March 3, 2012

The Answers

Q: What did you want to be when you were a kid? What's your favorite type of music? Favorite singer/artist/group/band/whatever? Winter or summer? Favorite piece of clothing? How many pairs of shoes do you have? Do you like all the questions I'm asking? :) -Morgan 
A: At first I wanted to be Snow White, then it was a ballerina, then for a good long while it was a doctor, and then I found out that you had to go to school for 8 years and I was a chemistry drop-out in high school, so I ditched that idea (but I'm still a bit of a Discovery Health channel junkie), and then it was teacher/missionary (still sorta is). Hmm... well, I never ever grow old of Sara Evans. I grew up on country music and that's probably the majority of my music. Christian contemporary/worship... a lot of jazz/big-band/swing, pop, a lot of indie artists, I like soundtrack albums, Celtic music, I get "forced" into listening to a lot of Broadway and opera because of my sister. I can't say that I'm really into like heavy, heavy metal/rock and I'm so not a fan of 60's and 70's music. Winter if it means snow, otherwise I'll take summer. Hands down my favorite pair of jeans. Shoes... you don't want to know. And yes.
 

Q: Where do you like to shop? What do you and your friends do for fun? -Anonymous
A: The Yankee Candle store, Ikea, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Hobby Lobby, bookstores, and a bunch of little local shops I'm in love with. Clothing wise though, I tend to buy my clothes at resale boutiques here in the city (I think that's what they're called… or maybe it's upscale resale… I'm not sure, but they serve you free cappuccinos irregardless if you end up buying anything) or Plato's closet sometimes… um… I love shops online like Ruche, ModCloth, and Shabby Apple. I'm not big on shopping for clothes at the mall. I think it's because I just feel overwhelmed by it so then I don't enjoy it. And I'm a pro at talking myself out of buying things. So going to the mall always feels like a pointless endeavor to me. Mostly we go out to eat. We're big on P.F. Chans lunch specials, a Welsh pub a couple neighborhoods over, Panara and Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Hanging out at Starbucks a lot. Hiking, going to the movies, ice skating, frozen custard in the summer... yeah. For the most part my friends and I are homebodies, so we prefer to hang out, watch movies, play card/board games, craft... during the summer months, staying out on the porch just talking with dessert late into the night. We like doing lazy, low-key, cheap activities together.  

Q: Favorite worship albums/artists/songs? Favorite hymns? -Anonymous
A: I'm pretty much addicted to Rend Collective Experiment's latest album Homemade Worship, By Handmade People. Um... Christy Nockles, Matt Hammitt, Phil Wickham, The Joy Eternal and Jadon Lavik's Roots Run Deep. Favorite hymns would be... Come Thou Fount, Blessed Assurance, Amazing Grace... In Christ Alone... I'm sure there are lots more.

Q: Since you love weddings, what would you want your own wedding be like? -Anonymous
A: That's an awesome question, but I don't really know. I'd like to keep things on the small side... lots of DIY's will be done on my part. Other than that, I really would like to have this included in the ceremony. My list of what I don't want at my wedding is much longer though... no hot pink, or decor with feathers, and no fuchsia wedding gown (I had a nightmare a couple of years ago and it was so traumatizing that I've yet to forget it or "forgiven" my mom for that even though it was just a dream.)

Q: How did you design your blog? -A few people
A: The layout is bloggers, but I make banners with Photoshop.

Q: What do you want to be when you "grow up?" -Anonymous
A: I think for the most part I'm already kinda grown up. I'd love to be a wife and mom someday. Sooner rather than later... sometimes (I have days where I'll be honest I'm bitter against every man in the world... I know! I'm working on it folks! Don't sit there and try and tell me you haven't had those days either. Because you'd be lying.) I've always loved wedding and event planning, so I think that would be really cool. Or owning a children's book shop would be awesome/amazing/cool/great/fantastic/fun/more awesomeness with a unicorn! Or working in the creative department for Martha Stewart Omnimedia. But I think my chances on that one would be slim. 

Q: What's your testimony? What do you use to talk to someone about God in real life? -Anonymous
A: I grew up in a Christian home so it's really hard for me to pinpoint that "moment" in which I became a believer, since I can't recall a time in my life where I didn't know that Jesus was my Savior. Certain events stick out more than others in my faith journey of course, but I could go on about those for hours. I kinda feel like as Christians we're to be living testimonies until we die, so my testimony is constantly being molded into the image and likeness of Christ. So I guess I don't see my testimony as this one moment in time, but rather an ever-moving, ever-changing one... if that makes sense. So when I'm talking about God with others I don't have a specific story I tell. I share the parts that I feel like the Holy Spirit is leading me to share at that time. I think that my heart is about meeting people where they are in their faith walks as well, so I may share something with one person that I wouldn't with another for certain reasons... it could be that it's irrelevant to them, or it wouldn't be helpful, encouraging, or comforting at that moment... yeah... I don't know if that makes sense. I'm just not the kind of person to get up on a stage or anything like that... at least not at this time in my life. It probably has something to do with my church background as well since I grew up in a church where people didn't share their "testimonies." So the first time I was thrown in a Bible study and asked to share that I was really awkward about it and kinda blanked out, which according to my friend was super funny. 

Q: Do you believe in love at first sight? Who's your best friend and why? What is the thing you've accomplished that you're most proud of so far in your life? -Anonymous
A: Hmm... I don't know about love at first sight... I've heard people say that when they saw their spouse or just shortly after meeting them... they just knew. So I don't know. Could be possible. Best friend... Does my mom count? ;) Well, one of them is Erin, or EB as we call her, because her last name is ridiculously long. I've known her since the 5th grade and she's almost like having another sister. Something I'm proud of... I think, most days, just seeing how much God has grown me in my faith... of course I can't take credit for any of that, but when I step back and look at my entire life that's the one thing the love the most.

Q: What are your best blogging tips? How can I gain more followers? Why can't I get many people to read my blog? How do you maintain consistency in your posting? How do you find so much to write about? Etc. -Several People
A: I always feel weird about answering questions like these because really if we were to compare number of followers on "popular blogs" and mine... I think you can see where I'm going with this. But, here are just some of the things that I've learned about blogging or have been suggested to me by others...
  • First, figure out the purpose of your blog. For some it's solely for sharing their faith or talking theology, others it's food blogging or home renovation/DIY's, or photography, or an online diary of sorts... there's a long list, but sit down and figure out what your blog's purpose is, or stand back look at your posts as a whole and see what theme(s) stand out. Take into account then what kind of audience will be reading your blog. Some blogs have a target audience right from the start. For instance, if you're writing a blog that's heavily theological, then it's safe to assume that you've got a main targeted audience: Seminary folks. I'm not saying theology and Hebrew aren't important, but just don't expect to see a ton of the mommy bloggers stopping by your site. Other blogs develop an audience over time. Like when I started, most of my readers were female pre-teens and teens. Now it's mostly women in their 20's and newly-weds. And a handful of guys. (Yes. I do know you're there.)
  • Blogging is far different than writing a research paper. The "tone" you take in blog writing is different because blogging is meant to be community based. My tip is blog as if you were having a conversation with a person.
  • Watch the length of posts as well. The average blog reader doesn't want to spend longer than 15 minutes on one post. I spend on average 5-10 minutes reading and commenting per a blog... and I have several blogs I read every day. It's alright to have long posts, but space those out with several shorter ones. 
  • Blogging is about community. You have to be active online in order to see activity on your own blog (commenting, using social media outlets, guest posts, etc.). Interact with your audience. Try not to focus on numbers so much but rather the people who are already interested in your blog and are taking the time to read it. Followers, for the most part, are built up over time. (See Why Your Web Traffic Might Not Matter)
  • Aesthetics matter. Some blog designs are just over the top. The blog looks messy, not put together, and usually it's hard to navigate as well. Then there are blog designs that are just... bland. Make your design appealing and eye-catching, but clean looking.
  • Read Headline Hacks. There's tons of great tips in it and it's free. 
  • And read this.
Honestly, when an idea (or several) come to mind I write it down. You don't want to know how many posts I have sitting in draft mode. I go through seasons of getting lots of ideas... and others, having hardly any. So, when an idea does come, chase it and capture whatever you can get from it. If I don't have an idea it's usually a sign that I'm not reading enough (read twice as much as you write), or not actually living away from my computer enough, or having enough conversations with people. It also helps to know what builds up that "inspiration" energy in you and what depletes it. In terms of consistency, I'm into writing posts in batches, and would recommend it.

2 comments :

  1. I'm gonna print this and read it, can't wait! Cool idea

    ReplyDelete
  2. wooo! thanks for mentioning rend collective experiment. i've been listening to them all week since i read this post!

    ReplyDelete

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