Four Ways I Am Redefining Blogging Success (Link-up #8)

What successful blogging looks like in real life.

This past week has been busy and I didn’t spend as much time writing as I would have liked. For some bloggers, this wouldn’t be a problem, but I can feel my perfectionist tendencies kicking in. A pesky voice inside my head tries to convince me that each post needs to be better than the last. So today, I am working to redefine my definition of blogging success.

blogging success

The Blogging Chatterbox

I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but somewhere on my blogging journey I convinced myself that success is a straight line that steadily moves upward. In other words, with each blog post:

  • My writing needs to improve.
  • The number of readers must grow.
  • More readers need to actively engage in the discussion.

Of course, thinking like this is stressful, and takes the fun out of writing.

I once saw a picture on Facebook with the caption,”What success really looks like.” Blow,  the tile was a squiggle line with an arrow that moved all over the place. The line went up, then down, did a couple of loops, and regressed. Nevertheless, on this chaotic journey, there was a gradual increase in progress. The growth was lost and regained many times. Yet, ultimately it led to success. This is what real life is like.

Redefining Blogging Success

Here are four ways that I’m redefining my definition of blogging success.

1) Blogging success is investing in the bigger picture.

Bill Gates said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Striving to accomplish too much too fast, is a good way to get discouraged. It’s also a recipe for burnout. Small investments, that make our blogs better ten years from now, are a success.

  • A short blog post is a success.
  • A small update is a success.
  • A new connection is a success.
  • Learning something new is a success.

2) Blogging success is doing the work.

Two years ago, I attended a Mary Kay webinar with Jenny. Sean Smith, the teaching coach, said a phrase that stuck with me. I don’t remember the exact wording, but the gist of his statement went like this, “Focus on doing the work, and you’ll get there when you get there.” Instead of asking “Am I growing fast enough?” it’s better to ask, “Am I doing the types of things successful bloggers do?” If the answer is “yes,” then take a deep breath and relax–you had a blogging success! We don’t have to arrive tomorrow.

3) Blogging success is reaching one person. 

This is perhaps the most important definition of success. Jesus said, “If you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” If your writing is a refreshing glass of water, to one person, then you have succeeded.

4) Blogging success is enjoying the journey.

In college, a professor often said, “Trust the process.” There was something about the tone of his voice, and the compassionate understanding, that communicated, “Relax, enjoy the journey, and allow the process of growth to take place over time.”

Addison is approaching her second birthday. Watching her develop reminds that that with growth comes growing pain and clumsiness. If your blogging journey involves messiness, steps backwards, and the occasional nose-dive, then congratulations, you are normal!

Today I am shushing that pesky chatterbox that tries to convince me that success is a straight line. I’m reminding myself that

What’s your definition of blogging success? Do you have days when you find yourself frustrated, trying to make each post better than the last?  If so, how do you silence the negative self-talk, and enjoy the journey? I’m excited to hear from you, and look forward to continuing the discussion in the comments below!

Family, Friendship, and Faith Link-Up

This link-up is an excellent place to meet new friends, network, and share your posts. Please feel free to include any family, friendship, and faith related posts. If you have time, please visit some of the other submissions, leave a comment, and make some new connections–after all, this is what teaming-up is all about!

Finally, I’d love it if you would grab a button for your site, or link back to the Family Friendship and Faith Fridays, link-up, in order to make it easy for others to join in!

Coffee Shop Conversations


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46 thoughts on “Four Ways I Am Redefining Blogging Success (Link-up #8)

  1. Well, you were a success! You reached one person today – ME! I needed to hear this today. Blogging takes up time and some days I struggle with time management when it comes to doing everything blogging requires. Thank you for putting my brain back where it needs to be and keeping things in perspective. Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Hi Jed and Jen!

    Thank you both for hosting such a fine linkup. I linked up one post in particular (Why I have Husband Envy) which reminds me of Jed because of one funny line (if/when you read it, you’ll get it!). It’s quite funny.

    Have a blessed weekend!
    Tiffiney
    WelcomeHomeMinistry.com

  3. Great post today. I silence negative self-talk by saying to myself that I succeeded in at least completing a thought. I also have skeleton posts that I journal through and pull one that I’m feeling more gravitated toward. I like how you say it’s a journey and we won’t get there right away. To be honest, do we know what there looks like? Maybe when we arrive, the goal changes and now we want a book, then it changes to now I want a book tour. It’s a constant journey. With that in mind, patience is key. Thanks for this post and have a great rest of your week.
    Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros recently posted…Walk With Me Wednesday – SacrificeMy Profile

    • Ok…after giving the kids breakfast, doing laundry, dishes and getting my husband off to work I finally got a chance to read this post. Every point resonated with me, but the one that really got me was #3: reaching one person is doing what Jesus asked of me, and if I can do just that, then I’m a success. And I love what your college professor said – to trust the process. That’s exactly what Marcus Lemonis (The Profit TV show) says to all his entrepreneurs.

      Thanks for writing a great post that encourages me to slow down and take time to smell the roses of blogging.
      Tiffiney recently posted…Why Every Mom Should Have Husband Envy (No, Really)My Profile

  4. I agree that you can get caught up in the blogging hoopla so easily – your blog grows so you want it to grow more, people comment so you want more comments, you put up a nice picture and then start thinking about whether it’s pinnable and it goes on and on. I’ve actually taken a step back over the last few weeks and dropped it back a notch – it’s just not worth the stress of trying to keep up with it all. Now I just focus on the things I like and go to a few linkies and I’m enjoying my blogging again. Great post and I love your link party 🙂
    Leanne@crestingthehill recently posted…from grandkittens to grandbabiesMy Profile

    • That’s great to hear Leanne, I may need to try cutting back a little too. Right now, I’m learning to take a deep breath, and let a few things go–at least for a day or two. Thanks for keeping us on your list of linkies you enjoy 🙂 Wishing you a blessed week!

  5. I really enjoyed your post and reading everyone’s comments. I stopped blogging for over a year as I found it tough to balance my family, life and work. I was doing it in my spare time and getting frustrating as I found it difficult to build up a following (not to mention a huge time suck). Finding these linkup parties and people’s comments makes the process so much more heartening now that I’ve started up again.
    Candace recently posted…How I’m Hopefully Going to Design Christening InvitationsMy Profile

  6. Thank you so much for this post. I really needed to be reminded of the true successes of blogging. The Lord has “spoke all these things into my ear”, but I can still listen to the doubts and the “should I continue’s”.

    Your post has spurred me on to continue and to remember why I started blogging in the first place, and to not lose sight of that.

    Blessings.
    Karen Del Tatto recently posted…God’s First Responder & Emergency Response TeamMy Profile

  7. My definition of success is if God reaches even one person through what I write. Of course I can get caught up in the number of people who read my posts (I think that is a natural inclination, though I do fight against it). I know that God’s word never comes back void. So, if I get a particular comment when someone says they were encouraged or really connected with something I shared, I feel like the work I did writing had purpose. I’m trusting Him and writing on…

    Blessings, Joan
    Joan recently posted…A Break in The StormMy Profile

  8. Such a great post! I keep vacillating between these two places! Frustration with the “not-enoughs” and peace with the winding path of success! My season of life is not one where I have consistent time. Keeping a daily schedule is just not an option. However, I can stick to it as much as is doable without losing perspective and without losing my peace 🙂

    Thanks so much!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori
    Lori Schumaker of Seaching for Moments recently posted…Finding Freedom from Approval AddictionMy Profile

  9. Love this! I’ve been blogging for a while now, and I have gone through some seasons where I was chasing the numbers and perfection. I realized that I am writing for me first – to work out my thoughts, to ponder what confuses me in the world and the like – then I figure out how to present it to help just one other person. It’s less stressful and the feeling of success is stronger now.

  10. I am happy to red this today. Sometimes it is a struggle, writing and writing, and thinking no one is ever going to read it. I see blogs that started when I did way surpassing me in growth. I have to ask myself all the time, why are you doing this? What makes it worth it?
    I think I would keep writing if it was just me reading it.

    • Hey Kathleen,
      What an honor to be asked and considered for your resource page–I love your site, and learn a ton from you guys each week. I don’t currently have a separate post, but would be glad to create a new one and send you the link. Just let me know what how I can help 🙂

  11. Hey Jed,

    You’ve given a good list here to encourage us to think about why we do what we do. I like it. Some of my thoughts as I read this great post:

    – Writing is my passion. That’s where my focus needs to be. If my focus turns to keeping up with a writing schedule, building a tribe, getting comments and shares, etc. then I’m not feeding my passion and I’m going to burn out.

    – Numbers, whatever form they take (word counts, visitors, subscribers, or shares) aren’t evidence of my success. My integrity–that I remain true to my principles and to my God–that matters most. It’s the journey that either strengthens or wears on my integrity. If I measure success by how far I get from where I started, I’m at risk of losing my integrity and ending someplace that’s not good for me or my audience.

    – Pushing ahead through resistance will build my strength. . If “success” comes easy, it will pass as quickly as it came, because it’ll be built on a weak foundation.
    Jon Beaty recently posted…What is Love? 7 Vital Ingredients for Lasting LoveMy Profile

    • Jon,
      What a great perspective, and very well said. These are all things I’m trying to remember myself. I’ve been really enjoying these Friday posts on blogging tips because they give me an excuse to write about wisdom that I am trying to put into practice myself 🙂

      I especially like how you point out that pushing through resistance builds strength. This is so true. Blogging is a lot more work than I initially expected. I also think I’m growing more from this process than I thought I would.

      Wishing you a blessed week!

  12. This is an amazing post. I like it when you say that blogging success is doing the work and enjoying the journey. My blog is small right now, but I am certainly enjoying this journey! And working. And that’s exactly why I started blogging in the first place. Thanks for reminding me!

  13. “Success is focusing on the big picture, doing the work, serving others, and enjoying the journey.” I absolutely love this statement. It sums up what I try to do everyday on my blog, in my marriage and as a parent. Great post!

  14. I WISH every post increased my followers! Haha! But it doesn’t work that way, like you said. For me it’s so rewarding to help even one person and I love the journey and community. Thanks for sharing on the Small Victories Sunday Linkup!

    • Thanks Anita,
      I always enjoy hearing about the journey of other bloggers, and it’s a reminder to me that I’m on the right track. The linear blogging journeys, of stead and consistent growth, are the stories that often get heavy social-media attention. So sometimes it feels like everyone is doing this. Yet, in reality, the non-linear, two steps forward, one step back, is much more common. I’m happy to be among bloggers who are taking a slow, non-linear approach, and learning along the way 🙂

  15. thanks so this! It’s so easy to get caught up in what we think success should be, but I definitely think it’s important to remember that success isn’t a straight line, like you said, and also that our success may not look like someone else’s. thanks for this post!

  16. Jed and Jen, I’m so much a work in progress on this blogging thing! Yet 1 year ago I had about 600 page views per month, now over 8,000 per month posting once per week. That’s why I shared the Elite Blog Academy linkup. What a difference I made in my learning curve – and I’m going back to retake the classes because now the experience supports the learning. Check it out if you haven’t already.

    And the DanceWithJesus linkup is scheduled to be up Friday. Wonky stuff happening with it the last couple of weeks…Up, down, up, down. Never saw that happen before. So please come share your words at SusanBMead.com/blog to bless someone there!
    Susan B Mead recently posted…Overwhelmed by your blog? LinkupMy Profile

  17. Just what I needed to hear today! Today I did something I have never done. I didn’t publish my post. And since it’s the last day of the month, that one post may be the difference between showing improvent in page views from last month to this month. But I told myself that straight line of growth doesn’t really matter…for one post. What matters is that I enjoy the process and the time I have with my family. I didn’t post because I’m tired and my husband is finally off of work after working 16 nights out of 18. I knew I didn’t have time to promote on social media today. God is so good. When we need a break…IT’S OK. There are no rules except the ones I make myself…and I’m glad I read your post today!

  18. An excellent list! I am working through practically every one of these myself. I especially liked the advice to be content in the fact that you’re doing everything a successful blogger does. What amazes me the most is how I’ll get little interaction about some posts in the way of comments or FB interaction. But then I’ll have people tell me how much it meant to them. I had no idea they even knew I was a blogger. So much to learn still.