Getting Personal Online-Bare Your Soul or Keep it Private?

I’ve noticed in the last few months as I attend conferences and read other blogs that there is one unified message being preached by all the “bigwigs” of the blogosphere and I’ve been hearing it over and over again. “Tell your story. Share your experiences. Let your readers know what makes you different.” It all really boils down to the same thing, no matter how you say it: Be yourself.

But here’s the thing. For some people, being yourself might mean being more private. It might mean NOT sharing your angst-filled past or your current painful struggles to your thousands of readers. For some bloggers, it may not even fit with what you want your blog to be.

married woman typing

Blogger peer pressure is no different than any other type of peer pressure. It’s easy to start to feel bad when it seems like some of the biggest and most successful names in the business are continually pushing you to bare your soul and all you really want to do is share your favourite kids’ craft ideas. So what do you do when you start to feel that pressure?

Here’s what I recommend. First of all, relax. Remind yourself that your blog belongs to you and nobody else. The only one that decides what gets written, published and shared around the Internet is you. Then take a moment to ask yourself what your blog’s purpose is. If you started your site to share information with other parents or to focus on a certain niche, then keep doing that! You’re reaching the people you want to reach. If you do want to share yourself, make sure you do it on your own terms. Writing about your trials and tribulations can be incredibly liberating and can also help others going through similar trials, but do it because you want to, not because other bloggers are preaching at you to share your “genuine” self.

Mommy Kat and Kids first launched with a goal of bringing readers an honest, positive opinion about the newest products for families, along with many great reader giveaways of course! Over time the site has branched out to provide articles, recipes, blog tutorials and other information for busy moms and their kids. I love seeing how my site has grown and changed over the years and I know I’ll reach the point where I do publish some of those emotional, personal posts as well. In fact, I think I have one in mind already! But when I hit that big blue publish button, I want to know that I’m sharing my story feeling ready and not rushed.

Your blog is your blog. And no matter how successful another blogger is, they will still never be able to tell you what is right for YOU. They can only tell you what is right for THEM. If being yourself means keeping some things to yourself, so be it. Because in the end, no matter what you write about (or what you don’t write about!) the people that read your site are going to be exactly the people that you want reading your site.

Have you ever felt pressured to share more than you want to on your blog? How do you draw the line between what you publish and what you keep private?

17 thoughts on “Getting Personal Online-Bare Your Soul or Keep it Private?”

  1. I’ve just started a “mommy blog”. I agree with you – it’s a personal choice on how much you want to share. At this point, because I’m just starting, I don’t want to go into great detail about my children or husband. I’m still “testing the waters”, so to speak, so I’m sure that the more I read other blogs, I’ll better guage how much I want to say on my own.

    1. That’s a great way to approach it, Suzanne! And I think you will find the amount that you want to share will change as your blog changes, but the best thing about blogging is that there’s no wrong way to do it. And don’t ever let anyone try to tell you otherwise! :)

  2. I started out more open than I am now because no one I knew in real life knew about the blog, but the more it grows and becomes your business and lifestyle the more people learn about it and I’ve gone back and deleted posts that I felt uncomfortable about.

    1. Wow, really Jen? I never thought about that but it’s true I see new bloggers write about anything and everything sometimes! Kind of makes me glad I didn’t share too much right at the beginning! LOL

  3. Calling all bloggers—-Listen up—-Please keep the bodily functions and your sex life out of the posts…please! It makes me want to unsubscribe and sometimes I do when a blogger thinks I want to read about oil coming out of their butt
    or having pictures of teats hanging out with children attached to them.
    I don’t care if you are gluten intolerant…so what!??!! I have chronic sciatica I am lactose intolerant..maybe I should go up to people I don’t know
    and tell them that.
    Same thing. You all post, we read. You don’t know us. Please keep some things for your family. Thank you. Other than that, blogs are really cool :o)

    1. Bwa ha ha!! Your comment literally made me burst out laughing, Lisa! I have to say, I have no desire to read about oil coming out of anybody’s butt either! LOL

      While I’ve started sharing more than I did when I first started blogging, sex and bodily functions are two lines I won’t be crossing any time soon! ;)

  4. I don’t have a blog but I agree with you. This is the reason I don’t have a blog. I’m too private!
    Your blog is your blog you shouldn’t feel pressured to write about your personal life. Just the same as your facebook account and twitter are YOURS and you can post what you like. I’m tired of the “rules”.. I like your blog! If you post more about yourself that’s great, if you don’t that’s fine with me I’ll still read!

    1. Thanks Amy, that’s so nice of you to say! :) I agree completely and honestly, my blog is exactly like me, positive and high-energy. I don’t dwell on all my troubles in real life, so why would I do that online? Thanks for following and being such an encouraging reader! :)

  5. im fascinated by blogs that are strictly reviews and giveaways. it seems there are so many out these days, how does a new blogger break into that?
    Its interesting you say you started your blog with that soul purpose, i’ve never heard that before. Most say they just started to share their stories and it just lead into that. I would love to hear some tips on how you pursued reviewing.

    1. LOL! Yes, and I did it exactly the other way around; featuring reviews all the time led to me sharing my stories! :) That question really deserves its own blog post, but I’ll send you an email, Crystal, with some of the things I did to get started in the beginning. It takes some time to get rolling, but it’s not hard!

  6. Great post Kat! I have felt that pressure, like most no doubt, but there are certain things I just won’t share on my blog. Yes my blog is about me and my family too but people are not coming to read it for that, at least for the most part. There are things that go on behind the scenes that are frustrating or chaos and I don’t share, why? Because I want to go to my blog to feel good, as I’m sure my readers do. There have been very few times I have posted more personal posts, and even fewer serious posts; what I have written has been humorous maybe with a little sarcasm, all in fun and definitely not serious. I don’t find hat to be hiding anything, people who know me know the behind the scenes details. An employer once told me as a teen when he asked how I was and my response was “good”, he said “That’s what I want to hear!”. He told me if you are positive even when you are down then you feel better and so do the people around you. Negativity breeds negativity so for me, I try to be positive in all things, even when it’s hard. It’s harder to be positive than negative; sometimes you really have to put the effort in. I don’t think though that doing that means I’m not putting myself out there; there are so many ways to do that than spill your guts. To me, if you are always spilling every details or Debbie downer story people lose interest because they almost get sick of hearing it. Kwim? Just my opinion of course. One huge thing I can say about you Kat is that you are infectious and by that I mean, you are a lovely person to have the pleasure to know and to be around. You are always smiling, happy to meet people and just a genuine person overall. I agree with you completely; I don’t think you have to lay it all out there. Your blog is your own; you can decide what goes on it.

    Sorry about the novel here…lol

    1. I love your novels, Stacey! :) That’s exactly how I feel; I don’t want my website to be a negative place any more than I want to be a negative person! Focusing on the bad things isn’t going to make my life better, so instead I focus on the good, just like you! That doesn’t mean I might not share an important story some day, but the overall feel of my blog is going to be upbeat, high energy and positive because that’s the way I strive to be every day. And I know EXACTLY what you mean about the “Debbie Downer” blogs! :p

      And thank you, beautiful woman! I feel the same way about you; it was so amazing to meet you in real life and I can’t wait to spend time with you again sometime soon! (Seriously, we’re so close to each other, we HAVE to make sure we get together at least once before October!) :)

  7. I can’t say I’ve ever felt pressured about what to post on my blog. I post about everything, from giveaways and reviews to personal posts. But that’s only because I WANT to. As you mentioned, it’s your own blog to do with what you want.

    1. Exactly Terra! I never feel like that with all my blog friends, but you hear it from folks like Single Dad Laughing, the Bloggess, etc, etc, all the time. I think breaking out of the comfort zone is a good thing, but only if I’m doing it because I feel whatever I’m saying HAS to be said. I love some of those big blogs, but I’m not going to jump off the bridge just because they are! ;)

      Coincidentally, I do think that the reason I might feel pressured sometimes is because I DO have something that I feel I should share. But I want to be sure of that before I hit publish, and that’s why I think stepping back and thinking things through first is so important. After that…well, we’ll see what happens! :) Thanks for commenting!

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