Choose Your Own Blogging Success

Choose Your Own Blogging Success

“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.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks, Josh, for this timely reminder that success is what we make it! I was feeling anxiety over my ebook launch this weekend, and then I realized: I’d shifted my focus away from offering value (and sharing my gift with others) and on to my own insecurities. Shifting back has proved invaluable for my peace of mind :)
    Again, thank you!

    • says

      Ebooks tend to change things more than bloggers realize. If they are for sale, the focus of a blog almost shifts overnight – suddenly, it’s not about the previous goals, it’s all about book sales. And even if they are given way free, bloggers have a tendency to gauge their success on-line by how many times it is downloaded/ordered/etc. It’s my typical warning to most bloggers who ask for advice about a launch.

      Glad you were able to shift back so quickly.

      • says

        This has been something I struggled with as well. Writing to share with others, and then trying to monetize it can seriously shift your perspective. I am glad you brought this up, Caroline, nice to know I am not the only one who struggled with it!
        And yes, Joshua, then our focus can become our stats! Which can make one a little obsessive, ahem, not that I would know how that feels!
        Bernice

  2. says

    Very well put! I blog to alot of the above that you listed. Blogging is just a great way to get out whatever it is that you want to get out. Everyone has something to say. Why not blog it! :)

  3. says

    Great post and great reminders. I know you first started Becoming Minimalist to share you journey with your family, but you’ve clearly expanded upon that now. As a writer, do you ever feel confined by the subject matter of your blog? I often feel that way and wondered if you’ve ever felt that way too.

    • says

      That’s a good question Faith. I used to more than I do now. But this blog often speaks to topics far bigger than minimalism. The change in thinking just came from a realization that this platform provides me opportunity to speak no matter what the topic may be… so why not just go for it? After all, any boundary is purely self-imposed (speaking about blog topics, of course).

      At first, I worried about trying to tie everything into minimalism. But not so much anymore. This post is a good example. I felt like a lot of bloggers could use a reminder that page rank and stats are not the only ways to measure success… we get told that they are too often.

      • says

        While this post doesn’t focus on the word minimalism, it does promote minimalism, in my opinion, because it reminds writers/bloggers of what I think is one of the key tenets of minimalism: find what’s important for you, focus on that, and get rid of the rest of the clutter that might get attached. I.e., if you want to write a blog “… to become a voice in [your] specific industry,” don’t splatter your blog with your proverbial cat pictures.

        At any rate, I too thank you for the reminder. Something I need to figure out.

        • says

          “find what’s important for you, focus on that, and get rid of the rest of the clutter that might get attached.”
          I love this line David! It is so true. If we know what our reason is, we can stay focused on it and not worry about the other components of blogging.
          Bernice

  4. says

    You’re absolutely right, thank you for the reminders. Honestly, keeping the focus is difficult because there’s a world of blog topics out there to scribble about. I used to be thoroughly convinced that there had to be a separate blog for every single topic in which I was interested, but found that if I could find some sort of cohesion with the topics, I could put all of my content in the same place. Keeping on task and on focus is essential – thank you. :)

    Inspire yourself,
    –Sapphi

  5. says

    Thank Joshua, for this great breakdown. It will be a big help to the bloggers out there who are trying to be everything to everyone and making themselves crazy doing so. As bloggers, we need to determine our reason(s) for blogging and base our activities and decisions on that. For instance, many bloggers don’t need to give a second thought to SEO because their blog doesn’t need it or require it.
    Thanks for helping me to remember why I was blogging in the first place!
    Bernice
    Who is stealing your time?

  6. says

    I like to blog to share all the things I love to everyone. I have no intentions of making money off my blog. Only to inspire people to live a healthy life and journal my experiences. If people want to come along for the ride…great! I found it is much easier for me to journal on a blog then it is in a notebook. :) That golf tournament sounds fun. I have played in a few…. strictly for fun.

  7. says

    Re: competition—it’s interesting, Tom Shadyac’s new documentary, “I Am,” addresses competition and consumption as a particular kind of mental illness (with some scientific data to back it up). Highly recommend it to anyone who needs to explain minimalism or consumerism to others. It’s in theaters now (limited release).

  8. says

    Love this!

    I blog to get things out of my head so my brain will shut up a little, kind of like therapy. It’s nice that others like my writing and are touched by what I write and how I see the world, but that’s not the purpose. I write for me.

    Early on I felt a little lost as I explored the blogging world. Everyone had an idea of what was important. More followers. Monetizing. Give aways. None of these were me. Thanks for validating those of us who don’t want to follow anyone else’s rules.

  9. says

    Page rank. What’s that?

    I gave up on even looking at page rank and traffic stats awhile back. Lucky for me before I started blogging I spent 3 years obsessively checking stats for my websites. Somewhere along the way I realized it really doesn’t matter at all! I checked my rss stats and monthly visits once so far for my blog. That was enough. Maybe 6 months from now I’ll check again.

    Thanks for this reminder post Joshua. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking one parameter makes a blog successful or not. My blog is a success because I’ve met so many wonderful people through it, I have incredible conversations with folks I’ve never met face to face, and because blogging about minimalism makes me smile in a way that building websites for money never did.

    Cheers to the happy, relaxed and delightful atmosphere you’ve created here Joshua.

    -Tanja

  10. says

    I blog to share what I know, and what I feel. I want people to see my new blog because I want to inspire others like the blogs I read do for me.

  11. says

    I blog to influence other people….for example political blogs….to inform people about bad things which happens in this world….in a way that uses simple words, so everyone can understand it……You can call my motivation also inspiration….

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