What Cybher taught me about blogging success


OK I know I promised you lots of hot blogging tips from Cybher, but as it turned out, it wasn’t that sort of day for me.cybher

Though  there were a few choice gems – turns out I have been getting it wrong in calling my competitions, er, competitions. Legally, a competition must include some degree of skill, and whilst it might be fun to see who’s got the best reason for wanting a foot grater, you couldn’t really call that a skill. So in the interests of keeping it legal, I’ll be calling them giveaways from now on.

Rather than individual tips, I found myself thinking about the bigger picture, blog-wise.

Many sessions I attended talked of the importance of your blog having a clearly defined niche and a definite vision to pursue.

This is bad news for me, since I have no niche. My niche is me, and the things I am interested in. I’m a Muppet Me Party blogger in that respect, a focus group of one.

I was very struck this morning by a post from Mother’s Always Right asking How do you define blogging success? because I realised that in 5 years of writing this blog I had never really stopped to think about that.

So I did, and this is what I came up with: For me, a successful blog is one that you want to keep on writing. And that’s it.

All the other stuff is just sauce on the side.

Do you like your blog, this online space that grew out of your imagination? Are you proud of it and glad you took the time to make it? Does writing it make you smile, lift you up or help you feel satisfied that you’ve expressed your point of view? Does it make a positive difference to your world, and the world in general? Ultimately blogging success, unlike other flavours of success, is a journey rather than a destination. It doesn’t matter if you’re only making small ripples, because that’s how big ripples start.

Obviously if you’re blogging for business reasons or aiming to make blogging your full time job then your criteria for success will be very different, and much more clearly defined. But for the personal blogger who does it for a fun hobby, then this is what I think it boils down to. And I guess there is a business element to all of this because some people who read the blog go on to buy my book or become my coaching clients, and I would like that to go on happening. But it’s not the driving force. If it didn’t happen I would still write this blog.

I was with my daughter at Cybher, and you can see her take on the day in sketches over here. When we got home I said to her: It’s not like I’m trying to push you into blogging as a thing to do. I’m trying to show you that people can create anything they want to if they pursue their ideas, and that the ideas that you have can become something amazing if you act on them.

I think she got it. That, to me is a successful day, and one worth blogging about.

  • Gail

    Couldn’t agree more! And the great thing about the day was that it did inspire me to blog more.

  • Thank you Gail. It was great to meet you on Saturday and fab to hear that you came away inspired.

  • It’s interesting you should bring that up Ondo lady, because it certainly was when I started, but the blog has moved on a lot since then. I haven’t blogged about coaching for at least a couple of years, although I think that my training as a coach underpins everything else that I do and write about. But maybe I do have a niche after all, it’s just that I’m too much in the middle of it to see it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think bloggers were being told to do things in a certain way – there were a lot of bloggers telling their stories at Cybher, and in the course of that “your niche” was mentioned many times, as if it was a given that you would have one, but from talking to people on the floor it seems that that’s not always the case.

  • @Sian Yes she really did enjoy it a lot, that night on the way home she said “I feel really sad that Cybher’s over, it’s like the night after Christmas”. She was a bit overwhelmed at the start by so many people, but soon settled in and loved the fact that people were so friendly.

    @Mich – Thank you!I think if it creates enough energy within you to want to keep going back, then it’s working.

    @Circus Queen – thank you. It’s interesting with writing in that the paying markets for writers are shutting down, but writers will always want to write and with a blog you don’t have to wait until somebody else gives you permission to publish.

  • Isn’t your niche the fact that you cover media related stories and that you are a career coach? I am very wary of bloggers who tell other bloggers how they should manage their blogs. As you stated people blog for very different reasons.

  • Spot on Jo. I don’t really have a niche either but then so many of us don’t!
    It was lovely to meet El, I hope she had fun?

  • I absolutley love that Joanne, a successful blog is one you want to keep writing – perfect!

    Thanks, Mich x

  • I started my blog as a way to keep writing when work was getting a bit slow so yes, I definitely agree. It’s done that for me so it’s a success!

  • You’ve summed it up perfectly. Next time I get all chin stroking and start pondering this question, I’m going to keep this post in mind. x

  • Thank you Molly! I think it’s an interesting issue and I was surprised that I’d never really thought about it before. Also am discovering that there seems to be an unwritten rule that you’re not ‘supposed’ to blog about blogging. Ooops…got that wrong.

  • Bar Stuff

    Great Post Joanne,

    I think the picture is actually better than the majority of the pictures on successful blogs like Oatmeal and others.

    Get em started early so they can monetize thier blog when they turn 18 and free you from paying your allowance.