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Jan 22, 2015

Why We Do What We Do



i was reading this post the other day from the blog maven and found these words that just resonated with my soul:
"a lot of blogs were born this year…and a lot of them died.
people showed up every morning, coffee in hand, to battle the blank screen in front of them and write words that would matter.
they brainstormed post ideas, braved the sea of social media, wrote till their fingers bled (proverbially, of course) –
but they listened to all the voices that said they were only worth as much as their page views.
and so they raced and toiled, churning out three posts per week, neglecting their families and their lives, just so they could bow to the almighty page view in hopes that a big brand would want to sponsor them, or so more of their readers would click on ads, and somehow it would all be worth it.
people started with passion for spreading their message, but ended up frustrated and tired."
if i'm being honest with you, i'm looking at 2015 with a sense of already feeling exhausted.  the holiday season is an intensely busy one at work for me and i struggled to keep up with blogging for the past few weeks.  i'm just finally getting back into the groove of things and feel like i'm hitting my stride again.  

the pace of our culture tells us that we constantly have to be churning out new content, because everyone else is and we need to keep up.  and while i love and am proud of having a consistent blogging schedule, 5-6 days each week, i can so easily fall into the trap of feeling like a "bad blogger" when i miss a day or don't have my post ready to go the night before and scheduled to post the next morning. 

does it feel great to see your page views climbing, or to land a few sponsored posts now and then?  sure.  i would love to see this blog create enough of an income someday that i could give it my full-time attention, and that's not going to happen if my stats stop growing. 

but here's the thing:  if we're just blogging for the page views or for the money (because we all know that the money isn't easy to get and is certainly not guaranteed in this profession), then we're missing the point.  and if our blogs ever take precedence over the life right in front of us, then, girls, let's shut. it. down.  

i heard a podcast from last year's influence conference where one of the speakers talked about how what matters isn't our page views.  what matters is how well we love people and what we did to use our influence to further the kingdom of god.  

and if you ever come to my blog and don't leave with a sense of what i'm all about...that my purpose in everything i do should be to glorify god and to shine his light, then i've missed the point.  is every post on this blog a devotion or even mention god?  no.  but i hope that the love of christ reflects in the way i approach every topic and respond to every comment.  i hope that when you come here, you get a sense that you're welcome to come and stay and enter into conversation.  that your opinion and your story is valued and that i really, truly do desire to connect with you.  

i've been doing this blog thing for five and a half years.  this space has changed and morphed and grown a lot in that time, and i've made mistakes and spent a lot of time trying to find my voice and figure out what my online life should look like.  this world isn't always kind and it isn't always easy or supportive.  but if there's anything i've learned about blogging in the past five years, it's that you need to figure out what your purpose is, and then let that dictate everything you write.  and when you feel discouraged because you had a bad month or lost a few followers and you think you might want to quit, then give yourself grace, but remember that purpose.  because whatever it is for you, that purpose is worth so much more than the statistics.

51 comments:

  1. Yes! This has been on my mind a lot because I feel pressured to post everyday, but just can't keep up the quality if I do that! When I get stressed or overwhelmed with blogging, I always think of the real reasons why I am doing it, and why I love it. And then I don't worry so much about something I "should" be doing for my blog.

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  2. AMEN! SO many things in here I could quote word for word and shout from the rooftops. Such a great post and so encouraging!

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  3. Perfect! I totally agree with everything you said! I've been pulling away from a lot of social media lately because I feel like it monopolizes too much of my time, but I certainly don't want to just replace that with spending all of my time on the blog and not really living! I'm trying to strike a balance between being consistent and engaging on the blog but still having a life offline and enjoying those moments! I definitely, above all, want my blogging to glorify God and point to Him, so good to be reminded why I do this!

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  4. Thank you thank you thank you for this post! I love my little space but there are days when I am exhausted or life has simply drained the creativity out of me. I suffer from the bad blogger guilt when miss a day (like yesterday lol). But it is so true that we have to remember why we are doing it in the first place.

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  5. Thank you Betsy, just what I needed to hear after a slight family emergency filled up last night and I was "upset" that I couldn't get a new post scheduled for today. When it is written out it seems foolish but our passion and love for blogging can sometimes override what is best and healthiest for us in all aspects of life. Love you, friend!

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  6. Yes. That is exactly where I'm at. And I'm probably even so far to the point where I don't have a vision for my blog to ever make money but I still love it. I do feel like there is such pressure from our culture. And I'm over it!

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  7. It's interesting how I read this right after checking my stats this morning, for the third time. It's definitely an unhealthy addiction, even after 3.5 years of doing this. You're right though, it's not abou the page views, it's about creating community and sharing happiness and ideas and struggles with the people around us. This was an awesome post, nice work.

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  8. I've been feeling 100% the same way. TY for this today Betsy.

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  9. I love this! So inspiring and exactly what I needed to hear today. It was a perfect reminder of why I started my blog in the first place and may have even given me that extra push to get out of my holiday/post holiday rut I've been stuck in!

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  10. Love this! Perfect reminders of balance!

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  11. that opening passage really spoke to me as well. thanks for sharing!

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  12. Gosh, I'm so glad you shared this, Betsy. This is so true, and a reminder I need every now and then. (Saving this for the "then"!)

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  13. LOOOOOVE this post Betsy!!! love it!

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  14. This is so true! I was reminded of this earlier today listening to a Podcast on The Blog Maven and again reading this post. It is nice to be reminded of this factor of blogging every so often cause in the midst of things it can be forgotten.

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  15. It is always such a hard balance between writing for yourself, but also wanting to see growth of any kind

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  16. I love everything that you said here... You are right. Blogging is not about page views. It is nice for a reader to visit our blog and see what message we are trying to convey and that we are doing this all for the glory of God.. More power to you..

    http://littlemisshoney.com

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  17. Yes, yes, yes!! There are times I fall into the blogging trap. God reminds me that my blog isn't for me, it is for Him. I have to stop looking to me and trust Him that the people He wants to read my blog are being led to do so. Oh man, it can be so hard to remember! Thank you for so gracefully reminding us. Have a great weekend with your honey! :)

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  18. Wow! Loved this..and just for the record. Every time I come here and read your post I am encouraged in some way or anther. You are definitely on the right track. Thanks for being so open and honest. I love that about you! :)

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  19. Wow, what an eye opener. As a blogger, you should know your general brand. Are you travel? food? beauty and fashion? or more personal and lifestyle. I don't blog for money but I am open for it. My blog is something like a online journal. The income will just be a bonus.


    chestervizconde.com

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  20. Thank you so much for this post. It helped me alot. I have been trying to keep on schedule, but hey, life happens. I hope with practice it will be easier and more free flowing, but for now, thank you for the uplifting words.
    VintageBeckyM

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  21. I'm so glad you found encouragement through it! You're right, life happens (and that's ok!)...it's good to have an editorial calendar or schedule, but it should never rule our lives

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  22. I totally hear you! A brand is really important! It's always evident when a blogger isn't being true to themselves

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  23. Awe thanks Faith! I so appreciate your kind words!!

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  24. Oh my gosh, I totally hear you! I fall into that trap way too often! It's so grounding to remember that God will lead people to my blog as He sees fit!

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  25. Thank you! It's so easy to forget that it's not about the page views!

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  26. You're so right...it's SO hard to balance those two things! Growth is good! But it shouldn't come at the cost of being true to ourselves

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  27. That's such an important thing to do - to take a step back! It's definitely good to see growth, and to advertise and do things that will put your blog in front of more eyes! But it should never come at the cost of being who God made you to be, even in the blog world!

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  28. The Blog Maven is so good! And these points are such important ones to keep in mind from time to time!

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  29. Awe, thanks Em! I know, I need to bookmark my own post for "then" as well!

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  30. Thanks Britt! So glad you stopped by!

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  31. Awe, I'm so glad you connected with it Bree! I have totally been stuck in one of those ruts too...for some reason I just had the hardest time getting back into the swing of things after Christmas this year!

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  32. Isn't that just a great quote?! I love that post!

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  33. Ugh....story of my life! Why am I such a slave to my stats?! I need to break that habit as well....I can remind myself (and I really do believe) that it's not about the pageviews, but it is so addicting to check on them!

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  34. That's such a good place to be....to be past the pressure from culture and just blog because you love it!

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  35. So well said Laura! It's never a good thing when our blogging lives overtake our flesh & blood lives! This space is important, but never more important that family!

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  36. I wish I knew how to just shake that blogger guilt! If you find the secret, let me know! haha

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  37. Thanks Julia! Amen...balance is hard to find, but so worth putting the effort into achieving it!

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  38. So true! Quality can certainly suffer if you're giving into the pressure to post everyday and not able to spend the time creating good content. It's a balance, but one that is so important to find!

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  39. So glad to hear that your passion drives your blog! That passion definitely comes through in your writing, which is why those posts end up being popular!!

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  40. I like to blame the engineer in me. I like data analytics :)

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