In Allthings2all: Christian Women, Blogging, Allthings2all asks if you are a successful blogger and seeks to tie that with “Is attracting the most readers a mark of success in Christian terms?”
I don’t consider myself very successful at this. For a variety of reasons, but I make my own bad luck sometimes. Choosing to be a religiously oriented blog who dabbles in political opinion and being a woman is just asking for trouble. Something I often do. No… I fairly dare trouble, and so shouldn’t be surprised that I tend to offend.
I ought to, by rights, have lots of people who love me for that, except for my very bad habit of refusing to have party loyalties. But enough about me;) Let’s talk about blogging.
Catez asks, “What is success?” In blogging, I should think it is much like any other form of writing. Twofold, one being numbers of readers, yes, definitely. The other being influence. I would count influence and readership among a peer group of bloggers as very important. I guess in that case I am equating success with a modicum of respect in that world.
She has a follow-up post that explores the meaning of success, but I would like to say from my own view that this is measured according to the goal. What was the goal of the blog effort? As you accomplish the goals or as those expand, you can gauge whether success is in the offing. This may not involve numbers of readers, it can-in fact- be somewhat private. But there is also the outside view of success and that is going to be fairly uniform in criteria. Influence, numbers, and return are all going to be the categories measured. How you judge yourself depends upon which audience you intended to please.
“….in reality blogging isn’t quite that autonomous – we help each other. Numerous men and women link to this blog and link to different posts. I have the opportunity to contribute to two group blogs because of the generosity of others. Men and women have helped me along”
I think this is key in online relationships, and let’s face it, as in all things there is that fickleness of people- who likes who and who chooses to help whom, as in all of life. It isn’t always about talent or hard work, although those are high on the list. You can have this attraction-factor naturally or you can create it, but you aren’t going anywhere without some support from your fellow bloggers.
Then, too, sheer tenacity has its value in many paths of life, probably in blogging as much as anything.
“What is a successful blog? Are you a successful blogger”
No, I’m not, but not for lack of trying. And that means I have been looking at the options for blogging which makes it succesful. As always, something successful meets a need. The reader needs something… and a blog that keeps their attention is giving something considered worth the time reading it. This is going to factor in more and more as the blogging public becomes so crowded. Even now, there are so many good blogs for analyses of political news that you can’t hit them all. RSS readers are helping, but soon, even those will need some thinning. Because there is only so much time in the day.
One thing marketing is doing with blogs is what I would call the “Aunt Jemima” configuration. There is a picture of a real person, a personality and role represented, but it is only mimicking the personal nature of the blog medium. Celebrities seem to have this sort of image-making and that is one avenue for blogs. The Madison Avenue one without appearing to be so. Not to my taste, that’s for sure.
Good or bad? I’ve got no opinion on that. Sometimes things just go in a direction due to pressures that they are unable to resist. And all online presence is under pressure to commercialize. Commercialization is a loss of voice, often… so for some goals this is counter to success in intent.
I’m not sure the entire question is worthwhile to pursue- a little esoteric for a subject which is primarily centered in method and skill. There are levels of importance to people in the pursuit of that.
Finally, I do think we forget how very instrumental God is in this, as in all things. We set our hands to do this, to accomplish goals, but the outcomes are more in God’s hands than ours. Who can fully explain why someone is wildly popular and another can’t seem to get off the ground? We like to think it is all in our own abilities and efforts. For the Christian, it is mainly getting your purposes lined up with your standards and keeping everything submitted to God’s Will for your own life.
That is just not going to be measured in any other way than the personal.
Presently, like many others, I find blogging to be an enjoyable pastime. If I were going to become serious I would edit out many of my private feelings, solidify the tone and theme, etc. That is not in my plan at this time, so I will settle for less than successful in exchange for personal freedom to experiment. I know I have learned somethings, and that counts for something towards what I would measure as success for me, in personal terms.