Where Logic Meets Love

"It's Like... a Christian... Marriage Blog?": Help Me Sum Up My Blog (and Yours!) in One Sentence

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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'It's Like... a Christian... Marriage Blog?': Help Me Sum Up My Blog (and Yours!) in One Sentence | Faith Permeating Life

Yesterday, Melissa at momcomm posted about the "biggest mistake that bloggers make."

That mistake is being unable to concisely sum up what your blog is about.

Guilty as charged.

This is something I've struggled with for a while. I have a tagline ("Where logic meets love") and I have a pretty good "About This Blog" description (look in the sidebar below the buttons, or click through if you're on a reader).

But I still have no idea how to describe my blog when I'm talking to someone.

When I was at the last Love Drop in December, I met another blogger, who asked what I blogged about. I looked over at Emmy and hemmed and hawed and then said, "It's like... a Christian... marriage blog?"

::facepalm::

Let's be honest: If I heard somebody's blog was a Christian marriage blog, I would not want to read it.

I can list off my categories or my top tags -- marriage, God, happiness, religion, sex -- but that doesn't really tell you anything about why you'd want to read this blog. As Melissa said, "Sure, you may write about all those things. But what does it boil down to? What's the glue that binds all your blog posts together?"

I... don't know. Obviously, there's something, right? Or you guys wouldn't keep coming back?

Then she added, "If you feel a little stuck, think about this: how would you want someone else to describe your blog?"

This made the lightbulb go off: Ask the people who read my blog!

So I'm going to ask for your help, and also challenge you to avoid this mistake for yourself. (And maybe get you some traffic while we're at it.)

In the comments, leave the following:
  • How would you describe Faith Permeating Life to someone, in one sentence?
  • How would you describe your own blog to someone, in one sentence? (If you have one.)

If I'm a regular reader of your blog already, I'm happy to return the favor, if you'd like. And if I'm not, maybe I will become one after reading your description! :)

You can find Melissa's whole article here. Thanks in advance!

33 comments:

  1. I think your blog is about publicly living and sharing your faith, with all its practical implications. That is refreshing because many people treat faith as a strictly private venture, which in my opinion doesn't mesh particularly well with Jesus' public preaching and ministry.

    I see the topics (marriage, happiness, career etc.) as being all about how you make choices that fit your understanding of your faith and how you want to practice it in a variety of contexts.

    -Greg C.

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    1. Thanks, Greg! I didn't know you were still reading :)

      What you say is definitely the idea behind my blog title, so I'm glad to know that is coming through in my posts as well.

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    2. I don't get to post too often, but your blog made it on my bookmarks (elite territory!). Please continue to talk about these issues!

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    3. Yay, I feel special! :) Thanks!

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  2. You have to remember that I was on like... 3 hours of sleep that day. Maybe. lol. But I'm the same way- I have NO IDEA what my blog is about. It doesn't have a "glue." Well... it does. I just don't know what it is!

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    1. Haha, I remember! No worries.

      I think the glue to your blog is less about the specific things you write about and more about who you are as a person. What makes me love your blog is that you put so much heart into everything, whether it's being really, really excited about a musical, or being completely heartbroken over watching someone struggle with self-image. You make me care about the things you care about :)

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  3. I think the diversity of your target audience has something to do with it; the concept of "dialogue" immediately came to me as a unifying factor, although you do touch on a range of topics. You blog from a specific viewpoint of faith (specifically that of Catholic Christianity), education, relationship status, etc., but one of your main strengths is to engage and welcome people who have different viewpoints on those same topics.

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    1. I'm so glad you said this! Dialogue is something I've been aiming for with this blog for a long time, but only in the past 6 months or so has that really come alive. That's absolutely a key piece of why I write--and, I think, why people read. Thank you!

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  4. I think the title of the blog sums it up pretty well - it's about faith permeating life. Life, marriage, and work through the eyes of a contemporary Catholic woman.

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    1. That's definitely what I strive for. What's frustrating is that some people immediately zone out when you tell them your blog has anything to do with faith. And I can't really blame them since, like I've said before, 95% of the Catholic blogosphere makes me crazy. So it's, how do I tell people my blog is about faith without them assuming it's just me posting a bunch of inspirational Bible verses every day or something?

      On a related note, Emmy tweeted this the other day: "When I talk to people I feel like I have to say 'I'm not most Christians' or 'I'm not most Lutherans' really often..."

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  5. I would say your blog is a look at marriage and life situations with a faith based perspective. As for me, hmm that is really hard. I would say its a life & style magazine that challenges every women to seek out her best possible life.

    Vonae Deyshawn
    www.myvirtueplace.com

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  6. I don't think I really consider yours a marriage blog. I mean, yes, you write about marriage, but the main theme is summed up well in the blog's title I think: faith permeating life. I think it's about how faith impacts day-to-day things in life and often with a fresh perspective, and always with well thought-out views instead of just accepting whatever the 'normal' or imposed view is.

    I would definitely sum mine up as my journey through faith & life. Since starting about 18 months ago - the same time I started uni - I have learnt so much and pretty much all of it's recorded there. But again I would be interested to know others' views on it!

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    1. I'm glad that it doesn't come across as a marriage blog even though that's my most common topic (according to my tags) and also the one people most like reading (according to a survey I did last year). I want my blog to feel welcoming to everyone, whether or not you're married or Christian or whatever.

      I see your blog as kind of a journal or diary recording all of your experiences at uni, interwoven with the lessons you're learning along the way.

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  7. You blog: A practical examination of life, love, relationships, and your practicality stems from a combination of your faith and ability to reason.

    My blog: The personal accounts of a young woman working toward becoming a professional actor, who also happens to be a social activist and supremely goofy person.

    That all makes sense, right?

    I agree with "Just Me" up there--that your title really says it. You don't just talk about Jesus, and you don't just talk about marriage. You're talking about topics that happen in life in general, things everyone can relate to, and you aren't pushy about your own beliefs. If a non-Christian reader wanted to see what your thought were on fighting with a spouse, I don't think that reader would walk away with disgust for your writing style or a distrust in your words because of your faith. You speak so plainly and without judgment that someone can read your words, understand your position, and also understand that you are not passing judgment on anyone else. That's a really wonderful quality. I feel like the best way to describe your theme is "using common-sense in everyday life."

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    1. I appreciate your emphasis on practicality and common sense, as that's something I strive for (and sometimes succeed at it). That's where the "logic meets love" tagline came from. I also like the idea of combining the notion of a dialogue with the non-judgmental aspect; so, this is a place for a non-judgmental sharing of ideas. Or something like that :)

      I like your description! It gives us an idea of what you write about while also shining light on your personality.

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  8. It's about applying religious principles to everyday, NORMAL life; not just understanding "what" they are, but "how" we live them and "why" we care.

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    1. Definitely--that was the idea behind my blog title. I didn't want to be the kind of Christian blog that analyzes a Bible verse to death but never provides any insight into what that actually looks like in real life. As I wrote in this post, I think people are more likely to be brought closer to Jesus by feeling loved and welcomed by me and then finding out I'm Christian than by reading a whole post about Jesus (if they didn't just click off right away).

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  9. I agree with Q that the diversity of your audience, and the anti-dogmatic stance that you take have a lot to do with you appeal (at least to me!)

    I think your description needs more verbs, since you're not a specifically topical blog, but it's hard to think of those! What's coming to mind for me is something like 'exploring and examining life as a young, married, open-minded Catholic.' 'Open-minded' is a little vague, but maybe you can change it depending on who you're talking to? I came to you because of your awesomely pro-gay standpoint, but I think that 'feminist' 'Nerdfighting' and a lot of other terms would also fit. You don't want to get lost in word soup, so having a default tagline is good, but so is changing it up a little as needed.

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    1. I tend to use the phrase "liberal Catholic," which isn't ideal either, but it kind of has a double meaning in that I'm more politically liberal and that I don't adhere 100% to The Official Teachings of the Catholic Church.

      And you're right, my About This Blog description is mainly a bunch of sentence fragments. Maybe if I can come up with a coherent description based on everyone's suggestions, I'll add that in!

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  10. I always get a "This is what works for me" feel from your blog entries. The topics are all different (though you do tend to focus on marriage, faith, sex, etc.), but it's always a forum for talking about how you live your life and inviting other people to talk about how they live theirs.
    -Missy

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    1. I think I get that from 'Becca, as many of her posts are linking up with the Works for Me Wednesday blog carnival. Her approach (and the idea behind the linkup, I assume) is very much, "Hey, this is something that has worked for me, in case anyone else finds this useful" rather than "This is the right way to do this." So I've tried to model that here as well, it just happens to be less about cleaning and parenting and more about religion and marriage :)

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  11. Since so many people wrote really awesome descriptions, I don't have anything super to add, except that I'd say your blog is about sharing and gathering opinions about things that matter.

    As for my own blog, well it's kind of a random bunch of stuff without a point probably!

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    1. I like that you said "things that matter." I was trying to pull together the various descriptions so far and kept coming up with "...about different areas of life..." which is just a little too vague. I don't want to say that things like crafts or decorating or photography are not important, but I think that's what most people associate with blogs and I want to get across that I try to tackle more serious topics.

      I think your blog title sums up what you talk about quite well! I see your blog as being about finding time for fun and silly reflections in between focusing on your PhD studies and your marriage.

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  12. Jessica,

    I would describe your blog as: The quest for preceeding truth while intergrating a practical faith with our life experiences. The truth that preceeds us is unchanging and is of God alone. There have been many interpretations of truth along the way, even within the Catholic Church. The Church should be listening to the lay faithful, for the Holy Spirit is speaking to them too, and not just the leadership. The Church is constantly evolving as it grows in the truth, and we are the Church/

    My blog is a brief summary of my personal life experiences and how they shaped the person I am today. This shaping is shown in my thoughts, reflections, social interaction, and hobbies.

    Dave Keller

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    1. ooops, My blog is http://davekellerblog.com

      The link above didn't show that.

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    2. Yes! What you said about the Church ties in very closely with what I want to write about for tomorrow's post. Keep an eye out for that :)

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  13. This is harder than I thought it would be! I'd describe your blog as a sensible dialogue focused about living out one's faith in a way that is authentic, while not being "preachy" or inaccessible to those who may not be religious. It definitely stands apart from typical blogs that discuss faith. While this doesn't make a complete thought, here are some words that come to mind when I think of your blog: reasonable, moderate, loving, receptive, caring, thoughtful, welcoming, self-aware, bold, curious (as in, you have great curiosity), and a desire for understanding.

    As for my blog...I don't have much of an idea. I tend to just write without concerning myself with a focus, which is a terrible strategy if I'm looking to become, like, a REAL blogger, which I'm not. I guess if I were to take my blog more seriously though, I'd probably draw inspiration from my background growing up under abuse and neglect, and narrow in on the various stories of my own personal healing/restoration, and probably include the stories of other women with similar backgrounds. I'm really passionate at helping people find/understand forgiveness, and about celebrating the tremendous restoration that can occur in a willing heart. If it were a book it'd be "Chicken Soup for the Broken Child's Soul." :)

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    1. Ooh, I like the word authentic. Authenticity is very important to me, and I think that may be tied in with people's views of my blog as being reasonable or moderate--because I believe it's hard to be authentic if you're being extreme. That's why it makes me angry when, for example, gay marriage opponents make these hyperbolic claims about "how marriage has always been" that are just patently false. But that's another topic :)

      Actually, I think authenticity is what draws me to your blog as well. You speak honestly about what's on your heart in a way that invites dialogue. I didn't realize you had had such a difficult childhood. I think your readers would be very receptive to you talking about it, but I don't think you need to narrow your focus to have a good blog. It's your attitude and your authenticity that make your blog enjoyable to read, moreso than any specific thing you're talking about.

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  14. Hi there- I haven't commentated in ages (morning sickness issues!) but I just wanted to let you know that your blog title does a really good job of summing up what you are about. When recommending it to someone, I would add that 'She's religious, but not all judgemental-ly and preach-y', which is quite important as far as I'm concerned :)

    Eva

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    1. Hi Eva! Glad to know you're still reading, and congratulations on expecting another child!

      It sounds like a lot of people feel my blog fits my title, which is great for me to hear because I sometimes feel like I've diverged too much from my vision for what the blog should be. And yes, I wish that there didn't need to be a "non-judgmental" qualifier on me as a religious person, but that is unfortunately kind of the default vision people seem to have of anyone described as "religious" or "having a strong faith."

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts :)

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  15. Sorry this is so late (if you haven't noticed, I've neglected the blogosphere almost entirely the last week or so), but I thought I'd add my perspective. I'd describe FPL as a blog consisting of detailed advice on what it means to be a loving Christian, especially through healthy, respectful personal relationships.

    You do write a lot about marriage, but really I see FPL as being about relationships in general, and that marriage is a big piece of that because of how important a relationship marriage is in a person's life.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I like the idea of "respectful personal relationships" -- I think that ties into what others have said about how I emphasize a non-judgmental perspective, and that approach definitely affects my personal relationships as well. And marriage is, of course, one of those and probably the one that affects me the most, as you said. I've found that a lot of what I write about marriage is applicable to other relationships as well, like what I wrote the other day about chores and working that out with your spouse or roommate.

      Thanks for helping me continue to reflect on my goals and my focus here!

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  16. Hi there, I am brand new to your blog actually so I cant help you sum it up lol BUT I can say this blog did open my eyes to the very valid point. When I talk about my blog I tell people "I write a christian womens blog" and I should sum it up more 'fairly' somehow. I should think and deff. pray on this. Ive written on my blog since I first was married 3 years ago, there have been seasons where I did not write, seasons where I wrote daily, and I enjoy looking back through all the life changes and trials my family has been through and how God has worked us through them to where we are now.
    I must tell you though I found your blog through google blog search (didnt even know it was a thing till today lol) where I typed in 'Christian marriage bloggers) and your was on the first page :) I just went through my 'reading list' today and got rid of all the inactive blogs, or ones that just were not there anymore and wanted to add new and fresh ones to my daily reading. So I added you to friends connect and I look forward to reading through your blog and getting to know you more :) blessings to you!

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