5 Traps Bloggers Fall Into

Danger

I’m coming up on one year of blogging. In the year or so that I’ve spent blogging, I’ve realized that there are some traps that young bloggers like me can easily fall into. If you blog, or are considering blogging, you may want to think about these things. Learn from my mistakes.

Writing Without Doing

It’s so easy to write posts about what Christians should “do”, and yet not be doing those things myself. I encourage people to evangelize, read their Bibles, meditate on God’s word, be thankful, and to give cheerfully, and at times I can write in such a way that sounds like I’ve mastered these things, which is far from the truth. Before I encourage others to do these things, I want to make sure that I’m striving to do them first. Most of the time I should be saying, “Come and grow with me,” as opposed to “Hey, this is what you should do!”

Writing Without Thinking

Blogs are dangerous. A “profound” thought comes into your head, you bang it out on the keyboard, and then you hit the publish button. Suddenly your thought is out in cyberspace, able to be read by everyone and their mom. I’ve done it and then regretted it later. I want to think through a post before I publish it, ensuring that it’s biblical, humble, and God-honoring. Fortunately, I’ve got other people that read the blog who can hold my blog writing accountable.

Writing Arrogantly

It’s so easy to be an arrogant critic when I’m sitting in the comfort of my living room behind the anonymity of my laptop. If I’m going to criticize someone I want to do it humbly and gently, realizing that I’m only a 26 year-old guy with very limited life and ministry experience. My knowledge is limited, my understanding of a person’s motives is limited, and my heart is sinful. Those factors should temper any critique or evaluation I would provide. Obviously this doesn’t mean I don’t use discernment or that I accept everything someone says. But humility matters.

Writing Independently

A blog post is never written in a vacuum. Real people read them and they have a real effect on people’s lives. I need to remember this before hitting the publish button. Non-Christians will be stumbling onto my blog and reading my words. Will my words lead them to Christ or turn them away? Christians will read this blog and the words will have a real effect on their souls, either for good or for bad. If I use my blog as a place to complain or vent frustration, how will that effect other Christians? I want to consider how my words effect others.

Writing For Glory

It’s so easy to write for my glory. I want people to think I’m funny, witty, intelligent, brilliant, and unusually strong. I want lots of comments and lots of subscribers. It’s all pride and arrogance. My goal for this blog should be pointing others to Christ. I want the name of Christ to increase, not the name of Stephen. At times it’s helpful to step back and ask, “Why am I really doing this?”

Update: I neglected to mention when I first wrote this that the majority of these ideas came from a conversation I had with my dad, who in turn got some of these thoughts from his friend Dave Harvey. So let me give credit to whom credit is due. Dad, Dave, thanks for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us!

Help me out with this. What are some other traps that bloggers can fall into?

  • http://photosandquotes.blogspot.com/ YellerDaisies

    Very good, insighful, and helpful post! Thanks, Stephen.

  • Anja L

    Thank you for the good advice, especially that we should really be humble when writing. And also that it’s so easy to have a ‘profound thought’ and publish it too quickly. The advice under ‘writing without doing’ also goes for real-life…

  • Ken

    Excellent post and thanks for putting it together. It is applicable to all writing we may do whether in cyberspace or on paper.

  • http://godmyexceedingjoy.blogspot.com Violet

    Sunday evening our pastor mentioned the fact that the text he was preaching from was a difficult one for him – not because it wasn’t clear and understandable, but because it was hard to live.

    I think all of your insights here could very well be applied to everything we verbalize, whether through speech or writing. May what we communicate be “that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

  • http://r3form3d.blogspot.com/ John

    So true Stephen. Thank you for the great reminder!

  • Stephen Altrogge

    Do you think we need to be more careful with online communications than with other modes of communication?

  • http://photosandquotes.blogspot.com/ YellerDaisies

    Yes! It’s so easy to misunderstand someone since you can’t hear their tone or see their body language. Things can come across so different than you mean them to.

  • Cynth

    I’ve got 1 more trap- addicted to writing a blog and neglecting other important things in life like studying… but i guess that goes back to writing without doing…

    Thx for the post! this is not just applicable to blog writing i guess – this is also applicable to life in general – talking – doing – teaching – etc.

  • Stephen Altrogge

    Cynth – I agree, it’s really easy to get sucked into blogging, checking your site meter, looking for comments, etc. It’s something I need to be on the watch for as well.

  • Pingback: Steven Tran | You have a blog?!