What is success anyway? Most of the bands I loved never sold many records or made any money - Voivod, Celtic Frost, Jerry Goodman, Andre LeFosse, Badfinger, Acid Reign etc were/are certainly not rich through music.
So success is really making music you are happy with, its the only way to define success and stay sane.
I think its amazing that my album Ghost connected to an audience of a few thousand people. Its never going to mean anything to the mainstream but to me they are numbers I didn't expect and I've made some good friends along the way. The support of Echoes Radio, Classic Rock Prog, R2, the dividing line guys, word of mouth from the audience and hundreds of bloggers and podcasters has made a massive difference. I am eternally grateful (and surprised).
So now I have a new album almost done - just overdubs to do really. We'll add bass, drums and violins next (mellotron is already on there). I hope it connects to the audience like Ghost did, I really do but its not written as Ghost 2:The Cash In - its really different, REALLY REALLY different. Electric guitars - more percussion, thrashy bits. All sorts. There are still the melodies and the odd timings but I don't believe the route to success is to repeat the past.
The trick is to do music you honestly love and are excited about and hope others feel the same. Thats all you can do. You can't patronise your audience, you need to take risks - who cares about safe music (those that do will be off listening to bands remaking Porcupine Tree/Marillion records anyway).