Having read all of the other posts in this series, one of the themes seems to be ‘what does success in blogging’ actually look like? How is it measured? Is it about how much money you earn? Is it about your following on social media? The brands you work with? The nominations, awards and accolades you’ve accumulated? Or is it something else?
I’ve only been blogging since last December after leaving my twenty year career in pharmacy, so as far as bloggings success goes, I’m not sure I’m there yet. At least, not in terms of huge stats or making a living from blogging.
I started blogging because I’m a creative person. For as long as I can remember I’ve been writing, drawing, sewing, making things (my mum would say ‘making a mess’). That’s why I was so unhappy in my pharmacy job towards the end. I was desperate for a creative outlet because my job was so uncreative.
The week after I left my job, Maflingo (so named because my daughter couldn’t pronounce flamingo when she was little) came to be. I blog about homes, interiors, money-saving tips, organising, DIY and craft but most importantly, I get the chance to share my random musings and hopefully witty ‘Jane’s eye’ view of the world. So, in between Ikea Hack Bedroom makeovers and tips about driving down the cost of motoring, I’ve shared my list of Room 101s, I’ve explained ‘Why I want a dog and can’t have a dog’ and ‘I’ve revealed 25 shocking facts about me’. I’ve also shared more personal stories as part of the #BloggersBeatingCancer campaign which I was proud to be involved in (HERE).
Having found something I love doing, blogging success for me would mean me never having to return to pharmacy ever again! This would mean earning enough money from blogging to match my two day a week pharmacy job. I’d like to think this is achievable. As I’ve explained, money isn’t my main motivator, but I do have to be realistic. I can’t keep blogging simply because I love having a creative outlet. I can’t keep blogging simply because I love this wonderful friendly and supportive community I’ve discovered. I do need to make it work financially, for us as a family.
That aside, I’m a success in some ways already. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be able to write about the things I’m passionate about. To create, photograph, comment, get involved, support other bloggers, learn new things. Plus, I have to remind myself when the blogging journey is more of a cliff face than a learning curve, I’ve come a long way. Having followed and become great friends with other newbie bloggers, it’s safe to say, we all have. We’ve successfully bought a domain name, designed a logo, set up self-hosted blogs, designed a website from our chosen themes, set up social media profiles and started to gain followers, got to grips with Pinterest, WordPress, Plugins and Linkys. Phew! That’s before we even think about writing content!
I’m a blogging success because I’ve already had the chance to work with some of my favourite brands too. This has been a real confidence booster for me because it proves that brands are willing to work with me, regardless of my monthly page views!!!
I’m a successful blogger because I have so many words to share and so many things I’m interested in and thankfully, wonderfully, remarkably, I have a loyal band of engaged readers who want to read what I have to say! I feel so blessed because I’ve finally found my niche in life and a kind comment or word of encouragement can keep me going for a week. If I’ve moved someone, if I’ve made them laugh or cry or both, then I’ve succeeded. If I’ve helped someone with my money-saving tips or made them chortle about my Room 101s then that’s why I blog.
I’ve also succeeded in overcoming a significant hurdle, this whole idea of niche. I worried for months about whether my blog had a ‘niche’…It seemed one needed to have a niche to be successful. However, I had a lightbulb moment recently when I realised my niche didn’t have to be a particular topic or topics, but instead it could be a mood or a flavour. In the end I came to the conclusion my niche was ‘positivity’. I realised I wanted my blog to be the ‘good news’, the ‘and finally’ you used to get at the end of a depressing news bulletin. I wanted it to be somebody’s happy place (I wrote about it here: Where’s the good news? Where’s the ‘and finally?’).
Don’t get me wrong, I may have to have a rant at some point. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to rant about head lice last week when my daughter got her seventh infestation since starting school ….All because parents think a cursory glance at their child’s head from one hundred paces is enough to detect head lice…Don’t get me started!
So, coming back to the question (sorry!), for me, being a blogging success means being able to keep blogging, write what I want to write and to connect with my readers. I want to be their ‘happy place’, and in some small way, to make a difference.
P.S. If I could rattle off a blog post without faffing and press publish in less than 3 hours, that would be blogging success too!!
If you want to hear more from Jane you can head over to Maflingo