Think about the more traditional business environment. Think about how capitalism is supposed to work. You’ve got Coke and Pepsi. You’ve got Apple and Microsoft. You’ve got Toyota and Ford. It’s perfectly understandable to expect the executives working at one of these brands to look upon the other company as competition. If someone buys a can of Coke from the grocery store for a dollar, it means that Pepsi is not getting that dollar.
It’s probably safe to say that we all have a fundamental understanding of how that dynamic works. Through competition, companies are supposed to figure out how to develop better products, lower costs and increase sales. That’s the name of the game. If Nike can convince you buy one of its pair of shoes instead of a similar pair from Reebok, then Nike won. Right?
Competition and capitalism are based on the mindset of scarcity. There are only so many customers with so many dollars out there, so we need to get as many of them for ourselves as possible. But the Internet in general (and blogging specifically) is different. It comes from the mentality of abundance.
More Food on the Table
If you’re interested in Internet marketing and making money online, it’s great that you’re reading all this content on John Chow dot Com. Chances are, though, that this blog is not your only source of information and inspiration. You likely read other blogs in this niche. You might read many other blogs. Reading here does not preclude you from reading elsewhere too. It’s not a zero sum game.
It likely comes as very little surprise that John is friends with a lot of other bloggers and Internet marketers. He’s been going out for dinner with them for years. That picture above is from a blogger dinner from 2008. They’re smiling, they’re chatting, they’re networking, and they’re generally having a very good time.
Can you imagine of the CEOs of Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony got together for a casual dinner? That’s probably not going to happen. But bloggers? That’s different.
The bloggers at the table don’t see one another as competition. You’re not stealing my readers away from me just as much as I’m not stealing advertising revenue away from you. Instead, we’re colleagues. We’re friends. We’re all working together toward building a brighter future for each of us individually and for all of us collectively.
Learning, Sharing and Collaboration
Successful bloggers got to where they are today because they were able to learn from those who came before them in one way or another. Over the years, bloggers have worked together toward mutual success. You may encounter some blogging groups on Facebook, for example, where members help to share content over social media. Everyone helps everyone else.
It’s not a race, because you don’t need to the first one to the finish line in order to reap the benefits. Indeed, the benefits get more plentiful when you lend a helping hand and work together.
Trying to do it alone is unnecessarily difficult, because the only resources available to you are your own. The only audience available to you is your own. A much smarter and more effective mentality is that of collaboration.
If you’ve been following this blog for any period of time, then you’ve likely seen a number of collaborations, partnerships and joint ventures that John has participated in. We wrote a book together. He hosted a live blogging webinar with Zac Johnson. The list goes on and on, capitalizing on our respective skills for maximum benefit.
The next time you come across another blog or blogger in your niche (or in any niche, for that matter), don’t see him as someone who is trying to steal your readership. See him as someone who can help to increase your readership as well as his own.