I spend at least an hour each day visiting an assortment of freelance writing blogs. I find it important to network and show support for the bloggers and blog readers in the freelance writing community – and even other communities.
Though I know there are some people who feel other bloggers are competing against each other, I don’t find this to be the case at all. I harbor no animosity or bad will towards other freelance writing bloggers, and I hope they all do well. To me, the Internet is like one big networking event except without the catering. (Hopefully we can work on that part soon.)
Why do I feel it’s important to network with the “competition?”
1. Because they’re not competition: There’s room for everyone. I know writers all have their favorite blogs, but most bloggers can read more than one blog without feeling disloyal to their favorite bloggers. No one is taking traffic away from anyone else. No one is taking revenue from anyone. No one is taking business from anyone. If you’re a good blogger, if people like what you say, you can have it all, regardless of the other bloggers out there.
I like to think of other freelance bloggers as “opportunities” rather than “competition.”
- Opportunity to share ideas.
- Opportunity to reach another community.
- Opportunity to invite others to visit your own community.
- Opportunity to learn.
- Opportunity to share an opposing point of view or expand on another blogger’s point.
Even a negative situation or disagreement is an opportunity.
2. Because they have some good ideas: The freelance writing community is very creative. Visiting other blogs helps to inspire our own creativity. While I believe in the importance of giving credit where it’s due, there’s nothing wrong with admiring another blogger’s idea and even using it as the launching pad for our own awesomeness. I’m not a fan of copying other bloggers posts and patterns, but I’m a big fan of using another person’s good idea to raise my own bar.
3. Because we should all support each other: Honestly, I don’t really understand why this freelance writing niche incites so much anger. People snipe at each other about rates or the types of jobs they should take. Does anyone stand outside the local McDonalds and yell at the cashier to find a better opportunity? No. Does everyone stand outside of the local Real Estate office and tell the receptionist she needs to earn over $9 an hour? No. Yet with creative jobs certain people find it a personal affront for writers to accept lower paying, entry level positions. It’s silliness. We should support each other instead of insulting each other or questioning another writer’s choices. Mutual respect goes a long way.
4. Because we can all complement each other: Yesterday a blogging buddy Skyped me because he was so excited about a domain name he reserved. He wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, but it was a very cool name. By the end of the ten minute Skype we brainstored at least a half dozen ideas of what types of sites and services will go well with that domain name. Sharing is amazing. Ideas leads to more ideas. Brainstorming sessions among creative people can lead to brilliance.
5. Because working together is always better than working apart: I don’t really think I need to elaborate here.
6. Healthy competition is good becase it lights a fire under our butts. Seeing other people do well or try their hardest is an important motivational tool. It reminds us of what we can do if we put our mind…and our hearts…into it.
What are your thoughts regarding the compeition?