There’s a stat that 90% of blogs started don’t make it to a full year of blogging. Given I’m 6 (or something like that) years in, I can understand why. Achieving blogging success can be a time suck unless you’re just writing as and when for yourself and not doing all the associated promotion that’s needed. Unless you’re lucky enough to be discovered and become a blogging celebrity.
In the last year I’ve been surprised at how many bloggers have talked about feeling down about their blogs, feeling pressure that they’re not successful and compare themselves to other successful bloggers saying they feel they’ll never be successful. These include bloggers who I’d regard as being well thought of within the blogging community, and who I would guess are more successful than me in terms of stats and engagement on their blogs.
Maybe everyone needs a boost and a reminder that it doesn’t matter what others are doing. Blogging success is down to the individual, their needs and wants. And isn’t much to do with anyone else.
What is blogging success?
Blogging success depends on you
Everyone measures success in different ways, and much will be dependent on why you blog in the first place.
I blog here ultimately to have somewhere to record what we get up to that we can look back on in the future. A bit of pocket money is nice. For me success is enjoying writing my blog, having others enjoy reading it, making enough money to make a bit of profit and ideally to grow each year. This year is looking worse stats wise than the last 2 years, but does that mean I’m not enjoying my blog. I’m still in or around the top 100 in tots100. I’m still getting offered opportunities, and finally I’m earning some (if small amounts) through affiliate links. I’m still not breaking even due to conferences and courses I pay for, but I still see my blog as something to be proud of.
If you blog to make money, success will be different – more about hitting monetary targets and maybe less focus on enjoying it.
Stats don’t mean success
Bloggers worry about rankings, increasing their DA, missing out on awards, and not getting opportunities like others. But really does any of it matter.
New bloggers need to get over DA. Write a consistent blog for a decent amount of time and your DA will go up. You don’t need to spend all your time writing guest posts, working on back links. It just happens. Spend the time writing good stuff for your own blog.
Stats are great if you’re a numbers person and you’re learning from them – like what posts do well, what’s the referrer you need to keep doing well, or improve on. But if you get caught up in it, let them go.
Don’t compare yourself across genres
Remember all blogging genres have different levels of stats anyway.
Food bloggers have great stats and so do craft bloggers. Because those are the things that people look for via pinterest and search engines. The parenting bloggers who do really well on views, from my finger in the air, are those who have something big that people are searching for. That could be writing about disabilities, allergies, specific parenting issues that lots of new parents worry about. If you’re the only one writing about it, you’ll get found and your views will be much bigger than those who write about the everyday. Similarly, write lots of reviews and you might find you’re the one at the top of google when people are searching for the items.
Remember that US bloggers can be starting out and have huge views compared with those in the UK who’ve been blogging for years. In the UK, over 10k views a month is pretty good (I’m still trying after 6 years, after nearly getting there last year!), but in the US that’s beginner level. They just have a much bigger immediate audience.
Time spent blogging doesn’t make a big blogger
Lots of bloggers blog daily and burn out. Others continue to blog daily. But not every renowned blogger blogs daily. One blogger who trains people has had her blog for a few years, with 200 posts, hasn’t written anything for ages but still gets hundreds of thousands of views each month.
Only blog what you can. If you don’t have anything to write then don’t. I write pretty much daily because I have a stack of post ideas I want to get down. On my other blog I only write 3-4 times a month and for the small niche it’s bumbling along.
But don’t think everyone blogs daily – this is a falling trend with more people blogging less frequently. If you ask bloggers who blog daily, ask them how they do it. They might be SAHM mums or full time bloggers with kids who’re now at school. Or they might write a lot of short posts (hello Living Arrows and My Sunday Photo linkies!), sponsored pre-written posts, or based on press releases that need no research or very little editing/photography. Or they might have partners who work away a lot (or all the time), giving them freedom in the evenings to work all night.
Luck and circumstance comes into play
Remember that while some of the bigger bloggers have slogged away day in day out, there are others who have worked but also lucked out. Get a few mentions on the Daily Mail and Metro, that helps. Get noticed as being an artist and being naturally funny to be shared all over social media. Come from a PR or marketing background with supportive networks, you’ll get your name out there faster.
Not everyone can be those bloggers – for starters they had something unique that made them stand out. Discover what your USP is and work with that. If you don’t have a USP then work out where you think you can get to and strive for it in stages.
Take a break
There’s no shame in giving up your blog. As long as you’re giving up for the right reason and not just because you’re not successful. If you’re not reaching the heights you’d hoped for, rethink and regroup.
Do you need time out?
When you tell people you respect that you’re giving up what is their response?
Maybe you need to rework your goals?
Think back to why you started your blog in the first place? Have you changed too far from that for it to be enjoyable?
With blogging there’s a lot of comparisons people can make. It’s human nature to wonder ‘why haven’t I achieved xyz?’ or being annoyed that new bloggers come in and have great success while others are just plodding away. We need to remember that we should be blogging for us and we shouldn’t have to get upset or frustrated due to it.
How do you feel about blogging at the moment? What do you see as being successful?
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