Coffee Talk: Discussion on Devotionals, Blogging & Social Media
Today on Coffee Talk I want to answer some new questions that have poured into SS this week!
Grab a coffee, pull up a chair, & let's chat!
1. Looking for a good daily devotional for a friend - any recommendations?
Oh where do I begin? One of my favorite daily devotional books is "Encouragement for Today" by the Proverbs 31 Ministry Team. Encouragement for Today is packed full of brief devotionals with encouragement for every day situations we face as women. So relatable & uplifting - a must read!
Of course I also suggest the soon to come SoulScripts devotional booklet called MyScripts. This will be an interactive daily devotional but still brief each day - great for a few moments in the Word.
2. I am thinking about starting a blog as well as social media platform. I was wondering how you got started and if you had any social media advice for a novice.
There is so much that can be said on this topic. Beginning a mission using the Internet can be powerful, but also much harder than we'd hope.
I have to be honest, I probably didn't really think through it or pray through it much when I started. I admit that for a brief time I was more focused on growing my following than my faith. God hit me upside the head on this one after not too long, thankfully! Bless all my early followers who put up with my absurd amount of giveaways and obnoxious posts on what I was selling. Granted this approach works in quickly gaining followers - and no doubt you have to have followers in order to share your message BUT the challenge I faced was "Who are you seeking to glorify? Yourself or God?" If it's God, the people will come on His time if your message is truly God inspired. If it's not, you may gain a big following that doesn't stick around.
In addition to readjusting the sails to let God lead, there are a few big things I've learned from using social media / blogging / etc. for ministry that may help you in growing your own:
1. Before leaping into starting a blog, develop a focus on social media and build your community. For SoulScripts it has become encouragement. For you, it may be something different. It's important to remember that you can't spend hours writing a blog without knowing it will be read. Let God help you with this. You can't do it on your own no matter how many giveaways or hashtags you use.
2. Pictures must draw people in to read your words.
Composition is important but don't obsess over staging. It still has to be real.
3. People are hungry for authenticity, truth & encouragement.
Pray over ways to shine this in your post/words/etc. & be intentional in this before trying to sell an idea or product of any kind.
4. The big one: Be real with your following.
Don't preach at people. Share your heart. Make friends with those who read your words. This requires authenticity & openness. People are much more willing to listen to what you have to say if you meet them where they are. People want relationships more than a sales pitch or constant reminder to read your blog. Develop relationships with your community so that they stick around. We're all the same regardless of if we have 250 followers or 25,000 followers. Treat your followers as such.
5. Hashtags are a powerful tool.
But don't put a zillion hashtags at the end of each post - been there, done that. It doesn't make THAT big of a difference but it does crowd your words and discourages people from reading what you have to say. If you post a block of hashtags, do it after the photo in the comments. This doesn't take away from your caption as much and doesn't show as people comment in response. Another idea - as your community grows, develop your own hashtag & direct others to use it! Share their photos when they do! It's a great way to interact with others and it's important to connect with those who have been touched by your work & words.
6. Be systematic in posting.
This is still something I'm learning myself. But it can be very helpful. For example, something I try to stick to is posting devotional related posts in the AM and posting something related to SoulScripts products/blog/business updates in the PM. Other thanSunday - only devos on Sunday. I don't stick to it perfectly, but it's indeed been helpful to be slightly more systematic in posting authentic words while still sharing important news & updates such as new blog posts, sales, workshop videos, new products, and more.
7. Last but certainly not least, always point your audience back to Christ.
Even if you are sharing on a product you are selling or a business update or blog post, you must always be aware to never neglect to emphasize the PURPOSE of all you're doing online. It can be far too easy to become self absorbed and caught up in sales if you don't consistently point not only your audience but also yourself back to the Source.
So now tell me - what have you learned about social media & sharing the gospel? What do you want to see more of? Less of?
I want to hear from you. So, during this "coffee talk", share your insights as well as your input via email or comment below!!
Let's continue to encourage one another & build each other up in truth & love. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)