So you want a successful blog?

Today I got an email from a friend who’s considering scrapping her blog-
maybe starting a new one, maybe stopping all together.
Another friend is trying to figure out what direction she wants to take her blog.
Boy, have I been there.
If you’ve been doing this as long as I have(or longer), I’m sure you’ve thought about it, too.
She talked about not having a main focus, not having a purpose…and how that can be stifling.

I, however, really think the opposite is true-for me, at least.

I have no focus, no brand, no aim.
If I want to talk about my kids, I do.
If I want to be political, I can.
If I want to post just pictures, I can do that, too.

But look at people like Jenny.  If she’s not funny or witty and snarky, people don’t want to read it.
Or the posts where Catherine Conners gets people all pissed at her for her opinion.
It’s a friggin’ opinion, people!

The “famous” bloggers get trapped.  They get cordoned off in their specific arena and get stuck.
(This is not just my opinion, I’ve heard several of them say this before.)

My point is, there are all these “rules” that you’re supposed to follow to have a successful blog:
Don’t post on the weekend, including Friday.
Make sure you post at least X number of times a week.
But keep it under 500 words.
Know all about SEObounce rate, and traffic.
Brand yourself.

But me?
If I want to post something on Friday, I do it.
There are times I post two posts in one day, and there are times when I go for a week without posting anything.
And there are times that I write long diatribes, and sometimes my posts are nothing but pictures.
And I know about search engine optimization, but I don’t care.  Maybe I should.
Maybe I should develop my brand and market it.

But you know what?  I don’t want to.  I kind of like a having a small-ish readership.
I know most of the people who come to my blog.
I don’t have to worry about sponsors getting upset by something I say because I don’t have ads or sponsors.
(I don’t care if you do, but this is why I don’t.)

But as I sit and think about all of this, I’m beginning to realize something:
My definition of successful must be different from others.

I write what I want to write.
When I want to write it.
How I want to write it.

Sure I like to get comments, but ultimately I do write for me.
I write what makes me happy.
I write what I need to in order to get it out of my system.

And I write for my children.
I write so that they will be able to look at this one day and see who I was,
who I am as their mom, how I saw them.
And sure, there are a lot of stories about them scattered throughout these pages,
But there are also posts full of recipes and memories from my childhood.
Posts about things I do, places I go, things I make, what I think about and struggle with.
Things that aren’t mom-centric, but are still a huge part of who I am as a person,
And as a mom.

I write all of that – the mom stuff, the not mom stuff,
the pointless, aimless, non-branded stuff –
because it’s my story.

And although I like sharing it with you, my readers,
and getting your feedback in comments and emails and phone calls and texts,
I’m writing my story for me and for them.
And that?
That is what makes a blog successful.

15 Responses to So you want a successful blog?
  1. domestic extraordinaire
    May 3, 2010 | 7:32 am


    Love you girlie.

  2. moosh in indy.
    May 3, 2010 | 7:37 am

    Oh crap, now I have lipgloss on my screen from making out with your avatar.

  3. Momma Lioness Michele
    May 3, 2010 | 7:44 am

    Love this.
    Thank you.

  4. punkinmama
    May 3, 2010 | 9:48 am

    Wonderful post. You’ve written my exact thoughts – even though my email didn’t make it sound like that at all. Instead of trying to figure out if what I want to write is “focused”, I’m just going to do it all for me, and someday for my child, like I meant to all along. Thanks for the encouragement though to do it my way (and your way apparently)! 🙂

  5. designHer Momma
    May 3, 2010 | 11:01 am

    yes! I get it, you get it! (and I love you for this post). fantastic.

  6. Michelle
    May 3, 2010 | 11:37 am

    Amen, sister!

    I feel the same way about my blog. I know other people define success differently or want their blogs to go other ways but I am happy writing my blog for me. I am thankful for the amazing women I have met through my blog and the connections I have made but in the end I must stay true to myself or for me it defeats the purpose.

  7. Stephanie
    May 3, 2010 | 11:43 am

    I like to think of blogging as good therapy

  8. Dawn Camp
    May 3, 2010 | 11:45 am

    Amen! Awesome post. 🙂

  9. Becky
    May 4, 2010 | 6:10 am

    Don’t go changin’ to try to please ANYONE! You rock sister!!!

  10. Issa
    May 6, 2010 | 12:26 pm

    I love this. and you. That is all.

  11. Carmen
    May 12, 2010 | 7:55 am

    You blog the way I blog.

    and that’s one reason I like you.


  12. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith
    May 19, 2010 | 7:55 pm

    I think your post is great advice for rookies like me.
    I am definitely no expert, but I think the key is to be yourself whatever that maybe, and people are drawn to the honesty of that.