We all have different goals with our blogs and all have different ways of measuring how we are achieving them. What is your idea of a successful blog? What plans do you have for your blog in 2011 and how will you make your blog work for you?
These are some of the replies the Brazen team gave but I'd like you to take a moment in the comments to tell us your answers to those two questions.
I don't look to create too many quantifiable results from my blog. I look at it like adding drops into the “bucket” of my personal brand, slowly filling it with more equity, credibility, etc. I might be mixing some metaphors there, but hopefully it makes some sense. 😉
I'll share my answer to the more specific question you ask here: what would be the best possible result from my blogging. Best possible result for me would be to help a large audience of people discover new constructive ways of looking at things, and inspire them to do further reading from sources I consider hugely helpful. I'd love to be a way to get people who wouldn't normally engage with some of the topics I discuss to start thinking about them. And ideally I'd even encourage them to take specific action on some things, but I'm not sure I'm knowledgeable enough yet to recommend specific actions. (Using the blog as an entryway for opportunities to write, speak, and present in other forms would fit into this goal, though it's not my focus now.)
NOT realistic right now but maybe one day I'll get there. It IS realistic to work on the micro version of that – honing my writing skills, learning to engage readers better, and just trying to get good content out there as much as possible. I don't really need to aim for a different goal at this point so much as be content with the micro version of it that I'm working with right now. Biggest possible success in the next year? A good new post every two weeks, and a smallish but devoted following of readers (maybe 20? I really don't know what's a realistic number.)
I do agree that what defines a successful blog definitely depends on the blog and your personal reasons/goals for it – and that the important part is to have clarity about it to figure out how to get there and recognize when you are.Personally, I want real readership more than anything – people who will read my posts start to finish (or close), and I suspect that my most valuable numbers (I do track Google Analytics) are time spent on each page, and several jumps to more posts. RSS feeds complicate matters somewhat – I can track them only to a certain extent, and yet having people subscribe would be one of my goals. But I think the moral of the story in many ways is that hard data really can matter and tell me if I'm moving in the right direction.
In my case it does also need to be combined with more subjective assessments as well though. I do value interaction and new connections – I'd like to get more comments, meet more new people, have it spark discussion.
I'm really just starting out though. It's good to have these things in mind. But usually my main goal at this point is just to get something posted at all. Gotta start somewhere.
A Blog's success is the amount of influence it has. I'm not sure how to measure that, though maybe the number of followers and subscribers would be a good indicator, so are other metrics like page views and unique visitors.
The best possible result for me is making $500 a month in residual income from my blog. It's a little high, but I don't think it's unrealistic for the next year.
I was once a professional blogger; I quit after when the combo of stalker threats and feeling like I had sold my soul became a little overwhelming. I'm black, I'm blogging under a new name, and in 2 months I've managed to summon up almost 100 subscribers.The blog has helped me get jobs; a few writing gigs and web design jobs that give me residual income, not enough to live on, but certainly enough to make it worth the time I put into it.
I don't know if I'll ever consider my blog “successful”. There's no real metric, and it's a hobby more than anything. Hey, if it gets me a book deal 😉
The best possible result is booking a speaking gig or generating a sponsorship. I know both are possible with more traffic and exposure. That's actually my goal.Blogging weekly has improved my ability to write and has become a great discipline to make sure I am learning and sharing my ideas consistently. Like Brazen, I agree that your ideas become your live resume and a way people can see what you are doing now.
Oh, and to answer the second question..Yes! I think it's possible as long as I get more involved in the blogosphere (I've found commenting on other blogs draws more traffic) and have more opportunities to speak and draw more eyes to my site.
I hope that my blog does two things: 1) I don't have the money for graduate school, so I'm using my blog as a way to structure learning, research, and contemplation into my daily life. A blog is great for this, because it requires me to produce, and not just consume, information. 2) I am relying on my blog to help me (as an introvert) grow an effective professional and social network. My blog has helped me develop closer relationships with all kinds of interesting people, to whom I believe I am providing value and from whom I believe I can glean valuable ideas, connections and future support.
Because these are my goals, it isn't enough for me to grow “by the numbers.” I love gaining new subscribers and getting comments from new passers-by, but ultimately I'm after engagement and the formation of deep, mutually beneficial relationships.
At the risk of sounding obvious, I think much of what determines a successful blog is your definition of success. And if you're blogging with any commercial/professional purposes, you need to ask yourself how is your blog meeting your business goals and how is it serving your audience. If you don't know the answers to either of these questions, then you need to reconsider your reason for “corporate” blogging.
my blog is beginning to help me reach personal and broader professional goals. The blog and the business are relatively new, so I will know more in time how successful it all really is. Right now, I just need to stay devoted to the process. Glad you like the site, thanks for checking it out. I like yours, too; it seems very instructive and the layout is quite attractive. I think my layout might be due for an overhaul. Congrats on your new book … you really seem to know what you're doing, so I may just check out it.
I started blogging as a way to keep my friends and family updated from 1,000's of miles away. I measure success through life comments. When I get a text from a friend saying “My coworker just spent all day reading your blog” or “When I get home I'm going to show my friends your post…,” that is all the motivation I need to keep going.
Now that I have discovered a demand for my writing, I begin the struggle of transitioning from exaggerating true stories to creating out of thin air; the challenge excites me, but I may have to change my metrics for success.
What is your idea of a successful blog? What plans do you have for your blog in 2011 and how will you make your blog work for you?