As bloggers we are often bombarded with ways to grow our blogs and our followings. You can sign up for webinar after webinar, course after course, and affiliate program after affiliate program. Each one is aimed at increasing something, whether it be your followers, subscribers, or income. Where I struggle, and wonder if I am not alone, is wondering what defines a blog’s success? What makes a blogger a successful one? What is success anyway? Do we all have different definitions, causing some of us to be more successful than others? Do we take someone’s advice because they are deemed successful? Success can be measured in a variety of ways. Let’s talk about the different ways one can define blogging success.
What Does a Blogging Success Look Like?
Ahhh…..the almighty dollar. Bloggers can sell courses, ebooks, printables, and just about any product they can get an affiliate link to. Income is widely used to measure one’s success. Look at all of the published income reports and you can see that bloggers will gladly share how much their digital products, classes, and affiliates are padding their accounts. It’s hard not to define a blogger as successful when they are consistently bringing in a 5 figure income each month. We see that and we oftentimes think that they know all of the answers. Surely they must, right? Look at what it has done for them, their blog, and their bank account.
To be honest and fair, I think that bloggers that are making that amount of money have in fact figured out a formula that clearly works for them. I don’t for one second doubt that it took lots of blood, sweat, and tears to get to that point and income level. Do I think that their results will guarantee me the same results? Not at all. Everyone can have the same recipe for success and have a different outcome.
I have read amazing blog posts and found that many lack in comments. Is that reflective of the blogger or blog? I don’t think so. I know that I am often reading blogs on the go and don’t have the time to log in, or truth be told, many times the energy to log into a commenting system so I don’t comment. Lazy, I know.
Then there are the comments that are left but really took no effort to leave. You know the ones…the “Great Post!” and the blogger is quickly gone.
I’ll let you in a little secret that more than likely is breaking some blogging rule that I have decided to snub quietly on my blog. Go ahead and click over to my popular posts page. See those posts? I have absolutely no idea what the page views on them are. I can find out if I wanted to. I can give you the numbers if you want them. Those posts? They may not have high page views but what they did have was a higher number of comments. More people could relate to those posts and therefore in my opinion, that made them popular. Are there other posts that had higher page views? I bet there are. This leads me to the next gauge of success.
Stats are the death of me. I don’t know and don’t check to see daily page visits, unique visitors, or anything else that Google Analytics will proudly display. The only time I ever look is if I am applying for a program or affiliate network. Stats clearly mean a lot in the commercial world because if you don’t have the right numbers and visits and demographics you are completely shut out of many campaigns.
Many of us have the social share buttons at the end of our posts. Many of these buttons have counters attached to them, visible for all to see. Does the number of shares indicate a successful blog? Sharing is easy to do…with one click your post can be shared with thousands of people. Do you see a post with hundreds of shares and think “Wow! This blogger has made it!”?
Grow your list! Grow it now! The new push is to have high amounts of subscribers. Here’s something that rarely gets discussed: you may have tons of subscribers but they can hurt you financially especially if they are not even opening your emails! Most email service providers charge you based on the number of subscribers you have. I have yet to find a blogger that has a constant high open rate on each email. Let’s say that 60% open your emails. The other 40%? You are paying for them and not even getting an open.
What defines success to me with emails or newsletters is not the open rate at all. I define a successful campaign by the number of people that take the time to reply to that email. I absolutely LOVE when someone replies to me and lets me know what they think or want or felt. Perhaps that’s a small thing for some other bloggers but to me that means so much.
Many bloggers are now also engaging with their readers via You Tube. The number of subscribers is quickly becoming an indicator of one’s success as well.
How do you define success in blogging? Click To Tweet
Success can easily be defined as the numbers of followers you have on social media. You can have thousands and thousands of followers but to me that means nothing. I can follow tons of people and still see the same people in my feed over and over and over again and never see the other thousand people I may follow.
Your Own Sense of Pride and Accomplishment
Based on all of the above, success would seem to be defined by a numeric value. For me though, which to me seems kind of empty.
There’s a whole sect of bloggers (myself included) that make very little money off of their blog. Personally, a success for me is when I receive a comment or a shout out from someone saying they can relate to what I have said or that they learned something. Do I get tons of comments? Not always. Do I get shares? Sometimes. The best standard of success for me, at this point in my blogging journey, is often internal. The alert that I have a comment still makes me smile. Someone wants to sponsor me? That blows my mind that they would choose to work with me when there are literally thousands they can choose from. A brand wants to send me a product to review with my stats as they are? Unbelievable!
Despite my lack of thousands of followers and subscribers, at the end of the day, if I am proud of something that I hit publish on, then I am thrilled. I started this blog as a gift to myself. I never had the intention of making it big or making it my income. Do I fault those that have both of those things? Not at all…I applaud them for their success. No matter where you are in your blogging journey, being able to be proud of something you have created makes you a success in my book.
How do you measure success in the blogging world and with your own blog?