When I started this blog my husband and I agreed we would give it a year. We paid the initial website start up fee and in just a few short weeks it will be time to either renew the fee or cancel the blog.
As always, I am learning a lot with this new venture, and one thing I learned is that the number of people who follow the blog isn’t what I’d hoped it would be after almost a year. I used to have nearly 1,200 people following our family CaringBridge site. This site was devoted to updates from our wreck and my daughter’s paralysis. I naively thought half of those folks would make the switch to the blog.
Nope! Not even close.
It’s not rocket science and I am not one to play the blame game. The responsibility for the lack of followers falls squarely on the shoulders of me, the author. In full disclosure, I started the blog to try to create a job for myself. The layers of casualties from our wreck are deep and amazing. I truly miss having a job and contributing to the world. However, I need a job where I can drop what I’m doing at a moment’s notice to help my daughter if she texts or calls. I need a job which allows me to miss work to attend physical therapy with my daughter various times throughout the year. I need a job which allows me to eat dinner every night with my son and husband, as well as never miss one of my son’s races on a Saturday and always attend church with my guys. I added it up one time and due to being at physical therapy with my daughter I have missed nine months of my son’s life.
Nine months! Ugggg! At a time when he needed me the most, he was often left at home on “auto raise.” He knows he is incredibly important to me, but I know for a fact that isn’t how it’s always felt for him the past three years. And now I’m down to just three years with him at home, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to miss anymore time with him than necessary.
So the blog seemed like a good fit. It would give me purpose. It would hopefully do well and start to earn some income. It would help set a reader base for the book I hope to publish. It would work with my kids’ schedules. But I don’t think realistically I will get 170 more followers to reach my minimum goal in the waning months of 2018.
Chad and I decided to shut down the blog at the end of this calendar year.
And then one day, I had eight followers sign up! Eight followers in one day. I hadn’t had eight new followers in the past three months. And to report on something which amazes me, every time I write a blog which is predominately God-focused and Scripturally-based, I lose followers. Every. Single. Time. But since I am trying to please God rather than humans, I don’t get too worked up about it. Soon the eight followers I thought I’d gained was down to a net gain of four. It’s not like Jesus didn’t warn me that would happen.
But what really made me reconsider shutting down the blog was a comment from a complete stranger. I won’t share it; that’s between the two of us. I was blown away. My writing had truly made a positive difference in her life. Really. And then I was ashamed. Since when has money mattered more than ministry? Well, never.
With the hours I put in at home as well as my hours actually spent teaching third graders, I make less than $8 an hour. (After taxes, it’s realistically about $6 an hour). Goodness knows, I could go to any retail store and make more. But my third grade people need a teacher, and a teacher who loves them and will give them everything she has. And so I stay with them.
So right now I actually pay to write, when my husband and I had hoped I would get paid to write. Goodness knows, I could stop writing and free up a lot more time in my week. But I at least know of one person who needs some encouragement, so I will stay with the blog. Even if it’s just for one person.
I won’t end without a bit of advertising. If you get on the website to read the blog, I would greatly appreciate it if you might consider becoming a follower. It’s very easy to do if you scroll to the bottom of my home page. And if you are a follower and you appreciate what you read, would you please consider telling friends and family about the blog? Goodness knows, I’d love to see a reverse in the trend. Instead of losing followers when the Lord is mentioned, I’d love to gain followers from brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those who are at least willing to sometimes be exposed to an idea or thought with which they might not always agree.
So the blog stays. My goal for it has changed. I have to trust that one day God will not ask to see my bank account, but He will want to review what I tried to do to further His kingdom. So for those of us who sometimes feel we aren’t doing much to further God’s kingdom, let’s hold hands and further it together!
Until next Wednesday, Lord willing.