Blogging 105

This post is a continuation in my series of posts on Blogging.

If you’ve missed any, go catch up:

Blogging 101

Blogging 102

Blogging 103

Blogging 104


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:

Blogging 101

Blogging 102

Blogging 103

Blogging 104

83 comments on “Blogging 105”

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  3. This is perfect. :) All really good tips!!! I’m struggling a bit with how personal to get kn my blog in part because some people I know read it and in part because I sort of use my blog as a place to put out my best front, to write about recipes, and as a kind of a production. But I also usually kind of want yo share the mundane details of my life, though I’m not sure anybody wants to see them. ;) So yes, very pertinent stuff!

    Great post series :)

  4. oh my gosh i remember when I first started my blog and didnt tell ANYONE not a sole. I was out there on the internet and know one close to me knew anything about it!! it wasnt until I realized I acutally had made a hobby out of it that I told everyone about it!~ they are super supportive and love that I am so passionate about it. I try to keep it not too personal for safety reasons but obv those close to me in the blog world, I have befriended and know plenty more hehe (like you!)

  5. great topic, Averie!

    I have been going through not only a few health issues but another “thing” with family recently, and I think my blog has changed as a result… while I still connect and interact on a deep level with my blog friends (via their blogs, emails, twitter, once in person!), my blog has become more of the recipe type with a little story / anecdote as you mentioned…

    it makes me sad when I think of (just a few) DAILY readers I have lost, I think because they feel like they are not connecting with me anymore. I do miss that, but I have gained even more readers and I connect with them, in fun and different ways. (and some I have those deep connections with, so I kinda eye roll at the bittersweet irony there!). :) also? I have 1000’s more readers per day than I used to, so… I guess do what you know and love, right??

    There are times I think of starting ANOTHER blog – completely separate – to talk about some of the bigger things I have going on. It would not be linked to spabettie, so only those couple people I have told about my “stuff” may be able to recognize it. I don’t know, though, you know I have SO much extra time on my hands! ;)

    I love getting to know people on their blogs, and I also respect those who are more vague. I still see personality there, and they are comfortable and secure in not saying too much (like you!).

    • “and they are comfortable and secure in not saying too much (like you!).”

      See I think I share TONS! From where I live, to pics of Skylar, to pics of myself, to my thoughts, perspectives, views and opinions which are always honest, and not always mainstream.

      Interesting that you don’t see me as saying too much!

      • well, no, you DO… but you keep some things private too… THAT’S what I meant, I guess… that you can show personality and all that AND keep things private that people don’t need to know, you know? :)

        and I LOVE that you share honest views and opinions. it’s why I’m here! XO

  6. Having only just started blogging, I have no idea how much I want to share yet. I think a certain level of privacy is important, but I know I like to read about other people’s lives in their blogs, so I’d like to find the right balance for me.

    I’ve really enjoyed the series about blogging, and this post has probably been my favourite, but they have all been interesting and helpful.

  7. I’ve been blogging for a few months now, and I want to start sharing more about myself, but I’m not really sure how. I have to figure out what is going to work best for me without over-sharing! I can be somewhat of a private person, but I didn’t think it would be this hard to break out of my shell since I am relatively comfortable blogging now. I know I like reading blogs that share more than just food and/or fitness though, so I want to do that myself as well. One post at a time I guess!

  8. I’m very concerned about privacy. I don’t share my full name, my children’s names, don’t share pictures of my children. I don’t talk about things I plan on doing, but I often share things I’ve done (after the fact). I’m probably a bit over-private, but I work in an industry that gives me a daily look at the freaks of the world, so I am very cautious, especially about my children. I’ve learned to open up a bit though, and I show as many pics of myself as I’m comfortable with. None of my husband though. He’s more private thatn I am!

  9. The internet is a great thing, but it is also a scary place. It is so open and there are some scary people out there. The whole world doesn’t need to know every. single. thing. Privacy is important.

    I don’t like to share too much about my personal life on my blog. I don’t like to tell everyone where exactly I live, my last name, my family, my age :P Whatever, though, it’s my blog.

  10. i always enjoy your blogging tips. Very open and real but also protecting your private life is important. You do a great job and I admire that!

  11. Thanks Averie! I found this post to be tremendously helpful! Today I posted something that I left me feeling a little vulnerable but reading this just reaffirmed that I did the right thing by disclosing. Thanks :)

  12. Another great ‘blogging tips’ post Averie. I am pretty shy in person and a pretty shy blogger. I don’t really share much of my life in my blog… maybe more so in my comments on other blogs than my own. I started out thinking I’d never reveal anything about my life on my recipe blog, but then I found myself wanting to share & wondering if the people reading would want to know more about me. I try not to post about ‘life’ too much as I think my readers are expecting recipes, not life stuff. I dunno… Do you think it’s unusual to share personal things like vacay pictures (or other things) on a recipe blog ? As far as people finding my blog that I wished hadn’t.. hasn’t happened, but I’m sure it will. lol

    • “Do you think it’s unusual to share personal things like vacay pictures (or other things) on a recipe blog?”

      Well I am not a recipe blog per se but I share tons of vacay pics and if people dont like it on your blog, they can read another person’s recipes that day. But 99% will love to see more about you, I am sure!

      Saw you on either TS or FG the other day…congrats :)

  13. This is a great post, and something I’ve never seen a blogger go into much depth about, so thanks. I started a blog just a few months ago but I feel pretty open already on it. I even started linking it to my facebook so the posts come up on my wall, so I know many of my real like friends read it. And my family reads and enjoys it also. I’ve shared where I’m from and I think my whole name is on it somewhere too. I don’t post about my day to day things though which keeps it a lot more private.

  14. I thikn that safety is definitely a priority when it comes to blogging. I never post when I am home alone or when no one will be at our house if we’re on vacation. It’s just smart/common sense!

    I didn’t tell others about my blog for a while – a couple of months actually. I feel like my blog got so much better once I wasn’t embarassed about it and showed it off!

  15. Keep them coming! I love these :) For me, I kind of just take blogging day by day. Because so many of my clients read my blog, I have to be cognizant of the information I share. Not because I live a secret life, but because I like to keep some things for me. What I’ve learned, is that’s okay!
    As for people finding out about my blog and I wish they hadn’t, I tell EVERYONE about my blog. I’m very open about it, which I think makes it a whole heck of a lot easier. But, I totally respect people that don’t want to share their blog with others. To each their own!

  16. hahahah LOVE blogging 105. also i think that it’s super important to not feel like you have to explain yourself to anyone! i hate when commenters assume that all of what you post is everything you eat, its so dumb and it’s just a way for them to feel better about themselves. great advice lady love :)

  17. I’m new at blogging, so I’m just now figuring out how much I want to share and what I want to keep private. I know for sure I’ll keep certain details about myself private for safety’s sake. I think the longer I blog the more I’ll open up.

  18. As a newbie to the blogosphere, this series couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for me! Particularly what you said about not wanting certain people to know kind of struck home… for some reason I feel weird giving my family the extreme details of my site, even though I do mention them from time to time! But I’ve just started talking to my close friends about and… they love it! So I actually realized in the end that’s it great to have that additional support!
    Thanks Averie :)

  19. I am definitely really careful about what I say on my blog because I am SO afraid one of my friends (or classmates..or schoolmates) would find it and it would all BLOW UP!! Haha, over exaggeration? Yes. But rather safe than sorry!

  20. Wow such a great post and so true! I think this was the most important of the series not just because it tells you how to start and run a blog but it talks about how to BE a blogger :) I love and cherish the fact that my blog represents me all over and though I may hide somethings the majority is out in the open because even in person I’m not a very suppressed (I think that’s the word?) person.
    At first I was scared of people I know seeing my blog just because I do talk so much about fitness, myself, and post pictures of my body. I was afraid they would view me as cocky or conceited..But then! People did start finding me (I still have no idea how) and they did start talking to me. Majority of them ask me fitness questions because they WANT to get in shape now :) It’s a great feeling knowing my blog isn’t helping just strangers but people I know as well <3

    Thank you for this post it was greatly appreciated <3

  21. When I started blogging, I didn’t think I’d have a very personal blog at all. It was going to be, in my mind, more recipes than anything. but I got bored with that really quickly and I am naturally a sharer, so I just went with it. I still don’t tell a ton of people about it, but there are a lot of people I know in “real life” who read it and who say that is how they feel connected with me. I’ve gotten closer to several family members because of it. I still don’t do the whole FB/Twitter thing, because I am not sure how much I want out there, and I am still surprised when new freinds and family find my blog. It makes me giggle!

    Great series, Averie. Great insight.

    • “When I started blogging, I didn’t think I’d have a very personal blog at all. It was going to be, in my mind, more recipes than anything. but I got bored with that really quickly and I am naturally a sharer, so I just went with it. “–

      100% me too.
      But I just cannot keep up the PACE that it takes to be a successful recipe blogger, cooking, pics, editing, submitting, etc…it’s a FT job!

  22. Great post, Averie! I have found that I have gotten more personal as my blog has progressed and it is a good thing. People want to see that you are genuine, someone that they would want to hang out with. You are absolutely right, you should share what you are comfortable with. What is important is that you share something, It lets people know you are real.

  23. ” If the person who found out about your blog judges you harshly or negatively because of it, that’s their issue, not yours. ”

    God Bless You. You don’t even know how I needed to read this…I posted something “honest” and hard the other day (part of my truth and fears about blogging) – and the very person that holds me back and makes me scared to be myself or to better my life or to end my binging and start being healthy – is the very person that contacted me that same night to belittle and berate me again.

    Torn. Not sure to continue. Probably not.

    But thank you – for saying that it’s “their problem”.

    Because really – if we can’t be real in this world, then what is left? Then we walk around not being our true authentic selves.

    (P.S – I do think you share a lot! – I think spabettie said you didn’t? – but it’s a “smart” sharing as in your cautious about the very private details).

  24. This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me! I just started a blog and am struggling with these issues.
    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?
    -I don’t share my work or my exact city, places I go…but I am fine with sharing stories and life experiences.

    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?
    -No one actually knows about my blog beside my best friend, and I was really nervous about it. I feel a little more pressure because I know she’s reading, but I know my writing sounds better when I just let everything out the way it is. Censorship isn’t exciting.

    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.
    -I really love this series, it’s a huge help to new bloggers. At times I feel overwhelmed with ideas and questions and feel like I need someone to ask. I don’t have specifics right now but PLEASE keep this series going!!

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