My Guide to Blogging Success

If you read a lot of Christian blogs you'll have seen some conversation in response to Timothy Dalrymple's post about how bloggers increase pageviews. In light of that conversation let me share my secrets about how to achieve blogging success:

1. Blog from a really cool platform like blogspot.com. Avoid owning a domain name like experimentaltheology.com. Working from blogspot.com signals that you aren't a serious, big time blogger. That you blog with the same platform as grandmothers and high school kids with something important to say.

2. Refuse to join Twitter or Facebook. Completely handicap your ability to tweet your blog posts, post them on Facebook or interact with other bloggers. Make it really, really hard for people to find you and follow you. Make it seem like you don't exist. Play coy. The more obstacles to reaching a new readership the better.

3. Write really, really long and jargon filled posts. More, string these posts together in a ongoing series so that new readers will 1) have to read for twenty hours to catch up or 2) have no freaking idea what you're talking about. People want to surf blog posts quickly. So thwart them. Make them sit down for 30 minutes to read. Force them to consult a dictionary. People enjoy that experience. Tempt all readers--nay, damn well dare them--to write tl;dr in the comments.

4. Share your poetry with them.

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37 thoughts on “My Guide to Blogging Success”

  1. Given your quote from St Therese at the top I am staggered at these comments.
    Nasty about grandmothers and young people, snobbish and one sided.
    and what's wrong with poetry ?

  2. Hi Phil,
    The post is a joke. I'm pointing out my solidarity with grandmothers and young people and any other "amateur" blogger who doesn't pay for a domain name. But perhaps my humor was too subtle. Because I do hate grandmothers. 

  3. I agree. This can get twisted. The key is to always keep in view how the “losing of life” is connected to resurrected life of love.  And it’s important to note that Christian martyrs don’t kill themselves or others. They are, rather, killed by the powers because their love is intolerable to the status quo. Jesus is the paradigm here.

  4. I'm not sure if I should cheer for you, Dr. Beck, or be sad that more people (probably for your sake, someone other than me!) do not know about this excellent but obscure blog!  I can't remember now how I originally found ET.  Either through some other blogger's Blogroll, or in one of my Bing searches for information, no doubt.  However I happened to stumble into this place, it was my lucky day.  Your top 4 list for 'How to Become a Famous Blogger' cracked me up!

  5. Thanks. There's lots of ways to blog and be successful at it. I just always laugh at how, whenever I read lists about how to be a good blogger (e.g., get a professional domain name/platform, use social media, keep posts short), I'm doing the exact opposite.

    I'm the George Costanza of blogging. Just do the opposite.

  6. Yes, its a very special place - and quite a buzz when the RSS reader tells me there's a new posting. The sort of blog you don't just want to share with anyone, but only those you would like to come here.

    Reminds me of a comedy sketch performed at a church conference about a team of fictitious management consultant who re-worked Chrsitianity to remove all the unappealing difficult bits to get it down to something more "marketable".

    I like the challlenge of being here.

  7. Since you're making light of your poetry, I'll afraid I'll do the same: it made me thinks of nothing more than 
    http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/A_birthday_poem

    Didn't want to take away from the poem by posting this in the comments there.

  8. Here, here Susan. I found my way here by googling "Peanuts + theology + depression". Or, as I like to remember it, 'the Holy Spirit led me here'.

  9. Seems like a good post to throw in a random note about your new book.  It just arrived in the yesterday, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I'm reminded of some things I read by the "classical apologist" Lee Strobel that always bothered me.  Despite being a trained journalist, he would only present one side of the argument in his "case for xxx" series.  It drove me nuts that the conclusion seemed to be, "of course it's reasonable, you'd be foolish not to believe this stuff."  Um, what about the dissenting opinion?  Seems like there might be good reasons not be believe.


    I like your more honest approach to the discussion.  The first 2 ch don't read like you are undermining Freud, but are honestly presenting his work (even with a wart or two).  And I also appreciate your stated goal is not to prove faith, but show that it can be reasonable.  I'm just getting into ch 3, and my inner nerd is getting excited for the promised wealth of statistical analysis.  And while I'm doing that I'm telling my neurotic, existental angst ridden inner child to shut up till we get back to ch 4.

    Perhaps tomorrow's post could be a guide to being a successful author?  Don't tell people what they want to here, open with a persuasive counter-argument?

  10. Successful marketing practices will never replace quality content.  All the pages listing "steps to success" for blogs take for granted that everyone is going to produce quality content.  This is unfortunately untrue.  I wish more bloggers spent as much time exploring the depth of their subject matter as you do -- my life, and the lives of many, would be better for it.

  11. I'm thinking more Sheldon Cooper - quirky perhaps, but cool, quotable, and I'd buy the t-shirt. (Have you thought about doing Experimental Theology t-shirts? Could list your books and blog series on the back ...)

  12. Haha.  Love your humorous take on how to be successful in blogging.  I, like others, don't remember exactly how I came here, but I know that there are several things that keep me coming back daily:  1) depth and variety of content, 2) your unique perspective, 3) frequency of posting, and 4) your 'clean' blog loads faster than many on my often slow connection. 

  13. Re (4) - so there IS a link between purity (cleanliness) and hospitality (wlecoming visitors)!

    You should write this up... 

  14. I had nooo clue what "tl;dr" meant. But I love your style of writing and wish you had a Facebook/Twitter SO your thoughts could be broadcast more. But, because you're tricky, you just let us readers do all the footwork for you. =)

  15. Just keep doin' what you're doin'.  You've very quickly become my favorite blogger on the net.

  16. Even funnier to me because just moments earlier I was looking at my sad Twitter page (0 tweets, following 17, 1 following) and came straight here after thinking, "I could, at the very least, populate my following list with my favorite bloggers...").  One little Ctrl F "twitter" on your page later and I'm  doing my unbecoming snort/laugh.  And my following count remains the same, thanks for nothing!  
    Well, actually thank you for your poetry and your posts.

  17. Dr. Beck,
    I have a very, very stong feeling your website, blog and books would be a huge success regardless of what
    blogging protocol you chose or didn't choose.
    Gary Y.

  18. I'm with you.  But I suppose you'd never be able to sell a "how to" list that begins:

    1) Be good at what you do.

  19. I was really confused there for a bit because I generally thought you DID have a domain name. I guess "experimentaltheology" is so long I don't notice the ".blogspot" at the end...

  20. I read for your interesting, important, imaginative content. Someone whose intellectual curiosity and wit I respect greatly told me about your blog.

    Now, this is my favorite place to stop by and really learn something everyday. Your posts may be the closest this Alabama mama will ever come to taking classes in the subjects you engage. I hope not. 
    I also share much of what you write with the college age students whom I mentor. Thank you for the challenge and mirth and the good will that comes thorugh in your writing. 

    Please keep it up! 

  21. Richard, you did a really good job of making yourself unavailable and unreadable.....except one thing - you made yourself available on Kindle!

  22. I'm  sorry Richard.
    I totally missed your true intent and irony here.I get it now
    Must be my age...
    Blessings

  23.  I figured that was the perfect response and the only one I could make in relation to this post.  I'm an avid fan of your blog and appreciate you taking the time to write it.  I also recently purchased The Authenticity of Faith and am looking forward to reading it.  I'm not sure how you have the time to write books or blog posts (daily, I might add) while also dealing with the many responsibilities concerning your job but I'm thankful that you do!

  24. My outstanding success, I think, lies in talking about things that people are scared to death to comment on, except to oppose so that they won't get disfellowshiped from their church homes and eternally fried at the Last Day.

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