Emily and I met when we worked together on the redesign of her blog Socialbuzzhive. She was so kind to take time out of her busy schedule to share her thoughts with us. I’m sure you’re scratching your head about the title, so I’m going to turn it over to her…
This is going to be somewhat controversial I realize that. Especially since you are reading it on another person’s blog and I’m telling you, you shouldn’t read other blogs anymore. I’m actually not saying you shouldn’t read this btw. It’s a fabulous blog and I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of help from it!
What I am saying is that I rarely read other people’s blogs.
The reason for this is simple.
It’s a waste of your time.
It makes you procrastinate your own writing.
Why I Rarely Read Other People’s Blogs
Well, first let me just say if you have no problem whatsoever with any type of distraction tendencies or comparing yourself to others then by all means carry on!
I however, have a tendency to easily get side tracked when reading other folks’ blogs and instead of sitting down to work and cranking out 3 or 5 posts as I should be doing, I get all wrapped up in the OTHER person’s work.
I start thinking how great it is, or get obsessed with how many followers they have, or start reading all the comments and then move on to the next post and maybe even sign up for the freebies.
Or I think gee, I should really change my niche, re do my images, change my font size, add that social sharing button or whatever.
Whatever it is, it completely distracts me from my OWN work.
Does this ever happen to you?
Honestly, this is why I say it’s a waste of time. I used to read a ton of blogs. I’d read them and sign up for all their opt ins and newsletters and next thing you knew my inbox would be flooded with lessons and courses and webinars that I couldn’t keep up or ever get to. Half the time I couldn’t even remember why I’d signed up for it to begin with.
This didn’t do me any benefit. I didn’t learn from it. And it just left me feeling in a state of major overwhelm.
Nor did it provide value to the blogger who wrote the opt in either because I’d wind up unsubscribing eventually.
I thought at first this was helping me to be a better blogger by learning from as many other experienced people as possible.
In truth, it was a first class way of practicing ‘shiny ball syndrome’ and procrastinating from the work I should have been focusing on like creating my own content, digital products, email campaigns, guest posting, and growing my blog forward in the direction it should have been going.
Today, I have to admit I still find it very hard not to read other people’s blogs. But when I do I take a very disciplined approach and spend a very limited amount of time on them.
And when I do I read about 3-5 of my favorites and that’s it.
When Do I Read Other Blogs?
- The only time I really look at other people’s blogs is when I’m seeking a very specific answer.
For instance, the other day I wanted to find out about a certain plug in. And who is better to find the answer from than another blogger? If I searched on Google I’d be there for hours.
Another time I’ll read a blog is when I am just plum fresh out of innovative ideas. I’ll scan the headlines of posts and just get some different concepts and ideas to play around with and put a brand new spin on them.
If I start a new project or want to work on something I’m not really sure about I will generally go to a few of my favorite blogs and read everything they have to say about the topic.
I’ll keep them in my Feeder and then delete them to quickly move on to my project.
Reading Other Blogs Makes You Compare
One can’t help but compare one’s work to another’s. Especially if you’re in the same niche.
This can make you fall into a danger zone. After all:
“Comparison is the thief of joy”
Often times when you start comparing you get stuck in a state of paralysis and then become scared to let your own creativity come out. You’re worried that maybe you’re not ‘doing it right’.
The great thing about blogging is that there aren’t many rules.
But let’s face it, sometimes you might feel like every topic has already been written about and there’s nothing new to say.
When I was reading too many blogs I’d think ‘Oh, I can’t write about that now, someone else already did’.
Wrapping It Up
If you ever feel frustrated thinking like that just remember that the wonderful thing about blogging, and why people love them so much is that every single blogger has a different voice, a unique feel, an appealing tone, a different opinion, and that is what makes your audience keep coming back to you.
Of course that, along with an answer to your reader’s problems that you will solve for them each and every time.
So, here’s a question you may ask yourself.
Do you find that reading other people’s blogs is hindering your work or is it genuinely helping you to be more productive on your own blog?
I’d love to hear your answers!