Blogging 101: Growing Your Blog

October 14, 2015

Hi-o, happy Wednesday!  We are back with another installment of the Blogging 101 series and today we are all discussing Growing Your Blog.  More than offering advice in this series, Lindsay suggested we talk about what has helped us the most on each topic.

blogging 101 series

Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Company

Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

Kristen from Bliss at Home

Emily from Emily A. Clark

and yours truly

For me there is one thing hands down that took my blog to another level in the growth department: the BHG Blogger Awards.

My blog was growing steadily but in its first year, a dear, sweet reader (whom I didn’t know personally, nor did I know she did this until well after the fact) nominated me for the Better Homes and Gardens Blogger Awards.  Out of the blue I got an email from BHG saying I was a top 5 finalist (wha?????) and I was in total disbelief.  The other bloggers in the final group were really impressive (Young House Love and Vintage Revivals to name a few– hello!) and I thought there was no way under the sun I would win.  I considered it was a total honor just to be nominated and cheered everyone in the category on. But then something completely amazing and utterly unexpected happened– the editors of BHG selected my blog as their winner.  Typing it still gives me butterflies.

Winning put my blog in a different category.  It opened doors (and continues to do so).  It connected me with influential people in the blogging world.  And it helped my blog catch the attention of great sponsors.

Shortly after that, Domino named my blog one of their DIY Blogs of the Year.  Again, such an unexpected and amazing honor.


Now, I’m certainly not saying you have to win an award to be a successful blogger but this is the pivotal thing that put my blog on the fast track.

I do strongly believe in one thing that I think is what made the editors of both of these prestigious publications gravitate toward withHEART: doing good, original work, and doing it often.  If plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, then there sure are a lot of compliments being passed around the internet, if you know what I mean.  I truly think if you want to stand out among the crowd, you’ve got to dance to the beat of your own drum, and not be afraid to do so.

A few more thoughts on blog growth: I’ve got to tell ya, nearly every time with very few exceptions when I’m able to meet one of the bloggers I’ve long admired I’m blown away by their kindness.  People like Megan and Cassie and Jen and Kirsten and Courtney and Jen (and the list goes on) and absolutely all of the women in today’s series lineup.  Without hesitation, these lovely ladies and many more have given me shoutouts and follow fridays and still do.  Now that, my friends, is the sign of truly confident, talented, and quality people.  I try to follow their example and pass the kindness along and I encourage you to do the same.  Instead of making the web a competitive place, lift up the other bloggers around you and I promise the benefit will come back around.  I love this quote from the wise and talented Erica Cook so much:


Why don’t we all try to embrace this philosophy?  Photoshop and constant reminders on social media can make us feel less than worthy but instead of retreating to a place of negativity, let us all try to lift someone else up online.  And with that, I’m throwing out a challenge:  this week, I’m going to give a virtual shoutout to someone new every day on Instagram using the hashtag #virtualhighfivewithheart .  Will you do the same? Let’s make this a week of good karma and online praise for this oh-so-talented and under appreciated community of blogging.

With that, be sure to check out the other ladies who are sure to have fabulous stories of blog growth we all can learn from:

Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Company

Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

Kristen from Bliss at Home

Emily from Emily A. Clark



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  1. Kristin says:

    OH, I love this Jen 🙂 Love what you said about passing the kindness around. It is so true, when you meet people who are so talented and are so kind and helpful it really is a game changer and makes you want to do the same in return or pay it forward. So glad I know you Jen Stagg xoxo

  2. Lindsay says:

    yes, I totally agree with Kristin! I love the idea that this should be a community of love, kindness, and support! Awesome post 🙂

  3. Thank you for this post. I am guilty of comparing myself to other bloggers. Great advise to dance to the beat of your own drum. I need to just be myself and put myself out there. Work hard and with integrity and when the time comes pay it forward.

  4. Jenna says:

    So glad I found this series, today! A big fat virtual high five to all of you who came together to put this series together! Blogging can be a bit on the lonely side sometimes and lots of hard work. Love how all of you have touched on originality. So important! xo

  5. Love the idea of giving others a virtual high five! One of my favorite quotes is “throw kindness around like confetti” – you truly can never have too much of it and thankfully, it’s not hard to clean up like confetti is! 😉

  6. Christine says:

    Absolutely love this and that quote cannot be more true!

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