[LET’S CHAT] Is There a Difference Between a “Successful” Blogger and a “Big” Blogger?

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Welcome to yet another Let’s Chat!

Today, the topic I want to tackle is whether there’s a difference between a successful book blogger and a big book blogger. I talked about what blogging success means to you in a Let’s Chat a while back, and I guess this is the post where I’m going to expand on the topic a little bit.

(Also, this is officially my 100th post on my blog! Have I really been posting that much? Damn.)

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As I said in my post about blogging success, I mentioned that everyone has different standards for what that means to them, much like they might for what a “big” blog is.

My views on what being successful is are probably much different from other bloggers’ ideas, and that’s totally fine. I don’t really believe there’s a right or wrong way to want to blog or what you aspire to achieve. But because we’re all on such different wavelengths regarding success, that also leads to how we label “big blogs.”

For me, my idea of success would be having a great ability to network (having lots of followers on social media and being friends with authors and publicists) and also having a large readership, especially in terms of comments. I actually don’t think I’m doing too well at the networking, but though my readership isn’t SUPER large, I’m actually quite satisfied with what I have now and the response I get from you guys. So, my outlook on a “big” blog is one that gets a lot of reader interaction and those who always manage to talk to authors on social media flawlessly and get ARCs easily because of their friendships with publicists.

But, for Random Book Blogger, her idea of success regarding her blog might be just getting a few comments on her blog and growing her bookstagram following. So, for Random Book Blogger, a “big” blogger might be one who gets a TON of comments on all of their posts and also manages to post pretty bookish photos twice a day and has over twenty thousand followers on bookstagram. So, obviously, between me and Random Book Blogger, we probably have different bloggers that we look up to or inspire us.

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This leads into a little discussion about what a “big” blogger really is.

Of course, around the book blogosphere, a “big” blogger will mean something different to everyone, like I’ve pointed out earlier. Personally, mine have changed a lot over the short time I’ve been blogging – some of the blogs that I considered “big” aren’t ones that I’d think I’d consider that way now since I like to think we’re on the same level, sort of (though there are still blogs that I consider bigger, and it still freaks me out that they follow me). Someone who has only five followers or just started book blogging will probably have different standards for a “big” blogger than someone who has a large following on social media and their blog and receives a lot of comments or someone who’s been blogging for years and years.

Though “big” book blogs can be different for everyone, we all know those bloggers that anyone can mention, and everyone will say, “Oh, yeah, I love that blogger, too!” Or the blogs that it seems like everyone follows. Or those bloggers that everyone says are super nice and funny and amazing. Or those bloggers that always inspire other bloggers to do things. And no matter what, I’m sure everyone wants to be THAT type of book blogger.

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But does being a “big” blogger mean that you’re a “successful” blogger? Not necessarily.Β 

I’m not a “big” blog by any means – at least, to my standards I’m not – but I do like to consider myself a successful blogger (and a hella lucky one, as well). I get e-ARCs of books that I want, I have stats that I’m not only proud of but still shocked that I even have, I enjoy writing the posts I write and publishing them, and I don’t think I’m doing TOO terrible on social media (but, then again, that’s just me).

And that’s why I feel like we need to shatter the stigma that “big” blog = “successful” blog. Because even if you don’t get all the hottest ARCs or are friends with amazing authors or get lots of comments or have the best stats or are terrible with keeping up on social media or suck at blogging design and graphics, it doesn’t make you any less successful than the biggest book blogger out there. As long as you’re hitting your own goals regarding your own blog, you, my friend, are definitely successful. And who knows? Maybe those “big” blogs you look up to feel like they’re not doing that great of a job either and that they’re a hot mess or feel uninspired and down about their blog at times.

(Trust me, this is the sort of pep talk that even I need to hear sometimes to this day.)

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And that’s it for all my rambling!

Anyway, I just wanted to take the time to say that I’ll actually be on vacation by the next time I post to New York City, which will be my first time there! I’ll be there for five days, not only for Bookcon, but also just for a family vacation. I will still be active on this blog, probably! I already have all my posts written and edited, so all I need to do is post them, so you probably won’t even realize I’m gone! But if something goes wrong, like I’m not on Twitter much or I’m failing to get to all of your posts, you’ll know why!

Let's Chat

Do you think there’s a difference between a “successful” blogger and a “big” blogger? What is your definition of a big blogger? Do you think you’re successful in terms of your blog goals?

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44 thoughts on “[LET’S CHAT] Is There a Difference Between a “Successful” Blogger and a “Big” Blogger?

  1. I could not agree more. A big blog does not always equal a successful blog. It’s hard, because sometimes we get caught up in viewing ourselves the way that most publishers and authors do (at least the ones who are only concerned about making money.) They seem to think the bigger your outreach, the more potential for their money to be made. Of course this isn’t the end all for bloggers, but we can sometimes get caught up in the hype of stats and numbers and in the grand scheme of things, why does it matter? I started my blog because I have a passion for supporting authors and fangirling over my favorite books and bookish things. Are there other blogs or reviewers with more followers than Inhave? Absolutely! But as you stated so eloquently, I’m very proud of my blog and where it is. It’s doing EXACTLY what I want it to do and I’m not letting publishers or authors influence my reviews or opinions. To me, that’s the dream. Great post as always dear!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. YES THAT IS SO TRUE! I also get very frustrated with how publishers view us sometimes – especially because I’ve seen people who have a large following on social media but, like, 9 followers on their blog get the biggest ARCs (which always frustrates me, but that’s a rant for another day)! And, yes, that’s so true! Sometimes we get way too caught up in the hype and need to step back and take a breath from all that! Thank you! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can definitely relate to this post! I, myself, think I’m near success but there are things I want to improve about my blog. But then again, that is just comparing myself to other bloggers who have wonderful blogs. I think usually successful blogs GROW and become big, but that doesn’t always apply. And sometimes BIG blogs, in my eyes, and i know this sounds rude, aren’t that ‘successful’ as some other small yet wonderful bloggers! I think it’s a bit of a problem. There are those ‘big blogs’ out there, but also small blogs, and no matter how big your readership it doesn’t define your actual success in book blogging. More followers don’t mean you are more ‘successful’, it simply means your blog is growing, even though your actual blog may not be great. I definitely think there SHOULD be a correlation between the too, in the sense that successful bloggers should become big bloggers, but as I said, that’s not always the situation. Well, I think i just repeated myself a gazillion times there sorry!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YES SAME! I want to grow and improve every month, whether it’s gaining more followers or getting better stats!

      And I feel that! There are some big blogs where I’m like, “Why are they popular?” which sounds awful, but I think it mainly stems from seeing blogs that are smaller and have better content barely getting noticed. And that’s true! I know I have a lot of followers – but some of them are total spam followers. πŸ˜‚ And it’s fine; I loved the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. To me a successful blogger is just a blogger that reaches their goals and still enjoys blogging. Personally, I see myself as a “successful” blogger, because I reach my goals each month and I do really enjoy writing posts and thinking up new ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think it’s a good balance to reach your goals and be happy with blogging! Yes, I like to think of myself as successful, too, especially since what I have now I didn’t think I’d achieve within a year! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Chelsea said it well! She and I have had this discussion a few times and we always come to the same conclusion that it’s best to just keep doing your own thing. I absolutely see there are plenty of people with larger followers and blogs than mine, but mine is doing okay and for something I do part time for fun, I’d say it’s pretty successful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true! Every day I see blogs that are way more successful than me, either in blog numbers or social media success – but if I’m proud with what I’m doing, then I’m definitely doing okay! And that’s so true! I definitely didn’t think I’d be this successful in only five months!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I complete agree! Success in blogging can be a very personal and individualized goal and definitely differs from blogger to blogger. Size is relative, after all!
    Have an AMAZING time at BookCon!!! I can’t wait to hear all about it!!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! It’s so true! I always want to keep growing no matter what stats I get or how many followers I reach, so it’s definitely right that it’s relative!

      Thank you! I’m so excited for it, and I can’t wait to write and publish a post about it once it’s over! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I 100% agree that success in blogging varies depending on the blogger. As a newbie blogger, I just strive towards my own definition of success because if not, I don’t think I’d enjoy book blogging as much. Have a wonderful time at BookCon!!

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    1. Yes, that’s such a good point! When I was smaller, I remember I had unrealistic goals, and that almost made me quit my blog within the first month! So it’s decidedly good to have realistic goals based off of where you are! Thank you; I’m very excited! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I totally agree, I think success is different to everybody. My personal goals are to just enjoy myself and share my love of books and so getting arcs from publishers and having authors reach out to offer books to review is what I view as very successful. I actually quite like not being a big blogger because it means I don’t feel pressured to constantly keep providing content and means I can focus more on reading.

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    1. Yes, I love getting e-ARCs of publishers and can’t wait to get to a level where I’m getting physical ARCs frequently! πŸ˜„ Oh, yeah, I definitely feel the pressure more as a big blogger! 😬

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  8. I agree. I consider my blog successful in the way that I started in Jan and already have almost 500 followers, I know I post good content because of the great feedback and also I’ve made my 100 post also which I’ll be blogging about later☺️ I’m obviously not a big blogger but maybe one day.✨ I don’t think that part really matters though like you said as long as you’re reaching your own goals that’s what should matter. As long as you’re posting consistently and good content you’ll have a successful blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s awesome; it’s funny how close we are in achievements! I started my blog two weeks before January! πŸ˜„ Yes, I always wistfully think someday people will think of me as a big blog! Yes, definitely! As long as you’re reaching your own goals, you’re totally successful, and that’s all that matters!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We all have our own ideas of success it’s a very personal thing, in my case with shy of a month blogging I’m quite happy with how things are going. I have a few followers and some comments regularly, not a lot but I’m a newbie so I’m not putting pressure on myself. I’m enjoying sharing my thoughts on books and bookish things with you guys, so it makes me feel successful in a way.

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    1. Yeah, you definitely should! πŸ˜„ I mean, my mantra is always “It can only go up from here!” Yeah, you definitely shouldn’t put pressure on yourself and really enjoy the whole thing because blogging is SO MUCH FUN! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think success is definitely in the eye of the beholder. It’s so easy to put pressure on ourselves to Do More, whether it’s post more photos or write more discussions, but the reality is that some things are outside of my control. I’m far from a “big blogger” considering I rarely get more than a couple comments per post, but I try to temper my self-hatred by reminding myself that I’m doing this for the fun of it. Success in writing and blogging often comes slowly or without warning, when you’re least expecting it.

    I hope you have SO MUCH FUN in New York. It’s such an amazing city – even though I left after living there for 2 years, it still taught me a lot. If you have time and you’re in the mood to shop for books, check out Strand Bookstore (it’s at 12th & Broadway). It’s one of my favorite places in the city and they do have a pretty decent YA section which I definitely pillaged when I was there a few weeks ago. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yeah, I definitely put so much pressure on myself! Personally, I love it, but I know it’s not healthy for everyone out there! πŸ˜‚ Yeah, I don’t feel like a “big blogger” either (maybe someone out there does, and that would make me feel so weird)! And that’s so true! I feel like my success came out of nowhere, and it just went up from there! πŸ˜„

      Thank you so much! ❀ It’ll be nice to check it out since I want to go to a college there once I graduate high school! I AM! I’m so excited; the pictures I’ve seen have given me heart eyes, so I can’t wait to see the real thing! I’m hoping to come home with so many ARCs and books! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I definitely think for me “success” blogging-wise means reader interaction. Nothing makes me as happy as comments! 😊
    I know what you mean about what we consider big bloggers changing over time. When I started out I kept thinking, how did that person get 400 followers! And now I’m there myself πŸ˜…

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    1. Yes, I love comments and likes! It’s so weird to me to know that ACTUAL PEOPLE are reading my blog. Like, what???

      Yep! A couple weeks back, I looked at this blog I considered Big in my first month of blogging and realized I had more followers than them them! That was such a weird moment. πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am also a huge believer in having success be defined differently for every person. I personally feel really good about my blog because I always write what I want to write about even if a certain type of post is less liked then other posts (I.e. Poetry posts) but I’m always doing something that I love and I don’t think that that special feeling of love I have for blogging and the blogging community could ever be defined by follows and likes and comments or even arcs. I’m filled with passion and happiness for my little corner of the internet and that for me is exactly what success feels like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, definitely! I’ve adjusted the posts I write and when I post and everything, and for some people, that might be too stressful, but for me, I like that! I like being slightly stressed and over-organized when it comes to blogging, and I like doing posts for both my followers AND me. And, yes, same; it’s very nice owning my own corner of the Internet for sure! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Each type of blog is subjective to each their own. I love this discussion andhow you explained it. I agree with you so much. Success is in the eye of the beholder. All that matters is if a blogger is reaching towards their goals or obtaining their goals. As long as one is happy with their blog, that is all that matters, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Success definitely is in the eye of the beholder! Depending on what goals you set for yourself, your idea of success will be different! And that’s definitely true! Whatever makes someone happy regarding their blog, I’m happy for them! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love your posts!! And please link us to Random Book Blogger’s blog so that we can read it and give her support??? (I’m just kidding)

    And I don’t have the best stats personally, but I’m proud of myself for GROWING and actually EXPANDING my blog πŸ˜€ because my stats were SUPER low back then.

    Anyways, I’ve heard of blogs just being like a little corner for people to express their thoughts- like a journal, etc. So it wouldn’t be as much about stats as much about expression. Anyways, it’s definitely different for everyone.

    Awesome discussion!

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    1. Aw, thank you! And, lol, I was about to say, “I just made that up…” but then I read the rest of your comment! πŸ˜‚

      Oh, God yes! I haven’t looked at my old blog stats in a while, but they were SO LOW. I’m so glad that I’ve grown much more since than!

      Yeah, for me, I definitely want my blog to be public, so it’s less of a journal for me, but I know it might be for other people! It’s totally okay that it’s different for everyone!

      Thank you! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I couldn’t agree more. As a new blogger, it’s overwhelming trying to get around. It’s hard not to “over achieve” during the first month or so of blogging. I don’t have the stats I want just yet but the growing has been fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes, I think I mentioned in another comment on here about how much I overachieved in my first month! It was a terrible idea, and it almost drove me to quit blogging within the first month, so it’s definitely not a good idea to shoot for 300 followers and amazing stats within the first week! πŸ˜‚ It might be long, but you’ll get there eventually! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I think for me the idea of a “big” blogger has shifted a lot, I used to look up to people with a lot of followers, just like on booktube etc, the people who are well-known. Now I look up to bloggers with great content and who are generally really nice people. Of course, interaction is really important (if they get a lot of comments, if they get a lot of likes and shares, stuff like that), but I don’t think in order to be a big blogger, you have to have an extremely large audience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s so true! I look up to people with lots of followers, but also ones who are awesome at interacting with people! πŸ˜„ And, it’s true, I don’t think so either! I’ve seen bloggers with 1k followers who don’t have that many likes or comments on their posts, so it doesn’t always match up!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh man, I wrote a post like this SO LONG AGO. I should revive it haha. I think success comes with how you personally feel with your blog. This is why I don’t actually check my stats. It might make me feel crappy if one week my blog doesn’t do as well as I had hoped. I like the design of my blog, I like my content, I like the friends I’ve made, and to me, that’s successful. I’m having fun and I’m happy. You can’t go wrong with that. So, that’s how I gauge success but I definitely know that others gauge it by stats, number of followers, how many arcs people get (I don’t even go for arcs, so there’s that lol). Great discussion, as always.

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like I probably stumbled upon it a while ago! I like stalking through people’s archives. πŸ˜‚

      Aw, that’s so cool! I could never not check my stats. πŸ˜‚ I know there are some days where I feel like my blog is going nowhere, and I realize how far I’ve gone and how much I achieved, and feel much better about it! Thank you! ❀

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  18. Oh this is such a great post. I do think that there is a difference between big and successful blogger, to be honest I think it all depends on how you define success. For some people, success is all in the numbers and stats, while for me, it’s all about the bloggers’ interactions and the comments.
    ARCs could be a sign of success, but they are also an obligation – that’s something no one should forget because as fun as getting tons of ARCs seems, they are also books you have to read in other to respect your engagements so it comes with some sort of pressure. Also for me, I’m not counting getting or not getting ARCs as being successful because it all varies, depending on where you are from. US bloggers have better chances of getting physical or e-ARCs yet it doesn’t mean their blogs are more successful, it just means they have the chance to read books that others don’t have. ANYWAY this is me rambling about ARCs, sorry haha.
    I think what’s most important here anyway is to find out how YOU want to measure your own success and try to reach that goal, regardless of what others think πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Marie! πŸ˜„

      Yeah, it’s definitely about how someone defines success! And don’t worry about rambling about ARCs! It’s definitely true, though! I live in the U.S., so it sometimes feels a bit cut-throat since it seems like there are popular bloggers that you’ll never get to the success of! I definitely feel that pressure, but overall, I also really enjoy it? And it forces me to read, so there’s that! πŸ˜‚

      And that’s so true! As long as you’re reaching your goal or level of success, you’re doing fine! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

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