As witnessed in the comments of the Is Blogging Fulfilling Your Objective” post, many bloggers want to either do “something” with their blog or have their blog lead them “somewhere”.

Whether that something or somewhere is to have our blog produce an income, get us a book deal, grow our business or get us some other type of recognition, if we play our cards right, blogging could change our lives.

If we look at someone like Darren Rowse (Problogger), when he started blogging in 1992, he had no idea blogging would take him to the heights it has. In fact, he is now known world wide as one of the blogging pioneers.

When I interviewed Darren, one question I asked him was how he deals with comments. He admitted this is an issue he wrestles with. Since he doesn’t have the time to answer them, he relies on his readers to help each other out.

When that aspect of blogging got to be too much for him to handle, he chose to step back from it.*

As you can imagine, Darren’s life has changed immensely since the day he penned his first post.

Today’s Lesson

It’s possible.

Like Darren, we could all become very popular in blogosphere. Our name could become synonymous to our niche and we, too, could become “rich and famous” (whatever that means).

So, if that were to happen, how would our life change? How would our blogging change?

When I think about what happened to Darren, I can’t help but think about how life would change for me.

For example, would I still be blogging regularly? Or, would I rely more on guest posts?

How would I handle a large influx of emails, tweets and other requests on my time?

Would I need to hire an assistant?

Would I continue to operate my blog under my own name or should I incorporate?

Would there be any legal ramifications I should anticipate?

How does my online resume look? Have I blogged responsibly?

What about comments on my blogs? Would I stop answering them, too?

Although it may seem silly to think of these things when our blogs are still babies, anyone who has ever owned a business knows planning for the future, as well as the unexpected, is part of succeeding.

I don’t know about you, but I hope I’m ready.

Today’s Assignment

Would you be ready if success came knocking on your door?

If not, what needs attention?

Care to share?

signature for blog post.

P.S. In real life it happened to Susan Boyle. Although the notoriety caused a few bumps in the road for her, she appears to be back on her feet.

P.S.S. In May of 2009 we played the game of “What If” (we became famous) on this blog. Some of you played along. Some of you weren’t blogging yet. If you have time, check out the comments on that post. They’re a fun read.

*Darren occasionally shows up in the comment section of Problogger.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Barbara — I think about this all the time. I’ve been blogging for three years with some measure of success. I do think it’s within the realm of possibility that bigger success could happen to me, especially if I can get my book off the ground.

    I joke now that I could use an assistant for answering comments and emails. But that’s because I work a full-time job and there are only so many hours in the day. If I got real big, then yes, I’d need an assistant.

    I would definitely continue blogging and writing all my own material, that is why people read the Junk Drawer anyway. I can’t see farming anything out. It would kill my readership. But I would accept guest posts because I believe it’s good karma to allow my blog to be a venue to showcase other bloggers I can get behind. If I got big, guest authors would get a good boost from being seen on my blog.

    I haven’t considered too much about the legal aspects, though I suppose I should. Have I blogged responsibly? Definitely. I have nothing to worry about should someone go digging through my archives.

    Great questions! I’ve been toying around with the idea of a post called “Ten Reasons You Don’t Want to Be an A-list Blogger” because there are downsides, though that sounds impossible. One big reason is I’d probably quit my day job and I’d have to be at the top of the top in order to make enough money to replace regular income, benefits, vacation and retirement funds that my employer makes available to me.
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Beware: Baby Lambs Cause Computer Viruses =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Kathy,

      There is a lot to think about, isn’t there? Although our readers do expect us to be ‘on the blog”, an assistant could help with sorting through emails, social networking questions, as well as some of the behind the scenes aspects of blogging. But, like you said, enough income would have to be generated to cover those types of costs, as well.

      Having a full time job doesn’t leave a lot of time for a blogger to build their online presence plus write a book, like you want to do, but I think with determination and tenacity, it can be done. It’s just a matter of prioritizing and lots of long hours.

  2. You raised some really good questions. I guess it can be compared to living the life of a celebrity. Many people admire the life of celebrities but never really think of all that goes along with it. I know it is an ‘extreme’ comparison but it still fits.
    .-= Check out Heather Villa´s awesome post: How to Take Your Business to the Next Level =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Heather,

      That’s true. It’s very much like becoming a celebrity. What goes on behind the scenes is often not thought about, and even with celebrities, they too have paid their dues. And then like Kathy mentioned, in order to keep that life style, you need to stay on top of your game.

  3. I find it hard keeping up as I’m working towards my dream. If I “made it” (what ever that means) I would definitely need help managing all of the information flying towards me (emails, DMs, requests, etc).

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Stacey,

      I hear you. The more popular a blogger becomes, the more they’re in demand. Getting help with part of the work load would help to keep us sane.

  4. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    Ahhh…to become rich and famous from writing. That would be nice. As for the crush and rush that might follow, I’d just have to roll with the punches as I learned to juggle the new lifestyle. I’d have to weigh obligations and outcomes more seriously, finding a balance between relationships and leveraging the success for the time when it disappears.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Victimhood, Big Brother, and a slippery slope =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      Sometimes that’s all we can do; roll with the punches as it would be hard to predict what all could/would happen.

      That’s a good point too about “when it disappears”. We never know if we’ll just have our 15 minutes of fame or if it would last for a longer period of time.

  5. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    Interesting question..
    “What about comments on my blogs? Would I stop answering them, too?”
    We could add… Would I stop commenting on other people’s blogs?
    I read an article recently where a blogger said, “Why should I comment on blogs who don’t return comments?” and I thought that was a reasonable question.
    It’s easy to think that some bloggers are so important that we shouldn’t expect them to return comments but are they so important?
    I leave comments on Pro Blog Design, Michael Martin’s blog, Pagerank 5 and Michael leaves the odd comment on my blog.
    Michael is a busy and successful blogger but he still finds the time… I like that.
    .-= Check out Keith Davis´s awesome post: Laugh and the world… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Keith,

      That’s a good point. The busier bloggers get, the more that gets dropped, and visiting other blogs is often high on the list. I know when I first started blogging I wondered if Darren (Problogger) would visit my blog because I had commented on his. That didn’t happen, but later on he was kind enough to let me interview him. I was very appreciative of the time he took to do that.

      All in all, I think it depends on the blogger. Some will continue to stay active in blogosphere, whereas others connect with their readers on social networking sites.

  6. This is an interesting consideration. But I’d like to pose a different question. Instead of what might I do if my blog made me rich and famous? How about, what could actually make me rich and famous? I think our blogs are simply vehicles of communication and the success doesn’t come from the vehicle but from the blogger driving it. Success doesn’t come because he or she is a great writer or great blogger but because he or she has created something very distinct and valuable.
    .-= Check out Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s awesome post: Stop Career Insanity =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tom,

      Great question. And I agree. It’s not “the blog” that will necessarily get us notoriety, but like you said, what the blogger has created; be it a book, a product, a service, or…

      And yes. Whatever it is must be very distinct AND valuable. We need to stand out from the crowd.

  7. But I already am successful. (If I do have to say so myself 🙂

    I don’t think I will ever become a celebrity blogger. I also don’t think that being a celebrity blogger is the only way one can succeed as a blogger. I make good money now – very good money, from home and on my own terms. I consider this success.
    .-= Check out vered | professional blogger´s awesome post: Am I Putting Ideas Into My Kids’ Heads? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      *smiles* Vered,

      Yes you are successful. And I like your story. Two plus years ago you started out as a mommy blogger and took what you learned and turned it into a very profitable business. I commend you for that.

  8. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    You could bowl me over with a feather if I ever actually became “successful” with my little blog, Barbara! I don’t think I would ever be emotionally ready for that, let alone in any other way. 😛

    Also, how would this success come about? Would I get a sudden, dramatic spike in my readership overnight? How then would I hold onto said readership? I’m sure there would be some natural attrition as readers fell away after their initial visit or visits.

    Or would the success be so gradual that I could only recognise it in retrospect? I certainly wouldn’t see it coming as it builds up at a glacial pace, and I would certainly not be expecting that progress to continue at every step of the way.

    So, yeah, intellectually I can appreciate that success would be a wonderful thing, but in actuality it’ll probably not be the all embracing thing that I want it to be. That’s why I have to take it as it comes, and keep doing what I’m doing in the meantime. 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tony,

      One never knows how success will come to us, but when I look at your blog and the cartoons you draw, I can see it happening for you, as well as any blogger who sticks with it.

      Since I don’t have a magic ball, I’d say just keep doing what you’re doing as I know it’s something you do enjoy. As we discussed in the What’s Your Blog Telling You post, time often leads us into “the right” direction.

  9. Deb DorchakNo Gravatar says:

    Let’s put it this way: I have a guest room ready and waiting for success when she comes a’knockin’.

    In the meantime, I’m not just waiting for success; I’m taking all the steps and seizing on every opportunity to bring it that much closer.

    Fame from blogging? At one time I thought being a big dog in the blogosphere was the be all end all. But since then I’ve learned there are other priorities and projects I want to see done.

    Blogging alone was never my true passion or calling. Writing is/was. Blogging is just the stepping stone on the way up. An essential tool, yes, but not the only tool in the box.
    .-= Check out Deb Dorchak´s awesome post: More Than Word: Essential Programs for Book Design =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Deb,

      Well put. You’ve raised a good point. Success may not come a’knockin, but we can take steps to bring success closer.

      Like you, I used to think being an a-list blogger would be kind of cool, but the more I see/hear/read, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

      Making a difference is less subtle ways can become a way of having success without having some of the headaches that go with “stardom” (whatever that is).

  10. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Today! I would just like the rich part – do not need the celebrity and all that work , ha ha!

    Today I am a doubter who is very tired. One who worries about not being able to achieve the things I want for my blog because I am not able to do the IT work.

    Today, because I hope I have enough readers to sell books for the author I just reviewed… I doing it right by her? Will this assist her efforts? Will those folks who could benefit discover this book?

    Am I big enough to inspire? Do I need more bling?
    I guess I need to use smaller words to succeed…(from one of your other posts)

    Oh my so many questions so little time and bed looks so inviting
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: The Love Ceiling ~a novel by Jean Davies Okimoto =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      I think it’s easy to have doubts when our blogs or our progress isn’t moving as fast as we’d like. But then, if we look at the a-list bloggers, some of them blogged for many years before they gained notoriety. Fast success with blogging may have happened for some, but that’s definitely not the norm.

      Enjoy the journey, Patricia. And get some rest. 🙂

  11. ZizinyaNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with @vered. We can define success however we choose, and celebrity and wealth don’t have to be part of the equation. If you get a certain satisfaction out of maintaining your blog and creating an active community, that can be reward enough. I don’t think monetizing your blog should be the only goal for starting one in the first place.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zizinya,

      Definitely. We each have our own definition of “success”. And I agree, small rewards can mean success, just as big ones can.

  12. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I’d like to boldly say that I’d be ready for it but in the recent past I’ve begun to suspect that I have a deep seated fear of success. Wrasslin’ with the issue currently. With any luck I can take it two falls outta three.

    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: Is Your Passionate Writing Fueled By Anger Or Inspiration? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      I don’t think you’re the only one who fears success. Many don’t think they deserve it or may think they don’t want all that goes with it. Unfortunately when that happens, we often find ourselves sabotaging that which comes our way.

  13. I’m ready from the first day, I know about it. However, knowing and adopting is two different thing. I yet not able to adopt my blog well towards success. Last night, when I’m in my bed, I’m thinking about it. I just trying to find out, why I’m yet not manage the success that I want and soon I find out – I yet not do a single thing that can represent my name when people talk about ‘tips’. Very soon, I managed to build some fine to-do. I think understanding capability is the biggest issue for me. My biggest problem was, I have some talent in different niche which actually create problem to find out what should I write. However, after doing hours of self criticism I find out what should I write and what should I avoid. Hope, soon I will able to represent my thought the way I want before that I have to play with category and make some necessary changes on my logo and if possible in my theme.
    .-= Check out Arafat Hossain Piyada´s awesome post: 3 Misconception every beginner blogger should aware of =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Arafat,

      Yes. Knowing we’re ready for success and adapting to it are two different things. And, if success knocked unexpectedly, our life could be turned upside down almost immediately.

      It sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and are trying to align your passions with your blog(s). I wish you well on your journey.

  14. I firmly believe that Success is not a destination, but a journey and each step up the ladder prepares us for the next “level” f success. While instant success doesn’t happen often, it does happen and would throw me a huge curve ball. Organization would be at the top of my to do list.
    .-= Check out Bruce Daniels´s awesome post: So exactly what is my trade worth? =-.

  15. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bruce,

    That’s very true; success is not a destination. If fact if we were to look at success as a destination, when we get “there”, we’d be left saying, “now what?”.

    I like your analogy of climbing a ladder, with each step taking us closer to our dream. It is all about the journey, isn’t it?

  16. I think I’m always looking for ways to improve (find ways to dedicate more time show that I care, etc.). I think we can always find time and ways to improve. As you get bigger or your business gets bigger, you have to find people that you mesh well with and who can support the areas you need help in and trust that they’ll do a good job.
    .-= Check out Ricardo Bueno´s awesome post: 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ricardo,

      That’s true. Finding others we can trust and who would have our backs, would be the key to being able to grow and expand, but yet keep our integrity.

  17. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Like Susan Boyle, never judge a book by its cover. As for going viral (famous), I would need help. I would have to re-organize just to keep up. And I would certainly incorporate at that point just to c.m.a. 😀
    .-= Check out Linda´s awesome post: OSC Building The Green Future =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      I agree. We cannot tell a book by it’s covers. Those who some might think don’t stand a chance, can be the ones who make it big.

      I think the same. Incorporating would help us to add another layer of protection.

  18. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. a few people get swept up and become successful and I hope they remain grounded. I like to hear that they remain in touch and are prepared to help others .. and not just become big wigs as such.

    However I’d like to be successful on the blog – that seems to be happening and then build it out with a local product, perhaps a simple e product too .. and so success happens methodically .. and along the way perhaps a similar body would come along and we could collaborate .. who knows ..

    I feel I’ll be able to cope when the time comes .. and it will come – that’s the main thing .. so will yours I am certain too ..

    Go well & have a great weekend .. Hilary
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Volcanic palette, translucent jet streams, passion-fruit paintings … =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      I like your idea of being methodical about the steps we take toward success. Not only could that make achieving success easier, but we’d be more prepared, as well.

      Have a great weekend, too.

  19. ColleenNo Gravatar says:

    “Would you be ready if success came knocking on your door?”

    Well, it kinda depends on a person’s definition of success. We have 5 children and the oldest two are finishing college. So far, our kids our doing well, and our marriage is as strong as ever. So, I think we are living in success. We’ll keep our fingers crossed, eh!
    .-= Check out Colleen´s awesome post: Utter Disappointment And The Classiest Acts That Followed, Armando Galarraga, Detroit Tigers, Jim Joyce =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Colleen,

      Yes. It does come down to how we define success, and from hearing your story, it sounds like you’re right on track. 🙂

  20. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    It is way too soon in the game for me to make those kinds of plans, and although I never expect to become “rich and famous”, I would like to achieve some modest success. There are, however, different levels of success. You don’t have to have your name echoed around the world to have succeeded at what you do.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      That’s very true. Just because we’re in blogosphere which is world wide, doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily be seen as successful on that large a scale. In many instances, we could be very successful in our niche and others may never hear about us.

  21. Personally, no idea, which is probably not a good thing. lol

    I do think though, you have struck THE key question always lurking with fear attached in the back of everyones mind…the thing that actually keeps them from accomplishing their success.
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing´s awesome post: The Future of DEDC – Part 3 – A Slight Modification You Might Like Better =-.

  22. Hmm, wasn’t there a retweet button somewhere?
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing´s awesome post: It’s His FIRST Comment Contest! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dennis,

      The way I see it is, if we don’t think about being successful, how can we plan for it. Although many bloggers aren’t looking that far in advance, there are steps we can take from the beginning to insure when success does start to show up, we don’t have any regrets.

      Re: The retweet button. I disabled Sexy Bookmarks and have now added the share it (green) button (below the comment box). I’ll probably be adding the retweet button shortly.

  23. Knock-knock.

    Who’s there?


    Success who?

    Successful Blogger.


    Oh gee, what a great post. I think of someone like The Pioneer Woman, and how she offers value to her readers. She began with a home-schooling blog, and has blossomed outward and upward ever since — now THE top woman blogger. And she is great! I love how she does how-tos on photography. And posts step-by-step recipe instructions with photos.

    I guess if we have to move away from answering comments, and personal tweets and all the other potential time-intensive activities as our blog get bigger, as long as we are being “ridiculously helpful” or entertainig with our posts we are on the right track. Good energy put forth, good energy returned. Like here on your blog, Barbara!

    And as Hilary states, remaining grounded while doing so — that sounds like great success.

    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Tree House Interior, by iPhone =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jannie,

      Isn’t it wonderful when we see how others started just as we did and now are seeing the fruits of their labor?

      Yes. With success comes responsibility. It would be sad to see a blogger “make it”, only to have them forget where they came from.

  24. I’d be happy as a little piggy if I were to become one of those “elite bloggers”. My personal blog has been around for 8 years and has a small, loyal following and I’m just getting Practically Intuitive off the ground so there’s much I want to do with that.

    Would I be ready? Probably not. Would I step up my game if that were the case? Absolutely. (Wonders how to step it up now so I *WILL* be ready. Good question for my pondering time. Suggestions welcome, of course!)
    .-= Check out Lisa@Practically Intuitive´s awesome post: A Call to Action =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Lisa,

      I wonder if any of us would be ready if “success” came quickly. I think it’s easy to plan for what we want to have a year or two down the road, but if we were to be “discovered” overnight, it could be overwhelming.

  25. Hi Barbara,

    I’ve often wondered how you handle what I think to be a lot of comments — I commend you for taking the time to connect with your community. 🙂

    To answer your question about being ready for success — yes I am ready. I believe when opportunity presents its self, I’ve always tried to take the bull by the horns for a good ride and it’s worked thus far. It seems to me, if success is what someone wants, and it arrives, the person will find a way to thrive. It reminds me of a river: there will be twists and turns and big rocks in the way, but if we just relax and go with the flow, we’ll make it to where we want to be. Right?
    .-= Check out Lori Franklin´s awesome post: RAOKA: Serenity =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      Good point. Most of us would find a way to deal with success, and like you said, even with the ups and downs that can come with it, if it’s something we’ve always wanted, we’d learn how to deal with it.

      Re: comments. Comments bring me tons of joy so making the time to answer them actually is quite easy. Thank you for your kind words, Lori. 🙂

  26. faroukNo Gravatar says:

    i think i am ready 🙂 i believe it will come slowly and step by step so there won’t be a sudden change but slow and gradual one
    thanks for your post 🙂
    .-= Check out farouk´s awesome post: Response cached until Sun 6 @ 8:17 GMT (Refreshes in 23.89 Hours) =-.

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    You’re welcome Farouk,

    I hear you. When success comes to us in small increments it’s a lot easier to handle and to adjust our schedules accordingly. If it was an overnight thing, now that would be a challenge.

  28. RalphNo Gravatar says:

    I want to say that I am ready but my actions don’t always reflect it. I have been blogging for 2 1/2 years and have had some amazing things happen! The world-wide influence, bloggers that I looked up to asking me to contribute monthly to their blog, etc…

    How ever there are times when I get off track and lose focus when it comes to time management of my writing responisbilities, social media management, and other stuff. I’ve gotten a good grip on it lately and as of this second, I’m ready. However, the key for me is to STAY ready.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ralph,

      That’s very true. It’s easy to get off track and lose focus. Like you, time management can be a struggle for me, too. Although we know a blog can lead us to success (in one form or another), just like a real job, we also need to put in our time.

  29. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I try to match where I spend my time with priorities and I stay flexible. I think there’s a book on the idea that “what got you here, won’t get you there.”
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.Inspire Yourself with SkillMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D..

      Oh, that sounds like a fascinating book if it’s about “what got you here, won’t get you there.” If you find the name of it, let me know.

      Yes. Staying flexible is important. One never knows where the next opportunity will show up at.

  30. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    You ask excellent questions. I don’t have the answers… yet.

    Honestly, I just want to have fun without it being the result of how much money I have in the bank or how well known I am. Would I be ready if success came knocking on my door? I’d probably run away… catch my breath, then come back and figure out what I did to make it happen. Then, I’d write an ebook 🙂
    Check out Davina’s awesome post.Guest Post: A Muse for My DreamsMy Profile

  31. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Davina,

    I wonder how many really do have the real answer. Often what we see as success is completely different than what ends up being successful for us.

    I laughed at how you said you’d run away, only to come back and question how you made it happen. 🙂

  32. That’s a pretty awful question cos I know I would so not be ready if my blog were to go viral. I’d be scared to quit my day job and focus on the blog but moreover I’d be a lot scared that it would take over my true dreams of being a singer-songwriter.

    Being somewhat of a control freak like I am, I believe no one can do the job better than I can thus hiring staff and all that would be one hot catastrophe!
    Check out Udegbunam Chukwudi | Make Money Online Nigeria’s awesome post.My Lousy Commenting Policy Undergoes Changes Again!My Profile

  33. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Udegbunam,

    Maybe your blog will gain enough attention for you so you can live your dream of becoming a singer-songwriter.

    Quitting our day job would be tough unless we knew for sure the blog would continue to be popular. It makes me wonder, “how would we REALLY know?”

  34. […] If Success Came Knocking… ( […]

  35. […] If Success Came Knocking… ( […]

  36. This is the longest day-planer I’ve ever seen…
    Check out Derrick Jones’s awesome post.The 7 blogging resources you must haveMy Profile

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    LOL Derrick.

    I must say, it keeps me busy. 🙂