B-2, I-25, G53, O-68. BINGO!

It’s been a long time since I played Bingo.

For those who have never played the game, the object is to get five numbers in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line. Sometimes you may play “four corners”, or a game when you must cover all of the numbers on your card.

It’s a typical game. Some follow the rules. Some will cheat. It eventually ends. There’s always a winner.

Today’s Lesson

I’ve been thinking ( I do a lot of that), what makes a blog/blogger a winner? A success?

Are you a success if you’re rated as an “A-list” “big name” blogger?

Or if you amass 100,000 pages views a day?

Are you a success if you’re a “six figure blogger”?

Or if you can show 15000 +/- RSS feed readers?

Does hitting the front page of Digg make you a winner?

What if you have so many comments in a day, you can’t answer them all?

Do “numbers” measure success in blogging?

Can you only call yourself a success if you hold the title of “problogger” (a professional blogger who blogs for a living)?

Can success be measured in other ways?

To me, blogging has been a new ending journey. It’s a work in progress. Each day I grow as a person, and learn something new.

Lesson Nine Blogging has been a succession of many “successes” for me. From the time I signed up for my first domain name, “going live”, publishing my first post, receiving my first comment, making my first penny, and dozens of milestones in between, I’ve yelled out “BINGO” many times.

Today’s Assignment

How do you define success in blogging?

Can it be defined? Or is it a “carrot” that dangles in front of us, always enticing us to want more?

Do you yell out “BINGO” when you hit small milestones, or do you feel unsuccessful because “your card’s not filled’?

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  1. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – excellent question. I think success means different things to different people.

    Like you – I’ve had many milestones: First comment, significant traffic increases, writing something and really liking it, hearing that a post has been helpful to others; so many different things.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..Fab Quotes Of The Week: Week 3

  2. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with Catherine. I think success can be measured by the goals you have set forth for yourself. Usually goals have milestones (if you’re organized and planning well, that is) and each milestone is one step closer to your ultimate goal.

    What is your ultimate goal in blogging? Only you can answer that. That’s how you measure your success . . . by the goals you have set and the main goal you ultimately want to reach.

    John Hoffs last blog post..A Special Offer For My Blog Readers Only

  3. I shout BINGO for all the small milestones 🙂 It feels good to acknowledge progress

    Being upset that my “card isn’t filled” takes away from my inspirations and productivity. Besides, the journey up is enjoyable. Every thoughtful comment counts. Every link in is appreciated. Why rob ourselves of that?

    JEMi | Tips for Life, Love, Yous last blog post..Self Fulfilling Prophecies: Getting Your Life Back

  4. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Isn’t that a great accomplishment when your words help others? It validates why we blog.

    Hi John,

    Those milestones (within our ultimate goal) are a great way to measure our success. I think they are also great confidence builders.

    Hi JEMi

    The journey we create for ourselves as bloggers is a fabulous trip we create. Like you said, not enjoying the experience would be a shame.

  5. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    hey barbara, i love how you come up with these comparisons.

    How do you define success in blogging? um 1 comment per post is all i hope for, any more than that is gravy.

    Can it be defined? Or is it a “carrot” that dangles in front of us, always enticing us to want more? Some of us always want more. It depends on why you blog.

    Do you yell out “BINGO” when you hit small milestones, or do you feel unsuccessful because “your card’s not filled’? Uh, no, I really gotta get some blogging goals. I haven’t set any milestones. Even in failure, I feel like a success because I tried. My card is never filled, people have more comments and subscribers than I probably will ever have, but I’m okay with that….I try not to compare my card with others, but remain focus on “the game”.

  6. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Success in blogging was seeing some stuff I wrote from another PC elsewhere. In other words, it was in the public domain.

    That meant it was real and that other people could possibly find it.

    But for me, success is the enjoyment and outlet it gives you to say what you feel – regardless of whether anyone listens.

    The fact that people like your good self pass comment on the gibberish I often come out with makes it even more fun!

    Last year, in Skegness, I played Bingo with my daughter. For those in the UK, you will be under-whelmed by this.

    Me? I really enjoyed it. There can be amazing prizes if you win – as good as a cuddly toy, or even a toaster (well in Skegness anyway).

    Elsewhere, the prizes can be six or even seven figure sums – at least in the UK where we are increasingly (and slightly worryingly) bingo-mad.

    For me, the fun is taking part. If you win, it is a bonus. If you don’t, it was fun.

    Blogging is like that. You can scream “house” if you hit a nerve and strike a chord with the world. But in most cases you will be disappointed if you don’t enjoy the game and instead are focused exclusively on the prize.

    We are all attracted to being labelled a “pro-blogger” and some are capable of getting there. But we need to temper that thought with the cost of achieving it.

    If it becomes a chore or we become a slave to the goal, then perhaps we should re-consider.

    I used to love TV. I now love blogging – whether I’m writing something or visiting others. It’s far more enriching. Even moreso than bingo!

    Ian Dennys last blog post..Deliberately Displease People For Better Results

  7. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural,

    I like that. “I feel like a success because I tried”. That’s a great mindset one that definitely gets you another “A”.

    Hi Ian,

    I love your stories. 🙂 Yes, Bingo can be a fun game. The last time I played I remember the room was filled with anticipation. That alone made it more fun, and watching others react when they got “bingo” was part of the fun. When I won, I was so shocked (I don’t win much), I stuttered a quiet, uncertain sounding, “uh uh bingo”. I think I won a couple of bucks.

    Blogging can be like a game, and like you said, it one that’s fun to “play”.

  8. Success for me is when someone tells me that one of my posts made their day. 🙂

    Mark – Creative Journey Cafes last blog post..Financial ABCs for Artists, Part 2

  9. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I guess I’m a lot like you. There have been many little successes. I’m enjoying blogging and hope to continue for a long time. I don’t really know what my ultimate goal of success is. I would love to be a problogger with lots of readership. I’d love to reach the masses. Until then, I will continue to plug along with my few readers. Every once in a while I gain a new reader and each new reader is one more success.

    Debbie Yosts last blog post..Baseball Season?

  10. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks a great compliment, isn’t it?

    Hi Debbie,

    As with any journey, we must put one foot in front of the other, and eventually we reach our destination. With blogging, the milestones we reach is another step toward that ultimate goal. Like you, I’m still not certain what that goal actually is. Although it may sound foolish not to have a solid goal, with blogging, I’m letting my blog guide me (at least for awhile longer).

  11. I think “success” is a carrot dangling in front of us that we will never reach, so we have to celebrate small victories. I frequently yell out “Bingo,” “checkmate,” “Yahtzee,” and “you sunk my battleship!”

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..Mastering The Most Powerful Force In The Universe

  12. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:


    You’re back! You were missed.

    Yahtzee? I haven’t played that for a long time either. Another fun game.

    Speaking of milestones, you definitely hit a couple of big ones, getting a mention on Problogger for your ebook, and….getting your ebook published in other languages. Those are worth big ‘shout outs”. 🙂

  13. I think success is fulfulling the entire statement from begining to end “Do what you love, and the money will follow”…

    I can’t not do something that I love for money. It just wouldn’t fulfill me. The ultimate for me would be a career that allows me to be in the comfort of my own home, allows me the luxury to see patients on my schedule so that I don’t have to fulfill a “quota” of patients each day and feel like I practice medicine on an assembly line, and being able to comfortably afford that. TI also want to be able to interview prospective patients and decide if want to work with them or not. I am not saying that in a snobby way because I volunteer much of my time with homeless people, I just mean it in an energy sink hole kind of way. If people aren’t ready to actually do the work and allow me to hold a mirror up to them and show them what is REALLY going on, and then allow me to coach them through the process of getting in to better balance, then they should go see another kind of doctor until they are ready for that kind of treatment.

    Then I will be practicing the kind of medicine that truly helps people and is dear to my heart, the blog is the only way for me to get off the assembly line. I could spend a year writing a book, but everyone is writing books on alternative medicine left and right, that is why I chose this as an option instead.

    Dr. Nicole Sundenes last blog post..This Week in “Ask Dr. Nicole”

  14. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dr. Nicole,

    Isn’t it amazing of how we become so much “richer” when we do what we love. Most of our rewards are priceless.

    I do understand what you’re saying about wanting to help people who want to (are ready to) help themselves. Otherwise you could feel like you are talking to a brick wall and inevitably wasting precious time that could be spent on helping someone else. I don’t see your views as being snobby…you just want willing patients.

    I like your blog over book idea. You’re providing free information, and with the monetization of your site, you may very well be on your way to your dream job.

  15. This comes at the perfect time for me because I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately and not coming up with an answer. I have had many successes and milestones with SHE-POWER (being asked to guest post at ZenHabits, making the Top 100 Australian Female Blogs, hitting the StumbleUpon Top 10 posts twice, increasing Alexa rankings, traffic etc) but somehow lately I feel very dissatisfied with my blog.

    I’m really not sure why I feel unsuccessful or “not good enough” but definitely my inner perfectionist has taken control and rationally I know that’s not a good thing. I just have to figure out how to kick that hard ass to the kerb and go back to why I started blogging in the first place. To strengthen my natural writer’s voice and build an audience for my fiction. I have achieved both these things so I really need to find a way to remember that.

    Thanks for giving me an opportunity to see that I can choose how to define the success of my blog. It is not for others to decide, it’s all my choice.


    Kelly@SHE-POWERs last blog post..What is the Music of Your Life?

  16. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kelly,

    The success you’ve had is something other’s dream of, and may never achieve.

    It’s easy to become disillusioned with blogging when we lose focus. For you to go back/think back to why you started blogging in the first place, should help you to “regroup” and find that fire again.

    I’m guessing this is just a bump in the road, and you’re passion will soon be renewed.

  17. MonkMojoNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    You inspired a comic with this post, some here may relate to it.


    MonkMojos last blog post..RSS: Crystal Meth for Bloggers

  18. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi MonkMojo,

    I just checked out the cartoon. It’s great! Hopefully others will check it out too.

    Thanks for the linklove 🙂

  19. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I think success is when the response equals the challenge. From a practical standpoint, I think success is when you pass your tests for success.

    For example, on my MSDN blog, I have the following tests for success:
    – Do I consistently flow value for my readers?
    – Do I share my most valuable lessons learned for effectiveness on the job?
    – Do I continue to improve the consumption/absorption of my posts?
    – Do I create posts that say what I want them to say?

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..Nuggets from Coping with Difficult Bosses

  20. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi J.D.

    I like how you worded that: “success is when you pass your tests for success.”

    Those are four great “tests” for your blog posts. It makes a difference when we stop, if only for a moment, before hitting that publish button, and ask pertinent questions like you do.

    That’s a superb idea. Thank you for sharing.

  21. MonkMojoNo Gravatar says:

    Almost forgot to turn in my assignment!

    “How do you define success in blogging?”

    I consider myself successful if I’m having fun. When I start feeling a little burnt I take a break.

    I’m thrilled when someone enjoys one of my comics, but that is not the bottom line for me. I need to have fun doing it, even if it sucks. Hope that makes sense.

    MonkMojos last blog post..A Zen High Five and 3 Random Things

  22. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi MonkMojo,

    Grab yourself an “A”. 🙂

    Your cartoons are priceless. Having fun with a blog is part of the process and part of the success. It’s obvious you enjoy the process.

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