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.
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?