What I Learned in My First (“Real”) Year of Blogging

What I Learned in My First "Real" Year of Blogging

A little over eighteen months ago, Steph called me and tossed out the idea of turning my personal blog into a joint effort. And then six months after that, after planning and chatting and dreaming together, we launched what was at first gospel girls and is now PLC.

Since we just celebrated our one year anniversary last month, I wanted to take a look back together at where we’ve been and also a look ahead at where we’re going and say thank you for being here.

While I always get a little shaky about looking at or sharing numbers, I hope you don’t mind if I start by giving a few to you as a way of saying, “woah – you guys are awesome,” because it’s kind of incredible. In gospel girls / Pray, Live, Create’s first year we welcomed over 25,000 visitors. Over 3,400 visits were in January alone. That’s 25,000 pairs of feet that wiped their boots on the welcome mat and stepped right in, and we call that grace.

It’s way beyond my wildest dreams and imagination, and I can’t say enough how much I adore the community that’s being formed here.

Still, I had my own set of “teachable moments” and hangups, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing those with you, too.

I learned from a professional blogger that something like 1-5% of visitors ever comment on your blog. That number’s pretty true for us, but I still spent a lot of the first year getting hung up on the comments in all the wrong ways.

The average number of blogs I read per day is something like 5. The average number of comments I leave a day is 0, usually because I’m reading from my phone, behind a firewall, or just letting it all soak in. I’m getting better at that, because I genuinely like to say thanks to the author for sharing stuff with the world, and I love meeting other people who write or create or share pieces of themselves and forming new friendships.

But what I’ve learned is this. While comments are a great way to build community, they’re not a good indicator of how a post might have affected someone and they are not the reason to write. We write to inspire each other and share the hope we have in Christ and speak a little love.

So all that to say, when you comment … Yay! Let’s be friends in this thing called life. When you don’t, we’re still super grateful for you and you make us happy that you spend a bit if your day in this here gathering place. And if you ever want to say hi, we’re pretty sure we’d like you.

Also, I miss the shorter form of posts that I started with a long time ago. Before this blog was gospel girls or PLC, I used this space to share some of my personal journey and the hope God was planting in my heart. And that’s where we came up with Doses of Hope.

Since then, Doses of Hope have become beautiful pieces of art that Steph crafts for us with love every single week, and they decorate my walls and make my life beautiful.

But the other faith posts have gotten a lot longer, and while I love some of them (like When You Feel Like Freaking Out, because the Lord knows I need it) and often learn as much from them later as I did the first time since writing is totally the way God helps me process things, I don’t want to go so long all the time.

I’m probably going to start sharing stuff with you as He’s fleshing it out instead of waiting to get the final thought in. I think it’ll be easier for all of us and really fun. Kind of like Monday’s post on finding joy even in the struggle.

And if it doesn’t speak for itself, doing this thing together is way more fun than doing it by myself. Since Steph and I teamed up to share our joys and passions and pursuits and wonderings in this little space, and ask how we can bless you with it all, it’s become something more beautiful than I ever imagined. And the dreams we’re excitedly entertaining in our hearts are even better. So never let it be said blogging together ain’t fun.

And lastly, I know for sure that none of this means anything without you. Thank you for being here, encouraging us, challenging us, growing with us, and adding to the conversation. Even when you’re silent. We love being creative and passionate in this space with you, and we’re thankful for you guys like woah.





p.s. Let’s all forgive my creepy half-smile, too. Apparently this is what I look like when I write!



  1. Hahaha…I totally didn’t think your smile was creepy, until you said that and then it *was* kind of creepy! But actually, that’s one of the reasons I love this post–because it has a big ol’ picture of you, my beautiful friend, and that makes my heart super happy.

    It’s so hard reconciling the numbers, isn’t it? The comments thing has always been hard for me, too. That’s why I’ve started making a concerted effort to reduce my reading to only those blogs that I am willing to invest in with comments–because I want this to be about relationship and community, not just about absorbing information. You are spot on, though. You can’t judge the impact of a post by the feedback you receive. I can’t even count the times I’ve been surprised to find out that someone has been reading my blog for a long time (a relative or long-lost friend or an acquaintance) and they tell me then how much they appreciate my writing and how it ministers to them, and yet they’ve never left a comment or said as much before. I am grateful that God uses my offering of myself and my story, far beyond what I ever imagined and, honestly, far beyond what I even know about. I am sure it is the same for you, Friend. So grateful God’s allowed us to share the road together.

    I keep thinking I need to learn to write shorter posts, too. Because I, too, want it to be the whole story and not only does that take a long time to write and process, but it also intimidates me and often keeps me from starting at all because it’s so enormous. So I’m looking forward to your shorter posts and hoping they’ll rub off on me, help me overcome all this writer’s block that’s kept my blog so silent this past year.

    Hooray for surviving (and thriving!) your first year of blogging. I’m proud of you and so privileged to call you Friend.


    1. Courtney, I don’t have to tell you how much your writing has impacted me – even posts I’ve never been able to comment on. I just read that JRR Tolkien struggled with the same thing – the enormity of what he wanted to write and so not being able to start at all. I’m grateful we get to share the road together, too!


  2. It is so true. I read a lot of blogs and rarely comment but that doesn’t mean they aren’t awesome, cause they are. I actually like that pic of you:)


    1. Right? I find myself doing it alllll the time. So glad God’s helping me snap out of that eyes on myself thing and just enjoy community and being in this together.

      Thanks, girl! That means a lot coming from you! 🙂


Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s