1 March 2013, 11:30
Photo by Shell De Mar.
Hey, blogger babe: this is part seven of a ten-part series, in which I tell you my top tips for kickstarting your blog & pushing it to the next level. Have a read of the other pieces in the series by clicking on the blogging tag! Enjoy!
It seems that everywhere I look, proto-bloggers have a singular goal. They want to be the next Fashion Toast, the next Bagsnob, or “the Problogger of food bloggers”.
It’s natural to look at other people who have found success and wonder how best to emulate that. Certainly, there is a lot to be learned from other people’s triumphs and failures: why reinvent the wheel, after all?
But the problem with wanting to be, say, “the next Sartorialist”, is that you’re unconsciously limiting yourself. You’re narrowing your focus too much. Your vision becomes small, coloured by anything and everything Scott Schuman has ever achieved.
And you know what? The world already has a Sartorialist. It’s been done. What the world needs is something brand spanking new and individual: something only you can create and provide.
That’s what I want to focus on today.
It’s not just about emulating others. It’s about envy and comparison, too. One of the major stumbling blocks for every blogger is that we are constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else.
It’s hard not to, really, when your Twitter feed is full of everyone else’s highlights. You must remember that you’re only ever seeing the “best of” on Twitter. Not many people are tweeting about the fight they had with their husband and their money woes! It’s human nature to want to appear to have it all together, and nowhere is this more apparent than on Twitter!
So, the next time you’re feeling bad about your life and Twitter puts you into a shame spiral, repeat after me: Twitter is not reality!
But the worst thing about all of this is that often, the things that make us feel substandard are things that aren’t important at all. We wish we were shot by more street style photographers, perhaps, or maybe we look at campaigns with a sense of envy. You might love to have a photographer boyfriend like Rumi, or think your life would be complete if you were invited to fabulous events like Susie Bubble.
Humans are notoriously bad at predicting what will make them happy. So while you may dream of being an A-list blogger and sitting in the front row at Paris Fashion Week, once you get there, you might realise it’s not all that.
The thing that’s most upsetting is that we don’t seem to get envious over the really important things. What are the important things in blogging, you might ask? Well, to me, the things that matter most are good writing; high-quality images; truly original content; connecting with your readers in a meaningful way; having a sense of purpose; and your blog being a resource, a place that helps other people.
As long as we’re comparing ourselves to one another, we can’t expect to make much progress. If we continue to contrast ourselves against our peers, we lose sight of our own unique spark. When we try to emulate others, we dilute our own magical essence.
None of these things bring us any closer to a sense of fulfillment, happiness or real growth.
In a nutshell: be yourself. That’s what the blogosphere really needs, and it’s exactly what will enable you to expand your blog to the stars and beyond.