Blog Envy

imageIt’s inevitable that, after a period of time in the blogging world, many will suffer from this at some point.

I’m one of them.

Comparison forms a part of daily life and is a perfectly natural response, despite how unhealthy it can be for one’s self-confidence.Β While I have made huge strides in developing a life that I am happy with, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve envied a friend’s beautiful house, or how fantastic they look in an item of clothing. I’ve been secretly jealous of someone’s naturally sparkly personality, or a talent that they have, or even how exciting and interesting their lives seem to be.

I experience similar feelings in the blogosphere too, more regularly than I would like to admit.

My jealousy doesn’t lie in numbers and statistics – I follow blogs that I like and enjoy, regardless of their readership. However, I do find myself feeling envious of the layout and content that I see on other sites. There is one in particular that has, in my opinion, the perfect design. Another consistently shares beautiful images and has a great colour palette. There are a number that produce post after post of sheer perfection, and every time I read them I always covet their skill in being able to craft seemingly endless amounts of brilliance.

It’s enough to almost put a blogger off, isn’t it?

The key to dealing with blog envy is to focus on you, and, at times, use it to your advantage rather than allowing it to add to your insecurities.

1. Look closely at yourself. Each blogger is unique…. What makes you special? What makes you unique. What do you like reading about? Ultimately, what do you have to offer? A secure understanding of what you want your creative content to be about will mean that you have more of a sense of direction in your posts.

2. Put things into perspective. When was the blog created? If you’ve only been blogging for a little while, it is ridiculous to compare yourself to a blog that was established years ago!

3. Be proud of your own achievements so far. You’ve been brave enough to start your own little space of the internet and filled it with things that matter to you. You’ve created a community, however big or small. You’ve shared something of yourself with people you’ve never met. I think that takes a lot of courage.

4. Appreciate that others may be looking at your blog and feeling exactly the same way.

5. Be inspired and motivated by what your favourite bloggers are doing. What makes their layout so great? Why does that image appeal to you? What is it about their content that keeps you coming back for more? Of course, blatantly copying someone’s work is never acceptable (and why would you want to?), but there is nothing wrong with using an idea as a stimulus. I do it all the time – some of my most popular posts have been in response to something I’ve seen on another site – and many others have done the same with my own posts.

6. Use your envy to set yourself goals. What do you want to achieve with your blog? At what point would you deem your blog to be a success? What can you do to reach your goals?

7. Put the work in. Anyone who has a blog will have an understanding of how much time the process takes, but it’s important to recognise that some of the more successful bloggers will put hours, and even days at a time into creating a post, developing their layout and promoting it. If your envies lie in the large readership a blog has, look at what they do to gain such a following. Want to increase your traffic? Check out this post – you may find some useful hints and tips.

And finally, and in my opinion, most importantly…

8. Get over it, or stop reading. Enjoy another blog and appreciate it in all it’s fabulousness, but if it is making you belittle your own work and hamper the blogging process, stop reading it for a while until you feel a little more secure in yourself. Focus your energies on you.

What do you guys think? Do you suffer from blog envy? How do you deal with it?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks ,my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks

Image credit: matteologie.com

206 thoughts on “Blog Envy

  1. Great post, Suzie. You are clearly a half full cup person, willing to work for the full! I have to put in a lot of effort to keep my blog going through vacations and book writing, that I’m grateful my daughter will occasionally tweak the layout. I do enjoy the visual beauty of some blogs! but I’m digitally impaired…

  2. Under 7 you refer to a post worth checking out, however there does not appear to be a link to it. I am using a screen reader which converts text into speech and braille so it may be that my software is not picking up the link for some reason. Kevin

    • Thanks Kevin – I spotted that after I had published it (typical isn’t it – proof reading it several times made no difference haha). I hope you find it useful!

  3. For me it’s the numbers, not the layout. I see people who seem wildly successful and wonder what I’m doing wrong.
    (It could be format. It could be avoiding finding a niche. It could be sporadic posting. And it could be that my thoughts or posts just aren’t that appealing. Probably all those things, mixed with a bit of random chance.)

    Sometimes we just have to deal with the insecurity and just keep going, I suppose.

    • I don’t bother about the numbers, but I know many who are. I genuinely think that a following is linked to time and how you market it. You aren’t doing anything wrong with your blog – Ive followed it for a looooong time!

  4. No Blog envy here, although that is perhaps something to do with age – lots of it! (I am very comfortable with myself). I do however find other sites very interesting, not generally as a result of design/layout, but the depth of some of the Posts and resulting comments. My Blogging only started last October, but it has been a wonderful and educational experience and I am in awe at the interactions from countries where English is not the primary language. I have tried to conjure up a picture of a Blog which I would envy and, to be totally honest, I came up blank. πŸ™‚

  5. I think there is some component of every blog that I follow that I wish I could capture myself. But, that’s what makes us all unique and a challenge to me to see what I can do next πŸ˜€

    • It took me eighteen months to change my design because I was happy with the one I had. It was only based on advice I’d had that I just sat down and went through it in a few hours, and admittedly I felt a bit resentful during the process. However,I was happy with the end result and was glad I changed it! However, if you like your design, then keep it – it’s your blog and your opinion that matters!

  6. I quite agree! I have a TERRIBLE problem with self-confidence, and as a newbie with all this techno-whatsits, I know my site’s not as good as it could be. But, as you point out, we need to figure out our priorities. I’d rather spend more time writing than futzing around with layouts and fonts. Those who like our stuff will read it, even if the site’s background color is a dull grey. πŸ™‚ We all know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover (though we do anyway, otherwise those cover design folk wouldn’t have jobs), so why aren’t we applying this same idea to blogs, too?

  7. Yes I envy your blog haha! This is Kristin from the Bible Study Blog. This is my new anything blog. Yours and a few others are quite motivational. It makes me wanna kick my butt into shape and do better at blogging. Mine are just basic looking because I’m not a techie but yours are quite attractive. Anyways, I came to steal some Me, myself and I content so I’ll be posting later. I wish I could write more but my blogs and stories are always short but sweet! Also, if you haven’t seen there’s a blog battle on my page I borrowed from @blondewritemore if you want to participate! I don’t even know if the @ sign tags people…I’m so awkward lol!

    • Thanks so much Kristen, and what a lovely thing to say – I’m honoured! I’m glad you’ve got involved in Me, Myself and I – me and Sare love doing it!
      Adding a @ doesn’t tag them in – you need to copy the URL of the post you’re talking about and paste it into the comment section…

  8. It sometimes annoys me that I don’t get bigger numbers on the stats, but I know that I need to invest far more time that I do to make that change. It’s all I can do to keep up with my own. I have to consider who I’m writing for… is it me, or is it an audience? Until I actually write for an audience, then I guess it’s only me that’s really interested in my musings and ramblings!

    • If you want help with building traffic I can certainly help on that, but if you’re writing for yourself then keep doing what you’re doing! I love your blog – your pics in particular are fabulous!

      • Thanks Suzie, thats really kind of you! The pics are very important to me, they are the reason I started blogging. I have a rough idea of what I should be doing to build traffic, and I know it involves a lot more leg work than I am putting in at the moment, but any help would be very much appreciated! You get my likes up and I’ll get your half marathon time down! Are we ready to run yet??

  9. I don’t suffer from blog envy…yet. I mean, there are some amazing-looking blogs out there but I’m happy with my little corner of the blogosphere. I can’t take myself too seriously. I’m a goofball. I’m sure to develop it at some point though, like you said, it wouldn’t by because of numbers or statistics. Let’s see if I have to eat me digital words anytime soon… Fantastic tips.

      • Haha! Don’t worry about it! I have to edit and re-edit my posts and comments because I make so many mistakes. My favourite so far was when I was talking about a ‘shift’ at work and wrote ‘shit’ instead. Another blogger pointed it out… Nice.

    • Thanks so much Sarah – I think you have a great attitude towards it. I think everyone takes it seriously to a point or you wouldn’t continue it, but I love the fact that you have a relaxed perspective on it and just enjoy what you’re doing!

  10. I envy other’s ability to post consistently. I get a lot of pleasure out of reading blogs and responding to them. By the time I’m through doing that, it’s time to start my day and, somehow, I don’t feel like writing anything right then. I wish I could craft a stunning background for my blog, but I am not only” digitally impaired,” but also a congenital idiot when it comes to technology and a bit of a Luddite, and that does not contribute to being inventive. How you manage to do as much as you do so beautifully time after time, day after day, is incredible, dear Susie. I applaud you and will just settle back and read!

    • Haha – I’m going to try and find a way of working that phrase into a sentence very soon, I think it’s fantastic! Thanks my lovely – I’m glad you liked it!

  11. I go through bouts of blog envy. I try to remind myself I love different blogs for different reasons. Whomever reads mine isn’t likely thinking, “I wish she were more like so-and-so!” They’re finding something they like in what’s there; if that’s so for them, and for me reading their blogs, why not afford myself the same open courtesy? πŸ™‚

    • I think that’s such a great attitude, and you’re right – people read blogs for the things that take their interest, and we should extend the same courtesy to ourselves!

  12. You feel like that? Just proves that everything is really relative to another’s perspective.
    I think you’re successful and accomplished, so?
    But you’re the one to also think in the same way.
    That’s why your conclusion is spot on.
    One should focus on his or her blog.
    Just like in many other situations, humans tend to think that the grass is greener somewhere else.
    A large amount of time is then lost looking outside rather than trying to grown our plants in our own gardens.
    People have different talents and look for different things.
    If we are authentic and remain true to ourselves, other people will be attracted to us, or to our blogs, because of that and less for our looks or efficiency.
    Good reflection. I haven’t been through it not because I’m arrogant but just because I blog without intending to achieve anything but just enjoy myself.
    I cannot copy nor aspire to be anyone else but myself.

  13. I suffer from this at times too. Blog layout sometimes but mostly the community they have built. I know it takes time but I always want it to go faster. Glad I am not the only one.

    • I think a community is formed over a long period of time and will change lots. It does take hours and hours of work on a daily basis to do that, unless you get lucky!

  14. I’m very envious of those who are tech savvy. I’m a digital moron and it gets harder all the time to try to catch up. So I put my effort into the words I post, much time thinking about what I want to write.
    One day I’ll change the appearance of my blog, but right now, just trying to catch up on the personal business that’s keeping me from writing on my blog.
    So what do I envy about you? That you make the time to blog, and do a great job. I find your views fresh and compassionate, sometimes funny, always interesting.

    • Aww thanks Sharon, that’s a lovely thing to say! I’m nt very tech savvy either – I’m lucky that The Bloke is an IT technician and he has been able to teach me basic coding that helps with the placing of images sometimes…

  15. I can’t help comparing my blog to just about everyone else’s. I can be simultaneously thrilled at a blogging friend’s success and consumed with envy that it’s not me. It’s a sickness.

    • It’s not a sickness, it’s a natural reaction! I read a post recently about the successes a blog Ive followed since the start has had recently, and I couldn’t help but feel envious, despite it deserving every bit of it!

  16. Great post! so apropos so Yes!…blog-envy creeps ups every once in a while for me. Then it’s a constant… am I doing this right? This has to change! That has to change! why why why am I doing this? Then i get pointed to some sucky blog…and my head is right back in the middle of the pack again. πŸ™‚ I’m jealous of your name btw “Suzie Speaks” I love it! Great name – great blog! πŸ™‚

  17. Someone recently told me to focus on what I’m doing rather than everyone else and it has helped loads. I have also started to let my guard down a bit more and write stuff that I want to write about and am passionate about rather than what I think the people reading ‘x’ , ‘y’ and ‘z’s’ blog want to read. I also thought a lot about why I set up my blog in the first place as I think I started to lose sight for a while. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to other bloggers but at the end of the day all we can do is tell our own story.

  18. A great post. One that many will relate to.

    When I first started out, I used to feel envious of the way people seemed to write so much better than I could. Looking back, this was probably just my own insecurity. I feel more comfortable with my own unique writing style now, and don’t fret so much about poor punctuation and grammar – I’ll never be good at those things, but actually, I don’t feel like these things matter as much as developing a blogging voice and relating with others.

    Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Amanda! I think when I first started I was envious of the numbers, and I found that I would deliberately follow blogs that seemed more popular. Now, while I feel a lot more comfortable about myself I still get jealous of the content and ideas and don’t look at the stats… I think if a blog is interesting, poor grammar etc is easily ignored as the post itself is worth reading!

  19. Oh yes, I most definitely experience blog envy. Sometimes I will read a blog, look at the layout and think, That is such a great idea! I wish I had thought of it! Or, I couldn’t see mine looking like that but I wish it did. Some blogs look seamless; I don’t know how they do it! Cher xo

  20. Moments of self-doubt open doors to blog envy – and I’ve been there, done that. Great post. I always forget #4. I feel that as long as our blogs affects even one person in a positive way – be it through laughter, contemplation or a tug of the heart – then our labor was worth it. No envy needed.

  21. There is always a bigger fish in the sea. πŸ™‚ The thing is you don’t know how much time someone puts into their blog to get it the way it is. Yes, some people just have a natural talent for some things and I love admiring these talents, yes feel jealous at times – I admit. My blog is really not the most popular one, but it is defiantly filled with my own style.

    Be yourself everyone else is already taken!

  22. Another great post of advice. At first I thought it said bog envy which would have been interesting too. I don’t think I ever envy other blogs as such. I envy the ones that post heaps and just wish I had the time to do that too. You might not envy my blogs but you ma envy my bogs – I have 3 πŸ™‚

  23. I’m using my blog envy, along with the fact my kids have just gone back to school, as an impetus to really digging in and working on my blog, appearance as well as content. Thanks for helping that process along!

  24. OMG yes! Hard thing to admit out loud though. Your suggestions for dealing with it are really sensible. However, I don’t do sensible – I seem to prefer to beat myself up πŸ™‚ Seriously – the post is a good kick up the backside – thanks!

  25. Reblogged this on Gill's site and commented:
    Still not really what happens when you hit reblog! This is only the second time and I am not sure where the first one went! But this is so good I had to give it another go.

  26. I had blog envy and actually stopped writing altogether for over a year so I can identify with this. However I have come back with a new perspective on things and try to challenge myself. Comparison is the thief of joy.

  27. Wow…to be honest with you this is my fourth day of blogging. I just had a story I thought people might benefit from.
    I had no idea that this blogging thing was such a big deal. Now I’m wondering what have I gotten into?

  28. I have blog envy, and loads of it, all of the time. But I also have blog rage (for want of a better word) where I can’t believe people consistently produce bad posts but, like a car crash, I can’t look away. I know that makes me sound like a bitch (because I am LOL!) but I can’t help it – it makes me believe there’s a healthy balance of fabulous and shit and I sit somewhere comfortably in the middle πŸ™‚

    • Oh my gosh there’s a blog post in itself… I have wanted to write about that sort of thing for a while but the only thing that has stopped me is who is to say what is crap and what isn’t? I think it would open a whole box of angry bloggy worms…

  29. I think you make some great points. It’s natural for any writer to compare herself to her peers. When I read a really great blog post, I smile and think that the author hit it out of the park. That simply inspires me to kick a little more butt when I write my next post. πŸ™‚

  30. I get comment envy sometimes, but I perhaps more envy the wonderful minds which write so beautifully, more than anything. I have a few favourites for content, and I just imagine that their brains must be the most marvellous places full of intelligence and wonder.

    • Ooh I’m with you on that! There are some bloggers that are just on the money with how they interact with people, and I wish I had their sense of wit and articulation. I know what you mean about the content blogs too – I imagine it must be a place very similar to a Monty Python animated sketch…

      • I think they just incite people to respond, and somehow have the time and consistency to nurture those relationships so people continually come back.

        Monty Python I know nothing of…the bloggers I admire write like Fantasia fell in love with physics and they had the most incredibeautiful baby ever conceivable…

  31. Thanks Suzie! Wise words indeed! Wisdom to apply not only in our blogs but in our daily life!!! Thank you!!!

  32. I love my own theme and my layout. So no…I’m not envious of others blogs. I really like mine but do support the hard work of others. Its true that if you focus on your own, it develops on its own.

  33. I hope my Humor in my reply about the blackmail article did no come across as envy. I forget at times people often don’t think as I do. I’ve had to deal with other people assuming I mean something. I’m not saying you are at all. I just wanted to apologize if it did come across incorrectly.

  34. Sometimes I get these great ideas from other blog layouts but when I go to change mine I fall in love with it all over again. Looking at other layouts actually helps me to appreciate all the differences that make them unique.

    • That’s a really great way of looking at it – and I love the idea with continually falling in love with your own blog. It’s such a great feeling when you’ve created something you’re proud of!

  35. It’s interesting to read that others feel a bit envious at times. I always think that your posts are well worth reading and I appreciate all your efforts to encourage and support others. I really appreciate seeing different layouts, topics and niche blog posts and value the uniqueness of everyone’s offerings. I’m happy doing what I do and am honestly surprised at times that I even get any readers, let alone comments. Good post to get people commenting!

    • I think it’s great that you’re happy with what you’re doing – there are so many that aren’t! Thanks so much for the lovely comment too, I’m flattered!

  36. I admit that I suffer from blog envy too. I wish that I was as articulate and versatile. I deal with it by stretching myself to do more, like writing a Haiku, for example. One day I intend to have a go at Flash Fiction too! πŸ™‚

  37. UGH! Its so true isn’t it–we get your blog in our email daily, and I’m often jealous of you! I was actually going to write a similar post inspired by that thought, and LL wrote one that is coming up that beat me to the punch! Anyway… we adore you and your blogs, and will do our best not to be jealous!
    Please come spread your amazing blog via ours this weekend! We’re having a blog party this weekend and would LOVE for you to stop by and share your blog with our readers! (And if you want to “bring” any of your friends or readers, we’d LOVE to see them, too! The more the merrier!) The link won’t be live until Friday–but here’s your “invite” to the party:
    http://liveclarelesleyblog.com/2015/08/21/blog-party-aug-21-23/
    BIG HUGS,
    LCL

  38. I don’t necessarily envy other blogs (OK, maybe it tiny bit?) but I have huge admiration for those who manage to capture thousands of followers or even hundreds of readers and engage big amounts of comments. I’m new to the blogging world, so I look up to the stars of blogging (in my mind) – such as yourself, Suzie, and hope to one day achieve the success.

    • Aww thanks Amina! I feel bad that I have difficulty keeping up with comments at times, but the comments are the best part of the process! I’ve made some lovely friends and have been lucky enough to meet them in real life too! Focus on talking to people rather than the stats…

      • Thanks for the advice. And not to mention for taking the time to answer because not all “big bloggers” do…

      • im not a big blogger by any means, but any blogger should reply to as many comments as possible – If someone has taken the time to write something, the blogger should be flattered and it deserves a response… I’m not as quick as I should be but I’m getting there!

  39. I might have been suffering from blog envy, if not for the fact that my blog is a niche blog, and in my exact niche I have very little competition.
    And even when I might feel envious of a blog’s success, all I have to do to feel better is to remind myself that success takes a lot of work. A. Lot. Of. Work. Then I unleash my laziness instinct.

  40. I can definitely relate to this! Not only am I jealous of the way people write and their blog layouts, but also unfortunately their statistics. It makes me feel like I am going nowhere! This was a very helpful post though, and it has definitely helped me put my envy into perspective. Thank you xxx

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