Who Do You Compete With?

When I first started this blog, it was just a place for me to write things that I couldn’t write anywhere else. It was a place for me to talk about all that I have learned over the last three years. But when Mark added the Top 100 list at 45n5.com, I started to create goals for this blog beyond expanding the blog by at least one more unique visitor each month.

I wanted to get into the top one hundred, and then the top fifty, and then the top thirty. Today, I am sitting in the top twenty. I can’t see myself rising much higher, but I enjoyed having goals and a strange sense of competition.

I didn’t let the fact that I was competing really change the blog, but it lit a fire under me to get more done on this site than I might have otherwise been able to.

I worked on building vast amounts of content, pushed my networking skills as hard as possible to get inbound links, spent some money on having WordPress themes developed so I could release them for even more attention, and worked on building up my traffic so that I could continue to rise up the ranks.

I watched as my competitors blogs faded as they lost interest. I waited as Google re-assessed their PageRank system, assigning new higher ranks to me, and less high ranks to many of my competitors. I added the Alexa toolbar on my web browser to attempt to give me one more vote to push my rank just that little bit higher, and wrote about Alexa on a few occasions in hopes of drawing in their user base to increase my rank even more.

I worked hard on trying to build a community while also focusing on improving the ranks that would help me achieve my goals. I didn’t take any big short cuts, and my continued growth is in part because I continued on while others gave up.

Having a person to compete with can really help those of us that have problems with inspiration or issues sticking to a single task for a long period of time. You don’t have to be the best, but you should want to do better than a fair number of your peers and thus competitors.

Who are you competing with, and why? Or if you are a person that doesn’t enjoy competition, how do you inspire yourself to continue moving forward? Let me know in the comments below.