Over the past 5 years, the saturation of the blog-o-sphere surged to new heights. Blogs are no longer the online diary we kept for a 5th grade English project, neither are they reserved for the elite people with a seemingly endless bank account. The ability to create a quality blog is much more accessible now, and that’s great!
Except for the competition, that is.
Since the blog-o-sphere is so open, it’s easy to compare yourself to other bloggers you may follow. Why did she get to collaborate with that brand? How did he get 10,000 followers just by posting pictures of his food? Why are my page views so low?
Try as we might, these thoughts are pretty much unavoidable. As human beings, it’s written in our DNA to compete with each other. Only now instead of competing for dinner, we’re competing for publicity.
I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t have the best numbers in the world. I don’t have a “k” next to my Instagram follow count, my page views are by no means extraordinary, and I don’t make a whole lot of money off this blog. Sure, it can be a bit frustrating, but I always end up reminding myself why I do this, and hint: it’s not about the numbers.
A number is just that – a number
Think of your numbers like your weight. The Instagram Following Scale blinks and you’re not satisfied with the result. Just like a typical scale, it doesn’t go into detail, leaving you to think you’re in worse shape than you actually are.
A typical scale doesn’t include muscle mass, proportions, measurements, or anything like that, which are honestly more important than your weight. Little did you know, you shed that 5 pounds of fat, only to gain it back in muscle. That’s a significant improvement, but your scale doesn’t know the difference.
Same goes with any generic number you see. That number doesn’t include an engagement percentage, which is much more important than how many people follow you. Think about it this way: What’s the point of having 10k followers if only 100 of them interact with you?
This is a great tool to use to find out your Instagram engagement: Influence by Hypetap
Authenticity is far more important
I want you to ask yourself a few questions:
Do you like the content you’re putting out?
Does your voice shine through what you write?
Are you being authentic?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, you may need to rethink. You shouldn’t be forcing out content just to get it out in the world! You know that phrase quality over quantity? Yeah, it applies to blogging, too.
Just like people can tell if a shirt came from Forever 21 as opposed to Nordstrom, people can tell when you’re half-assing a blog post. Take it from someone who used to write all of her blog posts the night before they were published: they weren’t all that great and it showed. Just because I was posting more didn’t mean that more people would see it. In fact, it can damage your brand if you focus on quantity instead of quality.
Don’t publish 5 blog posts a week if you don’t have it in you. Don’t post a photo to Instagram if you’re not happy with it. If you stop stressing about the numbers and start curating, everything will fall into place.
I value my happiness more than my analytics
Yeah, it would be nice to make a living off my blog. I wouldn’t mind an extra 500 Instagram followers or 10 Twitter followers, or 50 more Facebook likes, but that’s not why I’m in the game. I’m in the game because I like to connect with other people. I like to share my thoughts and express my creativity through words and photos, and a blog is the perfect place to do that.
I’m not into blogging to make a career out of it. I totally respect (and kind of bow down) to the people who DO make a career out of it, because it’s awesome! But I also have to remember that they got there through hard work and publishing things that make them happy, not just want everyone wants to see.
Next time you get a bit disgruntled about a number or if a peer has more followers than you, I hope you think about it in the grand scheme of things. Are you happy with the content you’re putting out? If so, you don’t need to change a thing.
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