Don’t Let it Get to Your Head: How to Keep Blogger Ego In Check


Remember when I recently talked about the 4 pillars of a strong online community?  After writing that post, I realized there was an important part of a strong online community that got left out – and that's the blogger ego.

As bloggers, we're building websites and communities around ourselves, our interest in a topic, and the desire to share it. As our sites grow, we develop a readership, and begin working with brands, it becomes really easy to develop a “I am center of my [blogging] universe” mentality because our content IS the center of that activity! And that's a great thing.

I'd argue that an online community begins with our ego. But what do we need to do to keep it happy, strong, and growing? Sometimes, to keep a healthy balance at your site, we need to give ourselves a little tough-love ego check! Whenever I find my own ego getting the best of me, I remember 2 things:

No one succeeds alone.

As bloggers, we often feel like a one-man island. It's easy to think that blogging is a solo activity – and the back-end of it tends to be.  But a successful blog, by no means, is built alone. We are all piggybacking on the work of others – whether the people who created our content management system, the superstar blogger who shared our little link, or the friend who takes our photos.

Over the years, I've seen many bloggers lose sight of that as they've gotten larger. They lose sight of their community. They disable comments; they're really defensive to the slightest criticisms; they're standoffish towards other bloggers & brands who showed them support in the past.

They've forgotten that, for as hard as they worked, success wasn't built by them alone.  They may have built the site, but success was built by the readers who read the content and commented; it was built by bloggers who saw something great and shared it; it was built by brands who took a chance on them.

Every once in awhile, I find it useful to take a step back – and remember that more than me, it was others who helped me build my blog.

Remember to Give Back.

I love the idea of giving back, and to be honest – I need to do more of it my life.  Give beyond your comments.  Give to other communities. As much as I'd love to pretend otherwise, I'm not the be-all, end-all of information!  Blogging is so much about experiences – we can only share so many perspectives.  Bloggers depend on readers, just as much, to contribute, share information, and share their experiences!

I'm also really guilty of saying, “I don't have the time.”  When I'm honest with myself, the reality is that I'm choosing not to make the time. The periods in my life where I said, “I don't have time to reply to comments” have caused my blog to suffer.  If I say, “I don't have the time to get on Twitter,” then I'm choosing not to make the time.  We should be conscientious and choose how we use our time wisely. That will vary from blog to blog, but your analytics will give you a great idea of how to start!

If you want more ideas on how you can give back, here are 10 ways to give back to your readers, fellow bloggers, and brands this holiday season.  You don't have to limit these ideas to the holidays – they're perfect for giving back to your community all year round.  And you should do it all year round – because blogging is a give and take process.

The holidays are a wonderful period for reflection and humility, and one I always take seriously each year (in blogging AND in my life).  I'd love to hear others ways you “check your ego” when you feel blogging has taken control!

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7 Responses

  1. Candice Shaw

    Agreed. I’ve noticed that some popular bloggers don’t care about their readers after they get a certain amount of success and they don’t reply at all.

    I also notice that they get lazy with posting/the kind of content they post which always sucks. I’m just thinking if it’s your job you should do something at least every weekday. Sometimes you miss a day and that’s fine but put in effort.

  2. Amaka

    This is so true. As a new blogger myself I always try to reach out to other bloggers and hype/ comment on their stuff and it is always nice when they do the same for my postings. I love the fact that you have a huge following and you are so humble. Will definitely be following your blog.

  3. Kristin Booker

    This is a great piece, and so incredibly true. Although sometimes you CAN get stretched, it’s so important to remember that all of our communities are built upon our readers and each other. See also: there’s more than enough good stuff to go around. We HAVE to help each other out!

  4. Flat Eight

    It’s so lovely to read a blog post which is so down to earth like yours! Your writing is so good, its well written but also really friendly and chatty! Makes for a great blog! Myself and my friends have recently set up a fashion blog, so are relying on each other to provide honest feedback on each other and our posts! Hopefully will keep things interesting and keep us motivated! Would be great if you would have a look and leave a comment if you like!

  5. Kimberly

    Understanding the first, “No one succeeds alone.”, is something I have learned with maturity and experience. When i started working in fashion I wanted my projets to be solely my ideas and I didnt want input from other people, but that was partly because I felt guilty taking credit for things that other people suggested. But these days Im more eager to collaborate with people and to give them as much free reign as I can — 2 heads are better than 1. When you collab with great people and you can trust their taste a lot of times they bring something to the table that you never wouldve thought of an the end result is even better.

  6. Keisha Newton

    As a new blogger myself, I gravitate to more established bloggers who MAKE the time to interact with their readers. The frequency of responses doesn’t have to be comment for comment but I feel that it gives more of a personable quality to it than just posting outfits and captions. I always pose the question, why have social media if you’re not going to BE social? It’s something I know I’ll keep in mind and be sure to do in the future.

  7. Sophia

    yeah right. I’m doing blogging since 6 months and I have submitted my articles and comments to high PR and some low PR blogs/websites. But my articles and comments are approved only on low pr blogs/websites.

    I don’t know why they have too much ego about their high PR Blog/Website. Why they are not interested to help us to improving our own blog? But maybe they eventually loosing their new members and also their high PR.