It has been just over 3 years since I started Technically Easy. I have learned a lot within those three years, have made some mistakes (still do), met many great people, but more importantly, I continue to learn to this day. When I began blogging I started out on Google’s Blogger platform – mainly because it was a great way of learning how to blog as it was free and quick to setup.
Since that time, however, I have switch to a self-hosted WordPress blog. While there were many reasons why I switched, I still enjoy playing around with Blogger, and the templates. One of the questions that I see raised quite often on various blogs and forums is whether you can succed with Blogger?
What is Success?
Success is many things to many people. Each of us has our own measure of success. Some may say that receiving hundreds of comments on a post means they are successful, while others may look at how much income their blog generates as a measure of success. To each their own.
The good news is that whatever your measure of success is, you can achieve it on any blog platform – provided you are prepared to do the work. A blog platform doesn’t limit your success, only the amount of effort and work will be the limiting factor.
While making a small income with my blog is nice, my success lies in the fact that people find an answer to their technical problem in my posts. While I may not have all the answers, I’m hoping that someone will write a comment to help others out, or many times I write a post that solves a problem someone has had in the past to help others out in the future. That is how I am measuring my success.
Did I need a self-hosted blog to accomplish my success? Nope. I began helping others with my trusty old Blogger blog before moving to WordPress.
Do You Need to be Self-Hosted or Have a Domain Name?
Many people may say that to be successful you need to have a host and a domain name. While in some respects that may be true, especially if you are a business, but in reality it isn’t a huge limiting factor. To be successful, you must think like a non-webmaster, or someone who doesn’t know SEO from PHP.
I remember watching my wife, who is non-technical, perform searches for scrapbooking, and watched as she visited several blogs. As I watched I noticed that many of the blogs she visited were Blogger blogs. She didn’t care about whether the blog was self-hosted or had a domain name. She only cared about what content was present on that blog, and began bookmarking many of those Blogger blogs because of that content. I’m sure if she came across other free-hosted blogs or web sites, she would have done the same.
Many experienced webmasters do have self-hosted sites with domain names, mainly because it provides the most control over their site. For those that aren’t tech-savy, or just wish to publish content, Blogger will have all the tools they need to do just that.
Examples of Successful Blogger Blogs
While I stated that success is many things to many people, I have come across three blogs that you could deem successful for several reasons.
The first blog is humorous called Hyperbole and a Half. Each post provides an interesting, funny story, with just as interesting pictures. The most interesting fact about this blog is the number of comments on each post. I’m not talking 50-60 comments per post, I’m talking hundreds. By scanning the posts on the home page, I can see two posts have over 800 comments. The latest post, which is about a week and a half old, has received over 500 comments. I can’t find many non-Blogger blogs that can boast about the same number of comments. This Blogger blog appears to successfully get a lot of visitors just by the sheer number of comments on each post.
Another blog is started by someone that has made a great monthly income with Blogger blogs and AdSense. His blog How to Make Money Online for Beginners has over 6,000 subscribers, and is a straight-forward, no pulling punches blog about making money online. This niche is probably one of the most competitive to get into in the online world, and he managed to succeed – all with a Blogger blog. I’m not sure where he is now, as he hasn’t updated the blog in some time, but he proved that you could be successfull with simply a Blogger blog and AdSense.
One of the most important aspects of a successful blogger is to be considered an expert in a particular field or niche. Now most would say that most experts have self-hosted sites, and they would probably be right. There are some experts that prefer to use Blogger because of its ease of use. One particular expert named David Hobby is well known in the photography circles for his work in lighting. His blog is a Blogger blog called Strobist. Even though his blog is on Blogger, he is considered an expert in his field and receives quite a bit of traffic. In my last post, Do You Want to Take Better Digital Photos?, one of Scott Kelby’s books mentions David’s blog, and how it is one of the best places to go to learn about photography lighting.
The above are just three examples of successful Blogger blogs. The common aspect among each of them is that they all provide good content and value to their readers. Each works hard to provide that value, which is evident in the success of each blog.