Here's a break from the short and simple Q&A, to answer a few questions that took a bit more time and thought:
do you like best and least about blogging, and what do you consider
important to your blogs success?
I think one of the things that I love best about blogging is having a place to really work out my thoughts and ideas. For me, writing is a bit therapeutic at times, and also helps me to clarify things in my mind. Even though I'm a talkative person (would you ever have guessed it? 🙂 I still prefer writing as a means of communicating things that are particularly important to me.
A second, unexpected thing that I really like about blogging is the interaction with readers and the sense of community that exists in the blogosphere. I didn't intend to blog for the purpose of making friends or connecting with others, necessarily, but was surprised to find that's exactly what happened. I really enjoy a sense of camaraderie with other Christian mom bloggers who have similar ideas and values, and from whom I learn so much as well!
What do I like least? Honestly, I think just the amount of time that it takes to write posts, maintain my blog, do emails, etc. I wish I could be superwoman and do it at lightning speed, and have more time leftover for loving on my family, gardening, keeping my house cleaner than it is right now, etc. 🙂
As for what I think is important to my blog's success, I know that whatever level of "success" my blog may have achieved really has nothing to do with me. God has blessed it beyond what I ever expected, and though I struggle with pride sometimes and wanting to take credit for it, I know that the only reason my blog has any success at all is because He allows it to, and because He gives me the opportunity and ability to write. It's such a blessing to be able to do it.
On a practical level though, a few things that I think have helped my blog to grow are simply a consistency in writing often and writing well (or at least, attempting to). I don't know that my writing is the most entertaining or brilliant out there on the web (in fact, I know it's not- I can think of several others bloggers far more well-written than myself- for instance, Amy, Shannon and Jeana), but I always try to write to the best of my ability, to be clear, to be thoughtful, to be thorough, and to carefully edit my work.
The other thing that has really made a difference is just getting out there and participating in the blogosphere. Quite frankly, I think that it's difficult to maintain a successful blog if you're not willing to be a part of the community to some degree. Now I am very much not a social networking type of person (ie. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and I certainly don't spend hours reading and commenting on blogs every day (or even every week, for that matter). But I do make an effort to visit those who visit my blog, to read other blogs so that I am aware of what others are doing and writing, commenting whenever possible, and just developing positive relationships with other bloggers. I think that willingness to engage with others can make a big difference for a blog.
Here's another one of Donielle's questions,
When are you going to get on twitter?! 🙂
LOL! I'm not so sure that I ever will!
I know how much social network can be a time drain, and maybe others don't find it as hard as I do, but I get very (very) easily distracted. To really stay focused when I have precious computer/blog time and to not let the computer interfere with my much more important priorities of serving and loving my family, I've chosen at this point to not join anything at all. Lately, I keep hearing so much about how helpful Twitter is for business networking and increasing blog traffic, but I think I would really, really need to be convinced that it's worth it and that it doesn't require a huge time investment. I'm not sure that the latter is possible, so I suppose that makes my answer "not anytime soon!" 🙂 But thanks for asking (you're certainly not the first!).
Nola also asked: I guess I am also curious about
why you do your blog- I realize that could get into a lengthy post but
I just mean a simple answer of why you decided/how you decided and why
etc. What gave you the idea as your blog seems to be very different
than most (although I really haven't read many at all) as yours seems
to be more of a ministry than just a comment on life.
Nola, this is such a big question, but I'll do my best to answer it briefly!
Well, I didn't start my blog just as something for myself, or as a sort of journal, or place to record family happenings. For me, this blog had been developing in my mind for about a year before I did it. When my husband got sick, the idea went on hold for nearly a year, but once he was well again I felt even more excited to develop the idea again and really get something started.
There are two basic reasons that I blog (there are more than that, but I'll try to simplify my answer by saying there are only two):
1) As a ministry, to teach about things that I am passionate about, and to encourage other women
2) As a business, to earn money for an international adoption
I don't think I've ever talked about the business side of my blog before, and it never seemed relevant as it's not much of a money maker when you first start out. The idea for me was a way to have a business I could do from home, completely on my own hours and schedule, doing something that I loved doing and that I thought was valuable, so that I could build up a fund for our first international adoption.
Ever since we began dating, my husband and I have talked about adoption. It has long been something that God has laid on our hearts. We talk about having 12 children one day, but I don't expect that they will come primarily through birth, though we hope to have as many birth children as possible. We have a strong burden to be a father to the fatherless, and a mother to the motherless. My heart aches when I see orphans on tv or in a video, and when I hear of other's adoption stories. I absolutely cannot wait to see how and when and most importantly, who, God is going to bring in to our family.
On the business side, Keeper of the Home is just starting to be a bit more profitable (I've been working for pennies on the hour this past year, so I'm glad that I love what I do!). I earn money through my BlogHer ads, through Amazon books, and through the affiliates on the right column of my blog. Whenever you purchase something through one of my links, that money either goes towards further developing the business side of my blog and just recently (now that it's getting more significant) into a fund to save for an adoption, which absolutely, truly thrills and excites me!
More questions to come as the week goes on…