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Tips for Young (and Maybe Not-So-Young) Bloggers – Tim Challies

Its always a blessing for me to see the launch of a new blog, and perhaps especially so when that blog has been founded by a young Christian. Im convinced theres still a place for Christian blogs, even in 2020, and I am eager to give whatever tips I can to help these new bloggers start strong. I long for there to be a new generation of bloggers and Im committed to supporting them as much as possible. Today I want to provide a few tips meant especially for young bloggers, though perhaps not-so-young bloggers will benefit from them as well.

Be known for your humility, not your knowledge. I understand that you may have begun a blog because you believe you have something to say. And its very possible that you do. But you need to cautious that you dont want to be known for what you know. And you need to be careful that you arent saying the right things in the wrong way. Humility is better than knowledge and is much harder to come by. It is the superior trait and the one thats better to be known for. So even as you grow in knowledge and begin to share that knowledge with others, be certain that you put the higher priority on humility. The Christian world has greater need of examples of humble young people than know-it-all young people.

Be known for your character, not your ability. In a similar vein, young people may want to be known for their ability, but just as humility trumps knowledge, character trumps ability. It is far better to grow in godly character than to grow in any skill, for character will let you be faithful in devoting your skills, whether great or small, to the best and highest purposes. Be content to be known for who you are more than for what you can do. Just as the world needs humble young people, it needs genuinely godly young people.

Be known for what youre for, not what youre against. The easiest way to gain a following, whether in the Christian world or outside it, is to be known for what you are againstto be a skeptic or critic or cultural commentator. And while we need to know something about evil in order to defend the truth, the Bibles consistent emphasis is on fixing our minds on what is good and true and lovely and beautiful. It is these things that should captivate us and be the meditation of our hearts far more than the many evils in the world and in the church. Plus, the more you are known for what you are for, the greater the impact when you feel the need to express what you stand against.

Be willing to prove you can be faithful in small things before expecting greater things. Many people begin blogs with dreams of grandeur, with the hope that they will soon be writing before an audience of thousands or tens of thousands. But why should God give you that kind of responsibility until you have proven faithful with much less? Do you believe you deserve it? Instead, be thankful and be encouraged when you have your first reader or your tenth reader or your hundredth reader. Learn to serve them faithfully and gratefully. All the while, pray that your success wont exceed your sanctification, for many young people are ruined when they gain acclaim far faster than they can handle it.

Affirm older Christians, dont rebuke them. While there are many ways you can serve your brothers and sisters through a blog, going after older Christians, especially those with a long track-record of ministry, is probably not one of them. In most cases you simply dont have the knowledge, experience, humility, or character you need to do that well. In most cases there are others who can do that more appropriately and more effectively. Affirm the older Christians you admire, but dont rebuke the ones you do not. Make it your business to praise, not condemn.

Write about things youve experienced rather than things you have not. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it is wise to focus your writing on those topics for which you have some personal experience. The best blogging tends to involve the intersection of interests and experience. If you arent married and arent a parent, you probably dont have a lot of wisdom to offer married folk and parents, and there is probably someone else who is better suited to cover those subjects. Meanwhile, there are other topics that would be more within your wheelhouse and through which you can offer a unique contribution.

Focus on learning to write more than gaining an audience. A lot of new bloggers put very little effort into writing good articles and a whole lot of time into gaining an audience. They dash off a few articles and then spend ages chasing views and followers and meaningless awards. If your goal is to serve your readers, as it should be, you’ll make sure your main emphasis is on creating valuable, helpful content. There may be a time and place to seek out some readers, but not until you’ve got something worthwhile to offer them. Even then, always think more about how you can serve the readers you’ve got than how you can gain more.

Mix both creation and curation. Be a creator who writes original content. But also be a curator who points people to other peoples content. As you gain an audience, make it your delight to give away that audience by pointing them to other sites and other resources. Be known for giving, not for hoarding.

Be accountable. Find an older person who loves you enough to rebuke you. Ask a trusted individualnot a peer, but someone olderif he or she will read at least some of your content and tell you if you are failing to display godly character. A person who loves you enough to honestly express concern in you will prove to be a tremendous blessing.

Now, finally, with all that in mind, write! Blog! Make it your desire to serve others and bring glory to God through this strange but wonderful medium the Lord has given us. And if you need advice that is more practical than that, begin here: How To Get Started With Blogging in 2020.

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