This post is a perfect example to me of the convergence of my love for writing and blogging. The post began as five reasons why no one cares if you are an A-List Blogger and then evolved into a simple Q&A.Â But midway into the Q&A post I realized that I didn’t agree with what I was writing. Midway into it I learned a few things about myself and had to stop and smile because this is part of what I love about blogging. I love this opportunity to write down my thoughts/ideas because I learn about how I really feel.
I write them down and gain clarity as to whether my ideas are based upon logic or just arbitrary decisions that stem from who knows what. People like to think that we are rational. We like to think that our actions are based upon logic but far too frequently that simply isn’t true.
My initial thoughts on what constitutes the definition of a successful blogger is that it is a subjective question and that most bloggers probably haven’t thought about this. I still maintain that it is subjective and that most haven’t thought about their personal definition of success. However where I changed my thoughts was in regard to whether people enjoy setting goals for themselves.
I don’t like planning out every aspect of my life. I don’t like relying upon calendars, alarms and or reminders. As I sat here writing I thought that setting goals for blogging sounded far too much like work and that people wouldn’t like it. But as I thought it over it occurred to me that this wasn’t entirely true for people or for me.
I am constantly setting goals for myself. I have objectives that I wish to meet and things that I want to do. In the gym I work towards certain fitness goals. On the basketball court I work to improve my game so that I can do XYZ. Here in the blogosphere I work to build my brand, increase exposure and generate more income from blogging.
And most of the time I enjoy all this. Kind of funny to me to think about it, but it doesn’t completely jibe with how I think of myself, but it is true.
Have you ever thought of what your definition of a successful blogger is?
Cathy April 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm
I consider myself in my blogging infancy. I haven’t set any goals. I have, however, thought about why I do this and pay attention to what I like out of blogging. I write to gain connection, to be social and participate. I also like, as you do, the clarity I gain when I write about something, especially those really emotional somethings. I judge myself by my stats unfortunately because I think that’s wrong but I can’t seem to pull myself away from thinking that if I’m not saying anything worth reading and commenting on, then does it have value. Ah, c’est la vie.
Jack April 22, 2011 at 9:54 am
It is not unusual or abnormal to pay attention to the stats. It is always nice to receive feedback. Even though you may not have set any goals it sounds like you have a clear understanding of why you are blogging and there is a lot of value in that.
Bill Dorman April 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm
Yes it was way down here………….I can’t talk, I have no bells and whistles on my blog site.
Define success; I have seen some really good bloggers who toil in obscurity because they haven’t built their network. They think content along will drive traffic. How long will they continue to produce w/ no feedback.
I took the time to engage, people got to know me, and now I drag my lame ass link around with me. I had 40 comments (incl my replies) on my last post. Successful, not in the big scheme of things, but as little as I do to drive traffic I thought it was pretty cool.
I see people who have a similar productas mine, but they have taken it to the next level and they are promoted on all the ‘right’ sites. I consider them successful and they worked hard to get there. But now that they are ‘in’, how much of it is just ‘blow you away’ content and how much is it because they have reached a certain ‘status’……..just askin’………………
I’m not trying to monetize so my goals are probably a lot lower than most but I am enjoying the journey. Thanks for getting back to me on the ‘fix’. Good to see you……..
Jack April 20, 2011 at 11:56 pm
I am glad that you were able to comment. I really do believe that this is subjective and that each of us must come up with a definition that works for us.
I see people in the same space as me who have far more comments and presumably more traffic than I do and I ask myself whether I care and does it matter.
It matters insofar as whether I can learn something from them but aside from that it really doesn’t. Some of this is no different than identifying the popular kids in school. you can’t always say why they are popular, just that they are.
So you determine what is important to you and work from there.
Anyway, it is always good to interact with people who are enjoying the journey. Surrounding ourselves with happy people is in my eyes a smart thing to do.
jotter girl April 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Success is in the eye of the beholder. I measure my success in how I feel about blogging. As long as I crave coming to my blog and writing a post, then I am successful. When blogging does not succeed in making me happy anymore, I’ll be done. When I am done, I have not failed…..I have just reached the level of success that I wanted. Everyone’s measure of success is different. Having only a bazillion followers and dozens of comments is a measure of success but not necessary to consider yourself successful.
I succeeded in using the word success 9 times in this comment. 🙂
Jack April 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm
You succeeded in leaving a comment that successfully conveyed the definition of success that you need to feel successful. I like it.
muskrat April 20, 2011 at 9:10 am
What’s an A-lister in this context? I don’t know. Not sure I care, but I suppose I should, right?
Jack April 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm
I think that the definition for that is subjective too. Depends on what you think success is.
Abby April 20, 2011 at 6:19 am
I agree with IzzyMom in that I can’t blog on a schedule either, as a) work/life tends to get in the way and b) if I’m not struck by some sort of inspiration, I refuse to post just to post. It would be a much different story if I was making money off my blog, but I make more money by recycling plastic bottles than I do from my blog. It’s a labor of love 😉
That said, I feel successful when I was able to convey whatever it was that drove me to my computer with that itch to scratch–those thoughts I felt I had to get out before they were put on the backburner or thrown completely off the stove. Sometimes it’s to make people laugh, sometimes it’s to make people think, sometimes it’s simply for me (more often than not.) Half the time people misinterpret something and I get frustrated, but then I remember that my “success” is not dependent on the approval of others.
But like I said, my definition of success would be different if blogging were a means of monetary compensation.
Jack April 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm
Half the battle is trying to identify what it is that you want out of blogging. If you know what that is than you can figure out how to make it happen. I understand that need to convey a message- sometimes it just burns.
IzzyMom April 20, 2011 at 5:11 am
My goals are simple…write something and hope it accomplishes what I actually wanted to convey, whether personal or otherwise. I can’t blog on a schedule. I can’t get up everyday and force myself to feel like writing. I write when I’m inspired or I can’t get something out of my head and I know writing will help sort it all out. Like you, I learn a lot about myself when I write on a personal level. As for success, I’ve already been there and I can tell you that as soon as it started to feel like work, like I was expected to churn out semi-brilliance on a regular basis like some kind of machine, I felt pressured and even blocked at times. The alternative, which would be writing *just* to have something new up, made me feel icky and fake and untrue to myself.
As always, a great post, Jack…
Jack April 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm
I think that you touched upon a key element in blogging and that is being true to yourself. I write about being authentic and honest. I write about being transparent. The community that hangs out here likes that but more importantly I like that.
And the reason it is more important is because the only way to truly last is to like what you are doing. That pressure you mention isn’t helpful.
Stan Faryna April 20, 2011 at 2:15 am
LOL! Love your honesty.
I’d like to imagine that intentions are open-ended and goals are fixed destinations. Both may travel the same road. I don’t know which one will get to a destination first – where where you say, oh yeahhh…
But I’d also like to imagine that the intentional course has more fun along the way.
You are a shrewd one. Jedi or Sith, that I don’t know yet. But I like that you are shrewd.
Jack April 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm
Maybe I am both. Maybe I straddle both sides of the fence, Sith and Jedi. Trust me, you really don’t want to see my Dark Side. 😉
Miss Britt April 20, 2011 at 12:28 am
There are some areas in life where goals are a good fit for me, but mostly I operate with intentions instead. That sounds vague and airy fairy, but I don’t mean it to.
But.. um… that’s how I blog.
And OH MY GOD IT IS 3:30 IN THE MORNING AND I SHOULD COME BACK AND COMMENT AGAIN WHEN THERE IS DAYLIGHT AND I’M LESS DUMB.
Jack April 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm
I hope that you finally got some sleep. Anyway, I don’t think that you comment sounded dumb. I think that I sort of was able to follow it.
Sometimes goals don’t fit well with how we want to live or do things. It is easier to have an idea that you sort of follow. At least that is kind of how I see what you are saying. Am I close?