According to my WordPress site stats this is my 100th published post for “Chief of the Least.” (Thank you, Thank you, no really stop applauding maniacally) My first published post was October 22nd of last year. In under 11 months, I’ve averaged a little less than 10 posts per month. I’ll take this awe-inspiring crowning achievement to briefly reminisce over a few posts and nuggets of knowledge I have gained in this process.
Here are the top 3 most viewed posts of all time on the site:
Here are the top 3 most commented on posts all time (admittedly, many of these comments are mine!):
Staying somewhat consistent and disciplined with writing has been a challenging and edifying experience. Here is what I have learned about maintaining a personal blog the past year:
1. Don’t count the stats
I know in the previous section I did just this. But I am talking about obsessive exhaustive bookkeeper type tabs on your blog stats. You will not miss much in a day or even a week if you fail to visit your site stats, especially if you are just getting started. Frequently checking your stats could be the vehicle that steers you away from maintaining your blog. Here’s why: You just spent dozens of minutes ; ) of your valuable time creating a post that will cure cancer and bequeath world happiness…and only two people have viewed it since Tuesday. Bummer.
Internet traffic doesn’t just magically appear in droves until you start putting up consistent content over a period of time. Maintain a blog for the enjoyment of it, not to get a platform or get a message “out there.”
2. Be consistent
You will never compete with Tim Challies, so don’t try. If you attempt to you will get burned out. Though my blogging activity has waned as of recent, during the height of my production last summer I was still only averaging 2.68723 posts a week. Consistency is a key to earn faithful readers. Frequent blog visitors should be able to visit your site 2-3 times a month and every time see some fresh content.
You’re not in a race with those brilliant and prolific Pyromaniacs, you’re on your own journey at your own disciplined pace.
3. Be concise
I’m a sucker for flowery rhetoric. But a blog format is not the place to wax poetically. Internet visitors usually just scan blogs for useful content and rarely ever sit and chew on what they have read. I’m guilty of writing a whole paragraph what could be said in one simple sentence. I rarely get diarrhea of the mouth but I frequently get diarrhea of the type-pad. A post much more over 500 words will induce ADD fuzziness in the most committed readers.
Targeted simplicity is the key to communicating any given message. Ernest Hemingway would have been a successful blogger.
4. Be uniquely personal
If people want to dig deep into lofty theological musings or political commentary they already have their trusted sources. John Piper and John MacArthur have the reformed theological market on lock and will represent biblical Christianity much more succinctly and profoundly than I every could. Don’t get into the habit of saying what an ESV Commentary has already said. Readers would much rather know what your uniquely personal take is on family, culture, church and life in general.
How does God relate to me at home when the babies are screaming, the wife is flustered and I have a million papers to grade for school? Inquiring readers would rather know that than some regurgitated thoughts I have borrowed about the hypostatic union.
Visitors want a refreshing read with real unique perspectives on the actualities of life, not a theological treatise from a random internet source. If you are having a good day, bad day, or blah day let your readers know.
Those main four points are what I have gleaned thus far from my rookie blog experience.
I’m looking forward to what God has in store for this blog in the next year. If you are a frequent lurker, reader, or commenter, thank you for letting “Chief of the Least” be a small part of your life!