After spending last weekend soaking in the inspiring classes at the Casual Blogger Conference, I started thinking once again about my role as a blogger and what makes a blog successful (or not). I recently read two articles entitled What Makes a Successful Blogger and What are the Elements of a Successful Blogger which both had some interesting ideas. But they both brought up the same question in my mind–a question that I have asked and been asked multiple times. What defines “success” in blogging? Is it page views? Subscribers? Sponsors? Money?
If success in blogging were defined by the page views or the amount of money made per month, then I fear that many of us would fall in the “unsuccessful blogger” category. I know I would. I am often shocked to hear that other bloggers view my blog as “very successful” when in reality my numbers are quite a bit lower than most. However, I do consider my blog a success, and so success must have to do with something more than numbers.
Here are just a few key elements of a successful blogger in my book. A successful blogger has:
Whether you are writing about your kids, your garden, what you cooked for dinner last night, or how to make kites with your kids (—>shameless plug! I am being featured today on Skip to My Lou Craft Camp!) you must be passionate about it. Love what you are doing or don’t do it. Talk about those things that you are passionate about. I have read many blog posts about things that were not within my typical realm of interest, but the passion and the enthusiasm caught my attention. Passion is contagious.
Authenticity and consistency
This past weekend, I sat in on a panel of bloggers discussing How to Find Your Voice. I loved the comment from one of my fellow class attendees. She said something along the lines of, “When I met you yesterday, I felt like I recognized you. Your voice in person is just the same as your blogging voice!” Be YOU on your blog. Don’t try to be someone or something that you are not. I could never be as witty and creative as MamaKat or as compelling of a writer as Heather of the EO. So I don’t try to be. And that’s ok. I’m not a comedian. I’m not super intelligent. I’m me. And I hope that when you visit my blog, you will always find ME here.
Focus and goals
Why do you blog? Is it to keep your out of state family up to date? Is your goal to make money? Or maybe to build up your writing or photography portfolio? Do you blog to learn, blog to connect, or blog to teach? Whatever your focus, stick to it. Set goals (we all have room to improve) and stick to a schedule.
When you sit down to write a post, instead of asking yourself “What should I write about today?” ask instead “What do my readers want to hear today?” Be relatable. Be human. I love this quote from Liz Strauss:
“Humanity is what’s compelling. We’re all hungry for a connection that makes us feel real.
Quality content that serves real human needs served up by a real human being is the combination of three things: head, heart, and practical meaning. Put them together and a blog — or rather one who writes it — can make a reader feel inspired, moved to action, and wholly alive.”
Successful bloggers develop a sense of community within their sites. Whether it is in the form of responding to comments or chatting in a forum or on Facebook, I love bloggers who connect in real ways with their readers. Some of the connections I’ve made through blogging have been some of the most satisfying friendships I’ve ever had. And I am way more likely to visit the blogs of people I have made a connection with.
What makes you view a blogger as “successful”?
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