Blogging Advice: Stop Trying to be Other Bloggers – Be Yourself

I think it’s time we had a heart to heart – a little blogging pow-wow of sorts. Grab some popcorn, break out your snuggies, and let’s talk blogging.

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for seven months now, and if there is one thing I’ve learned in this whole process it is this: stop trying to be other bloggers and be yourself.

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Here’s the thing, there is about a bagillion blogs in the world (yes, that number is approximate), and there are a bagillion people writing blogs. Of these bagillion, less than one percent are successful, popular, well-known bloggers.

It’s natural to see the success of someone else and want to follow in their footsteps. After all, why reinvent the wheel? However, the truth is that the only way your blog is ever going to be successful is by being yourself.

We all know that there are some huge blogs out there. Take, for example, my favorite beauty blogger (and YouTuber), Zoe. I really like Zoe’s blog. I like her posts. I like her writing. I like her pictures. She inspired me to start my own blog. But, that doesn’t mean that my blog is an exact replica of Zoe’s. I am not her. I never will be. Just because she has been super successful doesn’t mean that by copying everything about her, I will be successful too. That’s not how it works.

In my mind, success in blogging really comes down to three things: being yourself, connecting with people, and treating others as you would want to be treated.

No one is going to want to read your blog if the person you are portraying is not you. We can all tell when the person writing isn’t being honest with themselves because in general, most people have a pretty good bullshit radar. 

Let’s be honest here amigos, blogging is hard work. Anyone reading this who writes a blog knows that blogging is hard. There are pictures to be taken, posts to be written, social media to upkeep, comments to answer – whoever said blogging was easy obviously doesn’t have a blog that they update on a regular basis. So, why waste the extra energy copying everything about some other blogger?

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I want to read blogs that are original, unique, funny, and genuine. I want to see people posting about the things they love and what they want to post about. I am tired of hearing bloggers say, “I want to post about X, but it’s not part of my blogging ‘niche’?” What does it matter if you write a book review on a blog that you usually post about beauty? Why are you writing a blog if not for yourself?

My blog is my space on the internet to write about what I want to write about. Yes, I talk a lot about beauty on this blog, but that doesn’t mean that I have shackled myself down to forever only post about beauty products. How boring is that? A good blog surprises and interests you and, shows old things in a new light. 

Blogging is supposed to be about people and, people are unique. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of blogs that start off saying “Hi lovelies!” I don’t know about you, but I never walk up to a group of my friends and say, “Hi lovelies!” and therefore I would never address a post like that. I write with the vocabulary and tone that I use in real life, and sometimes that means reevaluating the things I have written and asking myself, am I really being myself here?

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Blog about the things you love and you want to write about. After all, there are a bagillion blogs in the world and nothing makes people want to click off faster than seeing the same blog layout or the same opening or the same types of pictures. If success is meant to come than it will, but I can tell you with the utmost certainty success is only going to come if you are honest with not only your readers but also yourself.

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to beginning bloggers? What do you wish you knew before you posted your first post?

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42 thoughts on “Blogging Advice: Stop Trying to be Other Bloggers – Be Yourself

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 9:53 am

      Thanks :)

  1. Debbie August 28, 2013 / 10:10 am

    Hear, hear! It certainly is a lot of work– but I think you hit the nail on the head. Be yourself and let your blog reflect you and your interests. x

  2. nyrmirez August 28, 2013 / 10:17 am

    I agree with what you said 100%. At the end of the day I want my blog to be something I can look back at and be proud of. If i’m not myself when I write I know I won’t be proud of my content. I think people are so caught up in “making it” or “being successful” that they forget about being genuine and how to enjoy the blogging process. Great post as always Sam :)

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 10:25 am

      Thanks. It really frustrates me when people say “Oh, I can’t write about this because I write a beauty blog.” So what? lol. It’s YOUR blog! Success will come if it’s meant to – so you might as well just have fun with blogging. After all, it’s supposed to be FUN. People get caught up in trying to get big and, they forget about that.

  3. youbutperfect August 28, 2013 / 10:31 am

    I love this post, you ‘re totally right! There’s nothing wrong with branching out to different topics, I’m aiming for my blog to be a collection of everything that is important to me, not just my take on the the beauty industry. It can be difficult to be unique when there are so many blogs available but where’s the satisfaction in copying what has already been done? :)

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 10:43 am

      Very true. It’s easy to get stuck in that, I can only write about one thing mindset, but personally, I prefer when bloggers show more than one side of themselves. That’s what makes blogging fun and makes people relatable!

  4. emmylupin August 28, 2013 / 10:53 am

    v. happy that I read this blog post. When I set my blog up it was a university thing, then I enjoyed it, then I kept going and having different things I wanted to share and now I’m not really sure what the focus is – but it isn’t one thing. I’ve been thinking I should hone it down as others are mainly on one topic – but this has made me decide against it. Thanks!

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 11:06 am

      I mean – I think there is something to be said about having a focus, but having a focus on something doesn’t mean you are forever strapped down to just that one thing. I write about beauty 70% of the time, but I talk about other stuff in my life the other 30%.

      Ultimately, I like reading blogs that have multiple dimensions, so I try to make my blog the same way. There is nothing more boring to me than having a blog where the blogger never shows anything other than one side of their life or only writes about one topic. I want to get a sense that the person writing is actually a real person!

  5. EyeOfTheBeholder August 28, 2013 / 11:04 am

    I don’t break out the OMG often, only when it’s really needed. I believe your great article deserves an OMG you’re so right! I haven’t been doing this long, and I’m still sort of looking for my own voice, but the blogs I enjoy writing the most are the once where it’s 100% me that shines through. I write about whatever is on my mind that day, or whatever topic I’m ‘feeling’ at the moment. Plus it’s also so tiring trying to be someone you’re not.

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 11:12 am

      Thanks. That’s nice of you to say! :) I definitely agree that blogging is the most fun when you are writing about what you want to write about. Case in point, this post was so easy to write because I knew it was something that I wanted to say.

  6. Ashley August 28, 2013 / 11:49 am

    I completely agree with you Sam! It’s so refreshing when you find a blog that has it’s own unique voice and is able to share different passions with you.

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 12:26 pm

      Definitely. It gets boring when the blogger isn’t really putting their own personality into the writing.

  7. Carina August 28, 2013 / 1:04 pm

    Great post, Sam! I completely agree. I’ve been blogging since I was 2002 (lol I was 14) and it was so nice to stumble upon a random person on the internet and then just connect and have fun reading and conversing. It’s WAY different now, and it kinda shows who’s in it for the freebies or the fame, and who just likes doing stuff.

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 2:05 pm

      I don’t even understand the point of people blogging for freebies. Blogging is a lot of work just for samples. You would save a lot of effort just buying the stuff yourself! I really dislike the multiple person giveaway thing that are the norm now too. It’ll be like 20 bloggers all advertising the same giveaway, just so they can get followers, and it’s just so lame to me.

      • Carina August 28, 2013 / 10:20 pm

        LOL I know what you mean. It’s just not worth it, you know? I’ll buy my own palette, lol. What’s sad is that they KNOW that most of those people who subbed for a contest will unfollow/unsub after they don’t win. Le sigh!

  8. Rebecca August 28, 2013 / 2:07 pm

    I’d have told myself to take better photos! Haha!

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 2:08 pm

      lol. Photos are so hard though!

  9. budziak August 28, 2013 / 2:24 pm

    I LOVE your stick figure photo :-) FYI, I’ll be sharing it! It’s too cute. Anyways, I love that you posted this, one of my pet peeves is when people have pet names for their readers. It works for some but I’m not a (insert pet name here). Toby always makes fun of me for starting videos with “Hi guys…” but that’s really how I talk! LOL.
    As for topics, I get it, I’m in the middle of the blog design process and the designer has an emphasis on the beauty portion of my blog, which makes sense considering Budziak BEAUTY but I think of my blog as more of a lifestyle blog than strictly beauty. Oh well. I’m about to publish a post about my fishing weekend in a little bit, LOL, definitely not a beauty post.
    It really depends on what you as a blogger are trying to go for. If you’re blogging as a hobby, you do whatever you want. However, if you’re focusing on making money then you might want to (but its not required to) blog about the topics that pull readers in and might entice them to click on ads. In my opinion, there’s hardly ever a reason not to do what you want on YOUR own blog, someone is bound to like it :-) It’s like they say: you’re doin’ it wrong!
    That was a good pow-wow!

    • budziak August 28, 2013 / 2:26 pm

      P.S. Sephora is on Groupon today: $5 for a $10 e-giftcard!!! :-)

      • Sam August 28, 2013 / 2:59 pm

        We are on the same wave length. I literally just bought it!

      • nyrmirez August 28, 2013 / 4:53 pm

        Thanks for posting this! You just helped out a fellow sephora lover :)

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 3:06 pm

      I HATE WHEN PEOPLE CALL THEIR READERS/FANS A SPECIFIC NAME. The worst I have ever come across is Sprinkle of Glitter’s opening, “Aloha Sprinklerinos.” :S I like Louise, but – come on, girl? Sprinklerinos? :S :S :S

      Personally, I like when there is a mix of personal and topic related stuff on a blog. Otherwise, I don’t really feel connected the person writing, and that usually means I don’t go back.

      • budziak August 28, 2013 / 5:06 pm

        OMG, reminds me of the VMAs when that Austin Mahone kid said “Ma-homies” I just died laughing. LOL. It still makes me laugh… Super cheesy.

  10. abbydoo343 August 28, 2013 / 3:29 pm

    STOP. This is literally one of the best posts I’ve ever read about blogging. Seriously, this is it. Yep, that’s it. I thought I’d have more to say but I don’t so okay that was awesome and I liked it!

    -Abby
    http://www.deathofateenagedramaqueen.com

    • Sam August 28, 2013 / 3:49 pm

      That’s really nice of you to say :D I appreciate it. It’s nice to hear good things – it makes me feel like I am actually communicating what I want to say. lol.

  11. comfortablyychic August 28, 2013 / 9:12 pm

    Great post Sam! I’ve found myself drifting from the types of posts that I swore I’d stick to when I started my blog and honestly they’ve become some of my most successful posts! Thanks for following my blog :)

    xx,
    Jen

    • Sam August 30, 2013 / 11:00 am

      Yeah, I personally write best when I don’t put limits on what I can write about!

  12. bluntandshort August 29, 2013 / 6:08 am

    Mcpuld not agree more, especially about being unique and not copying others. I think something to add to that is don’t cater your blogs to what you think people will want to read. I am much more intrigued by blogs that reflect real people’s thinking as opposed to ones that are very generic and essentially spout information that they know will catch people’s attention. Dare to be different and dare to be real. Making yourself vulnerable takes courage, but it can be truly amazing.

    • Sam August 30, 2013 / 11:03 am

      I definitely agree. Sometimes I write something, and I realize that I am holding back in a sense, and my strongest writing comes when I am truly honest about how I feel! That’s why in my experience with reading other blogs, bloggers who are themselves and write honestly tend to have stronger writing than those who don’t!

  13. smellslikegirl August 29, 2013 / 12:02 pm

    It’s really encouraging to hear this kind of advice, i.e. writing what you want! I don’t really have a single theme in mind when I write my blog, and while some people have recommended finding a niche, I’ve always felt more comfortable writing broadly. Great post; keep up the good work!

    • Sam August 30, 2013 / 11:05 am

      Keep writing about what you want to write about! It’s your blog! What bothers me about the “niche” thing is that blogging is supposed to be a hobby. For some people, it may become a job, but for most, it is just something fun to do. There’s plenty of time for the niche thing if the blog blows up and has a huge audience clamoring for focus on one subject. But for most of us, that’s not going to happen. lol.

  14. marijadebono August 30, 2013 / 11:07 am

    I love this post, I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for ages. You are right, even with a simple review, I try to give it that little spin – something different. The minute I stop being myself on my blog, is the moment it will start to die… In fact I want to write less about beauty, and more about life – because that’s more ‘me’ right now.

    Yes people will copy you, (and they did in my case), the format, the wording… but that can also mean you are doing something right :) I’m always going to be the original all.things.lady! :P

    Well done dear, as you know, I love you blog! You’re doing a great job! xxx

  15. bethantomo September 2, 2013 / 6:35 pm

    just came across this post and its probably the best blog post I’ve ever read haha! so true! My blog is nothing or will never be anything like my favourite bloggers, but you’re right that it shouldn’t matter anyway because we are all individuals :). fab blog cant wait to keep reading. if you get the chance check out mine bethantomo.wordpress.com xxx

  16. Jen September 3, 2013 / 6:08 am

    LOVE the little drawing you did, because it’s SO TRUE, ugh.

    • Sam September 3, 2013 / 7:27 am

      Oi! I was wondering where you had gone. Back from the dead, I see. ;)

      • Jen September 6, 2013 / 3:59 am

        Yes! And hungry for braaaains!!! :P

  17. jsjordanhumphreys September 4, 2013 / 2:44 am

    this is my first time on this blogging page and i am completely new to all of this.. i have just always been interested in writing and i do fairly well when writing or telling a story. so, i thought i would check it out when i came across a post on FB that i enjoyed. i signed up started exploring topics and came across this post Sam. hmm how weird! i am sure its just a coincidence that i happened upon your post about being a unique blogger! LMAO… not! it was meant to be… :) the only problem i have is: i have no idea what to do, where to start or how to blog period!!! i am going to be 40 years old in 9 days and i have 3 boys:ages: 21, 14 and 3. so… i have quite a bit of experience and i wanna share it but honestly don’t feel as if anyone is gonna give a shit frankly so i am now asking myself what are you doing and why are you even posting this??.. truth is i do not know all i know is i have ALOT on my plate and just wanna let some of this out!!!! there are many things that i want to say but i cannot say them to my family..especially my husband. im sorry for rambling on and on…(shut up already Jami! gosh :) ) but i appreciate your advice and all i can be is me. still not sure if i was meant to be a blogger but i guess we will see.. :) :) :) any advice anyone would like to give i would appreciate it unless its going to be ugly or disrespectful.. you can keep that to your mean self, i get enough of that from my older children. have a good night everyone and BE A BLESSING!!

  18. Jennifer Kabir September 4, 2013 / 9:06 am

    Seriously so true. My blog is new but I have blogged in the past a lot. I really try to take advantage of the free tools on the internet.

  19. smarty September 11, 2013 / 1:16 pm

    Very well said!

  20. Megan September 21, 2013 / 9:18 am

    This is brilliant :) You can’t be anyone else but yourself!!

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