Successful Blogging: Realistic Expectations
So, you blogging and wondering when you’re going to get rich and famous, right? The answer is likely never. I don’t mean to rain on your parade but one of the biggest things you need to do as a blogger is set realistic expectations. It’s one thing to have a goal in mind and to set out to accomplish it; it’s something we should all do as bloggers, as humans. The road to reaching those goals can be a long one full of obstacles.
I’ll use myself as an example since it’s the best one I know 🙂 I started my blog, Creative Twilight, as an escape from forums. I grew tired of seeing the same things asked over and over and the worthwhile topics being buried under pointless drivel. I figured a blog was a good platform to express my opinions and views to a larger audience without fear of being pushed off page one in a few hours.
Early on I got a handful of faithful readers and I was stoked! I was well on my way to being a 40K personality and everyone would know who I was in no time. Hell, I’d make some money while I was at it with Google Adsense too! Months of waiting became years and I had grown a reader base but it was nowhere near what I expected it to be. Worse, and this is still very true today, newer blogs were gaining a staggering amount of readers and traffic; far beyond anything I was accomplishing. What were they doing that I wasn’t? I became pretty disappointed and thought many times about just hanging it up and letting the blog fade as so many had.
Define Your Own Success
Once I set aside my unrealistic expectations I began focusing on setting accomplishable goals. You have to set yourself up for success, not failure. I began creating a focus for my blog where before it was a bit of everything. It still is a bit of everything but it does have a defined focus now. That was my first goal, to create a niche for my blog. I then set aside any thoughts of getting rich and famous. Google Adsense wasn’t going to make me a millionaire and most people would continue to associate Thor with the comic book and not me, the 40K blog author.
The biggest thing I did though was define what success was going to be for me. My idea of success went from getting 10,000 readers a day and making $100 a week off ads to creating a community. I would be happy to only get a handful of readers a day if those readers commented and contributed to the articles. I would rather have fewer readers who engage with the blog positively than the insane amount of traffic that some blogs get where nobody comments, or those that do are insulting the blog and its authors. Success would be having one person say, “Great article!” instead of 500 views in the first hour of publication with no comments. Basically, quality over quantity.
Part of defining my own success was also to stop comparing my blog to other blogs as well as trying to be something I’m not. Looking to other blogs for inspiration and to try and understand their success was useful. However, trying to directly compare my blog to theirs as a means of measuring my own success never did me any favors. There will always be more popular blogs than mine but they aren’t my blog and it’s my blog I care about.
Blogging is hard work and there are a lot of highs and lows in doing it. The trick is to focus on those highs, to learn from those lows but to not let them drag you down. Be yourself and aim for the sky with your blog but take achievable steps to get there. Celebrate those small accomplishments and realize that failure is part of the process and it’s how you deal with failure that will define you.