Is It Possible To Measure Blogging Success?
Short answer? Yes, to a degree. BUT A successful blog is one with a happy/fulfilled owner.
Long answer? It’s complicated, and we shall delve into it below!
I think I will be amongst the majority if I admitted that my blogging started out as a hobby – and then evolved into a passion. However, with the more time I spend on it, the more I wonder how do I really know if my blog is progressing or growing? What even counts as a successful blog? Does it even matter? (Probably Not!). Here are my thoughts, I would love to hear yours at the end!
Number of Followers/Subscribers
There are humans that would subscribe because they want to watch me ramble on a regular update? Fantastic! This count makes me happy as it means people care enough to be monitoring my blog or placing me on their feed. However, it’s important not to get worked up over the number because of a couple of factors:
- It’s easily inflatable: e.g. via giveaway (which I adore :D) and follow-for-follow (which I am ambivalent about, however, I can understand the temptation – I’ve certainly fallen into its trap on occasions, especially on Instagram).
- It’s hard to keep track of: what with bloglovin + email subscription list + GFC + WordPress… I can barely keep track of my own count.
- This applies more to older blogs: how many of the people who initially subscribed are still active on the blogosphere? I have only been around for 3 months and even I have noticed the coming and going of my older followers (WOES, come back as I miss you!!)
This is my personal favourite as I adore chatting with you all and visiting your blog. I admit my heart swells a little with every comment, and I even get a little sad when a post does not do as well in engaging my regular commenters. However, I know 90% of the reason why I get so many comments is because I am a comment spammer myself! The ways that could influence activity are:
- As mentioned above, how actively the blogger is engaging the community: more commenting generally means more comments. Good karma = awesome.
- Whether what the blogger is posting is of ‘mainstream interest’ – I notice that my posts on popular books always get more interaction than my reviews of more obscure title. This completely makes sense, as I know how hard it is to talk about books I have NO CLUE on.
- There are PLENTY of huge blogs that I stalk regularly, but don’t leave comments on because I am a bit intimidated. So the number of comments does not always equal wide reach.
This actively shows how many people are reading your blog, where in the world they’re from, and which posts are the most popular. I find that this measure is also disproportionate to a lot of other stats as well:
- My graphics design post is by far my biggest pageview earner, but I find that I get proportionately less comments. In fact, my Throne of Glass Wallpaper post pulled in 1200 pageviews out of a total of 7500 so far this month! Enough to make me entertain making more graphics – but laziness wins.
- I can imagine posts such as Monthly/Weekly Book Release, Memes (especially for those who hosts them), giveaway posts etc… also having similar effect.
- How regularly you post: a person who posts twice a week will get less views than a person who posts 6 times a week, given that they have the same audience reach.
- Discrepancies between the system that is measuring your pageviews. Google Analytics seem to be the most reliable. I know when I use to have a shoujo manga blog on a different host aeons back, I got LOADS of views but I suspect majority of them were from bots because I never promoted my blog.
Verdict: so while pageview is a useful measure, it’s influenced by many factors. I actually care about this one the least.
PUBLISHERS / ARCs / AUTHOR ‘FRIENDS’
This is an area I don’t want to go to deep in because that way drama lies. But I feel like this is an area where people actively get blogging envy. It does feel so good when you are put onto that coveted reviewer list, get whitelisted for a publisher, or are on first name basis with your favourite authors. But just remember ARCs are not everything. Authors are people and bloggers are people. Plus:
- International bloggers will find it a bit harder to get ARCs, despite their popularity.
- Only you can determine your worth, not a publicity agent who only knows you through your blog stats!
DON’T FORGET ABOUT OTHER PLATFORMS
While I mainly squat on my own blog, remember that other bloggers might find it more worthwhile to spend their time on other internet places. I know tons of bloggers who amass THOUSANDS of ardent fans on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, yet keep a lower profile on their blog because they like the other social sites better. More power to them!
Basically, all I learned from writing this post is that:
i) You should never judge a blog by its stats and
ii) At the end of the day, I just want to have fun and hang out with my book people!
iii) Numbers are the worst. There are no real measures. A successful blog is one that has a happy blogmistress/blogmaster!
But has quantifying your successes ever mattered to you? What do you think make a successful book blog? Please share!