Calculus of Blogging: The Whys and Hows of Blogging Success

By Daniel Scocco

This is a guest post by Seth Waite. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Experience online has taught me many essential elements to being a better blogger. As my success grows online I become more excited about what I am doing and the potential awaiting me. My excitement often leads to discussions with friends and family where I get the question, “Why Blog?” Trying to explain why blogging is something I enjoy, I keep returning to their question. Why do I or anyone blog? I finally came up with an answer.

Blogging is about our desire to be successful doing it. Bloggers do not start by thinking “I hope no one ever reads this”. You might not be interested in monetization or a big audience but you want your message to be heard by someone. The idea then is bloggers start because they intend to be successful. One might ask then if all bloggers are fools because the probability for success is low given the immense amount of competition. Besides a relatively low probability of success blogging includes high costs as well. In relation to cost, I am talking about more than just money, but time as well. If we calculated this mathematically the equation would look something like this:

U=p(B) — C

To break down this equation for non-mathematicians (myself included) I will describe each element of the equation.

  • U is equal to the utility (in economics) or desired success in this example
  • p is equal to the probability or likelihood of success
  • B is equal to the benefits of success (money, traffic, authority)
  • C is equal to the cost of blogging (time, energy, money)

By calculating this equation you will find p (probability of success) is low and by multiplying it with B it seems to minimize almost any benefits. After doing this you then subtract the costs and end up generally with a negative number. It would seem then that no one would actually start blogging. The cost will always outweigh the benefit.

Mathematically this made sense, but the millions of bloggers online did not. I know we are not all irrationally spending hours online for nothing! I kept thinking about this equation and then realized I was missing the most important element “D”.

D is the difference you believe between your chances of success and everyone else. Difference comes from your conception of how you are different then other bloggers you compete with. These differences can come in the form of time, talent, discipline or a variety of factors. D is your reason for why you will be successful. For me, “D” is believing I have a unique perspective and innovative ideas. For you it may be your new blog design, great writing ability or determination to succeed.

The purpose of this article then is to focus on your “D”. There are many benefits for blogging, but something more has to keep you believing in your success. As you blog today, think about your D factor and capitalize on it. It is why you started blogging anyways. Remembering your unique D will keep you motivated and ahead of the game. Success has always been difficult but you started this process because you believed you provide something unique. No matter the costs you can find success blogging by capitalizing on your most important factor, the difference between you and everyone else.

U=p(B) — C + D

Seth Waite wrote this article from his newly launched blog, Blogging Agenda. For another great article like this one, check out Seth’s recent article on “The Importance of Writing Good Content“.



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14 Responses to “Calculus of Blogging: The Whys and Hows of Blogging Success”

  • Oguibe

    Hi, thanks everyone, your comments and contributions has been helpful. Realy an eye openner. You all are great

  • new blogger

    very scientific…..

  • Tyrone – Internet Business Path

    This is a niceinterpretation of blogging in mathematical areas.

    True enough, as bloggers, we must focus in our “D”s = the difference you believe between your chances of success and everyone else.

    Be original, and the rest will follow, i guess.

  • AskYourPreacher

    D was such a HUGE factor in why our group started our blog. I remember sitting down and looking for a blog that would fill the particular need that our blog now does. I couldn’t find anything in that niche. D became the driving force behind our start. Great post!

  • Daniel Lucraft

    This is a really good way to take a hardheaded look at your blogs potential. May I nitpick (did maths at college) and point out that you probably mean:

    U = pB – C + D

    In this equation p is a factor, not a function, so the parentheses are unnecessary.

    Also, and perhaps more importantly, the implied units of the equation are not consistent: you are subtracting a probability (D) from a cost (pB-C, which is probably in dollars, or at least dollar equivalents).

    The term D needs to be included in the calculation of p, which is your chance of success. Let’s suppose that your chance of success is:

    p = K + D

    where K is the chance of success that absolutely everyone has, and D is as before. Then

    U = (K+D)B + C

    which is a consistent equation and a perfect illustration of your – very good – point.

  • Referrals Cash

    I am sure there are factors involved too. And if you want, it can also vary as people may square B and have a lesser component of C, and so on.

    Nevertheless, it is a nice formula and easy to remember too. But I will not think of blogging in terms of calculus. It is too academic for my liking.

  • Thomas

    Simple but very effective formula. Thanks for the post.

  • Nikhil

    I like the article.
    I want to mention one more thing is that don’t compete with others i.e. don’t always think about getting someone down it affects your mentality and also results in the blogging.
    One more formula I have learned while blogging is to help others to get help. This is the best way to make successful blogger.
    After all, genuine readership with the quality contents denotes how successful the blogger is!

  • Homegrownart

    Seth, this was an interesting read and breakdown. I decided to start a blog recently after seeing so many people in my hobby (paper crafting) doing it. It was a way to show off their stuff that they are proud of, to share their techniques, and to really share the fun they were having doing it. I figured that I had to have some potential to do something of my own on a blog. It certainly is a learning experience, but I find that it brings me great satisfaction: 1. in learning what this field is about, and 2. in sharing this great new hobby of mine. I plan to take over the world in a minute here. Hehehe!

  • Ria

    Great article. D is most important. Uniqueness is key. Bloggers tend to sidestep this just for the sake of making a buck. Or who knows, it could be just a lack of imagination. I also agree with the perserverance part as well. Successful bloggers in my niche have been around for quite a few years.

  • Seth

    Ben – Thanks!

    I was actually working on a mathematical equation for why politicians would be willing to challenge incumbents (sitting politicians) in an election when I thought of this! (That’s because my mind always wanders back to blogging)

    D is the best element because it really is unique to you.

  • Ben Moreno

    Wow, I never thought of breaking it down like that. I think that there are many reasons why people blog. Today, many people blog because someone told them they can make money doing it.

    I was no different a year ago but now I blog mainly because I have a lot of knowledge and opinions that I think people should read and converse with me about them. And if I can actually teach someone something and actually impact their lives then I am happy.

    I have found that I get much more out of blogging when I focus on writing quality and genuine content instead of just trying to tailor it to making money online.

    Good post Seth.

  • Rein Valdez

    Cool interpretation and description of blogging in relation to Math.
    Congratulations dailyblogitps. 🙂

  • Fatin Pauzi

    Converting the blogging aspect in mathematical way is one of a systematic idea. By doing this, I believe the target and also the progress will be clearer and it could be applied even we have more than a blog.

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