I remember when Vix first mentioned to me that she was thinking of setting up a Blog Race. There had been a lot of negativity on social media, and it felt like the blogging community was close to breaking point. Even if I wasn’t going to be selected to compete, I was excited to see how it would go, because I love this community and I honestly believe that the majority of us are a part of it for genuine reasons – because we love to blog and we like networking with people who enjoy the same hobby.
When I was selected, I was so excited to take part, and I couldn’t wait to discover some new bloggers via the Race. I really feel like taking part has helped me to take a different perspective on my own blog, and I’ve found the challenges really fun to take part in. I’ve definitely learnt some lessons along the way, so read on to find out what I discovered by taking part.
Compete with yourself, not with others
This is something I went into the Blog Race feeling, and I really embraced it while I was taking part. I was happiest with my entries when they came entirely from my own brain. As soon as I started looking at what others were doing I began to doubt the quality of my own work and it was easy to resent others for how easy their creative entries seemed to come to them! Shifting my focus to compete with myself helped my content to really thrive, and even when I was eliminated I felt happy with my entry and didn’t find myself ruminating over the reasons why I left over others.
Think outside the box
It’s easy to stick to what you know, to use photos you already have up your sleeve and make your already created content bend to fit the theme for the week. But I don’t think that was the right attitude to have for the Race. When I really got stuck into creating something new and fresh, I found myself being more creative and I definitely tried to expand my content in a way that still felt authentic to me. I really enjoyed doing different things, and it’s helped me to discover what is and isn’t for me.
Celebrate other people’s successes, not just your own
This hasn’t always come naturally to me, but I really do think that cheering for others is important. Sometimes it’s not all about patting yourself on the back, or just thinking about yourself, it’s about focusing your energy on others – cheering for them when they succeed and offering a helping hand when they’re struggling. I really enjoyed being able to celebrate with those who won each weekly challenge and when people were stuck for ideas I was more than happy to help out. Strangely, I found engaging more with others helped me to worry less about my own content because it felt less like a competition and more like a community.
Always be authentic
This is so key to blog success, the blogs I’m most engaged with are the ones that have a strong authentic voice. Now, that doesn’t mean they bang on about the same things day in, day out, it just means that when I’m reading their content I can really imagine their voice and I feel like I know them personally. The Blog Race really helped me to explore my own authentic voice across all of my platforms. When my posts felt really ‘me’ I was the happiest with them.
The blogging community is what you make of it
I often see people complaining about the community, saying they don’t feel welcome or they find blogging ‘cliquey’ but I truly believe this community is what you make of it. If you engage with the negative aspects of the community, you’re not going to find a welcoming, friendly bunch of people. The Blog Race really helped us all to embrace the positive side of the community (which, trust me, is by far the majority of bloggers). We talked to each other daily, cheered each other on and encouraged everyone to create unique content. I’m so pleased I took part in #TheBlogRace and I can’t believe it’s close to ending now! I’ll keep reading the blogs I discovered via it and it’s definitely inspired me to keep going with my own little corner of the internet.