Launching a Blog? Easy. Success? Hard.

I love this quote from @dhh (founder of the very popular Basecamp app) which I feel every blogger needs to consider and remember – building your blog (and launching it) is easy but getting it to pay bills is tough.

And making it a “success” is even harder.

You know this already, right? Then why do we continue to struggle daily with our blogs, with content creation, and with planning and execution?

It’s simply because you have not been able to clearly define what “success” looks like for you and your blog.

Do it!

Clearly defining this will inform all of your efforts from that point moving forward and time spent not executing on your movement towards that core metric of success will now illuminate you to the fact that there is a “cost” associated with waste.

In other words, if you’re not blogging toward your core metric and you’re upset that you’re not “doing it” or “making it” then you have given up your right to complain.

It takes hard work, patience, focus, and a touch of luck to succeed. I wish you all of that and more!

Here are some things to think about today:

  • What does success look like for me?
  • Am I wasting time blogging about things that aren’t moving myself toward that core metric?
  • Do I have an attitude of a “marathon” rather than a “sprint” toward the finish line? If not, why?
  • Are you constantly impatient with your progress? Why?

Marinate on that and let me know in the comments.

[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

  • Brian Notess

    I definitely needed this reminder. It’s easy for me to get in a hurry.

    • John Saddington

      we all want it now… the curse of our generation!

  • Dewitt Robinson

    #1 What I thought was success, isn’t. #2 Not after reading this post.

    • John Saddington

      love it. love the convo this morning too!

      • Dewitt Robinson

        Same here man!

  • david

    So… it’s a marathon.. and yeah it can be frustrating as we as a society I think are the Fast food people.. we want it now :-)
    I want to make a post and then have a bazillion hits in the same day.. LOL.
    But it’s taken almost 2 years to even maintain an even level of about 25 hits a day. But I’m cool with it.
    My site is primarily Live Christian Concert photography with a little apologetic’s thrown in. Being in this area, I see a ton of other fan photo’s that frankly are really terrible photo’s. So I don’t think people realize that photo’s can be any better then that. I have committed myself to prove that sterotype wrong. As Christian, I believe we have a responsibility to compete in the same arena with others and be just as professional (arts, technology, writing, etc.)So I just know it’s gonna take a few more years to get any “real” numbers.
    So how’s that for a long winded response :-)

    I’m sure it’s still gonna be a long while before I get that many hits, so until then it’s fun to share what I’m shooting, if only for the bands I photograph :-)

    • John Saddington

      i love your new domain name, btw. did i tell you that?

      • David

        Thanks John!
        Actually you may not remember but you were so helpful via email to help me brainstorm different ideas for names. All that helped me finally comeup with the one I finally settled on:)
        I’m glad you like my final choice :)

        • John Saddington

          yup, i do! but i’m not sure i told you that specific domain, right?

          • david

            Right.. you just got my brain moving in the right direction

  • Joey

    I think you said it all in another post of yours. Ask the question, “Why do you blog?’ This Q will greatly determine your success.

    • John Saddington

      i repeat myself. a lot. it’s because i forget easily!

  • ThatGuyKC

    This is perfect for me. I’m still in the stage of really defining first what I want my blog to be. I am a passionate individual who loves to learn and connecting with people. I’m intrigued by social media and how it can be integrated into a business model and leveraged by marketing. I’m also an avid reader and love being a dad.

    Right now I think success would be defining the story I want to tell and then having the blog be self-sustaining. Would like to be self-hosting soon and get off the free WordPress platform and start building a brand.

    • John Saddington

      “define the story”… tell me more about that….. what do you mean?

  • Randy Kinnick

    Great summary of our discussion earlier this morning. Laser focus is key.

    • John Saddington

      yup. great convo this morning!

  • Daniel Decker

    My blogging motivation is simple, for now. I’m just trying to find my voice in writing. A style and the routine so that I can do it with frequency. That’s my goal. Work on my content then worry about the rest.

    • John Saddington

      and you’re a busy guy……!

      • Daniel Decker

        You are Yoda. I’m just a Jedi in training. :)

        • John Saddington

          but definitely not in all things…….!

  • Phillip Gibb

    1. Success for me = engagement.
    2. Yes, can I leave it there?
    3. I think that I have a more marathon mind set nowadays.
    4. Impatient with point (1) and here is where I loose 10 points from being happy-go-lucky : 99.9% of visitors are flat out indifferent. I do not know how to break that indifference, I get angry across all channels of Social Networking because of indifference. More so internally. But I believe that Engagement breads Engagement, Engagement beats out indifference, the less Indifference the greater the Engagement.

    • John Saddington

      one thing you could think about is asking yourself…… “how can I strategically leave something out…?”

      so as to get them to want more.

  • Ed Underwood

    Never could have done any of this without your help.

    • John Saddington


      I can inspire and encourage but I can’t make anyone pull the trigger… you get kudos for that!

  • Lior

    You spelled “marathon” wrong. Sorry!

    • John Saddington

      wow. that’s ridiculous…..!

  • Jay Schwartz

    Great post, John! I think if most people actually took the time to consider what success looks like to them, they might actually reconsider how they are going about it attaining it or even what ‘it is’ they’ve been ‘banging their heads against walls’ over!

    • John Saddington

      for sure! i love helping people find and identify that success now too: :)