Blog Envy and How I Got Over It

I get envious sometimes. Don’t we all? I think of Lena* and her beautiful family, Sara* and her running skills, Jessica* and the book she wrote, Ellen* and her blog … you get the picture. But since I’m a blogger, I used to get jealous of others’ blogs and their respective audiences, thinking they were better than me or more popular than me or more likable than me. I know blogging in the Internet and therefore not the “real world,” but it’s only natural to want to be liked, even if we’re only talking about the Internet, right?

*I made up all these names. Shhhhh.

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Love me?!

I started this blog as a way of keeping up with my family. At first, I updated very infrequently; my blog didn’t have a voice—it was more like a mass email anyway. But as I start finding more and more expat blogs, more Spain blogs, more blogs in general, I began to think about my audience and what they might like to read. I tried to develop a voice. I was in a perfect place to write humorous things about Spain—very cynical, actually, because I was having an immensely difficult time in Spain that year, 2010–2011, even if I only came off as angry. (See: How to Dress like a Spaniard, 15 Rules to Thrive in Spain, Not as Exciting as You Might Think.)

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Not-so-angry at a wedding in 2010.

Nowadays, I feel sort of popular at times. I get sweet emails from readers, which I love. I get to interact with a lot of fun people on Twitter. But there are way more popular people, people with prolific readerships, people who seem to get a million comments a day. I think sometimes, How can I be like that? And then I realize …

I’m never going to be like that. I do self-promote, but I’m not a self-promoter. I do try to get more readers, but I don’t think too much about things like SEO, or advertisements, or how to strategically comment on popular blogs so as to garner more readers. I doubt I’ll become an editor at a travel magazine or website; I just can’t see it. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with such things, not at all. Rather, it’s just not me. I’m okay with that. I’m Kaley from Y Mucho Más, and I really believe there are plenty of readers who appreciate that. I don’t need to change. Neither do you, if you don’t want to.

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We should all just stay like this. Forever.

Do you ever experience blog envy? How would you like your blog to change (or not change) in the future?

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20 comments

  1. I can totally relate to this. It would be so cool to have a wide audience and reap the benefit that come along with that (free stuff, anyone?) but I also remember that I started my blog as a hobby and never planned on anyone reading it, so the fact that people other than my parents read it is victory enough! :)

      1. Aw thanks! I am jealous of bloggers whose full time jobs are to go cool places and eat delicious things, and write about it. But then again, I think that would get really mundane after awhile.

  2. well…..I’ve been a blogger for quite a while now since 2004 when I began commenting on the Al Franken show’s blog on Air America Radio. Since then I’ve mostly commented on other political blogs. I have had the idea of my own blog for a while and only just started it in early February of this year. My ultimate purpose is to have a readership (eventually….) so that when my husband and I retire to southern Spain it will provide me with a little bit of extra income (am I dreaming? heh). So, right now I’m just experimenting, getting some experience with my own blog and actually coming up with more and more ideas for my own blog. I have always wanted to be a writer and I am truly just having fun with it right now. But, “when” I retire to Spain is when I hope to have more readers. of course more readers now would be nice too ;) wow, that was a bit long-winded huh? I started out reading Love and Paella’s blog which I found quite by accident. From there I found a myriad of expat blogs of people, like you, living in Spain that I also read. I really hope that I get to retire there and travel a bit more throughout Spain and Europe in general. and then blog about living in Spain as a retiree. that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it ;)

    1. Awesome! I wish you lots of luck in your endeavors. I kind of discovered the blogging world by accident, and now I like it — for the most part. My dream would be to be published in some form, but I’m not sure whether that’s feasible.

      1. I’ve published several letters to the editor. does that count? :D yea, being published would be nice! perhaps some day. thanks! it’s the retiree visa I’m most worried about. alas, it’s still about 8 years away. 8 years!! Will she last? :D

  3. I remember when I thought I was really cool to get so a bunch of views one day and then I realized that they were only searching the pictures on my blog. No worries. Yeah I know sometimes you can’t help but feel jealous of other bloggers and their influence they seem to have, but then you realize that you have your little group of readers who read your blog and your have made that friendship that you would never have made otherwise.

  4. I do get a little envious when I realize that there are people out there who are pretty awful writers and make their living writing. It baffles me. Like you, I’m not big on self promotion and lately I find myself in between blog worlds. I’m new to blogs about running or healthy living. I wonder if that bores my long time readers/friends who came to me for more of the social/political/cultural aspects I wrote about. The random emails are sweet as are friends who told me they started blogging after seeing my blog. I think that’s cool and better than a hundred comments saying “your oatmeal looks yummy!” At least I know it’s highly unlikely I’ll wind up with a thread about me on a snark site ;)

  5. In the first few months I experienced blog envy for sure…I just kind of felt out of the loop, but once I took the plunge and started interacting, I realized that this is just one big happy community and that it will take time to build my readership and my friendships…like anything good in life ;)

  6. On the relative scale, even the most popular Spain bloggers (who might seem like they have an enormous audience, tons of hits and tons of comments), have minuscule readerships and even smaller impact on the ‘blogosphere’ as an entity. The Internet is so saturated with blogs and it’s easy to get wrapped up in expat blogging, or Spain blogging, or mommy blogging or vegan blogging or any type of blogging. I think within our own communities we have more impact on each other (other bloggers) than we really do on anyone else. I don’t mean that to minimize what we do, but I really do believe (especially with expat blogging) that it’s a mostly self-serving activity. We’re doing it out of our own enjoyment for the most part, or at least I hope so– because the people who think it’s more than that, who think they’ll make a living off of it, who think they’ll attain unthinkable circulation numbers… well, I’d say most of those people are only fooling themselves.

    There are exceptions, of course. There are Star Bloggers who played all their cards right and have made their blogs into lucrative empires. But your blog-envy-less attitude is probably the best attitude to have. It’s absolutely not worth wasting energy trying to become the next great blogger… because really, what does that even mean?

    I’ve had a lot of time to think about blogging this year, so there’s my unsolicited 2 cents. Maybe more like 10 cents.

  7. It’s pretty funny Kaley, because I actually had a little blog envy for you! I was always thinking, “I wish I was more dedicated and had a nice blog like Kaley’s…” but I know that my blog is what it is and that’s my choice. I’m ok with my mediocrity in the blogging world. :)

  8. I think it would be cool to get the perks of being a mega ultra big-time travel blogger (read: free trips!), but I’m content. I write what I want, when I want, and if I go six weeks without writing anything, it’s fine by me! I feel a little awkward/egotistical when I self-promote, although sometimes it’s reassuring to know you’re not writing to nobody. PS that picture of Mario (I’m assuming it’s him) is TOO CUTE!

  9. I used to experience “blog envy”, but I got over it quick when I met some of these people in person and they weren’t exactly the Suzy Sunshine’s they pretend to be on their blogs. I’m proud that I’m myself on my blog and don’t feel like I have to pretend to get people to read it. I don’t have a ton of readers, but at least the ones I do have are reading because they like me and aren’t trying to get pageviews for their blog or trying to win something. I think blogging is a crapshoot anyway, some people got in early, struck while the iron was hot and made a decent living. I don’t hate them for it, I just wish they’d improve on their old formula because now their blogs aren’t any different from hundreds of others.

    1. Yeah, I like your blog, and I obviously don’t read/comment on it just to self-promote. I agree that some people got in while the getting was good, and they’re the “lucky” ones. Who knows, maybe they feel stuck?

  10. I feel the exact same way. My blog really is a ‘mass email’ to my friends and family that I hardly ever update, and I’m okay with that. My self-promotion doesn’t go much further than the auto-blast WordPress makes to Twitter and Facebook, nor do I ever get featured in anyone’s lists that say “look what this person wrote about Madrid.” Sometimes I’d like to have more readers, maybe feel like a more important piece of “what people say about Spain,” but I think the truth is that I’m just not dedicated (or interesting) enough to move myself in that direction just yet. Plus when someone else has already written about what I want to say it kind of kills the desire. Heh.

  11. I can relate. I started my blog in 2007 when I embarked on my big African adventure and then didn’t write much until I moved to Spain. Sometimes, I have blog envy when I see all the other amazing blogs out there (with what appears to be a lot of readership) but I remind myself, each blogger has their own style and goals. And like you, I’m realizing I’m not much of a self-promoter either.

  12. When I read this post I thought it was so funny because I always seem to have blog envy when your blog pops up in my Google Reader and I see yours has like 20-something comments, jajaj. Good to know I’m not alone ;)

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