PSA: When is Big, Big Enough?

PSA

 

 

I’ve often wondered what is the metric to define what a “Big” blogger is. Is it the number of followers they have? The number of average likes they get on a post? The number of comments they get on a post? The number of social media sites they are active on? Is it the  number of views their blog gets in a month? Is it the number of writers for the blog and the number of posts they write in a month?

Obviously there is no One Size Fits All answer, as everyone seems to define what a “Big Blog” differently.

higgsboson

 

Before I go any further, I would like to include this inspirational saying that the Inestimable Inspirobot made just for me.  We can all use a dose of inspiration once in awhile.

 

d2jndk246r

 

Now that you are in the proper frame of mind and just brimming with hope and bright dreams for tomorrow, I’d like to get one thing out of the way. Being a big blog has NOTHING to do with a “state of mind”. You are a big blog or you are not a big blog depending on some numerical criteria and your state of mind and happiness about your blog has nothing to do with it. Wipe that nonsensical thinking from your mind please, you’re only making yourself look foolish. In conjunction with that, you also have to realize that not every blog can be big, should be big or even necessarily wants to be big.

I also have to posit that there is a “big” difference between a Big Blog and a Successful Blog. A Successful Blog is one that meets or exceeds the expectations of the blog creator/content creator. Now, the two ideas can intersect, or even be intertwined, making one dependent on the other and I’m afraid that many people equate being a Big Blog with being a Successful Blog.

As a concrete example, take me and my blog. I am a successful blog. I write posts that fulfill my goal of having a book blog and I also write posts that fill the need I have to write.  I have people who read my posts, like my posts and comment on my posts.  Those are my goals for this blog and I have met those goals. I am satisfied with how my blog operates and the general interaction I get on it.  On the other hand, I do not qualify as a big blog by any of my own self-imposed metrics. So lets move on to the main course since I’ve wandered all over before actually getting here.

12pyb1ae6b

 

Bookstooge’s Big Blog Metrics:

  1. Should have at least 1000 followers
  2. Should have at least a 10% Like to Follower Ratio
  3. Should have at least a 5% Comment to Follower Ratio
  4. Should post a minimum of 3 times per week
  5. Multiple Content Creators (semi-optional)
  6. Active on at least 3 Social Media sites (optional)

 

The first 3 items are pretty non-negotiable in my mind for what qualifies a big blog.  Item 4 skirts the line depending while 5 and 6 are optional and I wouldn’t consider them if the first 4 items are exceeded.

And that is why defining what a Big Blog is can be so nebulous. I doubt many of you would have chosen the same 6 items for a Big Blog and as you can tell, even my own metrics are pretty squishy.

That is all I have to say. Do any of you ever think about this subject? If so, what is your opinion? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

think

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

61 thoughts on “PSA: When is Big, Big Enough?

  1. Ola G says:

    I honestly don’t spend much time on thinking about this – I’m pretty happy with our blog as long as we post and have people visit and discuss the content we post… 😀
    I do agree with your definition of successful blog, though! Big doesn’t necessarily equals successful, or vice versa. Take us, for example: were fairly small, considering your criteria, but we’re continuously growing, and not folding, we’ve been around for over five years and co-author from two different continents, and still feel satisfaction from what we do – what else would we need?
    Great post, Bookstooge! 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      I think most bloggers who have stuck it out have realized they need to focus on being successful (on their terms) and not on being big. It seems to hit newer bloggers more and I also suspect that age plays a part.

      I was thinking of you guys as well when I was discussing “successful” blogs. In my opinion you’re the quintessential successful blog. 😀

      Thank you. It had been bubbling up and I just wrote this spur of the moment to get it off my chest.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. bkfrgr says:

    Interesting post. I have wondered what criteria bloggers have to meet to get awesome book mail, but without ever really feeling any need to do anything other than what I’m doing. I agree with your comment that your blog is successful because you achieve what YOU hope to.
    And I think our big blog definition is the same.
    One question: what is Multiple Content? Like, video and text and images?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bkfrgr says:

    Yeah, I though hard work too.
    I think I work hard enough without making the blog work too! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you there is difference between big and successful blog. I don’t think about it much because always make me feel uneasy even though I know I have some regular followers who would like and share posts. Ratio of like to followers is low but I would rather focus on reading and writing reviews/posts than worry about numbers. I love it and I created blog for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I don’t want to pry, but I am curious. What makes you feel uneasy? (and if it is uncomfortable, please ignore the question).

      I think about this kind of thing all the time, not because I’m obsessed with becoming bigger, but because it deals with numbers AND people and that intersection is always a glorious mess that opens up just how and why people do what they do 😀

      Like

      • Well uneasy because in terms of numbers it feels like there isn’t enough likes and interaction. I can’t write discussion post, maybe because I haven’t tried or I don’t have brain storming ideas and so not many views, likes or comments compare to number of followers. I give lot of time to increase my visibility around blog and social media. Sure it gives followers but not much engagement. This feeling was there ever since I started blogging and I guess it will be there in small amount.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Bookstooge says:

          I understand, thanks for explaining.

          And don’t worry, engagement is something every blogger has to face. You just have to pick a number that really works for you and go for that. It’s actually one of the reasons I regularly cull those who follow me. Dead wood, spam accounts, etc. If they don’t engage at least once a year, I tend to cut them 🙂 I try to not get over 300.

          Best of luck as you branch out and don’t get overwhelmed. Find a handful of bloggers you really like and interact with them and let them form your core.

          (sorry to go on there 🙂 )

          Like

  5. That inspirational quote generator is fantastic.

    The best inspirational quote I ever saw, written in English by a non-native speaker on beautiful stationary, was, “Wipe yourself to shine up for those you care and love. Keep that smile on you.” “Wipe yourself” was also written larger and fancier, sort of as a call-out.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. About blog size … ooo, what a touchy, personal subject! 😉

    When I was looking for agents to query, one guy who looked like he repped the kind of thing I write, wanted authors to watch 3 short videos before we could query him. This is not normal, but OK. In video #2, he said he wanted authors to have a large platform on social media or a blog. “I’m talking hundreds of followers. No, I’m talking thousands.”

    Needless to say, I didn’t query him.

    I started my blog because even leaving aside outliers like him, the consensus is that an author needs to be “findable” online. And it’s true, as a reader, when I discover a new author, I love it if they have an easily findable web page with their name, a picture, list of their books, and a way to send fan mail.

    Blogging has been fun, because I have a big mouth and a lot to say. Before blogging, I had to regale my friends and family with rants and book reviews.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      Huh, you too have a big mouth? Funny story, so do I!!!!!!
      (at least online. Not so much IRL)

      Yeah, this type of thing is very personalized and is really predicated on the person understanding themselves and their goals. too many bloggers aren’t introverted and don’t have the inner focus to find those things.
      And of course, some bloggers are way to focused on the inner and lose sight that it is just a hobby. I don’t envy you juggling a hobby blog and an author blog 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  7. P.S. I also like it if bloggers I follow post several times a week, even if I don’t comment on – or necessarily read – every post.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Interesting post! I’ve never actually thought about what numbers constitute a big blog but the ones you mention make sense to me. Right now I’m happy with my blog and consider it successful but it’s not a big blog. I wouldn’t mind it becoming one some day – I enjoy it so much that if I could make it my job, I would!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. savageddt says:

    Im happy if you and Milou leave a like. A comment is bonus. Sometimes, as with the last couple of metal mondays ive had a bit of a missfire. Currently with corona i feel everyones view to like ratio has either gone up or down by a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I used to think I knew what a “big” blogger was, but the longer I’ve been doing this, the more I don’t know anymore. Like, apparently some people think I’m a “big” blogger but I absolutely don’t feel that at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      That whole “feel” thing is why I tried to get some concrete numbers down. I suspect that nobody feels like they are a big blogger 😀 However, I can understand why people think of you as a big blogger. From our perspective, you are EVERYWHERE (seriously, how do you have time to like so many posts 😉 ) and you get un-requested arc books all the time. I didn’t make that a factor but I think it is a psychological one when someone is looking on.

      Honestly, if your cohorts were posting even semi-regularly, I’d probably consider you a big blog myself. Do they just post elsewhere now, or are they functionally retired from blogging?

      If more people would focus on finding what success as a blogger means to them, instead of focusing on numbers and getting bigger, I think we’d have a lot less turn over in the blogging community. C’est la vie…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Each night, I pull up my feedly page and go to my subscribed blogs to read and like/comment. It actually takes quite a chunk of time, but I like being able to reciprocate fellow bloggers who have come to chime in on my posts, and generally I just love connecting to others, so I feel it is worth it 🙂 Of course I only comment if I have something worthwhile to say, but I like to “like” all posts I read just to let folks know their content it appreciated!

        And haha, before I started blogging, I absolutely looked on in envy at the “big” bloggers get all the unsolicited books, so I understand about the psychological aspect! It’s been years now though, and I’ve learned that, big blog or small, publishers are generally willing to send you books as long as you’ve shown yourself to be reliable and write good reviews, and that was one of my big realizations 🙂

        And re: my co-bloggers, it started as taking a break, but now I think they’ve functionally retired. There’s a standing invitation for them to come back anytime though, and they know that, hence their accounts are always going to remain active 🙂 We definitely used to be waaay “bigger” when all three of us posted, with maybe an output of 2-3 posts a day.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. I’m a small blog and I’m happy with that! I don’t care about stats and number of followers because I’m just happy to interact with some really fun people that I care about. I enjoy my blog as it is and that for me is success!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      And see, the fact that you have what you want from your blog and are satisfied with that, I just wish MORE people were the same. A contented blogger is a blogger who isn’t going to disappear one night for no given reason…

      Like

  12. Your definition of successful blog resonates perfectly with my own idea of it, since my blog meets – and even exceeds – the expectations I had when I started. And I’d like to add that being happy with what I’ve achieved, with the kind of community I have come in contact with, is worth to me more than the idea of success itself. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Excellent post. Loving your criteria for a “BIG blog”. I do think that many join the blogging game looking up to other bloggers who they deem “BIG and successful” but know that the road towards similar “performance” is going to be long and time-consuming. And that is where, through years, or even just weeks/months, they quickly understand how unreachable it actually is and end up quitting or switching platforms.

    I know that when I started blogging, with my review of Batman: Year One, I had no intention of going big at all. I didn’t even know what ARCs were, I didn’t understand anything about blog hopping and had no idea that there were so many awesome dudes out there with similar tastes or similar ways to understand life.

    While I’m 200% certain that I’m a “successful” blogger as I consider ONE like or even ONE comment as a HUGE bonus to my blogging experience. I can’t say that my blog is “big” while many would say so simply because I know blogs that actually meet criteria #2 and #3. I mean… If I can get 450 likes for a single post (with over 4.5k followers), I’d be surprised hahaha

    I think numbers are a bit complicated to use on a comparison basis because of those “dead followers” and how followers evolve a lot through time on blogs. Unlike Youtube or Instagram, it’s harder for ANYONE (especially non-Worpress users) to FOLLOW a blog and VIEW your content and STICK around.

    I prefer seeing the blog like a street performance. Depending on the day, the weather, the time at which you perform, the location, the mood, the usual crowdiness of that street you’re on, you’ll get a certain amount of attention. And it’s absolutely normal that somedays there’s not a cat on your street and on other days, you have the performance of a lifetime and word of mouth gets you more attention.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      Your point about deadwood is more than valid and I think points out a problem with using JUST one criteria to determine what is “big”. It’s also why I’m suspicious of anyone with a huge number of followers who doesn’t have a corresponding number of likes/comments. It’s also why I constantly trim my own dead wood 😀

      Good comparison to a street performer. I’d never thought of it that way, but in reality, we are just entertainers 😀

      Very few blogs ever seem to truly get “big”. It almost seems to be a built in limitation of the hobby itself.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. bormgans says:

    I’ve stopped giving a lot about likes. I think views is more important: my best read posts have over thousand views, but only 20 or so likes. The likes system limits one’s view just to those in the WordPress environment, just like followers do, and there are plenty more other readers. So most of your criteria mean just big on the platform. The only exception being comments, but also there I think most readers don’t feel like they can or need to add anything to a discussion, and just want to lurk. You cannot blame them.

    I think the best example is the Speculiction blog. It’s not on WP, but I’m sure it’s the most successful blog I visit. It hardly has comments, no like system, but the quality is outstanding and I’m sure Jesse has lots and lots of readers: a consistent high quality texts will get you that. He’s also critical – something that’s lacking in lots of other blogs, many of whose lowest ratings are 3/5.

    WP is just another social media platform, but I write for myself first, and second to be read. Not that I don’t enjoy comments or likes, I do, a lot even, but I’ve noticed there’s a big correlation with how socially active you are on WP, and less with the quality of what one writes, so…

    It also seems some of my earlier followers/commenters have gone off platform, but I lack to energy to hunt for new ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      What each person thinks of as important is why this issue is going to keep on going on 😀

      It’s a good point you bring up about WP being just another social site. I’m so invested in it that I tend to overlook that fact. I would concur about activity.

      I have to be honest, I hate lurkers. I’ve written posts about it in fact 🙂 Even while I understand it.

      I wonder if a lack of energy leads to bloggers just shutting down? I know if I wasn’t following anyone I’d use WP simply as a backup.

      Like

      • bormgans says:

        Blogging about books with a quality output every week – which seems a bit expected on the platform if you want to be succesfull with likes: my likes dropped when I started to post just once of twice a month – seems impossible with kids, so I think most bloggers tend to be caught up by a family life once they start one. As for the others, I think repition and boredom are also factors, and they move on to a new hobby.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bookstooge says:

          I have no idea how any blogger does it if they have kids. I barely keep up and both Mrs B and I are introverts who love nothing more than to sit on the couch all evening reading 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • bormgans says:

            Does she read sci fi & fantasy too? Does she read your posts?

            I try to read about an hour a day atm. Could read more, but then I’d have to drop TV, and I like to watch stuff together so that’s not really an option.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Bookstooge says:

              She does like SFF, but tends to read more female oriented stuff than me, so Lackey, Pierce, etc, are much more prevalent for her than me. She does go through once a month and read my non-review posts, as the books I read just aren’t of real interest to her 😀

              Thankfully, she’s not a tv watcher, so I don’t have that particular issue. And even I’m not much of a tv watcher. It tends to be more of something on in the background while I’m doing something I actually like (like working on my blog or something).

              Liked by 1 person

  15. bormgans says:

    As for ARCs, I get the occasional request, but most of the time people don’t want to send paper to Europe, as I don’t do e-readers. The few paper copies I did receive were abysmal, and as they were self-published affairs, I didn’t review them out of courtesy.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. bormgans says:

    (one more thing, I agree 100% about succes being meeting your own goals. Blogging should not be a competition.)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yeah I definitely think that everyone defines big differently and that makes the definition very nebulous (though I don’t think it’s a state of mind either). I have heard from bloggers who’ve said they want a smaller blog, so that they can have better interactions, and I think that’s more common than people realise! And I also don’t think being big defines whether a blog is successful or not and I love your definition of exceeding the creator’s expectations- cos that’s what I’ve felt, because I got so much more out of it than I ever thought I would (meeting other readers, making friends, getting to write so many fun posts, being able to have a cool record of my reading, getting me reading more- there’s just so much!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      That is interesting that you’ve met people who want their blog to be smaller. I’m glad to hear that.

      You are definitely one of the successful blogs I was thinking about. And you’ve definitely grown since you’ve started reviewing more YA stuff. Well, it looks like you’ve grown from the number of comments 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s