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I stopped by Robzilla the other day to see what she was up to [1] only to see between the entries an ad “How to write a successful blog”. I think that is what it said; maybe it said ‘How to write a more successful blog’. When I went back to check, the ad had disappeared. Now I don’t know how to write a successful blog. Stirges.

Blogger buddy and blog-god Hugh (the dear!) often writes on the topic. I have learned many good tips from him.[2] What I really wanted to read in that now closed wormhole is what was the ad defining as successful; I am keen to learn. I meet with patients all day long who long to be successful, whatever that means. [3]

I guess I define blog success with the modest yardsticks of:

a) writing something daily, or near daily

and

b) not making spelling errors.

After these modest goals are met, then I go for success in writing as something that hangs together without dangling particles or non-sequiturs. Finally, success is meeting the austere approval of The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections or at least not evoking their ire, which leads to massive removal of paragraphs and/or body parts. [4]

It would be a lie to say I don’t care if people read my rubbish. I very much appreciate and enjoy the comments, particularly if they don’t point out awful spelling errrors. Comments make me smile and feed good. I am pleased as Punch to hear from the ‘regulars’ and from the lurkers and first time commenters. It is nice to know what I wrote was interesting or humorous, something to make the reader pause to say thank you for writing this. I guess this is another yardstick of a successful blog: thankful comments. Quality over quantity.

What is missing in terms of success is the number of readers and earning money. The latter is the easiest to address. While I enjoy writing, it is, after all, my hobby, not my profession. As the prostitute in ‘I, Claudius’ explained to the empress about wanting money for accepting a challenge: “My work is your hobby; my hobby happens to be gardening, for which I don’t expect to be paid”. Mind! Many bloggers I admire and read regularly have ads in theirs. These ads do no harm and I hope they provide my blogger buddies some pocket money for gummi bears or whatever floats their boat.

Do I want more readers? Is that success? I admit I would like to see several hundreds reading this but I am either too lazy or disinterested to change things to make it happen. I like the notion my little piece of the blog-world is sort of boutique, a ma-and-pa shop, and not an Appleby’s franchise. I may not have many customers, but whom I have seem loyal and they apparently like what happens here. [5]

I conclude I have a successful blog by some definitions, most importantly, my own. After all, I have been slogging away at this for over thirteen years and I haven’t run out of ideas, readers, or digits. If that ain’t success, I don’t know what else is.

[1] Up to no good, that’s certain!

[2] ‘Don’t point out in your comments the bloggers’ awful spelling errors’ is my favorite.

[3] Curiously, was they count as ‘success’ is correlated with age. Older folks see success getting to the end with their health intact. Middle-aged folks see success as making it to retirement. Younger folks want ….. to be famous. What makes life an actual success (by some measurements) is actually a well-connected supported network or friends and family. No age seems to voice this as success per se. Too bad.

[4] This entry evoked neither. The gods were pleased – or at least The Board was.

[5] There are a few Spo-fans for which nothing I write seems quite satisfactory, but the dears come back on a regular basis and I would not trade them for diamonds or jewels.

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