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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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

170 thoughts

  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.

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