Defining Blogging Success

Successful bloggers are passionate and purposeful writers, who have something original and meaningful to say; they say it well and they say what they have to say, often. Successful bloggers are organized and manage their time well.  However, success may be defined in many ways, so how do you determine whether you are on you way to becoming a successful blogger or not?

Your own personal success is what makes you and your blog’s achievements unique. You need to know how to get to where it is you want to be.  And, you have to be proactive to get there.

What are your blogging goals?
Are you achieving them?
How do you define blogging success?
Do you measure blogging success in terms of likes, followers, email subscribers, stats, shares, comments, income, something else, or a combination of factors?
What would you do to make failing blog a success?

In Psychological Foundation of Success, Stephen Kraus synthesizes decades of research on success, happiness and well-being. His book is positive, motivating and easy to read. Kraus states true success in life isn’t rare because people are weak or lazy – it is rare because people use flawed strategies.

“Success occurs when your dreams get bigger than your excuses.”

One of the easiest traps to fall into to avoid taking action is paralysis by analysis. The most powerful thing that you can do to increase your chances of success in anything are to develop the mindset and habits of initiating action and being prepared to adapt, rather than finding reasons to avoid acting.

Krause’s 6 observations:

1. Successful people are a little crazy.

2. Successful people are overly optimistic.

3. Successful people are flexible thinkers.

4. Successful people look to mentors and role models.

5. Successful people take risks.

6. Successful people ask questions.

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, is the bestselling e-book by Heidi Grant Halvorson published by Harvard Business Review Press.

The purpose of the Nine Things Diagnostic is to give you a better sense of how much you’ve used each strategy in the past when trying to reach your goals, and which areas you may want to pay particular attention to.

Halvorson’s nine things:

1. Get specific.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go.

4. Be a realistic optimist.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good.

6. Have grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle.

8. Don’t tempt fate.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do.

37 thoughts on “Defining Blogging Success

  1. I just wanted to thank you for writing this blog. Liz at ec.cen.tric referred me to you and it saved my blog. I honestly thought blogging was just about writing, but from your blog it is clear that it is so much more than that. It is about connecting and building trust and relationships. You changed my life as a blogger and writer. I am so happy for you that your blog is such a success. Your positivity, warmth and expertise are evident in everything you say. Thank you!

  2. Great post, and timely. I tend to get “analysis paralysis”. I’ve found that I need to step away from a piece I’m writing and let it rest for a day or two before working on it again. I’ve also found that blogging on a too-frequent basis – i.e., blogging because I think I should, not because I have something to say – is a tremendous drain. I’m not going to measure success by how frequently I post, but by how meaningful my posts are.

    Thanks for this!

  3. Very good advice, not just for blogging, but for careers and life goals in general. Reading through both columns (nice coding, btw), I recognize several things in myself and others that ring true being noted here. Well done, and thanks for posting this!

  4. I, too, loved: “Success occurs when your dreams get bigger than your excuses.”

    Also: “paralysis by analysis” rang a distinct bell. What a delightful expression! Ironic that it sums up a truly debilitating habit: thinking up all the reasons we shouldn’t do something.

    And if I may say so, your wise counsel to Hamza was possibly the best part of the entire post:

    “Don’t let your vision for your blog become clouded and don’t let your attitude become jaded,” and your caution not to label things as obstacles and respond to them with anger.

    Self-righteous anger and cynicism are two of the worst kinds of self-sabotage. And you don’t have to be young to fall into those traps, either. Sadly, I speak from experience.

    One of your best posts, TT, thanks.

    1. Thank you for retruning, Hamza. Granted my physical health is extremly fragile and I try not to dwell on that but I’m not as fragile emotionally as you may think I am. I was not offended by your first comment. I could hear your anger and pain too. We share anger and pain with friends and sometimes we listen to their advice. I hope you listen to mine. :)

  5. I have to admit it would be nice to be Freshly Pressed in order to be quickly exposed to a larger group of readers. But that is an unrealistic blogging goal, so I content myself with a slow rise in readership and the wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas with a group of interesting people who I’ve met through blogging. To me, that is personal success.

    1. Your blog is a success and so are you. Your strong social skills that compliment your photgraphy and writng skills perfectly. Being Freshly Pressed does bring in a traffic flow but consider this please. A wave of traffic primarily comprised of people who click in and out on the same link skew your stats by creating a huge bounce rate and no blog benefits from that. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2009/11/24/ten-strategies-for-reducing-bounce-rat/ The few people who may choose to become subscribers are the only redeeming feature of having a post publicized in Freshly Pressed. My preference remains gaining subscribers, who I can get to know better gradually, as opposed to witnessing a crowd that rushes in and out never to return to my blog again.

    1. Hi Liz,
      I hope those powerful words that struck a chord with you yesterday are still resonating today. Thanks for letting me know they did.

      1. Yes, I have thought of them often. They are stuck in my mind, along with many other facts from self-improvement books. Although, I cannot stop the drinking of the wine…oh, I love a good glass of wine. Although, I have learned that wine and blogging do not ever go together. I put your name in my WordPress post. If you do not want it there, please let me know and I shall delete it right away.

        Best Regards,

        LizEccentric7

  6. @kasturika
    You didn’t sound foolish. Didn’t you read

    6. Successful people ask questions.

    .
    Hey TT
    My goals of expanding my blog were crushed into pieces. I had a thought to upgrade CSS on my blog to give it a professional look. But I’m unable to do so because my country is not valid for Paypal. I can’t add a domain either.
    Anyway I believe the best blog is the one where host has good relations with its guests and there is a favorable community environment. Not the blog where you just blog and blog and blog without being noticed. I was gathering a good community and followers from the forums until they got deleted. I don’t like this destruction of community. You can’t realize it because you have a huge following and your own blog’s community.

    1. Please allow me to be frank. One does not require either a CSS upgrade or a domain to create a blog that gets noticed and becomes successful. Don’t let your vision for your blog become clouded and don’t let your attitude become jaded.

      Recognize that those two things (CSS editing and a domain) are not obstacles, unless you choose to label them as such and respond to them with anger.

      I’ve had a lot of life experience. I know how to rise above challenges and still succeed. You are young and your blog is also young ie. it’s an emerging blog and you are an emerging adult. Don’t grieve what you don’t have because those things don’t prevent you from blogging and attracting a readership. Choose to celebrate what you do have. Use the free features skillfully. Choose to focus on what you do have — put more out, expect less in return and you will be pleased with the outcome.

  7. I liked the aphorism: “Success occurs when your dreams get bigger than your excuses”. As long as one follows through! I do like Kraus’ advice. However like alot of people we just bumble along in life with some attention to his points. Or sometimes at different times of life, we just forget which is only human.

    Writing a blog does indicate a dogged persistence and even optimism to find something worthwhile to capture in words.

    1. I like it too – bigtime.

      Your last sentence resonates. Until very recently I did have blogging goals. The primary one was to publish twice weekly on both blogs but it wasn’t the only goal I had. However, the last few months have been very difficult ones for me. I’m grieving my mother and my brother’s death and my health has crashed — again. I need a little rest break to recover. I do have to work, of course, and I’m struggling to get my contracted work done but blogging is my pleasure, so, as soon as I’m up to it I will set new goals and doggedly persist in blogging on.

  8. I, too, was going to ask about the columns (or take a peek at your code). I’ll have to try this. I don’t like struggling with tables. Thx!

    1. This theme is a responsive width theme so I used the code for creating two columns for flexible themes. Panos has an excellent wordpress.com resource blog that I try to make other bloggers aware of. It’s full of tweaks, tips and workarounds.

    1. Hi Susie,
      I thought both books were interesting and wanted to share a little of what the author’s had to say in them. So I tried to isolate some of the points for my readers to consider. I also wanted to provide the link to the Nine Things Diagnostic as I find it to be an excellent tool.

  9. What great questions. The thing I love most about blogging is its ability to make writing social. So often writing is a solitary act, but blogging is inherently interactive. It’s important to remember it’s just as important to network with other bloggers, as it is to focus on your own writing skills. Blogging marries the two. That may be what I love most about it.

    Gosh, almost forgot, also LOVE the delightful people I’ve met and friends I’ve made through blogging. I love to actualize the blogosphere in my life, meeting other bloggers in person, etc.

    Love this post!

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    1. The social aspect is one of the key reasons I began to blog. I do very technical contracted writing work that doesn’t provide any social opportunities. I’m a taciturn introvert and blogging has helped me become more social online. Through blogging I have met such wonderful people, like your Kathy, and though I’m not likely to ever meet any other bloggers in person, I feel their friendship across the miles.

  10. Admittedly, I’m a little lax on this issue when it comes to blogging. I don’t really have any goals in mind, per se. I just spew. It is interesting that a certain number of people do appear to read my spewing. Which I appreciate. But as you have probably noticed, my articles are all over the place. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re serious, sometimes they’re sad. They’re often sarcastic. Sometimes they’re irrelevant. That was sort of the idea behind the title. I guess that was the thought behind a “theme” but I haven’t stuck to it always. If I wrote this for money, it might be different, but monetary compensation was never my goal. I’m just some dude sounding off.

    My novels, that’s different, there’s the serious work. And maybe I’ll create separate blogs for them someday. That would be cool. If I ever finish the series.

    1. I enjoy your spontaneity that you refer to as “spewing”. You have a lively mind and you have both good writing and research skills. Consequently, we readers never know what to expect but we do know whatever is published will be interesting. Though I do contracted work that has nothing to do with what I blog about, I have never blogged for money and never will. I blog to connect, to share what I know and to learn from my readers what their needs are so I can address them. I hope you do complete your novels and I wish you all the best with your blog too.

  11. success for me is that I continue to post almost daily which is helping me with my depression. It is also about helping other people and when people send me emails saying I have inspired them that for me is a success. Thank you again for a wonderful post!

    1. Given how busy our lives are and how little time we have to devote to blogging, I think for many of us publishing fresh posts is our major focus. It’s beeing validated by readers as you have described that provides the inspiration to keep blogging on. Thank you for your comment and best wishes for blogging on.

  12. I agree success can be defined in many ways and for me managing to post something twice a week can feels like a success in itself. I suppose readership is the yardstick by which I measure my blog’s success. Yes,of course, I would love a huge readership (which I don’t have) and I do check my stats way too often – but one of the things I did when I set up the blog was to set a figure below which I would not like my daily readership to fall. As I set that figure at a very very low level I don’t often feel despondent when I check my stats.
    However I would also measure my blog’s success in other more personal ways. I would say that blogging has: improved my writing (still a work in progress); made me more observant of the world around me; and honed my critical thinking skills.

    1. I really appreciate your thoughtful comment. Like you managing to post something twice a week can feels like a success in itself to me. And I strongly identify with your final paragraph as well. Thanks so much for commenting on this post.

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