Sunday, October 6, 2013

Just Me: State of the Blog Address

Just Me is a series that doesn't have any fancy pictures or adventures, just me and my thoughts.

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I have had many debates in my head, prayer time with the Lord and talks with my husband recently on what to share and what not to share when it comes to the success (or lack thereof) of this blog. I have had the chance to share with just a hand full of people the growth that has occurred on this little 'ol blog within the past few months. 

I have been quiet about it online because I honestly don't know how to communicate that kind of information...when its MY blog and MY life....how do I communicate without sounding like a total bragger?

On a long drive today by myself I thought about the reason I started this blog: to glorify the Lord in all that I do. From the very first post I wrote 8 months ago I have promised to be REAL. 

Why?

Because I haven't always been real. I have had many stages of life where I felt like I was hiding. Hiding behind shame and regret. And Jesus picked me up and dusted me off and SAVED ME from myself. I am forever grateful.

Beautiful sky today

So on this drive I had this little conversation with God (between some sick rap beats) on what steps to take next with this blog. I felt overwhelmed and nervous about every little thing. The majority of my viewers are now people I haven't met personally. How do I handle that kind of platform? Do I write differently? Do I not get as personal in my posts? Do I try and get sponsors? Will this growth last?  I DON'T KNOW ANY OF THESE ANSWERS. God help me!

And I really felt like I heard him. He said "Just. Be. Real. Stop worrying. Just. Be. Real."

I thought about that for a while. I could either dump a bunch of changes on you guys without explaining anything or...I could explain -Be real with what's going on. Some of you are my closest friends. I want to be open and not have it be super awkward when someone asks how my blog is going. 

In the past, I have been really awkward when asked this question. (Sorry!) When I was thinking about it today, I wondered "Why? Why am I so hesitant to talk about it?" I realized I was awkward because I was so self conscious about sounding boastful. I don't feel like I deserve the success I've had...like at all. Then it hit me, this isn't my success to boast. It's the Lord's. God is using this blog. So while I am excited to tell you it has been successful, I want you to know this success is not due to me, it is due to the Lord.

So, here is what's going on....

What's happening?
This little 'ol blog is receiving 10x the amount of views it was getting 4 months ago. To put that into perspective, the number of views in the month of June is equivalent to 3 days worth of views now. 

Numbers aren't everything, but every number is a PERSON. How do I make you feel loved here? So many questions on how to use this platform in a way that is glorifying to God.

What's the plan?
There isn't one. HA! I have thought long and hard...and I have no idea. See next question.

What can viewers do to help?
It would be pretty cool if this blog could provide monetary needs some day. To be perfectly honest, I think that day is far, far away. Then again, I never thought I would be typing this post.

To start off, I am looking for businesses to donate products to giveaway to my viewers. It's good publicity for your business and everyone loves free stuff. I would also be willing to do product reviews for clothing or beauty supplies. Good publicity there as well. 

For now, there will be zero charge for sponsored posts. Please understand that I am only looking for content relating to this blog and products or services I feel my viewers would enjoy. I would be happy to speak with you privately about specific blog stats: katieraines123@gmail.com 

What I'm nervous about:
Everything. HA! Writing this post in general is kind of terrifying. I am really nervous to deliver inaccurate stats to future businesses. Free promotions is my trial run to test the waters and see how successful it is for your business and how stable viewing can be in the coming months for me.

I'm also nervous about balancing my professional career with this blog once other factors are thrown in. I work full time as a shoe developer, so this is just a fun little thing I do outside of work.

Changes:
-Expect visual changes soon, as I seek out a professional for blog design. (If you know of anyone with a feminine eye, let me know! My other plans recently fell through) 
-You will start to see "Katie in Kansas" more frequently, as this will be the new name of the blog. Same URL and everything, just a tag line so it's easy to remember. 
-I don't plan for promotions to be all that frequent. You definitely won't feel like you are being spammed or anything. 
-Pinterest has been a huge traffic source, so expect me to awkwardly add posts to my Pinterest board: katieraines.blogspot.com. Shameless self-promotion! HAHA! 

Other than the changes listed above, everything will stay exactly the same. I want my posts to be real. 

Well, thanks for reading that whole thing. I'm really excited about all the changes. Still pretty overwhelmed, but excited none the less. Thanks for being such loyal supporters. I never thought in a million years this blog would have more than like 5 people reading it regulary. HA! I am humbled and blessed!

6 comments:

  1. Congrats! I think it's awesome! The Lord will guide you along the way with all the changes and opportunities ahead!

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  2. Katie, That's how God works. Isn't it exciting!" Trust in the Lord with all your heart..Lean not on your own understanding...In All your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path". Usually the direction comes in the form of something we personally had nothing to do with. I"m so excited to see where God takes this..... I know many will be blessed and encouraged..... I love your blog..the mixture of humor, design, advise and praise..... I think of Rebecca..who went to water camels and came back with a husband, or David who went to care for his brothers..and killed a giant!.. Nothing close to what they started out to do! God always uses willing hearts to take us above and beyond all we could ever dream ! You go girl!!!! wrapping you in hugs and prayers!

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    1. I have a good guess who wrote this, but yo are listed as unkown :-( This was so encouraging to me. Thank you thank you!

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  3. We all go through the blog limbo of figuring out the next step for our blog, so I understand! As far as design goes, I absolutely LOVED my designer for my blog - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (http://whiskeytangofoxtrotdesigns.blogspot.de/p/pricing.html) She was the most reasonably priced I had found ($65 at the time I did it), but believe me.. the $75 will still be worth it. There are times I need a small change here and there and she doesn't charge extra or bat an eye! She's wonderful! Best of luck as you figure out the direction of your blog and how to make money blogging - it's a struggle, one I'm still trying to figure out myself!

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    1. Thanks for the recommendations Heather! I appreciate it!

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