What is a successful blog?

Is it a blog with a lot of followers?
Or is it one with a huge number of pageviews?
Does it matter how many unique visitors your get?
Or is it more important to have many readers returning?

I sometimes wonder “What is success for a blogger?”

My blog is now nine months old,
with a slowly growing number of followers.
My commercially minded husband and children often wonder,
what am I doing?
When will I start making money out of bloggingsmall_2456360869 (1)

Now the truth is, and please don’t tell them if you see them,
that I don’t think I ever will!
Certainly not out of “my thoughts on a page” anyway.

This blog is like my diary,
it is an itch I must scratch.
I need to write, and I love to write.
The day I wrote the post,
“Hello I’ve posted is anyone out there”
and I got almost sixty “likes” in one day,
was the biggest thrill ever.
However no part of this screams commercial.

So what to do?

I was wondering today as I was reading the blogs of others,
which would make me more excited?
An email saying “You’ve been published”,
or one saying “You’ve earned thousands this month from your blog”.

Now again this is between you and me,
but it was actually an easy choice.
You see I’m broke, Christmas is coming,
and I’ve two children living away at university….
So obviously I choose,

“You’ve been published!”

I sat quite stunned after I realized what I had chosen.
It was a eureka moment.
Almost every day for nine months I’ve written a post.
I’ve learned what I like to write about,
and how I like to write.
Yet today was the first time I understood,
what I really want.

You may wonder how I have got on with my dream to date.
Have I been let down before?
How have I dealt with rejection by publishers?
Or a poor critique of my work?

Well actually if truth be told,
I’ve never had the nerve to send anything out to be even looked at.
I have writers bloc of a different sort.
I seize up at even the thought of it.

But I am determined some day to reach my goal,
now that I actually know it.
So that is why I am “fessing up”.
In order to put some pressure on myself,
so that I at least think about it seriously.

I cannot believe how cowardly I am.
It is not part of my usual nature,
but maybe that is why I really like to write.
Maybe inside I am not quite as confident as I pretend to be.

So today I am asking you my readers,
What do you think?
Have you any tips or advice for me?
Were you ever in my shoes?
What would you suggest?

For myself at least it is good to know,photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/astadiego/2604098063/">astadiego</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
that for me success on this blog will be,
the day I get an email saying,
“We will publish your piece”.

On the other hand,
for my husband and children success will be,
the day I begin a new blog,
of a more commercial nature,
which will be a little more likely,
to bring in a bit of cash!

I suppose success means different things to different people.

photo credit: astadiego via photopin cc
photo credit: lawtonchiles via photopin cc

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39 thoughts on “What is a successful blog?

  1. For me success is enjoying my writing, everything else is a bonus.
    As you know, I’m self publishing a book which was inspired by a blog post. I can’t comment on self publishing versus traditional publishing but from what I’ve heard, unless someone knocked on my door, I wouldn’t have that patience to find an agent and face all the rejections. Grab the bull by the horns has become my motto πŸ™‚

    1. Ha ha Lorna, a motto very in keeping with your book title “Would you marry a farmer” ( Is that right title?) In fact it is people like you who have really woken me up to think about doing, not wishing.

      1. I think it is since I became more contented and happier in myself that I made myself wake up to what I wanted. I don’t want to arrive at 80 and discover I never wrote the book even if not many people read it. There’s lots of competitions (a friend Angela Carr often posts them on her facebook profile) or join a writers group or I’ve just joined a writers group on Linked in which is good – let me know if you would like an invite.
        Thinking of you all and the little warrior xx

        1. Thanks Lorna. You are so right. What’s stopping me. I just need to get going. I’d love to join a writers group and if you think it would be okay I’d love an invite.
          All of this is of course just passing time in my life as well know, I am you still consumed with what is happening in Dublin with the warrior. Thanks for your thoughts, he’s hanging on in there and still fighting.

  2. Success does have a different meaning for each person. I often feel pressured to read everything in my e-mail. I don’t mind reading (and I read a lot) but when I open a blog post that I’ve already read three to six times because it has been re-blogged over and over I get frustrated. I just came back after a two-week vacation to update my office and I clarified my goals as well – I cannot be a serial blogger. I like reading your blog, though. You are, for the most part, very upbeat and positive. I do suffer from depression, though, so when things get sad I tend to stop. Not because you are not a good writer, but because you are. Am I making any sense?

    1. Thanks and I’m delighted you stick with reading my blog. As you know things are sad in my world at the moment but I really try to balance it as I am more than aware there is only so much misery anyone could want to read. Most have enough in their own world.

  3. I think if you’re truly happy with your blog without compromising your beliefs then it’s a successful one!i think you write beautifully so you shouldn’t be afraid to seek publication if that’s what you want!

  4. I’ve been doing this for four years. I never considered making money off of this. But I do “wish” for readers and feedback. I “wish” for something I write to touch someone or make someone laugh. My last year has been more successful than my previous three years (combined probably). I’ve learned things about blogging over time, but I’ve learned by mistake. I have read others who post advice. But the things that are advised don’t speak to me about writing, they speak to me about blogs. Sometimes I get down when I realize how many followers I have, but how very few of them actually ‘read’. I am thrilled when people read, and respond. Even “likes” and smiley faces make me happy, because I know that the person saw what I wrote and appreciated it. I feel successful when someone reads and it means something to them.

    That’s not to say that if someone read my words, realized how brilliant I am, and paid me – it would make me happy. But mostly because of the appreciation of my words. The money would be a bonus. πŸ™‚

    1. I love your posts. They are so different, varied and thought provoking. Yours are among the posts I rarely miss. I know what you mean about followers and readers. God knows how many read my blog compared to how many have signed up. My number one reason for blogging is writing but then once written I’m demented hoping for readers.
      I do think though that I will look to get something published, even an article or story. I just have to figure out where to look. I’ll get there though, I just need to push myself.
      Isn’t blogging great though. I love that I have met bloggers like you.

      1. Thank you Tric. I have to laugh at one of your comments: ” but then once written I’m demented hoping for readers.”

        I have reached demented myself! πŸ™‚ I try to talk myself in to believing it doesn’t matter. And some days, it doesn’t, when the comments are engaging and thought provoking the numbers don’t matter as much. But when there is the sound of crickets….that demented process starts. πŸ˜‰

        I too, love the bloggers I’ve met. Especially those Irish ones. πŸ˜‰

        1. Occasionally I write a little too much as I speak! πŸ™‚ It is funny what can trigger comments and what leads to silence. It is impossible to guess, or maybe we’re a bit slow!

  5. i am very much like you, in that i have a very hard time with self promotion. not that you or i or any other writers don’t deserve to be published and make money for our work, but for me it is a part of my dna, writing is an activity which brings me great peace and joy and is an outlet for my creative expression. i love the give and take of the blog format, the human connection. i will most likely never make money from it, but i can honestly say i have loved it and that is worth something.

    1. Yes blogging is a great medium, like a writing class without too much critique! I am totally hooked. I love the fact I have some regular readers who will add to the conversation, like yourself. πŸ™‚

  6. Just be you, write from your heart, challenge yourself and take advantage of your strengths.
    I have seen blogs take off like rockets as far as the stats are concerned but perhaps it is because they use every possible sharing technique. I don’t share my blog on facebook and I don’t have a twitter account, etc. WordPress is my canvass. The feeling I get after creating a post along with the responses of others are my rewards. My passion for writing has only begun. As far as making money from writing, all I know is that I would not compromise my integrity to do it, but if it happened, that would be amazing too.
    Good luck with your journey of writing, wherever it takes you. πŸ™‚

    1. And you with yours! I do share on twitter but up to a few weeks ago never went on it. Now I enjoy it but am a poor contributor. If you ever join just look me up.

  7. This is how I see it: I write because I have to, because it’s my need and my art. The rest is gravy. And if I feel the need to get published, then I have to figure out how to do it.

    It’s the writing; it’s always, ever, the writing.

  8. Let me know when you publish – I’m looking forward to reading more!! I don’t blog for money, or for numbers. I blog because writing’s cheaper and better for me than a room in the funny farm. I enjoy the company of the regular bloggers who read my drivel, and I still get a kick out of getting new followers (well, real new followers, as opposed to money-making sites masquerading as blogs). I would like to publish one day too, once I’ve finished the book… Self-publishing appears to be the best solution, and some authors actually get discovered that way (Stephen Clarke’s first novel was self-published, and now he writes for Random House…).

    1. We’ll be rich and famous together! Just have to figure it all out first. I do love blogging though and meeting like minded bloggers. Ah maybe in time we’ll look to be published, not for money but just to know we could.

  9. sixty LIKES??? wow, I’m filled with envy!! (although my blog is much younger than yours, and no where near as thought out and accomplished). Thank you for giving us something to aspire to! πŸ™‚

  10. Good friendships, cheese, wine, writings and sauerkraut…
    …all mature slowly

    I suspect we will all find in time, that the true measure of a blog will be the conversations and the friendships it inspires.

    But we are all part of a conversation which started long before we did, and will still be going after we end. I guess one way of measuring a “successful” blog is as part of that conversation…

    The moment will come when, exposed like the emperor, we are forced to confess we really do have no clothes

    1. I have met so many great bloggers and had and continue to have many great conversations. By your yardstick I must be a great success! Thanks, your comment adds to the conversation. πŸ™‚

  11. Many times blogs I’ve subscribed to (yours being one of them) I delete before even reading, because I choose my other vice (sewing) over them. There are only so many hours in a day. But I’m amazed at how many frustrated “wannabe writers” there are among bloggers – myself being one of them. I’ve pretty much given up on my dream to being a published novelist, but still often ponder taking a writer’s course or winning a writer’s contest. I have submitted essays and articles to various contests but have never won anything. Guess, I’m just not very good. Oh well, I still enjoy the domestic arts more anyway. I’m broke too, but content.

    1. I wouldn’t say you are not a good writer because you do not win a competition. Writing is subjective. That is what I’ll be telling myself anyway if ever I get to the stage of being rejected.

  12. tric, my featured blogger last weekend was ‘the Blogging Mama’

    check out this post of hers – http://lyndzeerae27.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/me-plus-three/

    perhaps you could follow her path?

    have you a local newspaper or newsletter you could contact and ask if they would be interested in publishing some of your writing –

    you could offer to submit a post for their consideration ‘- free of charge’ if need be, on a weekly/monthly basis ?

    the important thing is to get published – a first foot on the ladder

    you already have your position of Irish Blogger finalist to brag about

    if you can add publication of your posts in a local newspaper to your CV, you could be well on your way to securing some well-paid writing engagements

    1. Thanks a mil Duncan. Some very sound advice here. I think I am nearly at the stage where I am brave enough to make that connection with some publication to inquire on my behalf. I expect I’ll have to get a thick neck but maybe some day I’ll be published.
      Thanks as always for believing in me and encouraging me. It really means a lot.
      I’ve had a glass of wine and feel very brave. Maybe I should begin to drink during the day! πŸ™‚

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