How Do You Measure Success?

Success, Fashionista Barbie, Fashion Blogger, Top Fashion Blogger, Top UK Blogger, Blogger, Blog Success

So I have a different type of blog post for you today, how do you measure success? Seriously, I want to know. I’ve been blogging nearly seven years and I’ve been evaluating not just Fashionista Barbie, but my career and life in general. I was thinking to achieve my goals equals success, to me success is measured so differently for different people, careers, etc, that really you only have yourself to measure up against. But yesterday I was speaking with someone, who might I add I had never met me before, who probably hadn’t even looked at my blog, and didn’t know me as a person, and they seemed to downplay what I felt were achievements because my social stats were “quite low” and it got me thinking is success in blogging now all linked to how many Instagram followers I have?

Apparently, someone who has been blogging “as long as me” should have more than 5,000 Instagram followers, which yeah is probably true, but does that really mean I’m not successful? For me, I look at people’s success as notching up achievements, creating something beautiful or innovative, you know the content that makes your smile, discuss and admire. While hitting 5,000 followers on the photo-sharing platform is a target, I wouldn’t note it as a success, it doesn’t seem big enough. If I had hit one million fans now that’s a little different.

Is social media reach really the definition of success?

For me, my blogging success is less linked to stats and follower numbers and more about my ability to create great content, being happy and enjoying my work. But am I say that as I’m underachieving in this blogging game, as my stats aren’t as good as others in my field? Yep, I said game, as I was told I needed to play the “game” better, I didn’t realise that blogging was like Monopoly **first game that came to mind**, which might I add I started as I love to write and take photographs, but apparently it is. I really do wish people would send me a memo!!!

This person then stated that “success” in blogging is about perception, apparently I don’t publicise enough free gifts, I don’t go on enough press trips to beautiful places, I haven’t been nominated in any blogging awards, and I don’t do enough sponsored content, plus, my social media numbers, other than my Pinterest **hey over 330k fans helping me succeed** aren’t high enough. This person suggested that I buy, buy, buy followers, I think I’ll pass thanks mate – for me, I love that all my followers are real, you guys found me, added me and engage with me, yep, I might not have as many as other bloggers but hey they started under the 5k mark as well, I just like to see myself as a slow burner and I have quality followers over quantity. 

Measuring my own success

I am concerned that this blog post is a little rambly, I know and I said I wanted to blog because I like writing and then I use a word like ‘rambly’, but, I wanted to see how you guys measure your own success in blogging, are you worried about your stats, your social media numbers, and whether you’ve been excluded from a press trip?

For the most part, I see blogging as so much fun,  I’ve met incredible people that I now call friends, I’ve been whisked to countries I would never dream of visiting, and I’ve had so many opportunities come my way after someone found my little corner of the internet. I’m seriously grateful. But, there’s a side of it, which might I add can be a little toxic if you let it, the jealous, the fear of missing out, and those moments when you comparing yourself to others. It happens to us all, yep, even me, probably more than it should. I seem to go through waves. Sometimes I get in my own head and worry about why I wasn’t chosen, stressing about rejecting campaigns for exposure and then seeing other bloggers doing well out of it, and wondering why people aren’t flocking to add me on Instagram.

I think that’s only human, but you have to push through those times to start making your own success. I think that’s been my problem, plus I think, the fact this blog, no matter how much I love it, isn’t my only focus, I actually do a lot of other freelance work that I don’t scream and shout about. It’s weird I see those projects as career and Fashionista Barbie as fun, maybe if I looked like I do my freelance work I would achieve the success I’m hoping for. 

That also leads to further questions, what ‘success’ am I after? I can clearly say it’s not fame,  fortune or more free gifts, yeah the last two would be nice, but I think it is about having credibility, gaining people’s respect, and being recognised for creating great content. I also think to achieve this success I’m after, I need to start believing in myself and my writing more, which is something I’m working on, but this year my confidence really has taken a hit, maybe there is a seven-year itch in blogging as well. 

I kind of feel like I’ve just used you guys as therapy, but I would love to know your thoughts on my ramblings, do you think about how people view your success? Plus, how do you measure your own?



  1. trona
    July 7, 2016 / 10:41 pm

    absolutely brilliant post and really sums up a lot of how I feel about blogging atm (I just posted this, hope you dont mind me linking! ) Playing the game is another side of blogging I dont like and dont do because it isn’t what I want to do with my blog, sure it may affect some people’s perception of you but in the long run is it worth it? No, not for me it’s not. If you want longevity and integrity it’s definitely not a road I’d go down. You have to do what feels right for you and your blog, not what someone else thinks you should be doing, and especially if it’s buying fake followers! xx

  2. July 24, 2016 / 11:08 am

    Clearly we need to discuss this over a coffee date (because there is so much more to say than I can fit in a comment). But firstly, I just want to say that you are worthy, talented and successful.

    I also have the same struggles (in all areas of my life, but especially career and blogging); not feeling good enough or successful enough (usually measured against my own high expectations for myself), FOMO because I’m not a full-time blogger so I often feel like everyone is having fun without me and that because I rarely go to events I miss out on opportunities, feeing like I was maybe more successful a few years ago than I am now (because my growth in follower numbers was higher then), and comparing myself (unflatteringly) to others and feeling I’m no good.

    It’s a hard feeling to shake (I had a bad bout of it last year and the year before and it does still rear its head from time to time), but for me the secret was to just to stop focussing on how I compared to others (because there will always be someone prettier, more successful, or who has more followers) and to focus on the happiness I derive from my blog (which, when I’m not plagued by anxiety and self-comparison, is a lot).

    Keep your chin up; you’re brilliant and more than just a follower count!

    Briony xx