13 Things I Learned In My First Year Of Blogging
I can’t stop saying THANK YOU enough. I am so blessed by the interest, love, support and encouragement of www.ThatSundaySchoolGirl.com! Ephesians 3:20 is surely true. He is able to do above anything that we could ask of think! Looking back I am humbled and grateful for what HE has allowed me to create and accomplish.
When I made my first video, please believe me when I tell you I had NO INTENTION of doing it as an ongoing assignment. I remember being frustrated because media was being used in such a terrible way to attack the Church. I made the video just so we could talk about something else. And I pointed people to join the conference call of one of my friends in ministry. But…people liked it…and I got calls and messages. All of that was nice…but two people in particular, Beverly Howard and Charlotte Stallings, connected with me intentionally and with purpose. They each pushed me and said THERE IS MORE! Out of my mouth I said “no” because I was not committing to this level of work. In my feelings I said “no”…because Sunday School isn’t “the cool place” and I wondered who would care? In my flesh I said "no" because I didn't want to encounter what others would think. Would people think it was silly? What they be critical of my ideas? But my spirit did not rest because God has called me...over here in the corner...to a space that adults often think we outgrow. But He has given me to see it in a new way and with new possibilities!
Well things move quickly on the internet and God has allowed me to be in spaces that I have never dreamed and make connections that have “wow’ed” me! Part of celebrating is reflecting so I wanted to take a moment to share.
Here are 13 Things I Learned In My First Year Of Blogging and perhaps they will be of help to you.
1. Social media can be used in incredibly productive and powerful ways.
Not only has it been a great way to share the Good News of the love of Jesus Christ.But there is a world of incredible people and positive blogging communities to connect and share and expand what you are doing. Niches have their own communities. This is a great space to build partnerships and to learn!
2. Don’t become your own limitation!
Don’t discount the gift that God has given you.Remember the parable of the talents? Put what God has given you to work! And guess what? He gives more to those who are being resourceful and productive with what they have!
3. God’s math is not our math!
A weekly video was an investment of time but had a relatively low cost to produce and upload. I basically had everything in my hand. But as God starting showing me the places to expand, immediately the dollar signs became a concern. One of my biggest concerns was resources.I thought “and God HOW exactly do you expect me to do that?When the water is troubled, I have no man to throw me in!I am a full time student with adult expenses!” But my Godfather always says, “You don’t have a money problem. You have an idea problem”! And EVERY idea that God has given me, He has been faithful to cover just what I’ve needed. This brings me to the next lesson.
4. Your faith has so much room to grow!
I am a person who loves to plan.And so often I with my spreadsheet and plan am trying to make things work out. I have truly experienced that when I take my hands off, trust God and do just what He says…he makes they way easy and He has not allowed me to be in the red.
5. People have their eyes on you!
There will be people that you thought you would hear from and/or have their support. And they will be silent.But God has a way of surprising you!People you would never expect are watching you and may turn out to be your biggest supporters. The flip of that is according to Psalm 23…when a table is prepared before you it is done so in the presence of someone who doesn’t like you.
One of the toughest lessons we learned as children is sharing.And yes, some of us still struggle now.It’s so easy to have the mentality of “mine”. But HEY…the world is big enough for all of us!Many of us think that we have the market cornered on “our little thing”. Since my launch there have been several others to join the video space in similar format/discussion. And guess what? Moment of honesty...one of my friends had to help me on this. (Thanks JJ). SO WHAT?!?! Maybe someone was inspired by what you're doing...that's a good thing...right? No issue…it’s like selecting a soda…isn’t it awesome to have choices?
7. Knowledge is power!
There is constantly something that you can learn. And there is always something that you can share with someone. Be willing to do it. If you know what you know or have what you have only to benefit you, I've got bad news for you...YOU'RE SELFISH! The principle of sewing and reaping works here. When you share, others are willing to share with you!
8. JUST DO YOU!
Comparing yourself to others is bad for business and for your self-esteem!Brand building/Ministry is hard work.It can be overwhelming and exhausting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought…”this is the last week” or “would anyone care if I stopped”? Be clear on WHY you do WHAT you do…and in my case I do what I do as unto the Lord. My personal motto is “to treat 1 like it’s 100”! So focus on what YOU and you only are doing!
9. Develop thick skin.
You work hard and pray hard.And when you put things out you are never really sure how it will be received. There will be lots of pats on the back but there will be “trolls” who say ugly things, vendors who try to ride your coat for marketing and maybe even a “thumbs down” on a video. Keep in mind you are sharing your thoughts and perspective and guess what…the nature of people is that we all don’t see things exactly the same.
10. Life happens!
I have maintained my blog life in the midst of being a full time student. There have been a few occasions, particularly around finals when I just could not deliver scheduled content. I learned to be honest and my community has been supportive! Stay accountable to and transparent with your Community!
11. Stay true to you!
Your content is important.It is do easy to be distracted by so many things. You must know your mission, vision and goals and STICK TO THEM!I happen to be in a very interesting niche. Know where you are and who you serve and stay true to your purpose. Don’t get lost trying to compete or reach into spaces which are not consistent with you , your brand or your ministry.It’s better to do one thing VERY well than to do several things poorly.
12. You are your brand in everything you do!
This is actually true in business, ministry and your family context.You must handle your image responsibly. Think about it in what you choose to post personally and what and how you respond to things. Have integrity – do what what’s right even when it is difficult.You can’t engage in everything that you see!
13. Celebrate your successes along the way!
Building your brand/ministry/business is hard work. Everything that you do should be focused on what you are trying accomplish. I have always been goal driven. But even God when He created the world, sat back at the end of each day and said "that's good". Only when He completed His masterpiece did He say it was "VERY GOOD". Don’t be so down in the weeds that your forget to stop and see when a flower is blooming. Make a big deal about it!! And believe me, people will celebrate with you.
Thank you all again for sharing with That Sunday School Girl! I am blessed to have you on this journey with me. My prayer is that we continue to grow together. I am excited about all that God has in store and I look forward to enjoying it with you!