I was encouraged by a post my friend Tony Morgan ran recently outlining the year on his blog in numbers .
I haven’t seen a lot of bloggers do a post like that, and like Tony said, maybe 3 people will be interested in it.
But here are some highlights from 2013 on the blog, as well as some insights for those of you who are blogging or want to begin blogging.
Although this is a much longer post than normal, I hope it’s a glimpse behind the scenes for those of you who are interested in those things. I chronicled some of the emotional journey of blogging in this post. This one will tell some stories and finish with stats.
I also hope this post helps you get a framework to better understand what’s happening in your world. (And by the way, the picture is the desk in my home office from which I write this blog and so much of the rest of the content I write for Connexus and elsewhere.)
I can’t say enough good things about those of you who read the blog.
I’ve heard so many encouraging stories from so many of you, in the comments, on social media and via email. I read every one of them (and respond to as many as I can). You’ve written to let me know you are launching blogs, going back to school, starting churches, seeking counseling (the burnout post really connected) and finding more margin at home among other things.
I also had a chance to connect with many of you personally at the Orange Conference, on the Orange Tour, at North Point and through other speaking engagements both in North American and Europe. I can’t tell you how much I love meeting you personally.
There is no better fuel to keep writing that to know it’s making a difference. Thank you. You truly are an awesome tribe.
Every blogger/writer needs friends.
I’m blessed to have a really wide circle of friends in leadership who play a variety of roles in my life. There isn’t a day that goes by in which I don’t give thanks for that.
The people below represent a smaller group of that wider circle, but I list them because they’ve walked through my writing/blogging journey sometimes on a daily basis and have been super encouraging.
I’m very grateful for their input and ideas. My writing journey would have been much tougher and less rewarding without them. I list these friends (there are others) because they are in the public eye and most write their own blog.
If you don’t know them, you should (each one of these voices is a must listen). And if you’re a writer, you need to cultivate a circle of writing friends like this. Sure, the names will be different, but the impact will be amazing:
Casey Graham Casey is an entrepreneurial leader’s best friend. After starting Giving Rocket and Preaching Rocket, he’s now launching Business Rocket. His blog has a ton of great ideas for every kind of leader.
Brian Dodd Brian is one of the most generous people I know. He encouraged me out of the gate before I even knew who he was. He writes an incredible blog, which if you haven’t discovered it, you should.
Jeff Brodie Jeff and I get to work together at Connexus Church, where Jeff serves in an executive pastor role. His insight on ministry and life is exceptional, and started blogging himself earlier in 2013. A must read.
Rich Birch Few people get innovation like Rich. Rich is one of the most forward thinking leaders I know. He’s always ahead of the curve. He’s given tons of support and encouragement over the year, and before he went to Liquid Church in New Jersey, Rich served on our staff team for a few years.
Chris Lema Chris did more before his 30th birthday than most of us would do in 70 years—just one of those guys. He’s helping me behind the scenes with the technical aspects of the blog. He only recently started blogging but his blog has quickly become an authority and leading voice in the WordPress community.
Craig Jutila Craig and I have known of each other for years but finally connected personally earlier this year at a conference we both spoke at. He quickly became a great friend. His story is powerful and he < writes in such an honest, personal and compelling way.
Michael Lukaszewksi Michael is the CEO of the Rocket Company and writes a personal blog here. He’s a rare combination of practical systems and gut level personal honesty. He’s also helping thousands of church leaders advance.
Jeff Henderson Okay, Jeff doesn’t write a blog (I wish he would), but he’s launching some new online projects in 2014. If you don’t follow Jeff, you should. He’s the voice of Preaching Rocket and is on twitter. Jeff has been a great encourager and you will hear much more from him in 2014.
Ron Edmondson. Ron’s been an influence both in his writing (if he can blog almost daily and lead a great church…maybe I can too), and has helped both in terms of sharing content and giving me super helpful feedback on my writing. Plus he’s so much fun to talk to.
Probably the most surprising part of 2013 for me is how fast the blog grew.
It honestly blew away every expectation I had. That’s because so many of you have been so generous in sharing content with your teams and through social media. All I can say is thank you.
I write for two principle reasons:
1. I hope it helps you. The filter through which I run every post is this question “Will this help leaders?”. Clearly some are more helpful than others, but that’s my goal.
2. It helps me process what I’m learning. I think the blog is an online journal for me. I am always trying to process what I’m learning, what God is doing and what’s happening around us.
The growth has been a by product of that.
Please know the background. Although I have blogged for over 6 years, I only decided in October 2012 to blog three times a week in primarly 4 areas: leadership, personal growth, change and communication. Since that shift, the growth has been significant.
Here’s 2013 in numbers.