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Lesson Learning: Competition is good (maybe)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and chatting with other bloggers/designers about this idea that “competition is good for business”. Some days I think that statement is right one and other days I feel it’s so far from the truth. Competition can be the biggest motivator IF you have a base in reality. Once you let your guard down to unrealistic expectations, the game is thrown way off.

The internet world is bustling with creative individuals, many of them putting themselves out there and sharing their personal work or curations. I’m finding its extremely difficult to stand out amongst the masses and when you’re feeling a little beaten down to begin with…its tough to stay grounded.

I’m curious how you guys pull the inspiration out of all the clutter and how you keep grounded when everyone else seems to be killin’ it. Thoughts on internet competition??

Here’s another good post about internet competition and stepping up your game when it comes to using Pinterest. (Thanks Decor8!)

22 comments on “Lesson Learning: Competition is good (maybe)

  1. i find that the most successful blogs/shops do best when they stay true to their brand and not do it for everyone else, but themselves. only then can you stand out from the rest.

    easier said than done, i realize.. but it’s possible.

    1. Totally agree with you. Being 100% genuine to who you say you are and what your brand stands for is the best way to make a name for yourself. People know what to expect from you and get accustomed to you presenting content in a certain way. People like routines. Love it 🙂

  2. Ugh, I feel this.
    This summer I decided to not give a **** about posting super consistently and it really helped my uncomfortable competitive feelings. As a designer of both jewelry and digital goods, I do need some challenge by other artists to get me inspired and excited. But sometimes I can feel pretty inferior when I see others who are so talented, my same age, and who are a bit snooty about which bloggers they do and don’t talk to. This blog land can get pretty clique-y and it’s definitely inspired me to get rid of my “blogroll” once I redesign my blog. I want to connect with everyone, I want to connect with those I relate to in my same field, those who will challenge me and inspire me. And I want to inspire and challenge those who want to get to know me to.
    xo Moorea

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Moorea. Your blog has been on my daily reads list for years now. I feel the same way about the blog world as you. Some days I feel like the competition is good and keeps me on my toes, other days it feels like you’re drowning in a see of other’s achievements. With it being such a faced past internet world, it’s just hard to keep up. I also have to keep reminding myself that people are posting about the GOOD things that happen to them, the GOOD clients they’ve won, ect. Very few people share the whole story.

      We all have our ups and downs, both in real life and our creative careers. Those whole talk about both are the ones that are truly inspirational. 🙂

  3. With Pinterest and the multitude of good design blogs, sometimes I think “what’s the point?” and find myself posting much less frequently than before. But then once in a while I find that inspirational image that makes me NEED to blog asap and its nice to get that rush back. Blogs feel like they are becoming archaic but I think they will evolve into something else. Yours is killing it, btw.

    1. I often feel the same way Natalie. Some days I’m not inspired at all and other days I just feel like I have a lot to share. Blogging has become such an important part of my daily routine, NOT blogging also sucks out all the inspiration.

  4. I’ve been contemplating this very thing (and was even going to write about it in the coming weeks). I for one get extremely discouraged when I don’t have new products to share or companies reaching out to me…but, I’m also the only blogger I know of in Alaska that has my kind of content (ie, I’m not a nature blogger). I have to remind myself that I am in a unique situation and I have to own it.

    1. Dana,
      You’ve got a really unique thing going on. Definitely stick with it because you’ve got something that is “own able” for your area. 🙂

  5. I had a really big issue with this for a while.. I never felt like what I was doing was being appreciated/look at, and I felt really bad about it/myself. It really took me a couple months to realize though, as long as I’m doing what I love, THAT’S what makes the difference. I’m one of the lucky people that has hobbies, is creative, loves to MAKE. It really doesn’t matter if other people are looking, as long as I am doing. If I ever quit, well then that would be THE issue.
    I also feel like if your heart is truly in what your are doing, the rest will come along.

  6. I feel like I’m feeling this right now. Or maybe it’s just that I feel like everyone excels way above me and it’s discouraging. It’s hard to keep up with what makes me happy and what I feel like makes others happy. I mean, in the end my blog is for me and me alone but it always helps to have a boost in views or comments. It’s hard not to compare yourself constantly to other successful bloggers, especially if your feeling uninspired.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to be a downer! Even though it sure seems like it. I really love being inspired and competitive with other bloggers. It helps to reach farther and push yourself more in the end. And I am grateful for that. I think every blog is always evolving in to something different or always reaching for something new. And that’s the important and the exciting part.

  7. Oh I’m very sensitive to feeling “beaten down”! I might not be the best to advise on this, but as a musician I find there’s not an everyday answer for that problem. By that, I mean some days I ache for inspiration, community, competition, etc. – it drives me to work harder and create new and beautiful things. Other days I need to retreat from the noise, from what’s popular, distracting, intimidating, and ultimately crowding out my voice. I think one of the best things about the internet is you (kind of) have the option to unplug when it’s doing more harm than good for your creative self…

    As for expectations/being grounded – I personally do best when I am as unrealistic as possible. The more I try to be grounded, the more I doubt my ambitions and succumb to the expectations of others instead of the limits of my imagination. There’s always a time for details, but when I’m being truly creative I usually need to think beyond the limitations of details – at least for a little while.

    HOWEVER, I say all of that with the caveat that I’ve never been very good at getting massive numbers of people to rave over me. I’m more of a build a strong fan-base slowly but surely kind of girl. Best of luck with all of these feelings. They’re toughies

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jen. I love how you worded the voice of the masses and how sometimes it’s good to silence all the noise and define your own voice.

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  9. hi cassie, i love that you brought up this subject. i’m sure it is one on many bloggers’ minds. i really enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions above, too.

    i wanted to chime in on the influence of pinterest, because since starting to use that tool my personal view on blogs and my approach for my own have changed dramatically. i agree that pinterest in a way is forcing bloggers to step it up, add more personality and create more original content, and i for one am very grateful for that. it has taught me to try and reach a next level, and though i haven’t always been successful so far – and yes, i agree it can get frustrating when i start comparing to much more creative or successful blogs out there – but i am certain it has led to my blog becoming more qualitative, and it is forcing me to learn new things and explore my limits, like jen says above.

    i’ve been blogging for three years now, but never has it taught me so much about myself, about branding and creativity as it does now, and i think that’s very cool.

    but you’re right: it’s not always easy and it sure helps to see that others are going through the same things. especially when they run a beautiful blog like yours.

    1. Thanks for stopping by today Stephanie. I’m glad you found this topic interesting and decided to engage in the conversation. Always makes me happy to know I have engaged blogged readers. Thanks!

  10. As a photographer, I feel this same way a lot. There is always someone more talented, someone with better equipment, someone who is more popular, etc. and it can really suck for personal morale! Looking at the competition definitely challenges me in a good way and makes me want to push myself up to “their level” or whatever (which might be a silly thing to say).

    One of the things I do to attempt to stay grounded is literally not go on social media or look at websites for a few days, or longer if possible. I find that when I go online, rather than be productive I often just waste time comparing myself to others. It actually helps to get offline for a while and focus on my personal projects without worrying how they might match up to the things I saw on the internet that day.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Emily. I definitely see the value in disconnecting from social media to give yourself a change to explore on your own without outside influences. Love your insights 🙂

  11. I just found your blog and I love it. I feel like you a lot of the times trying to make my mark to stand out and be compared to the design blogs I look up to. Its hard bc you do not want to have the same ideas but you do want and need to stay fresh. I am always trying to study or read up on something to do so.

    I prefer to keep relationships with normal everyday designers and not the ones that have a huge influence online. Although I read them I do not think they relate to everyone and most do not care to connect with readers at all.

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