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How to Blog Without Comparing Yourself to Others

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Is your blog the best in the world?

Often when we want to blog, we can struggle with what we see in the blogging universe. These blogs are doing better than our blog. Why is that? This blog has more followers on Twitter, has better and longer comments, has more views, has more Likes…

Just calm down.

Why should you be upset that a blog has more of something than your blog has? Is it really that bad that they are, technically, “better” than your blog?

ProBlogger has more of a lot of things than my blog does, but that doesn’t frighten me and make me want to hide away. No, I carry on blogging, leaving comments on other blogs, and writing guest posts for sites such as ProBlogger.

A lot of the time, I see bloggers get frustrated with themselves because they’ve just encountered a blog that they think is superior to their own. One such blog post from Blogging Bookshelf illustrates this envy. Some bloggers realize that another blog might have something that their blog doesn’t—in this case a better About Me page—and then they become frustrated or overwhelmed at the task that has suddenly appeared before them.

“How can I get my ‘x’ to look as good as their ‘x’?” they ask themselves.

The simple answer is, you don’t.

Just let go

Do you really want to go through your blogging career, come to the end, and then have everyone remember yours as the blog that often tried to emulate other blogs? Do you really want to be known as someone who studied other blogs, tried out their best features and improved their own blog to match theirs, only to find that nothing really worked?

I’m sure you don’t want this, no-one does. Sure, you can study others and what you perceive them to do well, but that’s something entirely different from getting annoyed with yourself and seeking to emulate them.

For example, Steve Jobs and Apple studied from Bill Gates and Microsoft. This is good. But did Apple then get annoyed with themselves for not being as good as Microsoft, and then start doing what Microsoft did? No, they studied from the best, then did their own thing anyway.

Another example, Martin Luther King Jr. studied Mahatma Gandhi and his quest to achieve peace. Again, this is good, but did MLK then become frustrated with himself because Gandhi did things better than him? No, King learned about Gandhi, and then did things his own way.

I could give you some more examples, but I’m hoping you’ll see my point. By all means, study what others did that you admire, learn what you can, but never sacrifice your own individuality and authenticity in an attempt to be like others. You travel in a downward spiral by doing this. Remember, studying and learning is a different concept than comparing and self-doubting.

The comparison trap

The real trap that will ensnare you every time you compare your blog to another blog is fear: fear that this blog will somehow overtake you and reach your goals faster than you. Or that they will become so big that none of their readers will want to go anywhere else to get their blogging fix—and that includes your blog.

The fear that our blogs will somehow “miss out” drives us to keep pushing harder and harder in order to get our deserved recognition, our dues. With the amount of work that we put in, we deserve to have 20,000 subscribers, we deserve to have at least 100 comments on each post, we deserve to have 25,000 followers on Twitter.

We feel that we deserve to have whatever success we can conceive, and that if it isn’t delivered to us, then life isn’t fair and why should we even bother? That’s the awful trap of comparing your blogs to other blogs.

But there is another way of thinking.

To blog for blogging’s sake

The whole idea of a blog (short for web-log) is that we chronicle our thoughts and musings down onto computer form, so that we can share this with the world. It started out as an online diary, but has now become a multiverse of niche websites, content marketing tips and funky YouTube clips.

Blogging has come a long way, but what’s important to realize is that now, there are so many different blogs out there, and so many different successful blogs, that it’s nearly impossible to emulate everyone in the blogging universe. There will always be someone successful who you can’t emulate.

With that in mind, why bother emulating at all? We’ve seen that practically any kind of blog can make it today, so why not your own blog? It’s meant to be creative, and written in your own voice, as it’s your own blog. So why not blog for blogging’s sake?

The idea of blogging for pure enjoyment has become a little lost over recent months. Bloggers need to make money now, they need to be successful. Did Leo Babauta of ZenHabits need to be a mega-blogger? No, he blogged because he loved to blog, and success happened anyway. Even if Leo only got 100 subscribers after two years, I don’t think that would have derailed him. So find something that you enjoy blogging about. Whatever it may be, I’m sure it’s got the potential to be successful anyway.

This means that you need to have some creativity. Creativity is tied in with originality and innovation. You create something that’s not only good, but original and unique, and that can help others. Sound tough? It doesn’t have to be. Helping others is something that comes naturally to us all, no matter how much we hate the world. And you’re being creative every minute of the day, especially if you blog regularly. Publish a post twice a week? That’s being creative twice a week. And originality and innovation? That comes with speaking your own voice. No other voice but your own.

Granted, if you’re struggling to get your blog going and you’re constantly looking to others’ blogs for inspiration, being creative and innovative may seem a little alien to you right now. But at least try. Everyone has got inspiration and genius within them, they just need to dig in and find it. Going back to Leo, he didn’t believe that many people would find his work interesting at first. He just wrote what he felt like writing, and the rest followed. Go back to his first posts, and you’ll see what I mean.

If you’re really struggling to be creative after reading those first entries, then check out this post from Darren, where he discusses nine attitudes of highly creative people.

Your blog is you

Whatever you write about, realize that your blog is your “avatar” in a way. It’s how you’re going to be recognized by the online community, it’s how you’re going to be marked and labelled. Darren has been labelled as a blogging guru. Leo Babauta has been labelled as a Zen guru. It happens to us all, because it helps others to remember you more easily by. Don’t reject it, but don’t pay much attention to it either. Just do your own thing and keep doing it.

This will ensure that you are recognized for being you, and for being no-one else in this world. If you’re known as the blogger who copies from others, then that will be your label, and no-one wants to buy a cheap imitation copy. Just be yourself, every day, every hour, every minute.

How do you bring yourself to every aspect of your blogging? I’d love to hear your stories!

Stuart Mills is an experienced writer who wants to help you improve at life. He thinks you’re awesome. You can often find him at Unlock The Door, where he writes constantly to make it a better day for everyone, and you can subscribe to his content here.

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Comments

  1. Once I knew that my blog was better than everyone’s, I started to relax. Jk

    Are we really blogging about blogging again? Let’s talk about something more productive.

    Sam

  2. Amanda says:

    Thanks for a thoughtful blog on one of life’s lessons which is applicable to all aspects of our lives, not just blogging, and one I strive to teach my kids.

  3. Tristan says:

    Interesting post… But I don’t agree with it. At all :)

    To an extent, I think it’s stupid not to compare your blog to others. It all depends on what your goals are. If your goal is just to share your thoughts and you don’t really care if people stick around and read your stuff, by all means, don’t compare your blog to others. But the best way to learn about blogging (apart from doing it) isn’t to read about it, but to examine what the successful blogs are doing.

    You said: “The whole idea of a blog (short for web-log) is that we chronicle our thoughts and musings down onto computer form, so that we can share this with the world.”

    My blog is whatever the hell I want it to be. I don’t blog just because it makes me feel good. I can’t afford to do that. I graduated from university and decided that I want to become a professional blogger. Sunshine and lolly-pops and blogging because you feel like it will only get you so far. There’s a point where you need to get serious.

    “A lot of the time, I see bloggers get frustrated with themselves because they’ve just encountered a blog that they think is superior to their own.”

    Darn right they do. Good for them. Look at other blogs. Get frustrated. Get competitive. And then make your blog better. Take the good that they’re doing and infuse it with your own to make yours the best.

    This feel good crap bugs me. Follow your passion, do what you love, blah blah blah. Blogging is a skill, not a personality trait. You have to be good at it to be successful. You can be the most passionate basketball player in the world but if you’re not any good at it, you’ll never play in the NBA.

    Again, it all goes back to what your goals are with your blog. If you suck at blogging (and yes, it’s definitely something you can suck at in my opinion) but desperately want to blog for a living, you’re going to have to somehow reconcile those two factors. Either you need to give up and do something else or you need to start looking at other successful blogs to see what they’re doing and what you can take away.

    “There will always be someone successful who you can’t emulate. With that in mind, why bother emulating at all?”

    Seriously?? Because that’s what freaking works! Of course you can’t copy every thing that every successful blogger does. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Going back to the NBA analogy (and I hate basketball so I don’t know why I keep using it…), that’s like saying “There are already great NBA players, so don’t bother trying to be as good as them. You’re great fine as you are, even if you suck.” That’s true if you don’t care about sucking, if you just love playing the game. But if you love the game AND want to be good at it, you need to practice. You need to study. You need to emulate what others are doing. And yes, you need to add your own flair.

    “The idea of blogging for pure enjoyment has become a little lost over recent months.”

    Again, who says I have to blog for pure enjoyment? Why can’t I just blog for money? Who are you to tell me how I’m supposed to feel when I blog?

    Stuart, I like you and I like your blog. We’ve disagreed about things in the past and we will likely continue to do so in the future. It’s discussions like this that make life (and blogging!) interesting. This wasn’t a personal attack on you, just what you’re talking about.

    People are different. Blogs are different. But here’s the thing… Not every person is successful like they want to be. Likewise, not every blog will be successful like its blogger wants it to be. THAT is where comparing your blog to others comes in to play, and THAT is why it’s essential.

    • Tristan,
      You really should go back and read the blog carefully and see whether you response is totally justified. Some of the points you made merit consideration and others feel like you read the blog in haste, became angry and overreacted.
      Riley

      • Brad Harmon says:

        I’m not sure Stuart accurately reflected the point of Tristan’s post which he linked to in his post here, Riley. Tristan was impressed by another blogger’s about page, and became inspired by it to make changes in his own. Tristan even explained that he wasn’t jealous in a comment exchange with Stuart:

        “And I definitely wasn’t put out by the fact that he has accomplished so much. Like I said, I was inspired. I’m not comparing myself to him. I’ve accomplished incredible things. I love my life. I’m psyched for him, not jealous of him. That’s why I enjoyed his about page so much.”

        Does this sound like Tristan was frustrated or overwhelmed with trying to emulate another blogger?

        Tristan is passionate, and his comment shows this passion. Is the tone too aggressive? Perhaps. It’s understandable given the picture of him Stuart paints. One thing I can almost guarantee you, though. Tristan read this post, and his response, several times before submitting it.

        • Tristan says:

          It’s true, Brad. I didn’t skim the post. I read it carefully. And I went through and re-read my comment before submitting it.

          Yes, I am passionate about this! Blogging is my life and it’s not something I take lightly. Was my reply to “aggressive,” “angry,” or “over-reactionary”? I don’t think so. But then again, maybe if I compared myself to others more I’d realize that it wasn’t “appropriate” to be opinionated like that. Oh wait… :)

          I don’t care how Stuart “painted a picture” of me. That didn’t concern me at all when I read this post. I just don’t agree with the whole “don’t compare yourself to others” thing.

          I’m not angry. As soon as I submitted my comment I didn’t even think about it any more. I don’t mind the way Stuart mentioned Blogging Bookshelf. Stuart’s passionate about what he writes, I’m passionate about what I write, and we have differing opinions. Not the end of the world. As far as I’m concerned, we’re still blogging buddies.

    • Stuart says:

      Wow.

      I’ve read over your comment Tristan, and thought about it, and now decided it’s time to write a small reply.

      Basically, I agree with some of what you said here. Blogging is not “sunshine and lollipops”, and it’s whatever the hell you want it to be. But if you aren’t getting ‘pure enjoyment’ out of it then what are you getting out of it? Money? Vouchers? Depends what you want, but I’ve yet to find a decent (or semi-decent) blog that the blogger isn’t passionate about. If you can, then please send me a link.

      Anyway, I’m heading over to your blog now to comment and retweet. If you want to continue this talk about blogging, I’d be happy to, but not here. There’s enough comments on here already ;-)

    • Kala says:

      Tristan I agree with you on alot, I skimmed! Blogging is hard work-yes I enjoy it but in sharing my gifts talents etc. the plan is to make money helping others! Nothing wrong and yes we gotta compare in order to help us grow. Not with envy but like wow look at what they did, cool.
      Also Leo Babauta did want to earn money from his blog and was pretty hard core working on that by delivering quality, studied the blogging area, optimized clear posts when it was a bit easier to rank on Goolge etc. he also had background as a writer.

  4. Bill Dorman says:

    It’s somewhat natural to look around and see the success other people are having and think “hey, look at me”.

    I started my blog just because I thought that was how you engaged. I had no expectations and was really only expecting a handful of replies if any. I started dragging my link w/ me when I commented, not to drive traffic but just because there was a space to fill in for website. Guess what; people started showing up, and sometimes a lot of them.

    Maybe the no expecations is not a model of success, but it certainly meant I didn’t have any agenda.

    However, there are times when I see a love fest going on w/ others I might get a pang of jealousy; but I just have to realize I’m actually doing pretty well considering.

    Good to see you over here Stu; thanks for sharing.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Bill, great to see you here!

      I used to have pangs of jealousy when I started out, seeing all those bloggers with their awesome conversations and their awesome content! Got me riled up!

      But then I thought, why bother? My life is brilliant, why wish for someone else’s? We are truly blessed in this world, and to overlook that for want of what someone else has got is misguided. I know that now :-)

  5. This post reminds me of a post titled “Don’t be a Darren Rowse, don’t be a John Chow” post I made in 2009 (which was tweeted by Darren and John) – http://www.cravingtech.com/dont-be-a-darren-rowse-dont-be-a-john-chow.html

    You are who you are. You have different traits, different personality, and different strengths from the other bloggers. It’s important to find out the unique you and just be you! (sooner or later you’ll get caught if you are faking anyway)

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Michael, thanks for sharing that link! I agree with a lot of you said there, very thoughtful read :-)

    • Hi Micheal I am agree with your thinking.No one should compare themselves as with John chow or Darren.Everyone has some uniqueness and you can get better success with your own individuality.Follow some popular way of famous person is different thing but copying them are just waste of time.

  6. Zach Crawley says:

    I love that quote, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

    I often found myself trying to replicate other people’s blog, wondering why they were gaining readers faster, etc. With this post, I now plan on just being me, and having my own unique blog with unique things. People like different.

    • Stuart says:

      Exactly Zach, people want to read ‘Zach Crawley’, not ‘another Darren Rowse’ or ‘another Brian Clark’ :-)

  7. Brad Harmon says:

    Trying to outdo another blogger at being themselves is a losing proposition. Isn’t it, Stuart? I’ve never heard of another blogger stealing another’s audience, or putting them out of business by being better at whatever they’re the best at. Blogging simply doesn’t work that way. Personality is a prime ingredient to every blog’s success or failure. I can never out Darren Rowse, Darren Rowse.

    Your suggestion that I should just ignore him altogether isn’t one I can agree with though. I’d be a fool not to learn what I can from what he does well. This happens in every profession and art form. Students learn from watching the masters. This doesn’t mean they lose what makes them unique, but they incorporate the techniques of those who are more advanced to become even better.

    I agree that too many bloggers get frustrated with not being as great as another, but I think you went awry linking to Tristan’s post as an example of this (see my response above). Envy (jealousy) takes this to another extreme. It’s wanting something another person has AND wanting to take it from them. It shows a limited understanding of blogging, and sees the world as a place where someone else has to fail for you to succeed (e.g., for me to get more readers I must take them from another blogger).

    Here, I agree with you. There are more than enough readers to go around. You just have to be yourself to attract them. Nobody else can be a better you than you. Learn from other great bloggers, but stay true to your unique voice.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Brad, a pleasure to meet you! Interesting way to meet ;-)

      About Tristan, I sent him an e-mail asking his permission to link to his post, and I regularly read, comment, and retweet his posts. I admire and respect the guy, and have apologised for any offence caused.

      About your separate comment, I admit, looking back on my post, there’s some things I would now change. But I wouldn’t have realised this if I hadn’t posted this post, and then received comments talking about other avenues. Amazing that we keep learning, it never stops ;-)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment anyway, I agree with your final point; there are more than enough readers to go around. The world’s a pretty big place :-)

  8. Denys Yeo says:

    There’s room for everyone in the Blogsphere!

  9. Hajra says:

    I was comparing myself with other bloggers just now when I saw the update in my inbox… talk about guardian angels! The fact is traffic is also dependent on the kind of blogs one has. A blog about blogging will always tend to more traffic because every blogger would want to know “how to do it”! An accounting blog in comparison (No Brad Harmon, I am not pointing the finger at you!) would interest only those interested in blogging. That makes a difference I feel. Also, consider many other factors and be yourself, others might be “comparing” themselves to you!
    A very thoughtful post! Have a great day!

    • Stuart says:

      Thanks Hajra, great to see you here.

      Indeed, the more successful you become, the more imitators you might have, until the balance is shifted from ‘imitating’ to ‘imitated’. It’s a wonderful feeling in one respect, but we mustn’t dwell on it. Instead, we must crack on ;-)

    • Brad Harmon says:

      LOL! Still picking on us poor, uninteresting accountants I see, Hajra. ;)

  10. Good inspirational post.But comparing to popular one always give you some challenge to work hard.

  11. Buck Inspire says:

    When I started, I compared myself constantly. It did more harm than good. Now I am letting go, being myself, but still learning. Blogging is fun again!

  12. Stuart,
    This is wonderful! My favourite point is this” Blog for blogging’s sake.” I had many “excuses” to start a blog (i.e. to allocate that portion of time – a LOT of it) but only one reason: I love to write. So I began by writing my heart out. In about the fifth month as I went to bed one post night and felt disappointed by the small number of comments, I reminded myself that I would just continue to give it everything I had, even if very few people were reading. The next morning I went on the blog to see some A-listers had posted! Later that day they were joined by others and I realized something. Perhaps they had been reading before but had only just weighed in? Perhaps while I was giving it all I had, someone WAS reading! This raised the bar and made me nervous. I quickly found my balance again and resumed doing what I had been doing from the start.

    I think you’re right Stu, if you do it because you love doing it, only good things can come of it. Thanks for the reminder to stay the course!
    Lori

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Lori! A pleasure to see you here!

      I’ve had that feeling before, where you wonder “Is anyone even reading this?” But you never know. Ingrid of NittyGriddy had been reading my content for a long time before she commented, but I had no idea! I assumed (foolishly) that she had no idea who I was.

      You never know who’s watching ;-)

  13. I agree that there’s no use of moping around just because you saw a better blogs than your own – but that’s just life. You can’t always be on top – somewhere out there, a lot of others are better than you are so what you can do is just to be the best that you can be and be the best at what you do.

    Take all those better blogs as a challenge and work harder. Whatever it is you are writing, you are considered as the knowledgeable one in that particular field. So just blog about all the things you know and understand and make other people feel the same way about it.

    Great post! Very inspirational, Cheers!

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Daryl, a great point about not always being on top! All we can do is keep getting better and better, endlessly.

      Thanks for the comment!

  14. Kristi Hines says:

    Great points Stuart. I feel that if you can’t look at another person’s site or statistics without being inspired, then you just shouldn’t do it. The more you’re trying to win the numbers game, the less you’re focusing on the parts of blogging that will actually help you become successful.

    • Stuart says:

      Exactly Kristi, when you feel inspired by a success, you feel you can achieve similar heights. Not the same heights, but similar :-)

  15. D says:

    Congrats on the guest post Stu. Gotta say.. looking back at the comments.. I am encouraged this heated up w/ some healthy debate.

    I recognize there are very different blogs. Blogs for fun, for business, blogs when it’s a part of the biz, and blogs where the blog flat out IS the business. And that changes everything from goals and strategies to the motivations of the blogger. Is this person writing and commenting from their gut or just because they want to post “first!” and get the link? IDK. I don’t blog daily and only sometimes is it about my creativity or lack thereof; it’s about time and not letting the blog run the biz. Again, just different strokes.

    I’ve shied away from the ‘blogging about blogging for the sake of blogging, written for bloggers who blog about blogging.’ Just not in my wheelhouse, not the style or purpose for blogging for me. That said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a peak once in a while, didn’t check and see how others do it. It’s not about just comparison but learning.. discover a good plugin or a different format option as well as other sides of the arguments and how and when one tactic may work in certain circumstances; i.e. popup ads and e-stuff subscriptions. I don’t like them, but have read some intelligent reasoning behind them. I read the ‘other’ things to keep me honest, make me smarter. If I don’t read the OTHER arguments, makes it harder to assert my own.

    The ‘trap’ of the comparison to me is that mileage will always vary. Everyone will have different philosophies, opinions, approaches and reasons for doing and blogging what they do. It’s impossible to have the ‘best blog ever’ b/c who decides that, based upon what metrics, etc. is so subjective. It’s sometimes easier said than done, think you’ve got right about just being ourselves. FWIW.

    • Stuart says:

      Thanks Davina, that’s a great comment that you’ve just shared with us.

      ‘Blogging because everyone else is doing it’ is not the way forward, nor is ‘blogging about the same blogging tips that everyone else has done’. Better to ‘blog with passion’.

      Great point about ‘mileage’, everyone’s opinions will vary, and will continue to vary. My opinions change a lot, and will continue to do so. All we can do is the best we know how to do, at that time. The rest isn’t worth worrying about :-)

  16. IT Rush says:

    Have fun, be consistent and yes I agree of letting go on comparing yours to others, instead use theirs as tools for your improvement and inspiration. Nice post.

  17. Marcie says:

    I think that not comparing my blog to others is probably the only reason why I can keep going with confidence. My community blog is a resource site. I share very few thoughts and opinions but lots of valuable resources. At one time I was getting discouraged because there were little or no conversations. Then I had the revelation that the purpose of my site is to share information, that’s it. I quickly got over it. I’ll be honest, it would be nice to have the traffic that ProBlogger has, but if not, I’ll just continue to share my resources.

    • Stuart says:

      I think that’s a great approach to have Marcie. The majority of us won’t ever have traffic like ProBlogger, but we shouldn’t worry about that.

      Let’s share what we know, and what we can, and people will always appreciate it :-)

  18. Cris Cohen says:

    And the cruel joke of it all is that, no matter how hard a person tries to emulate others, his own natural tendencies and personality seem to derail him every time.

  19. Frank says:

    Stu,

    Congrats on this guest post as it was a well put together piece where you shared a very strong point of view. I agree because when I blog I usually am doing it for a purpose. I am not trying to compare myself to anyone else but I am trying to change the lives of the poeple who read my content. I can honestly say I have in the past compared myself to other bloggers but then I realized that no one person owns the web. I have a unique voice and a passion to telling a great story differently. I do use others to guage my progress as far as design and functionality as I see it as a way to get better. This was a great post Stu. You got me thinking.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Frank!

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your thoughts, as always. Blogging with a purpose is the best kind because it enables you to keep at it when the going gets rough. If it seems like no-one is reading, having a purpose will keep you going, until the people come back to listen.

      Take care my friend :-)

  20. Definitely needed to hear this advice. Thanks for posting.

  21. Edwin says:

    Very inspiring post. It was constructed well and I really took it to heart. I think a lot of times we end up spending more time looking at other blogs sizing ourselves up against them than the time we spend brainstorming and writing.

    Thanks again.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Edwin, glad you enjoyed the post!

      Nothing can beat writing and brainstorming, so it’s important to do this as often as possible. Ultimately, all the answers come from within ;-)

  22. Stu, first of all congrats on this article being featured here on ProBlogger.

    You made a lot of great points but if there is one thing that I definitely agree with you on is “not comparing yourself to other bloggers/blogs”.

    I’ve read some of the comments here and some of the earlier discussion and while I agree that it would be wise to look at what others are doing to see what works, it is not prudent to compare or blatantly copy what others are doing.

    Personally, I think that type of mindset stagnates your own personal creativity, renders you inauthentic in your delivery or your presentation and has a serious co-dependent effect on your subconscious.

    The blogosphere is quite small believe it or not and people (at least I can and most people I know can too) tell when someone is doing something because they truly are in touch with their WHY or if they are doing it simply because they are attached to an end result, in many cases money!

    Yes, all entrepreneurs start businesses to make money and run profitable organizations not non-profit organizations but at the end od the day you are the one that has to look at yourself in the mirror, you are the one that has to ask yourself whether you truly added value to someone and made a difference that set you apart are did you just do the bare minimum – post a blog or blogging for the sake of blogging.

    I’ve said this before many times but I’ll say it again, today people’s B.S meters are at an all time high. It’s usually really easy to tell when someone is inauthentic in their message and it’s clear to see when someone is not really in tune with their WHY (why are you in business? What do you wake up in the morning? and Why should anyone care?).

    Subconsciously, those are the same questions I ask myself and try to figure out when I find their blog. Any inauthentic subliminal messages tend to deter me from a site and quickly eliminates any rapport that would have been established.

    Personally, i thought this was a great read coming from an authentic view point! Keep it up Stu!

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Hector! Thanks for the awesome content man, I really appreciate it.

      You made a very interesting point about people’s BS meters at an all-time high – it’s true, with the amount of exposure available today, one slip-up and you could be down for a very long time. The power of social media, social marketing, word-of-mouth, etc, all this can contribute to someone having an exceptional rise or fall.

      How to deal with this? Just be yourself. Act from within. No matter how long you’ve been speaking your own voice without any visible signs of success, keep at it. Keep speaking your words, your voice, your soul, your heart. Sooner or later, and it ALWAYS comes eventually, you will find that success that you’ve been searching for :-)

  23. Evelyn Lim says:

    I avoid comparing. In fact, I must be one of the few who’s not monitoring the stats to my site daily or even weekly. I just concentrate on doing my own thing. That does not mean that I don’t go reading other people’s blogs. I do. I am in the personal development niche and I enjoy reading uplifting stuff.

    But I’ve long realized that it’s not possible for me to copy what others are doing. By doing what I do best, I believe that my site has got its own unique flavor that no one else can truly copy.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Evelyn, thanks for commenting!

      I agree, I read other blogs too of course, and they inspire and uplift me. But it’s absolutely vital to maintain your site’s own ‘voice’. No-one can speak the same way that you do :-)

  24. Brad says:

    Please stop comparing your blogs to mine guys – Seriously stop. I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but damn, give it a rest. I might have to charge you for copyright infringement.

    Having traffic that you can count on one hand and 2-4 comments for each post (thanks mom and dad) isn’t why I blog either. I blog because the lure of lollipops and rainbows makes me crazy like a coke addict at Lindsey Lohan’s house.

    OK, I liked the post. Good read Stuart and I think you should send that Tristan guy some of those edible arrangements cause he needs a good smile. I’m sure and enema wouldn’t hurt either.

    • Stuart says:

      Ha ha Brad, that Lindsey Lohan reference was very well put, very topical ;-)

      Thanks for reading, glad you liked it! Tristan’s a good guy, it’s his way of expressing himself that can be seen as ‘bearing ill-intent’. No harm done here :-)

  25. Hey stu,
    Good to see you here…. I was searching posts through blogosphere to solve my comparing personality, Because all the time i gonna do anything I will compare mine to others. Here i got the solution. This is the one of the posts i will never forget. Thanks anyway buddy.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Abdul, I’m very happy for you! I feel humbled too, and I hope you continue to blog out of enjoyment, passion, and fun :-)

  26. Marlee says:

    Hi Stuart!
    Great to see you here. I think you’ve made a valid point, and by the looks of the comments, created quite the stir. I will say that I think it’s two part. Ultimately the way you approach blogging is going to be dictated by your purpose for blogging in the first place.

    That said, comparison is the enemy of contentment. If you are going to achieve maximum results in life you have to avoid comparison that results negative self-talk and self-sabotage. On the flip side, comparison is essential for LEARNING and you can only get better is you learn and apply what you learn.

    So I suppose the point is, it’s great to compare from an analytical perspective with an eye for learning and improvement, but personal comparison really doesn’t serve personal growth.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Marlee, thanks for commenting!

      After reading through the comments and responding to each, I think the best word I’ve come up is ‘balance’. Balancing being your own voice with learning from others. You can learn from others, it’s true, but you must not become addicted to it, or blatantly copy. The most important voice is your own :-)

  27. Rob says:

    Hey Stu,

    Good work.
    Davina put her thoughts in such an eloquent manner. I concur with most everything in her comment.
    I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the discourse.
    No one can say Tristan is right and Stu is wrong or vice-versa. Each of us will have to answer the questions for ourselves and act accordingly.
    For me, it is an endeavor to turn some change (monetary and otherwise). I will go with what works best for me, but also what I see working best for others.
    If going into the pizza business, I’d be foolish not to use the right ovens for fear I would be copying success. But, I would probably stick to my own ‘secret’ ingredients to keep that sense of self.
    Thanks.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Rob, thanks for reading and commenting!

      Davina has a knack of being eloquent, but to continue from that, we must find what works for us and go with it, even if it doesn’t work for anyone else.

      Using your pizza analogy Rob, if you come across a secret ingredient that works wonders for you, keep using it. Keep using it even if others come across but it doesn’t work for them. As long as is works, keep it, until it works no longer. Then find a new ingredient ;-)

      • Rob says:

        Excellent point. I reckon the new ingredient will not be ‘new’. Just new to me. There is so little that is new. But, your post on your site about adding value was pretty darn close. My hat is off to you on that. In essence, I think our blogs are a combination of every blog, yet stamped with it’s own individuality.

  28. Janine says:

    I think you’re both right, Stuart — you and Tristan. It’s down to personality, isn’t it? For some people, comparing themselves to others leads to crushing self-doubt and inertia. For other folks, it sparks action. The trick is to find that balance in which “let go” means easing up on the self-doubt without slipping too far into self-indulgence.

    Then again, self-indulgence does very well for certain type of blogs. It’s a big internet. Room for everyone.

    Glad a Twitter RT led me to your post. Your point of view was exactly what I needed, actually.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Janine, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

      The internet is global. That’s why it’s so damn big! There’s millions of blogs out there, and even more of those who don’t have blogs but still read blogs. So the market of who could read your blog is immense, but so too is the market of who could influence your blog.

      We all have our influences. We all have those who we seek to emulate. But it’s one thing to be inspired to them, and another to seek to copy them because what they do ‘works’. Well, it works for them because they came up with it themselves. The same thing won’t work for you.

      Glad I could help you out today Janice :-)

  29. Stuart, thanks for sharing your thoughts here and with so much passion.

    I have seen your rapid development as a blogger over the last few months and I congratulate you for your pleasing growth and for finding your own voice as a blogger.

    I do believe there is value in comparing oneself with other bloggers but only to learn from them. Otherwise it’s so easy to get disheartened by the perceived “success” of other bloggers.

    At the end of the day, what does success really mean to a blogger? This will vary from blogger to blogger and I believe that the only true measure is how much difference we make to others and also how much fulfillment we get from our writing.

    Since you have mentioned Leo Babauta in your article, I can confirm that he is a great role model and a great guy too (I recently held a dinner party for him and his wife in London).

    If however I was to compare my blogging career with Leo’s, I could get really down. We both started blogging at the same time in Jan 2006. And the rest is history – whilst Leo has over 200k subscibers, I have just over 2k.

    Now if only I had come across Leo’s blog much sooner and “copied” him…:-)

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Arvind, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      You’re right about comparing: sooner or later, we’ll come across someone who’s doing ‘better’ than us, like with you and Leo. This could then depress us, making ourselves ask questions such as “What’s he/she got that I haven’t?”, “Have I been wasting my time all along?”

      The only person you should compare yourself to is yourself, without question. If you continue to grow, and become a more fulfilled and activated human being, then you’ll always be ‘better’ than your old selves :-)

  30. Ahsan says:

    If a blogger always think about other sites theme, written style he will not success. A blogger must have unique style. Yes he can follow good things from other blogs but it does not mean follow everything. Take good thing & use it in your own way. Thats the way of bloggers success lies

  31. Diane says:

    I think you are completely right. Every user has an opinion which should be sustained, comparing your blog with others you may be caught by their success or failure, and in that way you are influenced to change you style by completing that blog. Anyway, Wilde was right, be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

    • Stuart says:

      Hey Diane, thanks for your comment!

      I agree, everyone has an opinion of their own, it’s only natural. To go against this would be to go against yourself :-)

  32. Robert says:

    Stu, this is what I refer to as “KNOCKING IT OUT OF THE PARK!”

    This post is awesome, and applicable to so many areas of life. Always trying to be someone else is a hollow way to live life, why can’t people be proud to be themselves, and ride with those feelings? Hopefully this post has taught more people the importance of originality and uniqueness, no one appeals to everyone, just look for the people that “get” what you do.

    Love it man, you smashed it!

    Robert

    • Stuart says:

      Ha ha, thanks Robert!

      It’s great when you have that deep inner self-feeling, that comes with being comfortable with who YOU are. Without it, we’ll usually try to find our self-esteem from outside ourselves, from an external source.

      But that doesn’t work, it isn’t called ‘outside-esteem’, it’s called ‘self-esteem’! You can only get it from inside yourself, from who you are.

      Take care man, great interview and chat today :-)