So far in this series to help you build a social media presence, I’ve hit on really technical stuff…both major and minor. And it probably feels like it doesn’t really have anything to do with social media. But if you have a website that you’re trying to promote on social media and you want a better social media presence, you really have to start the hard work at home…on your site. Ultimately anything you post on social media is to direct people to your site.Why do you blog? I get asked all the time. Do you have a ready answer? Click To Tweet
As I was looking through each day’s info and assignments, I just felt like I left a big gaping hole in the foundation of it all. So I’m revamping my plan a bit and tackling what is really the lifeblood of a blog.
So let’s talk about your “why.” And about how it’s the cornerstone of your blog. We kind of hit on it in the “Elevator Pitch” post, but it was like a little blip on the radar.
I often struggle to put words to this because I feel like I’m being pretentious or prideful. Or that the thing that feeds my fire will be completely discounted or misunderstood or marginalized. I’m learning this doesn’t just apply to my blog, though. Any time I am asked to articulate those thoughts and opinions that have huge meaning in my life, I fear that others won’t understand me, will lose respect for me, or that maybe I actually am wrong. And nobody wants to be wrong or have people think they are wrong.
Offering those fragile things we hold dear into the hands of others to be evaluated, measured and weighed is a nerve wracking experience, right? What if mine are found wanting? Will this all translate into something that interests others?
My “why” for Middle Places, a faith story-based multi-collaborator blog that I founded, edit and write at, still feels wispy and dainty and breakable, even though it’s three years old now. I wonder if it’s in part because so many people hold part of my dream as they write for that site. Without them, their different perspectives, writing styles, abilities and all they bring to the table, Middle Places couldn’t be what it is. But holding that many different voices and writing styles together to form a cohesive whole can be tricky at times. Especially when I say the word “CHANGE.”
If you asked me to lay out in words my why, it would be this…
I love women. I love how they can mobilize a home for Jesus, how they set the tone for their family, how strong they are when they need to be and how loving and generous they are in the spaces in between. I love that they are both soft and hard in all the right places and ways all at the same time without even realizing it.
I have a heart for women’s ministry, for seeing women united in purpose rather than divided by comparisons. I love to see women dream big wild dreams and then put on their thinking caps and figure out how to make them a reality. Middle Places has been and will continue to be a way to influence the few who have chosen to be a part of that tribe of women who feel those same longings and dreams.
I think I really knew all of that when I started that blog, although I couldn’t have verbalized it nearly as well at the time. Middle Places has never been about making money. (Any little bit it earns just goes to help pay hosting and upkeep costs.) It’s always been about finding common ground and community with other women, when I was struggling to find it in real life. I finally felt that I wasn’t alone in all my questions and struggles with my faith because of the connections I made through Middle Places.
As for this blog? I started it on a whim. There was no why, other than I figured out I enjoy blogging about things that have nothing to do with my faith or that aren’t story based. I love Bible Journaling, but it’s not a story, it’s just something I enjoy and keeps my fire glowing. I have a passion for parents to be educated about what their children are doing online and that needed a place to blossom and an audience to connect with. Somewhere along the way, as I realized I enjoyed the graphic design element of being a blogger and even designing and building the blogs themselves, I started researching and teaching myself and shared little tips along the way.
I didn’t have a why up front. I didn’t really have a clue who my tribe was, other than that it would probably be women around my age or younger because most of the people in their upper forties and older are really not that into technology. I went about it all in the “wrong” order. And yet for me that was perfect.
Stumbling into my why was a breath of fresh air, giving me freedom to pursue it and lay aside some of the other stuff…like that time I wrote about essential oils just to get the freebies. Sure I kept my voice and I liked the product, but I shouldn’t have wasted blog space on that. Any traffic it brought was just a one time dealio, no matter how much I like lavender oil. I learned from my mistakes and pressed on.
Sometimes a girl can start a blog and do every single blessed thing in exactly the right order and according to the formula for success and see immediate results.Sometimes she won’t. She may have a beautiful blog that she paid someone to create. She might create top-notch content and graphics and say and do all of the right things on social media. She may hustle and hustle and think no one notices or that it was all for nothing and not see one iota of difference. Her blog traffic won’t grow. Her page views are nearly non-existent.
But here’s the thing about a why…
Whether you have it when your start your blog or stumble into it a year later (people…it took me a YEAR to figure out my tagline and to identify my why!) your why is the reason you should be working and hustling. If even one person comes along and reads what you wrote, it is a gift, considering how many blogs are out there in the blogosphere.
Your why is what sustains you when your blog readership is still exactly the same as it was a year ago. For every success story, there are years of unnoticed hustle that precede the breakthrough. Don’t be in it for the glory. Just take the next step and do the next thing.
So don’t work through these daily assignments and think that at the end of the month you’ll have doubled your followers. Anything’s possible, but I’m not in the miracle business either. I make absolutely no guarantee. I just want to bust a few social media myths and help you connect to your followers in the best way possible. If you’ve got a message, whatever it is, I want to help you get it heard.
Work because you have found your “why.” Not for page views. For your why. And chances are, your why is a passion in your off-line life, too. If you stay focused on that, the hustle is a natural side effect.
Write down your “why.” Why do you blog? I’d love to hear it in the comments below!