I started writing for this blog in 2010 around the time our first son turned one. I had always loved writing and (after being a teacher for 5 years turned SAHM) was desperate for human contact. I longed to make a difference in someone’s life that didn’t involve me wiping a cute tiny person’s bottom. 😉
Blogging has been such an amazing way for me to reach women! I love crafting posts to help moms find creative and fun ways to love God and their kids. I am passionate about breathing life and hope into their hearts as they do the daily, often unnoticed work of motherhood.
But having a blog can be a complicated gift. Because the Internet is so vast, many people have access to my words, so I want to be wise with what I write. I want to make sure my words are biblically correct. I want to be a good steward of the followers God sends me.
I have made lots of mistakes along the way (still do!), so I have found it helpful to follow a few guidelines before I hit Publish.
If you have a blog or a social media platform, I hope these 5 C’s will help you, too!
It is so tempting to sit down and write blog posts with sensational titles like, “100 Things Good Moms Do” or “5 Things You Should NEVER Say to Your Kids” or “8 Guaranteed Ways to Get Your Kids to Love Jesus.”
But as much as those titles draw me in as a reader, I know how very easy it is for me to take all those good tips and turn them into rules to live by. I like rules because they make me feel like if I can master them all then I will be the perfect mom! Yay!
I can’t be perfect, though (that’s Jesus’ job!), and often those rules just end up making me crawl into bed at night feeling like a failure because I didn’t do what so-and-so-blogger said.
Because I am so prone to this type of writing, I try to be really careful to balance what I say with grace.
When I write an article that shares tips, practical advice, and/or encouragement, it is my heart to convey this overarching message – We don’t need to follow rules; we need a relationship with God.
- This might mean I avoid using words like always or never.
- This might mean I remember that all moms are different and all kids are different.
- This might mean I share out of a struggle instead of out of a place of pride.
- This might mean I lean more heavily on what the Bible says instead of my own feelings or opinions.
I have a good friend who I will occasionally send my posts to before I hit publish so that I have the accountability of another person’s perspective. This has been a lifesaver for finding a voice of grace!
The bottom line is I don’t want my posts to make anyone feel overwhelmed or bad about their mothering. I hope to uplift, graciously equip, inspire, and point my readers to Jesus.
Consider Your Audience
I know I can’t please everyone, but if I am going to post an article or social media update that is a personal experience or opinion, I have found it wise to go back and read the post through the lens of someone with a different story or in a different place in their walk with the Lord. Then somewhere in the article I will try to speak into that. For example, I once wrote a blog post about Why I Loved My C-Section without giving any thought to how it might make readers feel who didn’t have a C-Section. So I went back and edited a few parts using that perspective. Another time I wrote a post about a movie I didn’t like and later realized that not everyone felt the same way, so I went back to make sure that my post didn’t sound condemning to anyone who liked it.
While I recognize that sometimes what I say might stir a little controversy, I never want to intentionally hurt anyone or cast judgement.
Also, I try to be really careful about what examples I use in my posts. Does an illustration involve a close friend and her kids? Make sure to ask her permission before you share. And it’s never a good idea to share thoughts on your observations about or encounters with other moms if your thoughts are critical in any way. First of all, don’t judge another mama. Second, what if they read your blog?!
Be wise and when in doubt – don’t!
Cast Off the Naysayers
There are people out there who are always looking for something to tear down in your posts. I am not even kidding when I tell you that I recently got a comment ridiculing me for using fake leaves instead of real ones in a cute fall preschool craft. She said I was unfit to be a teacher because I was not giving my students true nature.
I tell yah, if you want to be a blogger, you have to develop some thick skin!
As the owner of this site, I have the right to approve or trash any comment. If someone leaves a comment that is helpful and uplifting to the conversation – Approved! If someone leaves a comment that is rude or belittling – Trash!
Sometimes I will get a comment that is not spoken with grace, but there might be a small bit of truth in what they are saying. When this happens I will humbly ask God to help me grow if I need to, but then I move on.
If I park myself too long on a naysayer’s words it can make me never want to write again and that would be such a tragedy! Not because I think I am such a talented writer, but because I absolutely love serving women and it is what I feel called to do.
Ultimately, my confidence must come from remembering what Jesus says about me!
This is the hardest one for me, y’all! I am forever finding myself getting discouraged when I discover another mommy blog with a similar niche and their Instagram photos are absolutely gorgeous, or they seem to have a knack for marketing, or their post got shared a billion times when a similar one I wrote did not, or their site design is gorgeous, or their followers more engaged, or their writing so deep and eloquent…
When I focus too much on the others all of my inspiration and joy goes right out the window. Here’s what I have to remember – God has called me to write. Whether that’s to one person or 1,000, He asks me to be faithful to use my gift. It’s not about me! All praise to Him!
Create for Him Alone
If I want to create for God in a heavily saturated blog world where I can see in an instant how ‘well’ something is doing, then I have to let go of my worldly measurements of success (number of followers, book sales, likes, shares, traffic, etc.). Before I hit publish I have to humbly surrender that
giant small part of me that secretly hopes what I say will go ‘viral.’
Because everything I have – my words and my site and my followers – are His. I am called to be obedient with my writing. God’s job is everything else!
In the end, my greatest contribution as a writer will not be that I made much of myself, but that I made much of Christ.
Are you a Christian blogger? What do you like to remember before you post?
P.S. Do you want to start a blog? My friends at Thriving Home have THE BEST series about how to start a blog. You can check it out HERE!
All great thoughts, Julie. Thanks for posting!
Thank you for this very informative writing. I have been considering to blog for a while now as I am a God-loving, travelling mom and think I might just go fir it now.
I do love your blog and webpage a lot and the fact that you are bold for God and what you believe in, is uplifting.
Great tips 😀 I think if we can master the last tip – realizing that God’s plan for our life is different than his plan for everyone else, it helps to keep the others in check too. (Though I know it’s much easier said than done!!)
Thank you Juie!
Great points to remember. 😍When I write my ponder365.com, I aim for the “weekly 7” (seven verses for seven days) to be based on the topic. I have not mastered pics in a post, maybe one day! One of my repeat principles is “keep your Bible open on the kitchen counter. God will not let you walk by without reading a verse or two!” I think the Lord is telling me in my blog to keep focused on what he has taught me through His Words, then, it is a matter of letting Him work. My most fave principle I use each time I speak … “You water, you wait, you’ll see. !”
I’m not a blogger but I enjoyed reading this. I think a lot of what you said applies to general conversation as well as social media comments/statuses and ‘rants’. It also gave me a bit more insight into who you are. I LOVE reading your posts and when you said “or just one” I think often, that one is me! It’s so refreshing to hear someone talking honestly yet so graciously – like Jesus ! Thanks for all you do. Love your sister in Christ. Xxx
Andrea M Worley
loved this tips!! such truth and wisdom in all of them! Thanks for sharing Julie!
Although a Christian, I don’t follow a lot of Christian blogs, but I have followed yours for many years now. I think you do a great job of lifting others. I also have a blog, and I have been struggling lately with feeling like “why bother,” I only have 12 followers, and usually under 50 pages views when I post, my pictures aren’t great, etc etc (basically, just word for word of your “compare not” paragraph!) This has encouraged me! Thanks!
Bet @ Bet On Dinner
Thanks for these encouraging words and reminders! It can be really tough not to get caught up in comparing myself to others (both with blogging and in general!). I think you do such a good job of giving glory to God and sharing his grace. Thanks for being willing to share your struggles, too – I so often find encouragement in those posts! Love you!
Thank you Julie!
Thank you for being honest, brave, and real. Thank you for always doing your best to point others to Christ! That IS what matters.
God bless you as you seek to follow and serve Him.