What Do You Think Makes a Blog Post Successful?

I’ve recently read lots of the traditional ‘Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018’ posts we see at this time of the year. In fact, I was going to write and publish one myself but was stopped in my tracks when I began to question if the list I was going to publish did truly reflect my top 10 blog posts of 2018.

#top10 #blogging #bloggingtips
Image Credit: Pixabay

Should it only be about the number of hits a post gets?

Most of the bloggers who have published ‘Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018’ posts, I’ve read, have based their list on the number of hits the blog posts achieved. That had me questioning if that was the right way to go about compiling a list. After all, a blog post may have had thousands of hits, but how many of those readers who landed on the page of the post actually read the content or even commented on it before moving on? Does the number of hits equal success?

Does landing on a blog post by mistake make a post more successful when we don’t even read the content?

Search engines are great when looking for something in particular on the web, but how many times have I clicked on a link and then moved on quickly after realising that the page I’ve landed on is not what I was looking for? I’ve lost count of the number of time it’s happened, but it did make me question whether that click I made should go towards making the post more successful because I had landed there by mistake and didn’t read the content.

Volume V’s Sales

Let’s have a look at it another way. Take two identical shops: one that gets hundreds of customers a day, because of it’s location or its large advertising budget, but gets few if any sales a day, and the other that receives a much smaller number of customers, because of its location or smaller advertising budget, but gets a high volume of sales. Which of the shops is the most successful?

When do comments not equal success?

If I had compiled my ‘Top 10 Posts of 2018’ post based on the number of comments every post got, compared to the number of hits, my top 10 list would look very different.

For example, my most ‘hit upon’ post of 2018 did not get any new comments or ‘likes’ left on it last year. Yet my 32nd ‘most hit’ post of the year got three new comments and six new ‘likes’ left on it. Which one should be considered to have been the most successful in 2018?

Of course, most of us realise that the comments we leave have to add value to a post or prove that we’ve read the post if they are to be considered as valued comments. Comments such as ‘great post’ or ‘great idea’, or which are nothing but a line of emojis, don’t give any value to the author of the post or the person who left the comment. Should those types of comments then not be counted towards the success of a post?

When is a ‘like’ not a ‘like’?

As for the number of ‘likes’ a post gets, I had to disregard ‘likes’ as making my own posts successful after discovering in the comments section of my blog post, Is It Time To Remove The Like Button From Your Blog, that many readers simply click the ‘like’ button to show support to a blogger regardless of whether they’ve read the post…or not!

In fact, misuse of the ‘like’ button seems to be quite widespread in the blogging world, with some readers even pressing it to take away the feeling of guilt for not having time to read and comment on a post.

Some even see the ‘like’ button as nothing but a free promotional tool for their own blog without ever having to read a post. Leave a ‘like’ and, fingers crossed, it will bring in some new visitors.

If you’re wondering why I still have the ‘like’ button at the bottom of all my posts, it’s because I discovered (and was told by the WordPress) that it is connected to the ‘reblog’ button. Remove it, and the ‘reblog’ button also disappears from your blog posts.

Winding up

At the end of the day, I guess it’s entirely up to the blogger concerned in how they measure the success of a post. However, if a blog post only gets a few hundred hits, yet gets over 50 comments, doesn’t it prove that the post has been more successful, because it’s been read, than a post that gets thousands of hits, yet very few comments?

What do you think? How do you measure the success of a blog post?

Image credit: Pixabay

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170 comments

  1. I suppose it depends on what you want from your blog – something I’m still trying to work out for myself. Some people seem to enjoy collecting followers, or comments – being very visible in some way in their own sphere. Others are more interested in the writing itself and would like to connect with people like them – who write stories or novels. I think this is more the sort of blogger that I am interested in. You measure success, maybe, by how close you get to achieving whatever you want to do.

    1. I agree. Sometimes we can believe we have been successful by simply looking at how many people clicked on a link to a blog post, even though nobody may have actually read it. Some may measure success on just one person reading and leaving a comment, whereas others would only think a post has been successful if lots of meaningful comments have been left. At the end of the day, it’s a choice we will all have measurements for.

  2. I love getting the comments and would take that over a like. Truth be told, I realize that I have been guilty at times of just clicking like to save time rather than commenting but I will not just click like without reading first. 😊

  3. Glad I read this and I fully agree with your points, I like the shop analogy, its a great way of summing up how blogging is at times. For me its comments that count as it means someone has enjoyed your writing enough to take the time to leave you their thoughts. Its so hard to find readers in and so much of it is technical know how rather than what is written in the post itself. I’ve read seemingly popular posts only to be disappointed by the quality of it and other times stumbled across wonderful posts which really deserve more readers!

    1. Thank you. There are link droppers all over the world of blogging who will drop unofficial links to their own blog at whatever opportunity they can. I’ve found that the best way to deal with them is to edit their comment by removing the link before approving their comment. They soon get the message and usually move on.

      Sometimes, blogging can be more about a popularity contest, so poorly written posts will receive lots of attention. It’s a real shame that some good quality posts get little if any attention, but the author of the post themselves must take some of the blame if they do not promote their posts, respond to comments, or feel they do not have to visit, read, and comment on other blogs.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

  4. Fore me, it’s about comments. I’d rather have 10 comments than 1000 views/likes. I first started blogging back in 2004, and there was a lot more commenting and engagement on posts – perhaps because there wasn’t much social media then. It was a great community and I made some wonderful friends, and although I get more views nowadays, I get much less comments. With that said, I’m guilty of commenting less myself, so I want to make more of an effort to engage with other bloggers too!

    I’d say that this post is a success as there’s lots of comments! Clearly it’s a subject that’s got people thinking. I found my way here via Suzie’s blog, so I’m off for a look around 🙂 xx

    1. I think that, without a doubt, social media has eaten into a lot of time of the people who read and comment. It happened to me, so I cut down on the number of social media sites I used. I’m now down to just three, but even they can still take up too much time.

      Although I only started blogging in 2014, it’s changed a lot since I first started. Of course, changes are good, but you’re right in what you say in how people just do not have the time these days to stop, read and leave a comment. I much rather somebody leave a thoughtful comment every few months rather than not at all or leave lots of pointless comments on every single post I publish.

      Thanks to Suzie for sending you over here, and thank you for leaving your comments on this post.

  5. I think it is all about engagement. And with that, I mean having 200 – nice post, great, nice like comments have no meaning. Engagement is when the post sparks minds and leads to discussion and sharing of views. Rest all is statistics.

  6. For me Hugh, it is the comments that mean the most to me. Ones that aren’t over the top with compliments. Sharing their thoughts with honesty is a must to me. Though I suppose if I wanted to make an income off my blog then hits and traffic would be critical.
    When I write a post with emotion or on a subject that has ignited emotion in me and my readers, then that is what I class as a successful post.

  7. Got here from Suzie’s blog, start reading some, not all, comments, and I did follow your blog, so in a sense I guess it would classify as a successful post…:) So what’s making a blog successful, I can’t add much to what you already said, I think it will also change according to what your blogging subject is, mine is my paintings, photographs, and my technical field (gis, drafting) sometimes I will add some context informations, or simply some stories, more or less funny or real, sometimes some reflections on what going on in the world to go with it, my arctic photos usually bring lots of likes, photos of my cats too, cat’s lovers…:D, some of my paintings, and more importantly it did bring me a few dear contacts to me, people with who we start exchanging comments, and I would have never met them if not posting my stuff, I lost the count of people following my blogs, probably around 1000, but of those there is maybe 50 that are really following, lots of people follow just to bring people to theirs….it is okay with me, it is part of the ‘game’, after we find or let things develop, and decide which one are worth following, bloggers who bring some new ideas, sometimes inspiration or who I simply enjoying reading.

    Of course the main obstacle to blogging and ‘really’ follow blog is time, I used to have a very regular posting schedule, almost every day, last few years, for all kind of reasons, some real other ‘fakes’ I wasn’t around so much, so of course it is difficult to really follow, meaning reading complete post and sometimes commenting, and also some days you did enjoy reading but not feel like commenting, either you can add anything or just don’t find the way to add it in a meaninful sense, well I can’t add more to it than that, so I guess I will go now, and try to come back and really follow…:)

    1. You’re right about the number of followers a blog has not really counting towards the success of a blog, especially given that, usually, only around 20% of those followers ever bother to come back once they’ve pressed the follow button. Once I realised that some bloggers only follow because they are only really interested in a numbers game, I did away with celebrating ‘follower’ milestones. Far more important are those followers who read and leave comments on our blog posts, and that’s where we should spend more of our time.

      I much prefer to receive a meaningful comment once every few months from somebody, than not at all or for somebody to leave comments on all my posts which don’t add any value at all. You’re right that time can be an obstacle. However, more important is that we keep the fun and enjoyment in blogging rather than it becoming a chore or us feeling that we have to blog.

      Thanks so much for your comments on this post.

      1. You’re welcome Hugh, yes having fun blogging and finding some inspiration to keep going is more important, and try not to bother about numbers, we all do at a certain point, my numbers were never very high but I remember in the beginning worrying about it, now not very much, if we want to worry about something, it is not the choice who’s lacking…:D Right now I am more concern of painting more regularly, hence blogging more regularly to show those paintings…there is still more people coming to my blog than visiting my place…:)

  8. Got here reading Suzy’s blog….I have read some, not all comments, lots of them and unfortunately time is scarce, but I did follow your blog, so I guess it would classify as what is a successful post….:) Then what make a successful post, I am not sure, it will probably depend also on the type of blog or what is your main subject, mine is painting, photography and I will sometimes add a bit more eitheir something going on or some context description about this photograph or painting I

    1. Thank you for coming over from Suzie’s and for sharing your thoughts with us on what makes a blog post successful. I’ve enjoyed reading all the responses, many of which are very different. It’s great to get a bit of a debate going and hearing what everyone has to say.
      Thanks for the follow.

  9. you raise an interesting point. i’ve pondered this myself and over time i’ve learned that i just enjoy creating/posting and i love the interaction ala feedback and give and take, not really looking for numbers but it’s hard not to check at times.

  10. Hi Hugh,
    For me a successful blog post is one where you get comments and an interaction with readers. Even one comment where the reader appreciated the post you’ve written can be a success.
    I started January with a plan to leave comments on more posts and I’ve found I’m actually enjoying it all. Happy blogging!

    1. Thanks, Rosie. I hope those bloggers that say they never have enough time to read posts and leave comments, read your comment. I have never liked the thought of my blog posts not getting any comments. To me, that’s like talking to an empty room. And I know quite a few bloggers who have said they have given up on blogging because they never got any interaction with their readers. Unfortunately, many of them also told me that they didn’t have the time to read and leave comments on other blogs. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the interaction.

  11. Hi Hugh,
    You raise some interesting points. For example, if someone lands on your page by accident, it counts as a page view but why should we celebrate.
    I recently had a 2018 Reflection post. I think I analyzed the Top 15, not the Top 10 like you said you see so much of. I analyzed why I believe my posts received up to 6,000+ page views last year each. Even if one person accidentally lands on a page, it wouldn’t make my Reflection post if it was a fluke. The overall numbers wouldn’t be big enough.
    Janice

    1. It’s been interesting reading all the different views on what makes a blog post successful, Janice. We all crave views, but we don’t know how many of those viewers actually read our post. We all crave comments, but should we count comments that don’t prove the post was read? It’s probably something we should not concern ourselves with, but it’s certainly taught me to look at the many different ways a post can be successful.
      Thank you for adding your thoughts to this debate.

  12. This is an interesting piece! I haven’t gone through and read all of the comments (there are a lot of them! That should be a measure of this post’s success 😊) I’d love the option of getting rid of the “Like” button, if it didn’t disable the re-blog feature, if it would help generate more meaningful dialogue. My most successful posts, by my personal metric, are the ones that inspire people to discuss an idea or to leave feedback. I love feedback! Since most of my posts are sharing my own fiction writing, constructive criticism is invaluable, as are relationships with like-minded bloggers and readers.

    I am guilty of “following” blogs that interest me and then neglecting to follow up regularly. It can be an overwhelming number of posts to keep up with if you follow a lot of people! But I dive into my “reader” and pick a few with enticing previews to read each day, and I try always to leave some feedback.

    Thanks for this post and getting me thinking! I look forward to more posts (even if I only touch base sporadically 😂)

    1. I think the removal of the ‘like’ button would help in more comments being left, although I think not all of them would be meaningful. When I did remove the ‘like’ button for a couple of months, I did see more comments coming in, but I did miss not being able to have the reblog button at the end of each post. I saw it as a missed opportunity of my writing being shared.

      I certainly crave discussion on my blog posts, so I am always looking for something interesting to write about. Even comments can spark ideas for future blog posts, especially if they ask questions or look at something from a different viewpoint.

      It’s impossible to visit, read, and comment on all the blogs we follow if we’re following hundreds of blogs. What I try and do is to visit each one and leave a comment every few months or so. It’s better than not visiting or not leaving any meaningful comments at all.

      Don’t allow any aspect of blogging to overwhelm you. After all, it should always be about the fun and enjoyment.

  13. I find many of my posts are still receiving comments even though they were published last year or the year before. There’s also a WordPress button that shows us our top posts, so perhaps readers click on that too which will increase the numbers.

        1. It’s called ‘Top Posts and Pages’ and can be set to show the top posts based on ‘hits’ or ‘likes.’ Unfortunately, both don’t necessarily mean the post has been one of our most successful posts, given that anyone can visit a post without reading it, or leave a like without reading it. Those are just two of my arguments against a post being considered successful. I’ve enjoyed reading all the different responses to how people calculate success when it comes to our best performing blog posts. It’s really opened my eyes to this blogging mystery I stumbled upon.

  14. Hi Hugh a great question and it is so difficult as a blogger not to compare ourselves with others. I don’t monetize my blog but I do take it seriously. I did get caught up with analytics etc but have come to realise that my blog is successful to me because I have a way to express myself, encourage other women to achieve their full potential and I love the connections I have made over the last 4 years with other bloggers and my readers. I think if we are happy blogging then our blog is a success. Visiting from Senior Salon and wishing you a great week!

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Sue. Blogging should always be about the fun and enjoyment. If those elements are missing then it can become stressful or even a burden. I think it’s why we see so many bloggers just passing through.
      I’m glad to hear the reasons why you blog and why it’s successful for you. Thanks for coming over from Senior Salon (did you notice the widget I have on my sidebar for it?) and for also leaving your comments.

    2. Hugh, Sue has said so well just what I was thinking. So … there you have it! I’ve been blogging for nearly 9 years now. I’m low-tech, so I don’t even know about many of the SEO things (re-blog button?) mentioned in your post and the comments. I enjoy the engagement with my readers and so consider my blog “successful.”

      1. Engagement with our readers is so essential, Jean. In fact, without it, I would think it would be like writing for an audience who are not there. Yes, our blog stats may show that the post has had hits, but how many of those readers actually read the post? Whenever I stumble upon a blog that has no comments on it, I do wonder if anyone is actually listening to what the author has said. If it were not for the comments, I would have given up blogging a long time ago.

  15. It’s an interesting conundrum isn’t it? I’d like to have both – lots of views and also lots of engagement (but I’m greedy!) My views took a hit when StumbleUpon was canned – I was sad for a month or two and then realized that what really makes blogging appealing to me is the engagement, friendships and sharing of thoughts – so views are great, but views without any depth and time taken are pretty superficial in the grand scheme of blogging.

    1. StumbleUpon was great for referring traffic, but I never really knew how many new comments it produced. I’ve not seen much Traffic from Mix.com, which replaced SU, but I guess it’s still early days.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us about what makes a blog post successful. I agree with you, especially about comments that have no depths.

  16. This is a very thought-provoking post, Hugh. Like you, I’ve seen many of these ‘Top posts’ of the year floating around this time of the year. The points you raised are great points, and it begs the question of what does blogging success mean to us, and also a reminder of what we want to achieve with our blog. Some might blog for an audience, so they might measure blog success in terms of most-viewed or engagements per post. Sometimes I also feel the ‘Follow’ button is also as problematic as the ‘Like’ button. There are so many marketing blogs out there that follow for a follow, but also blogs that just want followers. Some might use the number of followers to show how successfully they are. In reality, probably a good number of our followers aren’t genuine followers who want to engage with us.

    For me, I’ve never felt any of my posts are top posts. I count every post I write as important and as a success in it’s own right. After all, I do spend quite some time on each one. I’ve always been lazy about promoting my posts around, and really just put a link up on Facebook or Twitter and that’s about it… Ultimately my blog is a space where I can freely write and share it with the world, and that’s why I blog in the first place.

    1. Thanks, Mabel. I always like to get people thinking and debating. For me, they are two of the main ingredients for blogging.

      You’re so right about what you say about the number of followers a blog has. I’ve heard it said so often that only about 20% of followers ever come back to read posts after they have followed a blog. The other 80% is what I called ‘ghost followers’ in a post I wrote several years ago. When I’ve met up with some bloggers, some of them always say to me that they will remember me for the term ‘Ghost Followers’ (I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing?).

      I guess we all have to think our own posts are a success, otherwise, why publish them? However, I have deleted a lot of my early posts after reading them again and almost cringing at what I had written. Fortunately, most of those posts had little if any readers.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us on this subject. I hope you’re enjoying the summer in your part of the world.

      1. I think it’s a good thing you are known for your ‘Ghost Followers’ post. That post sounded like it made an impact with readers and fellow bloggers. Long time followers will proabably remember you for the many other posts you have written. With your WP Reader, there is actually a way where you can remove your Followers. It’s something to consider, but I guess if you have built up followers over time, there’s only so much time you have going through each follower and seeing if they are an engaging follower or not.

        1. I’ve heard of people removing followers, usually when it’somebody they know at work, or a so-called friend who does nothing but leave negative comments. I don’t think many people know about the option, Mabel. It’s a good one to mention and maybe one to write about in a future ‘How To’ post.

  17. I try very hard for my blog to be my outlet for my desire- nay passion – to write and compose. Whether or not anyone reads it or finds it interesting should be unimportant but I know this is ideal and frankly rubbish at times. I very much appreciate comments and ‘likes’; it is nice to know my feeble attempts at composition are appreciated.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us on how you view your blogging. I think most of us agree that we want somebody to read what we write. It’s undoubtedly one of the main reasons why I chose to start a blog.

  18. Goodness me Hugh you get so many comments. That if anything is a great indicator of a successful blog. I think my old blog home is struggling to keep up with everything at the moment due to the demands if a more than full-time job! I can’t wait to take early retirement. Lol. So I can spend more time doing my loves: reading, writing and blogging. In the meantime I do what I can do and really appreciate it when my bloggy friends pop be for a visit. 🙂 xxx

    1. Thanks, Marje. Don’t struggle; just blog as and when you can. Blogging is supposed to be all about fun and enjoyment. Visit my blog as and when you can. I never expect anyone to read all of my posts or comment on them. It’s far better to hear from people every once in a while rather than never at all.
      Take care.
      xx

        1. I’m in the final stages of doing the second edits for my next short story collection, Marje. The book should hopefully be published towards the end of February. I have a post coming out tomorrow with an update and some more news from me.
          Good luck with the writing. It’s taken me a lot longer to write the second book, so I’m with you on that train. 😀
          xx

        2. Oh good luck with that. Yes the second book is taking much longer. If you need a promo when it comes out let me know always happy to do a cover reveal/spotlight etc. Mine will be out hopefully within next 6 months! Lol. Time permitting. 🙂

  19. I like likes and comments, however I think comments do indicate more success then likes. Right now im happy to get either, happy that the post has been acknowledged. When I went self hosted at Christmas I lost my reblog button apparently it is only available on word press.com.. frustrating. Anyway yes I enjoyed reading your views on the matter but for me, worthwhile comments shows how successful a post is.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us about what makes a blog post successful.

      With regards, the missing reblog button on your blog, have you been in touch with WordPress about it? I’ve seen lots of self-hosted blogs that include a reblog button. I understand it comes as part of the ‘sharing widget’. The reblog button has a picture of a crown on it. Not obvious to readers, but the host usually tell their readers what the crown icon does. Don’t forget that there is also the ‘Press This’ sharing button. In fact, I use the ‘Press This’ sharing button to share posts rather than the reblog button. I won’t go into the reasons why here, but you will find out why if you check out my posts about ‘Press This’.

  20. I do like the like button for acknowledging a post, Hugh, and you bring up some good points about blogging success. I think the WP Reader feed makes us lazy and easier to like than thoughtfully engage. If I have blogger’s posts sent by email, I’m more likely to comment rather than like and run. The other day, I had tons of visitors to my site and I haven’t posted since late December. However, both you and Sue L linked my blog in a roundup list which I believe brought more visitors! I see success measured in our blogs by the satisfaction we derive internally. But I do the happy dance when I see lot o’ likes. 😀

    1. I’m guessing that is how, sometimes, many of us get ‘like’s’ within seconds of a post being published, Terri (because they are on the WP Reader)? I’ve no doubt that many do this as a free way of getting their Gravatar on a post without any intention of reading the post. I know there’s nothing anyone can do about it, but I only mention it because it then tells people who do this that we know what they are doing. Then again, I take little if any notice of who likes a post these days.

      I’m exactly the same in that I’m more likely to read a post (and comment on it) that comes in via email notification than one I click on the WP Reader. In fact, I find myself checking out the WP Reader rarely these days.

      Thanks so much for adding your voice to the debate I started on this post. It’s great reading all the different responses.

  21. I wonder about the relevance of ‘likes’, to be honest. I know several social media gurus advise their busy clients to ‘do’ social media by clicking onto the homepage and spending 10 minutes ‘liking’ as much stuff as possible. It doesn’t mean it’s been read. I’ve talked about it with various friends, all of whom admitted to ‘liking’ stuff to show support just because they like the blogger, or the tweeter, or whatever. As for comments, it depends on the target market. I find that posts about writing get stacks of comments, because writers (and bloggers) have a lot to say, and are used to conversing, in detail, online. My posts about The Walking Dead, for instance, get as many views, from fans of the show, but those people tend to communicate more on social media by sharing stuff, or by posting pictures and commenting in emojis – the only comments they get are usually from fans of the show who are writers, too!

    Most of my views come from the blog itself, with half as much again from Google, so I imagine you’re right about people landing on pages then discovering it isn’t exactly what they were looking for!

    1. I’d forgotten about all those adverts that tell us to ‘like us on Facebook.’ Does that mean that the more ‘likes’ a company has on a social media site, the more successful it will be seen by others? I can’t get my head around why anyone would like something they’ve not read or looked at first. Some say they don’t have the time to read everything, and I can vouch for that, but it shouldn’t mean we click a ‘like’ button and then run. Would we say we liked the taste of something if we hadn’t tasted it first? I know, I wouldn’t. I’m sure most of us see support as either a comment, review or even a share. Then again, sharing brings up the same matter. Should we share stuff we’ve not read or looked at first? It’s all a bit of a minefield, Terry.

      Thanks for your thoughts on this subject.

      1. Isn’t it just! And yes, indeed, in an ideal world we wouldn’t say we ‘liked’ something without looking at it first, but I can tell by looking at various analytics, sometimes, that half the people who ‘like’ my headline on Twitter don’t necessarily click the link. In an ideal world, we would only share stuff we had read, but people have told me that they just go down their email inboxes and share all the posts on their soc med sites, (open post, share, open post, share, repeat until all done) when they haven’t got time to go on Twitter and actually retweet stuff, so I imagine that is what a lot of others do.

        Oh yes, I remember seeing all that ‘please like my Facebook author page’ stuff when I started all this – yes, it’s to make the author look popular. It actually means very little, apart from the fact that they bothered to go on social media and collect likes. it’s why so many online awards mean little these days – Rosie did an awards thing on her blog for the books we have for review, for a few years, but the last one we found that the people who won were just those who had the biggest social media presence, and were asking all their followers to vote for them. It became meaningless, so she stopped doing it.

        Fear not, Hugh, you have a successful blog that many enjoy reading, and the amount of discussion you provoke is assurance that people do genuinely ‘like’ it!! x

        1. Thanks so much, Terry. I enjoy hearing what readers have to say. That’s the reason why I’m always questioning everything and asking questions. Plus, it’s great to read all the responses.

  22. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the success of a post, Hugh, particularly when you write so many successful posts. The number of comments that I see on them, rather than the number of likes, is what tells me so. However, I do like the ‘like’ button – more on others’ posts than on my own. Sometimes I read and enjoy an article but don’t have time to compose or leave a meaningful response. Sometimes I feel that I don’t have anything to add. I like to be able to at least ‘like’ to let the blogger know I visited. I never ‘like’ without having read, but perhaps I am unusual in that (as in other ways) :). I didn’t realise the like button was linked to the reblog button so that was an interesting titbit of information. Have a wonderfully successful, however you measure it, blogging year.

    1. Thanks for your great comments on this post, Norah.

      No, you’re not unusual in only leaving a ‘like’ if you’ve read a post. I’m confident that it’s the reason why WordPress gives us all the option of having a ‘like’ button at the end of our posts. I was far more surprised by the revelations left on my other post that people press the like button even if they have not read the content. I’d be horrified if I left a ‘like’ on a post that I’d not read and later found out that the content was not to my liking. I know it’s unlikely to happen, but just imagine if I had liked a post that contained a line (or whole paragraph) that said ‘Don’t follow Hugh’s blog because it’s one of the worst blogs to follow!’ Yikes, most people would probably think that I’d gone mad.

      Like you, I’d remove the ‘like’ button if I could but, because the ‘reblog’ button is connected to it, I didn’t want to cut off ways of my writing not being shared with more readers.

      1. I can’t imagine anyone recommending that others don’t follow your blog, Hugh! 🙂
        But it’s for the same reason – the chance of ‘liking’ something I don’t really like – that I don’t ‘like’ unless I’ve read and do like. 🙂

  23. Great to read your thoughts on this Hugh, and as usual you have highlighted many interesting issues. Stats are only useful if we understand them and unfortunately many people don’t, myself included. I think it’s too easy to get sidetracked with likes whereas I enjoy receiving comments far more than likes. Also love reading through the comments from other bloggers (my sister included!). Thanks again for your ever sensible approach.

      1. Yes it’s very rare of her to comment, as she doesn’t do it very often, apart from on my posts! You should be very impressed 😊 I know I am!! And what she quite made complete sense too, she’s very clever and insightful!

  24. I am so poor at promoting any blogs I write… sigh! You are really good at pointing us the right way Hugh but I fail… On a brighter note; any chance of seeing you at the Narberth Book Fair this year? We’re over two days this time 28th/29th Sep. xx

    1. Hi Judith, no, you don’t fail. Just take a look at all the great work you do with the workshops, writing, and organising the Narberth book fair. You do a great job, and with six published books already under your belt. Far better than I’ve done when it comes to publishing.

      My new book should be out by the end of March. Please send me the details about Narbeth. I can’t promise anything just yet, but I’ll certainly consider coming. It will depend on a milestone family event happening in Sept.

  25. I don’t worry about what is popular or not. I write what I want to write. It’s cathartic for me. Not everyone will like all the posts but it doesn’t matter. It could be controlled by keywords. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I have found that I cannot LIKE a lot of posts because it doesn’t go through even though I can leave a comment. Funny, huh? I wish I had the magic answer to what is successful but I don’’t. Sorry. 🤗 😘

    1. Thanks for your thoughts on this subject, Janice. I agree that not everyone will like all the content we publish, but that should not be allowed to make any post a failure. I think if we’re happy with what we have written (and why would we have published it if we weren’t?) then we should consider that post a success.
      Have a great weekend.

  26. Hello Hugh. You’ve certainly created some interest with your post on what makes a post successful and it got me thinking about how I might judge success if I ever thought about it outside of being prompted to by posts like yours.

    I started blogging a number of years ago as a means of being creative. I like words and ideas (and have blogged about that) and I like images and ideas (and have blogged about that too) but I’ve never blogged for other people.

    I’ve blogged because I’ve felt the need for a creative outlet – as a way of working things out in my head, as a way of trying to get better at writing – at linking words and ideas in ways that make sense to me. I don’t build communities, I don’t blog for others, I don’t blog for likes or hits or comments … I blog for me. I have no idea how many hits a post gets, wouldn’t know how to do that, don’t know how many followers I have, don’t think to check how many likes a post has received, and only sometimes respond to comments.

    I rarely comment on other people’s blogs – in fact, generally the only person’s blog I comment on is my sister’s (Deb’s World: https://debs-world.com/) – and I don’t follow or read a lot of other blogs.

    If I was to create a post on my Top 10 posts of the year, I’d read through the few I post in the year (I may not ever post ten, so I might have to chop it down to a Top 5) and I’d choose the ones that still resonate with me, whether that’s through the way I expressed the ideas I was writing about or the ideas themselves. If I consider a post to be well-written and if I don’t cringe after reading it again, it’d stay on my list.

    So my top posts wouldn’t come from external sources – hits, likes, comments – but would be ones of my choosing. I think it’s that I don’t want to hand my feeling of worth or validation or success over to others. I can judge my own success from the quality of my work.

    I think it could make me seem very insular and anti-community but I don’t have a problem with bloggers building communities. Deb, my sister, as a lovely blogging community which is very sustaining for her and she’s genuinely interested in others and loves to hear from them, so it’s not that I don’t give value to community … I just don’t work that way myself.

    So to answer your question ‘what makes a post successful’, I would say ‘if I can read it some time later and still think it’s well written, then it’s successful’.

    Again, thanks for the thought provoking post. You’ve obviously moved me to do something I don’t normally do – comment on someone’s blog. If I could work out how to ‘like’ your post, I’d probably do that too.

    All the best,
    Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon, thanks so much for your comments on this post. I’m glad that the post connected with you and that the content made you want to leave a reply.

      Thank you for sharing your reasons as to why you blog. I’ve always believed that blogging should be about enjoyment and fun. In my nearly five years of being here, I’ve not only seen many bloggers come and go, but many who also allowed blogging to either stress them out or make them feel guilty. In fact, I once went down this route and didn’t like what was happening. I’m glad I reached a crossroads that gave me different options of what to do. You’ll probably know the choice I took just by the fact that I am still blogging.

      We will all have our different reasons for why we started to blog; some of those reasons will apply to many of us. We will also want to see different results in what happens after we publish our blog posts. I know just from the comments I see on my own posts, and those of other bloggers, that many bloggers want an audience and to connect with their readers. That, however, should never make any blogger feel as if they are blogging the wrong way. When I went down that horrible route of feeling stressed about blogging (for many reasons I won’t go into here) I remembered why I came to the blogging world in the first place. Since then, I started to blog again for the reasons why I first came here.

      As you may be aware, I met up with Deb at the Bloggers Bash we both attended last year. It was great to meet her (and get my photo taken with her). I enjoy her style of writing very much, and she’s done an excellent job of building up a great blogging community.

      Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and thank you again for leaving your comments.
      Best wishes,
      Hugh

  27. I rarely bother to check statistics on the number of views, etc., mainly because my brain doesn’t do numbers. For me the most successful posts are those which generate comments and conversations beyond that first comment.

    1. Thank you, Mary. I only looked at the stats because of the type of post I was putting together. I gave in because I did not want to publish information which could look entirely different if I factored in another element of how we measure success. I suppose I could have produced different lists based on the number of views and the number of comments, but I decided, in the end, to leave it and open up the question to my readers. The replies have been very interesting to read.

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