My blog often stresses me out. As much as I enjoy writing and actually having a decent audience that actually reads what I write, it’s definitely become part of my regular routine.  What was once just an occasional hobby has grown into more of a responsibility now that I have established a bit of an audience.  I’m always looking to grow my readership through creating helpful, informative and entertaining content, marketing such content, and engaging with like minded readers.  But it can take quite a bit of time to manage all of this, especially with a full time job.

It’s gotten me thinking about how I personally define blogging success as it pertains to me.  It’s obviously a question that can be answered quite differently for people depending on their particular situation.  Whether it’s impressions, page views, rss subscribers, or affiliate conversions, everyone is different.

My blog isn’t really a source of income for me directly, but it has opened up quite a few doors for me in my career, so indirectly it does.  For me I’ve measured success through my blog traffic, subscribers and engagement.  Lately I’ve been working hard to improve my link back strategy.  While I’ve been able to grow my audience and blog traffic, my engagement and back links are a little less then to be desired.  It doesn’t surprise me though as this is a direct result of a lack of time.  To improve my engagement I simply need to comment more on other like minded blogs.  As much as I enjoy doing this, it’s a time thing.  There’s only so much in the day that I can devote having a full time gig.

Back links are a whole ‘nother animal.  I haven’t quite figured out my lack of success their as much, but it probably has to do with the types of articles I choose to write.  I don’t often jump on topics that are timely or popular.  I typically roll with ones that relate to what I experience at any given time, and I feel could be helpful or stir conversation.

It can be easy to get caught up with the numbers and try to stray away from what comes natural to you as a writer.  My own desire to crack the AdAge 150 often has me banging my head on blog topic choices and how to drive my Alexa, Yahoo Backlinks, and PostRank ratings higher.  Unfortunately I think for me, I will always be fairly limited as long as my blog is just a small part of what I do, and not a major time investment.

I’d love to hear from you how you define blogging success and what has and has not worked for you.