How To Grow Your Blog

Good morning friends!  I’m finally over my lingering cold and had some time to get my life together, so I could finally give you a recap of the Dallas blog conference!  And as promised, I brought you back some blogging tips to help you grow your own blog!

BLOG CONFERENCE RECAP

This girls’ weekend is always a blast and the conference is really well done with gorgeous details, fun parties, and one-on-one time with brands you have worked with in the past or may partner with in the future.

More than that, it’s an opportunity to hang out with friends that you don’t normally get to see since we’re all over the map!

I drove up with Sara & Veronika again since we live near each other.  They are a hoot and so fun to be around! #tallsupermodels Big thanks to Sara for driving!!

Megan sarah Veronika

I roomed with four of my best girls and the laughs were nonstop!  This is truly such a great group of women that I’m so thankful for.  We were just missing Courtney, who couldn’t make it.

Cassie • Ashley • Sheaffer • Mallory

The first night was a pool side party complete with fancy drinks, delicious appetizers and synchronized swimmers!

I wore a versatile shift dress and comfy wedges because I knew it would be a long weekend for heels.  The ‘Megan’ pendant tassel necklace really gave the dress some personality!

Cassie •Sheaffer • Ashley • Sarah • Mallory

purple shift dress and wedges

Dress • Purse • ‘Megan’ Necklace • Everyday Wedges • Anklet • Sunglasses

Synchronized swimmers

I wish I had gotten more pictures with friends, but did happen to snap this one with Ashlee!

Ashlee and Megan

The next morning was when I started feeling so bad, so I spent much of the day in the room, missing some speakers, classes and the evening party, but I made a short appearance for Jillian Harris’ and Erin’s talk.  So glad I got to see them!

floral shorts and black peplum top

Shorts • Top • Earrings • Everyday Wedges • White Blazer • Bar Necklace

Erin & Erin 😉

On Saturday, I wore a white sundress with feminine crochet detail.  It really went well with the lush landscape of the Crescent Court hotel.

White sundress

White Lacey Dress (XS) • Wooden Bag

White sundress (1)

At lunch, I’m so glad I got to sit and catch up with Marnie!  She is such a good friend and you’ll love her YouTube channel where she chats about beauty, fashion, decor, budgeting, family life and more.

Megan and Marnie

Saturday night, I rallied for the last party of the weekend, which is always such a good time with a DJ and lots of dancing!

hi sugarplum, sheaffer told me to, honey we're home, style your senses

Floral Dress 0

I was determined to wear this floral dress with a sweetheart neckline- I just loved it so much!

floral dress

Dress • Clutch • Earrings • Heels

Being together with these girls was really so much fun and I’m so thankful for our friendship!

Too bad they are no fun!

rewardStyle Party

hi sugarplum, sheaffer told me to, honey we're home

HOW TO GROW YOUR BLOG

Develop Relationships 

Now onto the blog tips!  There are a million recommendations for developing a successful blog – on both the creative and technical levels.  But only you can define what having a successful blog means to you.  I think the most important tip to gain any sort of success in the blogging world is to build great relationships.

And, no doubt about it, the number one way to grow your blog is to build your relationships.  That goes for relationships with: 1) your readers, 2) other bloggers, and 3) eventually with brands.  Today, I’ll focus on building relationships with readers and other bloggers, because that is what is most important for your own authenticity and the best way to attract readers to your blog.  It also ties into what will eventually make brands want to work with you, if that’s one of your goals.

How to Grow Your Blog

How do you grow your relationship with readers if only your mom and BFF are reading your blog?  Well, you need to get eyes on your blog.  How do you do that?  You have to consistently put out quality content. You need to pin images of that content to Pinterest (Pinterest is still my biggest traffic source). You’ll want to share each post across your social media channels like Instagram and Facebook.

And then respond genuinely to every. single. comment you receive.  Whether that’s on your blog, social media, email – everything.

But don’t stop there.  If the person commenting on your blog has one of their own, go visit theirs and leave a comment on their post.  Same goes for social media. Respond to those comments thoughtfully and then visit their pages and leave your own comment.

This is one part of blogging that takes a lot of time and energy, but building valuable relationships takes time.  And it’s worth it.  It’s exactly what I did 8 years ago when I first started blogging.  Back then, there was no Instagram and people weren’t using Facebook to promote their blogs. Comments on blog posts were how people communicated.  I responded to comments AND would go visit other blogs and comment on their posts.  It’s actually how I met some of my closest ‘blogging friends’ to begin with!  And how I found some of my favorite blogs.

It’s imperative to have blogging friends because there is so much information and knowledge to be shared.  We can all learn from each other and help encourage each other when we need it because we understand each other.

If you don’t have that many readers/followers, that’s okay! Trust me: it’s far better to have fewer, more engaged readers, than a massive following of ‘strangers’ that really aren’t invested in what you’re doing.  We can get caught up in the numbers game and start valuing our worth in likes and followers if we aren’t careful.  I always feel like the best bloggers are the ones that make me feel like they are talking directly to me.  I hope that’s how YOU feel when you’re here. 

That also takes some vulnerably and a willingness to put yourself out there even when it’s scary.  You don’t have to share every private thing with the world (in fact, I think some things are sacred and better not shared), but at the same time, you need to be real, genuine and let your true self come through in your blog posts.

I’ve found that it’s a two way street with readers trusting you and YOU trusting THEM.  Once you have built up a real relationship over time, it’s easier for you to share the not-so pretty parts of your life.  That’s  where I’ve always gotten the most support and felt like my voice had meaning.

For example:

Pregnancy Update (34 Weeks) – The Sucky Parts

Body After Baby – One Year Later

Parent Appreciation

And I always like to offer value in my posts, which is why I still write about productivity and fitness, things I’m passionate about!

What I Eat in a Day

How to Meal Plan for the Week

10 Habits for a Productive Day

Top 10 Tips for An Organized Home

Quality Over Quantity

If you are consistently publishing quality content and making every post worth reading, you will gain loyal readers who look forward to those posts.  And they will tell their friends, and so on.  Take Gwen for example.  She doesn’t post very frequently, but every post is amazing and makes you want to come back for more.

This can be hard because it might feel like you are spinning your wheels, not gaining much traction, but you have to be patient and keep on believing in yourself and what you have to offer! 

You don’t need millions of pageviews or followers to eventually get noticed by brands that want to work with you.  Many brands – including big names like Nordstrom – like to partner with ‘microinfluencers’ – those ‘everyday people with a decent following of over 3,000 followers on social media that focuses on a particular niche’.

When real people view you as relatable, genuine and trustworthy- they become loyal followers, or as I like to say, friends.  Which truly makes blogging so rewarding and what keeps me excited to wake up each day and keep doing it!

JILLIAN HARRIS’ BLOG ADVICE

At the blog conference in Dallas, I got a chance to hear the adorable Jillian Harris talk about her career journey through The Bachelor and Love It or List It Too and now, building her blog and personal brand.  She’s so genuine and funny and what you see on her Stories is what you get in real life!
This is what she wore for her talk!  Could she be any cuter?! #thatbump!
  Jillian Harris My Favourite Dallas Outfits
As promised, I took notes for ya!
  • We are all unique and individual
  • You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so go for it!
  • Always be yourself
  • Work at your own brand, yourself and think about what makes you different and sets you apart.  Ask yourself, “why do people follow you?”
  • Go beyond yourself and ask, “What can we do for our community?”
  • It’s hard, but don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  • Blogs aren’t going anywhere- people’s eyes are on their phone and that’s where you need to appear.
  • Even if you’re blogging at 40, your readers will age with you.
  • Your readers trust is the most important thing. See, I told ya! *See above! 
  • Stay true to your core beliefs, for example, Jillian works with brands that don’t test on animals and help reduce waste.
  • Don’t let haters change your path.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF 

  • Who are you?
  • What is your brand?
  • What do you believe in?
  • What is important to you?
  • What makes you different?
  • What sets you apart from your competition?
  • Who is your demographic?
  • What is the purpose of your brand long term?
  • What value are you providing to your readers?
  • What channels will you be present on?
  • What’s your Mission Statement?

HONEY WE’RE HOME MISSION STATEMENT

This year, I revised my own mission statement for Honey We’re Home:

To genuinely encourage women to take care of themselves by being more healthy and fit, stylish, organized and productive so they can LOOK their best, FEEL their best and BE their best! 

I use my mission statement as a guideline for every post I publish. It helps me make sure that what I’m putting out into the world adds value, even if it’s just an encouraging word or style tip!

Gibson x LIY skirt and tee w military vest-1

 Have a wonderful day, friends!

 

 

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45 Comments

  1. May 8, 2018 / 7:40 am

    Thank you Megan, this was very helpful! And…Yes, you make me feel like you are speaking to Me 🙂 <3

  2. Kristin
    May 8, 2018 / 8:16 am

    Wonderful post!! So inspiring!!! You’re my FAV!!

  3. May 8, 2018 / 9:02 am

    Thank you Megan! By staying true to who you are, we, your readers, do find you relatable, genuine and trustworthy! Like when you shared the Instastory of Jordan and the bread crumbs in your house. Totally relatable!

  4. Kimberly
    May 8, 2018 / 9:41 am

    Love this post and enjoy all your stories. Keep doing what your doing. Loyal follower for too many years to count. 😉

    • Megan
      Author
      May 8, 2018 / 11:15 am

      We’re old friends!! It’s been a long time!!

  5. shelley
    May 8, 2018 / 10:19 am

    Interesting read….as someone who keeps debating dipping into the blogging world this was a great read.

    I really enjoy your blog, I find it relatable and I think you have an authentic voice.

    • Megan
      Author
      May 8, 2018 / 11:15 am

      That’s the best compliment Shelley! Thank you!

  6. Katie
    May 8, 2018 / 10:25 am

    Great information! I plan on making my decor inspired blog “live” relatively soon, but this is helpful advice!

    • Megan
      Author
      May 8, 2018 / 11:15 am

      Good for you Katie! Let me know when it’s live so I can stop by and say hi!

  7. Lindsey VanPelt
    May 8, 2018 / 11:06 am

    This post comes at a perfect time for me, as I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog for the last year and a half or so. I think I’m finally ready to pull the trigger.

    I found you through Pinterest years ago, and have been hooked ever since. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday religiously your blog is the first thing I open on my computer before I start working.

    Thank you for what you do, especially this post!

    • Megan
      Author
      May 8, 2018 / 11:14 am

      Thank you so much for that Lindsey! I love knowing that part of your day is spent with me! I say go for it and start your own! It’s really so much fun to have it as a way to save memories too!

  8. May 8, 2018 / 12:03 pm

    Thank you so much! I needed to hear this right now! I’ve been blogging on and off for years and always get frustrated with thinking that since I have such a tiny readership, no one really cares so why bother. BUT, I do love doing it so keep going back! Of course it’s time consuming – I have a nine-year-old and a just-turned-one-year-old – AND, just returned to my full-time graphic design job yesterday but this post makes me want to keep at it since it’s something I do for my own enjoyment and do feel passionate about. Thanks for the inspiration! xo

  9. May 8, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    Great Job! Love your posts because I always feel you are genuine and relatable. I’m a professional organizer and especially love the organizing and productivity information. I just bought the Megan necklace!

    • Megan
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 6:42 am

      I hope you love your necklace! I almost went into the professional organizer profession- I admire what you do!

  10. May 8, 2018 / 7:14 pm

    This post was super encouraging for me since my blog ebbs and flows a lot. I often feel like I’m spinning my wheels and get frustrated, but I can never set away for long.

    Also! I followed the link to your 34 weeks pregnant post and THAT helped me so much today! I’m 34 weeks with my second and have gotten to the not sleeping and feeling miserable stage! Plus, I was also induced with my first so I’m afraid of going into labor at home and how that’s all going to go! So glad you brought that post up in this post so I could read it and feel less alone!

    • Megan
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 6:42 am

      Oh wow!! I didn’t realize you were at 34 weeks!! Almost there, but it can be hard, right?! I literally couldn’t bend over to get my shoes on!! Sending you good energy for a wonderful delivery!!

  11. Deborah
    May 9, 2018 / 7:44 am

    I love your mission statement. I was asked to write one in an MBA class and it’s harder than it seems.

    • Megan
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 12:08 pm

      It is hard, right?! I’ve tweaked mine over the years, but this one feels right!

  12. May 9, 2018 / 9:15 am

    I love this post! I love your mission statement and I always feel like you are talking to me! 🙂

    • Megan
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 12:07 pm

      Hi Megan!! I’m talking to you! 🙂

  13. Melissa
    May 9, 2018 / 11:43 am

    Thank you for your “insider” blog posts. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog for several years now. Your posts scare and encourage me all at the same time. It’s apparent how much effort and love you put into your posts.

    • Megan
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 12:04 pm

      Thank you for that Melissa! I hope it’s good to see behind the blog a little bit! I always love those kind of peeks!!

    • Megan
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 12:03 pm

      We can trade!! 😉

  14. May 9, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    This was a great article! As someone who is on Youtube, but wants to grow a blog and has set it up, but can not commit to regularity, this drives it home. THANK you!! AND I am a Houstonian, so happy to have found another Houstonian!!! XX ~ E

  15. May 9, 2018 / 1:18 pm

    Thanks for this post, it was so encouraging! I’ve been following your blog for a long time and I love how authentic (and stylish!) your content is!

  16. Michelle
    May 10, 2018 / 8:37 am

    I love your mission statement. Inspired me to work on my own!!

  17. Jennifer Kinney
    May 11, 2018 / 10:10 am

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your posts and your IG feed. I find *you* relatable, genuine, and trustworthy. I’ve bought so many of my clothes because of you. We are similar sizes and have similar styles so I know if it look good on you then there’s a good chance I’ll love it. I also enjoy your workout and fitness posts (that’s how I first found you years ago!) Thank you for all your hard work! Happy Mother’s Day.

    • Megan
      Author
      May 12, 2018 / 7:47 am

      Thank you so much for those kind words! I need to do more fitness posts! I’ve started watching what I eat more lately and am getting back in the workout routine after being sick for two weeks! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  18. Fabby
    May 11, 2018 / 11:02 am

    I’m an old blogger and it’s what we have done, specially making close bloggy relationships and yes, they always visit.
    Now blogger has gotten so large that many are cooks, DIYers, fashion and make up, etc. We were mostly Tablescapers. I have a huge love for dishes and specially china, antiques and all. So I do get bored with others when there is to much of this subjects on parties.
    I like fashion, make up, cooking and baking; but that is not my fav blogging theme. It is Tablescaping !
    You girls are so beautiful, you all look like you are competing for Miss Something, instead of bloggers !
    Thank you for your tips.
    Fabby

  19. jane
    May 11, 2018 / 6:17 pm

    Megan,
    Our lives are worlds apart – I am much older and retired now, so at a different station in life than you.
    A few times I didn’t read your blog but I always came back to it. Why? Because of your voice. You are real
    and genuine in your writing. That’s what I enjoy. I like reading about people who have different lives than
    I do – but I don’t want “fake”, I want real. That’s what you do. Thanks.
    That’s all…
    Jane

    • Megan
      Author
      May 12, 2018 / 7:45 am

      I do appreciate that Jane! It’s awesome to know that you enjoy my blog even though we are at different points in our lives! I hope you are enjoying retirement!

  20. May 12, 2018 / 10:40 am

    Hi Megan! I’ve been following you on Instagram for a lonnng time and reading your blog. I’ve commented from time to time, but not consistently. It’s funny how you feel like you get to know someone through these avenues because I of course feel like I know you and your cute little family. This is some great information. I’ve been blogging about 2 1/2 years and growing a blog is HARD. I think for those of us showing up late to the party, and later in life, and after the take off of social channels it’s even more challenging. Getting those numbers to allow the opportunity to work with brands takes A LOT of work and the whole spinning your wheels thing is real. Sometimes I feel like Texas is the magic blogging state. LOL Thanks for sharing with us! XOXO

  21. May 14, 2018 / 12:34 am

    Thx for the great post! I’ve been following your journey for years now and you’ve really developed a great style and narrative. Why did you give up the health/fitness blog? Too much to focus on?

    • Megan
      Author
      May 14, 2018 / 10:02 am

      Thanks so much Caren! I just merged them so that now Honey We’re Home has fitness too and you don’t have to go to two different blogs!

  22. May 14, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing this great information! I just started blogging in February, so I am trying to soak up all the advice I can! It does feel sometimes like no one is reading my posts, but I know it takes time! Love following you!

    • Megan
      Author
      May 15, 2018 / 2:33 pm

      I promise if you stick with it and keep at it, you will gain traction!

  23. Mia
    May 15, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    Hi Megan.
    I’m a reader form overseas (Denmark) and really enjoy your blog. It/you are so relatable and I like how you always seem to send out such supportive vibes for us women/mothers reminding us to encourage eachother and to take care of ourselves in the midst of this busy thing we call motherhood 😊

    As for this post in particular, I wanted to ask how you deal with negative commenting – if you ever experience any?

    • Megan
      Author
      May 16, 2018 / 9:03 am

      Oh of course! Those comments can sting, but it’s my nature to realize that hurting people hurt other people and shake it off. And, I try to be open to constructive criticism. For the most part, everyone is so kind and supportive, so I try not to let one hurtful comment here and there upset me.

  24. May 18, 2018 / 9:35 am

    What a great post it’s so detailed and informative and a big help to those of us trying to grow our blogs. I’ll definitely be taking the advice on board especially as it can be disheartening sometimes when you’ve been blogging for so long and don’t get as many views of your posts and or engagement. Thanks for this post!

    Eme

    • Megan
      Author
      May 20, 2018 / 8:04 am

      Thanks Eme! I’m heading to your blog now!

    • Megan
      Author
      May 20, 2018 / 8:08 am

      Hi Eme! I visited your site and you have great content and imagery! I loved the hygee tips!! I didn’t see a place where I could leave a comment. Do you have that? Readers like to connect through comments. Also, you have to click “enter” to get to your blog, I don’t if that’s necessary or could possibly dissuade readers from clicking through. Just a few things I noticed, keep up the beautiful work!

  25. June 1, 2018 / 9:13 am

    Hi Megan! This post is just what we needed to read! So encouraging! As new bloggers, we appreciate hearing that we need to stay true to ourselves and be authentic, to be patient and to avoid comparing our journey to others. Right now, we are working on really honing in on our niche/our brand. If you have a chance, check out our blog at http://www.twobeautifuldisasters.com. We love following you and would totally appreciate any feedback! 😘

  26. Nidia
    June 1, 2018 / 4:17 pm

    Oh, my gosh, Megan, you just hit home with this post! For years, I mean years, I have struggled to follow my dreams because of fear! You give hope! Hey, and just to testify, you SURE respond to messages. I still remember the day we went at it on IG for a good few minutes just sharing about kids! That was truly amazing! I cherish that! Thank you for being humble and so genuine. I think it’s reflecting in all your work! Wished I could give you a hug in person! Many blessings! And I your loyal reader since Jan’18, and will not go anywhere! 🤗

    • Megan
      Author
      June 1, 2018 / 4:45 pm

      That is such a sweet comment to read today! I’m glad you are having hope to follow your dreams. I always think God put those dreams in our hearts for a reason. Have a great weekend Nidia!

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