Yep, no matter how many times I try to convince myself that the only person I should compare myself to is the person I was yesterday (or however that inspirational quote goes), I’m still getting caught up in blog envy. When I scroll through my WordPress Reader, I see people who started their WordPress blogs long after mine, with huge audiences and dozens (if not hundreds) of likes on their posts. When I scroll through my Hive feed, I also see people who have consistently larger post payouts and lots of chatter in their comment section while mine seem to be hidden by some whale preventative force field. As a dear friend replied (to illustrate my
pout point) when I whined about it the other day…
Then a short time later, I noticed someone recently “liked” the About Me page on my WordPress blog, and I decided to give it a quick scan to make sure nothing was terribly out of date. Here’s a bit of it…
My work first appeared in print around 1971, when a poem I wrote for a contest was published in the local newspaper. I was six years old at the time. In 2009, the beginning chapters of my novel, Tangled Web, hit the Editor’s Desk on the Harper Collins (now defunct) website Authonomy (think American Idol for writers). I have a sneaking suspicion the ethereal being in charge of my inspiration does not have a clear concept of time.
Since the general recommendation I got from the editor was, “Don’t quit your day job” I
quietly drowned my sorrows in chocolate and vodkacontinued on with my work as a domestic engineer and administrator for the York Homeschool Academy. However, in 2014, my fickle muse cut a deal with me – I give her three blog posts a week, and she’ll make the main characters of my NaNoWriMo project The Maeve Sawyer series (computer geek becomes ghost whisperer) behave themselves. I’m now up to four blog posts a week, and beginning to think I should’ve checked the fine print on the contract.
However, I will give her some props, because my since I upped my posting game, I’ve had a handful of featured and paid posts on the BlogHer/SheKnows website (they were separate entities when I started, but have since merged)…
…In 2016, after hubby bought me a new camera, I was also pleasantly surprised to find people wanted my pictures hanging on their walls (or covering their beds). Speaking of money, while I have Adsense installed on the site, and a few affiliate links in the sidebar, it’s more a, “why not” than “make me monies” kind of thing. If I’ve somehow dragged you kicking and screaming to my little corner of the web, it’s because I crave feedback, not greenback. Oh, and chocolate. Always chocolate.
My first thought was, “Hey, I actually sound kind of interesting!”
My second thought was that one particular sentence stood out like a blinking neon sign…
If I’ve somehow dragged you kicking and screaming to my little corner of the web, it’s because I crave feedback, not greenback.
Yeah, feedback. The stuff that actually comes when you’re interacting with people, not just liking, upvoting, and sharing their stuff on Twitter.
Back some years ago when I connected with the #SundayBlogShare and #MondayBlog bloggers on Twitter, we started chatting on each other’s blogs, shared links on Facebook, and got to know each other through our interactions. These days I’m doing a much less interactive version of sharing – I spent time every Monday going through my WP Reader, opening interesting posts into new tabs (keeping in mind the, “leave the page open for at least 30 seconds so the view registers” rule) then scanning the post quickly before sharing it on Twitter with the hash tag. Every now and again I’ll drop a comment, but usually I’m feeling a bit hurried, so I’ll just move on to the next post, rinse, and repeat. It doesn’t give me time to actually enjoy and more importantly, engage, which after all is the whole purpose of doing the sharing. I’ve always considered the Sunday/Monday Blog sharing as a time to support my favorite bloggers as well as finding new blogging friends to connect with. Something I can’t do when I’m plowing through a week’s worth of posts in my WP Reader in a few hours.
So it occurs to me I’ve gotten way off track and I need to find a way to get back in gear. From here on out, instead of looking at Mondays as a day to catch up, en masse, with everyone, I’m going to start taking time each day to check my reader, comment, tweet out the blog links, then on Mondays do my usual Twittering. It won’t make Mondays any less hectic, but at least this way I’ll know I’ve connected with the people whose blogs I’ve enjoyed, and I’ll figure out a way to make the time to find new blogging friends through the MB Twitter feed.
On Hive, I’ve been even lazier lately. I’ve set a handful of people up on auto vote (something I thought to do when I started following @fionasfavourites‘ lead on auto voting those I’m delegating to for Power Up Day, although she takes it an awesome step further and makes a point to actually comment as soon as possible, which again goes to my point about engaging), and I typically only upvote and reblog others in my Hive feed, with an accompanying comment being the exception, not the rule. No big surprise that I’m hardly ever on @abh12345‘s Hive Engagement League chart these days, when I used to place regularly in the top 50.
Even with my HiveBlogShare Twitter and Hive accounts, which I started as a nod to my WP friends and with the intention of helping people increase engagement, I’ve fallen into the, “retweet, reblog, repeat” trap.
I also feel like I haven’t been making good use of the amazing delegation gift from @theycallmedan – before he’d sent it to me, I’d gotten in the habit of giving out 100% upvotes, thinking a few pennies were better than one. After his delegation, I was even more determined to continue with the 100% because now I was handing out dimes instead of pennies! 😂 But in taking a look at things over the past few days, I realized that in doing so, I was keeping my voting power down to about 60-70% at all times, so no one really gets the benefit of a true full upvote. So I’m going to start changing things up – I’ll keep my 100% auto upvotes on the people I’ve delegated to for November’s Power Up Day for the month, but after that I’m going to put them at 55% with the hopes that I can then support almost twice as many people for about the same vote size as I’m giving out now.
Curing my Blog Envy with ThreeTimesThree
I hesitate to call this an initiative or any such thing as I don’t plan to share it as a hash tag on Twitter or have any rewards other than a feeling of accomplishment, but thought I’d share how I hope to get myself back into the swing of things. For one week (starting Monday November 16th) I will do the following –
1. Reply to 3 (at least) comments on my blog per day (note – as I’m using the @exxp WordPress plugin to do #HiveBloPoMo & #NaBloPOMo, essentially my Hive and WordPress blogs count as one).
2. Comment on 3 Hive blogs each day.
3. Comment on 3 WordPress blogs each day.
After a week of doing that, I’ll decide if it’s working well for me – if so, I’ll keep going. If not, I’ll make some adjustments. My ultimate goal is to stop perseverating on what other people are doing, and focus on what I’m not doing. Or something along those lines… 😊
Future preventatives for blog envy
I have an idea that I’ve been turning over in my head ever since I started the Hive Blog Share Twitter account (the same awesome day in March 2020 that gave birth to the Hive Blockchain). I’ve hinted at it before, but it just never seemed to be the right time to put it into motion. However, once all the daily blog posting is done for this month, I think I’ll give it a go. And if it works well for Hive, I might start doing a version of it for WordPress as well.
Do you ever get caught in the comparison trap? What do you do to snap yourself out of it. I’d love to hear your suggestions, so please feel free to shout out (even if it’s to agree I need to stop whining and start engaging…lol!).
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I also compare myself to bloggers who have more followers or more commenters and I’ve noticed that fewer people comment on my posts than they did in the past. I have loads more views each day, but fewer comments, which makes no sense to me. In the meantime, I carry on reading a few posts a day and commenting on them.