Updated February 11, 2016
In February of 2010 I attended my first blogging conference. I was not new to blogging at the time. I had been blogging almost 6 years by then, but I was a closet blogger. Blogging had been a solitary outlet in my toddler-filled world.
I didn’t talk to other bloggers. I didn’t network. I didn’t comment on other blogs. I didn’t participate in any other form of social media (not that there were many back then).
I wasn’t interested in making money. I just wrote what swirled in my head and hit “Publish.” That was it. I enjoyed and appreciated the few people who were kind enough to read my blog and respond. I also really enjoyed learning the mechanics of blogging.
But by 2010, things were changing. My baby was 2. I was no longer breastfeeding continuously nor waking up 4-8 times a night (I’m not sure where people find those babies who actually sleep). Getting pregnant again didn’t seem to be on the horizon. We had made some huge life changes that afforded me a bit more time.
It was then that I decided to be a more purposeful blogger.
When I went to that conference, I felt like the biggest nobody in the world. Whenever I mentioned my blog, I got blank stares. I think my average daily pageviews were in the double digits at that point. Maybe. I talked to many bloggers who were making solid part- and full-time incomes and had been blogging a fraction of the time.
I was tormented by the question, “Where could I be now if I had done this 6 years ago?”
It was depressing.
Then I was in a session and Carmen from Mom to the Screaming Masses said this: “We need to stop comparing our insides to others’ outsides.”
Frankly, there were good reasons I had not been business-minded and purposeful in my blogging until then. I was struggling with motherhood. I was struggling with our current work and living situation.
Heck, in the summer of 2007, I was struggling to stay alive.
Simply put, blogging served a different purpose for me during those 6 years than it did for the women I met who were making money. My reality was vastly different than theirs.
I was doing myself a huge disservice by comparing their “outsides” to my “inside.”
You are you. I am me. Amazing Blogger over there is them. I’ve been at this blogging thing a long time and I’ll tell you what, back in the day, blogs were a bit rough around the edges. But now? Blogs are polished, spit-shined, photoshopped, staged and nothing short of lovely.
No one got there overnight.
I’m not knockin’ blogs. After all, I’m a blogger trying to make a living at this and I want my blog to look nice too. I like that bloggers are taking blogging seriously and I think it’s great that increased income has allowed for higher quality and a better user experience. I’m a huge fan of excellence and doing things well.
But never forget that what you see on the screen is not the whole picture.
Never forget that the people behind the blogs are, well, people, with unorganized cupboards, unmanaged time schedules, cranky children, painful stories, crafty train wrecks, struggling marriages, unpaid bills and burnt meat loaf. Or maybe that’s just me.
Never forget that their story and their journey and their choices apply to them, not to you.
Never forget that every single blogger was at one time exactly in the place you are today.
Never forget that you’ll meet new bloggers in the future who will wish they were where you are then.
You are who you are for a reason. You are where you are a for a reason.
Don’t beat yourself up for not being where someone else is. It’s a waste of time.
Appreciate everyone else’s outside, but embrace your inside.
Want more encouragement?
Read 18 tips for new bloggers.