Let me ask you a question. How are you doing with your platform building? Are you hanging in there? Pursuing your goals with God? Or are you tempted like me to make the goals your god?
Having just come back from a fellowship filled camping trip to Yellowstone Park, I was struck once again by the temptations of platform building.
Here’s what I learned while I was away: if I want to avoid temptation, I need to transfer the experience I had in Yellowstone to my life as a writer.
Here are my five new platform building goals:
Platform Building Goals
1) Write in fellowship with God.
When I was in Yellowstone, I was constantly aware of God’s presence – in the beauty of His creation and the beauty of His people – my family and the friends we camped with.
When I write, I should also be constantly aware of His presence. Soaking in His love. Reveling in the beauty of His truth. Delighting in the back and forth conversation that comes through focusing on Him while I write.
2) Write in fellowship with others.
I’m beginning to see that blogging is a lot like going to a Bible study. We share with each other, we disagree with each other, and we learn from each other. There’s great fellowship in that.
When I write by myself at the computer, though, I tend to forget that all of you guys are out there because I can’t see you like I can see people in a class.
My experience in Yellowstone taught me that I just have to think of you while I write. Enjoy your presence even though you’re not right in front of my face. I can do that through prayer and through thinking of you as I write.
3) Write what God wants me to write.
Too many times I ask myself, what do I need to write to grow my blog traffic, when I should be asking, what does God want me to write?
God’s will is far more important than blogging success. For some people, the two will go hand in hand. God’s will will lead them to cultural success. But not everyone.
Think of Jeremiah. He did what God wanted Him to do – but everyone got mad at him in the process. And if he had been writing all that stuff on his blog, I doubt he would have had many followers.
4) Hold success with open hands.
Which is exactly why I need to hold success with open hands. I don’t know if God will want me to write things that will make everyone mad. If He does then I need to write them.
And if I make everyone mad, I probably won’t be that successful in the cultural sense.
5) Renew my mind every time my ministry (blogging) threatens to tear me away from the One I minister for (God).
For some reason blogging is incredibly tempting to me. But if I allow blogging to take over my life, what will I be modeling for others?
One of the greatest enemies of the church is a non-disciple who is discipling others. I don’t want to be that person.
Which is why I need to constantly renew my mind. It’s the only way I can keep a close walk with God while I pursue my goals.
2016 Update: If you’d like to see a list of the blog posts on blogging and ministry, click here. I’ve also written a book filled with the journaling questions and Bible verses I’ve used to talk through these issues with God and renew my mind about them. If you’re interested in that book, click here.
Question: How are you doing with platform building? What do you do to keep it from taking over your life?
P.S. Goals #3-5 don’t really have anything to do with Yellowstone but I wanted to include them anyway!
From a Montana Front Porch says
I have to make myself not look at my stat page. It becomes consuming and takes away from the reasons I started my blog. Thank you for sharing this with us, it put everything into perspective again! ;)
Haha – I know exactly how you feel. In fact, as I write this comment to you I have a 5 X 7 index card folded in half lengthwise and sitting over the top of my laptop so I can’t see that little graph at the top of my blog. I don’t even like to see that!
Thanks for your honesty and openness, it encourages others to be truthful with themselves.
Your post reminds me of the book “Love Does” by Bob Goff.
First because he doesn’t like the term “Bible Study” instead he and a group of guys meet and have “Bible Doing” (or something like that). He wants to know stalk Jesus, but walk with Him. He wants to DO something and not just study about others who have done stuff.
Your post also reminds me of his book because he’s a lawyer and he makes his clients testify with their palms up. You don’t get as easily mad or defensive or lie when your hands aren’t clenched in fists. Also, Jesus was palms up for us on the cross.
Anyway, this is what your post brought to my mind. Great job.
Hmm, I’ve never read anything by him. Sounds interesting. Another book to go on my “read some day” list!
Very easy read. Had me in tears a few times and laughing more times than I could count. It’s practical and powerful. Highly recommend reading it. I keep meaning to do a book review on it, but haven’t had time.
Oh, as for my platform building…I haven’t looked at my stats in a while, so that’s a good thing :)
Yes, now if only I could permanently hide that little graph at the top of the page. It’s distracting whether it’s high or low. :)
I’m sorry you have to see a graph, that would make it more difficult.
Ngina Otiende says
I really love # 3 Barb (plus the others). Infact am guest posting tomorrow at Godly Writers about it! Sometimes am overtaken by other things (including my seeming weaknesses) that I forget what blogging is all about – His message. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.
Just read your guest post and loved it, Ngina! It was so encouraging, plus I liked the part about perfectionism as I struggle with that.
Ngina Otiende says
Glad the post was blessing Barb. You build me up so much yourself.
Karen Foster says
Thanks for the warning: “Don’t become a non-disciple discipling others.”.
I’m just glad I didn’t begin blogging earlier in my walk with God!
Dan Black on Leadership says
#3 really stood out to me the most. I’m re-learning the importance of being guided by God when I write, this means writing what He wants me to write about. Thank you for writing this, it’s just what I needed to hear.
I’m just beginning to learn this, and I think it’s going to make a big difference in my writing. Which is exciting – I feel like I’m on the edge of writing in peace on a regular basis. Which will be an incredible blessing.
Loren Pinilis says
The more and more I think about this, the more and more I realize that the best strategy is just to go deeper and deeper with your message – and let God direct the platform part of it.
I’m not sure what I think anymore! Definitely to keep God first and go deep with the message. Still figuring out how to manage it all.
I completely agree with you Loren. God will always direct what you need him to. Well put!
Lisa blair says
I’m a new blogger. Writing through a His instruction not only offers support for young parents, but also is strengthening my relationship with Him. I appreciate your words of wisdom. I know I am doing as God instructed but winder who is it helping in that I have 1 follower and few viewers at this point. Then I recall how God commanded a couple to leave their business and attend Seminary. Upon graduation he instructed the couple to buy an organ and go outside this little town and hold a tent revival. After four or five days and no attendees, they began to doubt themselves. They saw one gangly guy walk by each morning, no other people. I prayer they questioned themselves and God who told them to continue what they were doing. A day or two later, the young man entered the tent and was saved. The young man was Billy Graham. I shared this to say, our blogs may be for one specific person that will do great things for the Lord, for one person to save their child through prayer, or for the masses.
With this perspective, I write and move forward, query about rewriting past posts, and then let them go. I am also learning not to view my stats- not easy, but succeeding at bit at a time. Finally, I have learned to let go and let God. Thank you for your words of wisdom and your followers comments. I am a new follower and look forward to your blogs.
My post is about teaching parents how to create Young Christian Warriors, preparing children to embrace the Word of God. http://www.youngchristianwarriors.com
Barb Raveling says
Hi Lisa! Your blog looks great! Plus I love the name and it looks like you have really helpful articles. When I first started out with blogging I didn’t realize I was providing a resource that would be helpful to others years down the road. I was just thinking, “Why am I doing this? No one is coming?”
The thing that surprised me is that it’s not just about one blog post – yes, one blog post can help someone, but if you keep writing, years down the road the collection of all those posts can help all kinds of people because more people know about you years down the road.
Another thing that surprised me is that God used my blog to make me a better writer. I really needed some writing practice as I wasn’t experienced at it, nor was I naturally good at it, nor had I had any training at it! So even though no one was coming, it was helpful just as a way to make myself write.
That’s so great all the lessons God’s been teaching you and how you’re growing as a blogger. I know God will use those lessons for your good and the good of others–and all of your blog posts as well! Thanks for commenting!