What defines success?

So, as an author currently in the process of writing a web serial, I was just wondering what is the definition of a successful web serial. Does anyone know what the average views/visitors per day is? Currently, the most I've gotten in a single day is 53.


Note: I originally posted this on Reddit here: http://redd.it/341h1y


What are your goals for it, and how close do you think you are to meeting those goals?


Is this just your hobby? You'll get more attention as you go along. My first year was pretty slow. I kept at it. I'm 36 chapters into my serial and I'm only now really getting a lot of consistent visits and attention. So, stick with it and don't get discouraged by low numbers at first.


Are you trying to make money? My Patreon went up a few months after I started. Nowadays I earn about $300 a month for it if I don't miss any of my deadlines. Is that huge? No. I still consider it a lot more than I thought I'd ever get. If you want to make money then you need to think of ways to monetize. And I don't have a lot of great advice for that except "try making a patreon, do donation incentives, collect your stuff into ebooks."


Etc.


The only Success that really matters is defined by the individual. You can look at numbers all day, but different people arrive at different numbers differently. Some serials blow up overnight, others take a while to be discovered. Some people advertise a lot and get nothing, others advertise nothing and get a lot. Everyone here will probably give you a wildly different story of their clickthrough stats and how they got those.


So assuming you only update once a week, you've been doing this nine months? That's... faster than I expected. My goal is to, in five years, make enough to move out of my parent's house.


I only update twice a month (three times a month when there is a side-story). I'm weird, and my updates are gigantic.


I've been doing this for going on ...19 months or so? Started in October 2013 but I wasn't really all that serious back then. It was around January 2014 that I realized I wanted to really go at it. It's easier to gain readers when people can update weekly, but I can't really.


If your goal is to make revenue, then you should think about how you'll take donations, and what you can do (if anything) to encourage people to donate, join your Patreon, etc. Once you have enough material you can sell books on Kindle. It's pretty easy to get started doing that (I'm editing the first book of my serial as we speak) so don't be intimidated. If you own your own webspace you could run ads but that's fraught with peril.


There's probably way better people here to talk to about revenue than me though.


Keep in mind that time doesn't guarantee financial revenue. Many of us serial authors have been at it for years and earn next to nothing. It's really, really hard to convince people to pay for something that's available for free. You might want to set up a plan B for moving out. :)


Joe, author of A Grey World, once mentioned in a post that even when he had 4000 something readers a day, people seemed to overlook his donate buttons.


Ha ha ha ha! If I'd defined "success" as "average views", I'd have declared failure long ago.


Seriously though, as Dennis said, it really is a personal thing. My definition of "success" was to have people actually talk about my serial. To me, or other people. That's mostly why I stopped! After over two years, no one had found personified math engaging. No remarks from relatives, or coworkers, and it was the same two people making very occasional comments. As far as "average views" went, it was under 50 per post (posting twice per week), which was fine, but for months that wasn't improving at all either. Hence switching blogs, and trying a new genre.


On the new site, posting every week, without fail, since September, I don't top 20 views in a day (with some exceptions around Apr 1st). My math archives are actually seeing more hits, so I'm toying with returning and running two serials in tandem. The other thing to consider is that I think my writing is improving. So that's a success. I've also never made any money (granted, I've never tried).


I'm with mathans. My average daily views are very low, but I'm writing this work more for myself than for anyone else, so that's okay.


I had three goals for this serial: (1) write a non-traditional narrative to see if I could handle the form, (2) learn how to write a decent plot, and (3) finish a project. I'm not sure how well the first goal is going, but I think plotting is getting a bit better and I do hope to have the project finished by the end of the year.


So, I don't know. Maybe I set my sights low. But it's taken me a long time to find the confidence to come back to writing, so I think I needed some easier goals.


Still, I think it's cool to have goals that aren't monetary or view related. It all depends on what you want.