Blog Envy. All of us go through it one time or another. It is when you go around and look at other people’s blogs and compare them to yours. It can really stifle what God wants to do with you if you don’t get control of it.
I remember when I first started blogging a year and a half ago. I signed up for a blogger account, chose my layout, tweaked some colors and put all kinds of widgets in the sidebar. I posted my articles that I had been writing for the local newspaper and thought, “Dang, you are a pretty smart cookie.”
It was ugly. In fact, it was as ugly as the lady that used to sell Dodge pickups on TV and tell us “Don’t you buy no ugly truck”. The colors were bad, the layout was cluttered with way too many ads, ect. It was just plain ugly. That is when I first struggled with blog envy.
Improvement Is Good, Envy Is Not!
I figured out pretty quickly that I needed to improve how my blog looked. I thank God for friends who helped me in this process and made me realize that my blog was not as cool as it could be. LOL (That is a nice way of saying they were brave enough to give me some constructive criticism.) They suggested that I go look around at other blogs in the Christian niche. So I started with Technorati’s list of top Christian blogs. It is not that I would recommend Technorati’s ratings or service because in all honesty, it is worthless as a source of traffic or ranking, but it at least gave me an idea what some other Christian bloggers were doing with their blogs.
That is when Blog envy set in. They were miles above what I had even thought of or considered and how they were doing what they were doing was beyond me. Nothing that Blogger offered looked even close to their blogs! Blog envy set in. I wanted what they had.
That is the difference between improving yourself and having envy. When you want something that somebody else has then it is envy and it is not healthy. The scripture is clear about envy.
A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.
So at first I went out and tried to figure out how to copy those blogs and look more like the “Big Boys”. I switched to WordPress, I bought a fancy theme, and did many right things but for the wrong reasons. I still recommend that nobody serious about blogging use blogger other than hobby bloggers. I still feel that WordPress is by far the best platform to use. But if you are doing it so you can look like somebody else, it is the wrong reason.
You see, Blog envy robs you of one very important thing. It robs you of the uniqueness that God has instilled in you. We don’t need another clone of Jon Acuff, who is God’s smarty pants that picks on the silly things that Christians do, or What Christians Want To Know who are very good at keyword research and leveraging the power of Facebook but is a carbon copy of every other Thesis theme blog, or Adrian Warnock who has an awesome looking blog with more content than a person can imaginably read let alone write, except for the annoying twitter feed blasted above the content. What the world needs is how God made you unique in Him.
How to deal with blog envy.
As I grew and learned more and more about this crazy world called Christian blogging, I realized that there was no “right” way to do it. It all depends on your niche and what you are trying to accomplish. It would make no more sense for a Homeschooling blog to look like a news magazine than it would for this site to have circus monkeys. (That is an inside joke for our awesome homeschooling contributing author who has circus monkeys on her blog.) So when you are looking at other blogs for ideas to improve, remember that theirs is not better, it is just different or more refined for their type of audience.
Be true to yourself. I dug a couple of jabs at the guys above but I did so in total understanding that they are being who they are. When you understand that then the power of envy leaves you. Why be envious of what God is doing in someone else? Be joyful that God is using you in a special and unique way. You don’t have to be the NY Times or the Huffington Post. You can be you. Although I cover current events on this website, we are not trying to be the Christian post and we do not look like it. This website is unique.
When it comes right down to it, envy comes from a lack of understanding of how God feels about you and views you. When you realize that you are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for every good work, then envy loses it’s hold.
The freedom of being unique
Just yesterday, I got an email notification of a story about the top 200 Christian bloggers ranked by twitter followers. I scurried over there to see if I had ranked because as you know, I have been working real hard on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. It was because of this article that I even started thinking about this subject. Well, suffice it to say that even though I had more followers than 80 others on the list, I was not even noticed. It bugged me for about 30 minutes, I shot off a tweet, then went about my business. Today I went to that Technorati list that I told you about earlier, and looked at those blogs that used to make me envious. Of the top 10, only 2 even appealed to me, the rest looked like carbon copies. I realized that I wouldn’t change a thing that I was doing because of what their blogs looked like. That is freedom.
Author’s Note: Since the time this article was first published, Adrian Warnock updated his list of top 200 bloggers and included your’s truly. He is a stand up guy!