So many of us start our blogs because we feel a tug on our hearts to express ourselves and share our lives in the hope of inspiring or encouraging others to explore new passions or chase new dreams. Sure, we eventually hope to make an income but rarely do I meet a blogger who started their blog expecting to be flush with cash within a few months. It usually starts as a new hobby or because of a passion to share a gift or talent with others.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace – 1 Peter 4:10
Mine certainly started that way but along the way, I’ve often stopped and felt a whisper on the back of my mind asking, “How are you serving others?”
So many of us want blogs and online businesses that feed our own hearts and souls, but have you ever stopped to wonder how it’s serving others? How are you feeding the hearts and souls of your readers? What are you offering to them and what is their takeaway from reading your blog posts? Every blog post doesn’t have to be life-changing but have you ever considered the value in your words?
It’s a concept I consider frequently and it came up again last week while I was on a telephone call for an early screening for a new career I’m trying to pursue. I was asked what motivates me in life and I answered describing the concept of servant leadership. It led to a lengthy conversation about the concept and I was happy to hear she shared my perspective on the ideal. When my phone interview was over, I was left with my answer rattling around in my head and I found myself questioning how I was applying the concept of servant leadership to my blog.
I sought answers in the Bible and I found this:
And whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:44-45
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
The mission and purpose of serving others
I went back through old files and versions of my blog, all the way back to the very first post I wrote in 2014 before all my rebrands, theme changes, and redirects. I found an old journal with notes designed to help me brainstorm a tagline. On that page, I had written a lot about wanting to help women become spiritually healthy and build lives that were as simple and stress-free as possible.
I realized so much of my heart is still in that. Then, I wondered if I was fulfilling my purpose in serving others through that mission. I took a few days off to do a purpose-filled audit of my blog. My audit consisted of asking myself questions like:
- Are my blog posts written with a focused purpose that serves others?
- How is my content supporting my mission?
- Do my readers leave feeling inspired or encouraged?
- Am I sharing information that would help someone live simpler or with less-stress?
- Have I been open and vulnerable regarding our own struggles with depression and anxiety?
- What message am I sharing about being spiritually and mentally healthy?
Connecting with my audience
So many of my readers have been with me from the beginning; some of them have been with me from my old blog which I started in 2011. That’s seven years but they’ve stayed loyal to me through all of my struggles and changes. I’m fortunate to have been blessed with so many amazing readers and cyber-friends. I also know I’ve let them down in a lot of ways. I can review my most popular content and know that I haven’t been providing my readers with the value and the encouragement they need from me.
My most popular posts are the ones that share bible verses about infertility or which talk about the struggles of withdrawaling from benzo medications for anxiety. I know my audience struggles with many of the same things we do and I know that I would best be serving others by sharing the truth behind our struggles and our messaging. It’s hard to be so vulnerable but there’s strength and true power in that as well. You feel less alone and more able to take on the struggles that you face day-to-day.
Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24
Bringing it all together
This past week I cut back on the posts I shared and removed a few pending drafts I had coming up because I felt like they weren’t aligned with sharing the purposeful value I want to bring to my readers. I removed hundreds of photos from my Instagram because they don’t align with our mission or our values; nor do they provide any value to you or your lives. I purged my YouTube channel of almost all of its videos and I’m focusing on how I can best serve you from this day forward.
I want you to feel spiritually healthy and to have the advice, tools, and resources you need to live a joyful life without stress. It’s possible and I should have been doing a better job of sharing it with you over these last few years.
If you’re a blogger, how are you serving others? What is your purpose in the lives of your readers?