Bloggers Unite! | Exploring Content, Sparking Conversations, and Building Community

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:

  1. Fashion Blogs
  2. Food Blogs
  3. Travel Blogs
  4. Music Blogs
  5. 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.

Blogging_The Devotional Guy™

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?

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

Love this Post? Please leave your comments and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. 

Lyrics for “A Gift Beyond Human Reach” by Extol

Incomprehensible, captivating

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

Incomprehensible, captivating

Flawless and beautiful

 

Christmas is Almost Here…!

It’s finally time for another edition of My Monday Morning Cup. Ok, you’re right. It’s really more like Monday Afternoon Cup, but hey I got busy with some other stuff this morning. And I’m drinking decaf. Does that even count???

Christmas Day will be here a week from tomorrow. That means 2018 is about over and done. Wow. Let that sink in for a moment. What are you most grateful for as you look back at this past year? Maybe you are one of those folks who doesn’t take time to reminisce but squarely sets your sights forward. If that’s the case, what great things are you anticipating will come your way in 2019?

My Monday AM Cup

I roll off the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of Texas in a few days. I’m looking forward to spending some more focused time writing. I’m targeting finishing my devotional book in the next couple of months. I call it a devotional book although it won’t really be a traditional devotional. It’s more of a spiritual formation book—one of my favorite undergrad classes taught by Dr. Jan Daehnert during my time at DBU.

A few months ago, we landed on a new worship leader at church and I’m looking forward to what God will do through our worship team. I’m also looking forward to building my skills as a player.

In a few days, I’ll start a new gig which I hope to tell you more about in the days and weeks ahead. So I’m grateful for God granting me a new work opportunity and excited to see what the Lord does through this new chapter of my God-story.

Sweet T and I celebrated 10 years of matrimony this last October. I’m certainly grateful for that and I’m definitely thankful for her. I’m blessed to have her as a partner in this journey. We first met 18 years ago, after surviving Y2K. Remember Y2K?

I’m always grateful for family and lifelong friends, many of whom I’ve been able to reconnect with this past year, thanks to social media. Helping people connect is one of the cooler aspects of technology.

That’s just my list. What about you? Care to share what you’re grateful for in 2018 as you look ahead to 2019?  I’d love it if you would.

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™