How did your 2018 blogging adventure turn out? Personally, I have learned a lot since starting The Devotional Guy™ at the end of 2013 with my first post. Blogging (short for weblog, a term coined by Peter Merholz back in 1999) is as much about community as it is about individual writing. Developing my writing style and ability served as the initial impetus for starting my blog. But, having always had a love for communication, I quickly learned that a blog was a modern way to communicate with others. I spent about a decade working in radio back in the latter part of the last century before everybody had a personal computer in their lap and the dawn of the internet had occurred. In those days, radio was very much about communicating within a community, albeit generally a one-way conversation. Blogging offers us the opportunity to have a multi-channel conversation engaging several people simultaneously.
Growing a niche blog like The Devotional Guy™ certainly has proven to be more challenging than I think maintaining a more mainstream DIY or political blog would be. My research shows that the 5 most popular blog types are:
- Fashion Blogs
- Food Blogs
- Travel Blogs
- Music Blogs
- Lifestyle Blogs
I had contemplated doing a food or music blog when I first toyed with the idea of launching my blog. Naturally, over the years, I have posted about food and music. While The Devotional Guy™ remains primarily focused on my faith journey as a Christian living in 21st-Century America, I hope to include more foodie and audiophile posts in the future.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, over the years I have discovered that blogging is as much about community and conversation as it is writing. Perhaps, even more so. Yes, there are excellent storytellers on the worldwide web. There are several blogs that focus on storytelling. Stories certainly capture our hearts and minds. One of my recent favorites is called Red Dirt Memories.
All that to say, in studying what makes a precious few blogs standout in a sea flooded with WordPress themes and dotted with competing platforms, I have found that blogs that do the best job of engaging in conversations and building community thrive the most. For example, BeautyBeyondBones has a highly engaged community (IMHO). So does this blogger.
In the upcoming months, I’m going to share some of my favorite bloggers with you. I believe in the power of community. Part of being a good neighbor is taking time to visit other blogs, commenting, and liking other people’s blog posts (OPB), and following fellow bloggers, particularly those blogging about topics your blog addresses, but perhaps from a different perspective. Content sparks conversations. Conversations build community.
Warning! This may mean stepping out of your comfort zone.
How about you? What have you discovered over your blogging journey?
The Devotional Guy™
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Lyrics for “A Gift Beyond Human Reach” by Extol
Flawless and beautiful
By the desire of the Creator
The essence of life poured out in every being
Not by mere chance, but with a purpose
Shaped in the likeness of the Triune
Come into existence to love, to worship, to connect
Seeds come alive, a mystery hidden from man
In perfect balance, a perfect composition
Trusting eyes, sparks of life
Completely dependent, yet without fear
Surrendering to the father’s arms
Vitality provided from the source
Not bound by time and space
Destined to the eternal – not bound by time
Flawless and beautiful