If you’re sufficiently mature and self-assured that you never fall into the trap of blog comparisons (comparing yourself to other bloggers and/or their blogs), well that’s great, but this post isn’t for you. If, however, you’re a human being, read on.
I suspect that at some point most of us have some sort of ugly, envious thoughts when it relates to blogging. This may lead to guilt or embarrassment for having those thoughts. Then maybe we manage to get back on track until the next time those ugly thoughts sneak up to bite us in the butt.
Those ugly thoughts tend to come from comparison – either to other bloggers or to what we think we should be able to do with our own blogs. This post is a sort of airing of dirty laundry of some of those ugly thoughts that we probably all have once in a while.
They have more followers
Since follower numbers are easily visible in the WordPress Reader, this is one of the easiest ways to start comparing yourself to others.
Numbers only say so much, though. People can have loads of spammy followers. And while it can feel like follower counts are representative of blog quality, from what I’ve observed I would say that’s not necessarily the case. Sure, some blogs get big because they’re high quality, but I also follow some amazing blogs with low follower counts.
And if you’re happy with your follower count (like I am)? Don’t worry, there are still plenty of other ways to feel insecure.
They’re growing faster
For some people, it would take years to get 1000 followers, yet some people can do it in a few months. If they can do it so easily, why can’t you no matter how hard you try?
Unlike follower counts that you can see immediately, growth occurs over time so it takes a bit more paying attention to notice. I noticed this the most when I first started blogging and others who started right around the same time were getting bigger faster.
To be honest, while some of blog growth comes from hustle promoting it, I think there’s also an element of sheer luck.
They have more engagement
Another blog may have fewer followers, but they get twice as many likes or comments as you do. So you start to wonder what’s wrong with your blog that people aren’t interested in reading it and engaging with it. Does it mean your followers don’t actually like you? (The answer is no, by the way.) I fall into this trap sometimes, because it’s not uncommon to come across a blog that has half my follower numbers but way more engagement on each post.
So-and-so is reading their blog but not mine
Quite a while back someone mentioned this as one of their own insecurities – that certain people the blogging community were interacting with other blogs but seldom with their own. After that I started noticing the same thing.
For me these kinds of thoughts feel the ugliest, I think because it gets so specific. You can be envious of other people’s growth without having negative thoughts/feelings directed at the specific person, but this particular ugly thought pattern encompasses at least two specific people in a very specific way. When I get sucked into this particular trap I recognize that it’s petty, but that recognition doesn’t immediately make it go away.
I read their blog but they don’t read mine
I don’t believe in the idea of follow-for-follow. That’s especially the case with different genres or even different sub-niches. Sometimes I’ll get caught up in this trap with medium size blogs, but not usually. Where I do tend to get tripped up is when a new mental health blogger follows my blog, and then I follow back and read their posts regularly, but they never read my blog. A small vs. a medium blog makes a difference (at least to me) in this respect, because on a larger blog there are more notifications and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. If I’m one of only two people regularly liking someone’s blog, that’s pretty conspicuous.
Recognizing these thoughts as just thoughts and putting them out in the open is an important part of not getting too attached to them. They are thoughts and feelings that are valid and quite normal to have, but that doesn’t make them literally true. And they’re a lot less ugly when they’re aired out rather than kept inside.
Do you have examples of any other types of blog comparisons that you find are easy to fall into?