On Blogging: Growing Your Blog vs. Gaining A Following

Growing Your Blog vs. Gaining A Following

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Growing your blog and gaining a following, do you consider the two different?

I’ve been trying to determine the best way to go about this post for months now. I’ve started countless drafts trying to find a balanced way to explain what I find the difference between the two to be, and offer up some tips on achieving both. Because in my mind, these are two very different animals, and both something that’s okay to want to do.

When I think of growing my blog, I have a very specific vision in mind: branching off of my primary brand to create other products or services (ebooks, ecourses, the newsletter, consultations, ect.) I think of new opportunities, working with brands and other creatives to produce even more amazing and useful content, and of course having visitors consistently coming back to read that content. It happens pretty organically in my mind -by connecting with other bloggers who also promote your content, self-promoting yourself with pride, working hard and creating killer content that readers love.

The keyword up there is: organic.

Readers and other creatives come to your space because they’ve connected with you, and with your content. They heard from a friend that your posts were helpful, stopped by to see for themselves and then added you to their reader so they wouldn’t miss a beat.

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The Five Minute Disconnect

The Easy Five Minute DisconnectSince school started back up this Fall, it’s safe to say my weeks have been a little hectic. It’s normal for me to start feeling a little overwhelm by the middle of the day, which also signals time for my second cup of coffee for the day.

I know I’m not the only one with a jam packed schedule and an overflowing inbox. On the weekends, I try to take a few hours each Saturday to zone out and regroup (read: catch up on sleep and watch Netflix). But during the week, I’m not always able to zone out and give myself hours to regroup.

But I’ve found that if I just give myself five minutes to take a few deep breaths, disconnect from the world around me and focus on myself, it’s just the refreshment my mind and body need for a quick recharge. Disconnecting for five minutes is almost the equivalent of a ten minute nap –just enough to keep you going, without going crazy.

Here’s how my five minute disconnect usually pans out:

1. Place my phone away from me (if I’m home or at work, I’ll move it to the opposite side of the room. If I’m out and can’t do that, I’ll put it on silent in the bottom of my back pack). For the next five minutes, I don’t check my phone at all. And if I’ve been getting a lot of buzz that day, I’ll opt to put it on Do Not Disturb. No one will miss you for five minutes, I promise.

2. Take a few deep breaths, and drink a glass of water (or take a few sips from my water bottle, it’s always nearby.)

3. Let my mind go blank for the next 2 minutes by doing something mindless –doodling on a sheet of paper, writing my name over and over, singing a song in my head (or out loud, if it’s Beyonce). Whatever you do, be sure it doesn’t require much effort on your part.

4. Decide on a next best move to help shift the direction of your day. If I have a bunch of unanswered emails and a homework assignment I know I should finish, I’ll decided to dedicate the next few hours to that, and handle the emails after. When I’m overwhelmed, I can only think of all of the things I have to do, and I don’t focus on what’s taking priority.

5. Make a move with a mind more clear than the one I started with.

When I’m disconnecting, the biggest thing for me is to stay away from the notifications, so I avoid going online for that block of time. If you’re a little more self controlled than I am, you may want to disconnect by reading an article or two. I find that the less I have to focus on the activity, the better.

How do you disconnect during the day? Do you have another means of escaping those feelings of overwhelm?

Sidenote: I’m sharing my story today over on Everything EnJ through Erica’s amazing new series What Binds Us Together: Our Stories. Erica has collected the stories of some truly bold and amazing women, and I am honored to be one of them! If you’re looking for strong writing that makes your heart warm up a bit and resonates incredibly close to the soul, I recommend digging through Erica’s archives.

Sunday Morning Coffee 09.14

Sunday Morning Coffee / Sharing Blog LoveThis weekend was a good one of my end. I got to spend time focusing, recharging and organizing and got rid of those feelings of stress and anxiety I was fighting during the week. Thank you all so much for the sweet notes you left on this post. I hope those reminders made your weekend a little sweeter.

Now that I’ve had time to give myself a bit of an energy boost, I’m ready to take on all that this week will bring. I’m focusing the first half to my week on finishing school work, working with Blog Boost Consultation clients, this week’s sweet newsletter offerings and (hopefully) launching a mailing list for my new e-course by next weekend.

How was your week?

Some links I’ve been loving…

+ 8 tips to help you style and design your next newsletter.

+ Sometimes, you just have to say YES to new adventures and hope a good time follows!

+ If you’re looking to monetize your blog and earn some profit, here’s how to create a blogging income.

+ Ditch the agenda and find your ask.

+ Reel in those clients with these 5 tips to make your next proposal a winner.

+ Beautiful and minimal metal stamped bracelets that you can DIY.

+ Add some style and organization to your desk with these must-haves.

+ Some genuine advice from bloggers, to bloggers.

In case you missed it here

+ I shared about how you can get to know your blog readers (and figure out what they want to hear from you, with ease).

+ We wrapped up the Route 101 mini series with how to make your routines stick.

+ I gave a peek into the story behind the E&M logo (plus tips for designing yours).

+ Some weekend reminders that you can carry with you throughout the weeks!

** Tomorrow’s newsletter is fully loaded with some great resources and a pretty cool free offering that you won’t want to miss. Make sure you’re an insider so you don’t miss the goods!