how to organically grow your blog

Lately I’ve had a few bloggers and wedding vendors ask me: how did Burnett’s Boards grow so much so fast? It’s a really strange and hard question for me to answer because in my eyes and in my mind it’s still small and it certainly didn’t grow fast.

Since this week marks Burnett’s Boards 2nd blog-birthday (yay!) I figured I’d try to come up with a decent response, and after a couple of weeks of thinking on it, of reviewing past blog posts and 24 months worth of editorial calendars – all I can say is that it grew organically.

Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on:  http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/

I went from publishing only inspiration boards literally every day of the week for an entire year (yes! That’s all my entire first year was) to a blog with 12 different categories of features. The evolution has come slowly and naturally and that’s what I wanted to share with you here today.

I’m a firm believer in things happening as they should and when they should. Yes, there’s some planning and prep that goes into it and YOU definitely need to make it happen, but things will happen when they need to happen and let them happen organically.

It’s just the way it is.

Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/

You may start out blogging about one thing in particular, but as you grow and your blog grows, your interests will grow and change with it. Never feel like you have to corner yourself in just because ‘that’s what you’ve always blogged about.’ If you lose your passion by stifling your interests, you will become bored with your blog and so will your readers.

I remember sitting at a French restaurant here in Hawaii with Morgan of Moana Events and I was stressing out over whether or not to publish a certain post… whether it ‘aligned with my blog content or not’ and I’ll never forget what she said to me:

She said, “it’s your blog, you should blog about whatever you want!”

And she’s so right.

Armed with that realization I’ve really allowed Burnett’s Boards to expand beyond inspiration boards and into various avenues of the wedding industry that I’ve become passionate about.

Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/

Here’s a rough breakdown of how it went:

0-11 months – Inspiration boards & only inspiration boards.
12 monthsAlea Lovely sent me a fashion editorial and I thought – why not? So I published it & more followed. It turned into a regular Friday feature.
13 months – By now I had taken on a few advertisers so I added Vendor Spotlights.
14 months – Featured my first styled shoot & I fell in love. Inspiration shoots now constitute a majority of the content here.
15 months – Because of my new-found love of inspiration shoots I started taking WEI’s Wedding Planning & Design Course in order to learn how to style them myself. I ended up turning what I was learning there into an event design & styling category.
16 months – The fashion category expanded to include bridals, beauty, and boudoir shoots.
18 months – I finally felt as thought I had hit my stride with blogging, so I started blogging about blogging (there’s a tongue twister for you).
19 months – While talking to my friend Lindsay about her search for the perfect wedding dress I came up with the idea for the Inside the Boutique Series.
22 months – Expanded on the few engagement features I’d published…
24 months – At two years the newest development has been adding a few real weddings & planning & executing inspiration shoots with my vendors (which has been such a thrill!).

For the future I’m thinking honeymoon… I’ve had one honeymoon feature thus far and it was such a fun one I already know that I want to feature more of them.

Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/

Anyway – the point in all this is that it wasn’t rushed. And I’m glad it wasn’t rushed. I feel as though if I had started out wanting to blog about anything and everything I wouldn’t have found my voice, my niche, or my tribe and Burnett’s Boards wouldn’t be what it is today.

Yes it takes time. No, there’s no shortcut. But if you love what you’re doing it will fly by and you’ll enjoy every step along the way.

The best piece of advice I can give to any blogger who is just starting out is to not rush it. Don’t add a ton of categories to your blog just because everyone else has them. If you love flowers, blog about flowers. If you love dresses, blog about dresses. Blog about them so much that people call you the best flower blogger, or best dress blogger around.

And from there – let your blog expand organically with your own interests. It’s a great way to stay passionate about what you do!

Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/ Tips on how to grow your blog organically with a spring inspiration shoot from Anastasiya Belik Photography | see more on: http://burnettsboards.com/2014/03/organically-grow-blog/

I’d like to give a big mahalo to Anastasiya Belik Photography for sending me this gorgeous editorial titled I Am The Spring to feature along with this article. This inspiration shoot was inspired by the Morcheeba song of the same name and the fleeting but beautiful St. Petersburg sunshine.

Be sure to check out the entire editorial here & more from this dream team of vendors here.

***

Photography: Anastasiya Belik // Concept, Styling, & Calligraphy: PEONY Art Decoration Studio // Floral Design: Marina Shentyapina // Hair & Makeup: Masha Fufaeva // Furniture: STUDIO 12 // Model: Katerina Linde // Venue: PEONY’s Studio in St. Petersburg, Russia.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.

Comments

  1. This beautiful shoot is the perfect choice to illustrate your post! It’s definitely funny to see how other people perceive growth. 🙂

  2. Love your inspired words and advice with great pictures that suited perfectly! i’m moved! 🙂

  3. Your enviable evolution in a pretty little nutshell! You forgot to mention that you’re pretty much superhuman and have amazing curating and editing skills. I’m looking forward to seeing BB grow even more, and I totally think you should pursue those honeymoon features!

  4. Seriously one of the most beautiful shoots I’ve ever seen. Great advice. I’ve always enjoyed your candidness. Cheers to anniversary #2 🙂

  5. I love this post, because I am constantly changing direction and focus too. I love to see how everyone evolves and grows in their own way!

  6. Thanks for sharing your story Sara! Reading great blogging tips here, at Rock n Roll Bride and at Independent Fashion bloggers (they have wonderful tips regardless of what industry you’re in!) along with a few other blogs, have helped me a great deal in charting my path.

    I also try to remind myself that it is a journey not a race which your story so eloquently illustrates. I love what you said about staying true to yourself- when you do, you will also attract the readers, collaborators and advertisers that really get your message and want to be a part of it.

    Last year, this was actually the first wedding blog that I ever commented on. Coming out of my shell has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people in this industry which has been vital for my growth and development. When bloggers like you give back to the community as you have, creating a supportive, learning environment with articles such as these, you are definitely helping others to spread their wings. So I really hope that as we newbies learn to fly, that we will take others with us so that our community can also grow in strength and quality.

  7. I love this post. As a newbie myself with one year in I am just now finding my true voice and now coming up with new ways to grow. Thanks so much for allowing us to see a snap shot of how you grew.

  8. You really couldn’t have picked a more perfect visual story to go along with your own! Beautiful imagery!

    So proud of you and all you have accomplished. It’s happened organically and because you’re crazy humble and would never say it (which is what I love about you), I’m going to be your horn tooter for a moment because I can… lol You have a good heart. Period. Amazing things happen to those who give, especially to those who never expect anything in return. You deserve every bit, Hem! <3

    Hooray to everyone's evolution, taking chances, and blazing trails… all the while rocking out cat mom propaganda! 🙂

  9. I think I just fell in love with you! Great advice! Great advice that I am going to take. Will definitely blog more of what I love even if I did blog the same kind of topic the day before :)) XxX. Sonia

  10. I read this earlier but didn’t have time to leave a comment so I’m back to tell you how wonderful I think every word you wrote is. I agree wholeheartedly and it’s clear you’re doing it 100% right. Happy blog birthday!!!

  11. Happy 2nd birthday! So fun to see what the pivotal moments were for you! As Chelsea said, from the outside looking in, there are also many things that seem to be the essence of who you are that I’m sure have helped organically attract your audience that you may not even realize and would never toot your own horn about. You have such an eye for beauty and can make the most abstract idea a beautiful board – it has become your unmistakable signature. Also, your honesty, approach-ability, and principles shine through in everything you do, and I know it’s what makes me regard BB as one of the “gold standard” wedding blogs! Congrats on the sustained growth and birthday! You’re a *very* advanced two year old!

  12. Happy blog birthday – loved this post! It’s been so fun to see your blog grow! I think we followed a similar evolution in that we both started with inspiration boards and then expanded from there. I too was super conflicted about whether to branch out from just inspiration boards to include other categories. Glad I did! I feel renewed and inspired and it’s been fun to take the blog in other directions!

  13. What a wonderful post Sara – and so inspiring. I’ve love visiting your blog and seeing each unique post you put up. I love how you say to start out small and grow from there. It’s not an easy thing to do when you start to compare, but it really is the best way to keep your blog focused on what works for you, the blogger. And, I don’t know how you do it every single time – but you ALWAYS have the most perfect photos and/or photo shoot that perfectly relates to the article you are writing. Happy 2 Years!!!!!!

  14. Wow, I’m so stunned that Burnett’s Boards is only 2 years old! I’m just starting out in the world of wedding blogging and I’m so passionate about it that sometimes I do feel like I’m trying to run before I can walk. Your words have given me so much inspiration to do things at a pace I feel more comfortable with and not to feel like I’m losing my blogging battle because I’m not featuring stunning real weddings yet!

    Thanks, and please keep doing what you do, it’s so wonderful!

    Claire x

  15. Yay! Happy blog birthday, that’s awesome. Congratulations! You’ve achieved so much in these two years and have so much to be proud of. Good for you! I hope you enjoy every second and take some time to appreciate all your achievements.
    Thank you for sharing your journey, I always enjoy these “behind the scene” posts each time you run one.
    (Ooh and I absolutely adore that accompanying shoot – the mood and the greens are just plain gorge!!!)

  16. I remember when we both first started out in this crazy world of blogging; it’s been great to see how your blog has evolved the last two years and you deserve every bit of success! You always have a wealth of information to share!

    Happy 2nd blog birthday!! Xo

  17. Great post….Happy Blogiversary!

  18. I really enjoyed reading your blogging experience! My cousin and I have been trying to figure out the “voice” of our blog Posh Purpose – very stressful! I really like your approach of blogging about what interests you and letting the blog grow along side you. Thanks so much sharing!

    • Aloha Bri! Yes I think it’s really important to just let your voice happen – a true ‘voice’ is something that can’t be faked. Thanks for your sweet comment! xx

  19. This is great Sara! I love how you invite us all to get to know you, and share your passion with us!! You are such an inspiration!!

  20. Congratulations on your 2 years, great post!!

  21. Congratulations on the 2 year anniversary! You have done an amazing work, and I think 2 years it is actually quite fast.

    I started my blog 4 years ago as a Style blog with fashion advice. Between my Bachelor and Masters, I lost quite a few readers. Now I want to try again but focusing on wedding color palettes since I am a Certified Image Consultant.

    Anyways,, it was very nice to find good advice from a professional wedding blogger. This post is the only one you can find online related to this niche. I wish you much more success and please don’t hesitate to stop by at http://www.glamthings.com and connect(:

    Best Regards,
    Yelena

  22. Congrats on 2 years! I’m curious on what blogging platform you use? WordPress, Weebly or Blogger? And did you ever switch?

  23. This is such great advice for beginners like me.. I often end up feeling confused about what to write about and not write about..It makes sense to concentrate on a strong idea and then let it grow into other ideas.. 😀 Thanks..

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