Monday, March 4, 2013

Protesting Symbiotic Blogging

You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours...

You follow my blog, and FB, and twitter, and Pinterest, and I will follow you.

You pay me X amount every month, and I will tweet and FB share your posts.

You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

Have you ever struggled with balancing community and networking in the blogging world? Have you ever wondered if the always follows back trend has gone too far? Have you ever walked the tightrope of self-promotion and Philippians 2?

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2

What can we do to be less symbiotic (interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both), and more sacrificial?

1. Fall off the wagon-the numbers wagon-yours and others. Don't judge the quality of someone's blog by the big numbers or the lack of numbers. That is prejudice-on both counts.

2. Be focused on the readers you have, and less focused on the ones you'd like to get. Be faithful and write for the ones you have.  I am so thankful for each person who takes the time to read my posts every day. You have made the Barefoot Hippie Girl community what it is. I am astounded daily at your faithfulness and friendship. Thank you!

3. Pick a small blogger to befriend. Small-small. Less than 100 followers. Less than 50 followers. Read their posts. Comment. Offer to put their button on your sidebar. Encourage them for the sake of encouraging them. Not for the sake of what they can do for you. Btw, Jill at 99 WPM is better at this than anyone I know.

4. Evaluate your social media platforms, and your goals for each. I use FB, twitter, google + and Pinterest, all to promote my blog. But, I also have other formulas for what I post on each. Because they aren't all about me, or about promoting me. I use

Twitter to share other's posts, to interact with others-just commenting on their tweets like a friend would, and to tweet Scripture and inspirational quotes. This falls in line with my motivation for Barefoot Hippie Girl (here and here). I also use the 80/20 principle-20% promoting my blog, and 80% promoting and interacting with others.

Facebook is my newsier venue. Where I try to post short blips on the day to day happenings in our life.

Pinterest is where I try to pass on inspiration to my followers. Beauty, recipes, home, garden, etc. I pin for me, but I also pin for you.

5. Let God grow your numbers-if and when He wants to. Seriously, we tend to forget this, but He is the one who made 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish feed a crowd of 5,000 men. With 12 baskets of leftovers. I am pretty sure if He wants our blogs to grow, He can make that happen.

6. Write substantial, not surface. Instead of trying to grow your numbers, write substance instead of focusing on surface. Write more than you post giveaways. Write what is on your heart, what God is teaching you through the situations you are faced with. Write. Or, if you are a fashion blogger, write fashion posts. If your are a photographer, post beautiful pictures. Why would you want people to come to your blog for nothing? Why would they come for nothing?

As with everything, there is a middle line. Balance does not have to be a dirty word. These are things God has spoken to my heart. My blog is already much bigger than I ever imagined it would be.

God's words to Baruch, (and to me) do you seek great things for yourself? seek them not. (Jeremiah 45:5) Baruch was promised his life in a time of war and judgement. His life-that's all.

His lord said unto him, "well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matthew 25:21)

How faithful am I being in the "little things", the little blogging things, that God has already entrusted to me?

Will God call you and I, good and faithful servants, for how we have used our blogs for Him?