8 min read
Competition is huge. People feel it.
I think we fear competition most because our work is so personal to us – especially as bloggers. When we’ve put so much love and hard work into our products and services it’s too easy to fall into a sense of insecurity when we see another blogger doing the same thing and being more “successful” with it. We start to fear that our work isn’t good enough. We worry that we’ll never reach the level of success that our competitors are at.
That mindset is awful. The comparison trap is viscous cycle that only continues to breed more and more insecurity. Instead of thinking within comparisons, I want to challenge you and all bloggers to reframe how we see each other.
If you’re feeling that weight of constantly looking over your shoulder at everyone else’s work, ask yourself, “How is what I’m doing unique?”. I really want to push people to stop thinking in terms of better or worse and start focusing more on their unique perspective.
There’s a term in storytelling called “the same, but different”. It’s used a lot by storytellers when they’re pitching a new project. For example, if I’m pitching you a new movie I just wrote and say, “It’s like Terminator, but it’s different because it’s based on a girl.” Your brain can make sense of this new story because it’s the same as something you’ve already seen, but with a something a little different.
It’s why shopping malls work. It’s why you always see Home Depot and Lowes just a mile or so apart from each other and why CVS and Walgreens are always on the same corner. In fact, they're on average 0.958 miles apart with an average drive time of 3 minutes between them.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, this “same, but different” concept is exactly why other bloggers aren’t your competition.
Because there are other bloggers already out there doing something similar to you, it actually helps you set the stage for your own work. You just have to find your unique perspective on your subject to be a little different. So if you’re into baking with limited ingredients, you can say, “It’s like Minimalist Baker, but <insert your twist>.” Because Dana is already out in the Internet and has a good following, your potential followers can quickly understand what you’re about and get on board with what you’ve got cooking.
Also, I’m just going to throw this out there. There are 286,942,362 people on the Internet in the U.S. That means if you’re “competition” has an 100k followers, that still leaves 286, 842,362 people left for you to individual reach. It’s really hard to see anyone as competition when you look at it like that, right?
Now that I’ve got you to see that other bloggers aren’t your competition, I’m going to take it one step further and tell you that they should actually be your friend. I know that’s a big jump to take since the beginning of this blog where you bloggers at arm’s length, but let I’m going to tell you why having blogger friends is so important for you and your business.
Imagine you’ve just walked into a party where you know only the host. You find a group of people that don’t look intimidating so you walk up to join their conversation. They ask what you do and you say, “Oh, I’m a blogger!” And everyone gives you that weird, unapproving stank eye. They just don’t get it and you end up going into a 30 minute conversation to justify that hard work you do and how it’s a real business.
Now imagine that same scenario, but it’s a room full of bloggers. Do already feel a little more at ease? You know these people will get you. They get your ambition and your work without any extra context or explanation. You are with your people.
Having people that understand you in that way is so important. As much as your family and friends might support your work, they won’t be able to advise you when you’re struggling with your audience or have tips to help you have a more successful launch. You need people to commiserate with you in trials and rejoice with you in your triumphs.
Sounds like a group you want to be a part of, right? If you’re new to the blog world or are just figuring out that you need to be more involved, here are couple ways to start building blogger friendships.
Comment on their blogs.
No need to go crazy when you’re first finding friends.You can start small with some comment love. Find bloggers you admire and put your name in front of the face by paying attention to their work and telling they why you love it. Some bloggers are great about reply to comments so you can strike up a great convo right there on their own page.
Promote their work.
If you’re a real fan of what they do, retweet, link to and talk about their work in your own social circles. They’ll see that you’re talking them up and might throw you a “thank you”. Then keep up that conversation.
Find a mastermind group.
These are huge right now. Getting a group of people together who are in the same business as you is so important. These are people you can engage with, learn from and grown with as you continue on in your personal and professional life.
I know I can go to my mastermind group when I need support and encouragement. Many of my ConvertKit teammates know how great these groups can be and are part of masterminds as well. That’s actually how Barret and Nathan met years ago.
We started our mastermind group when we were relative nobodies. We were all just getting started in this world of small online businesses, blogging, podcasting, and building an audience. It would have been easy to be scared of sharing secrets with other bloggers who could steal our audiences.
But in reality, being in a mastermind group had just the opposite effect. It allowed us to share lessons learned, apply tactics across all of our businesses, and promote one another.
The best part was that as each of us grew our reputation, our network, and our revenue, we were able to do more and more to help one another. Our collective success became like compound interest. Once the ball was rolling, it was inevitable that we would each continue to benefit from each other’s influence.
Today, we’re each in a fundamentally different place in our careers, in our businesses, and in our financial well-being than when we started. I think we would each say that a huge part of that is attributed to being alongside one another for the journey.- Barrett Brooks
Have some guts.
Just buy someone a coffee. If you really want to get know someone, the best way to do that is to be straightforward and tell them you want to get to know them. It’s easy to think you’re getting to know someone through social media these days, so take advantage of that and message people that are in your town. I mean, people meet their spouses on social media- I think you can make some new friends.
Ask to do collaborations
I think it’s because they drive more business to each other because they exist in the same space
Go to conferences.
This is huge. There are endless amounts of people to meet when you go to conferences. Not only are you spending your days learning from industry professionals, you’re also meeting so many of your peers in your industry. So find a conference that looks like it will attract your crowd and book that flight.
The same also goes for meetups. These are easier to get to since they’re usually in your town or close to it, but offer the same camaraderie as a conference.
Always be yourself.
You are awesome. You are unique. You have something to teach the world. So get out there! Putting your unique spin on your core topic is what’s going to set you apart from the crowd, so don’t water it down. It’s also what’s going to attract other bloggers to you. Revel in your uniqueness and others will revel with you.
Don’t fear the competition of other bloggers. Learn how to lean into those relationships and I promise you’ll find some lifelong friends. The blogging community is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. I can’t wait for you to get started.