Blogging is a Ministry: How to Start a Blog

Blogging is a Ministry.  It has turned out to be a form of creative expression that I greatly enjoy. This little speck of the WWW is my home for the topics that the Lord has put on my heart.   Most mornings from my small farm-house kitchen I hit “publish” and send out bits of my heart around the world.  It’s fascinating to see how the Lord is using the internet in these times. There are many dangerous and sinful areas of the internet.  But I believe that Christian bloggers are shining God’s light in the dark places.

Blogging is a Ministry

I’m writing a series about blogging being a ministry, although it may take me sometime to get it all out.  I’ll be sharing more of my story of how the Lord led me to blogging.  Even though I feel totally smack dab in the middle of God’s will, I am an accidental blogger.  It’s neat to look back over this past year and see how Jesus has led me to write for Him.  I love putting little puzzle pieces together.

I’ve received several blogging questions lately.  Questions from those looking for pointers on how to get started blogging.  Also, questions on how to get blogs growing once they’re started.  My blog is by no means big or a shining example of how blogs should be run. None-the-less, here’s a few of my thoughts about blogging thus far:

  • Is your husband on board?  I think this is a big one.  Blogging does take time.  Blogging, just like any ministry, should not come before your time with the Lord, husband or children.  Not that it hasn’t been a process that I’ve had to balance out, and still fail miserably at times.  My husband is 100% supportive of my blogging.  He reads every single post.  I may wake up in the morning to be greeted by several text messages telling me that I have a typo {that’s his way of saying “good morning honey” ;)}.  I bounce ideas off of him.  I trust his judgement and leadership.
  • Write from a healed and whole heart.  That’s advice from Amy Lynn Andrews and several others from the Relevant Conference.  You don’t want to write about areas that you’re not completely healed in.  Don’t use your blog to vent in anger or brokenness.  Every post should minister life to the reader in some way.  Most importantly every post should point readers back to Jesus.
  • How much time do you have to blog?  Blogging does take time.  Most of us are busy wives, mothers and homeschoolers.  You do have to count the cost and pray about if blogging is something that the Lord would have you invest your time in.  It may mean you have to prune other areas.  It may sound silly, but I gave away my chickens last spring because I wanted to have more writing time in the mornings before the kids got up.

computer mouse by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

  • The Reality of it for me: Blogging/writing takes me 3-4 hours most days.  This includes writing posts, researching, networking, special projects {which includes writing for other websites, magazines and eBooks}, answering emails, etc.  It very much can become a part-time job. However, because this is God’s will for me, He has given me grace to be able to blog around my family life.  The bulk of this time for me is completed either early or late each day.  That is in the morning before the kids get up, or in the evenings after they’ve gone to bed.  I try to leave our days “blog free,” and focus on being homeschool momma from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. I do pop online for about 30-minutes after lunch to answer questions and give a virtual high-five to anyone listening.  Also, I schedule tweets & Facebook using a free software called HootSuite.  I use an editorial calendar for WordPress, and try to stay several days ahead in my posts. I keep a separate blogging notebook full of ideas and plans too.

  • Lift up your post to the Lord.  Pray about your blog.  Really, God won’t mind.  If this is the medium He is giving you to touch lives then He won’t mind if you talk to him about it.  I pray about my blog.  When we pray as a family we always pray “Lord, we lift Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling to You.  We pray that you use it to draw hearts to you and offer encouragement to families.  Use this ministry to touch lives with your love.”
  • Someone needs what you have to say.  There are times when I write something and I’m really not sure if it’s needed.   Then someone will write and tell me how the Lord used a post or outside article to encourage them in their situation.  Often people find my blog by Googling “Jesus help me” or “help, my husband lost his job.”  It’s great to see how the Lord is using those posts to offer hope to people looking for His truth.

10  Blogging resources that you’ll want to check out:

 

  • Blogging in Between Homeschooling  @RaisingArrows {This is another Amy whom I love.  Her site is full of insight and warmth.  If you’re new to blogging, or are a mother looking for encouragement, go visit her.  You’ll be glad that you did!}
  • How to Create a Facebook Vanity URL @BloggingWithAmy {Blogging with Amy is a HUGE resource.  I had the pleasure of meeting Amy at Relevant 2011.  Let me tell you, she may be all technical and down-to-business on her blog; but girlfriend is in love with the Lord. All she shared about was Jesus, what a mess she is at times {which I really appreciate}, and how she needs more of Him.  I was in one session with her and Ann Voskamp. Between both ladies I went through several tissues.}
  • Google+ for Homeschool Bloggers @BrainInTrainin {I’m still not up-to-speed with Google+, so please unleash some wisdom for me on this if you’d like.}

 

Do you have any blogging questions?  Better yet, do you have any blogging advice?

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. says

    Jamerrill,
    Thank you for posting this series… such a huge blessing to me right now… I will forward this on to other friends I know are feeling led by the Lord to have this ministry from a seat in their kitchen too! Thank you for the links and advice in scheduling!

    • says

      Angie, isn’t it amazing that at this hour the Lord has opened up this tool to reach others “from the seat in the kitchen?” Thank you for reading and sharing, friend.

    • says

      Jacinda, I *really* appreciated your post the other week about mothers leaving their homes through the computer. I plan to link to that in an upcoming post. THAT is the other side of blogging that has to be balanced out. If we don’t keep this “ministry” in balance, and loose our families in the process, then this ministry means nothing…o.k, I could go on, lol ;)

  2. Moulton says

    I’ve been wanting to blog and have been researching it but I’m not there yet. Still waiting on the lord for direction and wisdom. Thanks for this!

    • says

      Yes, really take some time to pray about blogging and seeking the Lord for direction. I found myself blogging by accident {which I’m sharing about in the next post :) }, but taking time to research first would have been a good idea. Of course, anything that is a “GOD THING,” doesn’t always have to make sense. God bless!

  3. says

    Great post. So true — and I appreciate your honesty about blogging. Sometimes I wish I could be “a fly on another blogger’s wall” just so I could see how they do it. :)

    I was in that session at Relevant as well. In fact, I almost need a tissue just thinking about it — so much truth shared there — and so encouraging to press on and cultivate the gifts, talents and desires that the Lord has pressed on our hearts.

    Love your heart, my friend.

    • says

      Thank you Rachel. The truth is, for me, there’s a time investment and other sacrifices that I make to blog. But, as long as I keep the rest of life in proper order, the Lord helps it all work. Yes, that session at Relevant was awesome!!!

  4. says

    Hey Jamerrill…thanks for including us in your list of resources (google+). I think if you and others are spending 3-4 hours a day on blogging, there may not be room for google+. I REALLY stress balance in the intro to my article. If you are going to try google+, you may have to “give up” something else. But there are lots of creative and deep thinking people hanging out over there. For me, its like opening a different google reader every morning. I’m challenged by what challenges those that I have circled. The links provide a little more substance before clicking…so for me, it feels like I save a little time compared to twitter where a link just has a little tease…and is often a dead end. Thanks for sharing your heart here!

    • says

      Thank you for your article on Google+. I don’t put much time into Twitter, so I don’t know where else to prune my time from. A 48-hr day would be nice. :) I do agree that Google+ is going to be a big thing. So that will also make it another tool for reaching people for the Lord. Well, He taught me twitter/facebook, so I guess He’ll lead me into Google+ too {LOL ;)}

  5. says

    This post is loaded with awesome advice! I have truly enjoyed blogging for the past several years but only recently realized what an amazing opportunity for ministry lies within a passion to write. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!

  6. says

    Wow, Jamerrill, If you’re going to put this much meat in all your posts in this series, I’m going to have to print them out to refer back to. This is great. And you are right on in the balance, husband, family, side of things. One thing I really appreciate about you is that you not only “lift up your post to the Lord,” but LIFT UP THE LORD IN YOUR POST! Thanks for all the encouragement.

    • says

      Thank you Carol. I know I’m overwhelming you with links. Take your time though and let me know any questions. These have all been some of my favorite “self-teaching” resources. I know we’ve talked off-blog about blogging. :) Thanks for always reading friend! You’re an inspiration!

  7. Danielle says

    I am soo excited about this post! I have been getting organized and praying about starting up a blog. For the past couple of weeks I have been wondering how the bloggers that I follow got their start, I am very excited to hear your story and follow this series! Thank you so much for this post!

  8. Michelle says

    Dear Jamerrill, I love your blog and have lately been wondering if this is a direction God is taking me in.
    I am also looking into homeschooling 4 out of my 5 children in the coming Australian school year. I appreciate your practical support and advice on raising a large family in a Godly manner. Please keep up the good work, you certainly inspire me!

    • says

      O.k….you, Laura, Ann & Tsh are like a lovely scramble of inspiring words in my head. I loved every session that YOU were in–can’t wait for next year! ;)Thank you for all that you do! I’ll be over to learn more good stuff from your site shortly, lol! {Psst…can you help me with my favicon that disappeared?!}

  9. Johanna Fenton says

    Way to go, Jamerrill! So neat to get to know you better via this post. I’m really hearing your heart for ministering through your blog. Thanks Jamerrill!

  10. says

    I love your thoughts here! Especially about only writing from a place of healing so that we don’t vent, (which only seems to fuel the fire and delay healing anyways!)

    I’m so glad I joined your GFC last month!

  11. says

    Thank you for posting this. Time spent on my blog is something I am constantly trying to balance with other, more important things – like spending time in the Word, time with my family, caring for the home. But I do feel like blogging is an important part of me and what I do. Although my blog and I are definitely still works in progress.

    • says

      Rose, I agree that it’s all a balance. And I have days when I don’t blog. But it is such a great creative outlet for me. If my hubby wasn’t supportive than I couldn’t blog. I too fight the “I could read my Bible more or __________________ more” guilt. But then the Lord confirms again that it’s His will that I blog. More to come on that. I don’t want to type you another blog post :-)

  12. says

    Blogging is indeed a ministry, and we all have different areas of ministry. For me, for example, I find my ministry is in the special needs and adoption community. Oh there is parenting, marriage, and plenty of brokenness where God has healed, but that is my “call.”

    Great little place in the www world you have here. I am new to your blog, so stop by and say hi when you get a chance.

  13. says

    Thank you for this! I don’t know how I missed it, but I am glad I stumbled upon it today!! I am planning to try and find the other parts of the series as well!

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