I’ve wanted to write this post for a really long time. Pretty much ever since I discovered the ugly side of blogging – all of the competition – I’ve been asking myself why bloggers are competitive with each other.
To me, it makes NO sense. I’m all about collaboration versus competition, and I’ve made sure to cultivate friendships within the blogging community which are based on that principle. The photography in this post actually features one such friendship – my dear friend Anna, who runs the blog Fleurdille (you must check her out if you don’t already follow her!!).
What I’m Wearing:
Top: Zella (it’s actually pale purple!) | Leggings: Sweaty Betty
What Anna’s Wearing:
Top: Zella (in the white and yes, we’re matching – I swear it was unintentional!)
How Bloggers Are Competitive with Each Other
Before I dive into why blogger competition makes no sense to me, I should probably explain how bloggers are competitive with each other. Basically, what that means.
Blogger competition is trash talking at events or commenting on how a blogger “bought her followers” by doing giveaways. It’s being asked, right after you meet, “oh, how many followers do you have?” instead of “how did you get started?” or “what are some challenges you’ve been dealing with lately?”. Or literally any other question about your life. And – even though this might be better classified as just being fake instead of being competitive – it’s picking your blogger friends based on who can give you the most visibility and do the most for your blog, not who can help you grow the most as a human being. Or, you know, who you like the most.
When bloggers are competitive with each other, it’s nasty… but it’s not always super visible if you’re not aware of it.
I’ve had larger bloggers essentially snub me when they find out my Instagram following. And I’ve had smaller bloggers ask me for help getting started and then turn on me once their following surpasses mine. Bloggers talk poorly about another blogger’s campaign with a brand, and that typically comes from a place of jealousy because they feel like they were passed over for that same campaign.
So… Why is it Dumb When Bloggers Are Competitive?
Bloggers compare themselves to other bloggers. The same way a teacher might compare herself to another teacher, or how a manager might compare herself to her peers’ management styles. That’s just natural. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s necessary: I would not be where I am today if I weren’t constantly comparing myself to other bloggers.
I’m not beating myself up in these comparisons – that’s a one-way ticket to a toxic mindset. Instead, I use comparison to draw inspiration from other bloggers – I look for qualities or skills that these bloggers embody, and I try to figure out how I can learn to embody them too. For instance, I look to my friends Nita of Next with Nita and to Sarah of Sassy Red Lipstick for inspiration on how to create a highly engaged audience. To Kasey of Running in Heels and Lauren of A Lo Profile for sponsorship generation. And – finally – I look to Cameron of Cameron Proffitt and so many others for inspiration on how to juggle a successful blog on top of a full-time job. I see what these ladies are doing, and I try to emulate that to improve both myself and my business.
What I think is dumb is when a blogger acts like all other bloggers are her competition. If you do street style or edgier looks, I’m soooooooo not your competition. But let’s say you do preppy or feminine style – even if it’s similar to mine – I’m still not your competition. If you consider me your competition, all that means is that you haven’t yet clearly defined your brand.
If you’re being competitive, that just means you have yet to define your brand.
Even if our styles are legit identical, there’s so much that differentiates us. Perhaps you write more about the fashion, or you prefer the short-and-serious blog post approach. I’m neither of those things. One of my blogger friends – Tayler of Tayler Malott – has an almost identical style to mine (except she manages to be way chicer literally all the time). And we’ve never once seen each other as competition because our content is so different. Not better. Not worse. Just different.
Even if you write about all of the same things as another blogger and your style is almost identical, there’s still something that differentiates each of you. And you’d be better off working together than talking sh*t about each other.
So this is where you’re probably like “but Amandaaaaa, why would you be better off? And how?”
Welllllllllll, what if you and your style twin did a giveaway together? Then, all of your followers (who, presumably, like your style) would then discover and follow your fellow blogger with similar style. And vice versa. Thus increasing both of your followings and engagement. It’s a win-win.
What if instead you worked together on a sponsored post (like I did here)? Often, by approaching a brand with a collaboration idea involving more than one blogger, the brands are more willing to work with bloggers that don’t meet their follower requirements (and you can probably get paid more too!). So much winning.
There are so many ways in which you can work with other bloggers, focusing on collaboration instead of competition. And – PS – if this whole post didn’t drill that fact in enough, it should be noted that my friend Nita actually proofread this for me (I was nervous about it coming across as catty). Q.E.D.