A Realistic Approach to Blog Growth for Beginners7 min read

The vast majority of new bloggers give up within a couple of months, and it’s only going to get worse.

The main reason for this is that, when you’re just starting out, it feels like you’re writing in a vacuum. With no readers, no social proof, and virtually not enough content to incentivize first-time visitors to subscribe to their blogs, beginners are also feeling a strange disconnect between their excitement for the medium and the reality of the game they’re playing.

And it is this excitement that often drives them to set unrealistic expectations, and then disguise them as “strategy” or “goals.”

So, how many readers should you expect to gain during your first months as a blogger? How do you set realistic goals? How do you measure success, especially if you’re just starting out?

That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

1. Little by little, a little becomes a lot.

With no prior audience, the novice blogger often encounters one of two outcomes:

  1. They rapidly grow to the “magic” threshold of 100 followers.
  2. They struggle to gain enough traction to get those numbers.

Either way, as you build a portfolio of work and refine your content, you will begin to realize that explosive growth is mostly a myth.

What is realistic?

Aiming for a growth-rate of about 5%-10% per month.

It’s not impressive by any means, but the numbers slowly begin to add up. There’s a compounding effect at work, and that’s what you should be aiming for.

A hundred readers becomes 300 within the span of 12 months and almost 1,000 after another year.

That’s realistic.

Dreaming of going viral or of winning the SEO lottery is not.

Writing 2 years to gain 1,000 readers seems like a bad investment, but beginners often fail to realize a few things:

  1. We’re playing a game of Monopoly. The winner takes it all.
  2. Most popular blogs within any given niche are usually at least 5 years old, with a great deal of them having been launched in 20211-2012.
  3. Most of the popular blogs have an impressive portfolio of articles (hundreds if not thousands), each of them acting as an way for readers to discover their work, as an incentive for those readers to subscribe to said blogs, and as a tool for growth (as more people discover those articles and share them on social media or reference them in their own articles.)

That being said, what is a beginner to do?

Well, consistently publish quality content.

This accomplishes a couple of things:

a. Each new article is a new opportunity to generate traffic, get distributed, and even be linked to by other bloggers.

b. Consistency is one of the determining factors for growth, especially among loyal readers. This means that you should aim to offer readers the chance to build and develop habits around your content by being as consistent as possible.

2. Focus on your entire body of work.

The novice blogger often gets discouraged because their individual articles fails to drive meaningful conversation around their specific topics.

In other words: there are few likes, shares, and comments on each article.

Then, most often than not, the novice blogger gets discouraged by graphs like this one:

The fail to realize that the close to one million views per month are for a portfolio of over 3,000 articles, some being 8 or more years old, some driving insane amounts of traffic from search engines.

That being said, the beginner blogger should focus on…

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