You Don’t Have to Be a Big Blogger to Be Successful

Did you know you don't need to be making a large income or have thousands of followers to be successful as a blogger. Answer these four questions to determine your success as a blogger.

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.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • Shelly Joseph

    U r big time 2 me😁

  • That’s the thing, nobody else can define success for us, we have to decide what it looks like for ourselves. I have an idea of what I need to be successful in all areas of my life, where other people’s goals are higher than mine in some areas and that’s totally ok. Too often we hear people saying, “They’re so successful and I’m not”. But every single person has something that they are doing in their lives that another person would love to be doing instead. You might see some big time lawyer making hundreds of dollars and think, “Wow, they’re so successful” but they might look at you with your two cute kids and the ability to be a SAHM and wish that’s what they were doing instead. 🙂

    • Exactly. We have to determine for ourselves if we are successful or not. And that is why I consider myself a successful blogger.

  • I don’t consider my blog as a business either. I just have fun with it and really enjoy writing. Great post!

    • And I think it’s always important to keep in mind when and why you started blogging. I didn’t start blogging to make money. I did it because it looked fun and I wanted my voice out there.

  • Yes yes yes! These are all things I would also consider successful and I believe I’ve reached. Sometimes I still find myself comparing my blog to others and I get discouraged. It’s nice to be reminded that numbers aren’t everything.

    • I think you are successful, too! Always remind yourself how much you’ve grown from when you began and keep in mind the WHY you started in the first place.

  • I agree. I am not the biggest blogger but that doesn’t mean I can’t work with brands if I want. I’ve had my own version of success as well.

    • Exactly! I was surprised when I got my first offer!

  • All super great points. Blogging has brought me some many new skills I never thought i would know and I consider that a success!

    • And these skills are definitely transferable! I mean, I’ve been able to get some freelance jobs because of what I taught myself while blogging!

  • heidi williams

    Definitely success in any fieldis not measured by coin. I am glad blogging has enhanced your life and everybody doesn’t have to earn with it. I have been lucky enough to do so but I know I would do it regardless.

    • Earning money is just the cherry on top, I think.

  • catloverd

    This sounds like me! I blog as a hobby and I never expected to make money from it. I still remember the shock when I got companies asking me to review a product for them in exchange I got to keep the product for free! I consider that a win! I don’t ever demand to be paid.

    • I know right! The first product review, then the first paid campaign. Dreams come true!

  • Hear hear! My blog has been much more about learning new skills and going out and exploring the world and documenting adventures. And personally I like having a little bit of space and blogging on my own terms 🙂

    • Exactly! It’s all about you, not necessarily your audience!

  • Nelu

    How long have you been blogging? Do you make enough to support yourself even minimally? I’m just wondering because it’s a dream of mine to become a full-time digital creator

    • I’ve been blogging since 2009. I don’t make money…I’ve only had one paid campaign and it was minimal. But, I also don’t put money into my blog. I’d rather save for a house or preschool for my kids.

  • One of the things I’ve learned blogging is not to compare myself to other people. My blog’s only small but as long as I encourage at least a few people with my writing, then I count that as a success.

    • It’s definitely hard, especially when newbies are already in the 1000s for followers and requiring paid sponsorships. But, you have to remember what YOU got out of it.

  • Betty Boiron

    This is very encouraging because I kept feeling the pressure to be “big.” But it’s true… I love blogging, I made lots of virtual friends through blogging, and my life is better with blogging. So I will keep doing it with the hope that I will get big, but be happy with the new skills I have learned and the free products I have gotten for now!

    • Exactly. No matter what, I’ll keep doing it. I may wane and wax in consistency, but because it is a HOBBY, I will never leave it.

  • Bee Lovewell

    I love your attitude. To me, keeping it authentic is the most important thing. If I can make a few bucks one day, that would be great. In two months, I have learned so much. I can only imagine the satisfaction I’ll feel a few years down the road. Keep it up!

    • Thanks! Way to go with two months!

  • Kim (life in the van)

    I have gone through periods where I have been tempted to throw in the towel because I am not a “successful” blogger when you look at the numbers. Every single time this happens a reader reaches out to me and reminds me of how a post spoke to them or encouraged them. Society’s definition of success should not be out standard to reach!

    • It’s always super encouraging when you hear someone was inspired by your post!

  • Kim (life in the van)

    The world’s standard for success definitely should not be our standard.

    • YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!

  • Taylor Mobley

    This is so incredibly true because blogging should be something you LOVE! I adore this post!

    • Thank you so much, Taylor!

  • Thanks for your words. I’ve only been at this a year and sometimes I feel discouraged by seeing other bloggers’ blogs take off. But I haven’t exactly decided if and how I want to monetize, and I am getting more practice writing than anything.

    • Exactly. Work on improving yourself first.

  • R.M. Lopez

    I love your positive attitude. Blogging should be something you do because you find joy in it …

  • Rhonda C. James

    I love this! I’m new to blogging and I’ve been feeling like the little fish that got into the wrong pond. But I enjoy doing it and it’s fun.

    • As long as it remains fun, that’s what is most important.

  • Dilraz AR Kunnummal

    I have a full time job + a 1 year old. And finding time to write is therapeutic. Though sometimes i feel like im not doing enough. But you are right! My blog is and was a passion project. It makes me happy and i shouldn’t worry so much about other things and make it stressful. Thanks muchly (i know i know)

    • Therapy writing is the best. Just remember that. Don’t get stuck on the numbers of it all.

  • Jhilmil

    That’s so much of me..Writing is just my passion & I love doing it. As of now I’ve never been money oriented in my blogging since I take this just as my passion..

    • Exactly how I feel! Money is just the cherry on top–not the goal.

  • I love how you measure your success-because it really is different for every blogger!

    • Thank you so much, Jasmine!

  • Allison Ellzey

    I love these non-monetary successes! As bloggers, it’s easy to get caught up in page views and follower counts. But it’s important to know that success can be measured in tons of different ways!

    • Exactly! It’s not all numbers and stats. There is so much more that goes into blogging!

  • Carly Ned

    Blogging has been one of the best things to come into my life. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  • Veena Patnam

    These are all great points to keep in mind. Its so easy to get lost in the number game that we forget why we started blogging in the first place. Thanks for writing

    • Exactly. We really need to remember the WHY we started in the first place.

  • Yes, yes, yes. People have to remember that success is different for everyone. I think I sometimes get caught up in where other people are and see that I’m not there and then I have to step back and think, but do I actually even WANT that thing?

    • Yes! What do YOU want is the most important thing to remember with your blog!