One of the biggest traps both new and established bloggers fall into is the comparison trap. I want to talk with you today about why you should only compete with yourself on your blog.
There will always be someone better than you, and there will always be someone worse than you, so instead of focusing on how successful your blog is compared to others, instead ask yourself, “Is my blog better today than it was yesterday? Has my traffic increased? Has my bounce rate decreased, and is my list growing?” (You may have other things you need to pay attention to, but you get the idea!)
Sure, maybe progress is slower than you would like it to be, but as long as you’re making progress, you know that you’re at least heading in the right direction.
It’s also important to realize that even with hard work, you may not always see the results you want, at least not at first. Such lack of results can lead to discouragement.
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever be concerned about a lack of improvement, but what I want you to focus on are the things you can completely control.
Here are a few aspects of your blog that you can completely control:
1. Blog consistently.
We all know that “life” happens, but even if life gets in the way sometimes, except in rare cases, you should be able to make a commitment to blog a certain number of days in a week or month and stick with it.
So while you may not be able to completely control the amount of traffic that each blog post receives, or the number of comments you receive, you can indeed control how frequently you blog.
This brings me to my next point regarding what you can control:
2. Give a clear call to action.
As I mentioned in the point above, you may not be able to control the number of comments that you get on your blog, but you can control whether or not you are encouraging comments on your blog, by always including a call to action.
To do so, at the end of every blog post, your last couple of sentences should ask the reader to take some type of action such as leave a comment, share their thoughts, answer a question or give an opinion.
3. Create quality content.
Quality for you or quality for me may be different from quality content that someone else creates. The bottom line is that we all have differing levels of ability and experience. So while I may or may not be as good or as bad at creating content as the next guy, I should always strive to create the very best quality content I can. And so should you.
If you’re weak in areas such as grammar, brush up on it using free lessons on sites such as English Grammar 101.
Not great at certain types of content? Keep working to improve. As an example, I am fairly new to audio posts, video posts, and to creating graphics. I’m aware of the fact that I’m lacking in certain areas of content creation, and if I compared my efforts to some, I’d be left discouraged and want to quit. The important thing is I’m doing my best to improve and grow. And that’s really all I’m asking you to do as well.
Again, this goes back to not comparing yourself with others, but striving to improve and put forth your best effort in everything you do.
4. Engage with others.
We often focus on the engagement or lack of engagement on our blogs to the degree that our self-focus keeps us from reaching out to and helping others.
Though you can’t really “make” other people engage with your blog and other social media platforms, you can very much control the amount of engagement you pour out on others. You know the old saying, “to have a friend, be a friend.” The same is true when it comes to engagement – if you want others to engage with you, first focus on engaging with them. Do it with a heart to give, rather than a heart to receive, and in due time, people will begin to engage with you as well.
These are just a few ideas of how you can take your blog, social media and other aspects of content creation into your own hands. Stop comparing yourself with others and stewing about what you can’t control and instead, pour your heart into what you can control.
As you begin to focus on doing the right thing with the things that are within your control, you’ll find that things that may seem out of your grasp, such as increasing blog traffic, fall into place.
What about you? Do you sometimes get frustrated because you don’t quite measure up to other bloggers? Have you ever tried focusing on the things you can control, rather than stewing about the things that are not completely within your control? Tell me all about it in the comment section below. I truly look forward to hearing how you approach this topic and any tips or struggles you might have.