growing your blog: what the gurus won’t tell you (+ a BIG giveaway!)

Growing your #blog w/o going crazy - plus a #giveaway: access to the How To Build a Blog You Truly Love + coaching with Liv Lane.

Watch out, friends: I’m about to go against the grain. I haven’t posted here in a week, which may seem ironic given that I’m currently promoting the re-launch of my blogging ecourse. (Uhhh, shouldn’t the girl teaching blogging actually be…blogging?)

my kids holding handsWell, no. See, it’s spring break here. My kids are home (aren’t they the cutest?) and they’re taking priority. We’ve played lots of basketball and baseball, raced cars 8 million times, watched new DVDs, played video games, had some fun little outings. I’ve done a little work – some calls, a couple of coaching sessions – but I decided my blog could wait. 

Hold up. What? Put my blog on hold?

Yep. And I know that’s the absolute opposite of what most blogging “gurus” would advise. Lord knows there’s enough of them out there now, proclaiming to know the right ways to become a superstar of blogging and social media and content marketing. It’s one reason why so many people are too intimidated to start or feel like failures once they do.

There was a time when it would have killed me to skip a day, let alone a whole week of posting here. When I started blogging in 2006, I committed to blogging every single day for a full year. I was a little obsessed. The site grew quickly, but by the end of the year I was burnt out on my own blog. I began to blog less…with less passion…with less interest…with less focus and, soon, with less readers.

It took a while to nurse it back to health, to pave a path to more purposeful blogging – but it was worth the uphill climb. Every year, my blog grows – in readers, in profits, in intrinsic rewards. I adore it. I read (errrr…skim) advice from a slew of “gurus” for new breakthroughs or resources. But I’ve got my own set of anti-rules that work for me and have worked for loads of dear hearts who have taken my course. Here are a few…

4 Crazy-Free Ways To Grow Your Blog

Pace Your Posts: Think you have to post every day? Or at least every other day? I actually think that’s the quickest path to burnout and crappy content. Yes, it’s important for search engines to see that you’re regularly updating your content – but it’s MORE important that when people find you, they’re not turned off by fluff and filler. Take your time to craft thoughtful, compelling posts – even if it means that some weeks, you only publish one.

Rock Your Own Style: Have you noticed lots of blogs are looking the same lately? Lots of white space, lots of muted colors, lots of the same ads? Many are lovely to look at, but before you follow suit, ask yourself if that look and feel actually looks and feels like the real you. The other day, I read an article from a popular source that said you should never have a header with a bold logo or bright colors because it distracts people from the actual content. Um, really? People just land at a blog and totally forget why they’re there because the header’s too bright? I’m gonna give my readers a little more credit and stick with my colorful palette, thank you very much. (But I’m sure tons of other bloggers are now scrambling to change the headers – ugh).

Don’t Blog For Money: My blog is the foundation for a huge fraction of my annual income, but that’s not why I started blogging. My blog originated as a personal exercise – photographing and writing about beauty in my midst each day as I was healing from depression and PTSD. It changed my life. It gave me a sense of purpose. Blog because you have stories to tell, insights to share, ways to inspire, ideas to explore, people to connect with. That’s the stuff that really matters and makes this adventure meaningful. Once you’ve cultivated that, you’ll begin to find and create profitable opportunities that extend your mission, build your brand and allow you to be authentically you. The best kind of money there is.

Be a Social Media Snob: You can run yourself ragged trying to keep up with all the new platforms and apps available to spread the word about your blog. Rather than spread yourself thin, be picky. Choose one to four social media outlets and do them really well. The other day, I was chatting with a popular home decor blogger who attracts tens of thousands of new readers each month via Pinterest. She (smartly) caters to that audience, creating easily “pinnable” images with text to go with her blog posts; she and her readers can then pin those images and start spreading the word about her latest post. She spends lots of time on this, but not much on less visual platforms like Twitter – and it’s driving tons of traffic to her site.

win a spot in the course + coaching with me!

I’m giving away ONE spot in the upcoming ecourse PLUS a 30-minute personal blog coaching session with me. If you’re already signed up for the ecourse and happen to win, you’ll get all your money back. I’m using Raftercopter for this giveaway, which allows you to earn extra entries by sharing this post with others – super slick!

Just sign in using your Facebook account or email address and you’ll see all the options for entering. Entries must be received by Monday, April 8th at midnight central. Good luck, all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway