Bloggers, Oranges, and a Granny Smith

by Alex on September 29, 2010 · 32 comments






blogging comparisons

Blogging is as blogging does – and by its very nature, you need to share and learn and grow and engage…constantly.

The most common, and by far most effective way to do all of the above is to comment on other blogs, and this is something that we all know how to do really well, I mean even the bots have mastered the art! I see so many savvy bloggers who have unwittingly approved comments that are clearly spam, this post should be higher in the serps indeed… but then it does feel good to help someone with their college assignment every now and then doesn’t it.

But blog commenting has a major side effect that can have devastating consequences on the future of your own blogging career.

The Comparison Game

We have all been there – in fact I think it is within the very core of basic human emotion. Comparing yourself to your peers, gauging your success against those around you, I think it’s almost impossible to ignore…. but you know what, I’m not a shrink and I ain’t going there. Ok maybe I’m visiting briefly…

Comparing yourself to another blogger is like comparing Apples and Oranges, and all clichés aside – how can you honestly know what is going on in that bloggers life, or how much experience they have in this or that? The fact is you can’t. But there’s also another fact – you can’t avoid comparing yourself to all of them. Not only is it in our nature – it’s also all we’ve got.

Bloggers Unite!

One thing I have noticed about blogging is that it is a very reclusive past time. Ironic considering how lively and awesome the blogosphere is, but most bloggers I know, including me, only know maybe one blogger in real life. So it’s really hard to leverage what you have built offline to discuss your blog – no one wants to hear, and even when they do, it’s quite obvious they don’t care (so long as there is money coming in). So of course you are going to compare yourself with other blogs – it’s the only outlet you have!

Is your Blog half full or half empty?

I think it depends entirely on the mood you are in, but realistically – you have to learn to take the positives from each side of the comparison equation in order to boost your own blog’s strength.

Sometimes my blog is half full. I look at other blogs and I see what I have managed to achieve that they have not – and it makes me feel good about myself.  Yeah, I’m not going to lie – of course it is extremely egocentric of me – but show me someone who has not done that and I will show you a liar.
Looking at what you HAVE managed to achieve is a great motivator to keep on doing it.

Sometimes my blog is half empty. I look at the other blogs in the blogosphere and I see all the various aspects on their blog that mine does not have. Or I might see that their posts are more frequent and have more comments – whatever the case may be. The problem with this situation is that I will sometimes find myself investigating say ‘that widget that I don’t have’ and the next thing I know I am distracted by something I really didn’t need in the first place. But remember that there is opportunity here too.
Looking at what you don’t have is a great way to generate ideas and analyse the market

Sometimes my blog is exactly the size it needs to be. There are days when I am simply content. The world is moving along swimmingly and I am perfectly happy with the levels of just about everything. Sometimes this is drugs, but more often than not it’s the blogging comfort zone. If you see the signs – get out and start blog hopping quick smart. It’s time to find some half full and half empty blogs to comment on.

The last thing you want to do is end up in some sort of comfort zone where everything is just peaches. You want peaches? Go play Farmville or something.



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{ 27 comments }

How To Attract New Customers September 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

My blog is new….so I’ve forgiven myself of its flaws. I read tons of stuff–so I’m sure I’m on the right track to becoming better info giver.

On the other hand, you seem like a brilliant guy. I could learn a lot from you.

Thanks,
Johnny

Alex September 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm

reading and doing your homework is key to a successful blog launch so you are definitely doing things right from the get go.
And adding sentences like that at the end of comments can only stand to do you well on top of that :)

Thanks for the kudos Johnny
Alex@blog optimization services´s last blog post ..3 Ways to Find a Profitable Niche

Steve September 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm

You shouldn’t concern yourself whether the glass(blog) is half full or half empty. The important part is that it has beer in it. The next important thing is to get someone else to buy the next round… But I digress…

You make some valid points. It is too easy to compare and feel cocky or to compare and feel “lacking”. Getting too caught up in these emotions does not help to make your blog better in any way. All that you need to know as a blog owner is that your content is good and that you are going in the right direction…always growing.
Steve@Lifestyle Design Blog´s last blog post ..Info Income Coaching Class Week 13

Alex September 30, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Steve!

You’re like the Australian cousin I never got a chance to grab a beer with :)
I think that’s exactly what I was trying to say in this post actually, just blog and do your thing – and don’t get caught up in the emotional side of things.

Thanks Steve!
Awesome mate – I’ll definitely shout you the next round if and when the time comes :)

Biodun September 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Really when you discuss about blogs to people offline, they look at you as if you are talking in greek. Your co-bloggers are just the ones to mingle with.
Then if by my judgment i will say my blog is half full, cos when i visit some blogs, i still feel on still among the good ones but when you visit the big ones i still feel i have more to do…
Biodun @ UK ecommerce forum´s last blog post ..Google product search or Google base new tax and shipping feature

Alex September 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Biodun,

Hahaha that is so true man, noone gets the blogger LOL!
As for your review of the post and your thoughts on it – awesome man.
Nicely summarised Biodun!

Dan Lew September 30, 2010 at 12:05 am

Peaches and Strawberries would be nice please, haha!

Comparing is good, its almost like competing and that is healthy, we are all on a race here to the top, but what we can do is work together as a community to get there is unite, much better 100 of us moving to the top, against those 14 billion.

We can move swiftly like the spartans :)
Dan Lew´s last blog post ..5 Powerful Ways To Make Money Online Indirectly

Alex September 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm

BLOG AH!! (sorry that was my lame attempt at Sparta-ing the blog LOL)
Nice Dan, I think you said it well here – indeed we do need to work together, and when you put the numbers like that (amplified or not) they certainly make you think.

Thanks for sharing.
Oh btw – get your own bloody fruit salad

Dan Lew October 1, 2010 at 1:57 am

BLOG AH!! Yeah that one sounds like a pirate! :)
Dan Lew´s last blog post ..Are You A Slave To Your Own Success

MKR September 30, 2010 at 12:22 am

You just have to give each thing more thought that “will this work y/n.”

For example, I don’t have a skyscraper of widgets between the comments form and post like so many blogs do. I get plenty of people subscribing with a small RSS icon and short note. No need for a billboard.

Alex September 30, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Nice MKR, that is exactly right – its about testing what works and just doing it. Comparing wont help for shit because what worked for him or her won’t necessarily work for you.

Thanks for sharing – now i need to see your blog :)

MKR September 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm

My plan for world domination is near its glorious completion.

[insert evil laughter here]

Murlu September 30, 2010 at 2:27 am

This was heavily on my mind all day Alex – what are ya, a scanner? (Hell yeah, awesome reference!).

It’s hard not to compare yourself to other blogs because they’re always right in your face but then you have to just bite your lip and get to work. You can b-tch and moan all day about what you need to do, how it’s not fair, etc etc etc but all that does it distract you from getting things done.

Want something actually worth comparing yourself to? Try yourself. Look at how far you’ve come already and realize that you’ve already done so much toward your success – don’t worry about what others have to say or have; haters gonna hate. Just look forward toward your goals and accomplish them – no BSing just effin do it!

Ya know?
Murlu´s last blog post ..How To Say Danke! To Your Readers

Alex September 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Hahahaaha respect!
Definitely pay that reference. OLD SKOOOOOOOOOL (LOL – I’m an idiot)
Brilliant comment (as always) Murray.
Look at yourself and see how far you’ve come, and then be honest with yourself and see how far you can go.

THen of course – do what you said.
Alex@keyword research tips´s last blog post ..Oakland Shocks Visiting Philadelphia For Second Win Of NFL Season

Thiru September 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

Nice write up Alex, I impressed on your first point that comparing with others. I prefer to compare my blog with some giant writer. It made me feel bad and created a little obstacle on my growth. Still I am comparing, it is little tough to stop comparing myself with others. But i will keep on trying to stop this bad thing.
Thiru´s last blog post ..My First Guest Blog

Alex September 30, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Hey Thiru my man.

Don;t stop comparing at all man – just remember to take the good and drive yourself with it, and then do the same with the bad. Just dont dwell.

your blog is rocking along anyway man!

Michael September 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

Hahaha! Great headline…now I have a dilemma: do I include this in the 10 best headlines this week or the yeti one? Mate, you’re making it tough for me. Maybe I should include both. Which one do you like the best?

Oh yeah, rockin’ post. I always compare my blogs to other blogs, especially the ones that started around the same time as myself. It keeps me pumped up and motivated and I get a buzz when I see I’m kicking their ass. So I think it’s a good thing. Nope, definitely don’t want peaches, though I like Farmville :)

Thanks for sharing

Michael
Michael´s last blog post ..The 3 Ps Essential to the Success of Every Blog

Alex September 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Oh definitely Yeti baby! For sure :)
Although I think it would be safe just to include both ;)

you know…. just to be … safe… for everyone’s sake
you know.

I like your take on it Michael – because that is exactly what i do too :)
I look at blogs that are as old (or older) than mine and see what I have managed to achieve that perhaps they may not have, and I realise something…. I ROCK MAN!

LOL, awesome comment, awesome dude.
BTW- comment luv is showing me a pretty tempting title there, maybe that should be included too?
what three P’s ? Im curious now?
I have to have a guess first though>
Piss (because its much easier to write drunk)
Pharmaceuticals (because its much easier to write sober – yes we realise this in hindsight)
Prophecies (I reckon Nostradamus would have had sooooo many page views each month)

well? (IM gonna see if Im right now :) )

Patricia September 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I did smile when you talked about our egos. You’re right; so easy to compare with other blogs. I feel better when I see techies publishing posts and they say they have problems with finding inspiration for their blogs. Why??!! Cos I love writing but find trouble with all things techie!!! There’s that ego again!
Only the Aussies and the Brits will probably get the title though Alex lol
Patricia Perth Australia
Patricia@lavenderuses´s last blog post ..Growing Lavenders-Your Favourite Gardening Tool

Alex September 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Hahahaha @ the title comment Patricia, very true.
But I did that on purpose cause I figured that not knowing what it was would make it even more intriguing.
Like “wtf has my granny got to do with fruit and blogging?”

LOL – I’m actually exactly half way between you then, I can do most basic techie stuff, and I find it easy to ‘basically’ motivate myself – but thats as far as it gets in either field.

Thanks for your comments and support as always Patricia from Perth Australia.
NB: how was the AFL Grand Final?!?! Holy crap. what an anticlimax – I felt bad for them all (or do you hate the sport and not care LOL)

Patricia September 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Cos they’re not West Aussie teams not so bothered although only Collingwood fans wanted them to win eh??!! Good to bump into another fellow Aussie in the blogosphere.
I enjoy ur posts and I am learning heaps from all the blogs I visit. I call the techies geniuses as that part of my brain doesn’t seem to function well. Give me writing posts any day :-)
Patricia Perth Australia
Patricia@lavenderuses´s last blog post ..Growing Lavenders-Your Favourite Gardening Tool

Andrew September 30, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Comparison is healthy competition. However, something that looks great or applies great to another blog does not always mean that it will also look great or work great on your site. It’s still a case to case basis, each blog and each blog owner is unique, so make sure to go for something that will work perfectly for you.
Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog post ..Make Your Blog Sticky With Passion

Alex September 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Well said Andrew!

We are all unique (just like everyone else ;) ) so its important to remember to find what works for you – just use other blogs for ideas and inspiration.

Thanks for sharing mate

Deidre Brathwaite September 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Hiya Alex,

I discovered you on famousbloggers, awesome post on viral marketing, and have decided to stalk you forthwith :) .On a serious note I never think about simply categorizing my small blog as either half empty or half full instead I analyse what others and doing better than I am and try to emulate them. Another great post.
BTW just want to assure you that I am not a bot:)
Deidre Brathwaite@PixlDInc´s last blog post ..Facebook- Not The Sum Of The Parts But The Full Package

Jeevanjacobjohn September 30, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Agree with you, Alex. I always feel like my blog is half empty. But I would say to myself “I am young and I have the time to achieve more”. Sometimes it just happens. Its the way Human mind works. We tend to look for negative things rather than positive. For me the most concerned matter is that I am using blogger.com while my friends are using WP. I try to calm myself my saying that “Its not the platform that matters, its the quality of the content”.

I really don’t know any bloggers in real life although I have been able to gain a lot of friends.

Anyway, Great Article !

Jeevan Jacob John

Nice meeting you. Hope that we will connect in the future.

Brandon Connell October 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Lol Alex. I thought you said you liked “trannys” before. But now I understand it was grannies. Anywho… I am keeping my wife from ever seeing this article because of the negative way you spoke about FarmVille in the end. She is addicted to that crap!
Brandon Connell´s last blog post ..Put your blog income on AUTOPILOT!

Bryan October 2, 2010 at 6:43 am

You’ve given a very realistic view of how bloggers think about themselves and their blogs. yeah it’s true that sometimes your blog looks just fine but on other days, I’m simply not happy with something and then you go ahead and fix it and then you think to yourself maybe that’s not so good either… let’s just change it back to how it was.

I’m glad that there is a community online for bloggers. You’re right about bloggers in real. No one really cares how much you blog or if it’s your fav pastime unless they share the same blogging passion as you do.
Bryan´s last blog post ..My Hootsuite Video Tutorial- Basic Twitter Management Guide

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