I’m not spiritual enough to start a Christian blog.
This is exactly what I told myself when I started thinking about launching this blog at the beginning of 2018.
But, I knew that it was something God placed on my heart. So, I started the journey anyway, despite my lack of confidence.
After my extensive (Google) research on starting a blog, I couldn’t wait to just start writing.
A Christian Lifestyle Blog?
I knew that The Thriving Lady was going to be a lifestyle blog, that nebulous phrase often used to describe blogs that explore multiple topics.
I enjoy reading lifestyle blogs and knew I had a lot to contribute to that niche. But, I also felt God urging me to create content targeted toward Christian women.
I wasn’t sure where to start. I honestly didn’t know how to address topics such as finance, career, mental health, and wellness from a Christian perspective.
I searched the Internet for inspiration, looking for other faith blogs that explored these topics.
I found many amazing Christian blogs, but none that spoke to Christian women about those specific topics on my heart.
I was sure I must have misunderstood God’s leading. I figured, if others aren’t doing this why should I?
How was I supposed to merge everyday life stuff into spreading His message?
Then, it dawned on me. How can I NOT talk about Him when talking about everyday life?
I love what the writer of Psalms says about this:
O Lord, you examine me and know. You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives.
You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest; you are aware of everything I do.
Certainly my tongue does not frame a word without you, O Lord, being thoroughly aware of it.
You squeeze me in from behind and in front; you place your hand on me.
Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension; it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it.
Where can I go to escape your spirit? Where can I flee to escape your presence?Psalms 139: 1-7
I am certain now that the Holy Spirit was leading me to speak to Christian women, empowering them to live out their God-given purpose, while dealing with common life issues along the way.
I am now a year into blogging, and I’m constantly checking myself to make sure I am following His leading.
How about you? Are you checking in with God on your faith blogging journey?
If you are starting or growing a Christian blog, here are 5 questions to ask yourself along the way.
Question # 1 What Motivates You?
What motivates you to create content for your blog?
Is it comments from readers saying how much your post has resonated with them?
Or, maybe a subscriber sent you an email, sharing how your blog is helping them overcome an obstacle.
Perhaps you made your first sale from the course you spent months creating.
Now, consider how you would feel if you rarely experienced any of these things. Or, if they didn’t happen when you thought they would.
You spend days writing all about how a missions trip changed your life, and no one comments.
Maybe someone unsubscribes from your list after opening your weekly newsletter including a rare affiliate promotion.
Or, you finally create that debt-free living course you’ve been working on for months, only to have 2 people purchase it.
Do you quit?
Ask God why He placed this desire in your heart if it’s not helping anyone?
You are human. It is natural to want people to show appreciation by engaging with you or purchasing your products. But, if your motives are in the wrong place, you are more likely to give up.
The truth is that people won’t always respond to your content, or buy the products you create. Sometimes it won’t resonate with them or fulfill a need they have.
This is to be expected. Take it as an opportunity to learn more about your audience.
Are you creating content and products that they need? Or, are you writing about what you think they want to read?
Also know that what you are creating now may take months, maybe even years, for people to discover it.
The thing about the Internet is that content lives on indefinitely and will reach the right people at the right time.
Question # 2 Does Your Blog Align With Your Values?
As a Christian, you believe in Jesus Christ. That His death and resurrection brought restoration and redemption, allowing us to have a personal relationship with God.
But, what are your values?
Values are the principles that govern your behavior. The standards that you live by on a day-to-day basis.
My values stem from my belief in God. They govern my behavior at work, in my relationships, and regarding the content I share on this blog.
A few of my personal values:
- Giving to my local church through the tithe is a non-negotiable
- My time is more valuable than money
- I choose quality over quantity when it comes to material things
This means that I will never encourage anyone to stop tithing while paying off debt.
I’ll also avoid giving career advice encouraging someone to accept a job that threatens their work-life balance.
And, I’ll never promote a product or service that I have not used or whose quality is questionable. Even if promoting it will make me a lot of money.
How about you? How does your blog’s content reflect your values?
Evaluate any areas in your blogging where you may be unintentionally (or intentionally) going against your values.
Question # 3 Is Your Integrity At Stake?
Integrity is important in all areas of life. Your work, relationships, and your career.
It is definitely important when you are creating a faith-based platform such as a blog. Especially if your goal is to earn income from the blog.
There is no shortage of systems and tactics offered to bloggers on how to grow their blogging income.
Some offer actionable tips and actually work well…if you do the work. Others over-promise and under-deliver, leaving you feeling icky in the process.
I advise you to seek God’s guidance when considering which monetization method is best for you. Most importantly, never place money over doing the right thing or being honest.
So, how do you grow your blogging business while maintaining your integrity?
- Provide meaningful, high-quality content geared toward helping your audience
- Take a genuine interest in your readers’ needs by communicating with them regularly
- Create thoughtful, useful products and services that offer value to your customers
- Pray constantly, that your motives are in the right place, asking Him to reveal anything you’re doing (or considering) that may harm your integrity
- Trust that God will provide the right opportunities for your business to grow, at the right pace and the right time
Question # 4 Is Your Blog Becoming An Idol?
I wake up early almost every morning, between 5:30 and 6 am.
This early start to my day allows me to spend time with God and ensures a smooth morning routine and a productive start to my day.
Since I started blogging, daily writing has been one of my most important early morning tasks. I find that I am most alert and creative in the morning, as opposed to later in the day after work, when my brain is exhausted.
Within a few months of blogging, I developed a habit of checking my blog in the morning before doing anything else. I’m not sure what I expected to find. Was I just making sure it was still…there??
I’d also check my email service provider to see if I had any new subscribers. While at it, I checked Facebook and Instagram, too, you know…just in case I missed something.
Before I knew it, my entire morning routine (other than making coffee!) consisted of checking the blog.
Studying the bible became more of an option than a priority. I’d feel unprepared to start my actual job because I didn’t take time to prepare myself for the day, spiritually and otherwise.
For you must not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a Jealous God.Exodus 34:14
I get it! You are passionate about creating something amazing, blessed by God, that will change lives. But, is that passion becoming an obsession? If so, something has to give.
Here’s how to ensure your blog doesn’t become an idol:
- Pray! Pray to God everyday that your blog is not filling a void that only He can fill.
- Create a blogging workflow and follow it at scheduled times during the day. Set a cut off time!
- Find a blogging partner who will hold you accountable for good blog-life balance!
- Continuing participating in other activities you enjoyed before starting the blog: exercise, social life, etc.
Question# 5 Is Your Blog Popular Or Influential?
Now, I know this may come down to semantics, but I do think there is a difference between having a popular blog and an influential blog.
But, wait! Just because there’s is a difference, doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Or does it? You tell me.
Here’s a look at the definitions of the two terms: popular and influential, according to Merriam-Webster:
Start by reading the brief definition for each word while thinking about your blog.
Don’t compare the two words yet. Just read each one individually. Try not to over think it; take a few seconds to make a quick assessment of which definitions describe your blog.
At first glance, the obvious preference is for an influential blog. I think most people would agree with that. I would. Who wouldn’t want to affect and impact their readers?
But I also think it is important to check your motives (see above).
If you’re more concerned about being influential for your own gain instead of others’, does your influence really matter?
Looking at the popular definition, I can definitely say that I would love for people to frequently encounter my blog, wouldn’t you?? We all know how important traffic is for your blog!
But, if my blog’s content isn’t in alignment with the word of God, do I really want it to be popular?
I believe that a good blog has qualities that are both popular and influential, as long as the blogger is motivated by the right thing, knows her values, and doesn’t compromise her integrity.
See what I did there?