Last week I was visited by the Green Eyed Blog Monster. She’d been lurking in the shadows quite a while, but on Thursday without warning she appeared from nowhere to send me into a proper meltdown.
Here’s what the Blog Monster said:
- You’re not getting anywhere with this blogging thing.
- You’re NEVER going to get anywhere.
- Why don’t you have more followers?
- Why don’t you have HER followers?
- Why does that blurred picture of a coffee on Instagram have 106 favourites in 10 minutes and the photo you couldn’t wait to share got 36 likes period?
- Everyone else is posting about how they doubled their followers. Why is yours stuck?
- Maybe you should just give up on Snapchat, it’s for people to show off the ridiculously fabulous party/boat/event/holiday they’re on, not your cats.
- Why didn’t YOU get that box of Benefit Brow goodies? Everyone else did.
- You know, however well you do, other people are always one step ahead. Doesn’t that bother you?
- Wait, you’re over thirty and you couldn’t even get shortlisted for a Thirty Plus Blog Award? Hahahaha. QUIT NOW.
You see, my Blog Monster likes to compare. And, as much as I don’t like to admit it, the Blog Monster is part of me.
Why I DO compare and why it’s okay to aspire to more
I know that I’m not supposed to care about numbers and that I shouldn’t compare my own blogging journey to others but it’s really bloody hard sometimes, especially when you see the people who started at the same time as you on a stratospheric rise and your blog seems to just be plodding along.
Here are some simple, unavoidable truths about why I DO care and why it’s okay to aspire to more.
The more followers you have (and I’m talking genuine followers, not bought ones!) the more likely you are to:
- Get page views
- Have posts shared to a bigger audience
- Get MORE followers (because the irony is that the more followers you have, the more of an endorsement it is to other people to click follow too!)
- Be approached for opportunities (you can do an absolutely blinding post but if no one’s going to see it, you’re not as likely to be noticed/approached)
- Win public votes and awards (I hope that doesn’t sound controversial, but you know what? It’s true!)
I have no plans to quit my day job and I don’t make any money from blogging (in fact I spend a fair bit to keep it running!) so things like a loyal, growing following, shares and comments and brilliant experiences are the things that make me feel rewarded and supported and like I should carry on. And I think it’s okay to admit to that.
I also know that some people will read this and think: I really don’t know what she’s going on about, she’s really lucky! I’ve seen all of the wonderful freebies and events she’s been to that I would have given my right arm to get invited to. Stop comparing!
But that’s the thing about the Blog Monster, it’s never satisfied despite what we achieve (and yes, I’m INCREDIBLY grateful for everything so far by the way!!!). There’s always someone or something else to compare yourself to.
I don’t even know where I’m going with this post, other than that I wanted to share it because the Blog Awards season has started and whilst it can be fun and exciting and make people feel amazing, not everyone can win and it can also lead to disappointment and comparisons and people feeling like they don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. So I suppose what I’m trying to say is, It’s okay, I feel it too!
So what to do about it? How do I cope when I get an attack of the Blog Monster?
Step one: I get it off my chest.
Not on social media, HELL NO! But sometimes just voicing my hopes and fears and frustrations out loud to an understanding friend helps me to sort through what is genuinely getting me down and what is simply a silly little niggle. (I have one particular friend who is really good at telling me when I’m being a self absorbed, nonsensical prat).
Step two: I step away from social media.
The easiest way to stop comparing is to have nothing to compare to. If you’re feeling an attack of the Blog Monster loom, don’t pore over social media making yourself feel even worse, go and watch Netflix for a bit, make yourself a cuppa, take a bath… whatever helps you to clear your head.
Step three: Let it make you stronger.
Once I’ve indulged in a pity party, I dust myself off and tell the Blog Monster to go shove it! Then I go out and MAKE things happen. I’d go so far as to say that when I feel frustrated or knocked back, it just makes me more determined to do more and do better.
It’s easier said than done I know, but to get anywhere with a blog these days takes persistence, determination and effort. Quitters never win and winners never quit!
Step four: Celebrate other’s success, don’t begrudge them it.
Remember that the people who have ‘made it’, the ones with those million instagram likes a second or the ones who’ve just gone on a press trip more than likely earned it through their own hard work and determination! By all means, it’s okay to feel jealous, but don’t let it lead to resentment or begrudge others their opportunities.
Celebrate and support other’s successes, just as you’d want them to celebrate yours.
Do you have a Blog Monster? How do you deal with it?