Nurturing Your Blog in its Infancy

blog1So you’ve started a new blog. Good for you, and welcome as you join the other 250 million plus others of us putting our thoughts onto the web. This means of course, if we keep the number rounded, there are 28 people in this world of 7 billion who are personally yours to attract as readers for your very own.

Discouraging? I hope not; it wasn’t meant to be. In reality, your blog can be very rewarding both for you and your readers, but take it from one who has struggled at attracting lots of readership, don’t judge the value of your site by the number of people who stops by to see you in the early stages. It gets better with time and a little effort. Here are a few things that keep me blogging, and in time have produced a, while meager in relation to others, nice little group of followers, and hopefully will do the same for you.

Remember why you started your blog… often. For me, mine was started when we first moved to live on a horse ranch, also moving our church membership. Because I was no longer teaching and preparing lessons, I wanted to share bits of my studies somewhere, and this became the place. Keeping this in perspective allows me to look beyond the days of slow traffic.

Write, write, and then write some more. Here is something you must know; you will not start seeing significant and recurring readership without writing. Duh! Failure to post at a minimum of at least once a week is a guaranteed recipe for failure. This runs hand in hand with the next point though.

Don’t overwhelm your site. Everyone cannot be a Dr. Jim, and no one likes their email inbox flooded by one author. One to five posts per week will do you just fine, because:

Your content needs to be interesting, meaningful, engaging, and sometimes even provocative. Trying to produce quantity rather than quality may produce sporadic bursts of traffic but hopefully your intent is to create a returning readership that interacts with what you’ve provided. Determine early on how many posts you can reasonably produce that are worthy of someone’s time.

Admit you’re not the only blog-site on the block and that other writers have something meaningful to say also. How is the best way to do this? Visit other sites and interact with the author and other commenter’s. The reward of doing this is twofold. First, you’ll be encouraging another blogger. Second, if your comments are meaningful and engaging, you are almost assured of visits to see the content on your own site.

Put as much time in creating your title as you did the content of your post. This sounds absurd, right? The evidence is in though that it is the title that is one of the greatest attractors of visits and web searches. However, the title must be directly related to the content. Putting words in your title that have nothing to do with the content is eventually picked up on by search engines and you’ll find yourself dropped from their lists, considered spam. In short, be real.

Hang in there… readers are coming! There’s a gazillion other things you’ll learn about this blogging adventure as time goes on, such as it is a neat avenue of community activity. So, if you’ve recently begun to blog, leave us a link in the comments section so we can visit. And really, hang in there!

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Grace that Sees Beyond My Angry God

At the header of our meager offering of a blog-site rests the word ‘rest,’ …a couple of times. “Resting in His Grace” and “Finding the Rest Jesus Promised” serve as both title and sub-title here, and I must admit, I am glad the sub-title leaves room for improvement, suggesting I’m still in the hunt.

This has been a fantastic year of reading for me, having partook of some titles by authors that I’ve never never yet read, like Leo Tolstoy, Tullian Tchividjian, Scot McKnight, Chip Ingram, and of most recent, Steve McVey’s Beyond an Angry God.

BAAGI am moved that this latter author takes a moment to admit he too is still in the hunt, that his growth toward maturity in Christ is an ongoing unveiling, and that the revelation process often requires he acknowledge some things he believed in the past were skewed or insufficient, especially when describing the amazing grace afforded us in Christ Jesus.

If you happen to be beyond your last read and looking for another, I highly recommend this gem. It is well worth the few dollars.

The thing that I am learning about myself is that I have to constantly keep discovering the riches of life in Christ, for my natural tendency is to keep falling back on my own efforts, as if they were of some value; they are not! I love this interrogation by the author…

“What if obedience has nothing to do with conforming to demands on your external behavior?” What if obedience, at its core, is simple faith in the complete obedience of Jesus?”

Mr. McVey goes on to respond to these questions, “We have no trump card to play on the obedience of Jesus. We have the amazing offer to simply rest in what He has done.”

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Stonger Together

TC captures a cypress and pine growing together.

TC captures a cypress and pine growing together.

Tackling the duties of ranch work, my wife came across this interesting abnormality. I think it’s her way of hinting, “If you want to get yourself into your fellowship lessons, then you need to see and express true fellowship as demonstrated by these trees.”

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Blue Parakeets, Heretics, and Elephants who will not Leave the Room

Blue ParakeetThe traffic slows. The common crowd thins. Many of the visitors who do stop by steer clear of the like button, and certainly will refrain from commenting. It’s another parakeet post and the inference of their content goes against the grain of, well, I’m not sure what it goes against the grain of… Am I a heretic because I write about the traditional allowance of suggested gender devaluation?

If orthodoxy can be defined as right teaching, then surely it is profitable to want to have, know, and live with that right teaching, even if it stands against what is popular, or what is commonly taught.

Arianism, long ago, attracted a great following, so much so, that the divine-Jesus crowd would hold the minority status at one time, and yet these lesser refused to relinquish their quest for truth, to show the insistence of Scripture regarding the deity of the Christ.

This is not a challenge of that magnitude, but I think it is still important to discuss, for in the balance here lies the body’s ability to minister if in fact we restrain those gifted, with gender prejudices against God’s will.

The irritant stance of turning a blind eye suggests that the traditional roles of each gender is accepted by all and that there is no friction, but that just isn’t so. Take for example, a certain hero of modern evangelicalism has a daughter who makes some very moving points on this topic, Anne Graham Lotz’ article, “Women Like Me Are Abused Worldwide. Here’s Why.”

To shrug this conversation off as though it has no merit will only continue the festering of an age-old wound. Maybe, just maybe, there is something of value being shouted from the other side of the room.

So I make no apology for my leaving the blue parakeet freely flying from the confines of its cage… to soar about here on occasion.

Agreements and disagreements both are welcome, like or no like. I only wish that people will quit pretending that the elephant is not standing in the room.

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Ragamuffins Out and About; How Do I Handle My Failures?

“I made so many mistakes and such big mistakes. How do I handle my failures?”

I love this picture... so I stole it!

I love this picture… so I stole it!

Now that is a great question needing a great answer by a great many all of us! Christina Carter, guest-posting at Rhonda Ellis, Cultivating A Home Mentoring Hearts to Impact Homes for Christ, offers godly and motivating counsel for those desiring to get beyond life’s falls and failures with a transparent “it takes one to know one” heart.

You will also want to journey around the site while there as the penning author, Rhonda Ellis, brings her readers along the gardening trail of life with Jesus. All thumbs are up as we recommend this site to you.

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