“It’s easy to start playing the comparison game without realizing it. While social media platforms can be positive, uplifting resources, they can also break down self-esteem and hinder growth. It usually starts the same: scrolling through different apps to catch up on the lives of friends, acquaintances, and role models. One thing leads to another, and all of a sudden you’re looking at so-and-so’s recent tropical vacation and feeling down and out about your own life. It’s a slippery slope that can bring out negativity and hatred. I think Joy Sussman puts it best: ‘The blogosphere is a big community — there’s plenty of room to support each other.”
Assistant Senior Managing Editor
I picked up an issue of “Artful Blogging” this past weekend, and I have not put it down! (Seriously, you will not regret buying it!) I think the editor puts it perfectly: Whether we have a desire to blog, or sing, or produce, or whatever, there is always that pressure to outperform the “competition.” We have all fallen captive to the lies of “But, look at that blog! I don’t know if I could ever get to that level. It’s probably easiest to just keep dreaming about what I want to do.” My favorite thing about this magazine issue is that so many of the bloggers talk about having to deal with that pressure of overcoming the “Competition” mindset. They talk about getting to their “sacred places” of learning to execute their vision regardless of what it looked like to the world, a place where their blogs felt like home to them. A place where (as one of the featured bloggers expressed) “Your own corner of the internet is your own.”
Over this past week, this issue has inspired me to really do some self-evaluation in making sure that my blog is reflecting the real me, and not who I think will sell. Now, I am definitely not a pro at blogging, but there are some things that I’ve learned during this process of blogging that I think are cool to share whether you’re blogging for the first time or needing to go back to the drawing board:
1. Before you even pick the platform, decide what you want your blog to represent. Whether it be all about you, certain aspects of your life, your walk with God, your career, or your hobbies. Whatever it is, let it be consistent, and something that you’d be passionate about posting about for a period of time.
2. Stick to being you. What makes you you? What is your thing? Go with that! YOUR thing! Your blog doesn’t have to be super over the top because another blogger’s is. I find that some blogs are pretty, but I’m so distracted by the pretty that I never read any of the content (That is just me, though! If you like glitter and frill, GO FOR IT! BE YOU!) You don’t have to impress. You just have to be you. People can tell when you’re genuine, and they’re drawn to it. God has made each of us uniquely different. So, stick to what you know. You are enough.
3. Pick a platform. I’ve found that some platforms are not free, but the freedom to express yourself is awesome (i.e. Squarespace). Some are free but require some work if you do like the girly, frilly things. However, If you’re willing to put in the work and do your homework, you can use websites like WordPress or Blogger and have an amazing blog without it costing so much.
4. Be okay with NOT being perfect! If you wait until you get it together, you’ll never start. So many blogs that I’ve read say that bloggers got their start by just doing it. They made many mistakes. The beginning content was horrible but a year later, it’s so much better than they’d ever imagined. It was through the act of beginning that they got to where they are now.
5. Don’t be afraid to grab inspiration from other people. Obviously, don’t copy, but you can use small pieces from other blogs to test what you do and don’t like. There’s no end to what your piece of the internet could look like. I love that we’re not all the same, nor do we all have the same interests, but we can draw people into our interests without them having to change who they are. Personally, I’m not a fan of sweets, but recently I found a food blogger that I LOVE. Yes, her food looks great and her blog is cool, but I’m drawn to grab inspiration because I can tell that she genuinely loves her corner and that it expresses her.
6. Pray! Lol! I have to ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom all of the time on what to post. “Is this a good idea? Is that fully developed as a lesson in me before I post about it? What are my motives in saying that? Does that look good? What about this?”
7. Don’t forget to express yourself! That’s the ultimate goal, right? How do you see your world? Use photography. Use paint. Use charcoal. Use your words. Use dance! Use them all! Just don’t forget the most important part of your corner is that it’s YOUR. CORNER. We know our worlds. Show us the world through your eyes.
Maybe take some time away from social media for a few weeks. It’s hard to operate in your lane when you’re constantly comparing it to another’s. It’s okay to get away and to quiet your life for a little while to gain fresh vision and a new perspective. Some time away never hurt anyone!