What makes you a successful blogger? How do you know you’ve “made it”?
I’ve heard a lot of talk of this recently. People sharing tips and and talking about their achievements. Which is great for new bloggers who are ready to soak up advice and learn from people who have been blogging longer than they have.
But what classes as being a success?
Is it page views and unique users? Many believe that if lots of people read your blog each week, you’re a big blogger. After all, people care what you write, and they might even comment and send a link to their friends or their mum.
Is it a huge following on social media? If you have 10,000 followers on Twitter, you have really made it, right? People have invited you into their Twitter feed – they want to hear about what you’re having for tea (salmon and quinoa again? Go you…)
Making money from your blog! Now that must be what sets some bloggers apart from the rest. There are lots of people who make good money and some who even call themselves pro bloggers. They’re at the top of their game, yes?
Well actually, I think all of the above is lovely (hey, don’t misunderstand me – anyone would get a lovely ego boost from achieving any of them) but, possibly controversially, I don’t think any of these things mean you’re automatically a successful blogger. You see, my blog is my little area of the internet where I can write what I like and I will consider myself to be a successful blogger when every post I write is fantastic. I want to make people think, make them laugh, make them react in some way. They might not agree with what I’ve written, and that’s OK, but if my posts make them respond in some way, that’s bloody great.
The bloggers that I love draw me into their posts with their language, their ability to take me on a journey. Some take beautiful photos and allow me to have a glimpse into their lives and their homes. The blogs I read regularly make my heart skip a beat when I see there’s a new post there, all fresh and waiting to be read. They approach topics from an unusual angle, or they just say what so many others are thinking. I might read a post and feel inspired, I might feel a bit heartbroken, I might feel all warm and snuggly inside – but they all make me FEEL. That, to me, is what makes a bloody good blogger.
So if I could give other bloggers one piece of advice (and really, why should I do that, what do I know?) it would be this: write what makes you happy and write about what inspires you. The rest is all smoke and mirrors.
Love this post! I know you don’t write about blogging much but you should – you give great advice and I always sit up and listen (or read as it were) what you have to say. Ms Perry you are a PRO and your last tip says it all!
You’re always so kind Bonita x
Alison, this – as all of your posts are – is spot on. You’ve nailed it. You’ve also reminded me of a lot of the advice you gave me earlier this year when we first met. It helped me tremendously, and you were incredibly generous with your time and sharing your years of pro experience. Thanks for doing it here too! I really hope bloggers, and not just new bloggers, read this in their thousands and take it on board. I think we all start out wanting our own little corner of the internet, a place to write or create in in a way that is all ours. When have we made it? When we are doing just that, and when we have the courage and belief to keep doing that. I hope you know that you are one of those bloggers that you write about – one of the ones whose every new post makes so many of us a little bit excited to come and see what you have done. This one’s a pearler. (Girl crush continues…!) x
Mutual girl crush. Your blog is absolutely one of my favourites and I wish I had your skill of spotting a news angle and approaching it with balance.
This is absolutely spot on. I couldn’t agree more especially about the smoke and mirrors bit. For what it’s worth though, I definitely see your blog as being hugely successful. I must read hundreds of blogs every month but yours is one of the very few where I genuinely can’t wait for every new post 🙂
Great post and I totally agree. Sometimes it’s hard not to compare followers or stats etc but everytime I get a lovely comment from a reader it makes me so happy and even if there was only one of them then that would still make me feel successful x
So so true. I think most start off chasing stats, including me, and eventually you have to decide why you’re actually blogging at all. I love blogging just for blogging. One of mine has about 50 readers but I love it to bits and that’s what does it for me.
Such great advice! As a newbie on the blogger scene I think it’s easy to get caught up in the number of views/visitors and get disheartened by the stats if you don’t get instant traffic. Your post is a great reminder of why we choose to blog in the first place – very encouraging and uplifting – thanks Alison! Love your blog content.
Thanks for commenting Natalie. Glad this helped 🙂
One piece of very simple advice but so true. I think we cans get ridiculously caught up in all the rest of the ‘stuff’ us bloggers and loose sight of what we are about. I go through phases of this but always come back to your last point. What makes is ‘successful’ is unique to us, right?
Definitely. I think I remember someone at a conference saying that you are your own usp and it’s true.
Big phat thumbs up!
Thanks for writing this post, I think it resonates with new and older bloggers. It’s easy to become disillusioned with blogging if you feel it’s somehow not good enough or ‘successful’. This post reminds us to focus on what’s important xx
We all feel that way from time to time. As you know, I love your blog Kathryn so just keep doing what you’re doing 🙂
Love this, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve written a couple of similar posts in the past couple of weeks, having seen knickers get twisted about stats, scores and the like. It’s different strokes for different folks of course, we’re all human and want to know we’re liked and accepted, but with blogging ultimately you’ll be happiest if you do whatever is relevant to you, your life, your interests. That’s what will engage and move people, and keep your readers coming back for more. And if they don’t…your blog is still your own little cosy corner of the internet to talk about the things that are important to you xx
I think to easy to forget that our blog is ours and we can do whatever we like on it. And it’s so easy to get caught up in stats and numbers.
I’ve kind of given up on being a ‘successful blogger’ – there aren’t enough hours in the day to get a huge following, hundreds of retweets, seek out paid writing opportunities AND parent two small children. I’ve always written diaries as a way of expressing myself and I decided that when I became a mum I would write publically to break through some of the taboos I felt that mothers are faced with. Hardly anyone comments on my blog and I have three followers, but I get lots of private emails from other mums telling me they’re grateful for my honesty and how much I’ve helped them. That’s got to be something right?! So I carry on writing from the heart, not with a great strategy up my sleeve or money making schemes. Some things just need to be said.
Definitely. Emails saying you have made a difference to how someone feels is massive success 🙂
THIS. That is all. xxx
SO agree, Alison. It always seems to be the blogs that shout the loudest that seem the most successful, but my favourites are the blogs that make me laugh, think, or show me little peeks into their lives (obsessed with a couple of NYC mummy blogs 😉
Well said xx
I think you make a good point – those who shout loudest aren’t always the most successful. Some bloggers quietly do brilliant things and it’s exciting to seek them out and follow them.
Bang on! Great advice.
you’ve said what many others are thinking and it is very true and refreshing to hear, great post x
I love this, I have only been blogging since feb and feel successful because I am doing something I have always wanted to do, I love blogging. I have made so many new friends. Thats is how I have measured success yes the other stuff would be nice but its amazing how your perspective changes when you are doing something you love x