What is a “successful blog?”
We all define success differently depending on the goals we each want to achieve. When it comes to blog success, it’s no different. Everyone starts blogging for different reasons, and each person has a different expectation of what he or she will get from the experience.
I’ve loved writing since I was a little girl, and would write little stories—illustrations and all—and staple the binding to create a book. Today I’m fortunate to be able to enjoy my hobby through blogging for my business, Sidecar Executive Support. As a virtual executive assistant, I share my knowledge of running a small business with other owners in my blog. But, between nurturing my own business, and working for my clients, finding time to reflect on what I’ve accomplished since I started blogging takes more conscious effort than it should.
So, with that in mind, I’m sharing a list of things to look at so you will have an easier time defining what that personal “success” means when you “forget”. Hopefully it will encourage you as it has me.
Are you are happy with your content?
This is one of the most important measures of success. If you don’t like what you are writing about, what is the point of blogging? While this may seem obvious, it is very easy to go down paths that take you away from what makes you happy. If you are working with people or brands you don’t like, or writing about things you don’t care about or that go against your values, you can get to a place where you hate blogging. A successful blog is where you’re happy with what you write about, and it’s only a bonus if others like it too!
Are you seeing consistent growth with your traffic?
Traffic is not the ultimate measure of success. However, it’s a good way to measure that you’re doing something right when you see growth. Once you build an audience, your readers share your articles because your content is interesting and engaging, and it resonates with others. Steady growth of traffic to your blog is an indicator you’re on a good path. You can easily find out your traffic stats on Google Analytics.
Is your engagement increasing?
Engagement is getting harder these days; as it’s getting more and more competitive, and people tend to engage on social media instead of commenting, or sharing directly on your blog. Or people may be visiting your blog, but don’t say or share anything at all. But when you start getting shares and retweets and people sending you emails to tell you how you’ve helped them, I call that success! If you aren’t getting the engagement you want, as long as you are writing for a specific audience, and effectively sharing your articles, you will build that audience at a steady, measured pace.
Are you making new friends?
From the engagement with others, you will find new friends. It’s one of the added bonuses from blogging that you may not expect, but can turn out to be the best thing ever. My blog is under a year old, but I’ve already started to see certain people popping by to have a conversation beyond my blog topics. It’s wonderful! After all, community is what makes us happier people.
Is your blog making money?
There are two facets of making money blogging. The first is you write for others. If people or businesses are coming to you and asking you to ghostwrite, that is a huge compliment to your writing skills–and that’s a sure sign of success. The second is monetizing your blog. Ok, I don’t do this with my blog, but I know it can be a highly successful model. Whether your goal is to bring in latte money or to live off of your blog’s income, it’s an easily measurable success point.
Has your blog opened up new opportunities?
If you realize, “I would have never been able to do this if it weren’t for my blog,” that’s a measure of success. Whether you’re invited to a local speaking gig, or an industry event or someone asks to interview you about your expertise, there are all kinds of experiences and opportunities that will find you because of your blog.
Has blogging has pushed you to grow in unexpected ways?
Before I started blogging, I had a hard time articulating my thoughts. I’m a processor—I need to marinate on thoughts. Blogging not only allows me the time to write cohesive thoughts, but in general I find that my spoken thoughts are more put together as well; almost as if blogging has started to change my thinking pattern. If your blog pushes you out of your comfort zone and into growth in any way, it is a measure of success. Personal growth is tremendously important, so don’t sweep this one away.
Is your blog meeting your personal goals?
Setting and tracking goals is important to know you are finding personal success. For instance, my goals for blogging are to:
1) start blogging
2) write four blog articles a month, but no less than two
3) use my blog as a way to increase my visibility to my audience
4) have my blog demonstrate my expertise
So far I’ve achieved all these goals, with numbers 3 and 4 being ongoing and scalable goals. Achieving your goals, no matter how small, or how big is one of the easiest ways to determine the success of your blog.
Does your blog make you happy?
If blogging makes you happy, THAT is the most important measure of success. If you have no engagement, no money, and no traffic to your site, but you LOVE writing your blog, who cares about all that other stuff? Write because you want to, not because all these other things are telling you your worth. Make happiness in blogging your first measure of success!
Now I want to hear from you, how do you measure your success with your blog? Reach out to me in the comments or over on Twitter (or any other social media).