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What Defines Blogging Success For You?

imageThis is a guest contribution from blogger Carly Findlay.

One day, during a ProBlogger Twitter Chat, I got into a debate with a blogger who placed all their worth on statistics. Small page views meant they did not feel successful. I tried to tell them that success is more than just page views, but it was hard to convince them in 140 characters.

One big ‘mistake’ I made with blogging was wanting to monetize and feeling left out when brands didn’t approach me or knocked me back when I asked them.

I was getting nowhere with sponsorship pitches. It seems no brand wants a chronic illness blogger. Even the brand who make products that save my life didn’t want to work with me. I’d hear bloggers talk about how easy it was to create a media kit and get flown around Australia to view product launches and receive beautiful jewellery in the mail. And I wasn’t getting those opportunities. I was despondent, measuring my worth on a lack of press releases. I’ve since learnt blogging success is so much more than monetizing. Comparison is the thief of joy and all that.

I was annoyed for a short time. But then I realised, I am successful without fully monetizing my blog and getting millions of hits. While I wasn’t being inundated with offers to review products, I was getting offers from influential people that wanted to work with me. Editors, CEOs, teachers, charities, and causes. These offers of work – both paid and unpaid – have been more related to my blog niche and personal values that solely working with brands could ever be. Occasionally I will do a sponsored post for a brand that I value, but for the most part, I created my business plan to make money away from my blog.

Since I’ve started this blog (it’s one of many I’ve had since 2001) I’ve created a freelance writing and speaking career. I have written for The Guardian, DailyLife, Mamamia, ABC Ramp Up, News.com.au, BlogHer, The Daily Dot, Essential Baby, Kidspot, and Frankie Magazine. I’ve won numerous writing awards and been selected for The Guardian’s diverse writers workshop. I’ve spoken at conferences in Australia and the UK. I have also lectured in genetics and media at the University of Melbourne. I will run a number of sessions on writing and self advocacy at the Emerging Writers Festival this month and next. I’ve also competed my Masters thesis on the way blogging has helped me form a sense of identity.

Blogging success has also come from being asked my opinion on topics around disability advocacy and being invited to participate in events such as judging film festivals for organ donation and disability awareness. I reached out to Sam Johnson when he began Love Your Sister, asking him if I could blog his journey. He said yes!

One of the biggest things that has happened to me because of my blog was being asked to speak at a university conference in the UK after the university program found my blog. They tweeted a link to my blog, I thanked them, we formed a working relationship and they invited me to speak. My hospital helped fund my trip – I was their first academic patient that they sponsored to speak at an international conference!

Lastly, I receive messages from blog readers who are struggling with their appearance, or a new parent to a baby with Ichthyosis (the same skin condition as I have), telling me that my story has made a difference to them. Occassionally I receive an email from a reader telling me they felt alone until they found my blog and can now see some hope for themselves or their child, and have been encouraged to seek medical or psychological help. Through blogging I’ve come in contact with so many people from around the world, and I’ve personally met a few other people with Ichthyosis. I have had so many people write to me saying they’re confident to tell their story about Ichthyosis to their families, friends or wider communities (or even online) now. Hearing about empowerment like that is better than huge numbers of page views.

I believe that statistics don’t necessarily equal success. Bloggers can look for other ways to reach success, form communities, and feel intrinsically rewarded through knowing their blog makes a difference to readers.

My Top Five Tips:

  1. Find your niche
  2. Don’t become focused on or despondent with page views
  3. If you want your business to be blogging, see how you can diversify to make money beyond your blog
  4. Value your readers and celebrate that you’re making a difference to them
  5. Keep at it!

Carly Findlay is a blogger based in Melbourne, Australia, writing about what it’s like to look different. She blogs at carlyfindlay.blogspot.com and tweets at @carlyfindlay

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Comments

  1. Carly, you drive home some great points. I must say that choosing your niche is one step towards defining your success. I don’t believe it’s the only way to do that though and moving forward, pageviews are one of the metrics that takes up the bunch of bloggers’ time. The truth of the matter is that even if your pageviews are high and you’re happy, that doesn’t mean you’ll succeed as a blogger. One of my blogs enjoys a lot of free organic hits and my pageviews soared to the roof.

    But at the end of the month, it doesn’t pay for its hosting fee. Now, I know some people may try to bug me with effective monetization, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Most people may decide to read a lot of your posts and several of them and still not buy. Copywriting is really important because even if you get someone to read just one of your posts and takes action that you want, it could lead you closer to achieving your goals.

    As for making money blogging, I don’t believe in that.

    Blogging is just a tool used to reach those who matters. But as they come, you’ve to use your common sense and creativity to solve their problems either through affiliate marketing or offering a course where you teach them what they’ve been struggling with. That’s how to make money with a blog – the tool for convincing, publishing and getting traction online.

  2. Kevin Duncan says:

    Not becoming “focused on or despondent with page views” is a great tip. Just difficult to follow sometimes!

  3. Writer Town says:

    Carly, thank you very much for this insightful article. Blogging is so much more than page views and money signs. If you can make a different even to a single individual, that makes you and your blog wildly successful.

    A good advice I like to give people is to not necessarily focus on money as a primary objective. Build a passionate and intimate following with your audience, grow together from the inside out. Eventually the money may come from your selfless efforts and your endless dedication.

    Take care, Carly.

    Elvis

  4. Danny says:

    Hi Carly, that’s a very nice and truly coming from the heart article. Yes, I agree that most of the times, the number of page views really impact my mood, emotional and motivation. That’s when I need to search what is the meaning of being a true professional blogger. Agree that most of the time, the intangible benefit of blogging is far outweight the tangible benefit.

  5. Irwan says:

    yes, i agree with you Carly. The high page of views and the high of total comment in our site is very giving impact to our feeling. So, If we want to be a good blogging we must spare a much time in order to our site is good in thew future

  6. Jedha says:

    Great article Carly!

    I always say to blogger friends of mine ‘it’s not all about the numbers’. So many people only focus on this and although it is easy to compare yourself to others in some kind of race to the top (?), it is not an effective way to find happiness or success with what we do individually. Your story is an exact example of this and is very inspiring. If we just do what we do and do it well, success will come one way or another.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Mukul Chugh says:

    Truly a great post admin i really appreciate your hardwork!! Hatsoff..

  8. adam says:

    i agree with most of your article. i simply don’t think you can not focus on page views. thanks.

  9. Hi Carly, yours is truly an inspiring story – for one who’s on the same path. Like you, I’ve come to the conclusion success in blogging/writing/content creation is not in what you get from achieving your goals, but in who you become in the process.

    Typically under-estimated by beginners, the power of being crystal clear about your “Why” – about what you do, why you do it, and who it can really serve best.

    As you say, making money better be the result, not the reason, of one’s existence.

  10. Edmund Yeo says:

    Hi Carly,

    I can totally relate to what you have shared. I agree that making a difference to my reader’s lives is the most important to me as well. It gives me a sense of satisfaction that is more than the money.

    Regards
    Edmund

  11. Hi Carly,

    You have shared a great post, I really liked your second points, pageviews doesn’t matter more some times we have good traffic and some time not.

    Thanks
    Jyoti

  12. Samer says:

    Hi Carly,

    Frankly speaking I don’t know much about blogging but yes got huge inspiration from you. I also believe that the success doesn’t mean your page views but loyal and valuable readers, if they like our blog content then they surely revisit.

    Thanks a lot

  13. What a brilliant post, Carly. Thank you, you’ve really inspired me.

  14. Great Post Carly,

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. DK says:

    Very nicely written post. Blogging success can mean differently for different people. While somebody measures success from the amount of money he is making, some others measure success with the depth of the interaction they get on their blogs.
    The bottom line is that the meaning and measure of blogging success entirely depends upon your blogging objective.

  16. Ravi says:

    Hi Carly,

    Gem of a post! must agree with DK that, “somebody measures success from the amount of money he is making, some others measure success with the depth of the interaction they get on their blogs.”
    As long as the objective is being achieved, Blogging is successful.
    Thanks again.

  17. siya sinha says:

    Great post sharing with us, I don’t know much about success on blogging. But I use these tricks on my new blogs.

  18. Mi Muba says:

    Hi Carly; You all points here have sound reasoning and need no more elaboration. But they have ignited a heated debate here in comments section. This is an art to put huge impact of a post by impressively describing its topic.
    I think success is equally a broad and relative term. For one page views may be success but for another who is quite ahead in the given field it may be a particle of the whole success. Similarly many people take success in piecemeal while many others simply take it the achievement of your ultimate goals.
    In blogging I can say for sure that success is not simply just increasing number of traffic or increasing your earning. It is far beyond just making a few thousand bucks. It means establishing your brand and making it so common in your niche industry. Even here is not the end of success and it may aim to expand with multiple brands and products to become industry leader in your niche.

  19. Love your work, Carly. Success definitely looks different from every viewpoint. Thanks for sharing your version with us, a really inspiring read.

  20. Ome says:

    Thank you Carly for the inspirational post. And your 5 tips are reminders to us fellow bloggers. I guess the main idea is when you focus and work on the work, the rewards will follow ( monetary and non-monetary ). :-)

  21. Debarpan says:

    That’s a great one from you Carly.Indeed page views can’t be everything when we’re talking about blogging success.

  22. HITESH DAS says:

    really very appreciable article.Thank You so much Carly.

  23. Olamosh says:

    Thanks for this wonderful article, “MAKING THE DIFFERENCE” is what i see as success in blogging.

    In my own opinion huge traffic is not success, thousands of articles doesn’t determine success but the impact your blog articles is making IS WHAT I CALL BLOGGING SUCCESS…

  24. When I first started making serious money while blogging, it was hard not to link “success” with this monetary value. I felt like I had “made it” as a blogger, but frankly, this is a false measure. Nowadays, I try to link blogging accomplishments with readership and response (positive and negative). Definitely still trying to meet these expectations of my own…

    Thanks for the thought-provoking article, Carly.

  25. Pankaj Kumar says:

    Thanks Carly Findlay. For sharing great post…
    I follow this tips for Blogging.

  26. Great report for me, i want to make blogging my business, this information helps me a lot…….

  27. kharis says:

    Thanks, Carly Findlay for the advice. I learn to be blogger success now.

  28. Ann07 says:

    What does a blogging success really means to me?

    I think if you already achieved the real goal that your mind first thought when you decided to start blogging. To help people in many ways by simply writing valuable contents, to inspire them by sharing your experiences and to share knowledge by building your authority, I guess your blogging career is already successful if you have already done these things and is still willing to continue whatever you have started.

    A successful life is not only seen in riches of pillars, but also in fulfillment of the heart.

    Great share! :)

    Best,
    Ann07

    By the way, I found this post shared on Kingged.com

  29. Alex Pavlov says:

    I think defining success for a blogger depends on his goals. My personal success is defined by the bottom line. How much money can I walk away with at the end of the day. For someone who is not in it for the money – blogging because a person is passionate about the subject, success may be something different than money. Having a lot subscribers and being able to influence people in your area of expertise could be considered a success by this blogger.

  30. Supratim says:

    Thanks Carly
    I think if people enjoy your articles and benefit from it then that’s real blogger success rather than making large chunks of money :)

  31. RahulB says:

    For me blogging success is all about a balance between my online and offline life. If at all time i focus on online activities which give me a passive income is of no use when have not any offline life.
    So a good social life is essential for every blogger.

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