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

 

5 of My All-Time Favorite “The Devotional Guy™” Posts

As 2018 winds down and reaches an inevitable end, making way for 2019, I feel a little nostalgic. Five years ago, I published my first post on The Devotional Guy™  back in December of 2013. I was working at our home church (Trinity Bible Richardson) back then as the Church Administrator.  

For me and Sweet T, the last half of 2013 proved to be one of the most difficult seasons of our lives, beginning with the tragic loss of a friend and her daughter who were both dear to us, and ending with the unspeakable death of our niece. Looking back at that those days now, it seems like the somber weight of those days is just now finally lifting. That’s not to say that the past five years have been all gloomy and dark. No, not at all. To the contrary, there have been some magnificent highlights and joyous mountaintop moments these past several years. We’ve just navigated a lot of storms in between. 

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Here we are–five years later. Truth be told, there have been times when I’ve thought about ditching this blog and just calling it quits. I marvel at fellow bloggers who have huge audiences, some with over 10K regular followers. There are even a few of my blogging friends who have numbers 3 to 4 times that size. WOW. Mind-boggling. Who says blogging is dead? Growing and nurturing my audience hasn’t been easy. Growing a blog takes real effort. Especially when you’re developing a niche Christian blog. But all in God’s perfect timing, right? 

The best posts seem to be the most personal. As I’ve taken a look back in the mirror, I identified 5 of my posts that I really love and to me have stood the test of time. Here they are:

The Next Stop

Topsy Turvy

6,940 Days

3 Things Pastor Mark  Jones Taught Me

From Sunday morning, December 29, 2013

As I look forward to 2019, I am hopeful about what God will do with this blog. I’m grateful for what He has done and continues to do. I’ve experienced firsthand the life-changing impact this blog has had on individuals. People whose lives are different today because of something I wrote in response to that inner inkling urging me to press on. I’m grateful to all of you who stop by faithfully to read, engage, and comment. Continue to share The Devotional Guy™ with your family and friends.  

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

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Thanks to the artists, photographers, and creatives at Pixabay. com for sharing their images freely with the world for us to use.

Evening Prayer 15 | Gratitude

It’s pre-Friday and the weekend is within reach. As you get ready to call it a night, what are you grateful for as you look back at the last few days? 

Being thankful for those things that go right in our life help us deal with the things that go a little haywire. We all have things happen that don’t please us or go our way. We can spend all our energy on them or we can shift our focus to what’s gone right in our life. 

Not sure what you are grateful for in your life? 

Grab a notepad and a pen. Sit down and list a couple of things. Maybe it was the morning coffee you enjoyed seemingly a century ago. It doesn’t have to be anything big or complicated. Keep it simple.

Notepad and pen to archaic for you? Fine. There are plenty of note-taking apps that you can download on your smartphone. Choose one and list the things that make you grateful. People? Pets? A promotion? Cleaning out that cabinet drawer that’s been begging you to organize it? 

You woke up today. You have a roof over your head, food to eat, and coffee to drink. You showered with clean water and slept in a warm bed. You have people you love in your life who love you back. You drove to work today in your own car. You earned money. You have money to pay bills. 

Evening Prayer_Gratitude

There are lots to give thanks to God for…

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your love, watch-care, and provision. You are so good to me. I am thankful for the love in my life and the roof over my head. Thank you for loving me and taking care of me. Amen.

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

If you are enjoying these morning and evening prayers, please let me know in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you!