"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Are You a "Successful" Blogger? 8 Metrics to Consider

Ralph Waldo Emerson defines success as: "To laugh often and much. To win the respect of intelligent people." And motivational speaker and author, Zig Ziglar contends that success "cannot be defined in one sentence."

Truth is, we all define it somewhat differently.  For some, success is merely a matter of achieving one's goals, no matter how basic.
But, when it comes to success in blogging...well, it gets a bit more tricky here.

In a "blog fog" about how to categorize YOUR blogging status?

Aside from boasting thousands of followers, or landing a book contract based upon your site, here are a few key metrics and criteria to consider, in no particular order:

1). Level of engagement 
How well is your work really resonating with your readership? Are people picking up what you're putting down?  Here's an example. I love the fact that not only do I get weekly comments on my regular posts, I also have people that read posts that I've written here several years back, and they take the time to drop me a line, ask a question, or share how much they enjoyed a particular piece. In a nutshell, that means that not only am I blessed to have people visit my site, they also take time to explore, read, and revisit archived earlier work. It helps to keep me motivated. Thanks, guys.

2). Continued growth
I can laugh now. But when I started out, things were pretty pitiful at Pen and Prosper, folks.
In the infancy of my blogging career, the only people that were "following" my work was my Avon lady, a few close friends, and maybe a random stalker or two. LOL
But, I kept going. 3 people turned into 12, 12 people became 30. 30 people became 100, 100 people became 200, 200 people became 300...get the idea here? Are you expanding in reach? Even if it's just a few new readers a month, are your numbers growing? If so, keep going. Success is knocking at your door.

3). Consistency
Blogging is fun, but truth be told, it's a lot of hard work. Hello? And I should know. In addition to blogging for business clients and authors, I have posted over 600 articles and interviews to date at Pen and Prosper. And I've never been away from my keyboard for more than a few weeks at a time, (for vacations, important projects, etc.).  If you can say the same, pat yourself on the back. You deserve it. That's success!
In fact, Neil Patel, branding expert and blogging strategist states that: "Consistency is more important than creativity."   

4). Awards
It's one thing for us to take pride in our blog work, most do. But, to be recognized by peers that you respect in the blogging community? Well, it doesn't get much better than that. I must admit that it was a pivotal point in my blogging career, when I received my first one, and it continues to humble and excite me each year, in receiving subsequent ones. ( A special thanks to the bloggers and organizations that have considered me worthy).  If you're seeking to elevate your exposure level, your online reputation, and your bottom line this year, the social proof provided by winning awards can be the ticket.
Fanstory.com offers monthly contests worth checking into.  

5). Comments from readers
Though opinions vary here, for me a blog without comments is not entirely "successful." Don't get me wrong, I don't always get boatloads of blog comments, but since a blog is intended to be an interactive medium, comments help to assess whether readers find you interesting, engaging, and personable. What do you think here? Does it matter for you?  I'd love to get your views on this one.

6). Social media shares
Sharing is caring. I'm always flattered and tickled pink when readers spotlight my work and spread it within their social media circles. Social shares are the equivalent of votes or virtual hugs. I appreciate those of you who help to promote Pen and Prosper. And I know who you are. :-)
Do you get a lot of Tweets from your Peeps?  If you do, it speaks well of you.

7). Links to your work from fellow bloggers
No man is a success alone. Links from other sites and bloggers help to expand our reach and enable us to achieve more in less time. Google your Blog's name and see what you can find. Typically, the more links and mentions, the better.

8). Business clients acquired through your blogging efforts
More and more folks are earning pay for their say. Are you one of them? If you're making money, and "winning friends and influencing people" you're definitely considered a "success" by most standards. If not, you may want to reconsider your blogging strategy and approach.

Traffic will come and go. Popularity may ebb and flow. But, when it comes to blogging, the
above-listed items are a solid way to view your efforts more objectively and to reach new success levels in the months to come.

Your turn...
Agree or disagree? Which number above do you most relate to, in terms of being a successful blogger? Which are you working on?  Do tell.

Image credit: Freedigitalphotos.net


  1. I agree with all of the above. Number 3 in particular, strikes a chord. Consistency is key to maintain interest and followers. A reader can adore you/your blog but if you don't offer new and regular content, you're not offering anything long term that they can enjoy or benefit from. In addition to all the other reasons to be consistent, a regular presence through new posts help us rank higher in searches. I think too, that it's important to invest time in others' blogs, visiting and commenting. Sowing and reaping plays a big role in blog success too. Thank you for the insight, Jennifer!

    1. Karen,
      All good points from you here. Especially the search engine rankings reminder. Thanks so much for your time and input. :-)

  2. I agree completely. Number 7 rings out. I believe we owe it to others to reach out and help one another, and what better way than to give a shout out? Another great post!

  3. Hi Jennifer - I enjoy doing what I do - I'd like to expand and must do ... I keep being encouraged to do so. I'm happy with commenters being around ... and I've been lucky ... and I've made sure I'm a good blogging friend ...

    You've got lots going on - and congratulations on achieving so much .. cheers Hilary

  4. Hi there, Hilary,

    How lovely to hear from you today. I value your feedback. :-)

  5. My time is so much more fractured in the summer. But I shoot for consistency. I'll never get a reward for my blog but that's not why I do it. I enjoy comments from readers (more comments on FB lately than on the blog)and most of them are positive and keep me going. I've guest blogged and been paid. Thanks for these, Jen! Gets me thinking.

    1. Sue,

      You're very welcome. Can't wait to see what you come up with! :-)

    2. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 21, 2016 at 3:49 AM

      Few people blog for rewards or awards; it is for most a labor of love. But, few would deny either, that awards are the "icing" on an already tasty cake :-) Thanks again, Sue.

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  7. Hey Jennifer,

    Kudos on delivering another great post!

    Although my blogging lifespan could be categorized as being in its "infancy" stage, I totally agree with what your saying. I don't think a single statistic can paint an overall picture of success - take music for example; is award-winning music judged solely on its lyrical content? Although I wish it was more of a focus, it can't be the only deciding factor. I believe the aforementioned points form a well-rounded measuring stick.

    1. Hi Dave,

      Welcome back. :-) It's always a pleasure to have you here and to get your feedback. I value your input.