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.
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?