What Does the Word “Success” Even Mean in the Blogging World?

After reading some comments on one of my latest blog posts, it got me thinking about the meaning of success. As a blogger, you might think everyone has it all figured out. You might think they know what they want, how to get there and exactly what success means to them.

But I think you’d be surprised just how many of us find our vision of success a little blurry.

Our reasons for being a blogger and doing what we do vary from person to person. Ultimately, it goes back to your “why”, which is unique for everyone. It’s the same with the meaning of success — it’s different for everyone.

If you look at endless blog posts across the web, there are some generic things that could define success:

  • A six figure business
  • Tens of thousands of pageviews
  • A book deal
  • Your own product range
  • Being able to blog full-time

These “big bloggers” are now what we’ve become accustomed to. Because we see so many of these “here’s how I made a six figure business” posts, we believe that this is the norm — that this is success.

Can you even begin to imagine the pressure that puts on you?

I bet you feel it just thinking about it, don’t you? The feeling that you’ll never get there, the feeling that you can’t do it.

The feeling that this means you won’t be good enough.

But here’s the problem.

That’s not your version of success.

Maybe you don’t need those things to feel successful. Maybe you don’t want those things.

Maybe you’re being made to want those things because it’s all you see?

It’s all I wanted at one point. I had the belief that those things would make me successful.

Little did I know, it wasn’t right for me.

Success starts with knowing your own reasons for wanting it. What’s your purpose? To build a community of like-minded people who can come together? Be a teacher through your content? Offer advice and support? Or are you hoping to monetize and eventually turn your blog into a business?

Whatever your purpose, the most important thing is that it has to come from you. Not based on what other people are doing or what they say to you — just you.

For me, I feel like my blog and online presence is a success for a number of different reasons:

  • If I write regular content that continues to attract like-minded people and keep them engaged
  • If I can tell people are inspired by my words
  • People who comment on my posts and return daily to read my blog — these are the people I can build relationships with

ABOH started as a blog for me and it will always stay that way. I wanted to offer advice and support on topics I know about. I wanted to provide people with what I didn’t have when I was going through struggles — finding where I wanted to be, figuring out what I wanted to do, and navigating my way around the blogosphere.

If this helps, encourages and inspires my readers enough that they engage with them, I consider that a success.

When someone leaves a genuine comment and says “thank you for this post” — that is a huge definition of success in my world.

Whereas for others, success could mean reaching a certain number of subscribers, earning enough to be able to blog full-time, or using your content in a marketing sense, by raising the profile of your online business.

My version of success might be different to yours. But it will always have something in common.

To be truly successful, you can’t try to achieve what someone else is achieving. You’ve got to focus on reaching your own version of success.

If you compare yourself with the success of someone else, it will always feel like you’re failing.

I couldn’t bear the thought of living with that every day.

But to find your version of success means you’ve got to find the people who will help you get there. Who are the people that will engage with your content? Where are they?

People say you’ve got to go out and find your audience, which I know is confusing — where do you start?

It’s all about being active. Find blogs and comment on them — it still surprises me how many of my readers find me in this way. Take part in Twitter chats, join Facebook groups, promote your brand and get yourself out there.

Sometimes, people in your audience will find you. They won’t all come this way — that isn’t the formula for building an audience. But some people do find you.

I believe that regardless of what you blog about and how you blog about it, there are more important factors to reaching a version of success. You can write good content and share it with the right people, but if you’re chasing someone else’s success, it will never be good enough.

But if you’re chasing your own version of success with a purpose that is unique to you, there’ll be a difference. That is what will make you stand out and achieve what you want to achieve.

Ultimately, success is about feeling proud with where you’ve come from to where you’re at right now, no matter what stage of your life you’re in.

Really, that’s all any of us wants, isn’t it?


Originally published at abranchofholly.com on October 19, 2015.

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