“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” - David Frost
This past week I played in a Charity Golf Tournament. We didn’t win. In fact, we didn’t even come close.
Fortunately, no one in my foursome seemed to care. We didn’t seem to mind because we didn’t enter the tournament for the purpose of winning. That is not how we chose to define success. Instead, we golfed that day for the purpose of raising money for a good organization, spending time together as friends, and meeting new people with similar interests.
Those goals influenced the way we played the game. We didn’t spend time in-between golf shots discussing golfing strategy, we discussed life and family. We didn’t try to “size-up” our opponent before the first tee, we tried to catch their names and where they were from. And even though it didn’t take us long to realize that we were falling further and further behind on the leader board, we still enjoyed every hole with a smile… knowing that all of our goals for the day were successfully being accomplished.
In a number of ways, blogging is exactly the same. Bloggers approach their hobby/job in different ways based on their goals. Because each blogger gets to choose their own definition of success, each blogger acts accordingly. And gets to find fulfillment in it… even if they aren’t winning in the numbers game.
Just consider the wide variety of approaches that people take to blogging:
• Some blog as a personal on-line journal. Life is life. Things change and so do people. For years, people have used pen and paper to keep personal journals. Today, some use a keyboard and WordPress.
• Some blog as a means to display their photography or artistic endeavors. Their art is created to be shared. And they have found blogs to be a great way to share that work with others outside their physical world.
• Some blog to keep their extended family informed about their specific life journey. Whether they are separated by distance, adjusting to a new lifestyle, or the grand-kids have been born, blogs are a great way to communicate with extended family. No matter how many there are or how far apart they may live, the story only has to be told once and is always available any time the grandparents want to again see their grandchild.
• Some blog to make money. There is money to made on-line. And whether it represents a full-time income or just side income for a rainy day, money is a common motivator in the blogging world.
• Some blog as a means to meet new people around a specific subject. With minimal effort, blogging can quickly put you in touch with people around the world with very similar interests. And though the unique bond that bloggers experience is rarely understood by people outside of the community… it is nevertheless very real for those within it.
• Some blog to inspire others to experience a better life. Whether it be traveling, cooking, parenting, or minimalism, some people have found such joy in a specific personal endeavor that they rush to share it with others. After all, joy is only fully experienced when it is shared.
• Some blog to complement their physical business. In today’s world, a company’s physical presence is not enough… neither is just an ad in the Yellow Pages. Many times, a digital address is the first place people look to find a business. To accommodate the change, many people use blogging to complement their physical business. And while this has always been popular among writers, speakers, and artists, it is now extending into almost every other industry too.
• Some blog to quickly share the news of the day (politics, sports, or local). In almost every imaginable way, media outlets have been changed by blogging. The ability to quickly communicate news to a world-wide audience has allowed a whole new breed of news reporters to spring-up… with or without a press badge.
• Some blog to promote a social cause. Blogs can be used to increase awareness, raise funds, or highlight specific campaigns for social change.
• Some blog to improve their writing skills. Blogging forces writing. It causes the author to organize thoughts and effectively communicate them. As a result, some people choose to blog for the simple purpose of improving their communication skills.
• Some blog to become a voice in their specific industry. While some will rise to the top of their specific industry because of their online presence, others may be content using their blog to just have a voice or add a new perspective. Today, this opportunity extends far beyond Internet-related industries as nearly every industry in the world is represented online.
Your blogging motivation matters. It influences how you approach your blog and how you define success.
If you blog for your extended family, you will show little care how many new people find your site… in fact, you may hope they don’t. But if your motivation is to make money, the more the better. If your approach is to hone your writing skills, you may be happy that new people are finding your blog or you may be happy just knowing that you are improving an important skill in your life. If you are blogging to complement a physical business, you will care less about the frequency of your online traffic as long as you are still experiencing on-site traffic.
But either way, no matter how you approach blogging, you get to define your own success. As a result, you get to find enjoyment through it… no matter what your Page Rank may be.