Blog Birthday Blessings

social media image

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG /

On the evening of July 26, 2011, my 48th birthday, I registered my domain name for this website and signed up with a host.

At the time, I really had only a very vague idea of what I wanted to do with a website.  Mostly, I just knew that all the experts said anyone publishing or marketing a book needed a website and social media involvement.

I spent the next couple of weeks trying to figure out how to set up a website, and looking at websites by other authors.  I decided that I definitely wanted a blog, though I wasn’t real sure what to do with it.

So, I loaded WordPress and started playing around with banners and menus.  On August 11, 2011, I posted my very first blog post.

That same day, I started FaceBook and Twitter accounts.

I had no idea what sort of ride I was signing up for!  🙂

Although I’ve learned a lot over the last year, in many respects I still feel like I’m finding my way in the dark, one week at a time.  I’ve come to really enjoy blogging and FaceBooking…though I still feel a little lost on Twitter…

I’ve greatly enjoyed the increased interaction with friends and family.  I have loved getting reacquainted with old friends I had lost track of over the years.

The real surprise, though, has been the on-line community I have come to know and love.  I’m not sure what I expected, but I really had not considered the possibility of actually becoming real friends with people I have never met face-to-face.

Although I’ve seen very little evidence, thus far, that social media is a good marketing venue, it is definitely a good means of meeting new people, making new friends, getting acquainted and staying in touch.

Who knew blogging could be so much fun?  I’m so glad that God’s plans supercede my own!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

All of you with whom I interact on blogs and FaceBook are truly an unexpected suprise blessing!

I have been amazed and humbled by the level of transparency and vulnerability shown in so many blog posts.  I have smiled at people’s willingness to address tough issues with grace and truth.  I have been warmed by the many kind words and abundant encouragement.  I have been blessed by both prayers and prayer requests.

Thank you, all, for becoming a part of my life, over this last year.  I look forward to getting to know all of you better!

What surprise blessings or disappointments have you encountered with Social Media?

[Linked to God Bumps , Scribing , WIP , Beholding Glory , Graceful , Seedlings , Wellspring ]


30 thoughts on “Blog Birthday Blessings

  1. Happy Blogaversary! I’ll have my one year in November and couldn’t agree with you more. Blogging is nothing like I expected and the community that has found me has been worth every bit of it! Oh what God can do when we show up willingly!

      • Joe,
        What I would share with you is stay consistent with your writing. If you only want to blog 2-3 days as week, let your readers know so they know what to expect. You’re readers will remain ore faithful if they know what you’re doing.
        Also, make sure to engage in social media (facebook, twitter, etc…). They are great places to share your posts as well as create great online friendships which, in turn, will help your blog grow.
        Additionally, write what you’re passionate about. If you write a post which you are not comfortable with (for any reason) don’t publish. Save, trash, whichever. You want to produce good stuff, writing in which you’re perfectly satisfied.
        Read other blogs, comment on other blogs and join link ups. Again, it gives your blog great exposure and helps you develop online friendships.
        I also recommend the use of eye catching images (I typically take my own pics with a few exceptions).
        I hope this helps! To show my support, I’ll subscribe to your blog:)
        Have a great day!!

        • Thank you, Stefanie, for the tips and the support.

          I like your idea about publishing a blog posting schedule. I am generally quite consistent in posting once per week, usually on or near Wednesday morning.

          However, I’ve never really stated that on my site. It’s just the routine that has seemed to work best for me in terms of consistent schedules.

          I think I’ll add that.

          Thank you, so much!

  2. Happy bloggy birthday, Joe! My surprise blessings with social media are the connections! I love reading other people’s thoughts and insights, and I’m humbled by the encouragement and support they’ve given me. What a gracious group of people you are!

    My only disappointment? Networking is more time-consuming than I ever dreamed!

    • Hah!

      I couldn’t agree with you more, on both counts, Susan!

      I love the connections and community, and would love to visit each friend’s blog every day…but time does not permit it…

      So glad you took time to stop by here, today!

      Blessings to you, my friend!

  3. Happy Bloggy Anniversary. Your heart here, yes!! Amazing grace, truth, vulnerability, and Faith in this community. May God bless your writing days and all your days. Thank you for speaking these beautiful insights here and sharing a bit of your blog journey.

    • “Amazing grace, truth, vulnerability, and Faith in this community.”

      Well spoken, Elizabeth!

      I am continually amazed and humbled, by the willingness to share vulnerable places in deep heart recesses with a world-wide potential audience…in the hope of aiding someone else in their journey.

      Truly beautiful!

    • Thank you, Brandee! Same here!

      Although you and I became acquainted quite recently, I have been truly blessed in reading your posts thru which I have become acquainted with you, your sweet family, and how God has worked in the midst of struggles of normal daily lives.

    • I have not, yet, had the privilege of meeting any in real life. However, I truly believe I’ve become better acquainted with some of you fellow bloggers than with many people I see on a daily basis.

      It has to do with the intentional opening and sharing of one’s heart in writing…

      So glad to have become acquainted with you, Sandra!

  4. Happy Bloggy Birthday a few days late! I have found the community here to be amazing too! Sometimes I find it hard to actually believe I’ve never met some of these folks in person. They just feel like long lost friends!

    Thanks for linking up! Here’s to another great year of blogging!

    • “Sometimes I find it hard to actually believe I’ve never met some of these folks in person. They just feel like long lost friends!”

      Exactly, Mary Beth!

      I sometimes refer to my blog as an extension of my Sunday School class. It truly does have a lot of the same small-group atmosphere of sharing, discussing, encouraging, and praying together.

      Thank you!

  5. Happy Blogaversery. My one year was in July. I am stunned by how many cyper friends I have made. I truly wish I could meet many of them in person. I also love the connections and the support I have received.

    • “I truly wish I could meet many of them in person.”

      Same here, Sherri!

      …except, I wonder if we might find it more difficult to talk.

      I, for one, tend to be more articulate in writing than in speaking. It is much easier to express a witty commment (for example) with a minute to think about how to put the words together.

      On the other hand, it would be really nice just to sit and chat without the interruptions of daily life.

  6. Happy Anniversary. The thing that surprises me the most about blogging is the friendships. People taking time to read my writings and comment. I think it points back to the fact we are all in the same family–the family of God. And that is beautiful!

    • “People taking time to read my writings and comment.”

      This is a big one for me, Pamela!

      I know sometimes bloggers struggle to build traffic and establish themselves…and I feel that pull sometimes, too.

      Overall, though, I am generally amazed that people actually read what I write, and benefit enough to comment on it.

      Truly astounding and humbling!

      Thanks for sharing!

  7. What a great milestone! And I’m so glad you did start your blog. You have wisdom to share that we need to read and learn from. That’s what I love about the blogging community–the way we learn from one another’s stories. Blessings!

    • “That’s what I love about the blogging community–the way we learn from one another’s stories.”

      Yes! Well stated, Christina!

      I love picking up a new perspective from reading someone else;s blog or comment.

      I also love seeing the light bulb come on for someone else after reading one of my posts.

      Thank you, so much, for both the input and the encouragement.

  8. The joys of blogging caught me off-guard too. When I started four years ago, I had no idea what adventures–and friendships–lay in store. God is so good. I’m glad you took the leap to join in because you have blessed me many times through your words. Thanks, Joe. Thanks, God!

  9. Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Joe! You’ve spoken my sentiments here as you’ve written about how blessed you’ve been by the relationships you’ve formed through blogging. Who knew, right?! I’m grateful for your heart to unfold deep spiritual issues here. I look forward to reading what God lays upon your heart each week. Oh, and that Twitter thing! Yikes, I’m right there with you on that as well. 😉

    • Thank you, Beth!

      I always look forward to both your posts on your MM blog and your comments, here.

      Yeah…and Twitter…I’m no longer intimidated by it so much as I’m not sure I fully understand it. I know people say it’s a great way to get to know people…but, apparently, not the people I know…???

  10. Congratulations on one year, Joe! What a wonderful milestone to celebrate. May you enjoy many more benefits here among the social media clueless (yes, that’s me :)).

    • Yes, it is a pretty cool milestone. I know it’s a bit silly, but somehow passing it makes me feel more like a “real” blogger.

      Social media clueless? You? Hardly!

      I don’t know about other social media venues, but you’re very adept in the blogosphere!

      Thanks, Laura!

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