Two years ago, the readers of my blog Stuff Christians Like raised $60,000 to build two kindergartens in Vietnam. It was an incredible experience, and it firmly cemented in my mind the power of what a generous community can do online.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote an article about the first kindergarten, and the headline was, “Blogger raises $30,000 in 18 hours.” Technically, that headline was true, but the headline should have actually read, “Blogger raises $30,000 in 18 months.”
That’s how long it really took to raise the money. For 18 months, I consistently wrote Stuff Christians Like. I poured in a million words of the best ideas I could think of into the conversation with readers. Day after day, post after post, with consistency, I jumped into the discussion happening on Stuff Christians Like.
And I had written a different blog for a year before I started SCL. I didn’t show up one day out of the blue and say, “Hi, my name is Jon. You’ve never heard of me. Give me money for a kindergarten,” but sometimes we think that’s how social media works. We watch certain ideas go viral and think our business, cause, blog should go viral too. We want social media to be a silver bullet. Here’s the truth:
Social media isn’t a silver bullet. It’s a million free bullets.
If you use them with consistency and clarity, you can change the world.
If you try something for a month, though, and give up, you won’t change the world. If you write a blog for 90 days and quit, you won’t change the world. If you fool around with Twitter for a week and then stop, you won’t change the world.
It takes time.
It takes grind.
And it takes a commitment to consistency.
In the old school, “Who? What? When? Where? Why?” model of journalism, content is the “What?” context is the “Where?” clarity is the “How?” and consistency is the “When?”
When will you share your message?
When will you reach out to people?
When will you keep writing, blogging, and tweeting even when the results you’re looking for aren’t there?
In the final part of this post, we’ll talk about the fifth word, “Community.”