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Sometimes Blogging is Like Watching Grass Grow

Posted By Darren Rowse 19th of December 2007 Miscellaneous Blog Tips, Video Posts 0 Comments


As we continue to settle into our new house, a new routine and new surrounds in our suburb I’m being constantly inspired by the lessons I see around me and how they apply to blogging.

In today’s video I want to talk about Grass (Turf that is…)

Our turf is brand new and as a result it needs a lot of attention for the next couple of weeks. If we don’t keep it wet – it’ll die.

Water is crucial at this stage as it is still putting its roots down and getting established.

Similarly – a blog needs to put its roots down in its first few months and can take a lot of work – for seemingly few results. However there’s more going on under the surface than you might think. While reader numbers might not be great those first few readers can spread the word of your blog far and wide, the decisions you make about design, SEO, topic, voice etc all can have a lasting impact upon your blog.

Yes – sometimes blogging is like grass growing – but this slow start up phase usually doesn’t last for ever.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I have to agree, though I think it’s even more difficult if you’re not sure what market you’re trying to blog to. But with enough dedication, care, and love, it is possible to grow it into a cornucopia of content.

  2. From what i can see you guys have already finished off the basics of what I would like to say, but let me throw some seeds of thought into this blog pot plant.

    For many blogs it takes a long time for the numerous visitors to come streaming through, but what about some of the month old blogs that almost instantaneously bring in the goods? My thoughts on this would be that the have successfully brought in the targeted public because of their current and interesting content. They don’t have “their roots” but they develop them temporarily to test them out.

    Older blogs don’t necessarily have that initial boost because the owner will need to learn to find what brings in the traffic. Once they finally realise that down the track, it’s then when the traffic comes in.

    I’d love to provide examples, but this wouldn’t be the place to start quoting off other blogs.

  3. I am trying to stay patient. I am seeing growth slowly. I am okay with putting the work in, because I have faith something great will come out of it. Plus I will get better at writing as I go.

  4. Darren, you are so right. slow in the start, but it will grow.

  5. Pepper says: 12/19/2007 at 6:24 am

    Then I must be in the testing of the soil phase. I’ve not started a blog yet, but want to. I’m taking the teaching sell course and have learned way to much for my brain to handle. Now I just have to decide what variety of grass will grow best in my soil. Thanks for a great post.

  6. Thanks Darren…I think you’re particular dead-on when it comes to business blogs. Companies that launch blogs seem to get the most discouraged if they do not see immediate results (even more so than individual blogs). I’ve passed this post on to a few of my clients for motivation.


  7. Ah yes…. once the grass really start growing, you can get a cow. This way you will no longer need to mow the grass and may not even need to add fertilizer anymore….. an example of getting help from someone else to maintain your blog when the grass is established.

    Yes… you might even get milk from the cow…. joking.

  8. I certainly couldn’t agree with you more…

    Blogging is like grass growing…

  9. wild flux says: 12/19/2007 at 6:46 am

    Your house looks nice. Can you give us a virtual tour? :D

  10. Hi Darren thanks for the nice Video I agree with this Video,
    My Blog it’s like a new one , I hope it will grow soon – http://www.vhxn.com

  11. Great analogy! Its inspiring to remember that there is other stuff going on below the surface and that if we keep at than we can be succesful. If I ever feel bad about my blog I remind myself how passionate I am about the subject and it really helps if you ever feel down about the number of viewers.

  12. I think I’ll just concrete my lawn…watching the grass grow is great if you are planning to making a living (or hope to) off blogging. If not, then no need for the stress required to watch the “grass grow”.

  13. Nice house there.

  14. nice motivational post, spot on :)

  15. Hi Darren, congratulations on the move, hope your grass gets it’s roots soon and your area comes out of the drought soon!

    Great analogy between grass taking root and the work that you need to put into your blog to get it going. The question I came up with though, is what do you consider the “early days” of blogging? Are you speaking of the first month or the first year, because it’s a continual growth process?

    Just wondering about that because I still feel like I’m in the early days even though I’ve been working on it since March. :)

  16. Yes … this is all true, starting a blog is like working for free … it’s like a car that doesn’t pull up very fast … once it’s going you need to handle the wheel correctly….

  17. Not only is nurturing a blog, like growing grass, but the grass always looks greener “on the other side’.

    We often compare ourselves, our blogs, and our blog stats to others, but, as I’ve heard it said,,,”The grass is always greener on the other side, but when you get there, it’s actually Astroturf.”

    Be true to yourself, be patient, and the results will speak for themselves.

  18. Hi Barbara, I really enjoyed your comments (above)… very positive and insightful, thanks!

  19. why grass? not vegetables, or fruit trees :)
    You cannot eat grass rite, but if fruit tree, you can eat the fruit. Like Apple or grape, delicious.

    Same like your blog Darren, you grow a lot of fruit trees, and now you can taste the juicy in Australian Dollar rite


  20. why grass? not vegetables, or fruit trees :)

    2 reasons

    1. I don’t have any fruit trees or vegetables growing in my backyard (yet)
    2. The saying ‘it’s like watching grass grow’ isn’t ‘it’s like watching grapes grow’ – not quite the same effectiveness as a title :-)

  21. I’ve been growing, trimming and watering my blog for close to 2 years and it’s beginning to look like a nice patch now with a steady stream of visitors coming to enjoy it. It’s been a lot of work but worth the effort when I see people enjoying and raving about it :D

  22. Jagat says: 12/19/2007 at 1:34 pm

    Top notch post as usual Darren…u been an inspiration for me mate..

  23. It does become addicting in ways that growing grass does not! Its all about the time, and the market you are in as well. Some niches just take off quicker than others. Now if you can equate those blogs to creeping charlie..that grows every where!

  24. Thanks Darren, your absolutely right. Its easy to get discouraged with a new blog when you put in so much time and effort but don’t see much reward. Many people give up in the first couple of months because of that and the blog just sits in cyberspace gathering dust.

  25. Congratz on the move to the new house.

    Everything you said there was so true and very inspiring at the same time.
    I was taking my blog slowly and cautiously, but I am realizing now there is little point in that! It is just procrastination!

    Thx for what you do.

  26. When do you take the lawnmower to it for the first time and what is the lawnmower?

  27. Great post!!! mad inspiring!!!!! real nice metaphore to clear the things up around blogging. I totally argee. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Nice analogy. Motivation definitely helps when you are going through this phase.

  29. Question: I recently signed up for AdBrite. When I check my AdBrite report their page views do not match the number of page views my Webalizer report shows…why. Webalizer report is provided by my web host.

    For example when I checked AdBrite today they reported 39 page views for yesterday but my webalizer report shows 630.

    If you find the time to post an answer to this please email me as well.


  30. Darren-
    First, many congrats on the new home! Its beautiful.

    Once again, your timing is incredible. (ESP mayhap?LOL)

    My husband keeps reminding me that “The Journey Of 1000 Miles Begins With A Single Step”. Since my blog is brand-spanking new, (12-7-07 in fact,) I am pleased with the results thus far. (Avg 13 visits per day.) Its a fairly specialized blog, (equine, with humor and sarcasm,) but apparently a somewhat popular subject.

    On the days of frustration, I will be sure to refer back to your words of wisdom here!

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and have a flat out Wonderful Day in your new abode!

  31. I agree entirely Darran. I am brand new at blogging, but I have seen how high quality my work has become after only a month or two of working directly with other and staying focused. I was always too embarrassed to write and felt a little out of my element, but it helps much to try for a long time. Thank you!

  32. If blogging is like growing grass then keywords are fertilizer sticks located in strategic places.

    Suddenly mowing the lawn has taken on new meaning. My wife will be pleased.

  33. An interesting metaphor, to be sure, and one that is appropriate for me and my site which is very new. I write fiction and will be adding blogging tips, writing advice, etc. I am amazed at the amount of traffic I have generated in a short period of time (modest by your standards, I’m sure), but not very many folks leave comments. I am working to make myself better known in the writing/blogging community, but it is very time-consuming, so I fight the battle of time management, i.e., I work to balance my writing with my marketing and self-promotion efforts. Your article is a good reminder to me to be patient, work diligently but purposefully, and then see the rewards over time. Thanks, Darren.

  34. Well this isn’t looking good I’m no good at gardening!!!

    But seriously, I learned a lot from my mistakes when I started my first blog.

    Now I am starting my second blog – http://www.thephotographerblog.com and I am going to implement what I have learned, and hopefully it will be more successful than the first one.

    And as you say, the most important things I have learned so far is patience and determination!

  35. Giada says: 12/21/2007 at 3:15 am

    Thanks Darren for the encouraging words. Starting a blog can feel desperate sometimes. Apart from waiting for your group of readers to grow technical problems can be very frustrating too. My first blog kept being attacked by bots; very annoying. I used an e107 template: never again! What is your favorite forum or website for technical help regarding wordpress?

  36. Wow, you really can connect real life stuff to blogging :)

    And when the grass gets “established” enough, it just grows wildly :lol:

  37. Blogging is like watching grass grow, but sometimes the grass at the neighbours seems to be growing better.

  38. I had to laugh when you started to talk about grass growing – you really can turn any thoughts to blogging can’t you?

    I’m still in the baby stages of my blog and have some tweaking still to do, thanks for the inspiration to keep going!

  39. Good analogy. I agree with you. Sometimes it feels like not much happens, and then suddenly a couple of text link ads have been sold, a couple of bigger orders are made in Amazon, etc. When I look at my stats, I see traffic gowing steadily but slowly. When I look at my earning, I see them doubling every month, but it takes time to get enough for living.

    It really feels like watching grass grow, but when I look at my blogs it feels like watching trees grow!

  40. What an apt analogy! My little blog is mostly read by friends and family although I post on a variety of topics that would be of interest to many. Growing my readership is exactly what I’m trying to do at this stage!

    I”m glad I’ve found this blog, I can see where there is a lot to learn.

  41. I love that analogy. Applies to the garden as well Yes I think it is so true- it does take time and I know in the early days I was much more disciplined with my blogging habits. this post reminded me I need to get back to the basics and review your steps to a better blog.

    I look forward to your video of the backyard in a year or so

  42. Wonderful post Darren, I was just starting to get into a blogging funk but this is incredibly encouraging and is really motivating me to push forward.

  43. Nothing like a good ‘ol metaphor to inspire!

    Just as I am laying out my online business focus and plans for 2008…it couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks, Darren.

  44. Thanks Darren. I am certainly frustrated because I feel like we are creating content that people would love and laugh at, but so few are seeing it. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to develop relationships with other bloggers and audiences.

    We’re still early at 2 months, but at times I worry that we’re putting our best out there now and then we’ll run dry. I just need more confidence and patience.

  45. John R says: 12/22/2007 at 2:09 am

    I noticed that the acoustic was kind of terrible. Google DeAmp. Also.. it is interesting to see the gardening perspecrive on blogging. It immediately makes my imagination spring alive with lots of interesting ideas.

  46. Nice…I like the idea!

    Bookmark @ livbit


  47. Nice video. I just make design of my new blog and thing about all stuff around. It was really nice compare grass roots with beging bloging.

    I havent watch your videos, but i will start. Stay cool and thanks for all advices.

  48. hi..

    its a nice video..

    im a blog newbie.. so i guess i need to come back to blog often.. thanx..

  49. Vicky says: 12/23/2007 at 9:37 am

    Darren, don’t throw up these global farts. We need real advices that will help us with our blogs.

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