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I have been reading Matt Chevy’s blog Life Without Pants for a couple of months now and found him to be an extremely insightfulwriter and someone that makes me think. Believe it or not I think that this is a good thing (a little tongue in cheekhumor), because when I read his blog it makes me look at my own life a little differently and from a different perspective. Today he asked questions about Measuring Your Blog’s Success – Its Not all about Numbers which I responded to in his comments, but the more I thought about it, believe that I should expand on some of the answers that I gave there.
Matt asked a series of questions that really made me stop and think about the future of my blog and how I measure if I consider my blog to be successful:
1. What do you think? My blog is an extension of who I am and a major part of what my online identity and reputation have become. Blogging helps me think through different or difficult issues and makes me put down the rationales for my position for them. It also give people a glimpse into who I am when I am writing about my interests, opinions or when I put my photographs up as part of a blog.
2. How do you measure the success of your blog? We all look at how much money our blogs make (mine made $0.01 over the last month), so you can tell I am really into blogging for the money. Everyone looks at different stats fromGoogle, reader comments, hit counters, map counters or some other statistical tool. These are external measures of how your blog is performing and gives you an idea of how popular the blog is to others. The more intrinsic measure to me is as simple as opening up your blog and saying to yourself I really like how this reflects who I am or that last entry I wrote really provided good insight on the subject. The unquantifiable measurement of a blog is sometimes more important than the statistical analysis.
3. What ‘grade’ would you give your blog and what factors are you using to measure? If you measure my blog simply by the statistics it is not doing too well, probably a D- at best. I don’t have that many subscribed readers, comments or visitors when compared to many blogs out there, but I keep plugging along. But it means so much more to me than what the statistical numbers provide, to me I think that my blog is at the “B” level.
4. Does quality trump quantity? Sometimes. I think that I give up a little in quality in my rush to get my thoughts down and out onto my blog (I go back and proofread them and correct glaring errors), due to the limited time that I typically have to blog. Perhaps for more important posts, I should put them into LiveWriter as a draft overnight and then post them the next day after a 24 hour cooling period and a good re-read.
5. Can someone with very little traffic and limited discussion still claim that their blog is a success? It depends upon from whose perspective you are looking at the blog. In my case an outsider looking at HaroldShawjr.com would say it is a failure and to start completely over, keeping it as only a family personal blog. Which I have thought seriously about doing and still might.
But this question did make me think. Are you talking to me personally about my blog?
I know statistically that my blog is not that successful, but looking back since I started blogging, it has meant a lot to me personally to blog. It has provided me a venue to share my thoughts on a wide variety of things that I would never had shared publicly without writing in my blog. So do I consider my blog(s) successful – yes everyone one of them have been successful to me.
6. What defines ‘personal’ blogging success?
My blog(s) have been and are personal blogs that have had too many focus areas to create a brand or theme that readers could identify with. But to me, my blogs meet the needs that I have for them, they help me learn more about myself, the issues that I write about and allow me to enjoy one of my passions – writing.
What does the future hold for me in blogging?
This is my question for myself, first I have to settle down to one or two blogs and set them up and keep them. I have had blogs at Blogspot.com, Ning, WordPress.com, Opera.com, EduBlogs, ThinkPad, Windows Live, self hosted WordPress through HostICan, and now back to a domain at Blogger. I just haven’t stayed in one place long enough to develop a decent readership and that is my own fault, I enjoyed the experimenting and learned a lot about what I like and dislike about the different services. I believe that I have settled down to the Blogger platform as my blog host of choice, it just meets my needs and I am comfortable with its idiosyncrasies.
But I do need your assistance if you have been reading my blog, should I keep things as they are (one blog for everything) or split off and keep haroldshawjr.com as my personal blog and then have a more focused blog on something that I really love, like end user reviews of applications/software/hardware that I use or try; some political commentary or some personal growth information? Any suggestions or comments would help me with this conundrum.
This work by Harold L. Shaw, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.