The two most common “successful blogger” posts tend to consist of:
- What you need to do to become a popular blogger.
- What it took to make me a popular blogger.
As I read through these, I find that while these are similar points, the perspective is often very different.
What it takes to become a successful and popular blogger is often based upon assumptions not reality. When those who really make it share their opinions and advice on what it really took to become a successful and popular blogger, reality tends to rule because they’ve already “been there, done that”, and paid the price for the lessons learned.
What do you think it really takes to become a successful and popular blogger?
For those working from the assumptions, the number one method of becoming a successful and popular blogger appears to be web traffic. The more folks pushing up the spikes on the traffic chart, the better the blog. Is that true?
Some thrive on getting dugg by Digg, slashed by Slashdot, tagged by Technorati, or whatever the new hot social networking recommendation service is. The sudden influx of traffic must mean “success”. Right?
Being dugg and linked to isn’t always just about the soaring numbers but about the fact that others are talking about you on the site and/or writing about it on their blogs, recommending your writing to others. Many thrive on the attention and call that a measure of their popularity. “They like me, they really like me!”
Some bloggers are intent on measuring how many incoming and outgoing links they have, since that is an important part of Google PageRank and getting found by search engines. The more likely you are to be found, the more successful you must be.
Bloggers who understand how important feeds are to many members of their audience monitor feed statistics, including who is using which type of feed reader to access their blogs. They watch their feed statistics and Feedburner numbers like a scorecard in a game. The higher the numbers the bigger the win!
Bloggers intent on making money with their blogs measure success by the income they receive, working hard to position income producing elements in the right “click zones” to encourage more activity, thus more money. Traffic is important to them, but more so if that traffic turns into income. Watching the cents turn to dollars is a good indicator to them of blogging success and popularity.
A very small number of bloggers don’t count the spikes in traffic but the average traffic numbers evened out over months or a year or more of showing a slow growth in returning visitors as the baseline slowly moves us in spite of the peaks and valleys. The return customer is more important than the big influx of traffic.
Then there are those who are thrilled if their mother visits their blog and leaves a kind word like “I’m so proud of you, honey. Don’t forget to pick up some milk and bread at the store on your way home.”
Most typical bloggers use some combination of the above statistics to measure their success and popularity.
What is your definition of blogging success and popularity? What do you use to measure it?
And if you are already successful and popular as a blogger, did what it take to get there match your original assumptions? Did everything you thought would work really work to make you successful and popular?
Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on Lorelle on WordPress, and is a long time support volunteer for WordPress. Lorelle travels too much and reports about life on the road in Taking Your Camera on the Road and covers family history and genealogy on Lorelle’s Family History, teaches and presents workshops and programs, and writes for many blogs, ezines, and magazines.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.