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.
A different vision comes to mind when I think about gaining a following. I think of large sponsored giveaways where readers follow bloggers to gain entries for a prize. It goes beyond trying to increase your brand value and really focuses on gaining numbers on social and in blog traffic.
If I had to pull a keyword from this, it would be: sponsored.
The importance and effects of each method differs according to how you define blogging success, and both are a little necessary if you ask me. Everything can’t always come from organic growth, but similarly, not everything should come from concentrated inorganic efforts. Balance is key.
Since launching E&M, I’ve been focusing heavily on organic growth, and I’ve seen amazing results. I decided to channel my efforts this way mainly because it felt right, but also because this brand feels so authentic, I knew the only way I wanted my content to spread was in the most authentic way possible. Still, I’d never deny that paying for sponsorships or advertising isn’t an amazing way to get a huge peak in your blog’s growth –it’s keeping those growth spurts occurring which can be tricky.
Building relationships with other creatives, coming up with consistent and creative content and preparing your blog to reach new levels will all help your blog and brand grow. The better the work you produce, the faster this growth will happen. Reach out to other bloggers, take risks with your content and try new things.
If you do decide to add in other means of gaining a following, like hosting a giveaway or buying ad space to be featured on other blogs, remember to always be authentic, strive for balance and do everything in moderation. Joining a giveaway a week where participants have to follow you on various platforms can get exhausting, and eventually, your blog will be known as “a giveaway blog,” where people just stop by for the chance at a prize, not to connect with you and your content.
Do you focus more on growing your blog, or gaining a following?