Do you ever wonder, Why am I even blogging when there are SO MANY other people out there already doing it?
I do. All the time.
Sometimes, I’m hanging out in one of my Facebook groups, and I start clicking on people’s blogs, and I’m like, Holy shit. All of these people are writing about similar things to me. Why am I even doing this?
And I’ll be honest – I don’t always bounce back from those icky feelings right away. Instead get into this frozen state where I feel like anything I could write isn’t good enough.
Here are a few ways to handle the fear that comes up when you feel like everyone else is already writing the same things as you:
1. Instead of hiding, write into your pain.
Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is not weakness. It’s our most accurate measure of courage.”
If you’re writing for people like you, they will feel better when you give voice to your fear and vulnerability, because they’ll see that you’re just like them. Everyone feels fear, and anxiety, but few people are strong enough to own it. Be the person that is strong enough.
Take action: Many people have the same fears and apprehension as you, but few people have the courage to talk about it openly. Choose something you’ve really struggled with and write about it. Ask your readers to share their own experiences.
2. Help other bloggers out, and your own blog will thrive.
Yes, many people are covering similar topics to yours. But that’s because they really care about the same things you do.
When other bloggers have similar interests, instead of seeing them as competitors, you can see them as peers. Reach out to them. Comment on their blogs. Share their posts. Help them succeed. They will most likely reciprocate.
But wait, you’re probably thinking, Why would I help them when we’re competing for the same audience?
Hmmm…I don’t read just one blog. Do you?
You probably read lots of blogs about similar topics. And you find out about new blogs from ones you’re already reading. By creating friendships with other bloggers, you will make it easier for readers to find your blog as well.
Take action: Research bloggers who are in your niche, either by participating in Facebook groups, searching for relevant hashtags on Twitter, or going on WordPress.com. Find someone who shares your values, whose writing you genuinely like, and who responds to comments and replies to tweets about their work. Start sharing their blog posts, commenting, and generally supporting their blog. After doing this for awhile, if you write a post you think they’d enjoy, send them a link. Hopefully they’ll like it so much they’ll share it with their readers!
3. Use the material from other blogs as inspiration for your own.
If people are writing about the same thing again and again, that means that a lot of people care about it.
So if you can write a kick-ass post of your own that adds something original to the mix, you already know that people will want to read it.
Take action by doing one (or all) of these things:
- Read a bunch of posts, pull out the best insights from each, and create a link list compiling all of them and explaining them briefly.
- Read the posts, and then write something describing your own take on the issue. Make sure that you don’t just recycle other ideas, but have something genuinely new to add to the mix.
- Write about a personal experience related to the topic. If you share a true story from your own life, it will be different from anything else out there.
4. Use it as a driving force for becoming more creative and original.
Have you noticed that Smart Phones get more and more awesome every year?
That’s because all of the phone manufacturers are constantly innovating. They know that they have to, in order to stay relevant against their competitors.
And your blog should be the same.
If you really want to have a blog that rocks, you have to up your creativity and originality.
Find new and interesting ways to create posts. Here are some ideas:
- Poll people about a topic, and then write a blog post compiling all of your data.
- Do a case study on other people who have succeeded at something, showing your audience how to replicate the process.
- Create audio for your blog posts, so that people can listen to them while driving to work.
- Start with a powerful story from your own life, and then pull out relevant lessons to your audience.
5. Niche down.
I’m going to be honest here – I feel like this is freaking hard, and I haven’t done it that well myself. But I’m working on it!
If you feel like everyone else is writing the same things that you are, it may be time to get more specific.
I see hundreds of blogs about creating an online business. There are less about podcasting (although still A LOT), and still less about creating interview podcasts.
There are thousands of business coaching blogs out there. There are less that just coach people in the fitness industry, and still less that focus just on coaching personal trainers.
Niching down is scary. You can’t appeal to the masses like Buzz Feed or the New York Times. But, lets face it, you’re not Buzz Feed or the New York Times. So if you can cover a narrower topic really, really well, your people will find you. Yes, they will.
Take action: Write a sentence with this structure: I write…..for people who…. Look long and hard at your sentence. Can you be more specific? If you can, narrow down both your topic and your audience. The more niche you go, the more you can stand out.
6. Read blogs in other niches for inspiration.
If you feel like you’re reading the same regurgitated ideas over and over again, stop. Read something else totally unrelated to your niche. For example, I write about writing, and blogging, and mindset. But I LOVE coffee. And eating out. And travel. And those topics probably intersect with writing in some way. I wonder what people are posting about coffee.
Here’s a post I just found: Who Discovered Coffee?
Hmmm…what can I learn from it?
- Telling a story visually is a really cool blog idea
- Origin stories are awesome…what if I write about the origin of blogging? That could be interesting.
See what I mean? By getting out of my own niche and into another one, I can find different and unexpected ideas.
Take action: Think of a topic you’re interested in that you DON’T write about. Read some blogs about that topic. Then see if you can pull in any of those ideas to write a post different from anyone else’s.
So there you have it. The next time you start to think, Oh crap, everyone else is blogging about the same things I am, take a deep breath. Write into the pain, befriend your fellow bloggers, get more innovative, niche down, and explore other niches.