“How to Write a Blog Post That Goes Viral”(and other lies we believe)

If I let myself, I could be swimming in a metaphoric pool of pinterest pins, each convincing me to do more and be more as a blogger and small business owner: “How I used Pinterest to get 10,000 new followers a month”, “10 Blogging Must-Know Tips that will Grow Your Blog” “How to make a Thousand Sales a Month”, you get the idea.

It’s really easy to feel insecure in this vast sea of bloggers and small business owners. The more I see of others’ work, the more I feel sucked into the whirlpool of  products, blogs, and artwork that fill the internet. In my search for ways to grow my blog and art business, I have found millions (I may or may not be exaggerating) of pins/posts/articles/podcasts telling bloggers and makers how to grow their following and expand their business. Many times I save posts like this because they have really useful tips about growing a blog and business. But a lot of times, they are schemes to get people to click on the link and buy a product. Either way, I wonder about the authenticity of the tips and tricks the writers of these articles are sharing.

I’m all about being authentic, and somehow these strategies to grow my blog and my business seems sort of phony. Like I’m trying to trick people into liking and following me. I’m not talking about general guidelines to improve the quality of your blog and products, I’m talking about all the pop-ups/ads/giveaways/promotions/eproducts disguised as free but that often come with strings attached.

It begs the question “why are we writing and creating in the first place”? Is it because we have a genuine message of truth and beauty or first and foremost because we want the popularity and the paycheck?

why-are-you-creating

Something is lost when blogging and business doesn’t come from a place of true inspiration with a genuine message to share. It can easily feel like click-bait to lure people to something they might not want or need. This is a fine line to walk when creating a blog or business, because you want viewers and customers, but art (in any form) should come from a place of truth, not just a certain formula.

There is a certain point at which we should be thinking of our audience: How can we help them? How do they need to be ministered to? Is our message clear? But if we are only thinking about what people want to hear, we lose what we actually have to say. I know I have a lot to learn in this crazy journey of blogging and starting an art business, but one thing I don’t want is to lose myself in order to attract a larger audience.

This Podcast by Young House Love  speaks so honestly to this point. John and Sherry talk about what they learned by blogging as a full time job and how they became burned out because they were more concerned about pleasing their audience than doing it for the love of the work. Worth a listen!

I also loved this insightful podcast by the Hope*Writers that gives clarity to the ideas of why we create; beyond the glitz and glamour of a pretty perfect blog and for the message we have to give the world.

Is everyone going to love what we have to offer? Of course not, but when we do it for them more than for the message itself and the words that God has given us to share, we risk losing what we had to share in the first place. Be faithful in the telling of the truth you have to give and let God use it for His glory.

 

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About birdsandberry

Etsy Seller, Art Enthusiast, Blogger, Jesus Lover, Teacher
Image | This entry was posted in Seeing God in all of Life, The Creative Life, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to “How to Write a Blog Post That Goes Viral”(and other lies we believe)

  1. Lisa says:

    Great post, Anne! I have struggled with this so much! It is easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and forget your own purpose in the first place! The Lord opened my eyes to this and I am so grateful. I am not saying I do not catch a glimpse of that shining trinket but I am listening. Thank you for your encouragement in this area of blogging! Your neighbor today @ Moments of Hope!

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  2. Nicole Kauffman says:

    This is so encouraging! You’re right, it is so easy to get caught up in what the audience wants and to forget the beauty of the art. Thank you for reminding us to focus on our message and to stay faithful to working for God’s glory.

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    • It’s definitely easy to get caught up in attracting a larger audience, isn’t it? And that’s not always a bad thing. But like you said, the beauty of the art and God’s glory are better things to aspire to. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Heather says:

    Yes! I’ve been overwhelmed by a lot of the same “helpful” posts too! If we don’t do what we do out of a love for God and where He’s leading first and foremost, then it really is all in vain. I’m eager to click around on your site some more– your nest, eggs and bird drawings have drawn me in! ♥ So happy to meet you today Anne!

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  4. kghocke says:

    Amen Anne! I find this true in my worn life as well. It’s so freeing to be grounded in truth and yet so easy to be uprooted by trying to please others or losing sight of the goal at hand.

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  5. I agree – there is a lot out there telling us to pursue the bigger and better. In my own writing, I know that if it becomes a chore or obligation, it is rarely spirit lead and it loses all the joy. While I love to know I’m reaching readers, I do my part to write and trust God to deliver the words the the one heart that needs them. Visiting you today from #coffeeforyourheart.

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  6. Nicole M says:

    The creativity of blogging and doing something that I love for the Glory of God is unbelievable. God is so good to let us have a small, insignificant part in His work. My prayer is that I don’t turn it into something for self-gratification or self-glory. It’s incredibly difficult to walk that line. I want others to visit my site for to get the gospel, encouragement and ideas, but at the same time- I don’t want to push and shove or compromise to get that to happen. But I have to say, I have really enjoyed networking and learning from others, and the ladies that I’ve met so far have been a tremendous blessing to me. Thank you for this post. I am so glad that I read it so early on in my blogging adventures. It’s honest and helpful, and very encouraging. {1 Timothy 6:8}

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  7. Wendy says:

    This is an important concept for us to keep first and foremost in our minds. I have to remind myself of this all. the. time. It is so easy to see the success others are having and feel the need to duplicate it. Then it’s time for the conversation with myself again: “WHY are you writing/creating/putting yourself out there?? Slow down, relax, and enjoy what you’re doing.” Great post, Anne!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Anne,
    It’s true. It’s a very narrow line to walk in the niche of Christian blogging. That’s why I think it is so important to have your “why” and your mission statement handy at all times to maintain intentionality in staying true to God’s call! We need to adopt best practices and strategies so that our words of hope shine through the online noisy world, however it cannot become a measure to increase ourselves more than we increase Him! Thanks for this thoughtful post. I know it will minister to the hearts of other bloggers trying to figure out this and journey! And thanks so much for joining me at #MomentsofHope!

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    • Lori, I like the idea of a “why” and a mission statement. I’ll have to put that into writing for myself some time. And you’re right, I far too often make it about increasing me, instead of increasing Him. Thanks for the awesome points!

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  9. Lois Flowers says:

    This was so refreshing to read, Anne. I personally dislike popups and “freebies” and the like, and I don’t want to put stuff on my blog that sort of annoys me on other people’s blogs! Is it hampering the growth of my blog? Probably. But I’m with you … I want to provide useful or encouraging content, but I don’t want to lose myself in order to gain a larger audience. What attracts me to a blog–any blog–is the writing. In fact, my favorite blogs are pretty basic–not a lot of bells and whistles, but writing that draws me in and touches my heart. I’m so glad our paths crossed this week!

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    • Thanks for stopping by! I totally agree with you. It’s hard to want to grow as a blogger but also to not lose yourself in the promotional aspects of it. It’s been an interesting journey for me as a new blogger to figure out where to draw those lines. Thanks for the insights and encouragement!

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