Success comes in all shapes and sizes doesn’t it? It can be an award you’ve waited your whole life to get. It could be recognition for something or from someone that matters. Or it could be something as small as your child saying I love you. We don’t celebrate success, in whatever form enough in my opinion and over the past few months and years with the madness that is blogging awards and the ridiculously regular bashing of bloggers by non-bloggers and newspapers, I have come to realise that everyone is a success in their own right. So, we find ourselves here and with me opening up the doors to Mummy in a Tutu for my first ever guest post series. This series is here for any and all bloggers to talk about success; their success or the success of someone else that they want to recognise. Welcome to I’m a blogging success because… Let’s hand over to Min from Single Mum Speaks!
Well, I’m not, am I?
It has taken months for me to write this post. A guest post series on why you’re a blogging success, I thought, I can’t possibly do that! I’m not a success at all. I’m constantly striving, trying hard but never quite hard enough, imagining the trappings of success of the Superstar BlogLife, the appearances on This Morning, the tear-streaked awards acceptance speeches, the effortless poise with which I stand in front of a brick wall in a vintage dress and impractical hat.
Hell, I don’t even have someone to take a photo of me in front of that brick wall.
Anyway, what even is a blogging success? In the spirit of how I teach my A level students to write their essays, I must start with setting out a clear definition of the terms. The problem is what the term “success’ means is not at all clear. Success means different things to different people. What do you want out of blogging? Some want a regular paycheck, a chance to trade the 9 to 5 for a flexible self-employed career that fits their family. Is that me? Is that what I want? Possibly, but without the means to cut myself loose from the day job in the first place it’s difficult to achieve. There’s something about that regular paycheck, the one you get with the 9 to 5, that makes it very difficult to relinquish and take the plunge. Perhaps it’s the fact that all that stands between me, a single parent with a mortgage, and destitution, is that 9 to 5. How does one bridge the gap between starting a freelance career and having a full time job when faced with a stark choice between no time to freelance when working full time, and no money when not.
Perhaps that goal is out of reach-for now.
Then again, maybe success doesn’t come from money. Maybe it’s the recognition. Maybe it’s the knowledge that you are an expert in your field, that champion parent blogger everyone else is asking for advice, the one everyone thinks is the Queen Bee of blogging, the one with the perfect Instagram, the one with the viral posts about how we should all love ourselves despite our stretchmarks, the one who has the elusive relatability.
Am I relatable? I cannot tell you how many times I have sat up at night pondering that question. Relatable to whom? I have never seen myself as some sort of bastion of “you go girl” positive reinforcement for the masses. My posts aren’t that emotional. I’m not funny on YouTube. I’m not even on YouTube, except in a promotional video for Arla Big Milk and Mumsnet where I appear briefly as a sort of VH1 Behind the Music-style talking head and say something stupid about babies.
Maybe none of that matters. Maybe all that matters at the end of the day is the stats. The cold hard stats. In my day job, we are measured by the stats, not the heart-warming interactions with students that go along with it, not the one child that we may or may not have inspired that day, but the stats. How many of those students got their target grades? What percentage of those were “disadvantaged”? It’s all in the metrics. If the metrics aren’t on your side, you ain’t getting that pay rise.
It’s the same with blogging. You can write the most beautifully crafted posts, the ones that have the power to move and inspire, and at the end of the day, if no one reads them, their value is lost. It’s all about the numbers. Increase your following, join every Instagram pod going, comment, comment, comment. What are your pageviews, what’s your Klout, your DA, your engagement, your monthly unique visitors?
I’m plodding along, plodding, plodding. My InstaGame is lagging, my Twitter has stalled and my Pinterest is still unfathomable to me. I don’t know how to use Tailwind, what makes an image “pinnable” is a mystery to me, and I’m not sure anyone really “likes” my photos.
So not a success there either.
What is there left for me, the nearly-woman, or nearly-but-really-quite-far-away woman of the parent blogging world?
Well, I have been writing for years. My current blog is four and a half years old. A successful blogger would be ruling the world by now, directing hordes of minions in an online empire stretching across physical borders and expanding infinitely into cyberspace, but a blogging success is sometimes smaller. The success of keeping going despite my own doubts, disappointments and frequent technical ineptitude. The success of bouncing back and striving to be better, of promising myself that this week will be the one I finally get to grips with Tailwind, sign up for Social Oomph or write that post despite working full time and having parents evening this week (that’s the parents’ evening where I’m the teacher, not the parent). The success of making friends across the internet, of finding a tribe, of contributing to conversations that matter. Perhaps these are the things that make a success, not how radiant you can look juggling a set of small children, a large cup of coffee and perfect contouring on Instagram.
And if I’m not a blogging success now, if I just keep going….one day perhaps I will be.
If you’d like to read more from Min (who in my opinion is a HUGE success) check out her Blog
or you can reach her on Twitter and Facebook
If you would like to take part in this series then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with your piece and all your social media links and subject it Blogging Success. I hope you join me again next week to help celebrate more blogging success. We’ll be joined by Vicky from The Mummy Bubble!
Dont for get to check out Week 16, Week 17 & Week 18!