There’s a misconception in blogging that higher numbers (subscribers, likes, followers, pageviews, etc.) necessarily equals (or on some level reflects) success. Recently I was asked by an online-turned-face-to-face friend how many pageviews ARD averages each month. I rarely share my pageviews, or any other number for that matter, but we were in the midst of a great discussion about blogging strategies and organic + authentic growth, so I shared.
She was surprised by how low my monthly pageviews are.
I instantly felt the need to remind her that:
- I am not a DIY/Fashion blogger and I’ve never had a photo go viral on pinterest
- I have pretty much stopped hosting, or participating in giveaways
- I very rarely participate in link ups (again, while I occasionally link up WIW posts and some around the house how-tos, I certainly don’t fit into the DIY or Fashion Blogger niche, and therefore do not receive the consistent traffic that some DIYers and Fashion-savvy bloggers do from linking up
- I focus on quality, read-worthy, and share-worthy content – and I feel that sometimes those of us who emphasis quality writing struggle with having the kind of pageviews that DIY/Fashion bloggers have because our blogs are not as pin-worthy. I’ve realized there’s a difference between pin-worthy and read-worthy.*
- Growing organically is very important to me
I think this sweet friend of mine realized I was on the defensive because she made the comment that the only reason she was surprised by that number is because my community is so strong.
Friends – she was talking about you. This little community that affirms, encourages, prays for, and yes – even sometimes corrects me, you are strong.
While I was at Blissdom I spent a lot of time talking with Alissa of Rags to Stitches. We roomed together and one night we stayed up way too late talking about goals and priorities and successes in blogging. I learned a lot at Blissdom, but the thing that I cannot shake is what I learned during a late night pajama party with my roommates: “In blogging you can either go deep or you can go wide, but it’s hard to do both.” That nugget of truth that Alissa shared has been at the forefront of my mind for the past two weeks.
And as I reflect on my defense of lower pageviews I realize this:
- I want to go “deep” in blogging
- I want to write words that inspire you so much that you can’t help but share it with someone, passing along something behind which you can stand
- In two or three or four years, I want you to still be here because my blogging roots run deep and my story still inspires you
- I want relationships to continue to grow, so that you trust me and I trust you so much that I don’t even think of you as subscribers or readers, I think of you as friends.
- I want you to know that when I recommend someone else’s content it’s not because they’re paying me to do it. It’s because I genuinely stand behind what they have to say, I enjoy reading it and hope that you will too.
- When I do sponsored posts, I want you to know that I’m not just in it for the money. I don’t apply for every sponsored post opportunity that comes my way. Sometimes the campaign doesn’t fit my voice, sometimes it doesn’t fit my lifestyle, and sometimes I just can’t put my seal of approval on it. When I endorse a brand, a product, or another blogger I want you to know that I mean it. And when promoting someone or something else, I will always do my best to write authentically, creatively, and in a way that fits my voice, my vision, and my purpose.
Friends, I’ll trade giveaways, follow along linkies, and paid-for promotion for lower, but organic pageviews and authentic sharing any day. Because I want to go deep.
Last month I did a little experiment. In an attempt to determine how effective my advertising has been, I only sponsored one blog, and from that sponsorship I received 20 pageviews (although I must keep in mind that it hard to determine how much traffic she drove through social media). I did not participate in any giveaways, and the only giveaway I hosted was for my Influence Network class. Instead of depending on advertising to help boost my readership, I took responsibility for my own growth and focused on content. And yes, I prayed for organic growth. And friends, I sit behind this computer screen today and can tell you with complete honesty that March was my highest pageviews month ever. By a whopping 6,000 pageviews.
Organic blog growth. It seems so elusive, doesn’t it? As if there’s some magical keyword or tweet-worthy phrase we must include in every post so someone else will share it. And yet I’ve found that when I write from the heart you share. Maybe you don’t tweet it. Maybe you don’t forward it to your friends. But you share with me in your comments, in your private messages, in your e-mails. And whether you share on social media for others to see, or whether you open up your heart to me in a private e-mail I thank you. Because going deep, forging relationships of mutual trust and respect and organic growth is what I’m about.
Thank you for making all of it possible.
Some of you may define your success in pageviews or subscribers or by income earned through sponsored posts. And that’s okay. We all have different goals and different visions of our blogs. That’s what makes us unique. But I will not, cannot apologize for having fewer pageviews that one might guess. Because this community is strong. It runs deep. And that is my definition of success.
I recently read a few articles that I think every blogger should read:
Why Bloggers Should Stop Promoting Each Other
Five Tips for Entirely Organic Blog Growth
Fans Do Not Equal Friends – The Benefit of a Smaller Blog
Comparisons Will Kick You in the Teeth and Hijack Your Dreams
* There were some reader questions about whether or not I think blog posts that are pin-worthy are therefore not read-worthy. Of course that is not what I mean, there are many gifted writers, DIYers, and Fashion Bloggers who are also gifted photographers and they offer quality + beautiful content for their readers. That being said, my biggest struggle in growing my community is creating pin-worthy graphics that compliment the quality content into which I pour a lot of heart, thought, and time. For further clarification please read my responses in the comments.
Are you ready to be an inspiration? (To find out the purpose of the Desire to Inspire community, please read this post.)
- Please visit the others who link up and leave kind, encouraging words for them. This is about encouraging, inspiring, and building up one another.
- If you tweet about linking up, please use the hashtag #desiretoinspire so we can find each other.
- Link up your own quality, read-worthy posts.
- Focus on how you can be an inspiration, not what inspires you.
- You do not have to follow ARD, but of course I’d love it if you would.
- Link up your specific post, not your blog’s homepage.
- Please do not link up giveaways, blog/social media hops, or shops.
- Please link back to A Royal Daughter in your post (using the button below, or a text link back) or add this linky party to your linky party list.
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