Finding Your Place In The Blogosphere

07/03/2016 Blogging, Discussions 53

Finding Your Place In The BlogosphereThis little blog is one in a sea of millions. Literally, millions. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but that seems like a pretty scary fact.

After all, how is a person supposed to find their place in the blogging world when there are so many other blogs, and nothing is original anymore? The many blog advice posts you find around the internet always urge you to carve out your own niche, to be different, to do something new, but when I look at my own blog and ask myself what is special about it I often draw a blank.

I certainly don’t have the best design, or the most impressive photography: my blogging envy never spikes higher than when I visit those perfectly polished blogs with incredible photos and a drool-worthy colour-scheme. Similarly I’m not the best writer in the world, and a lot of the blogs I read are notable for their funniness/wittiness/quirkiness/intelligence, and it leaves me wondering what stands out about my own occasionally humorous musings, and overly formal reviews.

Even outside the realms of book blogging there are incredible blogs that I view with envy: blogs with incredible artwork and beautiful writing, and bloggers who talk boldly about controversial or incredibly personal topics and aren’t afraid, and intrepid entrepreneurs who are doing what they want with their lives and carving out their own paths.

However, as easy as it is to feel envious of other blogs and feel lost amongst the masses, I do sometimes also look upon my own blog with pride. However much I find myself sometimes wishing that my blog was more like this blogger’s, or that blogger’s, my blog is a labour of love, and the thing about it that makes it special is that it’s mine.

In fact the thing that makes every blog out there special is its voice and the person behind that voice. No two people are the same, and whether you’re covering a topic that it seems everyone else has already covered, no one will do it quite like you, or have exactly the same view or opinion on it, and that’s one of the things that’s truly beautiful about the blogosphere.

However lost it can make you feel to be one of millions, it can also make you feel a sense of belonging too, because you are one in that million. The blogosphere welcomes everyone, and there is something out there for everyone too: that blog that is the new biggest thing could not be your cup of tea, whilst an incredibly niche blog that breaks all those classic ‘blogging rules’ could be right up your street. There is no wrong, in blogging, everyone has their place, even if at times it seems hard to find.

So apologies about this ramble, but I’d love to know if other people ever feel the same. Do you often feel lost in the crowd with blogging? What do you feel makes your blog special?

53 Responses to “Finding Your Place In The Blogosphere”

  1. nordie

    Sometimes I see the comments on other people’s blogs and wonder “how do they do that?” and “what am I doing ‘wrong’?” I also see people raving about their stats and then look at mine and go “oh”.

    But then I have to remind myself that I do it primarily for me, and if I get any additional traffic then fab!

    • Nicola

      Hahaha, I’m the same! But I’ve met some wonderful people through blogging, so even though I might not have that many followers/views, I have some very meaningful ones. Besides, I have a kind of deer-in-the-headlights reaction whenever someone I don’t know comments on one of my posts, so I don’t know that I’d handle a huge uptick in commenters very well 😛

    • Laura

      I feel like that too when I hear how many pages view some bloggers get, but I blog primarily for myself too, so I’ve been trying not to worry so much about things like that, even though it’s hard.

  2. Sara

    Nice post, and I think it’s something we all deal with at some point in our blogging adventure. For me, I’ve come to realize that I need to blog mostly for myself. If I like my blog’s design, content and focus then I’m doing something right 🙂

    I’ve also come to the realization that not every blog is for every reader, and some people just won’t care for my blog. And that’s totally ok, because there’s others out there who WILL connect with it. I don’t track my stats, but I do pay attention to comments. And I love that I have a small group of visitors who are now regular readers and commenters. This is why I’m doing this whole thing-to make those connections and build friendships with people who understand my quirky bookish ways 🙂

    • Laura

      I like that idea, and I’m definitely going to try and see it more like that in the future – as long as I like what I’m doing with my blog, then it’s all good! 🙂
      That’s definitely true as well though. Not every blog is to everyone’s taste, and that’s OK. I have a small group of regular commenters too, and it’s nice to have made some friends through this blog, and to have some people who think enough of my blog to keep reading my posts 🙂

  3. Roberta R.

    I hear you. My blog will be 4 this October, and I still have a small train of followers and haven’t made what you would call an impact. On the other hand, I doubt I ever will. I specialise in books that need a boost in order to be actually seen and read (though I happen to read mainstream stuff too, when it suits me). I’m sure most people don’t even care about clicking on my post/review links and actually FIND what those books are about. “Nah, never heard of it – must be one of those pathetic little indie writers and their loser of a stuff”. Well, maybe not LIKE THAT, but still. I made peace with that, sort of. I want to spread the word about those books, but I don’t expect to be able to convince hundreds of people to buy them. Also, like you said, every blog is unique – unless it’s a plagiarist’s work LOL. And like Sara above, I never look at stats but pay attention to comments and have built a few friendship thanks to my blog, even with people who read different things than me, but appreciate my “work” and my person for some reason, just like I do with theirs!

    Bottom line, don’t you feel discouraged or alone. And your blog is very neat! not to mention, you’re the only light-blue blogger I know. That’s unique enough! 😉

    • Laura

      It’s really great that you blog about books that need a boost like that, and that is definitely something that makes your blog unique, even if it doesn’t perhaps appeal to everyone. It’s still entirely possible in the blogosphere to strike up friendships with people who blog differently to you, or read different things/have different interests, and I think that’s one of the best things about it 🙂

  4. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    This is one of the toughest things about blogging because, let’s face it, there are always examples of blogs that we think are doing this or that better than us and it’s really hard not to compare ourselves to them. But, like you say, we each have our own voice that’s unique and we bring a new perspective to everything we do. If we try to make our blog “perfect” we’ll probably spend so much time perfecting that we don’t accomplish anything at all. 🙂

    • Laura

      It is so easy to compare when there is so many blogs out there, but at the heart of it, I think actually all blogs are unique. In fact that’s one of the best things about blogging – it gives everyone a voice, and there isn’t really a ‘perfect’ blog 🙂

  5. Kelly @ stumblesoverbooks

    I think if I really thought about the massive expanse that is the blogging community I’d run mad! I find joy in prepping and writing my posts, sure it mightn’t be the best out there but it makes me happy and I think that’s what has to count at the end of the day!

  6. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

    Before I say anything else, I love your blog! I like minimalistic themes because it’s easier to read. 🙂

    I have been blogging for a while now but just recently became active in the bookish community. I have to tell you that I feel the same way as you do. However, my goal really is not to have a lot of followers or even be the most popular blog on the block, but I do want to have a small following that comments on my posts (and I comment on theirs) regularly.

    To be honest, I think the more popular your blog will be, the harder it will be to reply to comments and visit the blogs of the ones who comment. And that is something that I really enjoy doing 🙂

    • Laura

      Aww, thank you! I’m so glad you like my blog 🙂
      I seem to have built up a small following these days, as a lot of the same people comment on my posts, and I love that. It’s starting to feel like a proper community! It has taken time though, but it’s totally achievable.
      That’s definitely true though that it would be harder to keep up with comments etc. with a bigger blog, and that’s a good way to look at it! 🙂

  7. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    I have definitely felt this way — I think it’s totally normal! But like Zeee, I’ve come to realize that if I have too many followers/commenters I won’t be able to keep up with all of them. The level of interaction I have now is perfect for me. I’m so grateful for those who have found me among the crowd and made this connection.

    Like you, I think that each blog is special because of the person behind it. Some blogs have a more striking writing style that makes them especially stand out, but even without that each one has its own unique point of view. I love to see how each of us expresses ourselves in our own way.

    • Laura

      Yeah, it definitely seems from all the comments on this post that feeling this way is totally normal. And I definitely would struggle with dealing with more comments than I currently have (as you may have noticed it takes me long enough to get to them these days anyway – I still have no Wi Fi!), and I am really grateful to have some regular commenters 🙂

  8. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    This is SO true! You are so right too- I feel like as long as a blogger is genuine and true to themselves, they ARE unique. I visit lots of blogs, but when a blogger is just being themselves? That’s worth reading! You could have the fanciest, most expensive custom theme, but if there’s nothing that comes from the blogger, it’s just a waste.

    And of course, I understand your feelings about seeing the perfect pictures and the perfect designs and everything looks so… polished. And yeah, I totally envy those bloggers, they seem to have it together, and I know that will never be me. But how boring would it be if we all fit the same mold? So I am kind of okay with it (I still wish I could get better at the pictures haha). And you’re right about the community too- everyone is VERY welcoming, which makes the whole thing much more fun!!

    • Laura

      I definitely like that best too – even a blog that is a little messy or not the best design is better than a more polished one if the blogger is just being themselves and being sincere. It seems so easy to see that when I look at other people’s blogs, it’s only when I consider my own that I forget this!
      That’s a really nice way to look at it though, that it would be boring if we all did the same thing and had super put-together blogs. I totally agree with that! 🙂

  9. Cait @ Paper Fury

    YES. I definitely feel this way!! And I honestly think most bloggers do at some stage?! I look at other people’s photos and think “omg mine are awful” and how nicely they do their posts and eloquently they write discussion and ghhhh. It very easily can become a daaark dangerous place when you compare yourself to others too much. *nods* I mean, it IS good, sometimes, because it inspires us to grow and be better? But we also have to be happy to blog in OUR way, right?! 😛 Finding one’s voice is hard! It took me 3 years to find my voice and I still get nervous about it. XDXD IT’S ALL A WORKING PROGRESS. 😀

    • Laura

      It really does seem like a lot of bloggers feel this way, judging from the comments on this post. It’s so easy to compare when there are so many other blogs out there, and so many points of comparison, but I’m really trying not to do that so much anymore (although I agree it can sometimes be constructive if it just encourages you to grow).
      I have found it so tough to find my blogging voice too, and I’m still not sure that I have, but as you say in your case, it’s all a working progress! 🙂

  10. Jamie @ Vailia's Page Turner

    Right on about making using your own voice!
    I think also that if I can bring one smile, comfort, bit of knowledge or helped influence a person toward reading a book, then my blog is a success. It helped someone. Just like every blog counts, so does every follower/post reader. So while I may not have a mountain-load of them I love the ones I do. Especially when I hear back that I helped, or they enjoyed the topic, etc. Makes my day and keeps me going. So while I may be small in the grand scheme of blogging, my blog matters for them. That perspective helps me ignore the stats and comparisons.

    • Laura

      That really is such a lovely way of looking at it! 🙂
      It is nice to think that maybe something I’ve written has in someway helped someone, whether that’s by giving them knowledge, inspired them or encouraged them to read a book they might like, and that definitely would make it all worth it!

  11. Daniela Ark

    “you are one in that million” awww I really liked this post! very inspiring! I agree with everything you said, Especially about the voice. We are all unique 🙂

  12. Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

    I definitely feel the same way often! Sometimes, it’s hard to find a niche. For example, I read a lot of fantasy. But I don’t want to make my blog a fantasy-only one because then I wouldn’t get to review other books. This is a very inspiring post! 😀

    • Laura

      It really is so hard to find a niche! I often feel like that too, where I want a niche but don’t want to pigeonhole myself into one area or genre (I read a lot of fantasy too, but also read the odd bit of sci-fi or historical fiction).
      I’m glad you found this post inspiring! 🙂

  13. Simone

    This is so true! I started blogging about a month ago and sometimes I feel lost among these bigger and more beautiful blogs with funny blog posts. Then I look at my poor little baby and feel kinda sad. 😀
    But you inspired me to look at my blog with pride and so from now on I will think of it as a big step because it makes me write in english as it is not my mother tongue and it’a place where I can express myself and I should be happy, so thank you for your blog post. 🙂

    • Laura

      It’s especially hard as a new blogger amongst all the more established blogs, so I really feel for you! It does get a little easier to find your place and find your voice the longer you do it though, so don’t worry. You should definitely be really proud of your blog, and especially if you are writing in a language that isn’t your first language. That’s seriously impressive! 🙂

  14. Cilla

    I have often felt the same way! I feel like a tiny fish in a massive sea a lot. I’d start comparing my posts to other posts that are written so beautifully and the beautiful themes, and it’s just a really bad place to go to. I try to not think about it haha – I think that rather than focusing on comments and follows, focusing on the people who do come back and strike up conversations can be much more fulfilling. Thank you for writing this post – it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this! 🙂

    • Laura

      It has been really nice to see in the comments on this post that I’m not alone in this! I guess we all feel like this sometimes 🙂
      I definitely agree with you, that focusing on the people who do visit your blog, and do come back is the best way to go. It’s so much better than just comparing your blog to everyone else’s and feeling discouraged.

  15. Jen @ Books That Hook

    I totally relate to what you are saying. I feel like I’m talking to myself most of the time. I agree with everyone that says each person is making a contribution because each person’s voice is unique. The challenge is just getting people to find you in the sea of bloggers. I’m grateful for the few people who come back and comment on a regular basis.

    I honestly don’t like flashy blogs. A nice header (which you have) is all you need. Keep doing what you’re doing 🙂 I enjoy reading your posts.

    • Laura

      I’m so glad you enjoy reading my posts! (and sorry I’m so slow replying to comments – I have no Wi Fi at the moment so I keep getting really behind)
      I have often felt like I’m talking to myself when I’m blogging, but it is nice to even have a few people who come back and comment! 🙂

  16. Ari

    This is so true!! It is terrifying how many blogs there are out there, and can make blogging extremely daunting. Wonderful post xx

  17. Rachel (Confessions of a Book Geek)

    LOVE this post, and it has to be said I’ve wondered the same thing in the past! I think slow and steady wins the race, followers and readers are built up over a long period of time, and personally, the blogs I like more tend to show more of the person’s personality, and life-related posts, as well as bookish ones. It’s the bookishness that brings us together, it’s the relatability that makes us stay. Some blogs have amazing designs and photography, but cold and impersonal content. I’ll be interested for a while because the shiny packaging makes it look good, but I’ll probably not stick around for long because there are certain things I’m drawn to in blogs I consistently follow. However, others may love a more formal blogging style and actively choose to follow those kinds of bloggers instead. We all have a space on the webby waves, and we all carve our own little path! R xx

    • Laura

      That’s so true! I often follow those kinds of shiny, professional looking blogs and then realise that it all seems a little impersonal, and I wish I could see more of the blogger’s personality. It’s the personality that keeps readers, as you say, so that’s a really nice way of looking at it 🙂

  18. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I love this post. I do sometimes feel like my blog is lost in the crowd, but then I remind myself to be grateful for what I have. When I first started blogging, nobody (except spam-bots) was reading my posts. Now I have blogger friends who take the time to read and comment on what I write, and I’m so grateful to have them.

    • Laura

      Making friends is definitely one of the best things about blogging, so I do try and remind myself to be grateful to the readers I do have when i start feeling lost in the crowd 🙂

  19. Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings

    You just wrote a post that connects to so many bloggers out there! I really just blog about what I feel like writing about – mostly books, but there are plenty of other things thrown in as well. I want blogging to be an enjoyable hobby, and I refuse to let stats get in the way of that. My blog may not be hugely popular, but it matters to the people who read it regularly.

    • Laura

      It’s awesome that you just blog about what you want, and don’t worry about the stats. I sometimes think I worry to much about if what I’m posting ‘fits’ with my blog, when really i should just write about what I feel like. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  20. Greg

    I totally agree, and every bloggers voice is unique. And for what it’s worth I think your blog looks great. It’s so gratifying to get comments and reads… sure design is nice and first impressions and all that, but for me if the content is there I really don’t care about design or flashiness.

    Great post!

  21. Rivalie

    Everything in this post is true! I’ve been blogging for almost four years now and sometimes it’s hard sometimes to keep going when I feel like I don’t have a definite place in the blogosphere, but in the end of the day, I’m blogging about things I love. ♥Riv

  22. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I definitely relate to and agree with all of this! Every time I see all that advice, I think about how there’s nothing that makes my blog particularly “special” or “unique,” but, as you said, it’s each individual blogger’s voice and opinions and way of doing things that makes our blogs unique! So I just focus on doing what makes me happy and being myself. I may not have a recognizable signature thing or whatever else they say you should have, but trying to be something I’m not in order to stand out wouldn’t make me happy.

    • Laura

      Yeah, it’s definitely best to just be yourself. You’re guaranteed to be unique that way, because no two people are the same. It’s hard though when there’s so many other blogs to compare yourself with, but I try and focus on doing what makes me happy on my blog too 🙂

  23. Jackie

    I relate to this post so much right now. I’ve been brainstorming up…a storm on how to make my blog stand out, and it’s resulting in frustration instead of productivity. Whether it’s book blogs dictating blogger etiquette or blogging blogs discussing niches and expanding readership, I find myself a little overwhelmed. I’ve been blogging for fun since I was a teen, and it was never this complicated! The one thing that I take pride in is my voice. The people who know me and read my blog tell me that my recent post had them laughing and they felt like I was sitting right beside them talking, and that’s a pretty awesome feeling to have my voice come across genuinely in the online world (how many of us change our voice to something we wish we were?)

    Your voice is unique too. When I’m reading your writing, I feel…(okay, bear with me here, because this might sound weird)…I feel hidden in woods with sun shining through tree tops and birds chirping from branches. See? I told you it was weird. Obviously, I don’t know you outside the blogosphere, But I think maybe what I mean is you SEEM peaceful and pensive and positive and that is one of the things that draws me back here.

    • Laura

      I have tried that too, to come up with ways to make my blog more unique, but it has just ended up making me stressed. I’m trying to just relax and go with whatever I feel like writing at the time these days, because I really do think everyone’s blogs are unique just through voice.
      I definitely agree with those people who say they like your voice on your blog! I don’t know you in person obviously, but it does come across as if you’re actually speaking, and I like getting that feeling when I read a blog like you’re just chatting with a friend. What i’m trying to say is that you’re voice seems very authentic, and it does seem like a lot of people change their voices to try and imitate other people, or be someone else, and I think that’s kind of sad, because they are unique as themselves. So it’s good that you’re being you!
      And I’m really glad you think my voice is unique too! I like to think I’m a pretty peaceful and positive person (there’s actually a running joke at work that no one has ever seen me angry – they actually have, i just don’t show it very much!), and seen as I overthink everything I guess you could describe me as pensive. I’m glad it seems like my real personality is coming through my writing!

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