Success, Blogging, Christian- Interpretations

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.

Blogging Success

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.

The Ladder

“….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.

6 thoughts on “Success, Blogging, Christian- Interpretations”

  1. Hi Ilona,
    Golly, I wrote those posts quite a while ago. Thanks for continuing the discussion. One thing:

    “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. ”

    I don’t think so – we use method and skill in many different areas of life. Jesus definitely challenged the worldly concept of success – “what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his soul?” Just one example. “Gaining the whole world” involves using methods and skills.

    My posts were really a process I went through – the first one seemed to have garnered attention, the second, “The Meaning of Success” is where I continued on to in the process.

    When you say:
    “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. ”

    That’s very much along the lines of what I was saying in “The Meaning of Success”. I guess I feel that only half my process is represented in your discussion here.

    “I know I have learned somethings, and that counts for something towards what I would measure as success for me, in personal terms.”

    Which is closer to where I’m at with it, and what I was getting at – the meaning of the word “success” itself was what I was driving at.

    Thanks for providing some interesting thoughts about your process. Those posts generated quite a bit of discussion. I guess they hit on something for several people.

  2. By the way – I have always enjoyed your blog and do pop in and out. I like blogs where people think and show their process with things.

  3. Thanks Catez… this,”That’s very much along the lines of what I was saying in “The Meaning of Success”. ” is not surprising since it was your process that solidified the thought for me.

    Verrry interesting point on “gaining the world”. I will need to look at it from that perspective. Thank you so much for adding further thoughts.

  4. Good insights as usual, Ilona. I read Catez’s posts on this some weeks ago and frequently think back on them when I find myself wondering about the “numbers.”

    You spoke of online relationships and how we support each other in these. How do you help promote blogs that you enjoy? I notice you have a couple of blogrolls in your side bar, but wonder if you have another list of links that I simply haven’t come across? I’m always on the lookout for good blogs and would love to follow some of your favorite links.

  5. Carol,
    Mainly I try to highlight posts or write up an intro to the blogger- they are gathered together in my “Contemporaries” category. ‘Linky love’ lists are something I occsionally do and the memes will sometimes serve that way. Posting the H/T ( hat tip) with the url where I happened upon an item is another way to link fellow bloggers.

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