Monday, March 21, 2016

Why I Get Personal on My Blog

Last week, I read this post about the author's choice to not share her personal life (including work, family, or friends) on her blog. I totally respect her decision - the internet can be a scary place! It's totally understandable to not share certain aspects of your life on the internet, and even understandable not to share photos and/or names of your loved ones if that is your wish. 

I am one of the bloggers who likes to share. I share tidbits about my life including certain aspects about my marriage, our home-buying experiences, what it's like to have a sick family member, and so much more. I do this because oftentimes, I'm not only sharing insight, but asking for advice or opinions. Asking questions and getting awesome answers is one of the best parts of joining the blogging world, in my opinion. 

There are right ways and wrong ways to do everything - and if you're going to be sharing personal aspects of your life, I definitely think there's a right way. For example, many readers know that currently live in the "Montgomery Area" of Alabama, and when I shared about buying a new home, I don't give specifics like my current or previous address. Additionally, when I write about my marriage, I get very personal, but usually run it by my husband before I share details of our life, and even those details are pretty vague. 

When we decide to bring children into the mix, I definitely plan on sharing! I don't know if I'll to weekly (or even monthly) "bumpdates" because I personally don't enjoy reading those types of blog posts. But I will definitely share my experiences, insights, and opinions relating to pregnancy and everything else me and my growing body/family are going through. 

Some of my most "popular" blog posts are posts where I share a personal experience and either (1) teach a lesson or (2) ask a question. People love giving advice! Back in the day, I still shared my personal experiences, but I was writing more in a narrative way (This weekend, I did x, y, and z) but have gradually tuned my posts into a post in which my readers can take something away (This weekend I did A, and from that I learned how to do B and C). It's crazy how much more effective that type of post is in getting more interaction. 

One thing I don't do is a lot of sharing of my blog with my personal friends or using my personal social media outlets. I have a Facebook page for my blog, and very few of my IRL friends follow it, and while I do have a link to my blog in my Instagram profile, I rarely promote my blog through Instagram. It's not that it's a "secret" but it's just not something I talk about openly. Maybe one day I'll bite the bullet, but that day is not today. 

What type of blogger are you? Do you share personal parts of your life or just stick to the basics?


Mckenna Brittney said...

Although it takes a certain amount of vulnerability, I agree about including personal elements in blog posts. It makes me so much more likely to connect with a blog as a whole, rather than just getting something from a useful (but impersonal) blog post one time. IMO, the "personality" behind blogs is what sets them apart from traditional articles :)

Marissa Pedersen said...

I personally find it much more interesting to follow bloggers who open up about their lives. It makes them so much more relatable instead of looking like everything is peachy keen on their blog.

Rachel said...

I share parts of my personal life because it so heavily influences what I write about on the blog, but there are some things I won't cover at all, ever. Plus, for security reasons, I do keep some things private.

Angela Tolsma said...

I write mainly about my personal experience because that's what I want my blog to be about. Sharing my story and reaching others. I don't think there is a right way or wrong way to blog, it's more about doing what feels right to you.

Jenn S. said...

Love this perspective. I think it's so helpful to share personally on the blog because it helps people connect with you. But I agree about giving the reader something to take away too! Then everybody gets something out of it. It makes it that much more likely that people will engage with the post, too.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i think i am much of the same... i get pretty personal on my blog, but i don't share things that are super personal or that i don't want to talk about. i love the community/conversation part of blogging, so i am not someone who can just post something to a brick wall, i like talking about things with people. also, i started my blog when i moved here (well, when i decided i wasn't going home) and i really needed some sort of community or friends because i was lacking it in real life.
i don't share blog things in real life at all! i don't want that. my best friend found my blog by googling something, so then i 'had' to tell my other friends (just 2) and obviously my husband knows, but that's it. and i would prefer not to share where i live, but it's pretty obvious when you talk about Louisville specific things, like the Derby lol.
as for kids.. i'm with you, i don't find bumpdates interesting. i do like reading about pregnancy or kids, but for some reason, the bumpdates.. eh. each to their own though, right?

Kalyn P said...

I agree, it definitely makes me want to keep reading when I can hear someone's personality through their blog post!

Kalyn P said...

Haha, my life is definitely not peachy keen all the time, and I try to keep it real on my blog!

Kalyn P said...

It's good to have boundaries and to stick to them for sure, it's all about sharing what you are comfortable with.

Jackie @ My (Sort Of) Adult Life said...

I'm with you on this. I recently read a post about why a blogger doesn't share personal things and I've noticed how other people don't use names of their husbands or boyfriends but that's not how it works for me when I write. My blog is to connect with others and to keep track of all my memories so I can look back on them. I can't do that without sharing some personal stuff. I also don't promote my blog on my personal social media and not too many of IRL friends follow along because it's kind of weird to talk about it to the real world :)

One Crazy Kid said...

I have found that the posts that have had the most engagement for me are the highly personal, raw, vulnerable ones. I had a post go viral last year that was something that I would never in a million years though I would list about it, and it even ended up on HuffPo. People like to read things that they can relate to, I think. I know I do.

Kalyn P said...

Yes - whatever works best for you personally will always be the right thing!

Kelly Lorene said...

This used to be a constant struggle for me, but I have worked very hard to keep my blog 100% honest and about me. Opening up is hard for me because I never know what kind of response I'm going to get. When I started going through my divorce I decided to be very open about it on my blog and I'm so glad that I did. When I started dating my now fiance' I was again very open and honest on my blog and I've found that those are some of the posts that people enjoy the most.

Cece said...

I feel like the longer I blog, the less personal I've been getting. I don't know why either. I think it has to do with the way blogging has changed and that I feel like I've talked about so much already! I don't mind getting personal, but I do struggle with how much to share. My specifics like where I live and even names are not shared. I'm a closet blogger. Only one friend has the link and I like to keep it that way. Sharing personal stories is how blogging started! I like reading posts like that as opposed to list and how to posts that have gotten so popular.

Alexandra Stacey said...

I agree with you on this, and do similar things. I don't usually share my blog with people I know either. I almost feel that if I wasn't sharing personal things, my writing would be lacking. I think your writing lately has been great! Keep it up!

Life + Love said...

I blog about the personal things, sometimes deeply personal, but I am currently blogging a bit anonymously. There are a few reasons for that, one being that I am currently teaching in a small school that would jump right on that gossip!!! I'm considering being more open after I leave this job, but we'll see.

I do think that personal stories bring a blog to life, and I love your perspective on it!

Kathryn |

Breakfast at Lillys said...

I enjoy sharing personal aspects of my life as well as reading them! I really enjoy your blog girl :)

xoxo, Jenny

Adriana from Glitter & Sarcasm said...

I love the personal posts. I like getting some insights into people's lives - to me that's what a lifestyle blog is. I share personal stuff but I tend to use my blog as kind of an outlet. A lot of Tom's family reads my blog but I try not to think of them when I write my posts.

Joy @ For the Love of Tuna said...

I feel exactly the same in regards to my blog. I was reading this just nodding along... especially about bump dates! I know I'll talk about pregnancy and children, but I don't really get the bumpdate thing. Also, very few of my IRL friends follow me either - and that's totally okay. Love this post. Right there with ya!

Joy @ For the Love of Tuna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Rachael Way said...

I'm the same way about my blog. I'm not super secretive about it, but I don't really share super openly about my blog. I sort of wish I had more confidence to do that!

Ashten @ Just Go Left said...

You know I admire anyone who can get vulnerable on their blog....and you have this great ability to balance the personal and the general. xox

Macy V said...

You explained this perfectly. I feel the same way, especially about sharing trials that we go through. It's so nice to know that we aren't alone and other people can relate, even if we have never met/they are 3000 miles away. I also don't share my posts on my actually Facebook page or talk about my blog often, not because it's a secret but because I like having a section of the internet to be 110% me.

Brita Long said...

My friends and family are my most loyal blog readers! I cross-post everything from my FB page to my FB profile. I also mostly post publicly to my FB profile, and I set up the option for people to follow me without having to friend me.

I definitely get personal on the blog. Like you, I do let my husband read my posts on marriage first, but so far, he's never asked me to remove something. In regards to the privacy of others, I only have a strict rule on other people's children. I love my nephew, but I rarely talk about him. The only picture I've shared of him doesn't show his face, and I've only shared the name we call him, not his full name. (It helps that his parents don't share a name, so his last name(s) is not easily guessed!)

That said, I also understand why other bloggers choose not to get personal. There's more than one way to blog authentically!

Kalyn P said...

Yes that's definitely something I've learned to do over the years - I get a mich better response if people can take something away from the post.

Kalyn P said...

I always feel like I can't be as open if I know my IRL friends are reading!

Donnica Smalls said...

I definitely had a fear of getting too personal. It was intimidating getting that vulnerable. I tried sticking to clever or entertaining posts that showed personality, but didn't get personal. However, I quickly realized that readers can't connect to someone they don't know. So one of my blogging goals for this year was to share more personal posts.

Bella said...

So funny I was telling my coworker about this today about how I don't like how a lot of people we work with know about my blog because I feel like I'm exposed, even though it's open to the rest of the world lol.

I'm like you though, I love to share my insight and my experiences I've gone through. Though lately it's been more about me going through the writing process, so it's a bit selfish because I don't offer tips or teach anyone a lesson.. unless they learn from my mistakes then I guess I'll call that a lesson.

I like your post though because you're being real and that's always appreciated and resonates with a lot of people.

Lauren Honeycutt said...

I think that I have a little bit of both--I know that my boyfriend doesn't like to be featured too much in the blog, but once we get engaged, I know that I'll be featuring him more and I'll definitely have my future kiddos in the blog.

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