Usually, people talk about comparison as a bad thing. We’re encouraged not to get caught up in comparing our homes, cars, parenting styles, bodies or even our blogs to those of another person.
On one level I agree. Comparing yourself and your accomplishment to those of another person can be unhealthy. Comparison can breed discontentment as well as all kinds of insecurities and jealousy.
But I also do not believe that comparison by itself, is always a bad thing, especially in the blogging world. In fact, if done correctly it can actually be a very important tool for growth as a blogger.
Wondering how comparison can help you? Here are a few reasons, along with examples from my own experiences as a blogger.
It can help you figure out what you are missing – Have you ever felt like you are doing pretty good, but you seem to be missing one little piece? That there’s just something that is holding you back from reaching your goals as a blogger.
Exploring the blogs of more successful people in your niche could help you define areas of your blog that could use some improving.
For example: Early on in my blogging career I realized another blogger in my niche was getting far more traffic than I was, so I spent somet time studying her site. Our blogs are very similar in niche, but she was receiving far more traffic that I was at the time.
When I found out her stats, I had a choice to make. I could become wildly jealous, insecure and discouraged OR I could spend some time figuring out what she was doing that I was neglecting that might be able to help me too.
I chose the latter and spent some time exploring her site. I was able to identify 3 key things she was doing that I hadn’t been, and when I started implementing them my page views immediately started increasing.
Don’t be jealous, ask questions! – When you find a blogger you admire, you can also ask for their honest opinions on your site, and see if they will offer some advice about what you could do to improve.
If you do this, make sure you are ready for honest opinions. It can be very helpful to hear thoughts and opinions from other bloggers in your niche, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Also, realize that not everyone will have the time to go spend some time on your blog to give you personal advice, try not to get offended if you don’t hear back from some one right away. You could also consider hiring a blogging coach to help you out if you are in need of more help!
It helps you know your standards – Sometimes, when observing other bloggers you come across certain things that they are doing very successfully, but you disagree with the methods they are using.
Seeing how things work for other people also helps you to clearly define what your standards are and how you want your blog to work. Just because something is working for some one else does not mean that you have to do it that way to succeed. Know what your personal blogging standards are, and stick to them!
It can give you formatting tips – This is a huge one, because you could have stellar writing, but few people reading simply because you are not formatting your posts in a user-friendly way. (I was guilty of this one for my first few years of blogging!)
Using short paragraphs, bullet points or even breaking a long post into multiple shorter posts, can all do wonders for improving the reader’s experience on your site.
Spend time reading other blogs and exploring what you find to be the most user-friendly formatting and try to implement it on your blog.
If you enjoy reading a certain way, chances are other people will too!
It Helps You Create Solid Goals – Instead of just doing the same thing all the time and hoping for growth, comparing your site to other blogs can give you a wealth of ideas for your site and help you create goals for your site’s growth.
We’re not talking about goals such as: “I want my site to be as big as “so-and-so’s” but rather, “I”m going to do XYZ and double my monthly page views by the end of this year.
Setting concrete goals for yourself and how you plan to reach those goals is a great tool for growth, and can be very encouraging as you see your self reaching each goal!
I think similar truths could be applied to many situations where comparisons arise, but as this is a blogging site, I won’t explore those thoughts here except to say, that it is all in the perspective with which you are comparing and what you choose to do with the information that you learn from it!
Do you ever compare your blog to that of another to find ways that you can grow? Thinking about trying it now?
If you are serious about growing your blog this year, check out our 3 hour blog intensive, Part Time Blog, Full Time Income for more tips and tricks!