I’ve been a blogger for over three years and I’ve seen the industry shift and transform over and over again. Blogging is the best thing I’ve ever stumbled into, and I’ve had the incredible opportunity to help so many other bloggers during their journeys, too.
In the last three years I’ve seen bloggers stumble into the same traps over and over again, and there is one that stands out more than anything else:
Worrying too much with what everyone else is doing.
With the exception of writing this post, I have one main philosophy when it comes to blogging: stay in your lane.
Warning: There is some tough love in this post, but the keyword here is love. I want us all to succeed and be happy with our journeys as bloggers.
Don’t worry about what this blogger is doing, or how that blogger is “undermining the blogging industry.” Focus on your blog and your goals and pay no mind to what everyone else is doing.
If another blogger is doing follow unfollow on Instagram? That might float their boat, it doesn’t mean it has to float yours. They’re writing like a bajillion blog posts for the Nordstrom Sale? Don’t read posts you’re not interested in. They’re participating in unpaid collaborations? Maybe they aren’t interested in the stress and deadlines that comes with doing higher level campaigns.
You get the point.
Getting upset based on what other people are doing does you no good. You can complain in Facebook groups and subtweet all day long but that gets you nowhere.
In fact, you may end up alienating other bloggers who otherwise would look up to you.
Let me set the scene: Imagine a new blogger who is totally stoked that she just landed her first brand collaboration. It’s not paid, but they’re getting $500 worth of clothes—more than they usually spend on clothes in a year.
They’ve pinched themselves a dozen times since getting confirmation on the collab and they are smiling ear to ear.
They open up Twitter and the first thing they see is a series of tweets from their favorite blogger with rolly-eye emojis talking about how bloggers who accept product as payment are ruining the blogging industry for everyone else. The tweets are sharp and unsympathetic and this blogger went from floating on air to feeling like she just got sucker punched.[bctt tweet=”There is no right way to be a blogger—everyone is at a different place chasing different goals. http://bit.ly/2ubKusm”]
Remember: Just because someone doesn’t follow the same blogging blueprint that you do doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong.
The idea that a handful of behaviors can actually have this catastrophic impact on the blogging industry is silly. Blogging is an ever changing industry, and just because other bloggers aren’t molding their corner of the interwebs in your vision doesn’t mean they’re doing something wrong or bad.
Everyone has their own goals and motivations with their own blog. You may be focused on growing a large and engaged audience, Sally Sue may be focused on generating enough income to send her little ones to dance classes.
Everyone has a different goal and everyone is going to be taking different steps to reach that goal.
If you focus your energy into reaching your goals instead of stressing about other bloggers you’re going to be so much happier. There are tens of thousands of bloggers who are managing to be successful in a blogosphere full of follow unfollow and fake followers. Chances are they got there by focusing on themselves. And maybe they are also partaking in one of the behaviors you deem as unacceptable for bloggers. Well, different strokes for different folks, my friend.
Normally I’m not one to dole out tough love, but I’ve seen so many bloggers (even some bloggers I really admire!) fall into the vicious cycle of trying to define the blogging industry as it suits them and cast shame on bloggers who do not fit their ideal mold.
There is room for everyone to be successful and reach their goals. Follow the journey that is most comfortable for you, and allow others to do the same.