Our Life on Christ

Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 Things We Learned About Blogging in 2011

We technically started blogging in 2010 but didn’t really get “serious” (we are still not really that serious) until last month. Since 2011 is coming to a close, we wanted to offer some insight into some of our joys and pains as new bloggers.

Here goes—the top 10 things we learned this year:

10. You CAN make money blogging! If you are reading this on our blog site, it is clear that we have monetized it. This fact should be also clear even if you are a Feedburner subscriber but, from what we can tell, we messed something up because Adsense never seems to show up in the feeds!

Anyhow, we have seen small amounts of money roll in from Adsense and our affiliate links. Well, if we had reached the thresholds to actually receive a payout then the money would have literally rolled because it is merely change. We could go out to eat and buy a cheap appetizer with the money we have earned from blogging but, again, that would be if we actually had a payout yet!

That being said, making money is not our main goal for this blog. We really want to talk about God and what it means to be a follower of Christ. We genuinely want to help people and to meet people who can help us!

We have met several people personally and have read about many more who make money blogging. Read on and find out what can better your chances for increased traffic, which equals increased income.

9. People love lists: You know this because you are reading this list! Think of a title or subject, then think how you can quantify it.

8. People love How To’s: If you are not going to write a list, put a “How to…” in front of your title and watch your page views climb!

7. People love juicy headlines: Being that this is a Christian site, you might think it is difficult to have juicy headlines. It is to some extent but we have noticed that the juicier the title, the more readers we get. I wrote 3 Lessons I Learned When I Thought My Husband Was Dying and got a good amount of reads but then when I wrote My Daughter Flipped me the Bird: 3 Things I Leaned About Christian Parenting, or Is 15 Too Young to Lose Your Virginity, or 7 Reasons Why Christmas Is NOT a Big Deal in Our Househould, or Explain to Your Fans Why Barbie Has Her Hands in Another Woman’s Pants, we saw triple the amount of post views! Figure out how to make your title more controversial or “edgy” to draw people in.

6. Social Media is Your Friend: Twitter and Facebook are great for meeting new people, finding out what they do, and letting them know what you do. It is great to interact with others online—not only to increase your traffic but to learn about what is going on in the rest of the world. If you are not using BOTH of these outlets, you NEED to! Please, though, when you start sending updates, only press “Send” if your message will engage, empower, entertain, or educate your readers (we always want to tweet this statement but feel that it will offend the person who just tweeted what they had for lunch!).

Also, joining Blog directories and communities like Bloggers.com, FaithVillage.com, BlogaholicNetwork.com, and FaithfulBloggers.com are other wonderful ways to meet people who are blogging about similar topics.

We know LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious, among others, are also probably great—we just do not use them (as of right now).

5. “Transmedia” is Your Friend: We just learned this term from our friend Amber Dobecka over at Faith Village (who we met on Bloggers.com!). Transmedia storytelling (or cross-platform storytelling) is a way of creating content to engage audiences using multiple techniques. For example, instead of just writing this blog post, we could make a YouTube video, host a webinar, broadcast on Blog Talk Radio, or create a photo story. Of course, we are not going to do all of that for this post (at least not right now) because this is an area of blogging we are just learning about and we, frankly, suck at. We will work on this for 2012, though!

4. Stay within 500 to 1,000 words: We’re not sure if we are going to be within this threshold for this post but we will try! People really will be more likely to read your posts if you do the same.

3. People love to talk “off-thread”: We learned this from Matt at The Church of No People. Every time a new person comments, as long as they leave a real email address, we send them a “Thank-you-for-commenting-here’s-what-we-thought-about-what-you-had-to-say” email. People really appreciate it. You can also use this as an opportunity to tell people about what you have going on and how they can get involved (newsletters, RSS subscriptions, causes, etc).

2. If you want consistent readers, you need to be a consistent writer: We are not consistent writers. We do interact with several people due to our blog posts but the numbers would be higher if we wrote on a more consistent basis. This is also another thing we hope to change in 2012.

1. You can never stop learning: If you want to reach people with your blog, whether your goal is to earn an income, to build community, or to motivate social change, you can simply never stop learning about blogging and social media.

Do you blog? What have you learned on your journey so far? Leave a comment below!

ps. We stayed under 1,000 words! Including this post-script, we are at 960! :-)


  1. Your blog happens to be one of my favorites so keep up the good work rolling into 2012!!

  2. Awww, thank you! That is so sweet. We are really going to try ;-)

  3. I love your blog keep up the good work. 

  4. Thank you SO much, JJ, and thanks for the shout out on your blog (http://theoldblackchurch.blogspot.com/)!