Blogging takes a lot of trial and error, a lot of learning. In September I’m honored to be the Arkansas Women Blogger of the month with the “learn” theme. Over the past 8 years I’ve learned much about blogging.
As a speaker, I wanted to have a blog to share hope through devotionals. The reason I speak and write is to encourage people in their Christian faith through the struggles of daily life. The blog wasn’t the first component of developing my platform. It became an important part of it, helping me write content for my book.
Over the years, I’ve developed a communication ministry that has expanded with technology. My first website (2005) did not include a blog, just information about me and my speaking topics. In 2008, I started a blog on a separate site.
My very first blog post was:
“I hope you can find a moment of hope and inspiration on my blog!”
That’s it. No pictures or links. Only one sentence. I didn’t know anything about blogging or SEO, but wanted to get my writing on the web. I have learned a lot since that first blog post in 2008.
In 2011, my website and blog were combined at nancykaygrace.com when I moved everything to a WordPress content management system.
About my writing
The GraceNotes newsletter was created after some of my stories were published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, devotional compilations and magazines. GraceNotes became the way to spread any publication news; I also included a short devotional in each one. It has continued every month since 2007 and is available for sign-up on my website. Eventually I hoped to have enough content for a book. Blog posts added more potential material for a book.
I planned on self-publishing the book, but the deal fell through when the company went bankrupt. I lost money and hope for a book. Discouraged, I attended a writer’s conference to hear from God what my next step should be. I hadn’t planned on pitching anything to any publishers, but when an appointment opened up, I took the opportunity. The publisher was interested and eventually offered me a contract.
My first book, The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace, was created from the GraceNotes newsletter, blog posts, and my speaking presentations. It was awarded the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book of the Year Award in the Christian Non-fiction category at an awards ceremony in Chicago.
The Grace Impact was also Finalist or Honorable Mention for three other awards.
Last year I attended the Hot Springs ARBU and was impressed with the people I met and the content of the conference. I couldn’t talk very well because of tongue surgery in early August. I’ve had tongue cancer twice, so if the doctor sees anything worrisome, my tongue is biopsied. Thankfully last year it was not cancerous. Attending ARBU 2015 was a step in my recovery with encouragement to keep blogging.
My advice to any creative person is to just do the next step. Move toward your goal, one step at a time, pressing through the barriers of resistance.
I’m looking forward to the Megaphone Summit where I will be presenting a workshop on Internet Radio. Hope to see you there!
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