,

Ten Things I’ve Learned In A Year of Blogging

The last year has been an adventurous ride since hopping aboard the blogging train. I’ve made some stumbles, met some friends and had a blast along the way. So come along for the ride as I share Ten Things I’ve Learned In A Year of Blogging. Here they are in no particular order.

 

Press The Button Already

 

Oh the angst of hitting the publish button. When I write a post, I let it freely flow from my heart out through my fingertips. I write exactly what the Lord tells me to write, even down to typing fragments, using slang and sharing difficult truths. The only thing I edit for is spelling. Otherwise, I leave the idea as is. And that can be frightening. Will people receive what I’m saying? Did I clearly communicate God’s message? Should I have used a different illustration? Did I offend anybody?

 

Yup, a wide range of emotions in publishing a piece of writing.   But ultimately, I hit the button and trust God to do the rest.

 

Community: Those I’ve Met Along The Way

 

This has been one of the best yet unexpected blessing along the blogging journey. I would have NEVER imagined I would have met and been joined in heart with so many other bloggers. These women write from the heart. Their transparency reminds me I’m not alone. Their love for Christ compels me to deepen my walk.

 

Here are a few writers that inspire and challenge me.

Ann Voskamp

Tai East

Deb Wolf

Kelly Balarie

Candace Creates

Susan Mead

Sue Detweiler

 

To the regular visitors and commenters on the blog, I am amazed by your openness and willingness to share via comments. I thank the readers for allowing Inspired Life to occupy space in their hearts and minds. I thank you for praying for me.

 

Vulnerability

 

Ugh! I shared on this in yesterday’s post. Click here to read more on my reflections on my 1st year of blogging. I usually let few into my “personal space” of sharing my deepest feelings and thoughts. But to truly connect with hearts and out of obedience to Christ, I’ve had to bare my soul. Not an easy task by far. But Revelation 12:11 tells us, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.

 

The Life Of A Writer

 

You guys want in on a secret? I’ve been writing since I was a very young child. Until age 11 I was an only child living in tumultuous circumstances. One way of escape was reading and writing. I’ve kept journals for as long as I can remember. In middle school I recall complaining to my father that I had no talent. I wasn’t athletic or musically inclined. My father said to me, “you create with your pen”. I’m ever so grateful for his affirmation. I continued to write for my school newspaper and even have a degree in Journalism. Suffice it to say, I love writing!

 

OK, now real life. In a much as I love to write, I don’t always feel like writing. As a busy wife, mother and ministry leader, I don’t have long stretches of free time to write. And the windows of opportunity that I do have to write, are not when I’m at my peak. I roll full throttle between 6am-2pm. Oh how I wish I could write then. But that’s when I’m most consumed with other activities. When I can actually sit to write is after 9pm. By then I am drained, hence not always pumped to write. Nonetheless it’s my passion. I love to communicate through the written and spoken word.

 

So parents, if you’ve got a child that like to write, write and write some more; the child that practices their penmanship, the child that likes to doodle, make little books, give speeches, talk too much in class, talks, talks and talks some more, see the gifting for what it is and look for opportunities to cultivate it. That’s my story. That’s the story of my role model, best selling author and world-renowned speaker Priscilla Shirer.

 

Schedules, Calendars and Such

 

Because I am the consummate planner, I thought I’d follow I strict blogging calendar. Its one of the “pro” tips you read for those new to blogging. Well, that just didn’t work for me because I write what the Holy Spirit tells me to write when He tells me to write it. I’ve had something that I thought would be one post turn into a series. I’ve had a headline written and bullet points for which direction I’d take in a post to have it veer in a completely different direction. Thus I’ve been unable to stick to a strict blogging schedule and that’s actually been quite freeing contrary to what I originally believed.

 

The Comparison Trap

 

As a blogger, I come into contact with many other blogs. In visiting their pages, I am so inspired. But there is a fine line between encouragement and envy, between confidence and coveting. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. Oh some bloggers are such great photographers, some write such lyrical prose. I am so so grateful to the Holy Spirit for reassuring me early in the journey to stay true to my voice. He told me directly, “Tyra, I’ve attuned a remnant to hear ME coming through you.” Don’t change your voice. They will hear MY voice through your authentic voice. Click To Tweet Yes Lord, I will stay true to my voice, which is Your voice.

 

What The Expert Say versus Reality

 

More of the expert tips say to read many other posts and leave comments, to be active on mostly all the social media platforms so that you send readers back to your blog.  They say consider taking on sponsored posts and the list goes on and on. In the beginning, I considered trying all the expert advice. But you know what I found? Doing all that literally was a full time job. It is time consuming to post to social media all day every day, read a ton of blogs (to really read them), and to leave meaningful, heartfelt comments.

 

There are suggestions on how often to post, the length of the posts, writing catchy headlines, using the right keywords and on and on. Again this is where I just have to be true to my voice and write from the heart as opposed to writing content that’s marketable. My goal is to write that which inspires, encourages, and challenges while conveying timeless biblical truth. So while my strategy may not garner me a hundred thousand visitors, I know I am remaining true to myself and true to Christ.

 

What Matters Most

 

Award winning photography, catchy headlines and tweetable quotes. I can’t spend a great deal of time and brain space trying to craft those. I do like to take pictures. My dad is a photographer and I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was about 3. So I do enjoy pairing the posts with original pics that capture the essence of the message. There are times though I don’t have one on hand and I’ll use something from Flickr. But even in that experts say to always brand your pics to drive traffic back to your posts. When I’m ready to posts, juts can’t take another 15-30 minutes selecting a photo, editing it and adding a catchy phrase with stylish fonts. I’ve tried but I discovered it’s not the most effective use of my time and energy.

 

Kryptonite: Tech Issues

 

Oh my I completely come undone under the pressure of tech issues. It’s my kryptonite. Since I launched the blog, I’ve had tech issues. I’m so grateful most if the issues aren’t visible on the front end but on the back end I’ve got to do loops and hoops just to even publish one post. Somewhere along this journey I’ll be able to hire someone to help me fix the broken pieces. Until then, grace is carrying me through. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!

 

Check The Stats

 

As a person whose secondary love language is words of affirmation, in the beginning, I would check the stats daily. BAD MOVE. Again the Lord swept in with His truth. “Your affirmation comes from ME, not from man”, He reminded. So I had to let that go. I will not be held hostage by stats. I would love for my posts to reach the masses and minister to a large segment of the population but looking at the numbers is not going to change that. I put my faith in the Lord that He will lead me and He will guide the readers to the site via His will, His way.

 

In every situation and circumstance there is something to be learned. I’m happy to share with you ten things I’ve learned in a year of blogging. This past year has stretched me tremendously and I’m grateful for the process. This past year has made me accountable to live by what I’m sharing. It’s enabled me to be more vulnerable. It’s shown me my faith is still growing and that Christ and Christ alone is my source of strength, not me.

 

Thank you friends for hopping aboard the Inspired Life train.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with others sharing the Good News Cheerleaders of FaithGrace&Truth, DanceWithJesus

10 replies
  1. Catherine
    Catherine says:

    I just found your site through the Grace & Truth link-up. Awesome to hear what you have learned over the past year. I am coming up on my first year as well, and boy are you right about the tech stuff. I grew up with computers, as my Dad worked for a computer company, so I thought this blogging thing would be easy. Boy was I wrong. I love it though, and have learned so much over the past almost year. Glad I found your site!

    Reply
  2. Tai East
    Tai East says:

    Tyra, I am so honored to be included on your list of bloggers who have inspired you. You have greatly inspired me and blessed me immeasurably as well, so I am so very grateful that I could return the favor. My blog was a year old this past July and as I was reading your post it seemed as if I had written every word because I’ve gone through the exact same process. Like you, I am thankful that THE HOLY SPIRIT has been my guide throughout this entire journey. And I’m also thankful for you. You have a beautiful heart and spirit and it is evident that you walk with GOD because I see HIM in you and through you. You’re not just a great Writer. You carry HIS anointing to do so. So, keep writing and keep brightly shining for HIS glory! GOD bless you, beautiful friend! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Cathy Lawdanski
    Cathy Lawdanski says:

    Glad I found your blog. I am planning mine. Appreciate your transparency. I have been studying all the “experts” too. Your post has given me “permission” to do what works for me and trust the Lord with who my blog is supposed to reach.

    Reply
    • Tyra Lane-Kingsland
      Tyra Lane-Kingsland says:

      Cathy,
      Looking forward to reading the grace that will flow from you. And kudos to the freedom of simply being you: your unique voice, your message, your personality. God wants to use YOU, not a flea market knock off. So excited for you friend. Keep me posted.

      Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] celebrating my 1st Blogiversary, I’ve spent this week reflecting.  I started the week with What I’ve Learned In A Year Of Blogging.  I’ve revisited the most popular post of the year, which was a surprise to me, I Have Faith […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *