Recently I read a few things online that got me thinking about how much information it’s appropriate for a blogger to share about their own life.
There are so many different kinds of blogs out there, ranging from the ultra-professional where the author talks purely about their business or niche, to the more personal websites, where the blogger talks about their day-to-day life.
Some people choose to share detailed information about their family, travels or their own problems and a lot of successful blogs follow this formula.
But is it always appropriate to get personal?
Several times I’ve come across comments where readers have criticised a blogger for talking too much about themselves rather than their industry. It’s easy to get carried away when exciting things are happening in your life, but they may not always be as interesting for your readers as they are for you.
When sharing online there are always security concerns, although a lot of people are less bothered with these now than they were in the past, thanks to the rise of social media and our openness about identity.
I’ve always intended for this blog to be primarily about writing and books, with a bit of information about social media, inspiration, blogging and other stuff thrown in. Despite this, I have talked more about my life recently, such as my trip to The Blogcademy and my first photo shoot. Sometimes having a blog feels a bit like having a diary, it’s a great way to chronicle certain events and ideas and share them with others.
Ultimately I’m a cautious person, so I prefer to keep things relatively private. My identity isn’t a secret, but I don’t advertise it either.
That said, I don’t think it’s wrong to share details of your life online, but it’s worth considering your stance if you’re starting a new blog. You might want to think about a few things first:
- Are you happy for readers to associate your name and photograph with your blog? Do you have a separate job that this might affect?
- Will you talk about your family and friends? Are you (and they) willing to use their names and pictures? What about your children? How will you feel if someone recognises you, or them, in the street?
- Do you want your readers to know your current location if you’re tagging it in posts on Facebook and Twitter?
- Think about the photos you share and where they might end up. You don’t always have control over this.
Of course, the more you reveal of yourself, the easier it is for your readers to relate to you. A good way of sharing information whilst still be oblique about your identity is to use anecdotes, such as something funny your child may have said recently, or an encounter with an old friend.
Whilst researching this post I came across a useful and clear piece from blogger Keli Gwyn, who discusses her own approach to social sharing.
How much do you think a blogger should share? Can you recommend a blogger who gets the balance just right?