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Honest to blog: Comparison in the blogosphere

One of the most common comments I see in blogland, especially on reviews or outfit posts, is the expression 'so jealous of your [product/item]'  I know I'm guilty of doing this, and even if I might not outwardly express it I still have the odd pang of disappointment that I didn't get offered a particular campaign or that my blog doesn't seem to get noticed as much as others.  You might now be thinking that I'm really ungrateful and that I get a lot of amazing opportunities - and I do, and I thank my lucky stars every day - but this post is about honesty, and that is the simple truth.  It's not all the time, but, I confess, I occasionally get that creeping feeling of jealousy now and then.

A lot of my working life at the moment centres around self-awareness and positive behaviours and attributes. Quite often when I'm driving home from work at the moment I find myself thinking "Was I the best version of myself today?" I try and keep this in the back of my mind all of the time - I try to generally be a positive person, I try to be practical and helpful and be kind to others and I try to be the sort of person that I can be proud of. 

Part of my attempts to be a more positive person have meant taking a good hard look at myself and identifying negative behaviours or traits.  I think we'd all agree that jealousy is not a positive emotion, and as the saying goes, 'comparison is the thief of joy'.  Bodhi is always absolutely thrilled with any treat that we give him, but if he's around his pal Henry, he automatically wants Henry's treat, even if it's not as good (and vice versa!) Sometimes, you're absolutely chuffed with something you've got - from a blog perspective it might be a lovely comment, some new followers, a nice email and so on - until you see what someone else has got and then it feels devalued.  I can only speak for myself but I hope that my intention will connect with others when I say that I think we really need to stop doing this.

img credit: bridgesandballoons.com


When I identify bad habits or emotions at the moment, I try and find a way to turn them into good ones.  So when realising I was doing too much comparison and too much looking over my shoulder at what the next person had got, I tried to turn that energy into something better.  If other people's blogs seem better than mine, or if people get awesome opportunities, well then that's great for them! I want to share in their joy and congratulate them - telling them I'm envious of it just makes it about me, and where's the kindness in that? We are all part of an amazing community and we need to be more supportive to each other.  I've decided that I want to help spread good 'blogging karma' and make opportunities for others so these days I try and recommend other bloggers who might be great for a campaign when talking to PRs.  I want to leave more comments, +1 more posts (apparently Google are beginning to take this into account when considering Google ranking - or so I've heard) and tweet more links to blog posts I love.  I also want to start doing posts about my favourite blog reads again, like my five favourites series.

The other thing that I find that comes out of my feelings of comparison that could be considered a positive emotion, is that it makes me strive to be better.  My motto with my blog has always been 'content is king', and producing things that people want to read is high on my agenda.  I blog for me (of course) but I also want my blog to be the best blog that I'm capable of producing.  I've had emails from people since my iPad post saying 'how can I work with brands?' and 'how can I review products?' and my answer is always that - content is king.  If you write awesome posts, people will want to read them and if it's your aspiration that you want to build relationships with brands then that will be an inevitable by-product.  Be creative, be innovative, be unique, be honest.  Ultimately though, a blog is just a little corner of the interweb and not the be-all and end-all and there's always lots of other achievements in life to be proud of.  Your blog should complement your life and be pleasurable, not generate feelings of frustration or guilt or envy.  (I need to remember this too).

I want to finish on this quote which was found on the same blog as the image above - it's a quote that really resonated with me when thinking about this post and something that really sums up how to overcome those pangs of jealousy.

“By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and equanimity towards vice, the mind retains its undisturbed calmness.”

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36 comments

  1. I'm struggling to remember this on a daily basis - especially when I see how many followers other people have got compared to me!

    But then I feel guilty because I have come to realise that for the most part, blogging (for me) is interacting with other members of the blogosphere, and now I am surrounded by so many talented and creative people and it inspires me everyday.

    I'm just taking it day by day, and I love reading other people's posts as much as I do writing my own.

    As for working with brands, why not? Blogging is such a powerful tool nowadays, and I think it's wonderful that everyone has a chance to reach out and work with brands which may not have been attainable to them before.

    Perfectly written, I am jealous of your writing style! Hehe.


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  2. Hi Rosie, I lived in Bournemouth fpr a couple of month before I had to go back to Germany. That's how I found your blog and since then I love the way you're doing your 'job'! You can hardly find such a honesty and constructive analysis of that topic in the German blogosphere. As I'm also an editor of blog, I completely understand your feelings and loved to read your text.
    Go on girl!

    xoxo, Sophie

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  3. I do very much enjoy your posts :)

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  4. This is such a brilliant little post. I need to think more carefully about the words I use, I'm forever leaving comments like 'so jealz of xxx' but I'm not really jealous, I actually mean 'xxx looks awesome'!

    I do think it's important to support other bloggers, I'm also trying to get to grips with Google+. I always try to comment on as many of my favourite blogs as possible, just one genuine comment means a lot to me so it's good to share the love.

    Such a fab little quote and I agree with you, content is king! <3

    Tara xo

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  5. I couldn't agree more with so many points in this post, it's natural to sometimes feel a pang of jealousy but if you can recognise it and realise that isn't the way forward then it's fine. I'm very similar and always think about things like this and negative traits in myself. Hopefully this post will inspire others too :)

    Lyndsay | Fizzy Peaches

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  6. Loved this post Rosie! So honest, yet so true! I really am trying to be more positive at the moment too, and comparing every little detail of my life to others just doesn't help anyone! x

    holljc.blogspot.co.uk

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  7. Lovely post - this harks back to the #lbloggers chat last night about positive/negatives in blogging. It's so easy to think that other bloggers are more put together, have a better social life or more opportunities but of course we're all sharing the best bits of ourselves. I actually have a 'blogs I love' post waiting in the wings at the moment as I feel like there could be a lot more mutual appreciation going on! x

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  8. Fantastic post, this was a great read. It is obviously so easy to be jealous of others, it's just a natural human emotion but I totally agree with you that good things can come of that. Whenever I feel a little jealous of something someone else has achieved it makes me just want to try that much harder, it gives me the little boost of "I know I can do that too if I really wanted to" which is for me, something very positive.

    In the blogging world I don't find myself experiencing much jealousy of others however, but I think that is due to knowing that blogging is just my hobby and something I do purely for fun. It's obviously nice to gain more and more followers because it makes the whole blogging experience more interactive and of course as you mentioned, the wonderful opportunities that come from blogging. I don't feel like I put enough time and effort into my blog at this point in time to be comparing it to anyone elses though.

    Loved this honest to blog posts, can't wait for the next one!

    Raffles Bizarre Blog

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  9. I completely agree with your post, even being a small blog. Jealousy tends to creep it's head and I try not to let it. I try to blog for myself and if I happen to get a reader, then great.. but if not, it's not the end.
    I need to work on being more positive and even appreciating the little things again.
    Great post!

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  10. Lovely post Rosie. I'm the same with you at work. We focus on positive thoughts equal positive outcomes, and it really helps to get the best out of people. I'm also one of those people who tries to put a bad mood or sad feelings aside as much as I can for the sake of other people, which then in turn makes me more positive and brighter eyed for the day. I think with blogging it's can be natural to sometimes feel a tiny pang of jealousy when someone receives something great or has an opportunity you could dream of. But I've started using it as things to work towards and hopefully I could achieve something like this one day! x

    LittleGlitter.org

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  11. I can identify with this so much! I am horribly jealous of some of my friends and how they seem to have better lives than me. I'm also jealous of bloggers who always get to work with amazing brands. I really appreciate everything I'm sent and everyone who wants to work with me but it is hard when certain brands just ignore your efforts. I know I'm an inconsistent blogger and I'm never gonna get the same opportunities as those who do two posts every day and live in London. So I do agree, its better to turn that jealousy into something positive and have it as something to inspire me to better my posts and blog more often. It's important to share the love and I do always think it's cool when bloggers crop up in magazines & other more widely recognised media xx

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  12. Thank you for this post, your inspirational words really do make a difference :)

    Maria xxx

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  13. I think you did well to write this post because some people may find it controversial. I think content is important, but if you don't produce quality things, then how much content you post is irrelevant. Thankfully your blog is filled with a lot of interesting and quality packed posts, and I think it's good to look back on and realise that we all get different opportunities. Jealously is good for letting you up your game, but it's important to not get too wrapped up in views, and who's blog is better and what. I really enjoy what you post and this was a though-provoking topic, so thanks for sharing!

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  14. Great post. I'm constantly comparing myself to others - both blog-wise and in general life - and I'm also trying to cut back on it more. I love reading posts by others and leaving a comment for them... I know how much I love when it happens, so I like spreading the love a bit :) xx

    D Is For...

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  15. Definitely needed reminding of this, I'm always comparing myself with regard to blogging and I do forget that I do make my blog the best that I possibly can. I'm constantly comparing myself to my friends at the moment who have all managed to get jobs in London and I'm falling behind and it's hard not to get jealous sometimes but I shouldn't as it just makes me unhappy! I always love your inspirational words Rosie so thank you again!

    Rosie
    x
    therunwayrose.blogspot.com

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  16. Great post Rosie :)

    I don't ever worry about followers now. I used to, but now I follow blogs on Feedly and pay little to no attention to my number of followers on GFC or bloglovin. It's great that I have followers, don't get me wrong - I just got over being jealous over the larger blogs.

    I agree with Dannielle above, I like to leave a comment on posts that I enjoy reading, and I love getting comments - but again, I don't fret if no one comments on a post if I enjoyed writing it! x

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  17. This is an absolutely amazing post. I find myself thinking a lot of these things too. Especially with events and such! It's good to just step back and remember where you started!

    Hayley
    Water Painted Dreams
    xxx

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  18. This is such a good, honest post. I try and improve myself and find it inspiring when others do the same! Recognising your own negative points/behaviour is difficult but so worth it when you then have the power to change it and/or turn it into something positive.

    Love the quote too- so true!

    Rachel
    rachelypuff.blogspot.co.uk
    xxx

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  19. Loved reading this post! So much so I just had to tweet about it! I think it's natural for us to be envious of others time to time - I definitely was when you got given an ipad mini! It doesn't mean we can't be happy for others at the same time :) I may not have a thousand blog followers, or get a zillion comments, but I'm grateful for everything I've got out of blogging so far and I enjoy it, that's all that matters to me. xx

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  20. I absolutely adore this post! Its so well wrote and I couldn't agree more with the points you made! Its so easy to get competitive in blogging but its really not about being 'the best' or having the best opportunities because blogs are personal to the writer. Someone might love a blog that others dislike - its really all down to the writer and the content like you said - not how many freebies or followers someone has. I just tell myself that I blog because I enjoy it and if I ever got to the stage where I didn't or was getting competitive, I'd probably call it a day! Blogging should be fun so it really isn't worth the stress!!

    Fabulous post!!

    Kayleigh
    xxx.

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  21. Loved this post Rosie, I just mentioned you in my blog love post :) http://www.aztecmess.com/2013/09/blog-love-2.html

    I am all for sharing the love! But I definitely get envious, I think sometimes it's hard not to, especially as blogs always show the good times :) xxx

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  22. I really loved reading this, Rosie. You are so right about positive emotions. The second you decide to have a positive atitude about life good things start coming your way! You have an amazing blog and I always love stopping by!

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  23. I adore your Honest to Blog series, Rosie, and this post certainly rings true to a lot of things I've considered and noticed in the blogging community recently. I see myself as more of an oldie in blogging nowadays (over three and a half years, four if you count my very sporadic posting!), and often wonder where my own blog is going, why comments have slowed down yet everything else has picked up... I think, as well as the points you make, a lot of the 'comparison' thing happening is because we're all so similarly passionate about blogging and this whole community that little others get to experience. Whilst I am guilty of sometimes comparing my blog to others, I think my blogging style and original mantra for starting the blog remains the same, and you know what my own commenting and love sharin' is like, eh? ;) So much food for thought in this post as ever! xx

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  24. This is all so true Rosie. It's so hard not to compare yourself to others, but the fact is there is always going to be someone more successful anyway. And in the same way there will always be someone less successful too.
    I think jealousy is possibly the most unhealthy character trait anyone can have. It's completely pointless (but so hard to control!)
    Love your blog!
    Rachel

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  25. Another fab blog post! I am wholeheartedly guilty of being the green eyed monster at times-when I see what other people have got on Pinterest, blogs, Instagram and even Facebook I can't help but be envious. Like you, sometimes I have to stop and think about what I have instead of being jealous of them...a great home (whether or not it is as pretty as someone else's!), a caring other half (whether or not someone else's is more romantic!), a job which I don't hate (whether or not I earn as much as anyone else!) and a little corner of blog land to write it all down and share my little achievements.

    Thanks for being so honest,
    K x

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  26. my favourite part of this post is "Was I the best version of myself today?" i think that's a bloody great question and if more people adopted that way of thinking we'd all be a lot happier. this was such a joy to read, content is king! keep up the bril. content.

    Cydney
    xxx

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  27. I've just found your blog and reading this post has instantly made me follow! I am working on being the best, most positive, calm version of myself to help with my anxiety disorder and it's something I work on every day. I really agree if more people stopped to think about what they did have, instead of what they didn't have, there wouldn't be half so many fights in the world!

    Great post!

    TwentySomethingBeauty | Twitter | Bloglovin
    Rachel
    xxxx

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  28. Great post and things for everyone to take away! I dont tend to get jealous of success in blogs but I do get envious of life patterns and pathways, my way of dealing with it is simply to find ways of bettering myself so that I feel happy i'm doing the best with what ive got. xxx

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  29. Great post and I love the quote! I write a travel blog but I mainly read fashion and beauty blogs, and it is great to see the sense of community you guys have, I do hope that it stays like that and jealousy doesn't get in the way of leaving nice, genuine comments and bloggers continue wanting to publish quality posts.
    Kerry x

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  30. i find it easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other bloggers who have been blogging the same time as you, especially when you look at the number of comments or followers but then i remember i blog because i enjoy it and even one person finds what i post interesting or useful then that's all that matters. i must say your blog is one of my favourites to read because i think you blog with honesty and integrity and it's always so varied so please, always keep going!!

    capturingthewanderlust.blogspot.co.uk

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  31. I always fail to remember this.
    I've had my blog for just over a year, I have a lovely amount of followers and I'm quite proud of that fact. I try to blog almost every other day and do my best to make my blog as interesting and welcoming as possible. But when I see 'big blogs' only blogging once a month, but still getting followers, pr samples and free trips handed to them, it really pees me off. Especially when there's bloggers out there that blog almost every day and actually pay for their products.

    Grr, rant over.
    It just really gets on my nerves.

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  32. Such a great post! Everyone should remember this. In a community of any sort support and friendship should always be put first. Such an honest post is so lovely to read :)

    chelseyxlou.blogspot.co.uk xo

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  33. Very interesting, excellent post. Thanks for posting. I look forward to seeing more from you. Do you run any other sites?

    Click Here :-Belize Property!

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  34. Great post :) I think the most I compare with other blogs is how that blog compares to mine - not really comparing the content of their life though. I typically compare blog layouts or how many followers they have and sometimes get saddened when I see a great blog and realize my blog is totally not there yet. Lame, but true.

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  35. Fantastic post :) Not just applicable to blogging but to all areas of life. I started a blog a short while ago, partly because I enjoy reading other peoples so much (yours included!) and wanted to be a small part of an amazing community. But I've been suffering from cold feet, partly, I hate to admit this, because i'm so intimated by the blogs I love so much. This post as well as your most recent post encouraging people to blog has definitely re-inspired me. Thank you for your encouragement and support of other blogs. Gail @ www.joyforroses.com xx

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.