How many Likes does your blog’s FB page have? What is your weekly reach? How many shares on that meme you sweated over? How many followers do you have on Twitter? How many subscribers, fans, clicks, hits, shares, comments? What number can best describe your blog?
I started blogging because of my love of words, not numbers. It was my way to siphon off the massive engorgement my son’s birth caused in my creative system. Sometimes, bloggers launch their websites with a clear business plan in mind, but I believe that the vast majority of us starts like I did – because we want to tell our story, connect with like-minded people, and get serious about improving our writing. Soon, though, it becomes clear that it’s impossible to reach an audience without some form of social media, and whenever our numbers stay much smaller than those of our blogging colleagues, it’s difficult not to feel like we are failing.
My blog is small. No, wait. My blog is MEGA SMALL, which means I have in a month the number of page views a smallish blog averages per day. Some days I have zero hits on my site, I count 14 blog subscribers, and less than 250 followers on Facebook. A couple of months ago I faced the decision whether to pay for another year of hosting and web domain, or give it all up because my numbers were so small no-one would ever notice if I disappeared from the Interwebs.
Or would they?
Fortunately, before I pulled the plug on a year of work, I went back to the reasons why I started blogging, forgot for a moment what others were doing, and looked at my own achievements: how my blogging commitment had influenced my writing and my life in general. Once I started asking the right questions (questions that did not refer to numbers), it turned out I am running a very successful blog and deciding to give it up would have been downright foolish.
Here are 10 questions which will tell you if you are running a successful blog, despite what the numbers may say:
1 – Are you consistent? If you set your goals and seriously strive to achieve them, if you manage to write regularly, show up at the keyboard no matter what, and pour out a new post even if you feel empty, this is already a great achievement.
2 – Are you challenging yourself? If you push yourself out of your comfort zone, if you write about themes that are difficult or emotional, if you explore forms and approaches that are not your standard template, then you are enriching your skills more than you suspect.
3 – Are you true to yourself? If your blogging journey is, in fact, a way to find, uncover, pull out your true writing “voice”, this is one of the most precious gifts a writer can give to themselves.
4 – Is your blog making you grow? If your thinking is becoming sharper, if the themes which are important to you slide out of the fog and crystallize themselves clearly, if you become less scared of the keyboard and more able to just sit and write something complete, it means you are in the process of becoming a more accomplished writer.
5 – Are you having fun? If every time you hit “publish” and see your work go live you experience an excited thrill, if whenever you come up with ideas for memes, photos, infographics you feel like a kid at craft hour, if your blog fills up your life with a sense of play it means you are already winning.
6 – Are you improving your writing? Writing is an art that needs to be exercised. The more you do it, the better you become. Look at your early posts and then look at your most recent ones – has your writing improved? Are you more proud of what you have been writing lately? If the answer is yes then you have great success under your belt.
7 – Are you making connections you treasure? Whether it’s with your readers, your followers, or other bloggers, the sense of community and being in touch with a responsive audience is priceless. It doesn’t matter if it’s only a few people, as long as they are true.
8 – Do you know yourself a bit better? Many great thinkers agree that the only way to understand the world is through searching our own soul. Some go as far as to state that our only goal in this life is that of getting to know our true selves. So if writing your blog is allowing you to meet the person you really are, then you cannot be doing it wrong.10 Questions To Determine Your Blog's Success - Despite What The Numbers Say @MamaBlues11 Click To Tweet
9 – Has your blog made your life better? If you are feeling more confident, bolder, if thanks to your writing you feel closer to other people, your mind is more open, you become more kind and relaxed, then it means that the time, resources and effort you are putting in your blog are paying off with something that no money can buy.
And if you really, really can’t stop obsessing about those numbers,
10 – Are they increasing, even if ever so slightly? No-one ever said that if it doesn’t happen fast, then it’s not good. Also, if there is one universal truth about a successful creative process, it’s that each one of us has her own path, tempo, and direction. Writers are like snowflakes, and snowflakes should not be preoccupied with how many likes they get. They just have to shine.