Blog Talk

JJ has a really nice discussion going on about “Blog Rolling” that is about how one decides who gets added to your blogroll.

Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox is doing a short Christian Blogger Survey. The deadline is January 31st if you want to participate.

Andrew Jones (aka Tallskinnykiwi) always has good stuff on blogging including “Beware the Blogosphere: Here Be Dragons!”

About three weeks ago I added the Snap preview tool to the blog. I like it and it seems to be spreading. What it does is pop-up a preview window of a blog or website when you place your cursor over any link. Check it out here.

Finally, here is a pre-meltdown post I did back in November on the “weighty” question of successful blogging.

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Don’t ask me why, but the other day I got to thinking about what makes a successful blog. This isn’t the type of stuff I usually let linger, but this time I did. Must have needed a distraction.

As usual with such “weighty questions,” I did a Google search, this time on “successful blog.” It took Google 0.11 seconds to return 611,000 results.

Almost all the initial entries contained tips and recommendations on how to get people to read your blog. It was good stuff, but for them, success is about unique visitors and page views. That’s not my measure success, so I figured I must be asking the wrong question.

New question: How do I evaluate whether my blogging is successful?

I usually evaluate things like this by asking yes/no questions. As long as I can answer the questions with a yes, I keep moving forward. Once “no” answers begin to appear, it becomes time to reevaluate the enterprise.

Here is the set of questions I just created to help answer my new question. Maybe they will help you also.

  • Do I believe I have something worthwhile to contribute or say?
  • Do I enjoy the creative process of writing and posting blog entries?
  • Do ideas for new blog posts come easily?
  • Do I look forward to the dialog with those who comment?
  • Am I growing the network of people I can easily send an email to ask a question or discuss a topic?
  • Am I learning from others as they respond to the my posts and the comments of others?
  • Does the process of writing blog entries and the interaction with those who read the blog drive me to the Word for my understanding?
  • Does the Father seem to use the blog posts to encourage and challenge others without creating condemnation?
  • Do I write blog entries in such a way that his name would not be dishonored?
  • Do I keep the time required to blog in proper balance with my other life joys and duties?
  • Do I consider blog journaling an important part of my spiritual journey?
  • Am I able to openly share my own faith journey?

What do you think? Got any suggestions, corrections, additions or comments?

14 Responses to “Blog Talk”

  1. Paul says:

    i think… that is a great list. So much better to value centred and to be honest in the whole blogging thang rather than bashing someone/thing to make that visitor counter fly. So I wonder if an additional Q is… if no one came to my blog would i still write it?

    Thanks Rick, inspiring as ever!

  2. Rick Meigs says:

    Paul, that really is a good question. I think I would, at least for a while, because blogging does help one to formulate and express thought, as well as act as a journal.

  3. Shannon says:

    I would agree those are all great questions to consider when blogging. I would definitely keep blogging in the absence of any readers coming to my blog. Heck, I’m just about doing that now. ;=)

    For me, when I started blogging it was more for my benefit anyway. I wanted to journal what was happening in my life, family, ministry at any given time.

  4. ron says:

    Hi Rick, like the others, thanks for the great questions…I would think if I’m answering them, I would say it’s a success. I too think I would still blog if no one left comments. Not having the conversations would certainly be a bummer, but for me it’s as much a personal journey of searching, and sharing what I find…hoping it will be of some interest to others.

  5. John Lunt says:

    Shannon

    Don’t give up. I was about to give up. Had done my final post and it actually got picked up by folks, now people are coming from all over. I don’t know how long you’ve been blogging, but I had been blogging 9-10 months with very few people reading it before something began to happen.

  6. Rick Meigs says:

    Agreed. If we are blogging to get comments and traffic, we may be missing the point. Still, comments that lead to a good dialog sure can be rewarding.

    If one wants more traffic and comments, you do have to get out and visit other blogs (and comment on them). How else are we to find you among the 55 million blogs Technorati claims to exist.

  7. John Smulo says:

    Rick,

    Great list. It’s a very helpful and healthy way looking at “success”.

    I definitely agree with what you said to Shannon about the need to visit and comment on other blogs for people to get to know you. I’ve found lots of great blogs this way, and also by people linking to me.

  8. Rick Meigs says:

    Thanks JJ.

    I too have found lots of super blogs as a result of the blogger leaving a comment here or on some other blog.

  9. Paul Walker says:

    Well, I started blogging during a Sabbatical – I thought it would be a bit easier than writing a journal with a pen! I doubt that I had even a single visitor during that period (it was a basic Blogger thing), and frankly did not expect or particularly want any.

    When I decided to carry on I suppose I felt rather flattered when a few people stopped by and a few comments started to appear – traffic is now gradually increasing.

    I try not to get too fussed over visitor numbers. There is – I think – a kind of ‘critical mass’ when there are enough people coming by to make it worthwhile spending time on it. Anything beyond that is a bonus, really…

  10. Rick Meigs says:

    Paul: As a strong kinetic learner, my purpose was to create a tool that would allow me to practice putting down thoughts and ideas in written form. Like you, blogging seems more appealing than pen and paper.

    I also took up blogging without regard to whether I would get any comments or traffic. In fact, I will actually admit that I had a certain fear about getting those first comments. I just knew I was the “odd person out” and the commenter would surely reject, ridicule and deride my thoughts. What a wonderful surprise to find so many kindred spirits who agree or are so gracious in their disagreement.

  11. o2thoughtful says:

    Rick, great post. I started blogging to just write about my life, and through it have discovered a bunch of people with passions close to my own and people who constantly make me think. I write what I think, because I love to write.

    Thanks for the “snap” heads up – i saw this somewhere else today and so it’s now on the blog, thanks again.

  12. Rick Meigs says:

    Hey o2thoughtful one, I wish I “loved” to write, but I’m learning to be better at it.

  13. Adam G. says:

    Guess I’m bad. I measure success by whether I’m enjoying my blog or not, and whether or not I’m working out my thoughts effectively.

  14. Rick Meigs says:

    Enjoying the blog sounds like a pretty good measure to me Adam. Keep up the good work I and pray you will continue to enjoy it!