For the Small{er} Blogger

Coreopsis Bud

Are you a “smaller” blogger and need a cheerleader? How about a community of cheerleaders? Trina from Trina Holden dot com and I will be sharing some things with you that bloggers with a smaller following may face. We want to equip you, encourage you, and cheer you on.

Join us here each Thursday as we cover these topics and more:

  • blogging myths
  • your influence
  • your unique passion {and how that effects your blog}
  • numbers and how they create barriers between bloggers
  • what’s really required to be an intentional and deliberate blogger

We’re going to introduce you to some influential people who blog and we also want to bring you face to face with the reality of your own blog.

Blogging is not simply writing on a website and hitting “publish”. It is so much more involved than that. The problem is, when we fail to see that, we will not understand why we are not moving forward and connecting with more people.

If your goal is to reach people, then you need to recognize that blogging is less about you, and more about helping others. We need to first check our motives, check our focus and make sure they are in the right place. If you focus on numbers, it’s going to rob you of your creativity and authenticity. If you only talk about your family life and never relate to your readers how your story can be helpful to them, they may never connect the dots and will stop reading.

As a writer, you need to make those connections plain for your reader to see. Yes, share your stories with us; but also share your encouragement and “how to’s”.  Tie the most important parts of your story in with how it is relative to your reader.

Before we get started there is something you need: to be teachable. There’s a saying that goes like this:

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. –Susan Jeffries

And another…

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. -attributed to Albert Einstein

If you are interested in moving forward, you need to be willing to make some changes and to press beyond the surface of typing and hitting “publish”.

We want to address your concerns as a small(er) blogger, so we invite you to leave them in the comments. What is your greatest challenge when it comes to blogging? What are some smaller challenges that seem to hinder your blog or hinder you from pressing on?

If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment, you can email me at christin at allume dot com with your questions.

 Photo Credit: Coreopis Bud

Christin

Christin has a heart to encourage and equip women in aspects of discipleship, marriage, mothering, writing, blogging, and community. She sees the body of Christ as an important community of encouragement and discipleship and works to foster that around the web. She has been married 13 years and has 7 children ranging in age from 11 down to 3. You can find her encouraging moms at her blog Joyful Mothering, writing some deeper thoughts on life and writing at ChristinSlade.com, and learning more about Google+.

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  • LISA HAMER

    As a smallish blogger.  I love feedback, as in comments, but rarely get them.  This is how I know I’ve connected with my reader.  I know I have readers or at least someone popping in because I see the counter go up.  So, my concern is am I actually connecting with anyone or is there a way to generate more comments if I am?  

    • http://shellynissley.com SHELLY

      I agree with your comment ^^. I know people read it {stat counter} and love it {many tell me so in person}, but I get very few comments. I love to blog even if no one’s looking . . . but *if* people are out there enjoying it, I would love to hear from them at least once, if not every once in a while!

  • http://memyselfandmercy.blogspot.com/ MARY BONNER

    Looking forward to this, Christin!  I learned alot at Relevant last year about some of the things you mention here.  So excited!

  • http://mudandmire.com/ KAREN LOGAN

    I am a small blogger and I see many “bigger” bloggers do a lot of giveaways and affiliations. I don’t want to giveaway just to give away but I want people to visit my blog. What can I do other then sell my “soul” to product reviews to gain followers?

  • ANONYMOUS

    I don’t believe my self worth or purpose in writing is dependent on how many visitors or comments I get, but I feel it is a practical tool to help me determine how I can best serve other women. Where can I get practical tips on growing my blog (readers, financial income opportunities, etc) without feeling like I’m being condemned for seeking that out?

  • http://www.geekyandsassy.com/ VIRGINIA

    Looking forward to this series.  I started my current blog a little over a year ago and have now switched my platform.  It was a struggle to watch some readers leave (I was more craft related) and not try and pull them back in.  I really feel like God is calling me to write more personally.  The people pleaser in me struggled with this as I heard from some of my readers.  Now I am writing more confidently from my heart and am happier than ever.  I enjoyed writing about crafts, but it isn’t my “passion”.  

    What advice would you give to me (and others like me) that find themselves ditching a niche and going into another. 

  • COREY

    I am curious how much you think the blog name has to do with people’s interest in the blog? If the content is good but the name isn’t catchy or is a little cheesy, do you think that turns people off on their first visit?

    • JESSICA

      I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that as a reader of blogs, the blog name has very, very little to do with whether I keep reading a new blog and/or come back. It is far more effected by how well writtten the blog is, whether it is relevent to me, and if it is interesting.

  • ROSANN

    Hi Christin,

    I get decent traffic to my site (considering it’s only a year old), but the lion share of my comments and “relationship” seems to be with other bloggers.  I’d love to draw the search engine world in with more comments from them.  I know I’m getting that traffic cause I see it in my stats.  I just don’t know how effective I am with them.  Are they coming back again?  Are they bouncing quickly?  The only way I’ve known I’m reaching a few of them has been with my unemployment related articles where I’ve had women stumble across them and actually leave comments or contact me directly for advice or prayers.  Other than that, I don’t have a clue if my words are really impacting anyone outside of my circle of blogging friends.
    http://www.christiansupermom.com   

  • http://thisgalsjourney.wordpress.com/ JENNIFER

    I don’t know if it’s really a problem or just a frustration…but the pieces that I feel are really powerful and really have a good, strong message get the least reads, least comments, etc. And the ones that seem almost flippant or silly get great traffic, get passed around like crazy, etc. As a writer, I get a bit frustrated that the pieces that I really pour my heart into, feel lead by God to write, have a real message, just don’t get received. But the more “fluff” pieces are loved.

    • LISA HAMER

      The same thing goes for my blog, Jennifer.  The more though provoking, powerful posts reap nothing as far as comments.  But is the silly bits that generate more traffic and comments.  Well at least I write for me…

    • http://thepurposefulwife.com/ RACHEL

       It just goes to show what people really value :(. I’ve experienced this same issue….

  • http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com/ DIONNA

    Looking forward to this. I have some of the same concerns as others mentioned here. When I do get feedback it’s very positive and people say they are really impacted. Otherwise, I think my main dilemma is just getting traction.

  • http://staceydaze.blogspot.com/ STACEY

    I’m not a small blogger, I’m miniscule. LOL I have been around the blogosphere for lots of years, but lost most of my “readers” through some blog hops i made for a variety of reasons. The blog world seems to have changed so much in this time, and I feel a bit lost in how to connect with it once again. I am actually on my first blog break ever, but will be picking it back up at the end of Lent. I guess I am curious how to connect. I try to leave comments, and link back, but rarely does anyone seem to stay, and I gave up on comments eons ago.

  • http://whatnowtina.wordpress.com/ CHRISTINA

    I’m so glad Callie from Athlete Wannabe retweeted this link! I am looking forward to reading more on this topic.
    I think one of my greatest challenges is deciding what to write. What constitutes proper content and length of a good post? Sometimes I think of things to write but don’t think it is long enough to make a post about.
    A smaller issue is that of design on my blog. I look at what I consider “bigger” bloggers and they have great headers and design for their blog… I know I can’t afford to go out and pay to get mine designed just yet, but I want my blog to look personal and relate to my content.

    • REBECKA MANGLANATHAN

      I echo this concern. My blog is only a couple months old, but I honestly wish I could have had it professionally designed before I even launched it. I believe in the content I am posting but wish it looked better. :)

    • TRINA HOLDEN

      This is a great question, Christina! As a small blogger with an even smaller budget :) I look forward to sharing what’s worked for me!

  • http://www.bethszimmerman.com/ BETH ZIMMERMAN

    I have resisted the temptation to monetize my blog for a LONG time (about 5 years) but I need my blog to, at a minimum, be self-supporting. (domains, hosting, images, conferences, etc.) So I have added affiliate ads to the sidebars and footer. I guess I’m asking … how much is okay? How much is too much? I know it’s important to minimize clutter so I have tried to keep everything as neat and clean as I possibly can. I just don’t want the ads to become a deterrent to followers. Sigh …

  • http://www.thissimplehome.com/ THISSIMPLEMOM

    I have been blogging for three years, but decided to start from scratch with a new look, name, and domain of my own.  Before doing so, I looked at the blogs that I like to read…they had a large font and nice pictures.  The side bar wasn’t too busy…it was simple in design….so I did the same.  Slowly, with good content, I am growing!

  • http://simplystriving.wordpress.com/ NIKKI

    I saw this post on twitter and am so glad I clicked over! I started blogging 4 months ago so I don’t even think I qualify as a small blogger :) I am really enjoying it other than the technical stuff making my face twitch… Because I’m so new, I don’t want to just throw money into domains and hosts and headers and design elements that I don’t even understand yet. What’s necessary? What would make things easier for a non-savvy technical blogger…
    I have so many more questions, but I’ll end there for now ;)

  • http://www.joleneengle.org/ THE ALABASTER JAR

    I am looking forward to this series.  I know that God is the best SEO for my blog and my heart is to not blog for money but fully for God’s glory.  Until the whole world hears…..I will keep ministering via the internet to my audience of One.  New tips would be appreciated in this somewhat blind ministry. :)

  • http://changedbythemaker.com/ MICHELLE

    This is a welcome site for me. So many questions, so little time! I love writing and interacting with people, so I get satisfaction from my blog, and I think a few people have been affected by stuff I’ve written. At some point down the road, I would like to be able to say that I can at least make what it costs me to keep the site going. My thinking gets a bit scrambled at that point. What strategy will accomplish it? I have no idea. 

    I’m up for learning all that I can. Watching others, trying things that have been suggested, and taking directions is the only thing that’s gotten me this far, so I look forward to hearing and trying some of your ideas.

    THANKS!

  • ASHLEY DITTO

    I am a small blogger and feel discouraged when I don’t know if I am reaching out to anyone, or if anybody really cares what I write. At times, I just want to cry with frustration. I know the Lord has called me to write! Any suggestions?

  • http://www.fromnowtillido.com CHICHI

    It seems a lot of the ‘bigger’ bloggers are using WordPress as their blogging platform. What are the benefits and is it necessary to switch over if you want to grow/have seo?

  • MICHELLE WELCH

    Love this!  Thanks for the encouragement! 

  • http://profiles.google.com/stephaniesmommybrain STEPHANIE’S MOMMY BRAIN

    I feel the same way as the other commenters. I’ve blogged for 4.5 years and had a lot of fun doing so. I’ve made some friends, received a few perks, and learned a ton about writing and social media. I only have about 100 subscribers and about 100-150 unique visits a day. That’s lesson than 3,000 visitors a month. I want to do more with my blog. I want to encourage more moms and families. But the opportunities just don’t seem to be there for small(er) bloggers.

    Last night I was discussing it with my husband and this analogy came to mind. It’s like being a brand new college graduate looking for a job. No one wants to hire you because you don’t have experience, but you don’t have experience because no one wants to hire you. In blogging, few people want to work with you because you don’t have lots of followers, but you don’t lots of followers because few people want to work with you.

    It’s frustrating and discouraging. But. I am excited to learn from this series and be encouraged that my stats are not a reflection of the value of my blog, even though advertisers think it is.

  • http://www.greenertrees.net/ JULIE

    I’d love to hear some of your blogging “best practices.”  What are the things you wish you would have known earlier in the process?  What are some common mistakes that newish (or even oldish) bloggers frequently make?  What are the resources that you most frequently utilize (networked blogs, google analytics, etc.)?  Looking forward to hearing more…

  • http://twitter.com/NarrowPaths2HP ALIA JOY

    Thank you for this! I can’t wait to learn more. I have been blogging for about two and a half months and I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in how blogging has affected me personally. I feel like God is using it to work out things in my personal walk with Him and it’s a bonus if people read it and relate.  Right now I get about 100-200 unique visitors a day and about 5000-7500 page views. I’m not really sure about blogging numbers and what a bigger blogger’s numbers would be but I do wonder when there are lots of visits and very few comments what impact, if any, my posts are having. Also, I’m pretty vulnerable/personal on my blog most of the time so sometimes when there isn’t a response it makes me feel really exposed and sometimes insecure. I guess that’s all part of what God is showing me through this process. I would like to learn more and be teachable so that my story could be effectively used by God to reach more people. 

  • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

    Just so you know, I’m not ignoring your comments. I’m reading every single one – and wildly taking notes!! You have offered some awesome feedback!

  • http://educatinglaytons.com/ STEFLAYTON

    just wanted to encourage you Christine – from one who has embraced being a “small blogger”, I love love love that you wrote -  “blogging is less about you, and more about helping others”  AMEN !!!

    • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

       Thanks so much Stef!! Funny, I don’t see you as a “small blogger” at all. So funny how we view the whole scene!

      • http://educatinglaytons.com/ STEFLAYTON

        I know your name is Christin – not Christine, my apologies why that “e” wanted to tag along.

      • http://educatinglaytons.com/ STEFLAYTON

        I guess I consider myself small because I get less than 1K weekly pageviews to my personal blog. (unless I have a knock it out of the park awesome post that gets that many in one day – but those only happen once every month or ten)

  • RUBBERBACON

    Perhaps you could give us advise on how to leave comments on other blogs?  Trina Holden left the best comment I ever got and I made it a point to find her at Relevant ’11 and thank her.  It’s a nice way to bond with other bloggers when a great comment is left.  

  • http://sprocketswife.blogspot.com/ RUBBERBACON

    Perhaps you could give us advise on how to leave comments on other
    blogs?  Trina Holden left the best comment I ever got and I made it a
    point to find her at Relevant ’11 and thank her.  It’s a nice way to
    bond with other bloggers when a great comment is left.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trina-Holden/515132083 TRINA HOLDEN

      aww – it was so fun to meet in person, wasn’t it? We’re gonna talk about fostering conversation in the comments…

  • http://themommyjob.com/ MARY @ THEMOMMYJOB

    I’m very excited about reading and learning from this series. I am a new blogger and I’m learning there is much more to blogging than just writing.

    I would love to learn how best to market a new blog and getting new readers. Thank you for encouraging us smaller bloggers :)

  • http://twitter.com/funkiplanet FUNKIPLANET.COM

    Oy!  This is the place for me.  I’m a small blogger who has been doing it for 4 years with little success in terms of reaching the wider audience.  I decided to get serious about it in 2012 and any hints, tips or ideas that you have are most welcome.  I love to write but it seems like I get hits from people looking for graphics that I happen to be using.  I guess one hit is better than no hits right?  But I’d love to get readers not just googlers.  I’m all ears girls!!

  • DEBI STANGELAND

    Oy!  This is the place for me.  I have been blogging for over 4 years without much success at reaching a wider audience.  I decided to get serious about it in 2012.  I’d love to hear any ideas, hints or tips you might have.  I love writing but it seems most of my hits come from people who are looking for graphics, that I happen to have posted in my posts.  I’d love to get some actual readers, not just googlers.  I’m all ears girls!

  • KATHY SYKES

    I will be joining every Thursday. One of my biggest obstacles being a smaller blog is marketing myself and having the confidence in describing what I do.

  • http://www.sewcarolinaknits.blogspot.com/ CAROLINA

    This is going to be great for me!  I’m a smaller blogger who writes about quilting, my own knitting designs, life in general, and my faith.  I’ve had some posts that have generated many comments and others that have none.  The posts that didn’t receive as many comments I thought should have hit a goldmine.  Would love new perspective.  Can’t wait!

  • http://www.themostperfectgift.blogspot.com/ DAWN @ THE MOST PERFECT GIFT

    I’m so excited for this too. Although, I would like a BIGGER audience I don’t really watch my stats. What distracts me is the design. I like to mess around with stuff like that and I always want to do something different, add something, etc. I also  have problems with blogging consistently. 

  • http://www.growingisbeautiful.com COURTNEY

    I guess I’m wondering if maybe it’s okay to be a smaller blogger?  I mean, I’m a writer.  I want to tell the story God’s writing in my life.  I want to be heard.  I want to inspire, impact, encourage.  But maybe He doesn’t mean for every one of us to have famous, well-read blogs with huge followings.  In addition to ideas on how to grow, maybe we could talk about how to love and accept where we are in the blogosphere, no matter how big or small our followings are.

    • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

       That’s a large part of what this series is about–but it’s also to take those deeper who want to, which I think is good for anyone who isn’t content to stay where they are. That doesn’t necessarily mean numbers, but growth as a writer and connecter of people. Does that make sense? :)

      • http://www.growingisbeautiful.com COURTNEY

         Thanks, Christin, for the response!  I guess I was reacting more to what I was reading in the comments and feeling like everyone just wanted to know how to get more readers–and that’s great, but I mostly want to learn how to be the best I can be at what God has called me to do.  And sometimes, as I’ve learned over the years, doing what God’s wants doesn’t always lead to great followings.  But what you are saying about growth I relate to very well, and I’m looking forward to reading a series that’s directed at those of us who are not in the well-known writing sphere (at least for now!).

    • http://jenniferdawnmclucas.com JENNIFER DAWN MCLUCAS

      Thanks Courtney, I was thinking the same thing. It’s so hard to find that line between being comfortable with who I am and where God has me, and just being too complacent to move to where He’s calling me. I’ve been blogging for about 8 months now and I feel like I’m in the right place. I won’t let my numbers define my success because I know I’m doing what God has asked me to do. Becoming a big blogger, whether financially or by following, isn’t my goal. But I know becoming complacent isn’t God’s goal for me either, so I continue to try to improve by taking the advice of others back to God and asking if it’s applicable to me. Often it’s not, but sometimes something rings true and I’m grateful for the advice. I’d love to hear you talk more about loving and accepting where you are in the blogosphere!

      Of course, the title of your blog is Growing is Beautiful, so I know you’re a girl committed to moving forward. And your posts are beautifully and artfully written. I could feel the gut wrenching truth when you spoke about give up days. I can’t help but determine that you are where you’re supposed to be, but with words like that from a heart like yours I can’t imagine you staying in that “small” space for long. It won’t matter if you become “famous” or not because fame is not your goal. You’re goal is to glorify God and you’re already doing that. I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. Less striving to be something we don’t need to be and more being who God created us to be. 

      • http://www.growingisbeautiful.com COURTNEY

         Wow, thanks so much for the great response!  You make a really good point about finding that balance between being content with where God has placed us and still being in tune with where He wants to take us.  I think this series will be a great resource for those of us who want to increase our impact *if* that’s God’s desire for us.  So many resources out there are directed at trying to increase the numbers–and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it will be wonderful to have a God-honoring perspective on how to “grow” as a blogger, whether that means in numbers and connections or just as individuals and writers.

        And thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to peek in on my little corner of the world and offer such Grace words.  You are too, too kind.  It’s funny because you’ve pointed out something I missed–I am incredibly committed to growth in my personal and spiritual journeys but somehow I haven’t really had that kind of passionate growth pursuit in regard to my blog.  It’s kind of happened apart from anything I’ve done.  I’ve focused on my journey and on becoming better at expressing that journey through writing–and somehow people have resonated with my story and decided to walk with me.

        Looking forward to growing along with you and all these other lovely “small” bloggers!

  • ANONYMOUS

    I’m very interested in learning more.  I agree with what some other commenters have said, that it is okay to be “small”, however I also don’t want to be stuck.  I look forward to this series!

  • http://www.funkiplanet.com/ DEBI STANGELAND

    Oy!  This is the place for me.  I have been blogging for over 4 years
    without much success at reaching a wider audience.  I decided to get
    serious about it in 2012.  I’d love to hear any ideas, hints or tips you
    might have.  I love writing but it seems most of my hits come from
    people who are looking for graphics, that I happen to have posted in my
    posts.  I’d love to get some actual readers, not just googlers.  I’m all
    ears girls! 

  • JIMMIE

    Ooohhh.. looking forward to this series! Sounds great.

  • http://www.ConfessionsOfARecoveringChocoholic.com/ LAURA JANE

    Wow, I have so many concerns as a smaller blogger. One of my biggest struggles right now is how to keep myself motivated and disciplined to put in the hard to work to consistently write great content and network/promote when I’m still not seeing a lot of results. Also, how do I balance keeping a positive outlook and setting specific goals for growth without getting discouraged or being unrealistically hopeful?

  • http://twitter.com/LittleWriterMom LISA LITTLEWOOD

    Looking forward to hearing more! God’s been working on my heart about my expectations for things (aka…blog reach and relevance!) and His bigger and greater plan! There are so many blogs out there that it is hard to figure out how to merge your voice/passions into something that is relevant, needed, and worthwhile, without feeling like it is a waste of time…Looking forward to hearing your advice and thoughts ladies!

  • http://www.redandhoney.com/ BETH@REDANDHONEY

    I am so excited to be reading this series. Several questions come to mind…

    1) Can you define “smaller blogger”?
    2) How can you find blog sponsors/ads other than google adsense and such? How big do you have to be before anyone will want to buy an ad spot on your blog?
    3) How often should you be posting, assuming you are trying to grow your blog?
    4) How specific should your niche be? I’m worried that I’m not specific enough (like being a “Crafty blogger” or a “foodie blogger” or a “spirituality blogger”). I’ve had people tell me they enjoy the variety, but the “experts” say that you really need to focus in on one niche in order to really grow.

    Oh man, I have so many questions, but I’ll stop there for now! :)

    • LAURA LUYT

      These questions nearly completely reflect my own! I’d love to learn more. :)

  • SHARI LYNNE

    Can’t wait! Thanks so much!
    Blessings!

  • http://www.dayebydaye.com/ BECKY

    How do you explain to the non-blog readers in your life that blogging for the purpose of honoring God is a calling?  If one person is blessed by what I say, does that justify the time that it takes to write a post?  What if nobody is?  I feel compelled to write, but I also need to make sure that I am a wise steward of my time.
    Thanks for this series- looking forward to reading more!

    • AMY SMITH

      I kind of feel like that too. A little compelled to write… but is my time justified… Lots of days I think I should just quit blogging…  

  • http://thepurposefulwife.com/ RACHEL

    What really baffles me is my lack of technological ability :). Maybe I am hopeless…lol. I have no idea how to make my blog look the way I want, do what I want….I’m learning slowly. But maybe this series is more on attitudes and purpose behind blogging, and less on the technological side? Either way I am looking forward to it!

  • BROUSSIE4EYES

    I am only months into blogging and I still kinda feel like a “fish out of water”.  I don’t have a particular question in mind, but I am looking forward to learning!  Thank you for doing this segment!  :)

  • http://www.gracetoabide.com/ CATHERINE

    Really looking forward to this, Christin, thank you! I’m a VERY small blogger, but have recently wanted to become more serious about it. I spent a couple of months working on my blog look, buying a domain name etc. Now I just need to work out how to attract readers and subscribers. I’m not too worried about comments, because I know for myself that I’ve read so many great posts on other blogs but have very rarely left comments myself – it doesn’t mean I haven’t appreciated or connected with what was written. However, I have very few subscribers at the moment, so that’s discouraging!

  • http://GrittyGrace.com MARTHA BRADY

    i read thro’ all the comments.  i can identify with most.  among my questions are: How do you define a small blogger?  

    how do i keep the technology from driving me nuts?  how do learn to communicate clearly to the person who helps me with my blog when i pay someone?  i got a new platform and blog but all the questions re how to set it up were confusing and overwhelming to me.  i tho’t i was going to her and tell her what i liked and she was going to develop something for me to see.  then we would make adjustments.  instead, i found the process to be very confusing, discouraging and many of her questions ended in “i don’t know.” from me. as a result, i’m ready for some changes that i can no longer afford to make…as well as having a platform i don’t really understand how to use!

    the concept of helping others is in my DNA.  i can do it in person pretty easily, but i don’t always “get” how to do it online…or communicate it well.  how do you smile at the tentative person who is hesitant to ask a question online?  or give a hug to someone who has just shared a secret from her past that is heartbreaking and dark?  there are times when words don’t really work.  we need hugs and other ways to reach out…and oh yes, the eye contact thing.  i really miss that online!  so i plug on with my one way conversations where i feel like i am talking to myself…and my open-ended questions.  but any help with how to draw people in would be appreciated.

    if my stats are anywhere near correct, i have a lot of lurkers.  they never, or nearly never comment.  they are supposedly faithful readers. but help in changing that arena would be great too.

    and finally, monetization.  my attempts at it haven’t worked well.  no one clicks.anything.  i’m guessing i don’t have a lot of bloggy readers who know what to do, but i had a series of really great ads, pretty photos, good open-ended questions (federated i think).  did anyone click?  NO  after a few months of no clicks, i quit.

    now i’m using amazon and have some affiliate links.  rarely have clicks.  i’m guessing that of all these people, they must not know how to use them?  how to make them more user friendly?  i do NOT know.

    can’t wait to read more on this seried:)

  • http://ramonawritesagain.com/ RAMONA

    Thanks! I’m already looking forward to it. :-)

  • ELIZABETH GIGER

    One of the things I would love to see addressed is how to gain more readers when a) you are not trying to make any money with your blog and b) most of the big bloggers in your genre do not use guest blogging. Thank you for this!

  • http://www.beholdingglory.com/ LAURA

    Hey Christin, Thanks for this series. I am wondering about content. I read another place recently too about writing what people want to hear, keeping your audience in mind and now you talking about writing “how to’s”. But I am not sure how to do that and stay true to how God built me. I am honestly not a great ‘how to’ type of person. I have some expertise but in things probably not many people really want to learn how to do. Like how to reach college students for Jesus. I love teaching God’s Word and want to use my blog for that…  so what are your thoughts about all this?

    • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

      Let me clarify what I mean by “how to’s”. It doesn’t have to be a “how to clean this or cook that” or “how to knit a sweater or mend a button” — although those are certainly included. But “how to” can also include anything else: how to nurture your children; how to encourage your children; how to be a good friend; how to defuse a misunderstanding; how to study Scripture. There really are no limits.

      When I say to help others, I simply mean by including something helpful into something you’re already posting. Someone may need to hear how to reach college students for Jesus. I know the campus missionaries my church supports would appreciate something like that.

      But how do you reach that audience? You go out and find them. Engage with them and trail them back to your blog. Social media is not limited to our blogs — networking through Facebook and Twitter are keys (these days) to finding those who need to hear what you have to say. I hope that helps narrow it down a bit more. We’ll address these things in more depth later. :)

      • http://www.beholdingglory.com/ LAURA

        Yes, super helpful! Thank you!!!

  • http://jenniferdawnmclucas.com JENNIFER DAWN MCLUCAS

    I have trouble with the idea of self-promotion. I mean, I know logically that people have liked my fan page because they want to know when I post something new, but it feels so unnatural to go around promoting my own content. If I have to share a post there do I have to do it more than once? Do I have to share it on all the various social media platforms that I’m on? When is the best time to share it? 

  • ANONYMOUS

    I struggle writing as a friend over some coffee and talking “at” them . If that makes sense

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ BARBIE

    I am very much looking forward to this series.  I have been blogging nearly four years now, but still consider myself a “small blogger”.  I believe I’ve come a long way.  I spend hours each week reading blogs and commenting, trying to build community.  Although I don’t focus on the numbers much, I would like to continue to grow my sphere of influence.  Looking forward to your wisdom ladies!

  • http://www.pinkdaisyjane.com HEATHERLY LANE SYLVIA

    I need to learn how to “manage” and promote my blog w/o it taking over my life and time. I have two small kids and other ministries, but I love blogging and would love advice on how to balance my time, but still promote my blog well… avoiding burnout would also be good.

  • http://2sweetthings.blogspot.com MANDY

    I’m sure my questions are like a bunch of others, though I haven’t read them all… I wonder about tweaking my niche. I feel called to write about all things sort of homemaking, parenting, spiritual, mentoring but worry that it’s all too much. Can I really blog about the whole life at home? Also, I would love to make money writing but then feel like that’s not a realistic goal. Is it a good idea to submit posts to other blogs as a guest? I’m getting ready to transition from my blog that I’ve had for several years (more of a family blog…) into a different one and want to start off great… can’t wait for this series!

  • SHARON O

    My greatest challenge is to be wiling to be open for others to read my writing.  A few months ago my blog was opened to the public and it gave me anxiety to think others who I had no clue of were reading my blog. Then my husband made a great point with me, “If you wrote a book and published it you would have no idea who was purchasing and reading it so why are you afraid of your blog becoming more visible?” He is one of my best encouragers. Also feedback is nice but not a sure way of knowing readers are enjoying your words.
    Blogging is a different hobby. It takes risk and it takes discipline and it takes vulnerability and it takes courage.
    I also don’t understand the stat figures it is way too confusing.
    Would love feedback (hopefully posititve) so I can learn from them.
    http://www.sharono-somethingtothinkabout.com/

  • CHERYL

    Looking forward to this series!  So many questions, but others have already addressed them!

  • KATHI

    Where do we find the time? I mean, really. …I know I’m not the only mom blogger with 8+ kiddos. And, if I do find the time to post … I don’t have the time to socialize (read blogs, comment on blogs, etc)

    I’m also with a previous commenter … I’ve been approached by a few places to do giveaways…but don’t want folks to think I’m doing it for followers. And I’ve also been asked to advertise … but have a hard time with that, because I don’t want to bombard an otherwise ‘frugal’ family to buy the next greatest SAHM tool.

    I also have almost zero community (comments) … is it because I don’t comment much? (I do, however, find that when I post about the ugly part of mothering … I get a lot of comments. But most my days are truly gifts, not ugly. I don’t want to make things up to gain readership).

    So … needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading. Been blogging 4 years. I love it. But I hate it.

    kathi

    • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

       Hi Kathi,
      I want to address just one of your questions here, just because it probably won’t require a whole post. :)
      You mentioned that you get a lot of comments whenever you write about the ugly part of mothering–it’s because people can relate to that reality. I don’t know why we tend to focus on the negative, but mother’s are looking for support; for proof that they are not alone in their failures. So when you post the reality of the ugly side of mothering, mothers appreciate your honesty and authenticity.
      Blogging can be a hard place because many don’t want to talk about the negative side of life, so when a blogger talks about their failures, they need to hear you are a “real” person with “real” struggles and failures.
      Does that make sense? :)

  • http://embracingdestiny.blogspot.com/ SARA @ EMBRACING DESTINY

    I’m looking forward to reading this series!  These are the issues I’m dealing with now as I try to grow my readership and create a community with my readers.  I want to encourage and uplift others and hope to develop friends amongst my readers in a back and forth kind of dialogue.  Maybe my goals are too lofty?  I have the same problem with lack of time that everyone else has mentioned!