My Top Ten Most Popular Posts, July-September 2010

Here’s a quick look at the posts that got the most traffic on my blog, along with a few thoughts about each.

  1. Goodbye DirecTV, Hello FiOS TV! Even though I wrote this post over 4.5 years ago, it still remains my most popular post by far. About 17% of the traffic to my blog is to this post. My idea was to write the review that didn’t exist at the time of what FiOS TV was really like. It was really in-depth and based on both the traffic it gets (still) and the number of comments it has received most people agree. It’s definitely out of date now, but still gets a bunch of hits.
  2. How I Pack and Ship Books (It’s Easy, Cheap, and Keeps Them Safe). This post was a step-by-step guide on what I do when I sell books. It’s dirt cheap and super simple. If you sell or trade books you should check it out!
  3. Countdown Timer for Church. A few years back at my last church we were trying to be better at keeping our services from running too long. One of the things that our preacher wanted was a countdown timer. I did some investigation and discovered they weren’t cheap, so I decided to figure out how to make one myself. We ended up with a very usable system and I decided to give it away for free to anyone who wanted it. So if your church needs a free stage countdown timer you can download it, too.
  4. The iPad Commercial Apple Doesn’t Want You to See. I have an iPad and I really thought this video from Newsday was clever and funny. The original video I linked to was taken down pretty quickly, but I found another that’s up and you can still see it.
  5. Pitch Your Tent Guy. Being a minister, I know it’s easy to make mistakes while your teaching. But it’s pretty unusual to make this big of a flub in a room full of teenagers. Blake‘s a great guy and continues to do great ministry now in Nashville, TN at Cross Point Church.
  6. What Should a Pastor’s Salary Be? I got the idea for this post from the news making a big deal about Ed Young’s salary and perks. This was just some simple thoughts on different perspectives on how to pay a pastor.
  7. Five Easy Ways to Listen to the ESV Audio Bible for Free Anytime, Anywhere. I have a feeling that this post is going to rise in popularity in the coming months. It was one of my favorite posts of all time.
  8. Two Mega-church Pastors in Dallas, Two Completely Different Views from the Media. Similar to #7, but less about money and more about how our culture views pastors.
  9. The Biggest Flaw in John Hollinger’s ESPN NBA Power Rankings. I probably was just venting my frustration living as a Mavericks fan on this one, but still pretty good thoughts over all.
  10. Smart Add Cheat Sheet. I like making things simple and this little cheat sheet makes my life simpler many days.

Those were my most popular posts according to the stats. Was there a post that you really liked that didn’t make the list? Share in the comments.

7 Links to Learn More About Me and My Blog [#7Links]

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m trying to decide what direction I want to take my blog and I got some good feedback. Part of the process I’m going through is looking where I’ve been before, in terms of blogging, to give me a feel about what I’ve done well and enjoyed doing the most.

I’ve been blogging for five and a half years now, so I’ve done quite a few posts. I realize that some people I know are somewhat regular readers here, others jump in when I post something they’re interested in, and then there are the random visitors who find my blog on Google. Whoever you are, this post will hopefully help you get a better feel for what this blog has been all about. I was prompted to write it by the 7 Link Challenge over at ProBlogger.

  1. My first post: Backing Up DVDs
    What’s weird to me about piracy laws is that it’s perfectly legal to have a digital archive of movies you legitimately own, but it’s not legal to break the encryption on DVDs. You’d have to do it in real time using some sort of digital to analog converter, which would be a pain. That means that I was encouraging illegal activity on my blog. Great start, don’t you think?
  2. The post I enjoyed writing the most: Four Ways to Be More Consistent in Your Bible Reading
    There were a lot of things I really liked about writing this post, but I was especially happy with the end result. I could have also put is under most helpful post link, but I really enjoyed writing it a lot.
  3. The post which had a great discussion: Is God a Republican or Democrat
    I wrote this on the day of the the 2008 Presidential election and it got quite a few people to comment on it. I don’t blog much about politics, but I think this was one of my best posts and since it got so much discussion you might agree.
  4. A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written: The Death of the Weekly Program/Bulletin/Newsletter
    Tim Schraeder wrote this post on his blog and it created a lot of buzz. Best quote from the post: “know the primary way your audience receives information and communicate to them that way.” It’s a move they’ve stuck with and made improvements to in the two years since they made the switch.
  5. My most helpful post: Motivation: Finding the desire to workout when I really don’t want to do it
    This was a reflection of how I stayed motivated to workout during the months after my first daughter was born. I think it was really helpful for most anyone who’s looking for tips on staying motivated in exercise.
  6. The post with a title that I am proud of: The Biggest Flaw in John Hollinger’s ESPN NBA Power Rankings
    I’ve never been a fan of Hollinger’s Power Rankings, probably because I am a Mavericks homer. But this post’s title sums up what I think is most wrong with the system and then I decided to elaborate for a few hundred words or so.
  7. The post that I wish more people had read: Delighting in God (OR a theology of worship taught by a seven month old)
    Having kids has definitely given me more perspective on life and what it means to have God as our Father. This post was a reflection on how all people should be more engaged in worship.

So, those are my 7 links. How about you? If you have a blog (that’s more than just a couple days old) why don’t you do this on your blog? Or are there some posts that I’ve done here that you think would fit better than what I listed above? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image by jessica r

Thinking About My Blog’s Direction

I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about the direction of my blog recently. I’ve kind of drifted around in what I’m writing about between tech, sports, church, religion, and my personal life. I don’t really feel like doing that anymore. I’d like to focus more on one or two topics, but I haven’t landed on what that would be yet.

So, I’d like to hear from you. If you’re a reader of my blog, the few of you out there, what do you think I should do? Let me know in the comments.

Image by Milind Alvares.

Check Out My Other Blog:

Yesterday marked the start of another blogging endeavor for me. Rocky Hernandez and I officially (re)launched What does that mean for this blog? Not a whole lot, other than I’ll probably be shifting away from posting ministry-related blog posts on this blog.

If you’re in ministry, either professionally or as a volunteer, I highly recommend clicking on over to the blog. We’ll be adding a lot more content in every week. You can also connect with PM by subscribing to the RSS feed, following on Twitter, or becoming a fan on facebook.

Take a look then comment either here or there or on Twitter. Any feedback is truly appreciated.

Stuck Trying to Figure out What or How to Blog? Check out ProBlogger (Book Review).


ProBlogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett

Over the past month or so I’ve been wanting to get back into blogging and trying to figure out what my personal blog should be focused on. What’s my niche? Why do people read my blog? What should I write about? It’s the type of questions that I believe every blogger asks at some point in the life of their blog.

Through the course of asking myself these questions, having a couple of conversations with a friend about a new joint-venture in blogging, and looking for some ideas to generate a little extra money on the side I decided to buy a copy of the book ProBlogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett. I’m glad I did.

The sub-title of the book is “Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income,” so I was expecting the it to be mostly a “I got rich blogging and here are the ways that you can get rich quickly, too” type of book, but getting rich quick was not really the main focus of the book. There are a few chapters on money-making blogging strategies, but the majority of the book is devoted to helping you figure out how to run an effective blog. In fact, throughout the book the authors stress that most successful/profitable blogs are the result of years of work.

The main takeaway that I got from the book was that the best blogs are ones that focus on a niche market. The more specific the niche the better. Beyond that, the book was filled with practical ideas on how to write content that people want to read and gave numerous specific examples on how to generate ideas for new blog posts.

Overall, I’m really glad I spent the time to read the book. I don’t know whether or not I’ll make even a dime from blogging, but it has given me some motivation to get back in the game, as you can probably tell from this new post.

If you’re new to blogging, a veteran blogger looking for ideas to get unstuck, or trying to figure out how you might make a little money writing in your spare time I highly recommend getting a copy of the book for yourself.

Check out the blog that inspired the book at