As a budding writer, every blog I read instructed me to build a platform. Building a platform is basically making a name for yourself on social media through websites, blogs, and various social media sites. The trends are always changing, including the length of blog posts, but I think there are times when we, as Christian writers, need to stop and think about what we post.
Honestly, I think most have genuine intentions. They have an opinion on a story that is trending and they write about it. Recently, three stories dominated social media: Caitlyn Jenner, The Duggars, and that missionary couple with child pornography. I will address two as an example of how we shouldn’t build a platform to gain new readers.
Check Your Motivations
Why are you writing the story?
The Duggars don’t need to be rehashed. The story has been told multiple times by many bloggers, media people, the news, and commented on for weeks. Some stories are well-told. I think a few well-written articles are good. After that, it’s just gossip. The missionary couple, too, were rehashed (though not as bad as the Duggars).
Are you blogging or commenting on it to try to bring in readers from the trending topics? It makes good analytical sense to write on what is trending. How many readers can you bring in to your own blog and grow your tribe?
And when should you simply stop?
What To Do When It’s Gossip
The Duggars and the missionary couple had situations that should have been kept between them and their church. Both of my publications have been silent on the stories for this reason. I wanted to give people a chance to take a breath from the scandals and focus on what God is doing in the world and the part He is asking us to play.
When it’s gossip, focus on other trending topics. Be silent on the subjects. In some ways, you are being a blessing to those afflicted by gossip. If no one is circulating the stories, gossip dies, people can heal, and move on. Instead of being critical, you should pray for them. Both are difficult stories and both are being dealt with properly through Biblical channels.
So when you are tempted to write on a trending topic like this…DON’T.
Because the devil is laughing at us. This is good stuff for him. If we are busy blogging about these situations and not engaging with people about Salvation and reaching the unreached, inspiring people to go, then his kingdom isn’t threatened.
Pray also for all Christian bloggers and social media people as we are not immune to the temptation of unknowingly focusing on the wrong motivations just to build a tribe of readers.
As far as Jenner is concerned, well, that’s where we need to speak up in love, but even in that, enough is enough.