Wednesday, June 4, 2014

4 Unexpected Observations About Blogging

It's been said many a time, blogging changes you. 

Anytime you put yourself out there vulnerably for others to read, critique, agree, all the reader-like things, you're sure to change. The way you approach the world, see yourself in relation to it, go out and do your damn thing changes. Some bloggers say for the better, some say worse. I say it's for the more -more emotion, more relation, more understanding, more of all things. 

My observations aren't going to make you famous, or money, or "big". So there's that. 

1. As much as it's about your blog, it's not. 

Writing has always been a passion of mine, something I do as a means of survival at times, it's where the processing of all things life happens. When I started a blog I was sure that people would just come and eat up all the things I write. And, well, you do. But more than that, so much more than that, you care for my story, for the people in it, for me. You care in a way that says I'm not just a character in an endless narrative of happenings, but instead, I'm dear to you. This is an immensely encouraging, beautiful, fun, not-enough-words-can-go-here feeling.

2. What really matters won't ever be captured by Google Analytics.

Maybe this is because I write about my faith and my dad's death and that begs for open conversations via email or twitter or all the social media outlets, but never has a stat made me as joyful as receiving a sweet, vulnerable, challenging email from one of my readers. Never. 

3. What you think is going to grow things will,
 but not necessarily in the way you expect.

I started Milking Stool Ministry with the hopes of capturing a larger audience. Never did I expect it would capture my heart and draw me into the bible, beg me to truly push myself to think through my process, encourage me to try new things. Yes, there's a community of women loving it, but more than that, I'm growing in the way that I bible study and seek and know Him.

4. Vulnerability is vital. 

That quality versus quantity debate is all over the place. It's something I haven't got much to speak to other than vulnerability trumps both. My favorite bloggers come to their space and write about the hard things, the beautiful things, the joyous things in ways that are honest and walls-down and vulnerable. In approaching their space so humbly, I don't care how often they write as long as I get to come back and read those sweet, soulful words again. 

It seems the moral of the story here is
Though we blog to bare fruit for our audience, 
our readers, our people, 
it ends up being more fruitful in our own lives. 
-that age old: I went to teach them and they taught me the most.

26 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, yes. YES to all of this. You always seem to warm my heart.

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  2. These observations are so so true! Blogging is such a great outlet for us to share our heart and stories, without regard to numbers and stats. Building friendships has been such a blessing for my journey. You just keep doing you girl. Happy Wednesday!

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  3. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvJune 4, 2014 at 6:20 AM

    Yes Amber, one again your observations are so SIMPLY honest and true. Blogger has allowed me to dig deeper into my perspectives and reflections and to really define my story and in turn define me. Your words are ones I always looks forward to reading. Keep writing!

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  4. I love and adore point two and I wish more people got it. I don't want to follow your blog because you have more followers than I have dollars in a paycheck - I want to follow your voice and outlook and thoughts. And I think so many people get caught up in the numbers thing when really, thousands of silent followers aren't the same as ten you chat with regularly and get to know you. It's hard not to get wrapped up in the quantity but the quality is so much more important.

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  5. YES! This is so true. I love blogging but in the back of my head I always have these things floating around. Makes me question my motives.

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  6. So agree. After sudden surprising growth I was finding so much that I wasn't so moved by the fact that there were way more numbers but the fact that those numbers were people whose hearts are somehow connecting with mine, and how amazing is it that we have this community where hearts can connect from all over?

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  7. Love this so much, Amber. And so utterly true. Thank you. ~Jenna

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  8. Blogging is great because you learn to express yourself to yourself...& others. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼

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  9. I love this. PS, I'm not sure if I've officially said hi yet, so Hi! I learned a while back that even if my blog isn't "growing" in the sense that I'm able to make more money or reach more readers, it's growing in the sense that I'm gaining REAL friends and readers. Not just click through people. And that's really what I want anyway. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

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  10. These are so true! Especially #2! :)

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  11. LOVE THIS! You speak with such truth. I feel the same way and it is great to be reminded of these truths! Thank you girl! Wish I could give you a big hug! {Sorry, I am a hugger...}

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  12. Amen my friend. Never could a post be more true, and so perfectly said. Blogging is incredible, and in a way, a simple but sweet gift from Jesus x

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  13. "I went to teach them and they taught me the most."


    A million times this.


    Lovely post dear. LOVELY.

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  14. Yes to it all!!! I am in love with blogging for all these reasons. Yes to your words!!

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  15. #2. YES, YES, YES. It's gotten to the point where I think I might not allow myself to look at my stats for a few days -- a week? -- because I tend to get caught up in the numbers and lament about how they aren't where I want them to be. Instead, I should be focusing on the fact that I'm banging out great writing (my second book was published yesterday!) and have some fantastic relationships online through my blog that no statistic will ever be able to reflect.

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  16. I love this, Amber. This is why I keep writing and why I keep blogging.

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  17. Brittany RasmussenJune 4, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Well this is the truest and best post I've read in awhile, hands down.

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  18. Vulnerability is 1095% true! And yes…that is a proven statistical number ;)
    I have loved watching your readers grow and you know why? You're YOU, eloquent, master of the English language, poetical YOU!

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  19. Yes to all of these, friend! Especially the first and second ones!!

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  20. 100% yes to all of this! I am thankful for blogging because it's really helped me re-connect with myself + it pushes me to new challenges. Also, blogging builds such a wonderful community of friends (no matter how many miles/countries lie in between).

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  21. Number 2...yes yes yes. That's what really matters. So thankful for your blog!

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  22. You know? For once, a post about Blogging Observations that is a happy one :) (Most I read are about "don't do this" and "if you want more followers, do this and this") - Your post is not only so genuine, but true! All of them, 1-4. Thank you for sharing your heart with us XOXO

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  23. This is so true. I'm thankful for that fact! This world is a crazy place, but I'm so glad to be a part of the blogging community.

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  24. This is so true! I have only started a few weeks but I have seen the transformation in me. And still is going on actually.

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