When I tentatively pressed the publish button on my very first post I had high hopes for this little blog of mine. Of course I was hoping that, even in a small way, it would be successful. But what exactly is blogging success and how, as bloggers, do we quantify it? Page views? Followers? Awards?
Throughout the two years that The Barefaced Chic has been live I have watched my stats slowly (oh so slowly) grow, I have won and been nominated for awards and my follower count continues to creep higher.
Some might say that this is success, and I am certainly grateful for each and every reader that meanders through my pages or takes the time to click the follow button. Yet I have found myself confronting some of the rusty old beliefs I held early on in my blogging career, and have found them to be false. You see, I used to view blogging as a competition; to be successful I had to ‘win’. Then it hit me:
Blogging Is Not A Competition
Now I’m not talking about blogging awards here. I feel we all need a little boost to our blogging self-esteem, and I will certainly be attending The UK Blog Awards this year and cheering my socks off for the bloggers who have been lucky enough to be shortlisted.
Awards aside, blogging is a zero-sum career. Just because I gain readers doesn’t mean that another blogger loses readers. In fact, as bloggers link to each other, the more we help each other the more readers we gain. We aren’t competing for readers, even if we are in the same blogging niche, because readers can read multiple blogs.
Some may point out that readers can only read a certain number of blogs so we are therefore competing for their attention. But isn’t that a limited and limiting view? There are a huge number of blog readers out there, and the number is growing daily. We are not competing for readers – we are trying to increase our readership, and we CAN do it together.
Successfully working together is something that The Over 40 Collective is proof positive of. We are striving for the same goal: to share useful information to our midlife readers. In that light, we cooperate and share information – which has proved to be a positive step for us as bloggers, for our readers and for our ever strengthening friendship.
There’s a lot to be said for this kind of view. Without doubt competition can be a motivator, and sometimes a lot of fun. Yet is can also be deeply destructive and even an obstacle to the very success we crave.
For many reasons, some of us get jealous when we see another person’s success. Instead of celebrating we criticise, instead of applauding we belittle, instead of praising we bad-mouth. It’s utterly illogical, and yet it’s rife within the blogging community – and especially virulent amongst the younger bloggers.
What a waste of precious time and energy! Time that could be spent building a readership, creating something of beauty or helping others to succeed.
I firmly believe by boosting others we cannot fail to help ourselves.
By freeing myself from the bounds of blogging competition, I have freed myself to help midlife women and fellow bloggers – even if some of them are my ‘competitors’. In doing so I have gained the most precious commodity of all – lifelong friendship.
I am thrilled to announce the official launch of The Over 40 Collective, but I am even more thrilled to have Nikki, Annette, Liz, Lisa, Catherine and Michelle in my life. Their support, both on a blogging and personal level, has been astounding. Especially during this last month or so of toxicity and stress.
Knowing that I have this lot of nutters in my corner has helped keep me smiling:
Michelle, Me, Catherine, Liz, Nikki, Annette, Lisa
To me blogging is not a competition and success isn’t about achieving something, it’s about feeling good about what I am doing. And right now I’m having a blast building a future with these lovely ladies.
Pics by the very lovely Rachel V Photography