Just two months ago, I decided to start a blog. A blog is just a shared online journal. Some blogs are political commentary or news, some are private reflections, some are inspirational, some are focused on very specific topics like homeschooling or cooking, and some are family records. I’m an older woman with absolutely no training in blogging, and I was shocked how easy it was. Earlier that day, I had coffee with a friend who told me how many blogs she follows every day. I listened as she listed all her favorite blogs. Apparently, women all over the world have blogs they read with such devotion that they never miss a day. As I asked other friends, male and female, young and old, I found out that they can read up to 20 blogs a day, every day. As a writer, I wondered about this new phenomenon of the blog world and the impact it might have on so many readers.
That very afternoon, I thought about launching my own blog to help inspire people. I didn’t need an agent or a book contract to write a message to the world. I didn’t need anything fancy or expensive. I could sit in my kitchen and just blog for free!
I wrote a book called, “How to Write with Flair,” and I had been wondering what it would look like to live with flair. What would it look like to embellish my day, make it beautiful, and celebrate common moments? I found a free blogging website (blogspot.com), I chose a template, and I posted my first day of living with flair. My simple site is: http://www.livewithflair.blogspot.com/
That day, 5 people read my blog! It wasn’t much, but it was a start. That afternoon, I wrote a little essay called, “I Believe in Living with Flair,” and I sent it to our local NPR radio for their essay contest. The next day, it won. Two days later, I went on the radio to talk about my blog. Now, in 2 months, 1,200 unique visitors have found my blog, and at least 100 people read it each night. All of a sudden, I had a huge platform for ministry. It’s a daily feature in our newspaper, and I post my blog entries to facebook, twitter, and my gmail account. 37 different countries have people reading my blog including Russia, Tanzania, and Japan.
As I prayed about how to use my blog evangelistically, I knew God was leading me to write daily inspirational pieces to encourage readers (not just women) to think about spiritual things. Every few blog posts, I mention Jesus specifically, but mostly, my blog is a sowing blog. I want to help prepare the soil of a person’s heart and invite them to think about God. Each day, I try to write in ways that showcase a spiritual principle.
Blogging is an incredible ministry tool! Not only that, but it’s a tool for my own personal growth. My daily blog entries have become my personal reflection time as I thank God for each day’s flair. I’ve never been happier or more eager to see where God will “show up” each day.
Anyone can do it! In my next article, I’ll show you how to start your own blog, how to find a topic, how to get readers, and how to see God use it to advance his kingdom. Stay tuned for tips and strategies to launch a huge ministry from your home computer.
Heather Holleman teaches writing courses in the English Department at Penn State and, as campus staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, helps direct the ministry for graduate students with her husband, Ashley. They have two daughters and three cats. Her favorite activities include running the neighborhood fitness group, hosting parties, and drinking fresh ground coffee with various flavored creamers. Her daily blog, “How to Live with Flair,” challenges readers to find extraordinary meaning in common things.