It’s really hard to admit this, but I used to go around comparing my blog with others blogs based on pageviews. Somehow I thought if I had more pageviews than another blog, I was better than them in my quest to “be the best.”
In my eBay career, it was all driven by being the best. The best, most successful eBay sellers made the most money, got the most notoriety, and so on. So, as a new blogger, I just focused on that dream of getting to a certain level, some pre-conceived notion that I had that being at a certain level made me a better person, or I’d make more money, or be liked more.
I mean, we all want to be liked, right? We all want to earn more money, right?
Bloggers: Why Are You So Hard On Yourself?
For me, I think that I got caught up in looking at numbers….sadly, for way too long. I put certain bloggers on a pedestal because they had a certain number of page views and somehow anyone who didn’t, was less of a blogger….I thought I was less of a blogger.
I felt so insecure and so inadequate. I’m really hard on myself, like a drill sargent. No one else puts pressure on me; I do it to myself. I wanted to be the best.
Now, please understand, that as I type this, it makes me cry for two reasons.
1- I realize how wrong I was
2- When you’re wrong and people are watching you, following you, you have to admit it, and that’s hard. I think that sometimes we all just want to pretend we’re perfect, but I’m not. I make mistakes.
Judging a blog by their pageviews is a completely inaccurate way to go about things.
And my advice is the same to you. Do YOU put a certain blogger on a pedestal *just because* you THINK they are better than you because they get more pageviews than you? It’s easy to do, right?!
As a blogger, we just want to be the best.
But what if…being the best isn’t being the best?
What I mean by that is, what if having the most amount of pageviews doesn’t make you the best. There are some blogs on the internet as a whole, that have a gazillion pageviews and make 6 figures a MONTH and yet, they are jerks! People follow them around like puppy dogs, even though they are jerks, because they are so successful.
And yet, I see other bloggers, who get 100,000 pageviews where their blogs completely ROCK. The blogs are perfect in design, fabulous content, they are real, they are kind, and they work hard.
Why does one blog get a lot of pageviews and another doesn’t?
The truth is that people follow successful people. It’s true of anything in life. We all want to be inspired and that’s okay. But when we believe they are better than us, just because they get more pageviews, is that really an accurate representation of what’s real?
Isn’t the 100,000 pageviews a month the better blog? The better person? Than the 6-figure-a-month jerk? But we don’t look at it like that. We follow the successful one.
I want to help you think in a different way today. I want to help you see that success, fame, even fortune is NOT all it’s cracked up to be.
My point in all of this is to show you that just because another blogger has more pageviews than you, that doesn’t mean you are less of a blogger than them or that you should try to be their friend, so their success can rub off on you.
Listen, my blog gets an extreme amount of pageviews. I’m there. And while many people can and have said, “Well, you can say it doesn’t matter because you’re already there.” I say right back, “I can say that it doesn’t matter because I AM THERE.”
See the difference? I’ve SEEN the other side of things friends. I see what success is. I see what making fantastic money is. I see what pageviews are. I see it clearly, because I’m there. And there’s something that the successful million+ pageviews bloggers don’t tell you.
They don’t tell you that it’s HARD. That it’s NOT all it’s cracked up to be.
That there are always bloggers out there trying to take advantage of you, all the more, because you’re seen as “successful.” That people are all the meaner to you because some are jealous. That you get more trolls spreading their negative thoughts and words like cancer. That they work EXTREMELY hard to get to where they are and there are people in the blogging world who want to take it all away in an instant.
Blogging is like a rat race. Life is one big rat race. Everyone wants the cheese. Some bloggers will cut anyone and do anything to get that all-allusive cheese. Those bloggers usually don’t make it. Because everyone can see what jerks they are. People can see that they are fake or just want to use you.
Being a top blogger is not easy. You may think it’s easy. And granted, top bloggers make it seem easy because who really shares all that? A top blogger has learned to keep their mouths shut over time when they want to speak. They’ve learned to say the right things at the right time. They have incredible grace and wisdom and most importantly tact.
But there’s something you should also know…
Looking at another blogger who happens to have more pageviews than you and feeling bad about it, is not the right thing to do. In all honesty, your content may be better than theirs. It’s just that you haven’t learned to market yourself and your blog as well as they have.
Don’t let someone else’s success make you feel bad because you feel you’re not successful unless you reach a certain level. That will make you do one of two things:
- Do anything (cutthroat-style) to reach the top and always reach for the top like your life depended on it, never fully reaching your potential because you may be becoming one of “those” bloggers that everyone stays away from, or
- You’ll give up
Both of those options are wrong.
If you think that you’ll be happy if ONLY you’d reach a certain dollar amount or a certain level of comfort or pageviews, you’re wrong. Because “enough” is never really enough. You get a million pageviews and you want two million. You get two million and you want three. It’s like the book, “If you give a mouse a cookie.” This is the world we live in.
To be a top blogger, you can’t keep reaching to make it to a certain level.
“But, Sarah,” you say, “How then, CAN I get to the next level?”
My answer is simple.
Stop looking around. Stop comparing yourself to other bloggers. Just do YOUR OWN THING. Be yourself. Be the best version of YOU that you can be.
Instead of worrying what others are doing, how they are growing faster than you or getting farther ahead, realize that none of that matters. If you have a great blog, you are the best you can be. Even though I get a lot of pageviews and make a lot of money, I still don’t feel that I’m no where CLOSE to the top. When people fuss over me, it makes me feel weird. I don’t see myself like they see me. I see myself as a blogger who is always and who always needs to improve.
The lesson I learned in all of this is that I just want to be the best Sarah Titus that I can be. It’s not about numbers and pageviews. It’s not about money. It’s about you. You vs. You. How can YOU be your best? If that’s 1,000,000,000 pageviews, great, if that’s 50,000 pageviews, great.
If you’re looking around and you want what those top bloggers have, realize this:
1- It’s not as glamorous as you think. They have problems too, they just have a different set of problems and in several areas, they have worse problems than you can ever imagine. Try coming face to face with someone who you thought was your friend and you trusted them, only to find out they were a shark, just wanting to be your friend for information because you’re a top blogger. Then…try dealing with that same problem EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! It hurts. I’m not going to lie. I call out the elephant in the room…some people are mean.
2- You’re not any less of a blogger (or a person) if you don’t reach a certain amount of people each month. If you are being true to yourself, you are the best kind of beautiful you can be.
3- Blogging (and life) is not all about who makes the most money, who gets the most amount of pageviews, who is the prettiest, or how has the most friends. Blogging is about serving others. It’s about helping other people and using your skills, the skills that God gave you, for HIS glory, for HIS purpose, for HIS will.
4- The grass is NOT always greener on the other side….in fact, it rarely is. This coming from a woman who was married to a man for 14 years who thought the grass was greener on the other side every 3 months for FOURTEEN YEARS! In all that time, only 1-2 times was it actually greener, just sayin’.
5- Getting to a million pageviews or wherever your personal goal is or even making $40,000/month WILL NOT make you happier. Happiness comes from within. If you don’t have it now, you won’t have it then. Ask anyone who is rich. Money does NOT make you happy. Ask all the celebrities who are rich, who’ve killed themselves if money makes them happy! With more money, comes more responsibilities and those responsibilities ARE MONUMENTAL.
6- The Bible verse, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe,” applies to blogging as well. I am a fairly new blogger, not even 2 years old yet, which is still considered new, and yet, I have achieved top blogger status. It’s not about how long or how little time you’ve been blogging. It’s about your character. Do I make mistakes? Absolutely! You bet your bottom dollar I do….and often! Ugh! But my character, my heart is in the right place and that is to change women’s lives. I just want to serve. That’s it. If God makes me someone special, it’s by HIS power, not mine!!!!!!!
7- Don’t want what someone else has, because I guarantee you, you’re NOT seeing the whole picture. Because I’ve reached a certain level, I can see things more clearly, I’ve experienced more things, I’ve seen the veil of other top bloggers lifted in certain areas. It’s not always what you think. You know that I personally work 80+ hours a week on my blog. Are you willing to do that same thing for one and a half years to get to where I am and then have to continue to work it hard? You may say yes, but I can almost promise you, that 95% of the people reading this, once you try it for one month, would not be able to keep up. It’s HARD. Is it worth it?
Yes and no. For me, I want my family to be set and as a single mom, I’m the sole provider. Is it fun getting to help others, yes, but it’s also very demanding and because I don’t have a husband, I don’t have a lot of responsibilities that you do. I don’t have to make a 3 course dinner meal every night…and I don’t. I don’t have to spend time with a husband on date nights, etc. I can let my daughter do the dishes instead of spending time doing them myself. In a lot of ways, there are perks to being single. Is it ideal, no, but for this season of my life, it is what it is. I’m not ready to even date. Right now, I choose my kids over that. Time with them is important to me.
You have to do what is right for you and your life, and every single blogger is different and has a different situation. But don’t for one minute allow yourself to think you are not GOOD ENOUGH or that you are a loser just because you have less pageviews than someone else.
There are SO many ways to inflate pageviews. It’s NOT an accurate representation of a blog. I don’t inflate and all the top bloggers I know do not inflate, but yes, some inflate. That’s fine, but when someone says they have 2 million pageviews, that doesn’t give you a correct vision of a blog. We shouldn’t judge blogs by numbers, plain and simple. We should judge by character. Follow those bloggers who inspire you to be a better person.
This post was really hard for me to write, but my commitment to you since I started my blog is to tell you the truth, even when it’s hard. Was it hard today….Yes, absolutely! But it is my commitment and I take my commitments seriously. I’m not going to hide behind “safe” posts, you know, the ones that don’t rock the boat. It’s not my intention to cause a quarrel either. That’s not my style. Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find me: standing up for what I believe in, risking persecution to help you. That is who I am.