Caravan Sonnet: 6 Ways to Stop the Comparison Game and Love Your Blog

9/7/15

6 Ways to Stop the Comparison Game and Love Your Blog

Last week I shared "5 Ways to Stop the Comparison Game and Love Your Life". Although I only received a few comments in public on the post I received many more emails with people expressing the difficulty that they have with comparing their not only their life, but their blog and social media lives to someone else and asking how to overcome the envy or comparison game in that specific area. I am not an expert but as I am coming up on my third year of blogging in January, am entering my fourth fall of being primarily home bound, living with my parents, and having nothing that resembles a "normal" life at my age, I have learned a lot of lessons (the hard way) regarding the topic of comparison, especially in bloggy world (as I affectionately call it). Here are six tips that I use and hope it will encourage you to stop the comparison game and love your blog and social media life:
1. Write for You
I shared this in my "two year blogging advice" post in January, but it truly is one of the best ways to stop the comparison game and love your own blog and social media presence. Write about what you are passionate about, what you are processing, what you are struggling with, what makes you cry and laugh, and share your heart with the world. So MANY bloggers that I knew at the beginning of this journey that were writing and now don't told me that they simply got burned out because they tried to fit into a "mold" to get a following. Write for you and I promise that while you may hit "writers block" or feel like you have nothing to say, you will not feel burned out and you will not feel that you have to compare your blog to someone else's. 

Look as a writer I can tell you that there is always going to be someone that can write better, take better photos, is funnier, smarter, etc, etc, etc. If you spend all of your energy on comparing yourself to someone else instead of sharing your story and your blog we as your readers will miss out on an incredible opportunity. Your story matters. Your blog matters. 
2. Don't try to "fit in" Where You Are not Welcome. 
I have received so many emails from bloggers who feel "left out" in blogging world. Honestly for as much as I read about building community in bloggy world, I receive triple the amount of emails from ladies who are hurt because they can't seem to "fit in". Honestly, trying to fit in can sometimes feel like an episode of mean girls. Let's be honest. I have had this happen to me so many times in bloggy world where I have approached some "well known" bloggers and tried to collaborate with them for certain projects. Y'all, I have been told everything in the books: "I would love to, but your not married" or "Your social media following is not big enough" or "You just don't have artistic talent" or "Your blog is too small for my following" or my "favorite one": "Your following is just not big enough to have an impact for Jesus"... and the list goes on and on and on. 

A couple of years ago this saying went around bloggy world and there is a ring of truth to it- hahaha!
Yes, there have been a few tears behind the scenes, but instead of trying to fit in where we are not welcome and compare ourselves to a certain "bloggy standard" (that the rest of the world who is not blogging doesn't understand!) lets focus on our lives, our blogs, our friendships, and our dreams for our websites. Don't take it personally (yes, it hurts) but instead move on and create your own welcoming circle of encouraging each other in this crazy process. 
3. Limit Social Media
I shared this last week and some of you bloggers have your mouth dropped open that I would even suggest to limit social media. But y'all, when I shared the statistics of how much time is spent on social media, I am going to suggest again that part of the issue with dealing with comparing our blog lives to others is the amount of precious time we give to social media, looking at other bloggers "perfect" lives.

Look, as I said last week, I love social media, especially with fighting for my health right now because it allows me to connect with others outside my home, stay in close contact with friends and family, and make new friendships. From a work standpoint (which is how I approach my blog) I can also book speaking engagementsrun a boutique and an etsy shop from my home, and promote my books that I have authored

BUT, I am the first one to say that I am very very purposeful with how I spend my time in regards to social media. Because I treat my blog (and its components - which social media is one) as a business, I schedule the amount of time that I am on my social media sites. I also take purposeful time away from social media on Sundays, as I shared in my post about my "old fashioned Sundays". At first I would time myself with this area to get into a habit and not it is just second nature. I really suggest in my blog tips and advice organizing time each week (not each day) on various social media sites, I also highly recommend limiting the amount of social media sites you are on. As I said last week I do believe that you can have a health balance with using social media for your blog, but if you are struggling with the comparison game than taking a step back from social media can be a really helpful tool. Instead of spending hours looking at how great someone else's life "supposedly is" build into your own life and blog.
4. Develop a mission statement.  
One piece of advice that I give all bloggers who ask me is to develop a "mission statement" for your blog. For me, Caravan Sonnet, only posts blog posts that "strive to encourage people to grow in their relationship with the Lord, inspire people to live life fully and beautifully, and posts that would encourage others to take the time to delight in the beauty of ordinary days". Under this I have decided that the topics that I post about will be about travel, health, scripture, creativity, my writing, and my shop. This mission statement sometimes morphs and changes in a few minor ways, but it has helped me make the decision of what I will and won't do in bloggy world. Its made it incredibly easy to turn down certain offers and collaborations and opened the doors to lasting friendships and a blog that I know I would want to read forty years down the road. I truly believe having a mission statement also helps remove the feelings of comparison as you focus on your calling for your blog and not someone else's. 
5. Make Decisions for You and Your Blog
I really believe that you need to make decisions for you and your blog alone. This will save you tons of time in comparing yourself to another blogger. Remember your mission statement and make decisions for your blog depending on your mission statement. There is sometimes a "big conversation" about whether you need to have your blog be "a hobby" or "a business". After blogging for a couple of years now I can honestly say that I see this conversation "come full circle" in bloggy world. Some people will say that you need to "choose" one or the other and that you need to make a huge list of changes for your blog depending on which way you are going to go.

 Honestly, in some very small cases this is true but in reality I have found that figuring out what works for you is always best. When I first started blogging everyone was switching from Wordpress to Blogger. Now? I see it the opposite. I was told by a well-meaning blogger lady last summer that I "HAD" to switch to Wordpress otherwise I had issues and my blog would not be successful. I was in a panic for like 2.2 seconds until I realized that I "didn't have" to do anything. I researched, talked with lots and lots of bloggers who have been around for 4+ years, read tons of information on both sides of the fence, and decided that for me personally I could not afford the financial investment into switching. I shared this with the blogger who had said I "had" to switch and the response I received was "you must not value your blog". Listen, I am really happy for those that can do that, but I have heard from  a lot of bloggers who paid $200+ to make switches between platforms that they never "came out even" with the money. My blog does not make money. I don't sell sponsorships, I take very limited sponsor ads (I accepted three last year) and I don't join in on opportunities where I could make a lot of money with my blog. 

That does not mean that I don't value it. It simply means that I am doing what is best for me and my blog. It makes me so sad to see that I am not the only one who has received "advice" like this. I have seen a lot of great bloggers who have gotten played into this comparison game and ended up getting "burned out" and "frustrated" with blogging because of pressure they feel from others. Listen, I love blogging and use a variety of different sites for different things that I do. I love blogger for right now for my blog, I use squarespace for my personal website, wix for Grace Engaged, and have a very personal and private blog on wordpress. Make decisions that are right for you and your blog - it will save you a lot of comparison and envy time and save a lot of frustration!
6. Don't Worry About Not Having the Financial Resources to Make Your Blog "Successful"
One of the biggest ways that bloggers spend time comparing themselves is in the ability of some bloggers to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a blog. Most of us do not have that kind of money to spend. From instagram loop giveaways to giveaways on blogs to sponsorships to blog classes to photo editing software to website design to blog conferences to you name it the list goes on and on. Recent studies are showing that many bloggers spend upwards of $5 to $20 thousand dollars a year!!

Y'all if you have that kind of money to spend on your blog that is fine, but for most people that is just not a reality. For me it is absolutely not a reality. Honestly there was a giveaway opportunity that I just had an opportunity to be apart of and the buy in was $2 and I had to turn it down as I am trying to fundraise for my medical trip to California. Yes, I turned down a $2 buy in, because for me right now that is what I have to do. Maybe you are in a similar situation. You read about all of these things that bloggers are doing and spending money on and you wonder if your blog can ever be important if you don't have the financial resources your blog won't be successful. You spend time researching and comparing all of the amazing opportunities other bloggers have because they appear to have more financial capability. 

Stop Worrying. 

I promise that even without all of the things I listed above people are doing your blog can and will have a influence and be successful. If you feel like you want to utilize finances towards your blog why not create a 12 month or 18 month plan to save to get to the conference you want to or to purchase the photo editing software you want? No matter what friends, your blog can have an impact. Don't compare yourself to what someone else can spend, instead continue to develop your blog at your own pace and at a financial budget for you.
6. Give to Others
I said this last week, but this is especially true for bloggy world and the goal to end the comparison game. Give to others. Think of ways that creatively engage your heart and your life and give back to others. Two ways that I do this are through my "buy a book, change a life" program and the newly launched The Novel Garden Crate


Give your time in bloggy world too in thoughtful responses to messages, helping new bloggers take off and get started, and support each other. Sometimes it seems that bloggers do not want to help other bloggers because of petty jealous and an the assumption that giving help will diminish their personal "following". HOW sad. Give to others friends and let me assure you that giving changes your perspective. Not just for the person who is the receiver, but for us as the "givers". Your kindness can change the course of someones life and nothing can compare to that friends. 

What are your tips for stopping the comparison game and loving your blog? I would love to hear! 

(PS- I receive a lot of emails asking where this journal came from and where you can purchase it. This is a custom altered sunrise journal that can be found in my Etsy shop HERE!) 

31 comments:

  1. These are all great. I especially agree with you on "writing for you", not worrying about fitting in, and limiting social media!

    Thanks for being so honest with this post :)

    xxox
    Laura @ Cook, Wine and Thinker!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts Laura!! :) I so appreciate your words of encouragement!! Thank you again!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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  2. Oh you are so right! They also need to stop selling out! Stay true to yourself and what your blog is about! That's one of the reason we have not monetized yet and yet could have a long time ago. We refuse to sell out for a few cents by agreeing to sponsorships and ads that don't fit our vision!
    Cynthia @craftoflaughter

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Cynthia! :) I definitely agree with you about the concept of "selling out". Great point! I really think everyone needs to do what is best for their blog, but it does sadden me to see sometimes the "selling out" that can take place! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)
      p.s. I would love to have replied directly to you but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I look forward to connecting more in the future!!

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  3. These are awesome!!! So true such a good reminder!

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    1. Aww thanks lady for stopping by and taking the time to comment!! :) SOOO inspired by your blog!!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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  4. Oh my gosh yes! This is really well timed! I came to similar realisations earlier this week... I was planning on having this picture perfect birthday blog post. In the end my pictures were beautiful, but my birthday had been an utter disaster. I realised, I was just going to liberate myself from the expectation of perfection and be real. Not surprisingly, the response I got from that post was overwhelmingly positive. It can be so hard when we want to craft perfection online, but I love what you said above about making decisions for yourself and your blog. Honesty can be totally freeing. :) via Young Rubbish

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to share your story!! I love this example and can totally relate as so many times I want to share a "picture perfect" event but it never works out. Hahaha! Honesty is TOTALLY freeing. Thank you for sharing your story and stopping by and taking the time to comment!!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)
      p.s. I would love to have replied directly to you but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I look forward to connecting more in the future!!

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  5. I needed to read this! As much as I'm trying to be a paid full-time blogger, I need to always remember to write for myself. It's hard to not compare yourself, especially when you're trying so hard and getting nothing in return. I also love that saying!! too funny! Thank you for sharing. Really, a great read and encouragement.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment Summer!! :) I TOTALLY understand what you are saying when you talk about the desire to be a paid full-time blogger and yet, writing for yourself. It is definitely something that I feel is a fine tightrope walk! :) I definitely agree that the comparison game for those of us that are trying to make this a career can be difficult as we pour our hearts into this and are "getting nothing in return". Keep going girl! Your blog is fabulous and you are definitely going to make it!! Isn't that saying hilarious?!? I laughed so hard when I first saw it years ago and thought it was classic. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and stopping by!!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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  6. To be honest, I've never compared my blog to any other. In fact when I started reading other people's blogs, I learned much more about blogging. I just enjoy writing and sharing the love. It's a committed thing between me and my blog! Great article. :)

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    1. Aishwarya, Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! I love hearing your perspective and TOTALLY agree with you that we can learn so much from each other- that is definitely how I feel! Good for you for not getting caught up in the comparison game. We all are unique and each of our stories and blogs matter!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)
      p.s. I would love to have replied directly to you but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I look forward to connecting more in the future!!

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  7. I love your blog!
    This is a wonderful list. I recently had to pass up a $5 buy in, and I felt so silly. I eventually want my blog to be my career, without losing my mission to write so that others can see Christ. That is very hard when you have no money to put into. But I know that if I work hard on my actual content, for God's glory, God will carry it exactly where it needs to go. Patience just isn't my most outstanding quality ;)

    Kristin // thepeculiartreasureblog.com

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    1. Kristin, Thank you so much for your sweet comment and for taking the time to share a little bit about your heart! I can definitely understand passing up the $5 buy in as I passed up the $2 option! *smiles*. My biggest encouragement to you is to keep praying, keep writing for the Lord, and continue to dedicate your space to Him and He will bring blessings. I have seen the Lord do amazing things even though I do not have the money to spend as much as I might want to on my blog and am confident He is using yours for His glory. Keep going girl!! Cheering you on!
      Blessings, Rebecca
      p.s. I would love to have replied directly to you but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I look forward to connecting more in the future!!

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  8. I definitely don't compare my blog to anyone else's. I am 100% a believer in the idea that everyone has their unique story to share--no one else is just like me, though there's lots of people who can relate to little, small aspects of my story, like being a TCK or an expat or getting married as a teenager or learning/speaking foreign languages or homeschooling...etc. And that's why I write. Because though most people will never understand exactly who I am--they can understand or relate to a small piece, and in that small area, I can be a blessing and encouragement.
    And I feel no need to spend money on blogging. I bought a professional design last year from a blogger friend, and I'm glad I did, but most of the spending money things isn't worth it to me. Giveaways aren't what I want to achieve with my blog, writing my stories is.
    I certainly do feel like an oddball in the blogging world at times, but that's what's so cool, we're all so very, very different, and yet have certain similarities that bind us together.
    I am a little individualistic though, and I don't ever have guest posts or colleborations--anyone else's writing on my blog. I have occasionally gotten requests to post a guest post, even though I state on one of my blog info pages that I don't accept them. I hope no one ever has their feelings hurt by my refusal--it's not personal, it's just me. My blog is "The Random Writings of Rachel"--it doesn't make sense to me to have anyone else's words underneath that header. :)

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    1. Rachel,

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and also sharing about your experiences. It is so lovely to read your perspective so I so appreciate you taking the time to share in detail with me! Good for you for not getting caught up in the comparison game and creating your mission and personal decisions for your blog! We all are all unique and each of our blogs and stories matter! Thank you for sharing yours!

      Blessings, Rebecca

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  9. Amen! It is so hard not to compare yourself when you see other blogging constantly posting about what they are doing and how well they are doing it. I have come to understand how to love my own blog and do what works best for me!

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    1. That is awesome Amanda!! :) I agree with you that it can be hard not to compare ourselves when everyone is constantly sharing what they are doing and I am like- yea, I have a blog post scheduled! hahaha! :) I love that we each can do something unique and special for our own blogs- which creates a wonderful community and opportunities for our own experiences. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and stopping by!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)
      p.s. I would love to have replied directly to you but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I look forward to connecting more in the future!!

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  10. This is beautiful, YOU are beautiful, and your words are encouraging so many:) xoxo Katie

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment Katie! :) Your words are so sweet and a blessing!! :) I hope that the start of this last semester of grad school (yea!!) is going well! I remember that last semester well - so many emotions and so lovely! Praying for this special time! :)
      Blessings, Rebecca

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  11. This is great! I've definitely fallen victim to the blog comparison game and it's not fun! We just have to remind ourselves why we're blogging! Thank you for sharing! :)

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    1. Kaycie, Thank you so much for your sweet words and sharing and for taking the time to leave a comment. I love what you said about "we just have to remind ourselves why we're blogging". LOVE that! :) I truly believe that each person and their blog has a unique and wonderful story and influence to have. When we each focus on that I truly believe that removes the comparison game! :) Thanks again for stopping by and commenting!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca
      p.s. I would love to have replied directly to you but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I look forward to connecting more in the future!!

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  12. These are some really great points. When I feel the desire to compare it's usually because I'm not passionate about what I am writing. When I realign and remind myself why I am even doing all of this, the need to compare really goes away.

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    1. I LOVE that you pointed this out Catherine!! I TOTALLY agree with you. When we are writing what we are passionate about I truly believe that there is no competition at that point in time! :) The joy of writing is the blessing in my opinion!!
      :) Blessings, Rebecca
      p.s. I would love to have replied directly to you but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I look forward to connecting more in the future!!

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  13. Comparison is the thief of joy right? Love this post be we can easily get sucked into thinking that we arent good enough. Yet we fail to realize that we only have to be better than we were in the past. We need to focus on just sticking to our own goals and not trying to meet others' ideas of perfection or stats.

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    1. I totally agree Anne- comparison does steal our joy! What a sad thief it is too!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment and share your thoughts! I totally agree with what you said! :) Thank you for encouraging me today!
      Blessings, Rebecca

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  14. Yes. 100xs yes. Writing for you, authentically is what matters. But that comparison game is so hard. My favorites from your list are limiting social media - what a difference this makes! And honestly, when I limit it I spend more time on things that I love and grow me - which makes me a better writer which helps to continue growing my blog! Beautiful! And give to others. In blogging and all things. Love your heart.

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    1. Ashley, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by, read my post, and leave a comment! I love that you pointed out that by limiting social media you have more time to spend on things that you love and growth for ourselves. I agree with you that that makes us better writers! :) I shared a little bit more about that here: http://www.caravansonnet.com/2015/08/5-ways-to-stop-comparison-game-and-love.html and believe it fits perfectly for our blog lives as well! :) Thank you so much again for stopping by and for your encouragement! :) I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)
      p.s. I would love to have emailed you back directly but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I look forward to connecting more with you in the future!

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  15. I agree with Laura. Thank you for the beautiful reminder of "writing for you." As a new blogger myself, I'm finding every day how important it is to stay focused and stay true to who you are. The world doesn't need a bunch of bloggers who are identical because they're all trying to be like each one another. Instead, the beauty of blogging is getting to tell your story, your way. Others will benefit from your authenticity and appreciate that you did.

    I'm also interested in your book about the Single Journey! I'm sure there's some great stuff in it : )

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    1. Christina,
      First, congratulations on starting this blog journey!! It is a wonderful experience and adventure and I can't wait to check out your blog - could you email me (caravansonnet@gmail.com) with the title? Second, yes, stay true to yourself as your story and your blog do matter!! :) Thank you so much for stopping by and for your sweet encouragement and comment about my single book! I would love to hear your thoughts!
      I look forward to connecting more with you in the future!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)
      p.s. I would love to have emailed you back directly but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I look forward to connecting more with you in the future!

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  16. Great tips! Saving these for the future!

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