Have you ever taken a class on blogging?
If so was it worthwhile? Did you leave with even more energy and enthusiasm and did that continue well past a few weeks after the course?
I'm considering taking this e-class.
In the end though I doubt I'll sign on and commit to the class.
I don't even need to ask myself why.
I know why.
I don't have any clear goals for my blog. Never really have.
Initially it was a marketing strategy for my business, then became a way to share my love of fashion. But I've never ever said to myself, "Suzanne you simply must have 2500 page hits/day." Or "1000 Bloglovin' subscribers".
I'm happy to just pound away at it…having fun…doing whatever I like, whenever I like.
But there is a little voice in the back of my head asking me, "what the heck are ya doing girl?"
You're not making any cash here. You need to grow up…put on your responsible panties and start thinking about making some money instead of all this fun fluffy stuff.
I already put the effort in.
What is stopping me from becoming a "successful blogger"?
What is a successful blogger?
1. Someone that makes money from their blog.
2. Someone that has loads of Bloglovin' followers so they can make money from their blog.
3. Someone that has loads of page hits per day so they too can profit financially from their blog.
4. Someone that connects with other people honestly and openly creating lasting real relationships.
5. Someone that helps someone else by putting a smile on their face and brightening their day.
6. Someone that inspires another person.
Or maybe it should be all of the above?
My own selfish priority has always been to simply create a blog that I personally would like to visit.
That is not growing my blog though. In fact it's probably hurting it.
I hate promo type posts so I personally don't do them. (I've done one since I've had the blog where I got a free pair of glasses from Firmoo.)
I really can't stand those giveaways where 30 blogs are participating and you need to spend 40 minutes on a rafflecopter trying to win. Another thing I don't do.
Side bar advertising I don't mind, although I haven't done it. I wonder if it is worthwhile since I myself never click on any of those. Also I've heard that people make $5 per year or something ridiculous.
Since I personally like to focus on thrifting and consignment store shopping not so many advertisers will want to partner with me in the first place so I haven't been actively pursuing any of them.
Also I don't think that my style is suited to most advertisers. I want to look different. Not the same as all the other bloggers.
So as you can see…I have now talked myself out of ever making any money from my blog. Totally NOT where I thought this post was going…
How do you define a successful blogger?
Are you part of that?
Do you want to be?
Have you or are you planning to take any blogging classes?
hahaha this sounds SO much like my mental processes when it comes to the thought of monetizing my blog. Honestly–in theory, I like the idea of making money from Google adsense the best because I don’t have to do a thing besides allow two picture ads on my blog. Of course, it also doesn’t make you any money unless you have high traffic, so it’s practically useless…
My dream of what would come out of blogging is an opportunity to write in some professional sense, for magazines, etc.
two birds says
i would define it as 4, 5, and 6. sure, it would be great to get rich off the blog, but i have made a ton of friends (in real life and online) through the blog. please keep doing it, even if you don’t get super duper rich off of it! i love your style!!
I don’t see the point to try to make money out of your blog – We are a drop in a sea of young trendy nymphets –
I made some and got some free stuff, I’m happy –
Making tons of money means you loose your identity in the process, you will have to conform to all the crap that is all there – Plus you will have no personal life at all – Not worth it i say!
Tamera the Menopausal Supermodel says
You’re successful in my book because i read your blog regularly!!
I’m not blogging for free stuff (like you I thrift/consign almost everything so they have no interest in me). I’m not intereseted in promoting my blog via social media avenues. I’m not in this to make money.
I blog because i wanted to document my journey losing weight and defining/refining my style. Plus i’ve mets lots of really cool people along the way.
so i guess I AM a successful blogger!!
I started blogging as I was so bored with people on forums dictating how anyone over a certain age should dress and wanted to show that being 40 didn’t mean slow death by beige.
I never expected, four years down the line, to be recognised in the street or to meet and true friends along the way. I’m not in the slightest bit interested in making money by sharing my lifestyle (smacks of prostitution) and other than a couple of books I’ve turned down every other offer. xxx
Tami Von Zalez says
Why do I blog? Because I love it so! It is a unique creative outlet for writing, photography, fashion, you name it.
Am I successful? If you gauge by my recent blog monetization of less than $2 for a month, then the answer would be “no.”
I haven’t taken a class but I have participated in the 31 days to build a better blog.
Happiness at Mid Life says
I started the blog to partly to make money but more to show that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get dress and to keep a good visual of m outfits. I realize that I am not going to make any money since I don’t work very hard to get advertisers and I am not really the target market they are looking for. I have defined success that’s worth more than money, women sending me nice messages and making internet friends like you!
So I say, keep up with what you doing. I always enjoy visiting your blog!
I think the definition of a successful blog is different from person to person. In my case, I’m not at all interested in money but I would like some more followers. I blog because I’ve got opinions about EVERYTHING that I want to share.
I do think that by saying ‘I’m not like everyone else so therefore I can’t monetize’ is totally wrong. I think being a bit different should be your selling point!
I make a very small amount of money on my blog, but that’s definitely not why I do it! I love having a creative outlet and building a community of like-minded people. Plus it’s really fun!
I recently went to my first blog conference and I got a LOT out of it! I would definitely recommend taking the class. You’d be surprised how much information is out there that can help you that you’ve never even heard of! Plus I found that it really motivated me to keep following my passion and to stay true to myself.
The Goodwill Fangirl says
Good points, all those. But I blog because it’s fun, and I’ve made so many like-minded friends. And because nobody at my house cares what I’m wearing…lol. I visit blogs authored by women with unique senses of style, and in many cases, a shared love of pre-loved clothes. I did take a longish break while caring for my youngest daughter, but now I’m enjoying dipping my toes back into the blogging waters. It’s a great community, as evidenced by your many lovely commenters above.
And, um, I’m getting free glasses next week.
I’m not really sure at this point where I want my blog to go or where I’m going with it. I started it as a way to show that just because you’re over a certain age it doesn’t mean that you have to dress or act in a particular way. I just know that right now I enjoy it and I’ve met some truly cool people that I would love to hang out with in real life. And it is fun when someone in my day to day real world mentions to me how much they enjoyed something I wrote or wore. Just the other day for the first time I was offered some free clothing from an online shop I frequent and you would’ve thought I won the lottery I was so excited. That was something I never expected. I would like to learn more in regard to how to improve things though…
What a smart post about such an important subject. Too many people are confused about why they blog and that dooms them to disappointment. I’ve learned that the most critical thing we need to do is understand our reasons for blogging; with that awareness, we can then choose how to blog to meet those needs. We shouldn’t merely blog the way others are blogging if we don’t share their motivation.
My impulse to blog is vastly different from most people’s, so I craft my efforts in ways that differ from theirs. That works for me. I’ve seen many bloggers sadly come and go when the arduous task of blogging didn’t meet their undefined expectations.
You do write for other blogs right? So really you’re part-way there.
Well believe me I gave up the idea of getting super rich ages ago. Now I’m more realistic hoping to maybe pay for my Typepad, possibly my website and my internet would be great. Then at least it wouldn’t be costing me money out-of-pocket.
Getting sick this year made me change my priorities and my blog was one of them.
That is very true that we are a drop in a sea of nymphets but we are also soon-to-be the largest segment of the population as it ages. That has to mean something, especially to marketers.
I should have put having regular readers as a marker of success. So true.
I have to say I read your blog because you make me laugh, you’ve got a great positive energy and you’ve got some hilarious/cute dogs. What’s not to like?
I can say that without a doubt you would not be missed walking down the street under any circumstances…blogging fame or not.
I love your attitude.
Wow…don’t spend that $2 all at once! LOL
I amassed .82 from my website from Google. You’ve beat me.
Did you find that taking the class invigorated you and provided you with new practical tools you were able to easily implement?
Thanks Alice. You have a great sense of self and what looks good on you and your aptitude with colours is fantastic.
I can see I’m not alone in my thoughts with regards to monetization.
I love a person with an opinion! (as long at it’s the same as mine of course) Kidding! LOL
That is very interesting about the course…you’re making me reconsider idea…
That is fun that a shop offered you something for free. Free is the best.
I agree about meeting cool people via bloggin. I never though I’d meet my hair twin online and there you were.
I love your reply on this. I do think it is very easy to get disillusioned by blogging when it doesn’t meet our expectations.
Thanks for dropping by!
LOL with the comment that no one in your house cares what you are wearing.
Too funny about the glasses.
No Fear of Fashion says
With me it started because my colleagues said they were sad they could not see what I was wearing each day as our project finished. “Why don’t you post your outfit each day on Twitter?” , they asked. And I did. Then I got hooked on 40+Style.com and the rest is history.
Why I blog? No idea. Perhaps because it is the only creativity I have? I like the composing of outfits, choosing photos, making a story. I am definitely a story teller. And I love to make people laugh as much as possible.
So item 4, 5 and 6 on your list are the ones I would go for. I love it when I can turn down a request for advertising on my blog.
Saying: “I dont “do” advertising.” Hahaha I
I love to be independent and do with my blog whatever I like. It is mine and it should bring joy to others.
Bella Q, The Citizen Rosebud says
Money made from blogging won’t pay the bills. Says one who has freelanced, and tried. It’s a great supplemental income for nearly all but the lucky cream rising to the top. I think the success, true success in blogging comes from the connections we make via our blogs. Like you and me. Like you and somebody else. WE NEVER WOULD HAVE MET IN REAL LIFE- yet there are so many bloggers, most who don’t make a dime blogging, that have had REAL impact on me. Influence and friendship they’ve given me. That is true success.
Heather Lindstrom says
I’m just catching up on my favorite blogs this morning and had to take a minute for your thought provoking topic here. Why blog? As with most of us I do wonder, at times, if anything I have to say really matters. My first blogger friend/follower, Shelly at Lush, once said it helps to “see myself” in writing. That stuck with me-I think blogging has helped me define my style, my inspirations, even some of my values. I love the relationships I have developed with blogger (like you!)and have even met a few blog friends in person. So cool! I have made a little money from some affiliate links and have definitely added traffic for my online Stylemindchic Boutique with the blog. My most important wish is to share some inspiration,some hope, with readers that need it. That may come from my career as a School Psychologist.
Or a smile or laugh…we need more of that in life.
I’ve never done a class, heck-I’m not tech savvy at all but am so stubborn I haven’t hired one thing on my blog or boutique.
I’m so happy to have met you in blogging, Suzanne, so I certainly hope you keep it up. I can wanting to prioritize more especially after your illness earlier this year.
You always inspire me,
Rachel, I hope this doesn’t sound too out of the blue, but Suzanne mentions in her comment that you contribute to other blogs? What places do you contribute to?
Suzanne- I really agree with you. I think for many companies having a niche would be more important when looking at blogs to work with over having a million viewers. If the blogger is speaking to a specific segment of the population you can be more assured they are more likely to be interested in what you are selling (provided the company and the blog are a good fit in the first place).
Oh, Suzanne, I am absolutely loving this post! It is so well written and very interesting. The comments have had some good discussion and points as well (as I’m sure you could tell from my comments on the comments, lol).
I think the sign of a successful blogger could be all of those, or none of those, and that it all depends on why one blogs. And, of course, that also changes over time in some cases as well.
When I first started blogging, I was in kind of boring job as a computer lab manager and wanted a creative outlet. It eventually became something that my boyfriend (who is my photographer for the blog) and I could work on together. Along the way, I’ve gotten to know and make friends with bloggers, and I’ve enjoyed that too. After getting married and only having subbing jobs, my goals have changed a bit. I do want to make money, even if only a little, to feel like the time I spend on this is returning something and that I am able to contribute at least a little more. Making money by blogging is not always seen as something positive, but to me, a large part it it is it is a challenge. There is new stuff to learn and experiment with; it is a challenge. So this fall I have taken some online courses (Alt For Everyone and then some classes on the Alt channel). I really enjoyed them a lot, and did get new information for them (I would highly recommend Alt for online classes. They are usually about 15 dollars, which seems pretty reasonable and are live video).
The thing is- if you want to blog just for fun- go for it! If you want to blog and make some money- go for it! If you want to take those classes to be better at making money or if you want to take those classes just because it sounds interesting- go for it. Personally, I really enjoyed the classes because I find learning about blogging fun, regardless of whether it is hobby or income.
As for your other questions about successful blogging… part of it, is I would like to grow my blog. Mostly, I think it is interesting to learn how. But the bigger thing about a successful blog is, as you have stated it. I want a blog where my writing, the photography/design, the idea is getting better and more interesting because I want my blog to be like a blog I would enjoy going too.
Val Sparkle says
I started blogging because I wanted to be able to take part in the conversations I saw on other blogs by people like me. Then I started realizing how much I enjoy writing it, and getting responses is addicting! Also, I like attention and socializing, but not all the time. With blogging, I can hide in my cave when I want to, or be really busy and visible when I want to.
And it’s great to connect with so many creative and interesting women, like you!
Aya in Couturgatory says
I think I started style blogging for a few reasons. I loved clothes, especially thrifting them, and I couldn’t find style bloggers who dressed like I did. The easy-to-find blogs all looked the same to me. There all have the macro focus, fine hair, blown out backgrounds, flowers+sunlight, and sepia. Y’know, the Pinterest look. And they all look like they’re wearing slight variations on the same outfit to me. I am not in that demographic. Figured I should put myself out there and try to boost signal to find like-minded dressers!
Ideally what I’d like to get out of blogging is regular readers and commenters, and to find other people who are into thrifting and having fun being creative with clothes. I’ve already found a handful of style blogs I really like in the 6 months I’ve been doing it and I’ve gotten to know style bloggers I read before I started blogging, like Ally (I love her!) Won’t lie and say a sweet free clothing item and a giveaway here or there wouldn’t be fantastic, but as I’m a short stocky Asian gal with a thrifted wardrobe, I am not holding my breath. 😀
I should have included impacting someone else’s life in the list. So true.
I love that phrase, “to see myself in writing”. It is true we discover things about ourselves through blogging that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
I totally agree that the reason we blog changes and evolves as we do as people.
I’m with you on wanting to contribute a bit too. It would be nice right? And as you mentioned a bit of a challenge. Can one monetize without compromising values?
I remember reading about your Alt experience and how you enjoyed it.
Thanks for taking the time to write. I always value your input.
I agree that interaction and especially compliments can be addictive. In fact when I get dressed and go out I’m kind of disappointed when I don’t have random people commenting that I like my outfit! LOL
I love your description of the “mass produced” blogs.
You sound very much like myself. Dismissing your opportunities before they have presented themselves.
What a coincidence that you wrote a post about this topic, because I have a similar one lined up since weeks. It’s to be expected in about two weeks from now.
I went to an international travel bloggers conference. I learned what it takes to become a successful blogger. Unfortunately my conclusion after that was, that I will not become successful. I will explain in my post why.
I have a close friend, who is very tech-, web- and blog- savvy and she started a new blog two years ago. It is about her passion: fashion and style. She set some goals in terms of money and page views and reached them easily. She has more then 100.000 unique visitors per month and makes a couple 1000 dollars each month. She does this without compromising herself or her content. I admire her so much!
I would love that for my own blog as well, but it is not going to happen:-(. I decided to accept that for a fact.
But again, I will elaborate more on this topic on my own blog probably around november 17th.
I can’t wait to read your post.