Tuesday, June 14

What Australian Bloggers think: how bloggers measure success of other bloggers

Us bloggers have these thoughts and sometimes we'll even externalise them into a blog post, a forum post or (even!) a 'real life' discussion.  I decided to bring together a group of bloggers of different genres and experience together to understand what Australian Bloggers think as a community, of themselves and of others, their relationships with brands, PR's, blogger platforms and few other things... stay tuned each fortnight..!

Today's question is : 
How do you measure success when you're reading/following a blog? i.e. that moment where you think 'wow, they've made it!  Is it followers, promotions, comments... anything in particular?

If I’m landing on a new blog, I admit to judging a book by its cover – if the design and layout of the blog looks appealing and professional then it gets its first tick.  Then it would be the level of engagement a blogger has with audience – how many followers they have, are they active on facebook and twitter, are they influential in their niche?   Jenny - Let the children play  [education] [18 months blogging]

I think if they have a book out, opportunities they have had, lots of followers and comments are a good guide or if I find out their traffic and go wow!
Corrie - Retro Mummy [craft, family] [5 years blogging]

Probably first and foremost followers, secondly promotions, if people are seeking them out, they must be doing ok.  Certainly comments is another obvious sign.
Mandy, A little space like home [personal, parenting] [3 months blogging]

Followers, activity on social media i.e if they are helpful , interesting and active.
Frank - Our Hiking Blog,[outdoors/hiking] and Cradle Mountain [tourism] [8 years blogging]                                                                                                           

Part of it is the amount of followers, but mostly it is about the amount of involved followers. There is no point in having thousands of followers if only a handful comment. Comments make the world go round!
Amy, MahliMoo  [craft, parenting] [6 months blogging]

I measure the success of an Australian blog by the reach they have - what kind of readers regularly visit? how many? How many people interact via comments,etc.
Stacey, Veggie Mama [craft, parenting] [15 months blogging]

I read the first paragraph of the first blog post I open, then assess the design.
James - Aussie Green Thumb  [gardening] [6 months blogging]

For me personally, I think it's a mix of everything - the wow factor, give aways, sponsored posts and overall blog presentation.
Melissa, One Crafty Mumma  [craft,family] [5 years blogging]

I probably look at followers first.  I also think that if they have a few giveaways they must be doing something right for if brands are wanting to work with them. And any bloggers in the Kidspot Top 50 is a success in my opinion.
Amelia, Wedding, babies Everything [family] [6 months blogging]

Followers is definitely a big part of it, but I think for me I measure the success of a blog on their engaged readership - mostly numbers of comments. I'm a hard core comment addict.
Zoey, Good Goog [personal, parenting] [2 years blogging]

So, what makes you think 'That's a successful blog/blogger' when you visit?
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23 lovely comments:

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thanks for this post Liss. It's something I sometimes wonder about as well. I'm with Zoey, I think having an engaged community to me is a sign of a successful blog. That said, I will return to a blog over and over if its writing and content is compelling. Yours for instance, has helped me out numerous times over the past year with delicious dinners and great recipes. Don't ever leave x

Zoey @ Good Goog on June 14, 2011 at 9:30 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

This is fascinating to me. I am so interested that other bloggers measure success by giveaways and sponsorships - that's not something I would even have considered.

Kellie (minimusthave) on June 14, 2011 at 9:38 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Liss, I definitely think it's a combination of all of those factors. I've only been blogging for a year and half and have noticed that when I add a more 'personal' element to my blog posts I tend to have more engaged readers who are likely to leave comments. I've also measured the success of my blog on the opportunities it's given me and the interaction I've had not only with my readers but other bloggers as well.

Ms Styling You on June 14, 2011 at 10:36 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

This is a great post, Liss. For me that first impression counts and then the writing has to get me in. Yes, I'll notice if there are lots of comments but the number of followers is not the be all and end all for me (maybe because I'm a WordPress blogger and late to the whole Google Friend/Follow game?).

tiff(threeringcircus) on June 14, 2011 at 10:55 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I'm with Zoey and Sarah. I would never have gone by giveaways and sponsorship. How does that make you a good blogger? Anyone can take a product and review it and then give something away. That doesn't make you a success. For me it is readership and comments. I love comments too but if the writing is good and there are comments, it makes me want to stick around. It shows that others have read and thought about the post and taken the time to interact with the writer.

It's interesting what other people view as successful though. Great post.

Kellie on June 14, 2011 at 10:58 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I don't do Google Friend Follow, so I don't know where that puts me!! LOL! ;)
When I read others' blogs, it always comes back to writing and content.
Really great post to get us all thinking, Liss. :)

katepickle on June 14, 2011 at 12:21 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

What a great question and what though provoking responses!

For me 'followers' have nothing to do with it, probably because I don't use the google 'friend/follower' thing that is common on a lot of blogger blogs.

I am a design snob.. good, clean, unique design makes me think that person is serious about blogging. Good writing that really has a 'voice' and engagement... I admit I am impressed by lots of comments. But I probably measure a lot of success on how much I hear about this blog from other sources..

Glowless @ Where's My Glow on June 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Very interesting, I know so many blogs that have faithful engaged readers but only recently put on a followers button so the number displayed isn't really indicative of the true scope.

I measure my own success by comments and the posts that link back to me saying "Glowless said this and it made me think this and I just had to write about it". So the ability to create a conversation.

Julie on June 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Really interesting insights.

I tend to look at the design first (probably because I have no talent for that myself!), then whether the topic/ subject matter is of interest to me, then the quality of the writing.

Although it is tempting, I try to disregard number of followers. I know I personally follow some blogs in my google reader that I would never bother to interact with because they don't attract my interest anymore. (Not sure why I still follow - think I feel too guilty to "un-follow")

Many bloggers (including me) deliberately ignore invitations to do giveaways (not that I have been offered anything terribly spectacular anyway!), so I would never look at that as the measure of a blog's success.

Amy on June 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Great Post Liss. I hadn't really considered giveaways and comps either... But it seems that almost everyone agrees that it has to do with the amount of involved readers...

Can't wait to read the rest of the series.

tiff(threeringcircus) on June 14, 2011 at 1:33 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I've thought about this all morning and i know I said that content and community were important to me but what I want to really know is why do we feel we have to measure success? Why can't we all blog and be successful in our own right? Sure certain blogs pull me in but that only means I like the blog. What gives me the right to decide which blog is successful and which is not.

k8tography on June 14, 2011 at 1:43 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

It's all about content for me and nothing to do with Giveaways or sponsorship. Don't get me wrong, I will go to a blog and write a comment if they are having a give away that I would love to get but unless the content of the blog is compelling, well I probably won't visit again - which may explain why I don't win giveaways? lol

Deborah on June 14, 2011 at 2:47 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]


I couldn't agree more with Tiff. I glance at blogs all the time, see the huge amount of followers and/or sponsorship and then scratch my head and wonder why. Do we really need to measure success at all? I'm sure the sponsors want to find a tool, but on a human level I don't think it matters at all.

Super Sarah on June 14, 2011 at 3:10 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I wrote a long complicated reply to this post and comments and then decided to delete it and write it on my own blog instead!

Thank you Liss for blogging about this, I find it fascinating how other bloggers think and this post has been a real turning point for me today!

Miscellaneous-Mum on June 14, 2011 at 3:50 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Re: 2nd Tiff comment - WORD.

My thoughts: wow - I had no idea so many people factor in comments when measuring success.

Because I'm a word snob, it comes down to writing quality for me, then blog design.

ClaireyH on June 14, 2011 at 3:58 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina ~ tina gray {dot} me on June 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Great post, Liss. I don't think sponsored posts and giveaways measure the success of bloggers. For me, it's interaction with readers on the blog and social networks.

Easy Peasy Kids on June 14, 2011 at 7:36 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Great thought proving post for a newbie like me. I only started blogging to give people an insight to me in that foremost I'm a mother and can relate to other mothers who are struggling with day to day issues. I have been sent products to review and give away but have sent many back as I honestly didn't think they were that great. I don't use google either but have a good rapport with my Facebook likers. I blog because I love to write and feel great when I receive comments. Its not a popularity or numbers game if people like you they will read . I'm still learning wordpress so my site isn't that aesthetically pleasing but I'll get there .

mamabred on June 14, 2011 at 9:02 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Hi Liss,

You might know me as "that freakishly adoring fan who drools all over my regular recipe posts" but I am still pretty new to blogging, having started in Nov last year.

Your title totally drew me in, not because I give a crap about how bloggers measure the success of other bloggers, but because it caught my eye as something different from what you normally do.
I was really (well, enough to click through from a tweet) intrigued to find out your thoughts on it - and that is just because you as a person who draws me in. I DO give a crap about what you think and what you are going to do/say next. I enjoy your blog because I like you as a person, I like what you share on your blog and you have enough skill and good enough writing/design to present your stuff in a non-annoying way.

I see success in blogging as being when the blogger is getting, or working towards getting, what they want out of blogging. I LIKE blogs based on my own personal mix of assumptions/preferences/taste and I am truly impressed by blogs that tick all the boxes which for me are the following:

1. writing that flows and is lovingly formatted to be easy for me to read
2. a message that resonates with my soul
3. subject matter that makes me sit up and take notes, or at least is about a subject I am totally into, know nothing about or am currently dealing with in life
4. great, non annoying design, buttons and links that work and a site that doesn't take forever to load
5. a kind of "I-dont-give-a-crap-ness" in the attitude of the blog which a) encourages me to unselfconsciously develop my blog writing practice and b) gives me permission to do the same

I tend to pay attention to comments more than followers to gague the blogger's level of influence, but only if they have been blogging for a couple of years. If they are new I don't really expect them to have a lot of that as it takes time to build.

I skim over giveaways (and rarely rarely enter them and only then on a very good day when all the children are napping and the stars are aligned just so) and mostly ignore reviews (unless I am already interested in buying that particular thing).

I tend to ignore ads on people's sites but get annoyed (and might not come back) if the ads are too hard to ignore.

I love finding people who have a unique energy; who have a continuous flow of interesting (to me) things to share; who can do stuff that I would love to do and who are able to communicate how they learnt to do it; or who have a really really compelling story unfolding on their blog; OR who are non-preachy and genuine about sharing concepts/ideas they are really passionate about.

But really, I see it like friendships and relationships - its successful if it works for the blogger and for their readers, and until you get out there and are willing to get it wrong you wont ever meet those readers who for whom your blog is a unashamedly raging success, who just love you (your blog) because you are you.

And that was way longer than I intended to go. See, Liss, a successful blog is one that also gets people speaking from their hearts!

Chantelle {fat mum slim} on June 14, 2011 at 9:39 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I'd consider a blogger successful if they were able to blog and support themselves. That's personally what I'd think would be someone that was successful at what they were doing.

As for followers, stats, comments, content, engagement, working with brands, giveaways, etc - they're all ways that people 'could' measure a blogs reach and success... but to me I don't think that's what makes a successful blog.

I think if you get to the end of the week, and are happy with what you've achieved/written/shared and are proud with what you have created, then that's success - because if you don't have that, you don't really have much at all. x

Super Sarah on June 15, 2011 at 9:16 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I blogged!! Thanks! It was cathartic!


Corinne – Daze of My Life on June 16, 2011 at 8:46 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

For me a successful blog is one that is written with love and filled with passion. I think you can tell immediately if the writer loves their blog and makes it something special for themselves.

One of my most favourite (and in my mind successful) blogs is written by a lady who talks about what she wears each day. I'm not into fashion at all, but I'm addicted to reading it as her passion leaps off the screen. She only has a handful of followers and commenters, but it's obvious that her blog is an important part of her life. To me that's a success.

Miss Mandy on June 16, 2011 at 8:26 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

@Chantelle {fat mum slim}

I do agree with this too, I love my blog it makes me happy, it's not about followers, (except for engagement) or making money, the success in this is purely the enjoyment.


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