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How to Grow Gracefully

Posted By Guest Blogger 12th of November 2011 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 39

This guest post is by Courtney Carver of bemorewithless.com.

If anyone tells you that launching a blog doesn’t take blood, sweat, and tears, get your money back. There is no doubt that launching and growing a successful blog takes time, energy, and dedication. There are so many recommendations about how to grow your readership that you might find yourself focusing on the wrong things to start.

When you start your blog, you will spend time …

  • Comparing: Not only will you spend time comparing your stats from day to day and sometimes hour to hour, you’ll also compare your progress to other bloggers that are just starting out. Even worse, you’ll compare your stats to the stats of seasoned bloggers.
  • Tweaking: Your blog will never look just right. Adding widgets and plugins and researching fonts and headers can become a full-time job.
  • Wishing: Every time you tweet a post or publish something new, you’ll wish and hope for new readers. Lots of them.
Grow gracefully

Image is author's own, copyright onemillionforgood.com

You can easily make better use of your time by writing great content. I know that seems simple, maybe boring, and a little vague, but that is what it takes. Every post should be your very best post. If you are guest posting give them your very best post. If you only have five subscribers, give them your very best post.

While you may think you will run out of your best, that you’ll have nothing left to say, the opposite happens. Every time you write your heart out, better words appear. Each time you commit to creativity through writing, another idea materializes. If you’ve thought about saving your best work until you have more subscribers or are writing for a bigger blog, rethink and release your very best work.

Instead of spending your time doing meaningless tasks to force success, grow gracefully.

  • Say thank you. If a reader emails feedback, thank them. When someone gives you unsolicited advice, say thank you.
  • Support others. Get to know a group of bloggers who write about something similar. Comment on their blogs, share their posts and grow together.
  • Forget your stats. It’s important to know about your readers and traffic, but not at the beginning. Try a stat sabbatical and see how your mood changes and your writing improves.
  • Report accurate numbers. Social proof can help the growth of your blog but understand the difference between pageviews, readers and subscribers. Readers stop by. Subscribers engage. If you have 10,000 pageviews, you do not have 10,000 readers or subscribers. Explain your numbers clearly and accurately.
  • Solve problems. Write about what you know, but use reader comments and feedback to solve problems. Combine the readers’ need and your experience to create a useful post that readers want to talk about.
  • Let viral happen. You can spend time trying to figure out how to write a post that will go viral, but then you aren’t writing for your readers. The best way to go viral is to write for them. They will spread your message.
  • Connect. Guest post, collaborate, and ask for help and offer help.
  • Enjoy. Love what you write about and enjoy the process instead of measuring your success by the results.
  • Engage. Use social media to talk with people, not at people.
  • Don’t apologize. If you miss a scheduled post, or a few, don’t apologize for your absence.
  • Monetize thoughtfully. Instead of becoming an affiliate for every product available, choose items that you love and genuinely recommend for your reader. When you create products, think about the end user. What will they gain? What do they need? How will this help them?
  • Be humble. You didn’t do this alone. Your hard work is the cornerstone of your success, but without readers that support you and share your work, you will not grow.

Understanding social media and SEO may contribute to your growth. A beautiful design and pretty font will enhance the user experience. But nothing will give you a solid foundation and opportunity for growth like writing for your reader and being graceful and grateful.

What do you think? Does grace have a place in growing a successful blog?

Courtney Carver is an artist & consultant specializing in simplicity for life and business. Subscribe to her business blog and connect with her on Twitter.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
Comments
  1. The one part of this that’s hardest for me is the not checking the stats part. I find myself doing it less and less, but still way too frequently. When you’re not hitting the number that you have in mind, you get obsessed with them. I’m learning to wean myself off slowly and focus on the quality of my articles.

  2. Really helpful post for me as I have started my new blog recently. I will try to implement the ideas given. Thanks!

  3. Wonderful article, it serves as a reminder of all the reasons I chose to blog. To write. I wanted to work for a magazine my entire life but chose a path of finance when I was younger as my perception was writing was no way to make a living in Hawaii in the late 80s/early 90s.

    It is very easy to get carried away with stats and time would be better spent on planning future posts, scheduling interviews for local business spotlights and improving my photography skills.

    Thank you for this wonderful (as well as many others) posts. You’re always right on target as far as I’m concerned.

  4. Awesome list. It took me almost 5 years to get from zero to 2000 visitors a day but it is really fun.

  5. This post is a good kick in the pants for me. I get obsessive about stats, as well. I am training myself to focus more on content, brand positioning, and learning about market strategy. Thanks for writing this!

  6. GREAT article Courtney and really good advice. I have subscribed to your list and look forward to gaining more wisdom from you.

  7. “Every time you write your heart out, better words appear. ” That sentence fired me up. Thank you. It is indeed when I put my best out there, that it will open up ways to be better. Holding back is a shrinking pattern. Giving my best with no regrets is the beginning of the explosion. Thank you for posting.

  8. You put it beautifully. Grow gracefully; and the readers are the life blood of a blog. I constantly remind myself that what I write for my readers should solve problems, entertain or do both.

  9. soubhik says: 11/12/2011 at 2:26 pm

    Njoy the process – is what i loved the most in the post. Successful Blogging dsnt happen to you overnight, you will need to put urslf into a framework and make it a habit.

  10. Releasing on outcomes helps your tips come together well, Courtney. Add value, make connections, become valuable. Forget trying to get. Focus on giving. Make this your dominant mindset. Keep helping, keep serving, keep connecting. As you focus less on getting, you give more freely and the getting happens quite effortless. Thanks!

    RB

  11. “Forget your stats” — amen. Thanks for sharing this; truth here.

  12. Some really solid advice for both beginners and more experienced Bloggers, Courtney.

    The ” forget your stats part ” is something I really have to take it easy on.

    I do spend a little too much time pouring over different Analytics data from a number of tools.

    Sometimes it can become counter productive, as whilst you are doing all this analyzing not a lot of actual Blog writing and page optimization is going on.

  13. People who blog passionately for helping people out or providing high quality content always keep users ahead of monetary benefits they gain from the blog. Really nice article.

  14. Blogging is no different from life. If you conduct yourself with grace, honesty and a genuine concern for others, you’ll be a success on your own terms. As always, Courtney, you put things simply and beautifully.

  15. Yeah it comes down to the old quality over quantity. You can jockey the numbers all you like but unless you engage with people and add real value to them the numbers are just empty figures

  16. Great guest post. Yes, Grace does have it’s place in blogging. So does being grateful. If you can’t do some of the things you have suggested in this post you will have a hard time becoming successful.

    I love problogger it gives me the chance to read and learn from others who have gone through the ups and downs of the blogging world.

  17. I have been obsessed with numbers of my blog being a one month old blogger. I have taken this post as a stern warning for myself not to be over-enthusiastic about the growth of statistical figures and else, focus on creating the best user experience with good quality posts.

  18. Great post. It’s easy to forget that content has to be your focus. Thanks for the reminder.

  19. a really great article! I just attended the chocolate show in nyc and was talking with a fellow blogger. We talked about how much work blogging is and that people think it is just so easy. It does take a lot of time and effort to make a successful blog. I met some great people networking at the show, only one had a negative comment that there are so many bloggers these days. Needless to say, her booth will not be on my blog! I still find it hard to not look at my numbers daily, but lately things have been going up steady. The blog will be 3 years old in Dec. of this year. I look forward to taking it as high as it can go, with quality content and my photography. Thank you again for a great post!!

  20. a really great article! I just attended the chocolate show in nyc and was talking with a fellow blogger. We talked about how much work blogging is and that people think it is just so easy. It does take a lot of time and effort to make a successful blog. I met some great people networking at the show, only one had a negative comment that there are so many bloggers these days. Needless to say, her booth will not be on my blog! I still find it hard to not look at my numbers daily, but lately things have been going up steady. The blog will be 3 years old in Dec. of this year. I look forward to taking it as high as it can go, with quality content and my photography. Thank you again for a great post!!

  21. sorry for the double post!!

  22. After all the money-making tips, this was just what I needed.
    Each of the points resonated with me and, as I read them, I kept saying to myself “Yes. Yes. This is the way that suits me. Yes.”

    Thank you :) .

  23. Every business person needs to find something that makes them different from the competition. There are so many insurance agents who are nothing more than sales people. I try to emphasize education over sales. That is my difference and your point to blog for readers and let everything else happen on its own is right up my alley. It is nice to know that there are others who understand how important it is to treat others as intelligent people and not just sources of money.

  24. Enjoying the process is the thing that is a requirement for any and every type of work.. Oh yes work.. Blogging too is a work and to be successful at that, the toil involved is to be considered for sure.. Or else there is no point blogging. It is the theme of one of my articles: – Blogging – Success, The top 5 reasons for Blog failure

  25. Hi Courtney,

    I’m very guilty of comparing myself and my blog to other established bloggers. It really is a soul destroying habit. You are definitely right to suggest: “Support others. Get to know a group of bloggers who write about something similar. Comment on their blogs, share their posts and grow together.” What a positive approach to be looking out for each other rather than “competitively comparing.”

    In fact, I noticed in your archives we started our blogs at a similar time on similar topics. Let’s support each other!

    Best blogging wishes,

    Caylie

  26. I really really love this post. I’ve been reflecting that I spend too much time doing things that can best be described as noise and not focussing on what really matters most. Whether it’s time on hootsuite, tweaking a design or looking, again, at stats.

    This post is spot on advice for knowing when you’re wasting time and what to do about it and what the core tasks are that need to be done.

    Great advice!!!!

    Matt

  27. I try to do my best I can. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I have at of visitors and page views, but not to many comments, bummer……

  28. Excellent advice.

    I find myself constantly checking statistics and most of my traffic comes from StumbleUpon, though most if not all of my visitors are one-timers and rarely leave feedback.

    That is to be expected as I am still grateful to know that the knowledge I share with others is being consumed where it matters for the end-user, that gives me satisfaction.

  29. Great advice!

    Looking at your stats can also become somewhat addictive and can be quite the distraction. Focus on the quality of your blog and the stats will come.

  30. Does Grace have a place in growing a successful blog? Absolutely! Too often passion and sincerity get lost in the muddle of all the other things that need to be done yet taking the time to do the “small” things always pays off so much more consistently and in greater returns. Your post is very refreshing; made me sit back and recognize that even those of us who stongly believe in what you list, we all have to remind ourselves of what is really important and why we began doing this in the first place. Very well written, keep it up!
    Colby

  31. Love this post! I agree starting a blog is really sweat, blood and hard work. Working late at night just to finish a blog post and have it published to keep the blog alive and then waiting for comments to appear and the excitement to see the first comment. It brings back those memories. I think we should all grow gracefully and stop wasting our time.

  32. The thought that really resonated with me is when I read that you advise new bloggers to “forget the stats”. A small part of me things my first two blogs failed for this reason. I think I may plan a personal relaunch, and focus on the community itself instead of the numbers.

  33. “Write your heart out everytime”. I want those words to become my “motto” everytime I write a post. Been on the “checking-stats-regularly” syndrome and didn’t like it. Been on the “comparing with others” syndrome, and didn’t like it either.

    I do believe, as you said, that being loyal and thruthful to yourself should be enough to grow your blog naturally and gracefully. All other things will start to happen as a consequence… hopefully.

    Nice post. Really useful.

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