competitiveness in the blogging world

competitiveness in the blogging world

Competitiveness in the blogging world. Does it drive you nuts or push you harder to succeed? You can’t deny that this competitive nature is in the back of almost every blogger’s mind, so it’s a topic worth discussing.

Although healthy competition is expected and perfectly fine, comparing yourself to other bloggers and getting too caught up in the numbers will result in a short blog lifespan. Believe me. It’s something I have to consider every time I publish a post and wait for those views to pour (or trickle) in. Obsessing leads to feeling burnt out and it just isn’t worth it.

After a few hiccups this week, I caught myself getting upset with blogging. I had been obsessing over blog feeds not working properly, views and subscriber gains being lower than usual, and finally, after venting to my husband, I reminded myself to calm down because it’s just a blog. Unfortunately, when you decide that it’s time to monetize your blog and come to expect a certain amount of extra income each month, numbers become more important in the grand scheme of things. You can’t help but follow along closely.

However, when I start comparing my views to past weeks, my number of post comments to other bloggers, and my content to bigger, more well-known websites — well, I get discouraged. Suddenly blogging turns into more work than fun, and I end up taking two steps back in the wrong direction because I’m burnt out and don’t feel like trying for a few days. Being über competitive hurts me in the long-run. Another reason why slow and steady wins the race? It seems that way.

So ladies (and gentleman), what can we do about this?

Obviously we should hug it out. And then let’s stop comparing ourselves to each other, have fun, and write posts because we want to — not because we crave views. Create content that means something? What a crazy idea!

And last but not least… Let’s cheer each other on. Because all of this is easier said than done.

What do you think about competitiveness in the blogging world?


Filed Under: Blogging, Blogging Advice87 Comments
  • Lucy

    I’m still fairly new to it all and just compete against myself (can I get more views than yesterday? Can I make this month my best yet?) I’ll keep this in mind though, I have a habit of turning hobbies into chores! xxx

  • Kelsey

    Ooo, this is so hard! And something I certainly encounter as I try to grow my blog. When it starts feeling more like a job than fun I try to focus on just remembering to stay true to producing the content that I would want to read and creating a site where I would/do want to spend time. And that the creativity and success of others does not detract from what I can accomplish, it can be inspiring and motivating. thank you for writing honestly about this!

  • Setarra

    My blog is an extension of my life so if I don’t live my life then I have nothing to blog about which is why I try to stick to the mantra of “live first, blog later.” If there’s ever a time where I feel overwhelmed by it all, I take a step back and unplug for a little bit… This usually helps me keep things in balance.

    • Van Berry

      “My blog is an extension of my life so if I don’t live then I have nothing to blog about” – SO TRUE!!

      I should write this on a post-it and stick it to my laptop….. ;)

    • Roam + Reason

      So true! Living always comes first!

    • Dannielle @ Chic-a-DeeDee

      this is the same as my blog! I just keep on doing what I do and document it, I like it that way :)

    • Jordan Kovacs

      Ah!! I love this! mantra of “live first, blog later.”

    • Alexandra

      Same here! I blog about my life in London and sightseeing and traveling. If I am lazy as hell one week, I have nothing to blog about, so it kind of motivates me to get out and see things even if I’m not in the mood. xx

    • Grey |

      I totally agree, and I love that mantra!

    • Postcards from Rachel

      I love this! Such a great reminder.

  • Jessica Leigh

    I haven’t looked at my blog stats in weeks for this very reason. As soon as I start trying to grow my numbers, I feel very unhappy with blogging. I love blogging when it’s more of a live journal for me to share what others will hopefully find helpful or entertaining too :)

  • Sarah Fav

    My blogging isn’t monetized for me yet (although I would love it to be) and while it is a large part of my life, it isn’t the focus of my life and having something that I don’t blog about to focus on that I receive good feedback from helps me from getting discouraged on day when I feel like I wrote an amazing post with lots of workouts/recipes/tips/etc (my blog is a fitness blog) that only received 20-30 views.

    I also try to think of the people, like my family who lives 1500 miles away from me, who I know read my blog consistently and remind myself that my blog is just as much for them as the people I don’t know reading it. Then it means a little more to me and I feel better.

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Great advice! And writing an awesome post and receiving low views because of feed issues is exactly why I was frustrated this week. It’s funny how blogging can become stressful because of pageviews.

  • Whitney Ellen

    It’s been a little over a month since I promised myself to stop stalking my stats and, I can honestly say, it’s improved my mentality towards blogging tenfold. I no longer feel insignificant if my pageviews are down one week, nor do I get down on myself if my comments are down. Easier said than done, trust me I know. It becomes such a routine to go from page, to page, to page, trying to move those numbers anyway you can. Also, exhausting, no? Anyways, this is getting lengthy. I guess what I’m trying to say is, go easy on yourself and just try to remember that some weeks will be better than others, regardless of how often you check those stats! Remember why you started, why you’re here, and why you love it. :)

    • Postcards from Rachel

      It’s extremely exhausting. I’m going to try and ignore my views next week. That’ll be my goal. :)

  • Chelsea

    Yes yes yes. Especially the cheering each other on part.

  • Sarah Bonner

    I agree to the cheering each other on part! I think that it’s so important! :)

  • Allison

    It is SO HARD to not compare yourself to other bloggers. Now that there are so very many of us its even more difficult to get noticed than it was in years past. Its also hard when you see people succeed really easily because of who they know, a few people I subscribe to on youtube got a friend of theirs to start a channel, she has 2 videos out and over 100,000 subscribers already, its frustrating! So I just do my best to ignore it and stay positive and have as much fun as possible.

  • Jessica – Independent Travel C

    Rachel, this is a great topic. I have been in a fairly competitive training environment most of my life offline so I tend to just be competitive with myself rather than others, but even this can be unhealthy at times as sometimes I set really high standards (Ethan lectures me on this on a regular basis). I think it helps to just focus on what is unique and meaningful about one’s own blog rather than comparing to other people’s or comparing numbers. I get much more meaning out of an e-mail from a reader who tells me they really enjoyed my post or it really helped them plan their trip rather than my page view count or how many comments I get. I hope that you find perspective and get back into a positive blogging mindset soon!!

  • Roam + Reason

    This is excellent! Whenever I get like this (and it definitely happens) I always remind myself why i started blogging in the first place. When you write from a place of genuine creativity and joy, the rest will follow. Thank you for sharing your insight, it’s nice to hear others feel the same way sometimes!

  • Nadine

    I have to say, I don’t compare my numbers to other bloggers much. What I do compare is my content. Sometimes a blogger will write something so fabulous that I just want to bang my head against a wall like – why didn’t I think of that?!

    I also had it happen this week where I had an idea for a blog post and the day before I was going to post it, another blogger (quite a big larger than me) wrote a post on almost the exact same subject. My post would have been completely irrelevant. It was a huge hit and I had the same feeling all over again. It’s a weird competitive. I like to think that reading other blogs with great content makes me strive to come up with better post ideas. To be as “me” as I can be on my blog.

    • Postcards from Rachel

      I’ve done that before too. :)

      My biggest problem is analyzing my views every week. Some weeks are better than others so I’m always trying to think of the next best thing to post about to improve those stats. I need to knock it off. Also, SO many bloggers use Pinterest for traffic these days. It makes me wonder if I’m doing something wrong because I’ve never really felt the need to do that. Then I start trying to create posts that people will want to pin and I get stressed… It’s a fun cycle. ;)

    • Simmy

      oh wow – I had the same experience a few weeks ago and I ended up not posting it; I was discussing it with a friend this week and she made the comment “well I never saw that other post because I don’t follow that person and this is information I would find helpful” – That kind of encouraged me to schedule the post for next week – because my readers may be completely different than her’s and even if it helps just one person then I think maybe I can live with that :)
      Simmy (

  • Bri |

    My approach is that there’s plenty of internet for everybody! Your blog is where you’re honest about the things that matter to you and it will attract the people who those things also matter to. :)

    • Postcards from Rachel

      So true, Bri! This is a great thing to remember.

  • Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    Although at times I simply feel hopelessly insignificant, for the most part, I’m enjoying being a tiny part of the blogosphere, because this allows me to experiment without having to worry about what my readers might expect from me :)

  • Macy Gutermuth

    I remind myself that although bloggers may be similar to me, nobody is me, and nobody will have the exact content that I do and will. The internet is a big world, and I am just a tiny piece of it, so cheering for other tiny parts of it will make the community even better.

  • Carly @ Let Us Wanderlust

    This is so very true! It’s honestly the only thing about blogging that makes me sometimes wonder why I’m even doing it. Thanks for sharing your insight. I think cheering each other on is the best idea!

  • Stephanie Claire

    I always find that when I am getting a bit obsessive over the business bits of blogging I get a bit insular, and isolated, spend too much time editing my own thoughts over and over again rather than responding to other people and outside influences! Definitely a burn out for my creativity! Xxx

  • Erika

    You know, lately I’ve been playing around with the idea of THE GAP… from that quote by Ira Glass. And it makes me think that… maybe we get frustrated when we see where we’d like to be because we’re not sure how to make it happen. And sure, maybe looking at numbers and wishing for them to be different is unproductive and drives us crazy, but maybe when we’re in this mode, when it matters to us, maybe it’s life nudging us to do things a little differently and take different steps? And we’re so quick to write it off as wrong or as taking the fun away, but maybe it’s just the manifestation of a deeper desire? Maybe it means we’ve reached the edge of our comfort zone and now must break beyond it? :)

  • Samantha Krause

    I feel you on this point! I go back and forth between feeling like I have to post and actually wanting to. I haven’t monetized my blog (yet, but I hope to do so eventually) and still feel the need to check my stats/etc.

  • Casey

    I agree, it often gets daunting when you start comparing. It’s one reason I hardly look at my page views, that way I can blog because I really want to share things and it makes such a big difference instead of stressing over the numbers.

  • Irene @ Away from Tenerife

    I do sometimes compare myself to other bloggers when it comes to content and quality. I don’t bother that much about numbers because I have chosen not to monetize my blog – until now it is purely a hobby and I don’t want it to be another source of stress in my life.
    But just like you, I also compare my numbers to previous weeks and months and wonder what’s wrong with it. But in the end I remind myself that it is only a blog and more importantly, my blog. So I can post whatever and whenever I feel happy about it. And even though I’m trying to write more often this year my main blogging goal is to write more compelling travel stories with better photos.
    I like your blog because you tell some great stories and have an interesting mix of topics. And I think you have hit the right balance between own content and sponsored content. So relax, you’re doing a great job. And yes, it’s only a blog a not worth a burn out :)

  • Jessa Olson

    I think we are all competitive with each other in a sense, but I think you can also raise each other up in the same way. I think it is just surrounding ourselves with positive and like minded bloggers.

  • Megan Thudium

    I’ve been struggling with this lately also! I’m a business major so half of my brain naturally thinks about goals, statistics and meeting numbers! I just have to remind myself of why I started my blog and all of the success that I have had thus far. :)

  • Becca Dorr

    I don’t really see myself as competing with anyone else. Your success doesn’t mean that I will be unsuccessful. I more compete with myself to do better than I’ve done before, and that’s what drives me.

  • Rachel Murphree

    I’ve been learning to take a step back and try to let things go. I’ve had a few moments where I had a great post planned, only to look at the photos later and realize they were too blurry, and thus no blog post. Then I got to thinking, why did I even bother going to that place/doing that thing/ making that recipe?! It was then that I realized how stupid I was being. Like the other commenter said, live first, blog later. If I am living for my blog, well then I kind of suck at life. Thinking about it that way has also helped me to stop comparing myself to other bloggers so much.
    -Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

  • Jenn from much to my delight

    I stopped checking stats a few months ago and never looked back. I write when I feel like it, and don’t push it when it’s not there. My blog is for story-telling, so I stick with quality over quantity. It’s different for me because I don’t make an income from blogging, but it sure makes it more fun again!

  • Annessa

    It’s so easy to get caught up in this, but there will always be someone bigger and badder. The important thing it to just stay grounded and remember as you said, it’s just a blog. It’s way too easy to get caught up in envy and jealousy.

  • Kayli Schattner

    I agree that the competitive nature can wind up hurting you in the end– I guess all we can do is our own personal best + cheer each other on!

  • Carly Metcalf

    I just started my blog so I’m not sure about all of this; however… you’ve got me scared! I’m sure I’ll find my niche in the long run:)

  • taehreh

    God I’m so far from ever achieving any of this that it hasn’t even crossed my mind. Maybe it’s a problem for the big timers ;)

  • Fran

    I’ve been playing the comparison game lately and I hate it… but at times I just can’t stop myself. It’s hard because I’m trying to grow my blog and it feels like I’ve come such a long way but when people talk about their “little” blogs and they have 2 or 3 times the numbers I have it hurts/discourages me aaah! it’s like a never ending cycle in my head lol

  • Alison Pirtle

    I’m still very new in the blogging game, but thanks for being honest about this topic! I guess we all need to remember why we started blogging in the first place. :)

  • Cassie

    Such a timely post for me to come across. I’ve been feeling this way a LOT lately and it’s a gross ailment I’d like to shake all together. In fact, I stopped offering sponsorships for my sidebar today because I hated feeling like people could measure my success (or lack thereof) as a blogger just by looking at the number of ads I had there. No more!

  • Kate Hall

    I couldn’t agree more with this. Blogging can be REALLY competitive and totally overwhelming at times. I recently took a step back from it and told myself I was going to take blogging hours away and put them into creative things offline, socialising, etc. because I found I was prioritising my blog which is ridiculous. Without doing cool things, what is there to blog about?

    Anyway, you aren’t alone in this! I think writing a post like this can help too. That’s what I did and I found it gave me some clarity, not to mention other bloggers agreed with me and it made me feel a lot better about slipping up!

  • Anna

    Course it’s natural to be competitive but I agree that cheering each other on and support is the best thing about blogging. I am taking a time out from blogging (though not commenting) but I’m also hoping it’ll help me refocus and get on top of what I want from the blog without worrying about the little things (and the numbers) because it can stop you from posting the things you really want to post.
    Thanks for writing this Rachel, I always love your blog insights.

  • globetrotterjen

    such an honest post…some time it’s hard not to get obsessed with stats. as a new blogger i often feel like nobody’s reading but i just love having a space to document my adventures!

  • Ktcyril

    I love that you bring up that it’s not hard not be be competitive with yourself to and past posts versus this week’s posts. I’m well aware that my viewership is mainly my dad and grandma, so when I see those numbers get higher than two, I already feel accomplished :)

  • Jordan Kovacs

    It is hard to turn off the competitor streak. I went to a festival in September with my boyfriend, and I was so worried about capturing cute pictures for my blog, that I did not actually enjoy the festival! Horrible! Since then, I have decided to take minimal pictures and only take pictures for “big” things.

  • Nicole Jahns

    feeling the same way girl. it was the main reason i shut down my last blog…but I couldn’t stay away and now I’m back at it. I guess for me, I just constantly think of the people I’m trying to help – basically the reason I re-started a blog – and focus less on all the other factors. But when even that doesn’t help, I just tell myself that I’m not allowed to think of it, just go through the motions, put in the work and hope that one day it will pay off. But I will say, less competition and more love/support always makes for a nicer community! *hugs*

  • KC Saling

    I look at competitiveness and comparison in the blogging world the same way I look at it everywhere. It’s a good thing when I’m looking at folks who have succeeded and using their success and lessons learned as a way to push myself to do better, or try things that I wouldn’t normally try. It’s a bad thing when I start using those folks as a yardstick and telling myself I’m not good enough when I don’t get the results they’ve gotten. In the end, we all have to do our own thing and love it.

  • Alexandra

    I have felt this way recently! With such a new blog, it’s easy to get discouraged, but you’re right, it’s just a blog… ha! xx

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Exactly! It’s not the end of the world if something happens to our blogs… although I feel that way sometimes. :)

  • Amanda

    Exactly! It’s SUPER hard to not compare yourself to others, and when I do, that’s when I get down on myself too. But then, like, you, sometimes it takes a breakdown about it to snap back into reality and remember that it is just a blog, and blogging should be fun! The moment it’s not, you’ve started taking it too seriously. I have to tell myself that over and over.

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Yep. And when you start taking it too seriously, you don’t want to do it anymore. So, really… comparing your blog to others is counterproductive! At least, that’s what happens to me.

  • Tatyana Z.

    I feel like a little competitive spirit is always good, but you have to remember that every blog is so unique, no matter what “category” it falls under. Everyone has their own interests; some interests are just more popular than others. It’s hard not to get caught up in the numbers, but it’s also really easy to see that every blog is different and there isn’t really a competition, not a fair one at least.

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Great point, Tatyana! I used to compare myself to fashion bloggers ALL the time because they’re always the most popular and usually have huge followings… but I’m not a fashion blogger! I write about travel… and random stuff… and I’m awkward in photos! Haha. There’s no way I’d every write about personal style. :)

  • Jess

    I needed to read this post. Life has gotten in the way of blogging (how funny does that sound?!) and it had to take a backseat, which obviously means the “numbers” weren’t what they used to be. But I just need to take a step back and remember why I started blogging in the first place. Back when the only people who read my blog were my mother and dog. I enjoyed it back then as a place to be creative, and now I have to figure out how to get back there.

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Exactly, Jess! My life has gotten in the way of blogging also, and a couple days ago, I was like, wait… that’s a good thing! I’m finally trying to embrace the positive, but yes, the numbers always make it difficult. Stupid google analytics!

  • Brianna

    I get discouraged a lot. My blog grew very quickly at first, and its now leveling off and not growing at the same rate, and it gets me down sometimes. I feel like even in the short while I’ve been blogging, I’ve seen competitiveness become a bigger issue

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Aww, don’t feel down. That happens to all of us, I think. I’ve also noticed that this spring has been “slow” if that makes sense. I think a lot of my blogger friends are kinda getting burnt out…

  • Ashley Angle

    I can’t stand it! It’s this unspoken thing that’s all around. It’s pretty discouraging, but I try to remind myself why I started blogging in the first place – first, for myself as a hobby and second, because it’s fun regardless of how many reader you have. It’s hard to remember those things!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    *join the Monday Madness link up!*

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Exactly, Ashley! I have to remind myself of that all the time. My blog is my digital scrapbook and it should be FUN.

  • Betsy Transatlantically

    From all the comments, it seems like a lot of bloggers struggle with this! It’s comforting to know that it happens to all of us no matter why we blog and at all stages of blogging. I know I’m encouraged when others write honestly about these sort of blogging struggles! Honestly, though, I was disappointed to see that most of this post was behind a “read more” link, especially since you don’t often do that on your blog and so including it here must have been a conscious decision, because it made me feel like you were using this hot topic to gain more page views. One of my favorite points in your post was this: “And then let’s stop comparing ourselves to each other, have fun, and write posts because we want to — not because we crave views.” I totally agree and I usually enjoy reading your blog and I think that supporting fellow bloggers is so important – that’s why I’m leaving this feedback! I just wanted to let you know that this seemed a bit hypocritical to me and, as a reader, made me feel a bit manipulated.

  • Sarah Shumate

    This is one reason why I’ll likely never monetize my blog – I have very little interest in stats and comparisons, and judging by what I’ve heard from other bloggers, that’s when it all starts to feel like work. I’d rather it still stay fun like it is now. Now, if I needed the money, that would be a completely different story!

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Yep. Exactly. When you start offering sponsorship and make $ with BlogHer, sponsored posts, Adsense, etc – it starts to feel like work. That’s what I’m struggling with right now! Among other things. ;) Ahh, blogging…….

  • Alexandra

    This post speaks the truth. As a new blogger it is hard not to constantly compare yourself to the bigger bloggers. It helps me to remember that some of these people have been blogging for years. I try to let it motivate me to continue to post regularly in hopes that one day I’ll be just as big as them.
    It’s a great relief to know that even bloggers like you feel this way :)

  • Kelly

    Hug it out would be a great way to deal with it!

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Wouldn’t it?!

  • Sammy Dorn

    It’s definitely hard when you get caught up in the blogging ‘rat race’ I think sometimes it’s great to take a step back and gain some perspective

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Mmmmhmmm. I hate when I get caught up in it!

  • Lix Hewett

    I don’t feel competitive about blogging at all, but I’ve found I can be a bit bitter/jealous of other designers quite often. I try to remind myself that there’s space for everyone but I think the problem is more that I don’t feel confident enough. I know because I went through the entire process with my writing, and eventually came out the other side without thinking I was amazing or anything – just knowing that I was good enough and there was room for my work.

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Well, I think you’re pretty wonderful!

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  • Hope

    Competiveness in blogging often gets me sad, and I find myself comparing and getting angry at other people’s success, when really I should just be happy for them and happy with my own blog. But sometimes that negativity within us is too strong H xx

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Exactly, Hope! We should be happy for each other but sometimes it’s so difficult. Especially when you start watching those numbers… views, comments, etc.

  • Ange

    Totally off topic but I neeeeeeeed to know where you got your little plant or did you make it?

    • Postcards from Rachel

      Home Depot! I was super surprised to find it there. :)

      • Ange

        I am making a Home Depot run! LOVE it!

  • Lifeplus1

    There is seriously a dark side to the blogosphere that I was all too blissfully unaware of until this week. What’s going around this week? It seems like it’s just been a yucky week for a lot of bloggers!

    I found some really hurtful comments about me and my child on a horrible website that basically exists to tear apart fashion and lifestyle bloggers. Isn’t that horrible?

    I think all of us share these sentiments about competitiveness at some point or another. I think it just shows that you are truly passionate about what you do. As long as you can recognize when you’re getting too obsessed. :o)


    • Postcards from Rachel

      Oh no! I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. I’m not sure what I would do in that situation. Especially when they’re bringing your family into the mix! How awful. :( And yes, there’s definitely a dark side to blogging and it’s such a shame, really.

  • Leah S.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing and let’s continue to support each other as a blogging community.

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  • ComaDiary

    I think I go through phases of this, and then others I just say to myself “Fuck it, I’m happy”. I would like to think its a validation when you see your followers and commentaries go up. I know I feel a little better if I have a post that gets over 50 views, but I’m a young blogger really, and in a bit of a niche.
    I like to blog about what I do, so it does encourage me to do more.

  • makeupandmirtazapine

    This is definitely something I’ve found myself getting sucked into lately. I was feeling discouraged because I felt like I’d stalled in terms of how many people were reading and subscribing to my blog. It took me a while to realise that I’d completely lost sight of why I’d started the blog in the first place. My blog at it’s roots is a niche blog, so it’s never going to attract hordes of people and I need to stop comparing myself to blogs that do.
    I do still suffer from blog design envy though, since that’s not something that comes naturally to me, I wish my blog was prettier.

  • Moriah Mattix

    I feel the same way! I have very few followers and am jealous of your blog! :)