I have mentioned many, many times why I won’t ever be a “big” blogger or “successful” according to the blogging world. However, for as slow as my growth over 8 years has been and the fact that I don’t make any money off my blog, I still believe I have been successful with blogging.
And really, what is success? To me, it’s not the amount of followers or amount of income I get with blogging. No. It’s more of the experiences, the feelings, the friends. I’m here to tell you small bloggers, you plateaued veteran bloggers– you don’t have to be a big blogger to be successful.
I’m not big by any means. I don’t have 1000 followers on any single social media platform–the closest is Pinterest at almost 950 followers. I barely get over 5000 views a month. I have no email subscriber/newsletter lists. I don’t work full-time on my blog and I earn peanuts…if that. I’ve been at this for eight years! But, I still consider myself a successful blogger. Here’s why.
Have I learned a new skill?
I consider learning and mastering a skill being successful. Before I started blogging, I had no idea about HTML coding, social media platforms (except for Facebook), graphic design, SEO, etc. In the past 8 years, I have successfully become proficient at both Blogger and WordPress, as well as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I’ve learned how to create branded pinnable images. I’ve bought a DSLR and learned how to take good quality photos as well as how to edit photos. I’ve learned to come out of my shell to network with other bloggers and companies.
With these newfound skills, I have been able to be a photographer for a newborn photo shoot, become a freelance writer, and ghost-manage a Beach Body coach’s blog, newsletter, and Twitter/Pinterest accounts. I call that pretty successful.
Have I made new friends?
I have gotten to know so many people very well through blogging. Whether it was from random followers in the early days of blogging before 2010, or people I’ve collaborated with and kept in touch…doesn’t matter. These friends know me just as well as my in-real-life friends do. We check up on each other. We support each other. We inspire each other. We joke with each other. When I lived in Utah, I got to know many other Utah bloggers who happened to be teachers as well. Since we all lived within two hours of each other, we would get together often. Now, we almost all have kids and are super close inside and outside of the blogging world. I’m an introverted person, so I’m very glad I have an easy way to ease into friendships.
Have I gotten anything from blogging?
Yes, I’ve had one paid campaign–with Eggo Waffles! But, other than that, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many brands and get a product in exchange for a review. Yes, I know that there is a trend now that bloggers believe they should be paid on top of receiving a free product, but I don’t. I look at the monetary value of the product. I only review products I would’ve spent money on anyway.
Have I changed from blogging?
I am an introvert, but I find it easier to talk to people now, online and offline. I pour out my heart and soul online, so I feel I have opened up to others. My self-worth has grown because of all the skills I’ve learned. I consider myself a work-at-home mom, which I never thought would be possible or that I would want it. Never would I have ever considered doing freelancing if I had not already been in the blogging business. I want to do more fun things. Yes, a part of that reason is “it would be cool to photograph and blog about!” But, the fact is, me and my family are getting out more and enjoying more adventures together. And….I typically forget my camera anyway!
Do I enjoy what I do?
I don’t consider my blog a business. Again, I know that the trend is to do so, but to me, although I may devote a lot of hours to it, I still consider it a hobby. If need be, I can easily stop blogging and social media for a while and not feel guilty, but I always come back to it. My husband has told me how proud he is of keeping with blogging, of learning new things, of getting my first paid campaign, of making new friends, of receiving new opportunities. It brightens my day and gets me excited.
I love blogging. I feel fulfilled with it. And, when it truly boils down to it, it’s not the size or income that matter. If you love what you do, then you are successful at blogging.