As a freelance writing blogger I make it a point to read ALL the blogs in the freelance, writing and blogging niches – even those I don’t like or particularly agree with. In fact, I’ll even go as far as saying anyone who is serious about his or her niche and wants to be a successful blogger should do the same. Every blogger has favorites, and that’s fine, but never discount the guys you don’t jibe with – or even the bloggers you can’t stand.To do so can mean you’re missing out on some beneficial opportunities.
There’s only competition if you create it. You can’t truly teach or share, without knowing all sides of the niche.
- If you want to be at the top of your niche, it’s important to know all the latest news, techniques, tools and more. The Washington Post and The New York Times are competitors but you’re sorely mistaken if you don’t believe representatives from each read each newspaper from cover to cover. Mashable reads TechCrunch and ShoeMoney reads John Chow. Competition isn’t a reason to divide communities – instead it’s an opportunity to bring them all closer together and benefit and share from each other’s experiences. I can’t honestly say I’m keeping up with my niche if I’m not interested in what everyone has to offer.
- Just because you don’t like a particular blogger, doesn’t mean they don’t make good points or have something interesting to say. I can name dozens of bloggers whose style I don’t appreciate, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to write them off as unworthy. Everyone has something useful to share. I like visiting blogs and thinking, “hmmm….I didn’t consider that, interesting point.” It may even give me ideas for my own blogs.
- Ignoring bloggers because you don’t want to give them traffic is like treating dandruff by decapitation. I hated my 9th grade algebra teacher but she probably taught me more than any other teacher. How could I possibly benefit from cutting her class every day? I say it often here and you probably think I’m a broken record. There’s no competition, we can all benefit from each other.
- Blogers can benefit from other bloggers’ communities. Don’t you love participating in a really good discussion at other blogs? I do. Moreover, I love exploring the commenters’ blogs and becoming part of their individual communities. If I was to avoid the blogs I don’t like, I would be missing out on some incredible conversations.
- Learn new ideas and benefit from cross promotion: Bloggers can always benefit from collaboration and cross promotion. In addition to non-bloggy projects, we can also create conversations spanning several blogs and share the community that way.
I admit it, I read all blogs – even some that don’t welcome me with open arms or with whom I don’t agree. Not to do so means I’m missing out on a wealth of opportunities. I’m not a stubborn person and I know the value of blogs…all blogs.
I’m not going to pretend I don’t visit all the communities in my niches, because I do – and for a variety of reasons. I believe this open-minded approach helps me to become a better blogger. No, I don’t agree with some of what I read, but to write off another blogger as unqualified just because I don’t like him or don’t want the competition won’t help me or my community.
You’re all welcome here…even if you’re the “competition.”
What do you think. Do you read all the blogs in your niche? What do you learn from your competitors? What do you learn from the bloggers who you don’t always agree with?