Blogging success - bubbablue and me

Blogging Success – can we all have it?

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.

Blogging success - bubbablue and me

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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  1. I think success can be measured in so many different ways you’re right. The fact is though that the audience just isn’t there right now. If nobody is reading, then you might have to ask what is the point. Gone are the days of a blog having an average of 20-30 thousand visitors a month like you would expect say five years ago. I think audiences prefer to engage through social media especially Instagram right now.

    1. I don’t think there’s many in the UK who have ever reached those heights of views. I guess it depends what your aim is in writing a blog. I continue for me, IG is terrible engagement at the moment so I’ve dropped that pretty much, FB is hit and miss. If it’s interaction someone wants that’s definitely reduced over the last few years. If it’s quick likes and verification that way, social is the way to go. It’s certainly much harder work to stand out than previously, unless you’re very lucky or just hit a trend at the right time.
      Thanks for your comment

  2. Such a good post. I am so guilty of comparing myself to others, especially those who started at a similar time to me. I can get really down about it if I let myself but at the moment I’m just focusing on my pregnancy and toddler and so have naturally had to cut down from 4 posts to 2 a week, although I have been thinking about redoing my weekly roundup post because I realised the other day I’m not recording some lovely (and funny) things my toddler is doing at the moment. But for me it’s time. If i’m too tired I just don’t have the drive to stay up late or sacrifice time with my husband. But I think I could probably squeeze an hour in on a friday night again. Like you say it’s thinking about why you started. I looked back on my weekly posts from months ago and it made me smile, and realised that that’s why it’s nice to have them. They were my lowest read posts but they are more for me anyway. xx #SharingtheBlogLove

  3. This is a great post – lots of very sensible advice! I’ve had my blog for 4 years now (and I had a different one for 5 years before that) and it has grown steadily. I’m happy that I now make a small income from it but I’m never going to make my fortune from blogging because like you said, I don’t have a really specific niche, it’s just a general parenting blog. But I started writing as a family diary and as long as I want to I’ll keep doing that. The money and the opportunities are just an added bonus.

    1. That’s exactly how I feel about mine. I’d hate for it to turn into something too commercial and not about us. My dance blog on the other hand. If I could get that to pay the way for the 2 blogs that would be great.

  4. We think a lot of bloggers after conferences feel a bit deflated, but just as long as you are having fun and enjoying blogging that should be all that matters x #SharingTheBlogLove xx

  5. I have really enjoyed reading this – it was a breath of fresh air. I have periods where I’m really happy with where my blog is and feel content with how it’s progressing, and I have times where I feel like everyone else is succeeding and I’m not. I love that this post is honest and down-to-earth and realistic. Thank you #sharingthebloglove

    1. Ah thanks Lucy. Some people find it so hard to throw off and stand up for what they want to do instead of being carried by what ‘should be done’. So hopefully it helps lots of bloggers new and old to prompt them to remember why they’re doing it.

  6. My parenting blog is less than 2 months old. I started it as a kind of therapy and have told myself to ignore stats for at least 6 months if not longer. I see so many articles of people worrying about numbers that I don’t want to get drawn in. I’m a natural worrier and I know if I focused too heavily on numbers it would weigh me down. So for now I just blog and enjoy the benefits it brings me. The interaction I get is a pleasant bonus. If it leads somewhere in time that’s great. If it doesn’t at least my sanity will thank me for giving it a shot. #sharingthebloglove

    1. I think you’ve started with a really healthy attitude to it, it gives you the chance to get set up the way you want and not being forced into another route ‘because you should’. Thanks for stopping by

  7. Wow, would love to get 10k views, I’m currently on around 5k. For me one sign of success is relavent and sensible comments from people who obviously are interested in the topic. My real comments are gradually increasing but still most is spam.

    1. I was so close to 10k for 3 months last year, then this year hit and it’s been downhill all the way (I’ve stopped doing lots of competitions too which obviously inflates numbers). I still comment on people’s blogs, but I find people just don’t comment outside of linkies nowadays. Even regular readers don’t. My other blog gets all the comments and engagement on FB even though they’ve obviously read the blog. Very annoying – great for my FB page, but makes my blog look unread! I think mostly, real people just don’t comment. It doesn’t occur to them.

  8. I think it’s natural that with something like blogging you have ups and downs, and the downs always make you refocus on why you started in the first place and what you loved. And that hopefully brings back the motivation. And if it doesn’t, then it’s probably time to stop, or find new motivation. The numbers game definitely takes away the fun, and you’re spot on, no-one starts from the same place, so you just can’t compare, and it’s not healthy to. I’ve definitely eased off any kind of focus on numbers since having Ben, and I’ve found it’s been a nice break to just write what I want, when I want. And this week I seem to have had a sudden burst of inspiration – I’ve had so many ideas for posts from nowhere! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. That’s always good getting inspiration. I’m getting a bit thin on the ground – well I’ve got lots of post themes from ages ago, but not inspired to write the actual posts. I think it’s nice to see a reward and increasing numbers after putting in hard work, but I know I’m not this year at all. And IG removing the love from it isn’t helping. But I still love my blog and that’s why I write it. And everyone just needs to remember their own reason.

  9. I think people can get sucked into seeing just one way to do things and then their love for it goes. But there is no right or wrong way, there is just your way. I’ve had moments where I’m not sure blogging is for me, but when I sit down and look at why I feel like this its not my actually blog, which I love. It’s everything surrounding it and I take a step back. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  10. I love this post and completely agree with everything you’ve written. I think a lot of bloggers are guilty of focusing on stats and rankings, especially in the first year. I know I was and once I had an epiphany moment of realising that none of that mattered, and going back to why I started my blog and focusing on what I enjoyed about blogging, I rediscovered the joy of it. I do tend to blog daily – it’s a mixture of having short regular posts, a partner who works long hours (giving me free evenings) and time with both children in school/preschool for a few hours a week. I don’t feel pressure to post daily – I do it because I want to. I find taking a step backwards every now and then, perhaps having a blogging break and re-evaluating what I want from my blog helps. #sharingthebloglove

  11. I completely feel you with this. I’ve been doing it for just over a year and am only just feeling the toll of blogging. But I host a linky, a guest series and write 5 posts a week, Literally so much time goes into it, but its working for me and gets me a small income that now i’m being made redundant means this is my chance to up my game and finally do all the small time consuming things that I need to do but havent had time to do! #sharingthebloglove

    1. I think that’s it. So much time can be spent on it – I work full time and spend 5-6 evenings a week doing it and some weekends when N is out with his dad on the farm, with the only time off when I’m dancing or holidays when I can’t be bothered. But I choose to do it – so much easier than those who have to make the decisions because it’s their income. Good luck with upping it.

  12. I’ve been feeling the pressure lately & this came at the right time. I’m going on holiday next week & I’ve had it in my head that I need to have everything scheduled for the week I’m away but I’m starting to think that actually, maybe I could just go a week without posting anything! It won’t be the end of the world to have one week with nothing on my usual blogging days! I think the break might do me the world of good. Thanks for publishing this at just the right time. #sharingthebloglove

    1. Glad it helped. Hopefully it gives people hope when they’re feeling pressured. I always think I’ll get stuff scheduled. Occasionally I do 2 for a week, then spend a couple of hours while away and N is asleep doing more social media instead.

  13. I agree you need to know what is success to you. For me I started writing my blog 10 years ago to learn what blogging was and to practice writing for an unknown audience. For me I’m a success because people read what I write and I have changed my career based on what I’ve learnt from my blog. Of course there are other benefits like making friends and some money.

    1. Exactly. I think if you had a clear start point, sometimes we just need to go back to that. Sometimes it changes, and for people who start with the aim of making it a business then maybe there’s more pressure on them – but sometimes it’s an inaccurate sense of pressure. For even hobby bloggers, the skills you learn are invaluable in this day and age.

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