This post is a continuation in my series of posts on Blogging.
If you’ve missed any, go catch up:
As was the case with the previous posts, this is in no way a comprehensive or exhaustive list but based on reader requests, I’m shareing my opinion only, of course, on these topics:
16. How to handle revealing yourself to the world when you start a blog.
This is such a big question and I think depends on many variables:
The nature or type of blog. A provide-a-new-recipe-with-each-post blogger is going to reveal less about herself than a healthy living blogger who is documenting her daily eats or her personal running goals. One type of blog is just about the recipes; the other is about much more than only recipes.
How comfortable you are sharing things about yourself on the internet. I share the same things in person and with people I know as I do on the internet with people I don’t. In person, I share more. Some people, however, are shy in person and share less but their blog gives them the confidence, and possibly anonymity, to share more.
Do you have children? Or a protective spouse/partner/family members? I am more protective, in general, about what I reveal about myself and my life because I have Skylar. If it was just me, I’d share more but it’s not the case and therefore I think twice about posting certain information.
Some mystery and privacy is not only okay, it’s just smart and common sense.
You don’t owe the world an explanation. You don’t have to explain why you didn’t post your breakfast eats that day, why you don’t write out the full name of your child, where you are going later that day or where you were yesterday. For his work reasons, photographs of Scott are not shown. I also don’t discuss the nitty gritty of our jobs, where we work, what we do, our travel schedules, and so forth. Keeping some element of privacy is simply common sense.
I like to think that blogs are a gift that you give yourself by having it and writing it; and they are a gift you give to your readers. By posting to your blog, updating it and sharing about your life, your days, your recipes, your feelings and thoughts, your workout plans, and anything else you post to your blog, you are already giving your readers a very large part of you, a gift of sorts.
You should never feel obligated to give more than you are comfortable with. In no way shape or form should you feel obligated to share things you don’t want to because you think you “should”. No way!
And I have learned, if you think you may not want to answer tons of questions about something or reveal something about yourself that you’re on the fence with, then don’t.
If you have some big, juicy tidbit that you want to share and you know you’ll feel great sharing it, or that it will be a relief or cathartic in some way to share it, then do so.
But if a little voice in your head is saying, caution-caution red light I’m not so sure about this, then honor that voice and sit tight on that big reveal post or those deep thoughts or that juicy info because once you hit publish, you can never take it back. You can unpublish a post, but someone out there, somewhere, read it. And it’s cached in cyber archives, forever.
Just my way of saying it’s fun to blog, it’s fun to share, some people love it and are totally comfortable with it, but every new blogger writes a post (and some veteran bloggers write them every now and then) and we come to realize that we wish we hadn’t said something or shared something or maybe shared the nitty gritty details down to the enth degree on something.
Even though I advise everyone to be careful and use common sense about what you share, I have found that over time, it has become easier to just share more on my blog. A few years ago I would have never dreamed of writing some of the things I do now, but I have built up to that level of comfort and I also find that readers do want to know the little things. They want to know where you bought your cute tshirt, they want to know where you went over the weekend, they want to see pictures of you and your family as well as your recipes, and over time, I have learned this and feel I share (safely) much more personal details than I ever planned on when I started my blog.
But there are also lots of things no one could ever expect when you start a blog (see Blogging 101, items 5 and really all posts in the series. Blogging is a learn on the job and learn as you go hobby)
17. What to do about people who find out about your blog but you didn’t necessarily want them to?
Even though it may not start out this way, blogs turn into “a family affair”.
It becomes almost impossible to keep your blog from your family, close friends, or even coworkers. Somehow, some way, people just find out about it.
Also, keeping all discussion, mentions, or stories of certain people off your blog can be challenging. It can be done, but it’s challenging and you have to be very mentally organized so you don’t accidentally post about someone who was supposed to never be discussed on your blog for whatever reason.
I also find that if a blogger never mentions her boyfriend, spouse, mother, child, friends, etc. it becomes somewhat odd. You will more than likely be talking about your family members, partner/significant other, and friends and therefore, these people likely will find out about your blog. And if you’re going to be talking about them a lot, it would be strange not to mention to them, “Hey, I have this blog and I blabber on about you a few times a week on it.”
I know some people are scared to death to have coworkers, parents, relatives, or certain friends find out about their blog and it goes back to my points above, you don’t owe anyone an explanation about anything. So, if someone does find out about your blog and you didn’t want them to, oh well. Too bad for them if they don’t like it.
Most every blogger I know puts tons of time, energy, effort and pride into her blog. If the person who found out about your blog judges you harshly or negatively because of it, that’s their issue, not yours. Easier said than done, I realize, but my advice is to keep doing your thing, keep blogging, keep posting how you want to post and just carry on, business as usual. Yes, it may be a bit awkward for you both for a bit after they find out but remember, you have hundreds and probably thousands of other readers; so move on and don’t dwell on just this one person.
I know some people change or alter their posts, their content, or how involved or “deep” they go with certain types of content or stories and their thoughts on various topics if they know a certain person or certain people are reading. That is the blogger’s judgment call and comfort level.
Again, you don’t owe anyone an explanation and I feel badly for any blogger who feels she has to really censor her posts because she feels she will be judged harshly or for whatever the reason, she can’t post freely because X person is reading. That’s a hard position and hopefully she can talk to X person or somehow the situation turns around because as bloggers, we all should be able to post the things we want to and not feel limited or censored or restricted in what we can and cannot discuss on our blog.
So there you have it.
A very wordy post.
Quite the opposite from my last post, The Taste of Adams Avenue, where I posted no less than about 40 pictures of food and fun!
I am glad you enjoyed the post and it was fun for me to hear what tasting festivals you’ve been to and also hearing about whether or not there’s ethnic diversity in the food in your area was interesting. Unfortunately, many of you said you don’t have anything like this in your area or that you’ve never been to anything like that. If you get the chance, go!
And it’s now time to go eat Magic Eight Bars since this Blogging Series magically turned into a 5 part event! <—How did that happen?
1. As a blogger, how do you decide how much to share about yourself? Has it changed over time the longer you blog? If you’re thinking about starting a blog, how much do you think you’ll share?
2. Has anyone found out about your blog that you didn’t want to know? How did they find out, what was their reaction, and are they “okay” with it? Has their finding out about it altered the way what you post about?
3. Tell me what in the series you’ve really liked and if there are things you want addressed, you can let me know. No promises, but you can fill me in.
This is going to be the last post in the series unless I really get inspired to write more or unless I am flooded with reader questions and inquiring minds. All of which are entirely possible.
I’ve loved writing this series and please see these posts to catch up on anything you’ve missed: