Why do I (continue to) blog?

When I tell folks that I am a blogger, I am often immediately asked if I make money on it.  No, I’m not trying to monetize my blog. So, why do I continue to blog, if not for the money? What defines success? Is my blog a success?

 

First, let’s look at the numbers. Because aren’t numbers the measure of success?

  • In 2017, I had 34 posts. My goal was one a week… so that’s only 65% of my goal – not even a C grade.
  • I’ve been told that 1000 visitors per month is a “solid number” for a non-company connected blogger. In the last 3 months I averaged 320 unique visitors per month with 950 views. I have regular readers (yeah!), but not nearly the numbers of visitors that defines a successful blog.
  • According to WordPress I have 173 followers. I know I have readers that don’t follow (or comment), but tap in when I link my blogs to Facebook or LinkedIn. Quite a few IRL friends will mention something to me that they would only know because they read my blog! However, even if I fudge the number up, it’s nowhere near the thousands of followers the successful bloggers and vloggers have.
  • I am still blogging after 2.5 years. I’ve heard statistics that few bloggers last beyond a year. So that’s a sign of sustainability a least.  🙂

 

So why do I continue to blog if the numbers would indicate I’m not successful at it? I often ask myself this question, especially on weeks where no blog topic seems to flow!

  • My blog allows me to connect with caring, supportive people all over the world. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a group of blogging friends across 2 countries combined efforts to snail-mail me a handwritten get-well card.   Simply amazing! And still gives me positive tingles.
  • My blog provides me accountability on my plans. My readers remember what I’ve said – they are often my best accountability partners.
  • My blog is my own life coach. Many times my blog writing is self-reflection or personal pep talking. If I write it down, I’m more likely to learn it.
  • Commenters on my blog provide me with guidance from someone who is working through his or her own transition. And they also provide different points of view on the topics I’m working through. They provide me a feeling I am not alone because others have similar feelings and challenges.

When my blog resonates with someone, makes someone think, inspires someone to try something – that to me is success! Even if the numbers don’t support it.

Do you feel you’re a successful blogger? What is your measure?

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57 thoughts on “Why do I (continue to) blog?

  1. I found your blog via Cresting the Hill (which I also just found today). I LOVE this post! I have blogged off-and-on since 2009, but my lack of consistency keeps me from feeling “successful” Like you, however, I blog because I desire community – to share my thoughts and experiences with others in the hopes of helping us all realize we are not alone in this world. You have inspired me to give blogging another try – to put my words out there in the hopes of connecting with others in a meaningful way. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found wonderful community but it does require an investment of time. It’s not just the writing (and re-writing), it’s the reading and commenting on others posts, resounding to comments on mine. But it has definitely been worth it to find others who are sharing a similar point in our life journey. Knowing I’m not alone on so many things is all worth it! Hope to see you back on-line with your thoughts and experiences.

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  2. What a great post and excellent discussion! I am pleased to have connected with you here via #mlstl linkup. I started blogging waaaay back in 2010 as a some people had suggested what I write would go well in a blogging format. I am now a fully-retired K-6 educator and as time has passed, the blog’s presence has continued in a consistent way. I am not a blogger out there to find money from this…I am a blogger to connect with many and I do that every single week from my readers (often fellow bloggers) ranging in age from late 20s to late…retirement years. I always say “I blog to connect” and that helped me even moreso in the past 10 months since my gum cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgeries. However, I like to think I can (and do) write across a number of interests and I have my own linky each Monday called #lifethisweek with optional prompts. Thank you for sharing what you do! Denyse x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Denyse, I’m glad I’m trying on the Link-up world with #MLSTL. It was one of the things I planned for my recovery period with my own cancer. (Not nearly as serious as yours and I’m doing really good). This has been an interesting discussion as you point out and I’m learning even more about myself through it. I do love the connections! And I’m impressed you have connections across such a wide range of folks…. I’m now wondering how my own blog will evolve in content over the coming years. Love when folks make me think!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Pat – Great article. This is the first time I have come across your blog and I absolutely agree with your sentiments. Like you, I have a relatively small numbers of readers / views, and I recently decided I did the blog as much for myself as anyone else. I am not trying to monetize it, but it gives me another interest. Eighteen months in, I realise I am still a newbie in blogging terms!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting and welcome! As many have pointed out, many bloggers blog for the fun of it. Congrats on doing it for 18 months…. you’ve passed the point many stop. I’m coming over to check you out!

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  4. Hi Pat, I always enjoy reading a range of blogs, yours included, because it’s real stuff, not the made up celebrity rubbish that its poked down our throats all the time. You’re reasons for continuing to blog are also real and I agree with all of them. I’ve been blogging for a while now and I’m like you, I’d rather know that my post has resonated with someone. I’m still always so surprised when people actually read, like and comment on my posts! I consider myself a successful blogger because I still enjoy it so much. I run out of time to do all I want to do though 🙂 All the best in your blogging journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am amazed at people who can create interesting content twice a week! I have a few bloggers I follow that actually post daily… but their posts are often much, much shorter than anything I write. My goal has always been weekly, and even then… ideas don’t always come. Or I feel repetitive, since I try to blog on the topic of retirement transition. I’ve had to consciously not beat myself up when I am not posting on my once a week goal. (too many nots in that sentence – LOL!) But I continue for the connections…and hope that a new idea will spark when I read other’s thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I started my blog after I moved from the US to Germany. I use it as a way to keep my friends and family back home up to date on all of our adventures. It has since expanded, I have found that other people want to hear about our adventures too. Not sure if this is success by anyone else’s standard, but it makes me happy. (And really, that’s all that matters to me).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a friend who re-activates a blog for his wife when she’s in her next round of cancer treatments. (she’s been through 3 big ones and still a survivor). It’s all about communicating to friends and family. Most of my IRL friends and family don’t read my blog, except my mom. My hubby is my proofreader on drafts, so that doesn’t count. (I started that after so many stupid typo mistakes early on). For me, the blog was about finding a like-minded tribe. I think it’s wonderful that your friends and family connect with you that way!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a few IRL friends who read my posts occasionally… I know because they will say something they would only know because I blogged about it! They never comment. It’s my blogging friends, my new tribe, that I can count on to comment and stimulate my thinking!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pat, I love the parts about your blog being you accountability partner and life coach! I never thought of it that way and it truly is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda. As one of my possibilities in retirement, I explored being a life coach (I actually am a certified life coach but don’t practice much) … I can totally tell you my blog is my life coach in many ways. I ask myself the critical questions, synthesize the answers, look for the insights and deeper meaning, formulate the plan, and put it out there for people to monitor my progress. Unlike a true life coach… I don’t get paid. Unless I consider the rewards I buy myself for executing my plan my personal payment. [Yeah, that is one of the ways I commit to action steps…give myself rewards! when I execute them!] Maybe this is #19 in your list….your blog can become your own life coach.

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  7. I have been blogging for about 2 years now and have been up down and all over the place with numbers (and my blog was hacked last year as a bonus). I blog for pleasure and am keen to also make some (more) money. I am fortunate to also have been gifted clothes and shoes, but that is more related to my social media activities than to blogging.
    In the end, if it makes you happy that is the most important criteria of all. I love the connection with my readers and have had the pleasure of meeting some of them ‘in the flesh’. That makes my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jan, I do hope to meet some of my regular commenters IRL some day… we so often seem to be on similar wavelengths. I’m not big on social media activities so can’t expect that to grow my blog. And since I blog about personal transition, I cant think who would gift me anything! But I do blog for pleasure — the love of crafting a post, the joy when someone says they are inspired by my words. I guess you could say (stealing from pop culture) – that is priceless!

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  8. Hi Pat I totally agree with all you have written. The connections are the best part of blogging in my view. I started my blog 3 years ago after I had retired and found I wasn’t adjusting. It has made such a difference to my life and although as Leanne mentioned above we all think our blog will be the ‘next big thing’ we soon realise it isn’t. You get out of it what you put in and if you are a genuine person people will keep visiting and you will continue to build relationships. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us at Midlife Share the Love Party. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue. As I mentioned to Leanne, link parties were a totally new thing to me and one of my things to try this year. I’ve enjoyed it – I’m following a few new people which expands the connections and perspectives I read. Only challenge now is that I’ve already read so many of the party link posts before they link because I follow them! LOL!

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  9. I think we all start our blogs thinking we’ll be the next big thing. 6 mths down the track we realize that’s never going to happen. If we’ve been consistent, by then we’ve found our little niche and our tribe and our connections and from there, the whole perspective changes. I LOVE the connections I’ve made through my blog, the comments, the groups, the link parties – it’s a fabulous hobby (that I don’t make a cent from either – but it costs me nothing so who cares?) I don’t have to sell my soul to promote products, I don’t have anyone to answer to other than myself – what’s not to love? Great post xx Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne. I’ve had fun with the #MLSTL link….Links were a new thing for me to try this year, and I’m now following a few new folks – new connections! Y

      You’re right, this costs me nothing but time and all the connections and perspectives are totally worth it. Even when I struggle to find something to write about…. I’m sure I’ll be inspired by something someone posts soon.

      Like

  10. A blog that is intended to be for fun, connecting with like-minded people, and sharing experiences and ideas shouldn’t be about numbers.

    I measure success by how I feel. When it stops being entertaining, informative, supporting, inspiring, creative, and fulfilling … then I’ll stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great insight on measures of a different sort, versus the numbers. Coming from a corporate career where it was all about the numbers, this is a hard transition for me… but I’m working on it! Supportive is a great word to define blog success because it covers the total experience…not just writing, but engaging on others blogs as well. Thanks!

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      1. I come from a corporate background as well. In fact, data management was my career so I know all about numbers, and measuring success or failure.

        In retirement I too struggled with the idea of purpose, goals, and measuring progress. I just choose not to apply it to my blogs. These are intended to be my “creative playgrounds” and I try not to burden them with my left-brain thinking.
        I never had the time or energy to engage in creative activities, so this is new to me. The more I experiment with my creative side, the more I love it.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your blog, Pat. It is inspiring, informative and highly thought-provoking.. As the comments indicate, there are many, many of us who would miss you (or track you down) if you quite blogging. To me, that is true success!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Track me down, hmm? Unfortunately that isn’t a threat… because I know you have a way of finding people IRL and I’d love to meet you!

      Thanks for the kind words and about being thought-provoking as well. I love when others provoke my thinking, so that is a huge compliment for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Pat, I blog because I enjoy writing. I do not use social media to gather in readers and followers. I prefer to keep blogging as one of the many activities that I enjoy, as opposed to let it dominate my day. I use a free Blogger template and the stats dashboard is not sophisticated so I don’t bother interpreting the numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Natalie, I link my blog to FB only because that’s how a few of my IRL friends access it. (they told me, so I continue). But I don’t push social media… I’m clueless as to how to use Twitter effectively. Like you, I find enjoyment in the writing and now I’ve realized, I enjoy the whole community experience. That’s been a new learning with this post!

      Like

  13. I have been blogging for almost eight years. I average 38,000 views a month and make a whopping $400 a year from Amazon and Google ads! So, obviously I blog for reasons other than money. It is my creative outlet. It forces me to write on a regular schedule. I have made many virtual and in-person friends because of the blog. Reader comments are instructive, helpful, and sometimes a needed slap in the face. I stopped once for about 2 months and missed the routine and feedback rather quickly; back I came..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob, As I am one of your followers, I know you have often inspired my own retirement transition thinking. And it’s good to know you’re still doing it after 8 years (I didn’t realize it had been that long, but I do recall you saying you were done and then coming back!) I do know it’s my blogging buddies that are now the ones keeping me going…my virtual friends. And the total experience of learning together. Thanks for taking the time to comment… and for giving me a role model of a long term blogger in this space!

      Like

  14. Hi Pat,
    If you’d never started blogging, I wouldn’t have found my twin. And if you ever decide to stop blogging, you’d be subjected to emails from me asking questions that would necessitate blog length answers. So see, it’s good that you blog. I’m so glad that you blog.

    And yes, in answer to your questions, I’m a successful blogger because I’m achieving the three goals I set for myself before I started my blog. They were to: connect with other vibrant, creative, purpose-filled, passionate women (like you); synthesize, consolidate, understand what I’m learning on my profound journey, and make my art -combine words and images in ways that, hopefully, inspire others.

    Making money was never my goal. I was initially quite disappointed that my blog hasn’t grown faster (more subscribers) than it has, but I let that go as soon as I realized what would be required to achieve those numbers. I have zero interest in social media, so am content to grow slowly through word of mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, I am chuckling out loud. Yes, we are twins in so many ways – it always amazes me when you’re posting things I’m contemplating. Thank you for saying you’re glad I blog. It’s folks like you that actually keep me going in it!

      So, we need to come up with a cool phrase for the vibrant, creative, reflective, and inspiring women (and men) we meet virtually in this wonderful blog-space. Blogging buddies seems so superficial for what they offer us.

      Money was never my goal either. Even for the book I’m writing on the same topic (retirement transition). It is about connecting with others and providing (and I’m learning, receiving as well) inspiration.

      But it’s the comparative inferiority complex of mine simply rearing its ugly head even now…do I have as many followers as her, or him? Ugh. I need to keep reminding myself it is about the connections. And the creative writing to synthesize my thoughts. And the giving and receiving inspiration on life’s journey. Yup, profound!

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      1. Hey Pat,
        I hear you, I hear you. The comparative inferiority complex is still alive and well in me too. Recently, mine has gotten even worse. It used to be that I just worried that I don’t have very many subscribers. Lately, I’ve been looking at how quickly people respond to other’s blogs and how slowly those same people sometimes respond to mine. In one case, I realized a person whose blog I comment on all of the time is never on my site and now I’m thinking of unsubscribing from hers. Instead, as an interim measure I’ve learned how to change my display name from karen207 to, as you can see, karen@profoundjourney.com. Maybe I’ll subliminally influence her to notice that I have a blog too.

        Oh, my. How embarrassing to admit to these insecurities! And to admit that the answer I left above has been supplanted already by these new worries. Ridiculous!!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Karen, I read some folk’s blogs and never comment. And I have bloggers I read regularly and comment on regularly who do not read mine at all. I have commenters who I don’t follow. Hey, I even have IRL friends who read my blog and never ever comment! [I know they do because they’ll mention things that they would only know if they read my blog]

      Sometimes I don’t comment quickly because I’ve read the blog on my phone or tablet and they are a pain to respond on. Especially if my comments need to be more than a one-liner… which you know by now is most common! And I don’t necessarily read blog posts everyday…because you know – life!

      I can’t look at either shared-reading or commenting speed as elements of success. So twinsee… compare yourself to me and drop it too!

      I do feel the quality of the comments is an indication of engagement and that’s important to me. And I know you get awesome quality comments (no, not just mine). So there… you win on that!

      Like

  15. I have been encouraged to start my own blog, but I have yet to actually engage. If I ever get there, my blog would be a complete potpourri – no theme at all, just random observations about various topics that I find interesting in my life, though there would be a lot of science, cooking, nutrition, tools and making, not necessarily in that order. I would not do it for income either. It would totally be for trying to provide some useful information to people and provide another creative outlet for me.

    Your blog posts are well-written and always informative. I, for one, enjoy reading them. Please continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob, you’ve got the makings of a good blog name there: Potpourri. Or as I like to call you: Renaissance Man. I’d be a follower. And maybe I’d learn a bit more about cooking and wine. Not woodworking…. I’m trying to downsize toys in this household, not add!

      Thanks for the kind words about being well-written and informative. The researcher inside me was thrilled.

      Like

  16. All things are relative. I have zero followers. Course I’ve told no one I have have a blog. 😁 My blog is really my digital journal. I simply like recording what I’ve learned as I’ve started my new hobby of knitting. I don’t want a blog hobby. So for me success is the simple act of recording something I’ve learned about my knitting hobby.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a LOL moment when you said you have no followers but then it’s because you told no-one. Well you have a follower (at least one) now. I’ve never been inspired to knit, but I do appreciate knitters and their outputs (and do follow another knitter – Holly). It’s also an interesting insight that the blog is a recording of what you’re doing. I realize that mine is as well…it’s recording how I’me growing and changing through this retirement transition. As I’m a slow learner, I’ll be continuing to transition for awhile!

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  17. That “success” question pops into my head from time to time. My occupation was as a PR guy so a lot of my work revolved around business writing – not very creative. I started my blog as a way to get a bit more creative and to keep track of our travels. Some of the situations we’ve found ourselves in around the world made for some funny stories and continue to. I guess I see myself now more of a storyteller, but still basing it on travel. I don’t get hung up on visitors and views. What surprises me is the random countries that seem to find my posts. If I ever find my everyday (non-travel) life a little more interesting I might increase my posts beyond the scattered few every couple of months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chris, I started my blog after taking a creative writing class! I was a technical writer as part of my job, but always felt like I had a storyteller inside. But the creative writing class showed me how challenging description and dialogue were. So my blog became stories about my life and my reflections… a creative outlet but not what I consider creative writing. Maybe I should reconsider that POV. Thanks for the perspective!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I can only speak for myself. The book contracts, the movie rights, and the 60 Minutes interviews alone are probably my ultimate reward. But really, it’s the knowledge that with each of my posts, many of which contain grammatical errors that would make my high school English teacher rap my knuckles with a ruler, I <b<still have people who read the drivel that comes out of my fingers. Amazing!

    I say to hell with statistics. Just continue to write what you comes from your inner compass, Pat. There’s an army of fellow bloggers who are interested in what you have to say. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hmmm. Have you drafted the book. Because, you know I have. But I didn’t think about worrying about movie rights! Oh dear.

      Thanks for your kind words about being interested in what I have to say. It’s folks like you who actually do keep me going!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I also see my blog as a personal life coach, as you so well defined it. I hope to put something together from all my writing through the past 15 years or so. It’s amazing how much we forget of our past, and it’s also so helpful to see how much we have grown, adapted, transformed. I, for one, thank you for sharing part of your life with us, your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheryl, 15 years of writing – WOW! I have been pulling together my 3 years worth into a book draft… and am starting to think about self-publishing it. Of course, I have changed a bit in the 3 years post-career, so it’s been interesting to bring it together coherently.
      Thank you for reading (and commenting).

      Like

  20. I guess we all need to define “success” for ourselves. I blog for several reasons: chiefly the connection you mentioned (although that wouldn’t have been a reason when I first started my blog 4 1/2 years ago – who knew?) but also to give myself an outlet for my writing and photography. I don’t use social media to gather in readers and followers (too much trouble) but I do find that being an active reader of, and commenter on, other blogs I like, plus responding promptly to comments on my blog has helped me to gain loyal followers. That’s good enough for me.

    Your posts are always well thought out and well written. Anyone who is contemplating, in the early stages of, or well into retirement can gain a lot of insight by reading your blog. What you write resonates and inspires me regularly. I call that a success!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I have been blogging for almost 1.5 years. (Ihave about 100 less followers than you.) If I was in this for the money I would be hurting! So I would say I am not successful in terms of views and followers. My reasons mirror your pretty closely. It is an outlet for me and I love to share my thoughts, I am somewhat shy and don’t always get to speak in a group setting. Blogging gives me this opportunity. Writing helps me to put things into perspective. I have met some wonderful folks and read some awesome posts. Posts that make me laugh, cry, or think. As I reread over my comment I see the benefits of what I have received from blogging. So I guess my blogging experience is a success! Thanks for the opportunity to self reflect! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yeah… “writing helps me put things into perspective” . And then it helps me expand that perspective at times and get back so much… like your comment about what I get from other bloggers I have met through this forum. The blogging experience is more than just my writing. Great insight!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Pat, you’ve put down a lot of thoughts I’ve had myself about blogging. My numbers aren’t dissimilar to your own. I tell myself that must be how I like it because I know I could work a lot harder at getting those numbers up. It wouldn’t be too difficult if you spent even 15 minutes a day really marketing the blog, posting comments on other blogs, using Reddit, whatever. However, one of my biggest horrors would be being “discovered” as a blogger, which feels a bit perverse. If I don’t want recognition, why am I doing it? My only answer is that I enjoy writing, it’s a hobby, and it helps me think. I keep a diary too and, again, I’d hate that to be in the public domain although a lot of what I write in that is similar to what ends up in the blog. Complicated, really, but I enjoyed reading your analysis of what motivates you. Maybe I’ll have to blog about my own motivations to help me work it out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder if I would be horrified as well to be discovered, because then I would feel really bad if I missed a post. I agree, I like writing and it’s a hobby. I also journal and I’ve even started writing food reviews on-line (Yelp) when we eat out…don’t expect to be discovered there either. Thanks for your perspective to help me realize I do it because I like it (the writing)!

      Like

  23. Pat – I am glad you continue to blog because when you talk about your life, I really relate and I feel that I am getting to know you! It really is work to become “successful” in the traditional sense. I am impressed by those of you who really work at this blogging gig, week after week, reading and commenting on lots of other blogs, participating in social media, etc etc.

    For me right now, I’m not going to worry about metrics even though my competitive side wants me to over-achieve. At this point, if I could get a posting out every other week, I would consider that a small step in the right direction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian, thanks for your kind words. I started this blog to find like-minded folks because most of my IRL friends could not relate to the retirement transition. One good friend didn’t even want to hear me talk about it! (I think she’s afraid of her own transition and losing her identity with it.) My goal remains one post a week, but it’s definitely an ideal, pie-in-the-sky, gold-medal kinda goal, so I never beat myself up for not hitting it. I’m like those Olympic athletes that are thrilled if they get a bronze medal (one post a month!).

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