Envy and jealousy are common traits in most of us. Let’s fact it, if someone has something we want, we can easily get a twinge of jealousy. In some instances, if it looks like they didn’t work hard to get it, anger and hate may set in.

It’s these negative emotions that can reek havoc on us, our daily lives and our creativity.

Today’s Lesson

When we read/see another blog or blog author that’s growing fast and gaining recognition in blogosphere, our first thought may be, “How is it they and/or their blog is growing so much faster than me/mine?”

Our first reaction may be to jump to conclusions. Negative feelings surface. We may become angry. Maybe we begin to feel “less than”. We may even let those feelings overpower us, get discouraged and just give up.

That doesn’t have to happen. In every life experience is a lesson. Instead of using that jealousy to ignite anger or hatred, we can use it to our advantage. Let’s study the other blog(s) and determine how it, and the author, are different from us and ours.

Listed below are some questions we can ask ourselves. Answering each one honestly can often disclose the truth.

1) Is their niche more popular than ours? Or, are we in an already crowed niche?

2) Is the blog author using SEO (search engine optimization) in their posts?

3) Do they have a “plan”? How much homework did they do prior to starting their blog

4) What is their presence in blogosphere? Are they actively commenting on other blogs? Using social media to their advantage? Joining blog carnivals? Twittering? Joining online forums?

5) How much time do they dedicate to blogging?

6) How aggressive are they in asking for Stumbles or Diggs ? (often landing them on the front page)

7) What is their knowledge of technology and blogging terminology?

8.) How self confident are they in submitting guest posts to bigger named blogs

9) Is their writing better than ours? What is their writing experience?

10) Have they hired a blog consultant?

11) How long have they been blogging?

12) Are they getting more inbound links than us, thus increasing their page rank and/or Alexa rating?

13) Is their site more professional looking than ours, and/or easier to navigate.

14) How consistently do they blog?

15) How do they project their personality in blogosphere? Do they appear authentic and genuine?

16) Do they answer the comments on their blog and make their visitors feel welcome?

17) Do they respect other peoples opinions?

18) Do they give credit where credit is due and link out to other blogs?

19) Are they looking as their blog as a “business”? A stepping stone to bigger and better things? Or are they treating it as a hobby?

It’s when we weigh the differences, we begin to understand why some blogs/bloggers succeed faster than others. In truth, when the answers are revealed, in most cases they have earned their spot in blogosphere and for that, they should be congratulated.

Today’s Assignment

Do you see other blogs that are doing better than yours and ask “Why”?

Do jealousy and envy enter the picture?

How do you explain those feelings to yourself?

By sharing your answer, others can benefit. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.


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  1. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I have never really felt jealous – always awe and admiration for people who give their blogs SO much!
    I have not been blogging on thinkmaya very long, but I have been there long enough to realize that we get what we give. Yes, there is LOT of learning to be done and that is easier for some than the others – but the resources are immense.

    In life I have never gotten anything out of hatred – only felt miserable myself …and I believe that is the same of the virtual world 🙂

    Maya´s last blog post..Are you a storyteller? What is your story?

  2. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I’m happy that I can answer this more positively now than I would have say, a year ago. I’m not jealous of any blogger I’ve come across. I don’t worry or wonder why another blog is more successful than mine.

    I see a LOT of great ideas and different ways of expressing them though, and sometimes I’ve wished I thought of them first! 🙂

    You’ve compiled an excellent list here, showing what a blogger can do if they want to improve their blogging practice. Great!

    Davina´s last blog post..Video — Preparation Inspires Self-Confidence

  3. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    Do you see other blogs that are doing better than yours and ask “Why”? Sure a lot of blogs are doing better than mine and I ask why hoping to learn something from them. One thing I don’t do too much is envy what people have. If their blog is poppin, they have to put that much more work into it, spend more time answering comments, maybe and writing more. No, never jealous. I learned a long time ago the way to get rid of jealousy is to pay someone a compliment. Acknowledge their success instead of secretly harboring resentment over it. When someone is doing great in whatever or has on a nice outfit, I tell them, even a stranger. I give praise when I can especially to bloggers. At first we may think we want the lime light that other people have, but once we get it we realize the work that’s involved. It’s not all that we thought. No one is better than me and I’m not better than anyone else. We are all different and have our own gifts, talents and personal situations. Hard to compare.

    Natural´s last blog post..Oh, Sense Less One

  4. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    I think Maya said it quite well – we get what we give. And saying that – success is something that is earned. It’s what you make it to be. I also think success is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe I enjoy comments and interacting with visitors, while someone else is looking at optimizing their site to monetize it. Two different approaches, two different results, two different ways of seeing sites – and two different definitions of successful.

    I do look at other sites where I see people being successful in ways that I want to improve in – and ask myself – what are they doing that I could do.

    Lance´s last blog post..Don’t Worry, Be Happy

  5. Hi Barbara – no one is totally immune from envy, but the best way to deal with it is to put the focus back on yourself, as Lance and Maya said, and deal with whatever deficit you perceive by comparison. Giving yourself a bigger to-do list would ensure no time for jealousy, right? 🙂

    You’ve provided a comprehensive list of tactics that could be employed in any number of combinations, resulting in a terrific strategy to grow anyone’s blog. Another thing to add might be, make a friend of the person you envy, and it just might turn to admiration instead. Natural’s pay a compliment tip is perfect!

    Betsy and Pete´s last blog post..IN FINE COMPANY

  6. Dave FowlerNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’ll admit to it. I have on occasion felt a little jealous of another blogger’s success. It’s usually only fleeting and there’s no real malice in my thought. I think it’s only natural too, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

    It’s odd but the negative emotions seem to spur me on much more dramatically.

    I’ve known this for quite a while too so I try to work with it to improve my own game. I’m a little overstretched at the moment so I’ve been slower at moving forward than I might have liked, but at least I know where I’m going.

    I totally agree with the others that the success of another blogger is a great learning opportunity and in the end, the little pang of jealousy always turns to thoughts of admiration.

    Thanks Barbara 🙂


    Dave Fowler´s last blog post..Teaching My Children About Health, Fitness and Diet

  7. Great post. I guess most of us get jealous a little bit from time to time but when I see/read a great blog and see that it is getting more popular it gives me encouragement to know that it is possible.
    It takes a while to build up a readership but it is always good to see it happening.

  8. sharonNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, you always manage to write on topics that are very relevant to blogging, hence bloggers find your site very informative. I am so jealous of you! Well not actually. When I see someone who blogs better than me, they are always a source of inspiration. I like to see people like that. People who are doing to the best of their ability. They make me question myself, if someone is doing such great work, how come I am not? Where can I improve, and how can I grow? Life is always about continous growth, so it is good to see people who are doing well.

    Even the best are pushed to do better by others who they see as doing better than them. So the cycle goes.
    I think because you are doing so well yourself, you have inspired others to do well. I know for sure that you have inspired me and thank you for that.
    People can do well in a variety of niches, it is not about one particular niche. That is limited thinking, for sure.
    Jealous is indeed a dreadful thing, because it holds us down, and instead of appreciating the excellence in others we despise it. Oh what a pity.
    Let us all do our best so we can inspire others, and may the green eyed monster rest in peace!

    sharon´s last blog post..Ecstasy of Joy-Bob Proctor Cruise 2008

  9. Ari KoinumaNo Gravatar says:


    I must admit that I feel some negative emotions when I see bloggers who started later than I did, especially ones whose content I do not particularly like myself, are doing “better” in terms of comments count, subscriber count, or in any other visible signs of blog’s worth.

    But then like others, I reflect back on what I’m NOT doing. Am I posting everyday? No. Am I doing SEO? No. Am I out commenting on other bloggers everyday? As much as my time allows — which is limited.

    And then I reflect on where I am doing positively. Is my blog growing? Yes. Is my pool of what Skellie calls “evangelists” growing? Yes. Am I writing posts that I can be proud of? Yes.

    So I can’t help but accept and be content with what I have. It doesn’t mean that I stop wishing if my blog grew faster, to give me assurance that my endeavor is going to be a success. But to do more than what I am doing involves sacrifices that are more painful than what I may gain in return, so in the end, I just accept where I am.


    Ari Koinuma´s last blog post..The 7 Keys to Breaking Bad Habits

  10. I know that there are blogs out there that are much better than mine. I am not trying to be the best, because I know that what you read is all about preference and everyone has one. So no matter how hard you try to be the best, there is always someone better. I do feel a little pang of envy when I see how many comments some blogs get and I think, “What are they doing, and how do I do that?” But, I make my blog about me and what I am about and what interests me and if others want to read it, then that is wonderful. I suppose if I was doing it for monetary reasons, I would certainly make more of an effort. To me, blogging is fun and I am enjoying meeting lots of wonderful “blogging buddies”. Thank you for your continued guidance, Barbara!

    Jennifer (Danifer)´s last blog post..Movie Review – Running Scared

  11. I do feel jealous sometimes and then tell myself that it’s a ridiculous feeling and instead try to direct it toward feeling happy for the person working a little harder.

    That’s a great list of things to look into and possibly work on or correct.

    Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..5 New(ish) WordPress Themes

  12. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with all the sentiments above. I love to see successful bloggers. They set a template that I can choose to follow or not, but I doubt there’s a single blogger facing success who hasn’t put the work behind it to back it up. Blogging is hard work and all of us know it. The best of the best show us how far we can reach.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..Redbook… An Excerpt

  13. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, I do see it happening and my conclusion is one of three main reasons:
    1) My niche is over saturated and that makes it harder to compete.
    2) They have children with more severe medical conditions. For example, one blogger who has been blogging about the same time as me has a daughter with Ds that has had leukemia and spinal surgery in her 4 short years of life. Dad is in Afghanastan and mom is doing it alone with 4 small children. People are drawn to her and her family. I’m not jealous, but I also recognise that many people read her blog for various reasons and that’s ok.
    3) I’m not funny. Many mom bloggers put a humorous spin on all their posts. I get lucky on occasion, but my writing style leans more to the dramatic. People want to laugh. It’s not that they don’t like me, it’s just that they prefer the funny people. I can’t change my spots. I am who I am. I have to keep plugging along and be content with my smaller group of readers. My purpose is to educate for the most part, not to entertain with humor.

    But, I have my loyal readers and I’ve got a darn cute kid that people like to read about! 🙂 (And two others that are kind of cute, too. Hee hee.)

    Debbie Yost´s last blog post..Magic Marker Monday Blue Beard

  14. SquawkfoxNo Gravatar says:

    There is always going to be someone more or less successful. That’s life. To get green about it would miss the opportunity of learning WHY a particular site is doing so well. In blogging, there’s always something we can do better. Your long list is a good start. 😀

    Squawkfox´s last blog post..Squawkback: Do You Tip? How Much?

  15. Barbara,

    Many bloggers (especially “new” ones) don’t realize all the work going on “behind the scenes”.

    As you so BRILLIANTLY pointed out, there’s so much more to creating a successful blog than just sitting down and writing the first thing that pops into your head.

    Trying to create a successful blog without a plan is like taking a deck of cards and “spraying” them onto the table. If you want the cards to line up in any order, you had better lay the cards out individually to achieve that goal!

    Kathy @ Virtual Impax´s last blog post..Steps to Starting a Small Business: #6 Setting Your Rates

  16. JodithNo Gravatar says:

    When I look at a more successful blog, my first thought is generally, what are they doing that I’m not.

    I know some blogs are more successful just because they are in a more popular niche. But it just wouldn’t pay me to blog about motherhood, or homeschooling, or internet marketing because I don’t know anything about those things.

    I chose my niche carefully, found something that I do know a lot about, that I can make a meaningful contribution in.

    So for me, it’s more about maximizing the tools of the trade. I’ve been blogging in my niche for about 10 months now, and things are just really starting to take off, not because my blog isn’t good, but because I’m slowly learning how to maximize my blog and get word out to my target audience.

  17. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I feel jealous and competitive and silly for feeling jealous all at the same time. The big question always is what are they doing right that I am not doing (well). And usually it’s for bloggers who have started blogging at the same time or after me.

    But then I always remind myself, that it doesn’t matter when they started blogging, they might have been getting prepared for it for life.

    I usually try to find out as much as I can about bloggers I admire. And there has been no lucky case till now. Leo Babauta used to write for past 17 years or something before he started blogging. This is a huge advantage for him which those who started with him might not have.

    Steve Pavlina put in same energy and effort to maximize what he learns. He took 33 courses at one time. He devoured hundreds of self development books and worked on himself.

    What people learn in their lives work as an advantage in blogging. There is definetely no reason to feel envy. They deserve what they got. I will get what I want when I work enough to deserve it.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..Top 8 Productivity Hacks – #3

  18. Andy BaileyNo Gravatar says:

    I get jealous of people who can sing, play music, write stories or do anything artistic . it’s why I’m such a geek, I got jealous of someone at school who could program his computer and it’s been all down hill from there!
    I was going to have to learn to sing, draw, play and write but learning to program made me realize that you should applaud people that get good enough at something to make you feel envious because it’s a product of working hard and practice which is something we can all do if we put our minds to it.

    great post, I feel bigger from reading it 🙂

    Andy Bailey´s last blog post..Mashable voting opened and CommentLuv is a nominee!

  19. In the early days of blogging, yes, I was jealous/upset/envious/frustrated. I was working so hard, and other people seemed to be zooming ahead of me with their stats and counts. But I have settled into my blog. I like my blog. I like writing my blog. I like the people who comment on my blog. That’s all that matters.

    Urban Panther´s last blog post..Check that phone at the door

  20. NeilNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, great post! For myself I didn’t get into blogging to compete with others. I certainly want to be successful with my blog and have developed a plan to help see me do this. So far things are moving along according to my expectations.

    Bloggers are an interesting community and I find rather than be jealous as a whole we are supportive of one another. We just want to know what tactics and strategies we’re eaching employing.

    Neil´s last blog post..Make Saving Automatic

  21. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Maya – Well said, “We get what we give”.

    Hi Davina – Yes, it is a bummer when someone beats us to those great ideas, but there’s always more where they came from. 🙂

    Hi Natural – You’re right. We all have different gifts and talents.

    Hi Lance – We can learn a lot from other bloggers, can’t we? All we have to do is look.

    Hi Betsy and Pete – That’s a great idea – make friends with those we envy/admire.

    Hi Dave – Isn’t that great how that works? Envy and/or jealousy sparks us to do better.

    Hi Three Dog Blogger – Welcome to the BWAB community. That is encouraging, isn’t it? Knowing it’s possible. That’s a great way to look at it.

    Hi Sharon – Thank you for your kind words. You’re right. No one is perfect. We all have those we look up to. Those who motivate us to do better. Those who give us hope.

    Hi Ari – What a great way of looking at it. You take the positive and use it to your advantage; being grateful for your journey and accomplishments, thus far.

    Hi Jennifer – You’re welcome. If we look close enough, we can find blogs better than ours, and worse than ours. It’s what we choose to focus on. With regard to your blog, I don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit. It’s a fabulous blog that shows who you are and what your passions are. Keep doing what you’re doing and stay true to yourself.

    Hi Kim – Yes, others are often putting in a lot more hours than we can even imagine. Being happy for them is key.

    Hi Writer Dad – I like how you put that, “The best of the best show us how far we can reach.” 🙂

    Hi Debbie – As a mommy blogger you are in a saturated niche, but like you said, you have Peanut, and we all love to hear stories and see pictures of her. She’s a doll, just like her Mom and the other two girls. 🙂

    Hi Squawfox – That’s right. Being jealous could easily stop us from learning what we could do to increase our success.

    Hi Kathy – Thank you. Isn’t that the truth? Blogging is more than just writing. There’s SO much more we need to do.

    Hi Jodith – That’s the secret, isn’t it? Learn the tools of the trade and maximize you blog to your target audience.

    Hi Avani – What great examples. With Leo having a history of 17 years of writing, and Steve Pavlina devouring self help books, it’s no wonder they are reaping what they sowed. They are great mentors from whom we can learn much.

    Hi Andy – Yes, we should applaud those who are talented. Like you said, they have worked hard and practiced long hours. And you’re right, we can do the same if we put our minds to it.

    Hi Panther – That’s a great attitude you’ve settled into. You love what you do, are happy with the results, and us that visit you can feel that joy.

    Hi Neil – Thank you. Yes, bloggers are an interesting group, and what’s great is if we run in the right circles, we’ll find bloggers who willing share what works for them. THAT’S what I love about bloggers – they will help each other.

  22. I try very hard not to compare myself to others – online and offline.

  23. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I think that folks who have a successful blog should be congratulated. Yes, I am interested in how they did it so I search their blog to see what I can find and maybe even ask them a question or two. Sometimes, I do not get an answer but hey most of the time I do. I am still in learning mode and will always be so envy is not in my vocabulary at this time. I am interested in creating a following, presence and/or information to assist folks and then go from there.

    Linda´s last blog post..America’s Power

  24. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I felt this way about before.

    It was about Writer Dad. I thought I discovered a nice little blog and then it blew up rather quickly. I must admit that I was jealous. I started to hate him and almost stopped checking for his blog. But then I realized that would be wrong. He has talent and truly deserves his audience.

    I dont know why my blog hasn’t taken off. I know I have the talent. I appreciate my small audience and hope that one day it will grow but that’s not really the reson I blog anyway. So I will blog and try to ingore that green eyed monster.

    Chase March´s last blog post..Feel Good Interpretation

  25. I don’t get jealous, I get inspired! I work on leveraging what they are doing well and try to incorporate those things into my blog. I ask myself similar questions to the ones on your list so I can learn from other bloggers.

    Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..My First Video Blog! Take Back Your Life Episode #1 – Assessing Your Actions

  26. I totally get jealous! But I agree 100 percent with what Natural said–when I congratulate the person, the jealousy just fades away. It’s almost magic! It works in real life and it works online as well.

    I also like what Betsy and Pete mentioned: turn that person into a friend. I learned early on that your closest competitors make the best friends (even if they beat you every time) since they know what you’re going through. I hadn’t thought to apply that to blogging until I read that, though.

    Sara at On Simplicity´s last blog post..Three Holiday Traditions You’d Recommend

  27. Those are all very useful questions to ask oneself in blogging.

    I think jealousy should be confronted each and every time it appears in ones psyche. I just think it’s one of the ugliest emotions in existence. To have joy for the fortune of someone else would be a spiritual victory. Jealousy is bad news.

    Also, I’m going to try not to be so concerned of whether I feel a blog that succeeds “deserves” it or not. Not sure how one could objectively conclude that. Also, what differences does it make and how would it effect me one way or the other?

    If a blog succeeds, I will try my best to be happy for them regardless.

    This was a very thought provoking article.

    Bamboo Forest´s last blog post..Choose NOT To Get on The Negativity Train

  28. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, loved this post – thank you
    When the Envy light pops on, I have lots of feelings but in the blog world they are mostly – Hip Hurrah – I can see something more I need to learn…what an opportunity.
    I am so enjoying that about myself in the blog world – compared to my first career. I like who I have become…I just love reading all these great thoughts and ideas….and Wow Davina got a video up – I may want to learn how to do that next?
    Then the humble button lights up as I can not find where I downloaded the Tribes ebook…to read it?…from Passing Thru –
    the balancing act comes too quickly…but how fun is this?
    Great picture and info…Thanks

    Patricia´s last blog post..Hat’s Off to a House

  29. Haha! I wrote about this in my very first guest entry (over at Amy Derby’s Write From Home), comparing myself to Writer Dad and wondering if he compared himself to other bloggers and so on and so forth.

    I think that some people were born to be natural bloggers and others have to work harder for it. I’m OK with having to work for it – it’ll just take longer.

    Matthew Dryden´s last blog post..How Did HE Get a Girl Like THAT?

  30. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara: I’m used to competing with myself so I don’t compare myself to other people. What I’ve started doing recently is keeping a log of everything that I do on my blog (what blog post is up, if I wrote something for ezine articles, if I have a guest post up, if I install a new plugin, if I move around the widgets on my blog, if I spend time on stumbleupon and twitter, and so on). That way I can keep track of what’s working for me and what’s not and improve that way. If I land on a blog and see something that catches my attention in a positive way–for example, they have the plugin that allows people to edit their comments–I’ll try to replicate that on my blog. That way you learn from others.

    Marelisa´s last blog post..Six Tips to Make Ideas Happen

  31. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not sure jealous is the right word, I think I frustrated is more like it. I am learning so much from other people but time to put it into place is limited. My challenge is in reminding myself that I am doing great considering the constraints on my time and energy.

    I really do enjoy reading good blogs, it energizes me!

    Tracy´s last blog post..What We’re Reading Today At IHMMB World Headquarters

  32. CarlaNo Gravatar says:

    I know I have definitely felt “less than” in the Blogosphere.

    -“They are a better writer.”
    -“They are not juggling a full-time job + trying to start a business.”
    -“Their blog looks better than mine.”

    The list can go on. I honestly have to work at not comparing myself to others in this very small world. You questions are very useful for me to consider.

    Carla´s last blog post..Barack Obama speaks about our addiction (to oil) on ‘60 Minutes’

  33. Dr. CasonNo Gravatar says:

    I recognize that if you put yourself out there and interact, people come back and interact with you! Surprise that’s how real life works too! 🙂

    It’s tough for me to do this and see patients and raise a family, and cook and clean and grocery shop and then….in my spare time – take a few photos and put it out there.

    I do it as a hobby now and still really enjoy it! Greeblemonkey just chose my photo as a November finalist and it feels so good. Better than having that “perfect number” of people visit me. For me it’s always been about the photos and writing. I just hope to get better as time goes by….

    Dr. Cason´s last blog post..Photo Contest at Greeblemonkey- Grateful

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Vered – That’s the attitude to have, and like you said, both online and off.

    Hi Linda – I’d have to say, we’re all learning right along with you. Isn’t it fun?

    Hi Chase – Yes, Writer Dad’s blog did take off fast. And yes, he is also a fabulous writer. But, so are you. It’s smart you realize that even though you have a small audience, it’s loyal. Keep doing what you’re doing, and me and others will continue to follow you.

    Hi Stacey – Yes, learning from other bloggers is key. They’ve been there and most will willingly share. Together we all grow.

    Hi Sara – I agree jealousy fades away when we congratulate or compliment the other person. And, like you said, our “competitors” make the best friends and have the most empathy.

    Hi Bamboo – Thank you. I’m looking at the post of yours that is showing in CommentLuv “Choose Not To Get On The Negativity Train”. I’ll have to come by and read that. It sounds like we’re writing on similar subjects.

    You’re right. Jealousy is an ugly emotion. It can bring out the beast in people. Confronting it is essential for personal growth.

    Hi Patricia – You’re welcome. Isn’t it great? We land on other blogs and say, “Hey, I want to do that, too”. They we put on our thinking caps and either ask or figure it out. Doesn’t it feel good to be inspired to learn more?

    Hi Matthew – I’ll have to read that post as it sounds fascinating. Like you, blogging hasn’t always been easy for me either. I still struggle with a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, but patience will pay off.

    Hi Marelisa – You’re record keeping is a fabulous idea. And like you said, when you visit other blogs, you can take away that which you like to make your blog even better.

    Hi Tracy – Oh yes. Trying to do it all can be very frustrating especially when our real life demands our time. I’ve learned to do what I can at my own pace and to set priorities for what’s essential. The rest will wait, kinda like the laundry. 🙂

    Hi Carla – Feeling “less than” in blogosphere is very common, especially for new bloggers. If we can remind ourselves the others have paid their dues, or come to blogging with experience, it eases that feeling. Everyone starts out the same; with one post, and just like us, their journey has been one step at a time.

  35. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dr. Cason – Congratulations! That’s fabulous. I often wonder how you do it. Your plate is full (over flowing, I should say), but your love of photography, medicine and your family always shines through. Like you said, it’s not about comments or stats, it’s about enjoying what you’re doing.

  36. I think the growth of some blogs show great possibilities.

    Barbara, I took several hours this evening studying SEO by reading the post you linked (which Cath wrote, I figure), the post Cath published today coincidentially, and several other posts on SEO (like John Huff’s). Let me be honest — I still don’t get it.

    I try to do SEO for my posts because I think it’s the best way to get meaningful traffic. But it doesn’t seem to be working. Of course, my niche (spiritual development) is the kind of niche with many publishers and fewer readers (bad combo!) but still I feel I am missing a few puzzles . . .

    So I have a suggestion. Can you do a case study of a blog? It doesn’t have to be my blog. Just looking at what is happening and how it can be improved would be super helpful.

    Like Men With Pens do reviews of blog design on Sunday. “Barbara’s blog makeover” — I’m sure it will be a great hit!!

    Akemi – “Spiritual Entrepreneur” @ Yes to Me´s last blog post..Review: Living The Law Of Attraction

  37. The thing I feel the most envy for is subscribers. But then I think about how I’m building subscribers bit by bit and then the envy goes away.

    I’m in this for the long haul. It’s like my investments. I’m not panicky about the market downturn because I don’t need the money for another 25 years. Why worry in the moment?

    Building blog numbers is the same. I’m doing all the right things. The numbers will come. It just takes patience.

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..Can You Just Enjoy a Moment?

  38. melanieNo Gravatar says:

    I often get green eyed and then have to get real and ask myself why. I found that in my niche I need to write a book, love kids and show pics of my dogs or cats to get some love but I decided a long time ago that it wasnt me. I take from successful blogs only lessons that I am comfortable with so that I can keep as real as possible. I never wish them malice though and feel inspired by them even after getting a little envious.

    melanie´s last blog post..On My Desk

  39. Jeremy DayNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    No, it is easy to get jealous. But I think of the community of bloggers as my friends. We are all more or less in this together. And I think hard work pays off.
    I do try to see what the big boys are doing and copy them, but Im not attached to becoming some super star blogger. I just have fun doing it! 😉


    Jeremy Day´s last blog post..Stumble Upon, Stumble, Stumbled: The User Guide to Stumbling

  40. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    @ Akemi – you seem to be number 1 on Google for an important search phrase. And it may not be a highly searched phrase now.

    But the way I see it is, once the type of service you give becomes more well know, folk will be using that phrase to search for it – and yours will be the first blog they’ll see.

    What you need to do though – is have a good brainstorm and try to think of phrases folk would use who need your help. They may not necessarily of heard of your service but they’ll be looking for some sort of help.

    @ Barbara – I can understand why lots of new bloggers get frustrated. But as you and I both know, a lot of hard work and time is needed. Some blogs – like Vered’s can become amazingly popular in a short while – but hers is an exception, rather than a rule.

    I read business blogs that are more popular than mine all the time and blogs in other niches, to figure out what they are doing that I should be trying. And it gives me hope that I can get there too.

    Now, what would really get me down would be – if no other blogs in my niche were really popular. That would mean there was less demand for my type of blog.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Do You Have Business Questions?

  41. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Akemi – Yes, when we see other blogs grow it’s great inspiration for us.

    To address your other questions, here’s some food for thought, Akemi. SEO can be difficult to utilize and be successful with especially if the keywords that are pertinent to your blog are not so popular. Unfortunately using keywords can also completely change the way we write and in that we can lose our true voice. Definitely a fine line. I think you also have to ask yourself, WHO is your audience? Is it the masses who might be searching for spiritual development? Or should you target people via social media or Twitter? You might also think of targeting a smaller niche/demographic if your competition is stiff. When we do something, or offer something the others aren’t offering we often end up separating ourselves from the pack. Keep in mind though, that will probably mean slower growth, but in the end it can build up a fantastic reputation and you could end up being the “go to” girl.

    I’ve heard of Men With Pens’ “Drive By Shootings” on blog design. To do something similar is a great idea. I’ll definitely consider it, but feel I need to learn more about blog “mechanics” and also need to find more time before I add more to my plate. I feel honored to think my opinion would hold that much weight. 🙂

    Hi Alex – Yes, looking at subscriber numbers on blogs can be intimidating, but just like the rest of us, everyone started with one (subscriber). I’m also reminded that subscriber numbers can be manually manipulated, so how accurate are they?

    You’ve got the right attitude. When we’re in anything for the long haul, patience will pay off.

    Hi Melanie – You’re on the right path. You are being true to yourself. Although others write books and post pictures of their kids and animals, dare to be different. Be known for your originality. In the end, you’ll stand out as someone who is authentic and genuine. That’s a winning combination.

    Hi Jeremy – Oh yes, the community of bloggers are a great group of friends. We help when we can, we pick others up when they’re down, and we rejoice in each others accomplishments.

    Unfortunately the big boys and girls didn’t have anyone to learn from, but we can from them, and have fun in the meantime.

    Hi Catherine – Thank you for showing up and sharing from the voice of experience. Just as many learn from you and mistakes you’ve made, you learn from others. It’s like a circle of knowledge. And you’re right. Successful blogs in our niche do give us hope.

  42. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I realize that it is not possible to compare the results of others to mine. To start off with, there are a lot of factors at play. Like what you said, as an example, the other blogger may post more frequently than I or may have more time to do social bookmarking.

    We also do not know what goes behind the scenes with each site. If the focus of my day is my kids or other personal stuff, then I’d have to expect that I have less of a time doing SEO. When I think along these lines, the green eyed monster does not appear.

    Also, another blogger may have a larger pool of subscribers but he or she may have a poor conversion to sales ratio. In short, not so straightforward to make comparisons!

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..My Vision Board Tops Amazon’s Bestseller List?

  43. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Evelyn – What you said is right on. What is going on behind the scenes is huge. You may be focusing on your kids or personal life, and I’m focused on our business (my paying job). Whereas others may have hours upon hours to be on their computer. That difference in time alone can make the difference between a blog growing fast vs one growing slower.

    It’s never apples to apples, is it?

  44. Great post, Barbara.

    I admit, I get jealous all the time of two kinds of bloggers.

    The first kind is the one that seems really popular, but I don’t connect with. The kind that seems to survive on its own regardless of comments or readers (which they have plenty of). I stop by and try to learn from them, and then I move on.

    The second kind is blogs like yours, or Lance’s (there’s many others, but these are the main ones that came to mind). The ones I enjoy immensely and have a high readership/comments. But that jealousy quickly fades when I realize the reason you are successful is because you genuinely help others.

    Thanks for all that you do. Have a great day!

    Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..8th Wonder of the World

  45. @Cath,
    Yes! That is exactly how I see and feel. I’m on the first page for some terms but they are not big fat search terms. And I have hard time coming up with good key phrases even with online keyword tools.
    People who do come see my blog seem to like it a lot, though.

    That is a super question about my audience. My strategy is to cast the net large on Yes to Me, hoping some will eventually check out my Akashic site. So the audience for Yes to Me is more general. I’m not very big on social media — I think I am still confused because they don’t seem to bring in quality audience. They are like passers-by.

    Akemi – “Spiritual Entrepreneur” @ Yes to Me´s last blog post..Review: Living The Law Of Attraction

  46. Tammy WarrenNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara,

    I guess I could say that I do not feel envy for those bloggers that do well. I think we all go through our own phases. There is a great deal of time and energy, which to me means life moments that are spent, when a person becomes successful with blogging. I am usually the person clapping in the corner for those that do make it. I have been following a couple of bloggers lately that have just recently started. I am slowly seeing their comments increase. I hope they do make it and I think they will. For me, my blog is growing slow and steady. I am enjoying the communication/friends that I am making along the way. I really don’t have a long term plan. I guess “community” is what I want. I am traveling out of state a great deal over the next couple of months with work. I plan on meeting up with some of my “fellow bloggers”…I can’t wait to meet them.

    You said it perfectly, those that do make it have “earned their place in the blogosphere.” They should be commended.

    Tammy Warren´s last blog post..Let someone else pick up the slack

  47. Great post. I do honestly sometimes get frustrated that the blogosphere doesn’t immediately recognize the greatness of my blog (when I see some of those the blogosphere seems to love). But mainly I try to see what others blogs are doing right, if I am impressed, and then try and see if I can adapt some good practices myself.

  48. JannieNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve only ever been jealous of one blogger, a Superstar. But when that yucky feeling arises I try to give my mind a little shake and focus on writing something that I like and chances are my readers will like it too.

    And now — with all these 19 things to take into consideration and work on, how could I even have time for a moment of jealousy?

    Jannie´s last blog post..Doris to register nine

  49. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jewel – You’re welcome, and thank you for your kind words.

    I have to agree. I’ve been on blogs and wonder why they are so popular. I’m guessing it’s something they are doing behind the scenes, because there’s nothing obvious on their front page.

    As for me and this blog. Keep in mind, I’ve been working on this for almost 20 months. The readership/comments built very slow. It’s not about numbers, it’s about our role in blogosphere. If our writing helps just one person, we’ve done our job well. And yes, I genuinely love to help others.

    Hi again Akemi – I’m happy to hear Catherine’s and my answers helped a little.

    Hi Tammy – I like how you’re following those new bloggers. I’m guessing your encouragement is helping them along. How exciting that you will be meeting friends you made via your blog. You’ll have to share a story or two on your blog.

    Hi John – It can be very frustrating when we know we have a good blog and it’s not getting the traffic/comments we think it should. Studying blogs that are succeeding is a great way to open our eyes to other possibilities.

    Hi Jannie – You’re right. There’s no time for jealousy. You have homework to do. Heehee! 😆

  50. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Jealousy bad – spying good…just look deeper into WHY/HOW they are doing what they’re doing. 😉

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..2 NEW BLOGS Unveiled! FINALLY!!

  51. Jacob CassNo Gravatar says:

    Great article… it got linked to from a commentator on my latest blog post…

    7 secrets you must know to give your blog the edge.

    It raises some of the points you mention here but you have elaborated it further… Blogging isn’t easy.

    Jacob Cass´s last blog post..Designer In The Spotlight: Prescott Perez-Fox

  52. […] comments on this blog and answered my email question quickly. The third goes out to Barbara of Blogging Without a Blog. I love the community she has created. I wouldn’t have the following I have if it […]

  53. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jacob – I just updated to WordPress 2.7 and it showed I had an unanswered comment on this post.

    Thank you for your kind words. The link came from Jannie, a regular reader here at BWAB. Even though I’m late for the party, I’ll come by and check out your post.

  54. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dennis – Somehow I missed your comment. Better late than never, hey?

    That’s great advice, “just look deeper into WHY/HOW they are doing what they’re doing”.

  55. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    LOL that’s OK, I tend to slip in the back door sometimes. 🙂

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..FINAL CALL: Blog Review Contest Ends The 31st!