Why blogging is like baseball

Most are familiar in some way with America’s favorite pastime, the sport of baseball.  I don’t know of any other sport that lends itself more to statistics as a unit of measurement. There are probably stats to even tell you how many sunflower seeds skip spits per game.

It is very similar to social media with the various ‘stats’ used as measurement tools to track success or influence. Sometimes stats can be manipulated and misleading.  Some become more obsessed with their stats to the point it can affect their actual performance.

But what have you done for me lately?

If you are a prolific batter in baseball the unit of measurement to determine your success is your batting average. It is one of the few occupations you only have to be successful one out of every four times you try and this will be good enough for a multi-million dollar contract.

However, the fallacy of relying only on gaudy stats it’s like looking in the rear view mirror to drive forward; because you are only as good as you will be in the ‘at bat’ the team needs right now. Your stats alone will not win a single game, only your actual performance will. You can’t make the argument, ‘well, I had two hits yesterday so you should give us the win today’. I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way.

Granted, the stats will be a good indication of how you should be able to perform, but no guarantee at that particular at bat. What if you had great stats but didn’t get a hit for a month or never hit with men on base? In essence, never came through in the clutch when you were needed most.

How long do you think you would stay in the lineup if you went a couple of months without performing?

But I’m just a blogger

Every time you step up to the plate in the blogosphere and hit publish, this is your ‘at bat’.

You might be the cat’s meow because everybody says you are and everyone wants to be seen at your place; but what if you didn’t get a ‘hit’ for a month? If you were playing for a rich owner, how long do you think they would keep you around? Would you risk being cut (fired) or maybe sent back to the minor leagues to try and get your groove back?

Do you feel any pressure to be a top performer every time you hit publish? Or are you ok, just to keep putting content out there whether it is any good or not? How many times did you strike out last month? What do you think your success ratio is?

Money in the bank

Averages are meaningless if you don’t get a hit when the team needs you. You will hear many a time in athletics, stats are for losers because it is a rear view mirror method of looking at performance.

Are you only as good as your last blog or have you built up enough credibility to put money in the bank along the way? If you do have some credit, how long do you think it would sustain you in case of an emergency? Do you have a plan ‘B’ to buy some time if need be?

Show me the money

Talk is cheap, stats look good but what have you done for me lately; can I spend it? In a performance based measurement system, are you losing ground as soon as you start to look backwards to see how great you were? Are you ok with having to perform every single time you swing the bat? Are you the ‘go to’ person or just a utility player, ok with being ok?

I think there are many analogies that could be made between blogging and baseball, what do you think? Is success one of of every four tries good enough?

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100 thoughts on “Why blogging is like baseball

  1. Hi Bill,
    You’ve captured the very thing that keeps blogging fresh and interesting for me. I believe that every time you get up at bat you NEED to have a hit. That’s not the same as saying you get one! But the challenge of trying to make that happen every time is what keeps me interested.
    I don’t think you can afford to strike out at all. Maybe your friends will cut you some slack but drive-bys won’t stop and others will leave. How much time are all of us playing with here? Not a lot!
    “Success one of every four tries”? Not enough. In my opinion.
    This will be an interesting discussion!
    I’ll be back!
    Lori

    • Just like a batter, we all want to have success when we step up to the plate. The reality is, it’s not going to happen every time. However, I think we do try to put a worthy effort out each time; sometimes it just resonates more than others to make it a good at bat.

      If you moved away from your audience or became just too difficult to read I think your community would let you know by the number of visits or lack thereof.

      There is certainly a lot of practice in baseball, and I think as writers we are practicing as well every time we give it our best shot.

      Good to see you; the count down is near. Thanks for coming by.

  2. Hi Bill, Great analogy. I agree, we all try to swing for the fences each time we publish. But in blogging there is a different definition of success. As Stan Faryna so wisely pointed out last week in a comment to your blog post, the purpose of blogging is to help others. Without that a blog post is like a sand castle on the beach. Pretty, but gone with the next high tide. Okay, I’m paraphrasing his much more eloquent prose, but you get the idea.

    I have discovered I’m really bad at predicting which of my posts will be a big hit. I wrote a blog post over the summer about a math app geared for 4-6 year olds that only worked on iPads. I thought that my review wouldn’t be widely read because the target audience was so specific. But I also knew that the app was truly a great app and would be very helpful for those who could use it. When I published my review, I thought very few would read it. The post turned out to be wildly popular and was shared among a lot of parents, including the home schooling community. Even my regular readers enjoyed reading about the app because it was such a great app.

    So, Bill, I wonder. Do you know when you publish a post how popular it will be? Do you know when you swing whether you will connect with the readers/ball? What does it take to hit a home run?

    Fascinating stuff, Bill. Perhaps we should call you Mr. October!

    • That’s right baby, Mr October………

      I did like Stan’s analogy and Stan being Stan it was quite eloquent.

      I am not a good predictor; I’ve written a couple that I really liked that got just an ‘ok’ response. Then I’ve written some that I thought were just ‘ok’ and got a crazy response. Sometimes if somebody comes in from my community and comment bombs it will get things stirred up.

      Who knows, I do want it to be quality and I do try to put enough effort into that it is readable and shareable. Kind of like a bad hair day, huh? Some good, some bad….

      Great news; I think we are switching from Crackberry’s to iPhones w/in the month. I will have apps……………..yay……………

      Good to see you and thanks so much for stopping by today. Let’s just keep swinging for the fences and we will hit one out every once in awhile. In the meantime, singles and doubles are ok too.

  3. Interesting post here Bill. What measures a success or hit?? I haven’t figured that out. Thought about it a few times, but then what I think does, really isn’t and then I clinge to false hope or evidence that appears to be real or measurable.

    Every time I post, I pray it’s my best and at the time of writing, I sure aim for it to be that. Heck, I am probably not the smartest to even post a response here because I’m not in the same place as say you and Lori. Maybe I need to think I’m great first and then go from there. Guess, I’ll have to come back an repost when I’m even in the league.

    BTW, I totally love baseball and like your analogy here .. quite snappy sir!!

    Have a faboo day my friend!!

    Elena

    • That’s just it; you are no different than me. I’m not writing anything wildly different than you are. That’s the fickleness of social that leaves me scratching my head at times.

      I think if you can internalize and know you had a worthy effort then it might be good enough. If you just base it on comments or visits, that’s probably just too fickle to be a good measurement.

      I think you are great, so you should too. I’m not sure anything is real in this arena. Looks like smoke and mirrors to me……………just sayin’………….

      My success is when I can go to your place and leave my thoughts, and you reply with a well thought out response and you let me know my comment meant something to you.

      Thanks for coming by and maybe we’ll take a tally when it’s all said and done. I think most will say it’s just too hard to define success in here unless it’s money; and of course, that’s real easy to measure, huh?

  4. Who decides what you write? If you’re in charge, statistics matter little. If someone else is in charge, the stats determine whether you write anything else. Think about that.

    • New Avatar? Sweet…………

      I agree and for now only I decide what to write so that puts me in charge; for better or worse. The only stat I’m interested in is if people enjoy what I’ve written or at least feel comfortable enough to comment; and that can only be one person.

      If nobody is paying me for this stuff, then just about every other form of measurement really has little meaning to me.

      Having said that however, I do want to write quality posts and continue to grow (at least in my own mind).

      Thanks for coming by sir; hope all has been well.

  5. Since last night I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, I listened to Stan and Yomar’s Podcast http://t.co/x3p9zvC0 and felt a light bulb go on (Sorry) . I write to be heard; to matter. I write because there are people online who will read what I have to say and I will feel human for a few minutes. The internet is an amazing tool that helps me find the gems who resonate with me. I’d much prefer someone I can reach out and touch, and I do have a few of those that I’m working with. But they can be few and far between. My real life relationships meet other needs. I consider myself very lucky having very low reader stats and comments. I haven’t lost the focus of staying true to what moves me and what I feel like I’m here to do. One good comment can fuel me for a long time! I can pretty much sum up how I feel about showing up for anything I like to do in life with a look at Forest Gump. He’s one of my heroes!! I love his character because he didn’t stress about how good he was at anything. But his performance was always top-notch.

    • Like Forrest Gump, I am good at just showing up. Sometimes it works out really good, and sometimes just ‘ok’. I do want an above par effort (wait, did I just drop a golf analogy in a baseball post?) that is readable and hopefully resonates with some in my community. I would hate to think people get to the point they are stopping by just because they feel the ‘have to’ instead of looking forward to what I’m writing.

      Just between me and you, I know I can still grow leaps and bounds as a writer so at each level what should I use to determine success? I don’t know; like you, a meaningful comment can go a very long way.

      I appreciate you and hope you are finding happiness in this journey. Thanks for stopping by today.

      • I have no way of knowing if I’m a good writer or if I need to improve. But I do know what it feels like to feel bored and like I need a swift kick! Going out on a limb with a unique and dangerous thought can liven things up! Growing is probably done more in an inward direction. The closer you get to being able to express yourself and your world view, the deeper you have to dig. Layers of an onion…?

    • Yes, layers of an onion and if you give your mind the think time to develop it you can probably get pretty deep.

      I’m struggling with depth and content right now and I do grow as a writer, I just want it to feel good to me when I hit that ‘publish’ button………

  6. Hi Bill…great post with some interesting analogies!! Blogging IS a lot like being up to bat each time you hit publish…and…like baseball, not every swing is going to be a great hit. Speaking for myself, it’s more about just getting up to bat than it is about hitting a home run. That is not to say that I don’t put my best effort when I am at the plate…it just means that I am more interested in putting information out there that is useful, informative and sometimes fun. If 1 person sees it, I am happy. If many people see it, I am happy. I am really more mindful of the effort rather than the stardom. 😉 Thanks for a great (and fun) post Bill
    Claudia

    • Just put me in coach, huh? Yes, we do have an opportunity to have our at bat every time we hit publish. Maybe it was a game nobody attended, but a hit is still a hit, right?

      I do try to put my best effort and think about not only what I want to say, but how I say it.

      I probably have more fun commenting at other people’s places, and the blogging just goes along with it. However, if I am going to blog I do want it to be readable.

      So good to see you Claudia and thanks so much for stopping by, it is very much appreciated. I hope you are having a great day.

      • Bill, I liked the part of your comment that says that you probably have more fun commenting at other people’s places and I SO agree. I guess that might be because there is not as much pressure to respond to someone else’s work as there is in creating a good at bat for ourselves. Blogging communities can be such fun and great resources for learning as well. Your style of writing is captivating because it is most often filled with humor as it tackles real topics.

  7. I love playing baseball and in my time I was a pretty good player. Had good fielding skills, decent arm and I could hit the ball for power. Not unlike many other power hitters there were a fair number of strikeouts.

    When it comes to blogging I definitely don’t mail it in but I don’t worry about hitting a home run every time. Some of my favorite posts receive no love and some that are just eh get a ton of it.

    I write for me first and everyone else later. Too hard to please everyone so I do my best to feel good about what I write and then everything else falls into place.

    • Ah Mr Jack, would love to hear some of your baseball stories; I’m guessing they were a step or two beyond little league ball………….

      The fickleness of social can produce different results for you. Whereas, you know it was one of your better crafted pieces; if you were to judge success on comments alone then you might be disappointed.

      You definitely have the right attitude in writing for yourself first. Of course, you’ve been doing this for awhile and you typically produce better than average material. Whereas you don’t just mail it in, we can pretty much count on you at least getting on base just about every time.

      Good to see you today and thanks for coming by; always appreciated.

      Hope things are going well for you.

  8. Interesting analogy. I’m not sure if it is an entirely appropriate one for every blogger though as people blog for all sorts of reasons. On the field you are there for one reason and that is to win for your team, yourself and your boss/owner.

    Blogging can be performance driven but it also can be a sedate, creative pass time under which you put no pressure on yourself to keep ‘scoring’ high.
    As a person with OCD I am often frozen with fear about what I should publish, but I have also by now read many many blogs and what comes across from the better ones is human-ness. That means all sides of the human including mistakes put out there for all the world to see. Those people on the whole do not lose ‘fans’ when they make glaring mistakes or reveal their human-ness, or are batting under par.
    Most of the time they are supported through them (as you were a few posts back). I suspect this realness would not be tolerated for too long on the baseball…field? Pitch?… Whatever…(I’m obviously an avid basball fan!) 🙂

    • So true, you can be the nicest guy ever but if you are stinking it up on the ball field the coach will have to take you out. However, even if you have no pressure and just doing this for fun I think you still want to remain readable and engaging. Even if it is only your mom reading it……………:).

      You do make a good point about the human-ness and I think the blogs I relate the most with have a good dose of this going on. I would like for people to think what I write is very close to what I’d say if we were sitting across the table from each other. It might not be the most exciting stuff, but it’s certainly real.

      Thanks for taking the time to come by today. Your comments and thoughts are always appreciated. I hope your day is going well for you.

  9. Good analogy my friend although I’m not big on baseball.

    Personally, I just blog about what I am learning and hope others will find it helpful as well. I never have a clue which post will be good and which one won’t. I’m just not very good at predicting that sort of thing. As long as others find that it has helped them learn something or perhaps helped figure something out they didn’t know before, I’m good. That’s a home run to me my friend. That’s why I blog.

    Okay, signing off for now Bill. Hope you have a fabulous week. Try to stay out of trouble! 🙂

    • Me and trouble are buddies…………….

      I am not a good predictor of what will be good or not. I’ve had some stuff I thought would be fabulous and then go back and read them a wk or two later and it really doesn’t do much for me.

      I like the learning and sharing angle but most have mine have been stuff that happens to me in social; most of yours is actually smart type stuff. Me and smart are not buddies…….just sayin’………….

      I do plan on having a fabulous wk and hope you do as well. So good to see you.

  10. Hey Bill, I believe that success is a relative thing. You may publish an article that doesn’t resonate with some people, but with others it was just what they are looking for. Every article is not going to be a success for everybody. The baseball analogy was a perfect one….

    Thanks for sharing
    J. Teal

    • So true and the other thing is, you always have many more people read a post than comment on it. Some it might have resonated with but they weren’t comfortable leaving a comment, or had nothing to add. I even catch myself doing that at times.

      Very relative indeed and the motto is, just take care of what you can control and everything else should work out one way or another, huh?

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment; it was very much appreciated.

  11. Bill,

    Great stuff. I love the baseball analogy. Probably because I love analogies. When I step up to the plate, I do my best to knock it out of the park every time. The problem I have is that my scrawny arms don’t have enough strength to get the ball back to the pitchers mound.

    What I am trying to say, poorly, is that my reach isn’t far enough to get to the people I think need to hear my message. That is where my focus has been recently. I want to lean to reach the kid siting in the nose bleeds seats, who couldn’t afford to sit closer to the game. So, for that reason, I will keep swinging until I build up the mass necessary to reach the audience no one else wants. Keep swinging Bill. I’m next at bat.

    • Now that was a great analogy wanting your message to be able to reach the kid sitting in the nose bleed seats; that would be something, huh?

      I hear ya on the scrawny arms; I’m more Ichiro than Pujols………

      You do appear to be doing a great job deepening your community and expanding your message; keep up the great work.

      Thanks for stopping by today; always a pleasure to see you.

  12. Hey Bill,

    Enjoyed the post. I must say that I’m not big on baseball. I like the sport and appreciate it, but would rather watch poodles race because poodles provide more action!

    And it’s not longer America’s favorite past time. Only reason that’s used today is out of Tradition. Stats show that Football took over that crown many, many years ago!

    Despite my all of the previous, I think the analogy is great.

    I think the stats matter when it comes down to purpose. My goal is to make a difference in people’s lives. Of course the more the better…but I think the biggest push is to make sure I step up to the plate that I swing for the parking lot. And honestly all that entails is not holding back and letting my unique self be unique (by not holding back) and say what I need to say. Every post won’t be a home run…sometimes I’ll strike out – but in the name of making a difference, I’m willing to have lopsided stats.

    The weird thing is the less I started worrying about stats – which I have no worry of at all anymore, the faster they started to rise (for the better).

    Creative post man. Enjoyed!

    • I do agree that once you can truly not worry about stats the better you will become. It’s easy to get pulled into the stat mania but if you do what you are supposed to be doing all that other stuff should take care of itself………..just my opinion………..

      You are right about football taking over as the national pastime in a big way and did good about not letting greed get in their way of this football season. Kind of like Dallas still thinking they are America’s team………

      Your goal of making a difference in people’s lives is very worthy indeed and you are well on your way.

      Not holding back and doing the best we can is all we can ask. Sometimes me might whiff, but probably not too often.

      Good to see you my friend, hope all has been well. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Woohoo! I am going to comment in response to JK’s because he hustles. And while I love baseball yes compared to soccer…I mean Basketball and Hockey it is a slow game! 8)

      But I know you will appreciate this JK because I know it keeps Bill going and many of us. I am stealing from Jim Rome. Baseball is like Blogging. Because in Baseball if you fail only 70% of the time for your career you make the hall of fame! Considering I bat around .119 and I bet most bloggers bat around .200 it is amazing we keep plugging away. But even though we fail more than we succeed the successes outweigh all the fails!

      • I thought Romie said ‘if you aren’t cheating your aren’t trying; and it’s only cheating if you get caught’……………..doh………….

        We keep plugging away because we don’t know any better and we have a ready made audience who’s in the same boat so it’s easy to get a lot of mutual love going on.

        The successes do outweigh the fails.

  13. Hey Bill,

    This post reminds me about your tweet yesterday.. beach, then baseball (or something similar). I bet your post is related to this? 🙂

    I don’t know much about baseball, and I probably just remember one player in the history of baseball.. and you can probably guess who, that’s right , Babe Ruth. I have been to the US several times, and I’ve even been to a few games, but I just don’t get it. I think I understand the rules, it just takes forever to finish a game.

    So, it gets a little hard for me to do any analogies to baseball, although I understand what you’re saying. We try to hit a home run every time we publish a post. And the stats, I used to check my stats every hour or so (I had a plugin that I could see real time stats). I never got anything done, I just kept looking at the stats.

    I would love to have a rich owner, because it would be awesome to feel the pressure… and being able to get a pay raise if I did a good job. Ah, and all the fans. That would be great 🙂

    Jens

    • I just need to find a way to include the beach too, huh? The baseball trip did give me some ideas.

      Baseball can be slow, but it’s a pleasant way to enjoy a sport and friends and you don’t have to pay attention every single moment. If you don’t know the sport it might be difficult to figure out what the point is. It is way too slow for most.

      As far as stats sometimes it’s too easy to fall in love with them and lose focus on what really will help your numbers. And that is just doing what you are supposed to be doing and everything else will take care of itself.

      All we can do is just keep trying to improve each and every time, right?

      Good to see you Jens, thanks for indulging me with a baseball post. Hope you had a good weekend.

  14. IPhone? You’re getting an iPhone? I’m doing the happy dance for you! I’m probably much more excited about this development than you are, but I hope you’re thrilled too. I hope your firm is getting the iPhone 5 or a big discount on the iPhone 4 after the iPhone 5 launches.

    I can’t wait until you’re cluing me in on the latest and greatest apps. 😉

    • I think it’s true; we are in negotiations right now and it looks like it’s going to happen. I will find out tomorrow if it’s the 4 or 5. Yes, I will now be able to appreciate the app info now…………..yay………..:).

      I’m excited……….

  15. Hey Bill!

    I’ve gotta be honest, being off the scenes for a couple months I’ve missed you and your humor man! Have you got more serious these days? lol

    This is a great post, and it has enormous relevance for me at the moment. I like the baseball analogy, as you know I’m an English chap, so much prefer my cricket. Just kidding, would love to check out a baseball game next time I’m over in the States.

    As I’ve started a new blog in the last couple weeks, it’s really up to me to post quality, consistent posts. I can’t piggyback off the (limited) success of my last blog, I’ve got to start performing now. I don’t think that anyone can ever afford to rely on their past successes, in my opinion that is a flawed frame of mind. Even if a person had the best CV in the world, the company hiring them would still want to know what the person COULD do if they got the job.

    I think that the key with success is reward not reliance. We should reward ourselves for our achievements, but never rely on them. I believe we should always be looking forward – it’s like driving, concentrate on the road ahead but take the occasional glance in the rear view!

    Great post Bill. hope all is well with you. Speak soon

    • Hey good to see you Robert; nah, it’s the same ol’ Bill I will never be too serious.

      I have tried to watch cricket, probably need to spend a little more time so see what’s going on. I do know they have long matches and also have a batsman, right?

      Even though you might be in a groove putting out good stuff I think you should always look for ways to grow without losing who you are.

      I’ll have to check out your new blog and see what you have going on over there. I have seen quite a few people disappear lately so hopefully you are back and ready to dig back in.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by sir.

      • Yeah I think some people thought I’d disappeared as well, but definitely not! Was off the scene for a little while, but love blogging and the awesome community we all interact in.

        Yeah, long matches unless its 20/20 cricket, and two batsman on at a time lol. Not really that into it.

        I love what you said about growing without losing identity. Very important.

        Thanks man,

        Sure we’ll speak soon.

        Robert

  16. Hey Bill,

    So you’re saying blogging is boring… oh wait, that’s just baseball. 🙂 I actually enjoy it live, the ballpark experience, but it’s too slow on TV.

    To run with the analogy, I think every time I hit publish, I am looking to connect with the ball. I don’t mind singles, doubles etc., and I certainly don’t expect a home run every time at the plate. Just like baseball, consistent hits can be even more beneficial to the team than sporadic home runs. I think, as in baseball, you have to be producing consistent results for the team (blog) and helping to achieve the team’s goals.

    I think the analysis is different for me versus, say, Jack. I am blogging with a specific business content focus, where he is blogging about personal experiences and outlooks. I think that difference can inform how one approaches the at-bats. Jack produces consistent quality (of course), but he is also able to blog about whatever is on his mind without worrying about whether it fits into a larger content strategy. Different objectives, different constraints.

    Now, where’s the boiled peanuts?

    • And I’m watching the Rays game as I type; see that’s what is good about baseball on TV, you can kind of drift in and out……….:)

      Yes, different purposes different strategies but I think we all want to at least get a hit. For the most part I don’t see us dropping to big of a load but some posts definitely resonate better than others for whatever reason.

      Chicks dig the long ball, but batting for average will keep you on the team.

      Good to see you Adam, hope you had a productive day and all is well. Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated.

  17. Hi Bill,

    I want to have success every time I step up to the plate, but this early in the game (ha ha), I don’t know what will resonate with people. And I’m just trying to figure out what I use to measure success.

    I would like to be more like Jeter, less like A-Rod. That is, a be a hard worker, put forth your best effort every time, and support your team.

    I always want a good at bat and will do my best to get there, but something that seems great to me might be a big, giant dud in the blogosphere. For now, I’ll do my best to not phone it in, but swing for the fences each time I’m up.

    You forgot the baseball stats on crotch grabbing and tobacco spitting 🙂

    • Yes, the crotch grab is definitely a must in baseball………..

      If you kind of use comments as your measurement and you have a pretty consistent community, sometimes things happen with them and they will have to disappear. You might put something stellar out but not as many people will see it. I’m experiencing that right now that I have at least 7 people who are dealing with something in their lives that makes social secondary right now. It was weird that it seem to happen all at once to the group.

      I think we both know what we like to read and if we write something that doesn’t even resonate with us, then it might be best just to leave it on the shelf for the time being.

      The other thing is, you might have a walk off home run but that’s only good for one post. As soon as it has run its course, it’s back to ‘what have you done for me lately’? I deal with that in sales too.

      I’m surprised you didn’t pick Cal Ripken as your model; the modern day iron man. C’mon B’more, don’t be letting me down………

      Good to see you Craig; thanks for the comments and thanks for stopping by my friend.

      • Good point about Cal. He is revered in Baltimore. Actually, Brooks Robinson was the man when I was a kid! I just couldn’t resist the A-Rod, Jeter comparison.

        Yes, the fact that glory from great posts is so short-lived is something we’ll have to learn to deal with, if we write great posts, that is!

    • Of course, my era was Brooks, Frank Robinson, Boog Powell (who is from Lakeland), Davey Johnson, Dave McNally, Jim Palmer, Andy Etchebarren, Luis Apiricio (who came over from the White Sox), Paul Blair to name a few.

      Do you ever really get a walk off home run?

      • Bill,

        Love all the names you mentioned. I would add one more to the list: Mark Belanger. He was an incredible shortstop, one of the best ever I think, defensively. He was a Gold Glover, but his batting average wasn’t the best.

        Brooks became a commentator after he retired, so I spent many a summer night listening to his voice on the a.m. radio.

        A walk off? We can do our best and there may come a day, eh?

  18. Hey Mr. October!
    I do enjoy a good baseball analogy. I also enjoy a good baseball game. In addition, I enjoy reading a good blog post;)

    The measurement of success has long been debated in life. Does money = success? Does fame = success? Does happiness = success? All of this is related to our blogging success as well. For the majority of us in this game, money is eventually somehow linked to our blogging. Besides wanting to truly help others with what we put out there, we’d also like to make a living doing it. There are always exceptions to every rule. Here you are as the exception again. I believe I referenced that in another comment before. Hmm…

    • Ultimately, no matter how much you give it still boils down to ‘what’s in it for me’? If you can fill fulfilled with what you are doing and your efforts, then that should be considered success in my opinion; get to a point where you don’t want for much.

      However, if you are monetizing your blog then it’s very easy to tell if you are successful or not and then it just becomes a matter of ‘how successful’ at that point.

      I like happiness=success; if you have that going on then there are probably a lot of other things going right in your life as well, don’t you think?

      Where have you been? Between the mini-vacation and poopy diapers I haven’t seen any posts lately. It’s funny (see above), I have about 7 people who have disappeared to some degree at the same time.

      So very good to see you and glad you like baseball (I do too). I do appreciate you taking the time to comment as well.

      Talk to you soon.

      • Yeah, I haven’t been very disciplined in my blogging. I actually will be posting tonight. To be perfectly honest, although I’ve been living my new lifestyle for a year now, I’m still struggling to follow a schedule. I’m learning how to fit full-time mom, full-time online business owner, part-time offline business owner and new site creation into 24 hours. Oh yeah–and my husband likes to see me every once in a while. Then there’s eating and sleeping mixed in with some house work. Sometimes when I look at my weekly priorities, blogging falls to the bottom of the list. I’m gettin’ there! If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can juggle everything, I’m all ears:)

  19. Hey Bill (expecting a reply :Hey Mr. Saxena 😉 ),

    I think that statistics are interpreted only in the context they are seen. I have been involved in implementation of computer systems that are huge number crunchers. These systems occasionally throw up some interesting pattern that can be utilized for benefit of the companies but often they are just random trends.
    It has been said many times, past is not the guarantee of future. It is so true of statistics. A small variable or introduction of new variables can alter the results totally. I have been reading the “Ascent of money” and it talks about various biases that creep into the analysis.
    I think the reputation is built when your performance speaks for itself. The moment you start hearing from people that you have barely known that they have heard about you is the moment you have started moving up the ladder. I think consistent performance is very much necessary. Talent is important but talent + consistency is most important .
    What do you think ?

    • Hey Mr Saxena……….:). I told you I know some Saxena’s where I live, didn’t I?

      I think that would be a good indication if people you barely know can comment they have heard of you. I don’t know if it’s success but you probably remember when I was dragging around the ‘invisible’ blogger moniker and I truly didn’t think people saw me. As I would leave comments at other places, people would comment ‘oh, I know who you are I’ve seen you around’. Just because they might not comment at your site doesn’t mean they don’t see you, right?

      A perfect example of not using backwards looking to determine success is the stock market. So many people use past analysis for forward decisions. I just know 3 years ago when the bottom dropped out of the economy in the US I didn’t see many analysts predicting it.

      Talent and consistency is very important and I even think average talent along with consistency can take you a long way.

      So good to see you and thanks for dropping by; I hope all has been well for you.

  20. I liked this post and agree with the baseball analogy. I happen to love baseball and yes I think baseball and blogging have a lot in common.

    I blog for myself first and everyone else second, just like Jack. It is often the silly posts that readers love, yet lately I am getting more serious on my blog. Not sure if everyone likes it,

    I think the only stats I am concerned with is growth. I am also concerned more with intangibles like respect and authority. If people find me to be a trustworthy source of information then I would consider myself a success.

    • One thing social has is many intangibles along with it’s fickleness. Whereas you might not have a large contingent that comment, that doesn’t mean a lot of people don’t see your work or know who you are. If you bounce around in certain circles enough you will definitely be seen and heard.

      I blog for myself as well but with the end user in mind. I try to think if I would like this post if I were to read it and going somewhat on the assumption most of community is somewhat like me; some of our interests are the same.

      I don’t know how serious I want to get but I definitely want to grow some legs and start providing a lot more depth to what I write.

      You touch on a good point about trustworthy which along with credibility goes a long way. I want people to feel like what they see is what they get with me. There might be a little disconnect between the ‘in person’ me vs the ‘online’ me, but not much I don’t think.

      Ok, the Rays are in the thick of it now. We need to Yankees to lay down for two more games because I don’t think Boston can win two in a row…………..

      Good to see you Nancy, thanks for dropping by.

  21. I used to play softball, I know it’s not baseball, but the game is played just the same. And I know I gave it my all every time. I do that in blogging also. This analogy really hit home. (get it? “hit home”.)

    I just read a quote by Corbett Barr of Think Traffic “Progress should be your goal, not perfection.” I had to think about that one for a while because I do shoot for perfection. I know I will never reach it but I sure do try to reach MY perfection, every time I post. But what he has to say makes more sense. We will never be perfect so try for progress every time.

    Let’s look at this. If you hit perfection (which some people actually think they are at, lol) you hit your peak. That’s it. Only place to go is down. I bet your readers will begin to disappear when you serve them sub-par content. But if you are always trying to be better, readers will stick around waiting for the next great thing you are writing about.

    You won’t hit greatness with every post (we all can’t be Bill Dorman) but we can try. I think 1 out of 4 is a good number. One awesomely great post and 3 pretty good ones. Still working towards progress up and you still give readers what they want. Right?

    Reading about baseball made me want to go see the new Brad Pitt movie. LOL. And not because it’s about the A’s but cuz he’s hot. LOL.

    ~Allie

    • I figured as much about Brad; I want to see it because I followed that story and I like baseball.

      To switch sports on you Corbett Barr’s quote can use golf as an analogy. As good as those guys get you see play on Sunday there is ALWAYS room for improvement. It is a sport you will never master 100%. The same can be said about your writing; as long as you are making progress then that should be a worthy goal.

      I certainly want to continue to grow and be a better story teller (not like the one I was as a kid that used to get my butt swatted) and make people think, laugh and even cry because the writing is to rich. That would be cool…………

      So good to see you; did you make $1 mil yet? Just checking to see if I need to start packing my bags or anything. Thanks for taking the time to stop by today.

      I hope your week is going well.

  22. I always love a good baseball analogy. I wrote a post back in my early blogging days (you know, a few months ago!) called “7 Reasons Baseball is A Lot Like Marketing.” Brilliant minds think alike, right?

    For me, winning at the blogging game is all about meeting my 5 goals. If I hit all 5 in a single post, that’s a grand slam. But I’m very happy with my batting average, hitting mostly singles and doubles. I just don’t want to get into a slump and strike out too often.

    Since I write for a living, I have days where I feel tapped out before I start thinking about my blog. But I’d rather sit on the bench when I feel that way, then give it my best at the next game. It also gives me a chance to cheer for all the other great players out there!

    • I like that about being able to have a chance to cheer for the other players as well. Some days it is just hard to find any inspiration not only that you like, but you think your audience will like as well.

      Check the guest post I will have here tomorrow from Michael Schechter; it’s about just writing or being a writer, I think you will find it interesting.

      You didn’t say what the 5 goals are; maybe that’s a post as well, huh? I would like to see what your checklist is. Singles and doubles are great and they will definitely keep you in the game.

      So good to see you back, sounds like you had a great time. Sorry to hear about your mother’s dog; that’s never fun to deal with.

      I hope you have a great day and I’ll bump into you again soon.

      • I will be back tomorrow to read Michael’s guest post–sounds very interesting.

        I did write a post awhile back with my blogging goals, but here they are:
        1. Connect with people
        2. Learn new things
        3. Share what I know
        4. Sharpen my writing skills
        5. Create a “living” and growing writing sample

        I keep this list on my white board so I don’t get stressed by numbers and I remember what’s important.

    • Early days, that really wasn’t that long ago, huh? It’s amazing how much the community and demeanor can change in such a short time.

      I like those goals; very worthy indeed. If that is your focus then I think you will certainly be successful; stick to the basics……….

  23. Many fall in the trap of statistics and have forgotten the very essence of why one is playing the game. I myself have fallen for that trap. One thing I learn is that stats serves as a disruption of our true goals. It will be better off if we not allow stats to hinder our best. 🙂

    • Stats can tell a story, but if you fall in love with them then that is when I think you forget the essence of why you are playing. Those who lose focus of that and make it all about the money or the stats detracts from what made them good in the first place. Take care of the basics first and every thing else will fall into place.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment; much appreciated sir.

  24. I gave up after the second long comment got lost in space. My MacBook Pro OS is sick and it drops the browser every now and then. I was here Bill. I liked the questions. And I’m grateful to be mentioned kindly in the conversation by you, Betsy, and Carolyn.

    • I know you tried my friend and it was good to see you; I do appreciate your support and sometimes I can be heavy lifting but I can count on you to at least try and carry me.

      Hope all is well and I’ll catch up with you soon.

  25. You know, seeing as I’m English, baseball doesn’t really have the same effect on me as it does with you Bill. Maybe if you use football/soccer, which I adore, then we’re talking!

    Seriously though, I’m intrigued by the idea that blogging can be a ‘1-in-4’ game. Every blog post that I write is published with the intention of being the best blog post to date. Granted, that’s down to public opinion, as different people look for different things, but for me, every blog post that I write is a winner in my eyes. Otherwise I wouldn’t publish it.

    It’s this mentality that needs to be adopted by not just every blogger in the world, but everybody in the world. If the latest thing of ‘what you do’, whether it’s a blog post, a baseball game, a soccer game, or anything else, isn’t up to scratch, then you have no chance of hitting it big. Bloggers need to go for gold with every post, baseballers need to go for gold with every match, footballers need to go for gold with every game, and so on.

    Go big or go home 🙂

    • English? I thought you were a Brit……………:). Go big or go home; I like that and yes, I want every post to be better than the last at least in my opinion. Trust me, I have several sitting in draft that will probably never see the light of day. I keep going back to them thinking I might be able to tweak or add to, but not publish worthy yet.

      And another topic, if you just don’t like what you have do you not publish or drop an ‘I didn’t have any thing to say’ post in there and see what response you get? I guess you could always revert to a ‘best of’ list or something.

      All we can do is just keep trying to get better and swing away every time. I think I’m all in at this point.

      I have to be careful with my sports analogies; golf is a little more universal, maybe I should have used that………:)

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, hope all is well for you this week.

  26. Dude, you post this as I’ve watched the Braves have like, the biggest September swoon ever. (I know Ken is happy his Phillies are doing well.)

    I rank on it too, the filler, the fluff when really, it is impossible to knock it out of the park with every tweet, every post. Marcus and I talked about it once, the single w/ 2 outs, the double off the wall can work just as well. On one side, the numbers balance out at the end of the season, but on the other they are meaningless.

    I’ve had posts hit big with comments and RTs, don’t think they were much better or worse than want ran before or since. I see list and definition posts get 100s of tweets but no comments. What I consider a homer may vary, and what it has to do with ‘influence’ – don’t get me started.

    BTW I mentioned ‘Moneyball’ in my latest post, good movie and great look at all this, the numbers being past performance, all that. You should see it if you haven’t already. FWIW.

    • Hey you bayou babe, how the heck are you? I haven’t seen Moneyball but want to. Being a baseball fan I’m certainly familiar with the Billy Beane story.

      Speaking of meltdown, I’m so glad the Bosox are doing it to give my Rays a chance. The Rays front office is very similar to Oakland in being in a smaller market with little to no money. They have done an incredible job. Too bad the Bravos had to finish with the Phillies…….

      Comments and visits are a form of measurement, but is it a valid form? It might make you feel good but it doesn’t necessarily mean it was stellar work and everybody is linking your post.

      I like Stu’s thought process in trying to do better on each and every post. If you are satisfied then that should be good enough because social is fickle enough it can break your heart if you let it. I used to experience those ups and downs but I hope I’m a grizzled enough veteran these days I can keep it more on an even keel.

      Hope you are doing well and it is a delight to see you; thanks so much for taking the time to stop by.

      • I lurk, I read, see people around the Twitters and blogs.. just not as much time to chat these days, getting the plate cleared so I can go on vacation in a couple weeks.

        Think you’d like Moneyball, I liked the business story as much as the baseball. On Stu’s idea of doing better each post, it’s a nice thought but think of the hitter trying to bust out of a slump; harder they press and try, the worse it can get. Some things can’t be forced, there are times the off the cuff post will be brilliant, or the brilliant post may turn out a dud. IDK still figuring it all out myself as I wonder if I think too highly of my stuff, too critically – or both?

  27. Okay, I know nothing about baseball, but the analogy is perfect. When you blog, you do so without knowing if you’re going to “hit it out of the park.” You hope you will, but that doesn’t always happen. Maybe your form is off, or the audience just isn’t paying attention for one reason or another (many of which have nothing to do with you). You blog anyway. You should remember the past successes, too, although you shouldn’t live upon them. They don’t offer enough sustenance to get you around the bases multiple times. 🙂

    Has Nancy already been here? I bet she loved this post.

    • Yeah, Nancy is up there in the mix somewhere.

      I’ve had post I’ve prepared a week in advance and I tweak them to what I think is perfection. In my mind I’m thinking this will be the best ever; but when the comments start coming in I can tell my readers think it is average at best or just not resonating with them.

      That’s the challenge I had with this post as I knew at least half of my audience probably don’t relate to baseball. Therefore, they will let me get by with one post, but if it became my topic of choice then people would vote w/ their feet……….as in not stopping by.

      It’s probably best to enjoy the successes when they occur but don’t dwell on them; be ready to move on to the next project and see where it takes you.

      Social is so fickle at times, it’s hard to get your arms around true success because it can mean so many different things to others.

      Thanks for coming by; I hope your week is going well. Michael Schechter is doing a guest post today if you have time to drop by and see him.

      • I did drop by Michael’s post! Fun times.

        I can relate to the “resonating.” I would love to incorporate some of my favorite poets into my blogging, but I know it’s not the proper channel. It wouldn’t relate to my business particularly well, nor would many of my audience members appreciate it.

        Blogging and social are fickle. It’s the same with any artistic pursuit. What’s a success one day may not be the next. I think that’s where knowing who you are comes into play. If you don’t know that, you’ll constantly write or paint or whatever based on current trends. Doing that negates who you are and deprives the world of the perspective that is your own – even if you are writing about the same things as everybody else.

        Personally, I like that you wrote about baseball. Is it something I follow? No, but reading your perspective of it gives me a better idea of who you are and your view on things. I’m able to follow the conversation, too, because you related the subject to something else with which I am familiar. Analogies and comparisons are wonderful tools.

    • Yes, baseball I could do and I can get excited about it especially after last night when my local team the Tampa Bay Rays overcame a 9 game deficit to make the playoffs on the very last day of the season. And to top it off, they overcame a 7 run deficit in this game to do it…………….destiny…………….:).

      Sometimes you have to stick to your guns and just write for yourself even it it means crickets.

      I had a skype w/ Adam Patorek and we talked about evolving into niche writing and how that changes the dynamics of your community. I have no allusions of being able to keep this great community if I started talking about insurance, sales or economic development. As long as people can relate to it and they can see what’s in it for them, then maybe you can have a blend but for now my personal blog will pretty much be social, because social I can do (and enjoy).

  28. Hey Bill

    I think there is an even bigger question here. For those of us who are blogging, is the blog itself the end game or is it just part of a bigger strategy. In other words, are we blogging to make ourselves more successful at our real job. I think this is key because it will determine which “stats” are actually relevant to our desired outcome.

    I would say that if we are blogging because we enjoy the process and the interaction, then direct feedback to an individual post would be the right statistic. However, if our goal in blogging is to help create business opportunities for ourselves, then “OCPP” (Opportunities Created per Post) would probably be a more relevant measurement.

    Of course for most of us its a combination of the two. Who knows, maybe we can identify the blogging equivalent of “quality starts”?

    • This is a good way to look at it. Because a lot of what I do revolves around networking, I have found social to be very similar to what I do in real life. However, you can ‘focus’ your networking and still be sincere and true to yourself and be more effective as it relates to your business. Because I am such a generalist with my blogging, you would think it would be easier but it’s really not. I’m challenged to keep producing content that I feel my audience would like to read. Even though I say you can only write so much about blogging and social, I seem to keep doing it.

      Sorry for the delayed response; I must have forgot to check back on this post. Hope you guys are doing well.

  29. Bill,

    Wow. I am being overloaded today! Reading so many posts I have missed while I was out there beefing up my own stats in another league.

    This is what I strive towards every single day. To be better than I was yesterday. It’s scary. It can be exhausting. It is always satisfying. When I know I did it. I improved today. I did something better than I did before.

    Thanks for the great post (even if I was a little late reading it!)
    ~Amber-Lee

    • First of all, you had a reason to be late; and second, if your reader is like mine at times, this might have been the perfect opportunity to just start from scratch again. Having said that, it is certainly good to see you and thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Even if you only improve incrementally it is a good thing, right?

      I’m glad you are back.

  30. Hi Tom,Great question. It would help to know which theme you prsehaucd and of course what customizations you are looking to make. In addition to this comment I’m sending you an e-mail.In order to fully answer your question we’ll need to ask each other some questions.WordPress Themes can be endlessly modified, so your question is not specific enough. As for pricing, I prefer not to list my hourly rate on the site, but will share it with you when we converse via e-mail or phone. The pricing for modifications will depend on whether you want me to do the work for you or if you would like me to teach you how to perform the changes yourself.Thank you for the inquiry.

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