How to Grow a Business Organically (A Serious Conversation)

“How to grow a business organically?” is the million-dollar question.

That’s because organic business growth is sustainable growth…

But not many people know how to grow their brand this way.

So, they usually choose the quicker option – inorganic, paid growth – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…

…But it’s not sustainable, either. And it can cost you huge amounts of upfront money with little return.

What’s the difference?

  • Inorganic growth methods (e.g., paid ads): You basically pay to exist. Anywhere you want your brand to appear, and how often you want to appear, you pay each time.
  • Organic growth methods (e.g., content marketing): It’s more about investing back into your brand. You invest in content creation, you focus on attracting and building an audience through content, and over time, your business grows.

That begs the question —

Which one is better? ⚖

Believe it or not, I’m not against paid/inorganic growth! But the #1 method I recommend is learning how to grow a business organically.

You can pay to play while you wait for your organic methods to turn around, but you MUST do organic, too.

Why?

You’ll go further in the long run. And, as long as your investment in organic growth is strategic, you’ll see more out of that investment than you would with inorganic growth over time.

(Content marketing through blogging is a particular organic growth strategy that pays dividends long-term. It brings in 3x as many leads as outbound methods like paid ads and costs 60% less to execute.)

What does growing a business organically look like? How do you dive into organic growth?

Let’s cover every detail. 💯

grow a business organically

What Does It Mean to Grow a Business Organically? (Video)

Organic growth is all about this, first and foremost:

Arthur Ashe quote

With organic growth, you leverage what you already have:

  • The unique mix of your expertise and experience
  • Your existing resources
  • Your reputation
  • Skills and tools
  • Current relationships, including those with your existing audience

All of these things can be poured into your content marketing strategy, which will grow your business by growing your audience and reputation.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve grown several businesses organically.

My first business was a writing agency which I grew 99% organically to over 20,000 keywords indexed in Google and 100,000 visitors/month. I sold that business in late 2021, and by that time we were making about $90-100k/month.

My second business – this one, The Content Hacker! – is one I’m in the process of growing organically. Since my agency exit, we have doubled down on strategic content that brings in rankings. Since then, in just four months, we’ve jumped from a few hundred visitors/month to 1,500+ visitors per month. (Our goal is to reach 100k/month in two years.)

Now, could I speed up my content output to five blogs/week and get to my goal faster? Absolutely. But that’s not sustainable. At that breakneck pace, we’d just end up flatlining.

Right now, a sustainable pace for our content production is 1-2 blogs/week. With this schedule, we can produce high-quality content that doesn’t add to the noise – consistently.

free training

I’m all about that slow, sustainable organic business growth because it works.

Specifically, it works when we count on the following five elements.

Watch me explain in this video 👇, or keep reading for an in-depth discussion.

5 Elements You Need to Grow a Business Organically

1. A Growth Mindset

It makes sense that to grow organically, slow and steady, you need a growth mindset.

Otherwise, you’ll give up too soon. And that would be a tragedy – because once organic growth starts paying off, it snowballs. 🍧 (Did you know the lifespan of a single blog post is two years? That amounts to eons on this fast-paced internet. That’s when you’ll earn rankings, traffic, and engaged leads on autopilot with the right optimization and strategy behind you.)

In short, a growth mindset is one where you persist despite setbacks. You understand that slower growth will lead to a stronger, more sustainable business in the future. You’re prepared to do the work required to build your brand, and you’re prepared to be in it for the long haul.

2. Knowing Organic ≠ Passive or “Set-and-Forget”

Don’t make the mistake of conflating organic growth with “passive” growth. There is no such thing.

And, no, you can’t “set and forget” organic growth, either.

Again, this hearkens back to that growth mindset we just talked about. In this mindset, you’re always looking to improve what you’re doing. You’re always looking for opportunities.

For example, at CH, we’re never done optimizing our website. We have a WordPress developer we work with every few months to help us optimize everything from site speed to broken links. It’s never “done.”

The same could be said of your content, your opt-ins, your CTAs, even your branding and voice. It’s all about seeing what works, what doesn’t, and what needs tweaking, and then doing it.

Tweak, fix, optimize, improve – that’s what the organic journey is all about.

3. Steady, High-Quality, Different Content Production

Growing your business with organic content marketing is totally possible…

But not if your content is forgettable or useless.

Millions of blogs get published daily. 90.63% of them will get zero traffic from Google, and by extension, zero traction and zero results.

90 percent of pages get no traffic from google

How do you avoid getting lumped in with this statistic?

You need to invest in steady, high-quality, different content production.

  1. Steady: Consistent. Regular. A new post goes out to your audience at a set interval, and you stick to it. (Note: “Steady” is not the same thing as “a lot.” You don’t need an avalanche of content; you need a steady sprinkle of rain.)
  2. High-quality: You share useful, helpful information targeted to your specific audience. It’s clear, well-written, well-formatted, well-researched, and engaging.
  3. Different: Don’t just create same-old, same-old stuff. Don’t regurgitate information already shared in your industry umpteen times. Don’t copy what your competitors are doing. Have something unique to say. Add value to people’s lives, not more noise they will ultimately tune out.

serious business owner

4. The Right Organic Business Growth Strategy

Let’s be real. Organic growth will never work for you if you don’t invest in a strategy and set the right goals/expectations.

Strategy is everything. Without it, you’ll set yourself up to fail.

It’s like attempting to make a beautiful loaf of sourdough bread 🍞 with no knowledge and no method to follow. Where do you even begin? What ratio of flour to water do you need? Should you use yeast? What’s the method for letting your bread dough rise? What temperature should the oven be? 😵

Similarly, organic growth requires careful planning and a good method. You need the right ingredients. And you need to execute them effectively to reach the results you want.

You can’t expect to get to page one of Google without a strategy. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a mess.

cooking disaster

By the way, overnight success is NOT the goal with an organic, content-first approach. BUT – sometimes your strategy can give you surprising wins.

A student in my Content Transformation System got to the first page of Google in one week thanks to the strategy she learned in the program.

cts student ranking #1 with cts strategy

When you learn a great organic strategy and execute, results like these can happen – and it’s never about luck, but rather that you followed a plan and saw it through. 💪

5. Patience, Persistence, and Time

Once your lovely organic growth strategy has come together, you need to set it in a warm place to rise not once, but multiple times. This requires patience and care. 🍞

Seriously though, baking bread and nurturing an organic strategy are SO similar. They both need a fair amount of patience, persistence, and time to become something beautiful.

You may be tempted to kill your strategy altogether if it doesn’t look like it’s working. This is tragic because such a moment often precedes the magical time when success kicks in.

On average, with content, that will take anywhere from six to nine months.

Your baseline success might look like this:

  • Increased traffic from Google
  • More leads coming in
  • A more deeply engaged/trusting audience

And if your blog posts/lead magnets are optimized correctly, you could also expect:

  • Increased conversions
  • Increased sales!

…But if you self-sabotage and kill your efforts too soon, you won’t see any of the above come to fruition. If you get impatient and start tweaking your strategy to death, you’ll get a similar outcome.

The key, instead, is to start with a solid strategy you believe in. Then you can confidently leave it alone once every piece is in place and know, without a doubt, it will grow into something magnificent – like a perfectly risen, precisely baked loaf of artisan bread. 🥖

Seriously: You Can Grow a Business Organically

Growing a business organically is the #1 way I choose to grow my own brands.

I choose to focus mostly on organic growth because I’ve seen how well it works – not just for my businesses, but for my students as well.

Organic growth isn’t as fast and flashy as paying for ads. You won’t see immediate results. You won’t be an overnight success.

Instead, your success will be slower but steadier. You’ll build sustainability into your business. Success might come later, but it will be lasting, and you’ll have a better chance of reaching year 2, year 5, year 10, and beyond. 🚀

Strategy is integral…

…and strategy is just one pillar of what I teach inside the Content Transformation System.

This innovative coaching program gives you the systems, skills, and support you need to reach your goals, too.

Ready to get more out of your life by building a powerful digital business through content marketing — a business and marketing plan that DOESN’T suck you dry? My coaching system for creative entrepreneurs teaches you EXACTLY how to do just that.

Apply today to get started with The Content Transformation System. 🔥

About Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an entrepreneur, 6x author, and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and brand presence that lasts online. At 19 years old, in 2011, she used her last $75 to build a 7-figure agency, Express Writers, which she grew to $5M and sold ten years later. In the 2020s, she's devoted to running The Content Hacker, where she teaches creative entrepreneurs the strategy, skills, and systems they need to build a self-sustaining business, so they are finally freed up to create lasting legacy and generational impact.