A few years ago on my danerickson.net blog, someone told me that my writing was similar to Leo Babauta’s writing. “Leo who?” I asked. I did some research and discovered Zen Habits. I’d already been on a journey to live simple. In fact, I’ve always tried to live simple. But after spending some time studying Zen Habits, I decided I wanted to blog about simple living. And so Hip Diggs was started.
Lately, I’ve been getting several comments per month that compare Hip Diggs to Zen Habits. I consider that a compliment. Zen Habits is one of the most successful blogs ever on simple living and minimalism. And although I’m not big on comparing myself to others, I think some comparisons can be healthy and positive.
Hip Diggs Vs. Zen Habits: The Similarities
Of course this is not a competition. I don’t think either blog is better or worse than the other. They are similar and different. We’ll start with the similarities:
- The topic: Both Leo Babauta and I write about simple living and minimalism. We also both write about productivity and healthy habits. We both tend to have large array of topics around these universal themes.
- The layout: I didn’t set out to create a site that looks similar to Zen Habits. When I started blogging, I played around with themes and sidebars and widgets. I continually tried to add more to my blogs but was never happy with how they looked. I hated the clutter. I despised popups. Then something clicked. I decided less is better than more. This led to a natural progression to simplify the look of my blogs. Hip Diggs was born.
- The writing: I like to write simply and straight to the point. I keep sentences short. I keep my messages practical, yet get a little philosophical at times. I intentionally focus on my craft, always trying to improve my writing. I think this is something Leo Babauta does, too.
Some Healthy Differences
Of course there are more similarities between Hip Diggs and Zen Habits, but I think I covered the most obvious ones. I’m also sure there are many differences, but I’ll only focus on two:
- Hip Diggs makes more use of photos: I considered going without photos. But I didn’t want to be a Leo Babauta copycat. I wanted something to make Hip Diggs unique from Zen Habits. I chose to use a medium-sized photo on each page and post. I enjoy choosing photos from sites like Pixabay that either directly or metaphorically relate to the topic. To me, that’s part of the art of blogging.
- Hip Diggs has a different spiritual emphasis: I’m open minded when it comes to spirituality. However, I was raised in a Christian home. And although I don’t go to fundamentalist extremes, I still consider myself a follower of Christ. I think Jesus has as much to say about simple living as Buddha. So occasionally, I look at the topic from a Christian perspective.
That’s it. Hip Diggs and Zen Habits are similar, yet different. I hope you make a point to visit both blogs. I think there is much to be learned from a variety of perspectives. And although I appreciate the comparisons to Leo, I also hope that you can see the uniqueness of Dan in each of my posts at Hip Diggs.