Friends, Bloggers and Countrymen – Lend me your ears!

 

CC0 image – Pixabay.com

 

If you have gone through the WordPress Blogging 101 training course, one of the things the tutors recommend is that you focus your blog on a particular message or theme and write for a specific person, or target readership.

With that piece of blogging wisdom in mind and, as the first quarter of this year draws rapidly to a close, perhaps now is a good time to review our blog’s message and our blog objectives. Are we achieving what we set out to do? Have our motivations changed? Have we as individuals grown since we began our blogs? If so, have our initial reasons for starting to blog in the first place now changed? Do we need to re-brand, or else go back to basics?

The following is my response to an old Daily Post prompt, which I used as a writing exercise. I’m sharing it because I think it’s in keeping with what I’m trying to say in this post.

 

****     ****     ****

 

 

Daily Post Prompt: BE THE CHANGE!

I would like my blogs, Women of Warfare  and A Purpose-driven achiever, to make my visitors smile, feel better about themselves, be encouraged, feel as if they have an online friend who cares about them and empathises with the things they have to deal with.

I would like my blogs to influence women to aspire to a deeper relationship with God, to be a better person, character-wise and perspective-wise.

I would like to encourage women to pursue their dreams and realise their potential. I’d like them to feel there is a place they can go, for the encouragement and motivation required to live their everyday life on a higher plane. I would like them to feel highly motivated, to seize their day, to live abundantly, instead of merely existing, letting life pass them by, feeling overwhelmed by circumstances, or overlooked by the people around them.

I would like my blogs to motivate women to make the most of every day, to see, enjoy and celebrate their lives as something special, rather than dismiss as drudgery, or as run-of-the-mill ordinary, or worse still view with utter dread, because someone or something has marred their outlook.

And just as I would like God to use me, to be that change in the lives of women who come within my circle of influence, so I desire that these women in turn would be the change in the lives of others around them.

Purpose-driven believers and dream achievers, whether blogger, Christian, colleague, parent, or whatever, I challenge you – in your  household, neighbourhood, workplace, community – be the change! Be an asset in your circle of influence. Be an influence for good.

***       ***       ***

If you would like to read other contributions relating to this prompt please visit: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/be-the-change/

 

Question:

Have you felt the need to change, or expand the message of your blog, or have you maintained your original theme? Please share your response to this post in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Advertisements

Reader appeal

IdealReader(Geralt)-1103708_960_720
Image: CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay.com

 

Blogging 101 – Exercise 4 (identifying my ideal audience)

My ideal readership falls into 2 camps. Both camps comprise of those who are teachable. Within the first camp, my ideal reader is:

  • a committed Christian who hungers for deeper intimacy with Christ
  • someone seeking greater conformity to Christ’s character
  • an individual pursuing consistent and ongoing success regarding God’s pre-ordained purpose.

The other camp relates to those who are not Christians… those who are genuinely searching for both a revelation of and, a relationship with God. They are individuals who are seeking to know the meaning and purpose of their lives.

And within both these camps, there is a further group of people who feel devastated by what life has thrown at them. They have been so trampled by circumstances, they have almost stopped believing that anything good will happen to them… that meaningful opportunities will come their way… that cherished dreams can become reality.

I tailor my blog and craft each post towards these three groups of people. I write in the hope that my words will touch a deep cord within the hearts of this target audience. I write, trusting my posts will inspire, or revive any flagging spirits within the circle of my readership community.

Dear ideal reader, I pray my blog will encourage and equip you to become a purpose-driven achiever. If you are new to this blog, please take a moment to acquaint yourself with me the author, and with the ethos of this site by reading my About and Intro pages). But if you are already familiar with the focus of my writings and you know anyone within your circle of influence that could benefit from my posts, please do not hesitate to share and spread the word.

Returning to the subject of my ideal audience, I must add that my target readership will be appreciative of the time taken to write my posts. They are therefore supportive and demonstrate this with their comments and likes. May I therefore take this opportunity to encourage your participation? Would you grant me and other readers the honour of engaging in discourse? If you enjoyed reading my post could you let me know? If you agree with a post can you say why, or is there something further you wish to add? Did something I say resonate with you? Have my words triggered a memory? Have you read a helpful book, appropriate to the topic of my post, which you can flag up to this community?

Finally, my ideal readership comprises those who are kingdom trailblazers. At present, they may not look like the world’s definition of success from the outside, however, they have great potential within them. They are committed to developing their potential, to pursuing their purpose. I believe that through courage, patience and persistence these individuals can achieve greatness, they can fulfil their God-given destiny.

Now because this exercise requires me to include an element I have never used before in my posts, I close with an embedded video, which I trust will inspire you on your journey as a purpose-driven achiever.

 

Titles and Taglines

blog-49006_640

Have you ever experienced a ‘brainstorm block’? Never heard of it? Not surprised! I’ve just invented the phrase. Brainstorm block has just got to be the most frustrating nightmare of any creative writer/blogger.

I’m behind with my exercises for the Blogging 101 course. I’m trying not to feel overwhelmed and anxious about the fact that it is Day 5 and I’ve only done one exercise. One! Talk about being a slow coach!

Ok, so I can’t quite shake off this perfectionist thing and my personality (or is it pride?) won’t allow me to just put something out there (anything as long as I hand something in). Nope, it’s got to be my best, which means as near perfect (in my estimation) as I can make it. But at this rate, week 3 (the end of this course) will come and go and the week 1 exercises will only just have been completed.

But what to do? My brain had seized up. Brainstorm block had taken over my mind with a vengeance draining it of all capacity to think, or conjure up even a mediocre idea.

Exercise 2 requires me to come up with a tagline. I have two blogs, therefore I need two taglines. But hard as I tried, not a single idea sprang to mind! How can this be so? Prior to this, ideas for a number of potential posts had inundated the little grey cells (as Hercules Poirot would say). But now, when all I want is a teeny weeny phrase to use as a tagline on each of my blogs there is nothing! Not even a naff idea!

For the uninitiated, a tagline is a short phrase that sits within the heading section of your blog. Together, the title and tagline provide visitors with clues as to the blog’s purpose and message.

Now, when I set up and launched my blog, I had absolutely no idea what a tagline was, or what it was supposed to do. So, when prompted to add one, I ignored the direction. After all, I have the name of my site and that’s the most important part – right?

I wasn’t convinced that my blogs needed this extra element but since I’ve enrolled on this course in order to learn, I felt the least I can do is seriously consider the suggestion and give the exercise a shot. So I read and re-read the exercise script and supporting articles. Light dawned. Yet still I found myself in not-a-shred-of-an-idea valley. This worrying condition lasted about 3-4 days. Had my brain cells shut down for the winter? Perhaps I should skip this and move on to the next exercise. Then all of a sudden – bingo! Ideas came for both of my blogs.

After adding the taglines, I could see how just that simple addition not only clarified my stance and purpose for both blogs, but also aesthetically improved the look of each site. I hadn’t appreciated that the title on its own looked naked, bereft. Now, it looks finished, complete. A win-win situation!

With exercise 2 completed, I can now happily move on. Let me guess… you’re curious to know what my little grey cells came up with aren’t you? Well, a glance upwards to the top of this page should reveal: Pursuing my destiny – Maximizing my potential and the Women of Warfare site states: – Victim or Victor – You can choose!

And so, to all adult learners and apprentice dream-achievers – the moral of my experience is: be humble, be open-minded, be teachable.  As the good book says:

 A wise man will hear and increase learning,

And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5).

Who I am and why I’m here

stack-of-books-1001655_640

Ever since I can remember, I have loved reading.   As the eldest in a family of 7 children, books allowed me to escape into a world I thought was better, more exciting  than my own.

I also suffered from chronic insomnia – quite why that should be so at such a young age (around 11-15yrs), I have no idea.  Stories therefore helped me to cope with the long hours of sleepless nights, the frightening dark which cast sinister shadows upon my walls, the eerie creaking of our house, which came alive at night, stretching and spreading its fear-inducing aura throughout my bedroom, feeding my already over-active imagination. And, as if all that were not enough, to top it all, there were the infernal scratching, scuttling noises made by mice, who apparently suffered from insomnia too!

As a book lover, voracious reader and incorrigible word addict, it is not surprising  I developed a real love of words and that as time went by, I would seek to express this love through my own writing. Decades later, I grasped an opportunity to study a degree course at university as a mature student. My subject? English literature of course!  I was in seventh heaven.  I could eat, sleep and of course, read books to my heart’s delight.

This blog has come about as a result of a best-selling publication: The Purpose Driven Life, written by Rick Warren. It has stirred up a desire within me to discover and fulfil my God-given destiny. It has stirred up a passion to live a faith-infused, God-glorifying and productive life – a life that inspires others (particularly women) to maximise their potential, a life that touches those within my circle of influence with the fragrance of Christ. 

This blog then serves to combine my commitment to God and desire to pursue a purpose-driven life, with my long-held aspiration of becoming a prolific, published writer.

With regard to my writing aspirations, I’ve wasted enough time and procrastinated for more years than I care to remember. The following quote discovered recently, acts as another spur: “opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor”.

So, without further ado, I’ve decided to vacate my position as a sad, dissatisfied wallflower who sits at the sidelines of life pretending not to mind that I’m constantly being shunned or passed over whilst I wait in vain, secretly hoping success will single me out and waltz me into the world of my dreams.

I‘m joining the realm of go-getters and opportunity seekers. I’m joining the throng of thriving, jiving participants on the-world-is-my-oyster stage.   Do you wanna join me?