The measure of success

April 15, 2010 § 2 Comments

Now I am not a competitive person. Honest. I am far too nice for that- as I see it to be a cold hard competitor you have to be willing to stand on other people’s toes, something I am unwilling to do (as I suffer from multiple corns and bunions).

However, there is obviously value in having a competitive blog, not least for the considerable self-congratulation it gives you, but for a whole host of other reasons as well, both monetary and less mercenary ones.

One of the main advantages to having a top blog, is the advertising revenue it can bring in. A blog that is viewed  by millions is obviously going to be more attractive to potential advertisers than your cat’s blog, which boasts you as its only reader.If you are really successful, like Deb Ng over at the  Freelance Writing Jobs network of blogs, you can get major US companies sponsoring your blog. Go Deb!

But even without catching the roving eye of an advertiser, you can still monetise your blog by using affiliate ads that give you a commission if people click through from your site and (normally) go on to make a purchase or sign up to something similar. Nevertheless, increased traffic to your site will (unsurprisingly) increase the chances of someone clicking on your affiliate link and earning you some cash.

But maybe you aren’t interested in money. These people do exist. Perhaps you write a blog as a means of cathartic release, as a journal, or simply to connect with the big wide world out there. But how do you know if you have engaged the public?

Well readership stats are a start, but they don’t tell you what people think of your ponderings. They may think it is drivel (and believe me, there is a lot of it about), so comments are a much better indication that you have touched someone in some way. That’s not to say that you should expect sickly sweet complimentary comments all the time- some of the best posts are those that spark debate amongst your readers, who then slug it out in the comments box.

Another way is by third party recognition. The Tots 100 awards have been around for a while, and attract more and more entrants each month. The brainchild of Sally Whittle, she has also helped launch the MADs (Mum and Dad) blogger awards 2010, for which this blog is humbly nominated, as a celebration of the sheer expanse of great parent blogs out there.

And finally, a blog doesn’t have to languish as an online medium. We all know the story of Belle Du Jour, whose blog was published and then became three ITV series starring Billie Piper, but success stories are also closer to hand. If you have found this post through the business mum’s blogging carnival at Self Employed Mum (hosted here in July folks!) you will probably know about Natalie Lue’s publishing success on the back of her Baggage Reclaim blog. Natalie is, of course, a blogging expert, but the sky is the limit for bloggers, and if any publishers *are* reading, I am available for novel writing, non-fiction writing, memoirs…

So why do you blog? And how do you judge yourself a success? I am unlikley to actually win a MAD award, but I don’t consider myslef a blogging failure? What are your favourite blogs and why?

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