When a blogger loves words…

A year ago, one year ago today, I stopped joking around and settled down to blog. I’ve said before that it started with a wail and a whisper. I had been writing a blog for months before that, taken a break, but it was just a bit of dalliance on my part, nothing serious.Β  This is the real thing. My friends, when a girl blogger loves words so much… she goes from beingΒ a blogger to being a wr-wr-wr-wr (this is really difficult for me) wr-writer.

I wanted this blog to be a green space for people to commune, chat, care for one another and come to an understanding of who they are in Christ. My one-word, from one-word 2011 blogging challenge by gritandglory.com has been worked into nearly every post since then. It’s more than just a throwaway word, though, I want a common, here, where people can add their voices.

* In the past year, I have had 9,877 page views, the vast majority of those since October.
* The most traffic I received on a single day was David’s birthday, when I published “What’s a single mom to do?”
* The three most popular posts I’ve made have been:

1) Where were the Christians with 333 views and 17 comments.

2) My Christmas Wish: A World without Slavery with 170 views and 3 comments (and I would still love for you to share this one if you read it)

3) To Die Daily with 169 views and 19 comments.

What floors me the most are the relationships I’ve made through blogging, with other writers, with my readers, with people who email me to tell me that something touched or ministered to them. I’m constantly flummoxed. I love meeting the people that I’ve “met” online, people whose words I read everyday. I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends and, it seems, daily, I’m making new ones.

How in the world does this happen? What are your tips for building/maintaining relationships online?

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41 responses to “When a blogger loves words…

  1. I always comment on all my comments, even if it’s just a simple Thanks. I also talk on Twitter with my fellow bloggers, etc. You are already doing these things and therefore are already cultivating these relationships. Keep up the good work. I may not always comment on your blog, but I do read it and enjoy getting to know you through your words!

    • It’s so difficult to keep up with everyone else’s blog. There are probably 100 blogs I have in my blog roll favorites folder, and the amt of posts I would need to read is daunting. I am so grateful to those bloggers who keep putting out great posts, though.

  2. You do such a good job. And I’d by lying if I said I wasn’t a little envious of how well you write. I wrote about blogging not too long ago and felt weird doing so. But for me the biggest thing is just to be yourself and respond to comments. And both of those you do exceptionally well.

  3. you’ve built a great site, Kristin…a wonderful showcase for your writing and your thoughts, and a place where your faith and questioning intellect both shine through.

    the relationships that come with blogging still amaze me too. reciprocity and – for all it’s overused – authenticity seem to be the keys, i think.

    • you’ve (nearly) rendered me speechless, because I can’t think of a blogger I love to read more than you, Bon. Honestly, I don’t feel worthy to comment there, really, because of the fierce intellectual prowess of your blog. I don’t think that’ll stop me, though, so, sorry πŸ˜€

  4. Congrats πŸ™‚
    I think there are some very specific things:
    1) read and comment on other peoples blogs
    2) check back for responses, and keep the convo going.
    3) forward other peoples’ posts along in Twitter or whatever.
    4) blog consistently.

    I’ve been sucking lately at the first three, so its a wonder to me that I still have any online friends. Hehe.

  5. Kristin, congrats on a year’s worth of consistency! I, for one, enjoy coming back (and I’m a newbie to all this). By no means am I an expert–I mean, I’ve only been doing this “blogging” thing for 5-6 weeks or so, but I think the most important thing is the conversation. I find it humbling to see people coming back to the blog, and re-commenting on a comment. I think you have done a great job on building community and conversation. Thanks for your example!

  6. I’m not sure how I got here a few months ago, but boy am I glad I did. You have become more than just a blog and a twitter follower (ugh, I hate that term). You have become a friend… even if we never met. Words give us a rare look at something that connects people… the heart. And you have a beautiful heart.

    Keep writing Kristin, I’ll keep reading (and commenting).

    Congrats!

  7. Kristin, I think I was a writer before a blogger – and I’m not using “writer” in an “I have arrived” sort of way. I wrote all this content on my “weblog” and got virtually NO hits. Let’s be honest though, I was a terrible blogger. I rarely updated, and when I did, I posted my content and put it away. I would occasionally comment on other sites, just to spam – “Good post. Here’s my website _______________” but made virtually no attempt to connect with people? Why? I was too busy. I was a pastor.. (Pathetic, right? Whoever heard of a pastor that doesn’t connect with people?)

    Oh, and whenever someone would be gracious enough to comment on my material, I would rarely respond to them. Oh how celeb I was.. πŸ™‚

    It wasn’t until the last year that a few of my posts began connecting with people, and I decided I really did want to do better. Several things happened (and I won’t bore you with the details here, I may blog about them later), and I found myself outside the ministry limelight and aching for connection. I decided to find like-minded people and my blog turned into something completely different. I started using other writers to tell their stories. I commented frequently on other blogs.

    Know what happened? Forget the blog! I met some fascinating people – like you and many of your commenters as of very lately! I joined a community! I joined several. And ministry looks very different. You’re a blogger in the best sense of the word. You’re doing community the right way! Keep it up!

    Now look what you did.. My comment is almost longer than your post. So sorry! πŸ™‚

    • This guy is stealing the spotlight. Let’s get him!! (grabs torch). Kidding Bryan! πŸ™‚

    • I’m pretty sure I was just a ranter/venter before I had blogged for awhile. Now, I try to think about the words and what they do and how to fit them together. That doesn’t always come across, but I’m learning.

      I am grateful that someone (Tony) taught me early on to comment and reply as a way to forge relationships, not just funnel traffic. I covet conversation and I want to create it here.

      I don’t mind the long comments. I hope comments like these are the start of those conversations I want to read so badly.

  8. Honestly I’m blown away at the quality of relationships I’m building through the digital space. Back in the 90s I never got into the whole AOL chat deal, message boards or any other virtual connections.

    Honestly, Twitter has been the tipping point for me. The people I’ve met there are incredible. The blogging community is the most down-to-earth and sincere group of peeps I’ve met. I’ve emailed a ton of people I’ve met online and I’ve talked to a couple on the phone. Every time the connection is deepened it is even more beautiful.

    I just want to say that I am so happy to have connected with you. I’ve told you this, but you are one of my faves. I don’t say that lightly. I love your writing, your love for the Lord and just who you are.

    Congrats on the one year milestone!

    • You made me get all watery-eyed with that, Tony. It was probably the jalepenos, yes? (I know, that needs a ~ over the n).

      I’m so thankful for the people I’ve come into contact with through this blog, Twitter, other blogs, etc. It’s an encouragement to me.

  9. Consistently being yourself. I think that is my #1 piece of advice. Don’t write to please others or put things out there that you think will get attention. Just be you. I think you do a great at this. Keep on keeping on.

  10. My favorite thing about blogging is the community I’ve become a part of and begun to build. I am constantly surprised by the real and meaningful connections I’m able to have with people I’ve never met. There is something about sharing things of faith that instantly breeds intimacy.

    Tips for buidling/maintaining relationships online? Um, I’m still learning. Commenting on other blogs, Twitter, and FB seem to do the trick for me. But, I have a really hard time keeping up. I’m very interested in getting to know the bloggers behind the scenes too, so we can help eachother out. I started a Google group for faith based bloggers. I think I sent you an email invite. If you want to join, please let me know because we would love to have you!

    • I’ve had computer problems plaguing me this week. Getting the post and comments moderated has been about all my pathetic little computer can stand. Let me look into it. Community is so important!

  11. I’ve only been here a few times, but I’ve truly enjoyed all those visits. You’ve got a great blog, and hopefully I can aspire to something as well done as yours.
    I used to have several commenters not long after I started blogging, but a few years ago, I ended up not posting much, and lost my readers. Now I’m trying to build it up again. Doesn’t seem like it’s going too well so far (I’m not giving up though). I know I get visitors, but hardly anyone comments, and that can be disheartening. But, I’ll keep at it. Maybe one of these days I’ll write well enough to get comments :o).

    Happy blogiversary!!

  12. I have no advice for you. I’ve been doing this for 5.5 years and don’t get the comments or (I’m guessing) traffic that you get.
    I changed my mind. Here’s some advice. Just be yourself. It’s obviously working for you. And when you do something this regularly, growth happens naturally.
    You go, girl blogger.

  13. I have to say, I love your writing. I stop in and read often. However, I don’t usually write comments, sometimes I just click on the like post.
    Keep doing what you’re doing Kristin, you are inspiring us all.

  14. wow, it is amazing how much community can take place online. i love it and am blown away to see your community of friends.
    my tip for building community online is be authentically yourself. and I see you doing this. there seems to be no difference between the online Kristin and the Kristin I haven’t met…yet. keep at it. keep being faithful with your family, your church, your community, and lastly your online community. I choose the order in priority.
    hope you’re having a terrifically awesome day!;)!

    • I am having a pretty terrific day πŸ˜€ I think building relationships wherever I go is important to me, and people recognize that. I actually feel I can more “real” here than in person, sometimes, because I express myself better this way.

  15. Kristin, you are truly amazing. I feel like you are a friend, like, for realsies. I never thought I would make such “real” connections without actually meeting people face-to-face. Some of my biggest support right now is coming from people I have never met (including you). Thank you for being who you are. When other people are real, it allows me to be real. Your writing makes me think, laugh (hysterically), and cry (uncontrollably). That’s the mark of a true wr wr wr wr WRITER! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you. It’s exciting!!! Blessings and virtual HUGS!

    • me too, Katie! I am making it a point to convert the virtual to the real, because, honestly, I don’t have a lot of friends here, now, in my every day life that don’t “live in the box” as my mom says about my online friends. I think these types of friendships can be everybit as rewarding. Thanks for the virtual hugs. Back at you!

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