How to grow your blog

Grow Your Blog: How to Grow Your Blog with the Compound Effect

Have you ever wondered how to grow your blog? Me too. I continually ask myself, How do I reach the next level of engagement and growth? This week, Jenny and I are reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Although I’m only partway through the book, the wheels in my head are spinning. Darren’s compound effect simple. Yet it’s also incredibly applicable for writers and bloggers.

In short, the compound effect is the tortoise principle at work. Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hair? It’s the fable with that famous line, “Slow and steady wins the race.” The compound effect states that the key to success is consistency over time. As a new writer and someone with an introverted side, the thought of building an active blogging community seems daunting. This year, I am learning how to do this in a way that is not overwhelming, and it really does boil down to the compound effect.

The Compound Effect and Blog Growth

To get in shape, one could do 3,650 push-ups today. For most of us–myself very much included–this would be an impossible feat. For the few that might accomplish this, the end result would be achy muscles in the days that followed. Another alternative would be to do ten push-ups a day over the course of the next year. The person who does 3,650 push-ups in a day and the one who does ten a day will achieve the same number of repetitions by the end of the year for the next year. However, one person burns out, the other builds up.

The compound effect says that small, consistent, positive choices, lead to big results over time. And this is an excellent way to grow your blog!

How to Grow Your Blog

This is my year of teamwork. This month I began connecting with other bloggers on a daily basis. Each morning, I post a few comments and participate in a handful of link-ups. I wanted to keep track of the results of this experiment, so at the beginning of 2016, I noted how many comments I had on my own site. The number was close to 400. As we approach the end of January, there are now nearly 800 comments on this site. This means that Coffee Shop Conversations, had as much engagement in the past month, as it did in the previous year-and-a-half.

Of course, this isn’t my doing. I want to thank you for teaming up with me, reading, and joining in the conversations! Your thoughtful feedback and words of encouragement mean the world to me. The second reason I bring this up is that you can grow your blog using the compound effect principles. This year, I’m learning that the secret to growing a thriving blog community is to take small, proactive steps daily.

Compound Effect Strategies to Grow Your Blog

According to the compound effect, an easy way to grow your blog, is to do the following:

  • Write one blog post a week.
  • Write one guest post a month.
  • Engage with 3 bloggers a day.

Now, let’s look at the power of these simple actions over time. After one year this would result in:

  • 52 new posts added your site.
  • 12 guest posts, which I hear is an excellent way to engage and grow your blog.
  • 1,095 engagement with other bloggers.

Now, Imagine what your site would look like ten years from now. Sticking to this simple schedule would result in:

  • 520 posts on your site!
  • 120 guests posts!
  • 10,950 blogger engagements!

Questions: What’s the best way to eat an elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time.

The best way to grow your blog is one post, one engagement, and one step at a time!

The Fun Way to Grow Your Blog

The thought of writing 1,000 blog posts feels overwhelming. The idea of posting 2-3 times a week is exhilarating. The compound effect puts the fun back into blogging. It encourages me to relax instead of burning myself out trying to accomplish all of my goals at once. Darren’s wisdom reminds me that it’s OK to take my time and to enjoy the ride. The secret of dynamic blog growth is consistent blog attention over time.

Continue the Blogging Conversation

This year, I’m committing myself to slow and steady growth. I’m excited about making new friends and enjoying the process. I would love to hear your thoughts on this too. If you’re an experienced blogger, have you put the compound effect into action, and if so, what do you think of this idea? If you’re newer to writing, how will you put the compound effect into action this week? Finally, if someone asked how to grow their blog, what blogging advice would you give? I look forward to continuing the conversation in the comments below!

More Blogging Tools

For more great blogging ideas, be sure to visit our writing resources page. I pull back the curtain and show you all of my favorite writing resources. You can also check out my book Ten Great Ideas for Authors, where you will discover creative writing prompts and strategies to jump-start your author journey. I truly believe you are only one great idea away from writing success!  

Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

72 thoughts on “Grow Your Blog: How to Grow Your Blog with the Compound Effect”

  1. I use to put a lot of pressure on myself with the whole blogging thing in the beginning. It stemmed from comparing mine to others. The others had been at it a lot longer than myself so I got wise and said, “enough.” I agree with the slow and steady aspect of blogging for sure. It takes time. I’d much rather engage with readers than worry about numbers and extensive growth. Great tips offered here. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Excellent advice Michelle. I’ve fallen into the comparison trap before, and it’s not a fun place to be. I like your approach of engaging with readers, and enjoying the journey. Wishing you an incredible weekend as well!

  2. The tortoise and the hare is a good image for bloggers. I really try to focus on the REAL goal – edification of the body of Christ. It’s pretty easy to get discouraged if you don’t maintain perspective!

  3. Happy Weekend and thanks for hosting 🙂
    Sounds like a very helpful book on blogging that you are reading, and I’m glad your blog is growing!

  4. These are great ideas. I have made it a goal this year to slowly increase how often I’m posting because I want to work on turning my blog from a hobby into a business. Now to stick to the plan and work to increase how much I’m putting out there and how many people are seeing it! Thank you for sharing these. When you get time, I’d love for you to come check out my corner of the blogosphere at http://fearfultofearlessblog.com

    1. Hey Heather,
      Thanks for stopping by and diving into the discussion. I hope you’ll come back and join in the link-up often. It sounds like you have a good, blogging plan in place. Neat site too!

  5. Thank you, Jed. I am in total agreeance with you.It is important to engage others and encourage them in their journey. That has been my focus for several months and I have really enjoyed the relationships that have been built. Some really amazing people. Glad to be connecting with you today. Thank you for hosting and sharing with us weekly. Thanks also for the comment luv. I need to look into that.It is a really nice way to encourage and post back to others links.

  6. Thanks for the advice. Now I know what normal people do. Ha ha.
    My blog has grown a lot this year with a huge commitment of time (I post twice a week, read about 150 blog posts, and comment on about 75). I’m constantly struggling for balance!!! I think your approach is much more sane. 🙂

    1. Hey Diana,
      I’ve picked up much of my inspiration from you. The community that you’ve built is incredible! I read either a post or comment where you talked about the time, energy, and intentionality that you put into connecting with others, and it motivated me to take this aspect of blogging more seriously. Thank you for the positive blogging and writing influence you’ve been in my life–I’ve been learning a lot from you!

  7. Another wonderfully informative post! Thanks, Jed! Though I’ve been out in the blog-sphere for several years, I don’t think I’ve used the compound effect…at least not intentionally. My “plan” has been to simply write from my heart, be transparent and honest. You may have noticed that I took a little blogging break this past year (though I kept on doing my link-up…thanks for connecting there, by the way!) and now that I’m back at it, I’m appreciating the ideas and tips you are sharing!

    Blessings to you and Jen!

    Joan

    1. Hey Joan,

      Thanks for keeping the link-up going. I always appreciate the opportunity to share and connect. It’s great to hear that you back and blogging too. I think writing from the heart, with transparency and honesty, is one of the best plans around. I know these are my favorite types of posts to read. Wishing you blessed week!

  8. It’s my first time here, and honestly my first thought about this page was wow, what a beautiful family! Moving on… 🙂
    I have made many lasting relationships with some awesome people through link-ups. Even though I don’t do many anymore I am still in fellowship with some of my old hosts on a regular basis–a perk I never realized I would have when I first started. I am sure you are not only growing your blog but also growing beautiful relationships.
    Blessings,

    1. Hey Deborah,

      I’m glad your stopped by and thanks for the complement–we truly are blessed 🙂 Yes, by far, the best part about blog growth, is the relationships. It’s neat to hear that you are still connected to some past, link-up hosts. I’m hoping that this turns into a site where relationships are formed and continue in the years to come. It’s awesome to hear that this is possible!

  9. I am just came to the realization that I can’t post every day. My goal is 3 times each week. I want to do as much as I can, but I don’t want to do it at the expense of my family and other obligations! I want to be supportive of other bloggers too!

    1. Hey Tara,

      Thanks for sharing this. I tried posting 5 times a week and had a difficult time keeping up. So far, three times a week–with Jenny’s help–has been much more doable and fun. It’s neat to hear that you are encouraging other bloggers and taking time for your family too. Finding balance is tricky, and it’s definitely something I’m continuing to work at. If you happen to find any strategies for this that work well, please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for ways to better balance family, writing, connecting with other bloggers, and life 🙂

  10. Thanks so much for the blog growth tips. I already write a post per week, but the bit about engaging bloggers everyday and seeking out the guest post once per month gives good direction.

    1. Hey Trena,

      Great question. My suggestion is to start by commenting on three blog-posts a day. For me, leaving a few comments a day was intimidating at first. I was worried about saying the wrong thing, and nervous about having my thoughts forever etched in cyber-space. Now, I love leaving encouraging feedback. It’s such an excellent way to build new friendships. Of course, leaving comments isn’t the only way to get connected to other bloggers, but it’s an excellent way to start. Wishing you an incredible week!

  11. Hey Jed,

    I’m a believer in the compound effect. I’m in the tortoise lane, but seeing the slow and steady pace produce dividends. To those new bloggers out there, hang on and keep at it.

    I started blogging in 2013 after reading some of Jeff Goins posts. I thought, I can do that. Then, in those first few months I wondered if or when anyone besides a few Facebook friends would read my posts.

    But I wasn’t ready for lots of traffic. I was still finding my blogging voice. I’d written for print publications but never for the Internet. I needed to learn how to headlines and content that would invite people to click through a Google search or social media post and read what I had to say. And I needed to learn the value of networking with other bloggers, like you.

    This month I will have almost as many visitors to my blog than I had in all of 2014. Why? I gotta believe it’s the compound effect of taking one step at a time.

    1. Hey Jon,

      That is incredible, and congrats on the blog growth! I know that when I look at how far things are from where I would like them to be, it is discouraging. Yet, when I step back, and look at how much progress has been made, it’s incredible.

      It’s been fun watching your site grow and develop over this past year. I’ve been picking-up a ton of excellent blogging ideas from you, simply from watching what you do. Of course, I love all of the family and life wisdom that you provide too. Thank you for all of the value that you’ve added to my life, and for the awesome example of the compound effect at work!

  12. I like the way you explained it it is definitely true-we need to work on it little by little! Now I just need to jot my stats down to see how much they increase at the end of the year!

  13. Once again, you’ve given us some great tips. And I love that you’ve incorporated something new that your readers suggested — that’s another sure fire way to grow engagement and community. I will also be taking the slow and steady route this year and can’t wait to see where God will take my blog. Wishing you blessings!

  14. I do the same things as you, but I never thought of it like that. I just remember when I first started, I heard that success comes from consistency. I am still fairly new to blogging but am having fun along my way. If anything, this gives me encouragement that I am on the right path to success. Thanks 🙂

  15. This blog post came at just the encouraging time.

    I just celebrated my one year blogiversary. 🙂 I experimented with doing daily features for about four months toward the end of my first year and received such a positive response and warm welcome. But the Lord was showing me that for me personally, I need to return to what I originally felt let to do, which was to write a weekly post. I will admit it was disheartening at first to see my numbers drop so quickly, but I had to remind myself that my blog is just about my own personal growth as it is sharing what I’ve learned with others.

    Your post helped me to put everything into perspective as far as “growing my blog”. I appreciate you sharing these insights and look forward to being a part of your link-up community.

    Thanks for hosting!

  16. I know I mentioned Michael Hyatt has helped me in so many ways to understand platform building, but Jeff Goins is another one who talks about guest posting all the time. I rarely do it because, in my view, I want to offer original content since search engines don’t like reposted content. That means more time than I really have, but you’ve encouraged me, Jed, to consider carving out more time for that–making it a priority over some other less effective pursuits. Thanks for this practical post and for the linkup, my friend!

    1. Hey Beth,
      Guest posting isn’t something that I’ve done much of either–although I do have two guest posts in the works right now. I’ve stayed away from this, for many of the same reasons that you describe. I’ll be venturing into guest posting more this year, and am excited to see what happens. I’d love to hear how it goes for you as well. Wishing you an incredible week!

  17. Great post Jed,
    Yes we have to do a little bit at a time. But I love engagement. That’s what makes the difference – to actually get to know people. It’s a pleasure coming to your site and getting to know you.
    Blessings,
    Janis

  18. I have to say I always enjoy coming over here and reading your posts. Great ideas on making that huge blogging goal manageable.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us at The Blogger’s Pit Stop.
    – Marie, Blogger’s Pit Stop crew

  19. I really appreciate how you broke down the steps so simply. Some days I feel like a chicken with their head cut off when blogging. Small consistent daily tasks to do would benefit me big time! I’ve printed out many a checklist – just need to implement them. Small consistent steps is my mantra with the habits that I’m finally trying to form this past year and upcoming. I need to make it a habit when it comes to blogging too!

  20. This is a super helpful post. I get caught up in the big picture or the end goal more often than not. It can be hard for me to break things down into little pieces or tasks to get them done. This is very encouraging.

  21. This is great advice! I like how simple the compound effect works. It makes perfect sense. Plus blogging is supposed to be a conversation. I think sometimes, and certain blogs, aren’t really made to be that way and it loses it’s effect. I mean, how can you really have a conversation about toilet paper you are demoing. 🙂 On the other hand sometimes it is the level of engagement that we all bring in our comments to the blogs that we interact with via blogs and also social media such as twitter, facebook, etc…

    1. Such great insights Brianna. I appreciate blog posts that are engaging and interactive too. Your right, I notice that I always get the most engagement when there is that personal component added in–as opposed to a review or purely informational post. Of course, this isn’t surprising because it’s also the type of content that I like reading best. Wishing you a fantastic week!

  22. Howdy!
    I have come across this at the perfect time. I have started blogging myself and this is my strategy. Staying consistent and engaging in other blogs and media to get to know others.
    My blog is new so I don’t have any good input on how well it “works” but I am sure it does. There is hard work involved. And so many give up when it gets hard the money isn’t coming. But consistency and relations is where it’s at. Or a really controversial post ????
    Glad to meet ya. I’ll be linking up 🙂

    1. Hey Caroline,
      Thanks for stopping by and linking up. Your comment made me laugh. Yes, a really controversial post would be another way of creating engagement. Perhaps not the type of engagement we would like, but that it another war of doing it 🙂 Wishing you an incredible week!

  23. Wonderful post, Jed, and sound advice! I fell into the trap of comparison early on, too. My partner and I started out blogging hoping to supplement our families’ income, hoping it would happen, well, “yesterday!” We found a wonderful Christian blogger and coach whose blog had skyrocketed, and hung on (a little too much!) to her every piece of advice…but not so much to our benefit.
    BUT, thankfully, God has been merciful. And as we’ve started listening to HIM and following His plan for our blog, things have gotten so much better…
    Thanks for hosting…looking forward to watching your blog and message grow 🙂

    1. Thanks Pat,
      Thanks for sharing parts of your blogging story. It’s exciting to hear that you stuck with it and that your site is moving forward!

      I followed a lot of blogging advice sites before getting stated and remember thinking, “This is going to be easy, all of these tricks and tips seem so simple.” Today, I’m learning that just because something has worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for me. And sometimes the strategies worked for these other bloggers because they had years of blogging already in place. I love hearing that other bloggers are growing their sites through hard work and intentional too–I think, in the end, this is what it takes 🙂

  24. I’ve been trying to remind myself of this. I’m all about the baby steps in every aspect of life, so it’s only natural that that would include blogging! It takes time to build good content and relationships with readers and other bloggers. Thanks for this encouragement!

  25. I love your example of the effect of compound effect of growing your blog. I used to think posting daily was the best thing to do. However, I’ve found posting 2-3 times a week really increases the quality of my blog posts and the readers have reacted well. I love the quote about the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!

    Blogging is about doing the little things day in and day out on a regular basis. I think writting good content, being consistent with publishing posts, promoting the content on social media, and engaging with others is key to building a thriving community. Fantastic post Jed love your content as always!

  26. Great post! I had that book on my list to read for my network marketing business but didn’t know it would be a good read for blogging as well! 🙂
    My thing is coming up with what to post about. I want to blog more consistently but have a hard time with what to write about that’s from the heart. A lot is also about hesitation about sharing more personal stuff. And so, I haven’t posted much over ALL the years I’ve had my blog.
    I need to just let Him lead me on what to write and relax. :

    1. Thanks Saph,
      Jenny picked this book to read, and we’ve been slowly going through it together. Although we didn’t get the book to learn new blogging strategies, I am pleasantly surprised by just how applicable these tools are. Of course, Darren Hardy has an incredible, daily video-blog, so makes since. I love your line at the end. It’s something I am trying to do as well–let Him lead and relax. Wishing you a blessed week!

  27. I love your baby steps, no-pressure approach to blogging! So often we try to eat the whole leg at once (the elephant’s!) and then we crash and burn. Slow and steady wins the grace. Great tips here. Visiting from Tuesday Talk.

    1. Hey Alicia,
      I agree. The words of encouragement, thoughtful feedback, and awesome ideas that I receive from others, have been a huge blessing. And this past year, it been exciting to experience online acquaintances, turn into full-blown friendships. Your are right, the blogosphere really can be a friendly place.

  28. Great words of encouragement for blog growth… I keep thinking I’ve been at this for three years already but I realize that I have only just started connecting with other bloggers and writing content that does not read like a daily diary page.

  29. That’s some great advice. Slow and steady instead of burning out. The thing that starts to make me discouraged with blogging is when I start to compare. That’s something I have to guard against.

  30. I love your example of pushups. 3,650 pushups sounds impossible! Wow! But then when you think about doing 10 pushups a day, it suddenly becomes totally rational. It’s like the old saying about eating an elephant – just take it one bite at a time.
    Thanks for sharing with us at 100 Happy Days! We’re thankful you join us each week.
    Have a great end of the week!

  31. I like slow, steady & consistent. Sometimes I find myself rushing around trying to do EVERYTHING that you are “supposed” to do to grow your blog. It is exhausting and takes the fun out of it. I will grow, one post & one relationship at a time!

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