes that’s all I can muster. I do it anyway. I hope you all know that it’s still sincere.
13. Don’t get gimmicky with your formatting.
Some people, perhaps in an effort to put their individual stamp with their blogs, get gimmicky with their with your formatting. I know of a few blogs that love tiny, italic writing with double spaces. I appreciate putting your own personality into your writing, but that style is so hard to read. The more someone has to squint and follow in order to read, the less likely they’ll stay to read more. Go for a style that (again) rewards readers by letting their eyes follow naturally and effortlessly across the paragraphs.
Other things that might prove more roadblock than flourish is an overuse of ellipses (…), or using ALL CAPS. Seriously, I can’t read all caps. Think of the bloggers you respect, like John Piper. Do they use all caps? I’ve almost never seen them do that. Instead, they use calm, proper grammar, and we subconsciously see it as mature writing. Go for that.
14. Tell stories
This is something I want to work on more.
You know when you’re trudging through a somewhat dense nonfiction book, and the author throws in a story to illustrate a point they’ve just made, and something in you sits up and engages closer with the page? That’s the part within the human soul that enjoys a story. It gets people to read, and it drives home a point.
Try to use personal stories as illustrations of a spiritual lesson. Start your post with that story, because that way, it’ll be the first snippet people see from the WordPress Reader or Facebook link or whatever. I posted something with a very relatable (and humbling) story recently and I got a huge burst of traffic that morning.
15. When you lose followers or get criticized, consider it an opportunity for sanctification.
You’ll lose people. You’ll get criticized. It’s inevitable. Don’t get into this game and expect 100% approval. In fact, the more approval you’re receiving, the safer you’re probably playing it. (That applies to me as well as to anyone.)
When it happens, don’t melt down. See it as a “heart check”. Nothing reveals our deepest motives better than failures, or their cousins Criticism and Abandonment. Sure, losing a few followers isn’t the worst kind of Abandonment, but it still stings a little. It’ll give you a good chance to see whether you’re doing this for your own visibility and praise, or whether you’re doing it for God’s glory.
Hope this helps you become a more followed blogger! I figure I’ve got one last post in this series in me, so stay tuned. Thanks as always for your followership.