Desire to Inspire #29: Organic Blog Growth

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.

Organic Blog Growth

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

And other posts I’ve written related to this very topic:
How to Grow Your Blog
Winning and Losing in Blogging
Setting Blogging Goals
Connections not Numbers
Nurturing Community

* 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 inspirationnot 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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Amanda
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Comments

  1. Mrs. Gray says:

    I love this! I am still a teeny tiny blog, and I struggle all the time with feeling like I should just jump on the next blog hop and hope people start showing up. Then someone tells me how much they like my blog, or how I inspire them, and I remember why I started it in the first place: to share the story God has given us. And I keep on; if you build it they will come.

    • Amanda says:

      Goodness it’s a hard balance, isn’t it? I’m often tempted to do the same thing, and I have actually met some great friends through blog hops. But when I look at it as an investment (mainly a time investment) I realize that I’d rather have that extra time to create and write and engage the community that I already have in hopes that it will grow naturally. But I do know that blog hops and linkies do work for lots of bloggers. And I’m glad for them!

      Thanks for your encouragement!

  2. Amanda, I completely agree! Well, unless if you blog for money, aka you’re a full time professional bloggerr, then yes, of course stats matter! I love visitors and numbers, but they are not my main motivation to blog or write. I unsubscribed from several blogs that I used to love, because as they got more popular, they lost their souls and became over-commercialised. If one blogs not mainly for money, I think he or she would be happier to keep it “real”.

    Visiti me:
    LeeAnne, Style N Season
    http://stylenseason.blogspot.com

  3. Amanda says:

    Oh I love this post! I only found your blog last month but it is already one of my “go to” blogs (I never skip a post from you in my feed). I have been blogging since 2006 and have made a few very good friends through it. Friends who mean something to me. That is what I love about blogging and though I’ve had times where I have yearned for more page views and more work with brands I found I was actually unhappy when it happened as there was a pressure to do something and be something other than what I was. I still do the odd review but not many and not often. I am returning to my blogging routes and have had to think hard about how to get the most out of a blogging conference I am returning to this year since their focus is working with brands. But I know there are others like me going (last year I went to a workshop entitled “sod the stats, blog for happiness). Thank you for your reminder that organic growth isn’t about stats and pageviews and that blogging can mean so much when you make solid friendships!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Amanda! Thanks for your encouragement – I just attended a conference here in the states that was very brand-driven and I really did have a wonderful time! Solid, strong relationships takes so much work, and sometime it’s painful (because, as I’ve experienced, some friendships will go by the wayside) but ultimately I think it’s worth it.

      I hope you have a great time at your conference!

  4. Amy Kelly says:

    Thank you for this, Amanda!! I want to run deep, not wide, too!!
    I “Desire to Inspire” on Mondays. I’ve tried to link up, but am not yet sure I have it all figured out. Just know that I have been inspired by you!!

    • Amanda says:

      Hey Amy, if you have any questions about linking up send me an e-mail and I’ll try and help you! royaldaughterdesigns(at)yahoo(dot)com.

      Thanks!

  5. I love your blog and your heart-I always have. I too desire the deep not wide thing. That is how I write. And for the record, by your screen shots in your class, your numbers are way higher than mine. I think you draw people to your community because you are so nice. They are real people, not just numbers that join for a giveaway and never come back. You are solid and so is this community. I think you are a lesson to all of us.

    • Amanda says:

      Oh, but Bernadette – numbers are SO very misleading! I have a series that is pretty popular with SEO right now, and it drives SO much traffic to three different posts. But those pageviews aren’t turning into community, so while they give the impression of growth, I have to keep in mind that particular pageviews are not building my community. With numbers it’s all about perspective! At least for me it is.

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. Someone else messaged me and used the word “solid” and I just loved that word choice. It blesses my heart so much – thank you!

  6. Karmen says:

    Well said. Well done sister;) Thank you for your authenticity.
    I echo your sentiments exactly. I still haven’t added a stats plugin
    since moving to WordPress in January for the very reason I don’t want
    stats to be what motivates my writing. I pray, wait and write
    when the Lord lays a story on my heart. I’m not a DIYer or a giveaway girl.
    I’m a disorganized, forgetful spaz who loves Jesus! I love sharing real stories about real
    life with others. Thank you Amanda for the reminder and the “ok”
    with writing to inspire! Love you!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you Karmen. I actually LOVE tracking my statistics, I like the challenge of competing with myself + analyzing the data to figure out what I’ve done “right” and what I’ve done “wrong.” Ultimately, of course they are just a number, and I try to let grace reign – whether or not I do something right or wrong!

  7. This is wonderful! I have been at blogging a year now, and I’m still struggling with how many giveaways, link ups, and sponsorships are right for me. While my follower numbers have grown, I don’t have high page views, but I do feel like I have loyal readers. Building relationships with those readers is very important to me. Thanks for always inspiring me!!

    • Amanda says:

      Sybil – loyal readers is SUCH a great place to be, and nurturing that relationship is such an honorable goal. I encourage you that when you do write out blogging goals and strategies for growth, put that at the top of your list so you can filter all of your strategies and goals through what your heart desires the most.

  8. Great post! My desire for my blog is to grow organically and to be relationship based. You hit the nail on the head and read my mind with all of this!

    • Amanda says:

      Lauren! Thanks so much! Organic growth is often slower and requires a bit more growth. But I’m learning that it is worth it! If you have tips for organic growth I’d love to hear them!

  9. leah says:

    This is so good. I love read worthy content. For me it’s more quality than quanitity as a reader. and love your posts. always so influential. so in a nutshell, i love your approach to blogging.

    • Amanda says:

      I agree with you, Leah. Quality is very important to me, as a writer and as a reader. I’m currently wrestling with being willing to post more infrequently in order to offer higher quality writing. I’m not quite there, but I can definitely see how I’m headed in that direction! What are your thoughts?

  10. It’s hard sometimes to not get focused on numbers. Sometimes its frustrating because I’m a wordpress blogger, so I don’t have a GFC counter. Seems like everyone is so focused on the GFC number, even though I’ve “followed” several blogs that way in order to participate in their linky party when I don’t even use the Google Reader! Meaning, I never see their blog posts, so what’s the point?! I’m still such a tiny blog compared to you and many others, and although I love to see that my page views have been increasing each month and I have a growing number of new readers…what excites me is that even with increasing page views, that my percentage of returning readers seems to be slightly higher than new readers. That’s what’s important to me…I too want to go deep with my readers! I really love your blog, and your writing is great! Keep doing what you’re doing lady…you inspire me! :)

    • Amanda says:

      Hiya Eva! I was on blogger before I moved to WordPress in January. I was not looking forward to letting go of that GFC widget, but I’ve found that I haven’t missed it at all!

      And way to go with your returning visitors – that is an excellent indication of a growing-deep-community!

      Thanks for your sweet words – such an encouragement you are to me!

  11. Brittany says:

    You do have a really amazing community!

    Ever since your influence class I’ve been watching my referrals and bounce rates. One blog I sponsored only sent me about 20 page views, but those people spent an average of FIVE MINUTES on my blog. And so I’m wondering how to change my “strategy” for more of that – more of what you have – and less of pageviews, pageviews, pageviews that last for 6 seconds and move on.

    Thank you for being so inspiring, Amanda.

    • Amanda says:

      Brittany you are such an encouragement to me! Always! So what strategies have you come up with for increasing the time spent on your blog? I’d love to know what you’ve found that works. For me, any time I post a tutorial, our story of infertility, or a vlog, the average time spent goes way up. It helps balance out those six seconds spent by someone who googled “moo moo dress” and found my blog! Ha!

      Love ya girlie!

  12. Stacey says:

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been blogging for about a year, and I’ve always intended to have my blog go “deep” vs. “wide.” Your blog is such an encouragement to me. Thank you!!

    • Amanda says:

      Stacey all I can say is “way to go” for knowing that’s your goal from the beginning! I did not know that was my goal from the beginning, and I’ve had to shift my own thinking, and my voice as I’ve realized what my long-term goals really look like. I encourage you to stick to your goals and learn to develop strategies that stay true to those goals! And I pray that God blesses your efforts!

  13. Danielle says:

    This is such an amazing post Amanda and something that everyone needs to keep in mind. My pageviews aren’t great either and I AM a DIY/fashion blogger. However, I’ve been more focused in the page view months to be true to myself and share some personal posts too.

    Go deep, go wide, or go home.

    Danielle at Framed Frosting

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you Danielle! I really appreciate all your support, here on my blog, and on twitter and facebook! You’re such a cheerleader! :) I mean that in a good way!

  14. Thanks so much for this Amanda. I’ve been consumed over the past year with growing my readership, and while it is exciting to see 1,000 on my FB page, now I really feel like I need to step up my game and put content out there that really means something to me. I still do my fashion posts, but I’m trying to be more authentic and share my spiritual life, even when I feel scared/nervous to do so. I love the idea of growing deeper instead of wider. I linked up again this week…thanks so much for hosting!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Mandy! I have felt the same pressure that you described. That once the blog growth becomes there’s a bit of pressure (and on some level accountability) to “perform.” But I just have to keep trusting Jesus to give me the words, to soften my heart, and to teach me how to build a strong community. I actually don’t know how to do it, but I am praying that He will show me how.

  15. So good, Amanda. Thank you. That is exactly what I needed to hear today. I have felt a very specific “calling” for my blog (which I am still learning and growing into), but at the same time I have literally exhausted myself trying to link up to everything and be everywhere to be seen. I have seen some growth from it, and so there is wisdom in networking but not at the expense of the message. And that is what I am feeling lately…to focus on “deeper” content, even if that means fewer posts. (Incidentally, I came here today feeling guilty that I had nothing to link up this week, but already working on one for next week!)

    And thank you, for your honesty and authenticity. I feel I know at least a part of your heart simply from reading your words, even though we’ve not met. Blessings!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Nancy!

      I can so relate to what you said about exhausting yourself with link-ups. There’s only a few that I link up to on a semi-regular basis, but I’m guilty of staying up way late so I can be one of the first to link up. Even if that means staying up until 2:00 in the morning! That’s SO not worth it, and it is exhuasting.

      It’s something I wrestle with, probably because of pride, or maybe just because of my Type A personality. But either way, I know I need to reign it in and trust that the Lord is going to bring exactly the right people to my blog each day.

      Thanks for the sweet encouragement – I so appreciate it!

  16. Kelsey says:

    I just came across your blog through a tweet from @influencenet. What wise words! I’ve been blogging for awhile now, but don’t get a whole lot of traffic. You’re right that there’s a difference between Pin-worthy and read-worthy and I definitely needed to hear that. I’m passionate about my topic, but it isn’t as relatable as fashion or DIY so my niche is going to be inherently smaller.

    New follower on Twitter too! :-)

  17. Julie S. says:

    So…are you saying that those that DO participate in linkups and have viral things on Pinterest aren’t somehow growing organically? Because a LOT of the things I pin ARE read worthy– which is why I pinned them. They can still be relationship based. Just because something goes viral doesn’t mean it’s not something that needed to be said or read. I agree with the deep and wide, but I think some people actually DO a good job doing both. It doesn’t measure success, but then really who CAN measure success if you are simply telling YOUR story?

    • Amanda says:

      Hey Julie,

      That’s not at all what I’m saying. But I’m glad you asked because a friend of mine e-mailed me and asked the same thing.

      My point is not that pin-worthy posts are not read-worthy posts. Many times the certainly are. But many posts with rich content will never be pinned because they are content-dense and lack anything pinable. Which is what I struggle with most often.

      I’ve written before that pageviews, subscriber numbers, etc. don’t measure the breadth or depth of a community. Certainly they’re a great way to measure, but there is no ONE number that indicates life and vitality in a community online. I think that’s why it’s tough and certainly very difficult to get sucked into “numbers indicate success.”

      Furthermore, pageviews can be incredibly misleading. For example, someone can have a post go viral on pinterest (or maybe it has awesome SEO so it generates lots of organic searches) that drives a good 40-60& of all traffic, and while those pageviews are organic, they’re not necessarily community-building, they’re not generating readers that will continue to come back day-after-day, week-after-week. So while the pageviews look great for reporting purposes, they’re a bit skewed in measuring growth of readership. (For the record, I personally feel this is also true of subscriber numbers, likes, followers, etc., as I’ve written about in the past. I think numbers are great, they’re great for measuring growth and planning future strategic moves, but it is necessary for me to remember that numbers can be misleading, they can give the appearance of growth when there is none. And for me it’s important to balance numbers with relationship, and I’ll take true relationship over high pageviews any day. But like I said, we all measure and define success in different ways. So I think it is important to celebrate other’s successes even when they’re different from ours.)

      I hope this clears up any questions. Like I told my friend, there are definitely bloggers who are what I call the “Triple Threat” – they have quality, read-worthy content, they have quality, pin-worthy photos, and they a loyal and lasting community. That’s my ultimate goal, but I’m not there yet.

      Thanks again for asking!

  18. Tracee says:

    I really loved this post because this is how I desire my blog to grow. It’s very new and I haven’t done much at all to promote it because I don’t just want numbers for the numbers sake. It is so nice and refreshing to see you write these goals out, and very inspirational for a newbie like me. Thank you!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Tracee! Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts. I find it SO inspiring when bloggers start off with a desire to grow organically + develop a strong community of like-minded people. I guess when I started I didn’t know what I wanted my community to look like, so now as I’ve grown and developed I’ve had to redirect my thinking and re-evaluate my motives. I hope all your efforts pay off and that you’re able to develop blogging strategies that align with your goals. Keep up the great work!

  19. Chelsea says:

    Amanda, this was very encouraging. Thanks for being real an open and deep. :)

  20. Christin says:

    Love this Amanda. Thanks so much for sharing it. I couldn’t agree more.

    I think it’s important to take away that we need to embrace who we are. If we’re writers, embrace the fact that we our goal is to write excellent content rather than pinworthy posts.

  21. Monica says:

    I love, love, love this! I love your heart for blogging from your heart and building an authentic community as you do so. We have similar desires and I so wish I had met you at Blissdom!

  22. This is great, Amanda. Something that I’ve felt but not been able to put into words… Thank you for sharing.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Natasha!

      First of all – goodness you don’t know how much I admire you + your writing. It’s women like you who I feel have paved the way for me to write about my spiritual journey that goes hand-in-hand with our infertility journey, so thank you.

      And thank you for your sweet comment. I’m thankful for the mostly positive response the post received, and have been so encouraged and inspired by so many of the comments!

  23. Heather says:

    This was so helpful to read. After just writing to write and having a small but loyal audience, I’ve been playing around with finding ways to grow my blog. It has been interesting because many of the ways listed out there just aren’t me. Thanks for helping me to sort through what is ‘me’ and feeling comfortable and content in my own skin.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Heather,

      I’m also frustrated with the “mainstream” ways of growing my audience. I think I’m frustrated because often times those methods of growth are successful, I’ve even seen the positive return on my financial and time investment. But like you said, really…they’re not me. And so I find I struggle with coming up with creative and true-to-me ways of growth.

      I’d love to know your own ideas and what has worked for you. So far, planting myself in blogging communities of like-minded women has not only been an encouragement to me, but has also contributed to blog growth. I’m really thankful for that.

      • Heather says:

        haha… I’m not sure what my strategy will be, other than I’m FINALLY seeing the benefit of pursuing relationships with other bloggers. I’ve been blessed by the community so far – even though it has been virtual and hope to finally make it to a blog conference this year. I’m excited to meet people IN PERSON who get the whole blogging thing, understand the weird way we feel compelled to write and connect faces and personalities with their writing identities. I’m out west, so it is a bit more challenging to make my way to most of the conferences with driving being out of the question… Maybe I can convince someone to start one out here in Arizona and woo all of the snow bound out during our beautiful winters!

  24. Amen, amen, and amen. I am in the process of cutting way down on the giveaways and such that I do, just because it doesn’t feel like me. I want the freedom to share things when I want to share them, and not based on someone else’s schedule.

    And of course…I found this post because a friend loved it and shared it. :)

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Gretchen!

      I agree with you about cutting back on what has become the mainstream way of growing a blog. While I’ve had fairly good success with those more traditional methods of growth, it doesn’t feel like me anymore. So I’m in the process of redirecting my thinking and trying to come up with unique, creative, and effective ways to grow. All the while trusting God that HE will bring exactly the right people to my blog each day.

      Thanks for your sweet encouragement!

  25. Adrienne says:

    I read your post today, and it gave me an “AH HA” moment. I’ve decided to stop with the paying sponsors stuff. And get down to read blog sharing. :) Thank you!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Adrienne! I’m quite honored to have contributed to anyone’s “ah ha” moment! I’d love to know what strategies you have for blog growth. I’m in the process of redirecting my thinking and redeveloping strategies and I’m all about sharing ideas!

  26. Thanks for this, Amanda! I agree with you and love the idea of organic blog growth. I have thought a lot about advertising, giveaways, an eBook, whatever. But I just feel like I’m supposed to be spending that time and energy writing good stuff and creating cool images.

    • Amanda says:

      Tammy, way to go. In a way I kind of wish that that’s how I’d approached blogging all along. But at the same time I am excited about the personal growth that comes with redirecting your perspective. I’m incredibly inspired by women who work diligently and patiently at organically growing their blog. :)

  27. Monica says:

    This was SO encouraging to me. Thank you for wanting to go “DEEP” instead of going wide… I just found your site today and am looking forward to following you. <3

    God bless you!

    Monica

    • Amanda says:

      HI Moinca,

      Thanks so much for your sweet words. Since you’re new I thought I’d share that I relaunched my blog in January and since then have been on a journey of defining, refining, and evaluating blogging goals. I LOVE strategy + numbers, but I feel like I’ve reached a place where I understand that numbers measure goals, and should never, ever be the only goals.

      The redirection of goals + purpose has been a little bumpy, but I think it’s getting settled down now!

      Thank you for taking time to say – hi, I’m so glad you’re here!

  28. Rachael says:

    I love this post! I “Ink my Heart” on my blog and I battle fears, doubts and insecurities all the time from pulling my brave words from the depths of my heart. But you are so right in that people respond and open up their hearts when I do so. I really needed your words today! I am encouraged to keep on pressing on in my meager blogging attempts! Blessings

  29. Ramona says:

    Nice post! I am the same way. When I first took up blogging, several of us were on Xanga, and I loved our private little blog ring b/c we encouraged each other and shared our lives. Unfortunately, that disappeared over time. Last year, when I took up blogging again, I participated in everything so that I didn’t feel alone out there. I was quickly worn out! So I took a really long break and regrouped before starting yet again. Now, I don’t post unless I actually have something to say. I take my time to flesh things out and think over them first.

  30. Ginger says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I have been struggling with with the lack of commenting on my blog because I started blogging for the community. I’m thankful for the few who consistently comment-though I sometimes feel I’m writing into the air. I appreciate your perspective.

  31. Malinda says:

    Thank you! I am in the midst of getting my blog going and I am feeling a little lost with how to make it grow. It feels like the numbers are so important to gauge how successful you are but after reading your post, maybe not. I like the idea of growing organically. I might have to go make a cup of tea and think on this some more.

  32. this is such a great post and i LOVE what you are doing!! i read every single word of this post and i am taking it to heart. i think for me, i am going down the deep route too and i love it. i love all the great friendships i have made and would rather get to know my current blog readers better than trying to strive for more readers and followers all the time. it’s hard to keep up!

  33. I love this post, Amanda. I wholeheartedly agree with you on what kind of content I want to characterize my blog. Nothing less. And I love that quote you said you got from Alissa at the conference. That sums it up really well, and visually too. The “width” of our reach can be a tempting distraction. But my heart of hearts wants the depth and the relationship and all the things that come with it, as you stated. Thanks for sharing and inspiring others to seek the same for their spaces. :) xo

  34. I LOVED this post and it was just what my heart needed to hear. I’ve started feeling like I’m blogging for foodgawker and it just sucks the life out of it. I hate linking up, I don’t like all the social media craze… I just want to blog and love it. I needed this. Thank you.

  35. LaVonne says:

    Thank you Amanda. I read your blog in my Feedly reader and had to click over for this. These are the things I have been thinking about and grappling with. I appreciate your words and your honest! Every real blogger should read this!

  36. nikkiana says:

    Tripping across this post today made me smile. This has definitely been my philosophy towards blogging… I’d much rather have a small group of loyal readers who are constantly coming back and interacting with what I have to say than to have a large group of people who follow me and I don’t really ever get to know.

  37. You could have read my mind with this post. I started blogging when link ups, sponsoring and giveaways did not exist and now that it is I’m finding it so hard to get into. It’s not me. I want my blog to grow organically. It is hard to watch people skyrocket to 1000 followers in 3 months doing giveaways when I may never get there but I’m reluctant to do what everyone else is doing. Not that what everyone else is doing is bad. I just don’t want to do it that way.

  38. Natalia says:

    This post is great and has a lot of great points. I do think it was necessary to clarify the question that Julie asked in the comments because I’ve had a few posts go viral on pinterest and have a ton of page views, but I still feel like I put out good content. I still feel like I write what I want and I write to connect and inspire. Maybe in a different way than you, but inspire all the same. But I get your overall point because those page views aren’t really helping community aspect. That can only be done yourself, I think. Although they do help financially! Anyway, great post, it definitely gave me a lot to think about!

  39. Bobbie says:

    Great post! I stress organic growth to all my friends because it’s the one that’s going to last. One day you’re going to get tired of giveaways and you’re going to stop. Then your numbers are going to drop to the pits and you’ll get frustrated and stop blogging. Depend on your voice to grow, not what you can giveaway.

  40. Emily says:

    I hear you on the lots of pageviews vrs loyal following. I’ve had a few DIY posts go viral on Pinterest, but because my main goal isn’t higher stats, I don’t really care that not all my posts are pinnable. I still share my heart and “go deep,” and because of that, I have a small but very loyal following, and that means so much more to me. I love your organic growth philosophy, and I love your blog. It truly is an inspiration!

  41. Sarah says:

    Never a truer word spoken. I have given up on attending bloghops altogether except for inspirational ones and art ones. Mainly because I love seeing the art and the inspiring words genuinely.

    I host a few hops over the weekend but again this is because I love helping to connect and promote others via them, if that makes sense. I love the thankfulness and the kitties of Caturday and the Handmade goodies of Super Handmade Sundays.

    But I don’t let it consume me and my blogging life like I used to.

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

    ps. I link up my Inspire post each week even though it says no blog hops in the rules there. I do hope that’s OK.

  42. I definitely consider you a friend and I am blessed by every single word, Scripture, photo, and graphic you share. You inspire me to be greater, to go deeper and hope my words resonate with readers. It’s definitely NOT about numbers. Blessings + Hugs, my friend. =)

  43. LA says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this post! I was just telling my husband that I wanted to go in a new direction with my blog. When I started, I didn’t know much about blogging (and I still don’t, really). I am not consistent with it and right now I don’t have a lot of time to concentrate on it…but I really feel like something is missing. Your post really made me think… I am definitely going to reread your post and the other links you suggested…thanks again so much!
    LA :)
    http://www.simplysmilingblog.blogspot.com

  44. Amanda, I love your heart for building community with your readers! I’m striving to do that too – going deep, rather than wide – but I feel like I’m just barely treading water. I know I have loyal readers, and there’s a few I’ve gotten to know off-the-blog, but I can’t seem to get conversations going on my blog or on Facebook. I ask questions, and try to be encouraging, and try to share a little of my personal life (although there’s not much to share). But the interaction just doesn’t happen… Any suggestions?
    Feel free to email me! I’d love to chat with you more about this!

  45. Kate says:

    Love this post!! I am a newbie blogger and am really going to take this to heart. I’ve been doing a lot of link ups and have enjoyed them, but am also going to start focusing on “going deep.” Thank you!!

  46. I couldn’t agree more. I, too, want my blog to grow deep and to see organic growth. It’s interesting that I googled “how to grow a blog organically” and your post was the first on the search.

    I definitely need to be more committed to praying over my blog. I don’t do that enough or really at all over the last month. That was convicting.

  47. Rebekah says:

    Love this! I came across you through the Inspired Bloggers Network on FB & am going to hop over to FB and follow there. Going deep is my goal for my blog – I’ve just recently merged 2 smaller blogs to one blog to help encourage people in their parenting of special needs, or finding joy in life, or making intentional choices to live outside the box! Thank you for sharing this!

  48. I am teaching myself how to CALM DOWN when it comes to having LESS page views one day versus the next. I am actually doing a VERY GOOD JOB at it too these days. There are far more important things in life and AS LONG AS I love the content I produce, I don’t care!! It’s out there for the world to see when they want to! :)

    PS: I just wanted to let you know, that the font you are using on your web site, it’s pretty but it’s very hard to read :(

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Gigi!

      Are you viewing it on a mobile device or ipad? I have to get into the back end of my blog to change that – I will put it on my schedule to do really soon!

      And I am SO on track with you about keeping calm about the pageviews, etc. Slow and steady is STILL growth!

    • Amanda says:

      Okay I changed the font! :)

  49. Heather says:

    This is so so so so good! You are amazing. Thank you for writing this and being a voice for all of us who really don’t care about numbers!

  50. Fulghum says:

    We are instructing personally tips on how to WIND DOWN with regards to possessing A SMALLER AMOUNT site opinions some day as opposed to another. We are really undertaking an excellent CAREER with that way too nowadays. You will discover considerably more points inside lifetime and also AS LONG AS I really like this content My spouse and i develop, My spouse and i don’t treatment!! It’s available to the entire world to view whenever they would like to!

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