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depth and reach
March 14th, 2012     |    LifeThink About It

Today I’d like to return back to the post It’s Not Over Yet and continue the conversation in a slightly different way. That post, which is about recognizing that we may feel like we need to be successful online rightthisverymoment, hit home for many people.

So now I’d like to propose a new way of looking at our blogs – and lives. Rather than constantly pondering whether our reach is “big enough,” we should also be looking at the depth of our actions. It is often assumed that a wider reach breeds a wider influence, but that is not always the case. Rather than constantly focusing on how fast we are growing, what if we start looking at how we are helping the people following our blogs right now?

What about finding gratitude and meaning from the fact that someone tried our recipe and added it to her recipe book for years to come? What about the person who found the perfect little black purse in your post? What about the person who wears the earrings you made to give her the confidence she needs when she interviews for a new job? What about the person who got the courage to paint her bedroom yellow after seeing how great it looked in your home? What about the person who has the courage to follow their dream thanks to you sharing your own journey to do the same?

That level of impact, I feel, is more important than statistics. That level of impact is what usually brings us to our computers each day. And although we might see a few indications of this, we can easily undervalue that depth in favor of being “popular.”

I see myself do it sometimes, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Of course it goes without saying that popular is not a bad thing, in fact, popular can bring about more improvement in more people’s lives. But it is not everything.

Helping people should be the focus on any scale.

Further, we must look at our lives outside of blogging as well and reflect on our overall impact. We cannot hinge our self-worth on our online persona when the impact we can have in the real world is usually much deeper and lasting. A mother’s influence on her children is miles deeper than in the blogosphere, and for good reason.

Our lives and value are infinite, blog reach is just a drop in the bucket.

 

  • Amy

    Jess, I want you to know that you have been helping me a lot lately. You’ve always inspired me in so many ways, and lately I’ve been reading your blog posts regularly and going through your old posts whenever I need a boost of encouragement.

    As I try to de-clutter my life and exfoliate things, I picture you cheering me on! And you’ve also given me great perspective and encouragement as I try to find a worthwhile job.

    Your energy and outlook on life inspire me every day. Thanks for being you!

  • Traci

    Love the statements “Rather than constantly pondering whether our reach is “big enough,” we should also be looking at the depth of our actions. It is often assumed that a wider reach breeds a wider influence, but that is not always the case.” Applies to everything we do.

  • This post really hit home with me, especially the last two paragraphs. Thanks for helping me re-evaluate my priorities.

  • Janelle

    Love this post, Jess. I feel like I read a lot of blogs, but the ones that I really get excited about reading every day and look forward to seeing new posts from are the ones that inspire me – that I relate to in some way. I think you have such a good point, and while I don’t (yet) have a blog of my own, this is something I’ll definitely keep in mind. When you are able to make an impact in just one person’s life with even one tiny detail, all of the fame and popularity don’t really matter anymore. You’ve been able to do that for me on numerous occasions and still do, so thank you for that!

  • Hi Jess – I think this is a well-written and thoughtful post. I agree that as blog owners/writers we should value the depth of our actions over the popularity or numbers. One unfortunate thing about that realization is that many readers (and I am also guilty of this) do not give the positive feedback to other bloggers as much as we should. I have a hard time seeing the depth of my actions if no one tells me that I am reaching them… although I’d like to believe I am making an impact on some further than just showing them pretty clothes or outfits… it’s tough if no one gives you that feedback. So I vow to give more positive feedback via comments, emails, etc, rather than just writing on someone’s blog “I love that dress!”…. I think the key here is to make a change in our own actions so that we can help realize it more ourselves. Thank you for your constant inspiration to dig deeper, think harder, and enjoy more. YOU are impacting me.

  • Thank you so much for this perspective. Needed this today.

  • I am really enjoying the latest posts, Jess. You’ve been inspiring me and they’ve been encouraging and on point when I need it most, and sometimes just the gentle “kick in the pants” I need.

    I agree with others that sometimes it is hard to tell your impact because it’s so hard to get people to comment these days. Thus, you end up having to measure based on likes, or repins, or numbers, when that’s really not what you want it to be about.

    I made a goal at the beginning of the year to comment more on the blogs that continually publish great content and inspire me, and yours is definitely one of those. Thank you for always giving me something to think about!

  • Wow, I really needed to hear this and couldn’t agree more. I’ve started going to a meditation class and had the realization that not only am I just scratching the surface in my practice but also in my life (relationships, business, passion, etc.). A realization that this is just the beginning. Just yesterday I began asking myself “how can I dig deeper with my blog and business? How can I move beneath the surface?”.

    Now thanks to this post I’ve realized that digging deeper doesn’t necessarily mean going wider or further. LOVE IT!

    Thanks for the posts – which are always great!

  • fantastic! This echoed another blog post I read yesterday, saying about FB fans. So what if you have only 100 people liking your page. Affect those 100 people. They have taken the time to be interested. Well written!

  • You’re awesome, as usual! If it makes a difference, I hope you know that I always find your posts to be extremely meaningful and motivating. I always feel like it was worth it when I stop to really read and think about each word in your posts.

  • Your ability to encourage and inspire me every single day is absolutely amazing. Currently my blog is often very image-heavy and I don’t always say that much, but I’m realizing that I could have a greater impact if I included more analysis of the images I choose of interiors, why I like them, why they work, and how to incorporate things into our own homes. I’d also LOVE to have more original content… somehow. I keep making up excuses not to move in that direction, mainly (1) it would take more time that I don’t feel like I have, and (2) who am I to give advice when I’m just an amateur myself?

  • Jess

    Thank you all, so, so much for your thoughts on this topic – it’s a tricky one to keep in mind sometimes! And also thank you for the kind words about MML, I appreciate it so much!

  • I SO needed this!
    Everynow and then my blog bums me out…usually it’s brought on by jealousy over other blogs popularity…and then I get making excuses and getting frusterated. I told my husband last night that if I lived in a City (or 7hrs closer to one!!!!) my blog would be able to grow so much more (because then I could go to meet ups and interact with people and businesses). Of course moving just so my blog can grow is the silliest thought ever…not going to happen!!
    I love the idea of focusing on how we’re helping people as opposed to how our blog is growing. Everynow and then I get emails from Facebook friends telling me how my blog is their guilty pleasure and I inspired them to try something new….and the joy I feel when I read those messages is incredible, but then I lose focus again, and start thinking too much about numbers…ugh! It’s a bad cycle. But this really sheds some light on things. I need to stop focusing on how well the girls that live in the citys happen to be doing, and instead be grateful that while living in a very small town very far from the fashion world, that I can somehow still be connected to that world…and that I have many people who do love reading my blog, and enjoy seeing what a girl living in Northern BC wears to the post office, grocery store and playdates (yes a very exciting life I live!! haha).

    Thanks so much for putting things into perspective!! I know that every now and then I’ll still think the wrong way, but hopefully I can always remind myself of this post 🙂

    xoxo

    Natasha ~ TashaDelrae.com

  • Amazing post! This post came in very helpful as I’m thinking about starting my own blog. I am thinking about what the content should be, and I want to have my blog reflect me and not anyone else. I want it to be me, and go with my values, and blog with integrity 🙂 So I will definitely have this post in mind. Your amazing Jess so don’t stop what your doing. I enjoy reading your blog every week.

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