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.
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.