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The Unheard Word

One woman's slightly skewed views

What Makes a Blog a Success?

Further to my post on why Business Blogging is a Good Thing, I’d like to first define “success” in this context.

Of course, there is no single correct answer and it depends on the goals of the individual blog.

For a blog that’s intended to be an online diary and mainly personal, success can be measured by the very fact that it has been “published” — and if one, or two, or more people comment on a post, then you’ve really “arrived”!

A blog that exists to draw attention to a “cause”, be it social, business, or philosophical, may never be able to quantitatively measure success. However, the type and number of responses by those commenting (along with analysis of web site statistics) may give a good idea of the extent of the reach, and the passion unleashed, by the blog’s posts.

For business purposes, there is no hard and fast “goal” either. Someone blogging solely to make money from the blog via advertising will measure success in different terms to the corporate blogger whose main purpose is to market an organisation’s services, products or brand, by drawing in the customer (and potential customer) with up-to-the-minute yet personalised information in the relevant field. For the home business operator, the goals may be similar — yet the methods are likely to be far less sterile (and far more opinionated, contentious and therefore more open to potential litigation).

So, success means different things to different bloggers and it all depends on what you want to achieve with your blog. Therefore, the first important thing is to define a goal (or goals). When setting goals, also define carefully-thought-out milestones along the way with a realistic timeline, so that some kind of measurement of outcomes is possible. You’ll need to note details of your current situation for the purpose of comparison.

Unless, of course, it’s purely a social kind of journal and measurable results of any kind are neither here nor there. But for bloggers who intend to make some kind of impact in their field, setting a realistic goal with realistic milestones is a good first step.

Just remember: the goals and milestones are guides, and subject to change and reassessment along the blogging journey. There is no reason to believe a blog has failed if results are not at first as hoped. It’s quite ok. Mistakes, external factors beyond our control, unexpected deviations from the anticipated path, and coming to terms with unrealistic expectations are all what I call “Learning Experiences”. They are simply stepping stones to the ultimate goal.

As with any aspect of business, circumstances, expectations and goals are subject to external factors and therefore subject to change. So assess, reassess and hang in there, and there will be results.

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