Venus Trapped in Mars

06 March 2014

Growing Your Blog FAST

There are blogging conferences I want to go to, and blogging meetups I want to be a part of, and blogging happy hours I want to order a drink for, and blogging tutorials (hi, I already do those!) and there are blogging bloggings blog bloggings blogging. The ultimate destination is to arrive at a successful blog that grows FAST. 



Now, I'm not an expert, there is no such thing as a blogging expert. Even cupcakes and cashmere isn't a blogging expert. An expert is someone that has a comprehensive knowledge in their skill or field. To be a blogging expert you would need to have full knowledge on literally everything from design, to coding, to the entire adobe creative suite, to editing video (don't forget about vlogging), to style, to DIY, to cooking... and so on and so forth. I'm not sure but if I had to guess, Cupcakes and Cashmere didn't even code her own blog. I'm just speculating, of course. You can't major in blogging at any universities, so until you can, I'll continue to stand by my thought that no one is an expert. 

On an unrelated note, I made this background in 5 minutes and I'm actually quite proud of it! Proof that overthinking ruins things!  


This whole ramble is just to say that there isn't any mathematical formula or simple one-step secret for growing quickly. There just isn't. 

Think of blogging like a Rachel Ray recipe. Unlike most chefs, she doesn't use measuring cups. She just eyeballs it and throws it in the pot. If it works, she keeps it that way, if it doesn't she adds a bit more, or tries something else to cover the initial mistake. 

For example: Guess what, there are tons of bloggers out there that have 2,000+ followers on Bloglovin, but if you saw their page views per day, your jaw would drop. As in they entered a million giveaways and paid for all of their followers, but no one reads the blog daily. 

On the opposite side of things: there are fashion bloggers out there that have wayyyy less followers than I do, but have probably a thousand more daily page views each day than I do. People follow them via Pinterest and Instagram. 

Not even the most incredible content on the web can get you off the ground. Ok, so you have the best blog content ever, bustling with style and creativity, but you don't spend a dime on advertising. Do you really think blog readers will just stumble on your blog via google? Sure you can pin your pins, but if you don't have a Pinterest following, what good will that do you? You've got to advertise. 

My point is that no one can say, "Sarah... do this and this and this and this, and you'll grow to be big and strong." I don't know what the answer is. I spend an enormous amount of time on my blog. More than I really should admit, but it is fun for me. Maybe that is why I was able to grow, I don't know. On the flip side, maybe people don't read my blog because they think I try too hard. And they would be right! I do try really really hard. But I've got a lot of shit going on in my life and blogging is a major source and outlet of happiness for me. 

I'm rambling, but you could do everything by the book, do the giveaways, spend a lot of time, pimp your posts out via social media until you are blue in the face... it doesn't mean you'll be successful.

Or.... you could do none of that and be viral overnight. Who knows? Blogging is just weird. 


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56 comments :

  1. I think most of us bloggers spend more time than we'd care to admit on our blogs. But I think you're right. Blogging is weird. You can use the exact same strategy as someone else who became super successful and still fail horribly. However, if it's still something that makes you happy, is it truly a failure?

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    1. I love this. Your comment makes me feel better about my blog:)

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  2. Blogging is weird is a slogan that I love. x

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  3. Thank you for this, I always wondered about the 1000's of followers and then I look at their blog and go WHAT..... so yea you can buy them and it is exciting to watch the numbers grow. Like you, I just like this shit and I love reading peoples comments and looking at posts and pictures, lord I am picture obsessed. So success or not as long as it is fun then it is a " success"

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  4. Agreed, blogging is weird should be a trademark slogan.

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  5. That is the perfect way to put it! Blogging is definitly weird. I think most of us have no idea what we are getting into until we are knee deep in it and it's to late to get back out! lol

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  6. This is a really real view on blogging. So true. My sister and I started blogs around the same time and hers gets triple the page views as mine because she has so many people from Facebook who read daily, but she also has zero followers on GFC and I've got a good group of people following. There's such a contrast and no real formula is what I've realized. That's why I urge people to only blog for themselves and just see what happens. Don't blog for the views or the followers! (Although, those are nice too) :)

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  7. I spent so much time when i first started blogging trying to figure out how to grow my blog then i realized that i was wasting more time reading tips than i was actually working on my blog..this blogging thing is crazy..and umm can we get a "Saturday Session" on how to make that pretty graphic?

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  8. first, i noticed this background and i was like man, i love that. so touche to that. actually, touche to this whole post because it's 100% accurate and totally spot on.

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  9. Blogging is weird and I love that you said there's no blog formula or secret to growing a blog. Every blog like every person is different.

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  10. Blogging is hard and weird at the same time. There should be a major for it! But it fun at the same time. You have to just find a niche and stick with it. :) I'm new to the game so maybe I'm overly optimistic.

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  11. I agree with you a 1,000%. That's why I think we need to keep things in perspective and not have expectations that if I do this, this will happen because that's most likely not gonna happen and then you're disappointed.

    I'm taking some time off from blogging for a few days to regroup and then come back strong. Sometimes you gotta take a break you know?

    I love your graphic!!

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  12. I'm actually very proud of the fact that my daily pageviews are just under what my GFC/Bloglovin follower number is. Pretty cool :) I definitely think your view is accurate!

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  13. Awesome post, Sarah. I’m a new blogger and I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to be “successful” but honestly I don’t even know how to define that. At this point, I blog because I love to write and I need a place where I can be a smartass and not get my husband’s panties in a wad – that’s all there is to it. Thank you for the reminder that there’s no magic formula. It’s just so cool to get to be a part of this blogging community of talented people. Again, GREAT post. Thank you for sharing it.

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  14. You read my mind. I'm very new to blogging and I've read a ton of "experts" offering successful blogging tips. I just decided I'm not going to follow any particular formula other than just being myself and trying to post more regularly. Blogging is calming for me and if I focus too much on the numbers it will become a chore to me.

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  15. God I wish I could get the start Rachel Ray had, she gew up a few towns over from me, we have a similar cooking style why arent I famous?

    You are so right tho. I know some people follow the book and want this to be their break from the 9-5 but sometimes I totally feel like is a crap shoot and totally different for everyone.

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  16. HI Sarah! I love the last line because its so true! There's no secret formula. What works for one may not work for another. Also, I was wondering if you are doing blog design right now. To say i'm obsessed with your work would be putting it lightly lol! Talk soon!

    Lisa,xo

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  17. Totally agree! Blogging is weird! BUT it's such a great outlet. I've pretty much gotten to the point where I get upset just a tad when I only have 10 readers on a certain post, but then I am reminded on how I felt once I published the final product! It's such a great outlet for me. If I have readers, GREAT, if not, that's fine too!

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  18. I really think the secret to having a successful blog is mostly dumb luck.

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  19. Bottom line, blogging is weird :) I used to be a bit more sad/obsessed about my numbers. Now I'm not because the people that do read and comment I've been able to make some awesome connections with!

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  20. Sometimes I have to step back and be like, "woah, Kate, take a chill pill you're doing this for FUN, remember?".

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  21. I've loved and enjoyed the slow / authentic growth. I think responding back and forth to all the emails and social media bullet-points would have sent me running long ago. You're amazing, keep doing what you're doing if you love it!

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  22. I totally agree with all things in this post. In fact, I lately get annoyed by posts I see that say "Do X,Y,and Z to grow your blog!" because let's be honest, what works for one person might not work for you. Or even worse, when the blog content becomes all about trying to grow a following, well then, there's a good chance the blog is going to suck. There's some balance out there between staying true to your blog and your own voice, and networking and getting you name out there. But there's no magic equation for it, that's for sure!

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  23. I totally agree with you. I also think when people have fun with there blog then more people will read it.

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  24. This is so true. I believe that it just happens. You grow readers over time. No one is a guru on blogging. It is so different and we all blog so differently!

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  25. but advertise where?! where have you found the best way to "pimp" your blog?

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  26. This post is on point and I say cheers to that! It's incredible to me to I get over 5,000 page views a month but have less than 200 followers lol. But I've decided this year that since I've stuck with the blogging thing for a year and like it, I'll invest more and getting out there and advertise more :)

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  27. You know, I actually enjoy reading your blog. I enjoy your posts, I enjoy your writing style so if you are "trying to hard" you should be, because your blog is great.

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  28. Blogging and promotion definitely has to be something you enjoy to stick with it. Some blogs may grow fast and some slow, but just about all blogs will grow eventually if you just stick with it and put time and effort into it.
    Tiffany @ writingitinblue.blogspot.com

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  29. How did you make that background? It would be so cute framed, love the colors!

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  30. Question for you :) How do you create those beautiful gold brush strokes in the fabulous background you created if you don't mind me asking :)

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  31. very good post for me to read today. I feel like I spend a lot of time on my blog too and sometimes (like today) I do not get that many pageviews and I get a little sad. It is what it is until it isn't. I love blogging and being creative and I am happy to have a place to do that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  32. No one reads my blog no matter what I do so I just gave up. I just blog for no reason at all these day. #winningbutnotreally lol

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  33. Blogging is so weird and what works for one may not work for another. I spend way to much time on my blog but like you I love it.

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  34. I think the most important factor of blogging should be what you're putting into it & what you're getting out of the actual act of blogging, and I don't mean the stats. If you're putting your heart into it and you're being yourself and you enjoy what you're doing, that's a reward in itself. And sure, I'd like thousands of people reading my blog every day... but I don't want followers for the sake of having followers. I want the ones who care what I say and come back because they felt a connection to me and my ramblings!

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  35. Blogging is SO weird. You don't realize how weird it is until you start doing it yourself!

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  36. Truer words have never been said!

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  37. This is printed and on my desk now. And I want a t-shirt that says Blogging is weird!

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  38. Agreed! Thanks for saying this. I hate when people say - Oh grow your blog this way - because I've tried everything under the sun and it just never happened for me and I'm OK with that now! But it bothers me when people act like there's a quick fix just because it worked for them.

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  39. i'm my own blogs biggest fan. if people don't read it's awesomeness…well, that's just their problem i guess. kidding kidding. *le sigh*

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  40. True! it just really takes hard work and patience! at the end of the day, whether someone read my blog or not, i'm just happy to be able to contribute to the blogging world.

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  41. I love reading your blog. Saturday sessions are super helpful, your blog always looks like you care enough to spend time on it (love the sparkles), and you always have something interesting to say. Keep spending too much time, we like it!

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  42. I think you are doing just fine, I'm just having a blog because I like to do it. I dont have time to post everyday, it's just something extra for me and if people want to read that's a plus :-) But really you are just doing fine with your blog! It's amazing

    x Mieke

    Check out my latest post!
    http://nancy-mulhouse.blogspot.be/2014/03/and-oscar-goes-to-red-juliet.html

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  43. Totally love this post. This is just so true. I have been trying tons of different things and haven't been able to seem to get mine to grow.. Funny part is I started mine cause I was working on my certificate in web design, and for our final class you had to create a website. They said a blog would count so thought it would be easy, and I could learn WordPress. Had a lot of fun playing around learning WordPress, and wanted to keep it going even after I finished. Just trying to learn more about blogging now. My hubby always says I am just playing when I work on my blog. He doesn't understand it is actual work lol

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  44. I absolutely love this blog post! I enjoy reading your blog, and think that you are AMAZING!! Plus, I am Dallas girl too and I gotta give a BIG HIGH FIVE for Texan girls ;p After reading this I realized, like you, blogging creates a outlet and a HUGE source of happiness for me beyond all the other craziness and my life. So maybe, we just blog for fun and if it turns out it's successful with a huge following then KICK ASS, if not, at least we have our own little blog space in this virtual world.

    oxox,
    Amanda, Fun In The Oven Blog

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  45. Great post and AWESOME graphic! What program do you use? Thanks!

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  46. I love what you have to say! It's what I needed to hear...Honest truth! I am also a Dallas girl! Do you know how I can get involved with any of the blogger get togethers in the area?
    I also love your graphic! Did you create the watercolor?! Super cute!
    Megan Star | Beauty Brawler

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  47. It's so different, blog by blog, and it can be tricky to find out what works for you, I know my comments and pageviews are proportionately large compared to my smaller "follower count"...and that's weird...but then, so many programs are follower count based that someone with 2000 followers and only 3 comments on a post is more likely to be accepted for ad networks, brand campaigns, etc, than someone like me with 50 comments on a post. It's a strange little system...but though I don't know all about blogging, I do love it!

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  48. Blogging IS weird, and I am completely in a rut with it. Whoops!

    Anyhoo, blogging conferences. Are you going to any??

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  49. Man, I was hoping you would reveal your secret ;)

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  50. This reminds me of a while back when I tried to sign up for Collective Bias. They replied that my stats were too low and that I was welcome to reapply "in a couple of months, once your blog has had time to grow." Thanks, guys. I've been blogging 15 years, but I'm sure that those next couple of months will make all of the difference.

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  51. I love your post! And, truthfully, found it far more inspired & inspiring than many fomulaic posts on how to succeed as a blogger.

    Although this is my first visit to your blog (via Pinterest), I love your down-to-earth voice & style. Keep it up!

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  52. Think this is probably the best advice I have probably read

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  53. Thank you all for your comments and advice... I was wondering. what am i doing wrong? I guess its gonna be what it is. But i still love it. so i guess thats all that matters

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  54. Love this. In the words of the great Billy Currington, blogging is weird, life is strange and people are crazy. Or something like that.

    Also Go Vols! I'm a UT grad too. (And a former Webb. You're right: blogging IS weird.)

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