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So you’re a blogger. Now what about your real life friends and family? Do you keep it a secret from everybody? Do you only tell a select group of people? Or do you announce it to the world? Any of these scenarios is possible and is completely dependant on the blogger in question.
Whether or not you tell friends and family about your new-found passion also has a lot to do with the reason you started blogging. There are tons of reasons you could want to start your own blog. You could want to find and connect people who share the same passion. You could want to express yourself creatively. You could want to use it to gain skills and advance professionally. You could start a blog as a first step in your plan for world-domination. The possibilities are endless. But someone who wants to use a blog to advance in their career would probably need to tell people about their blog at some point in time, while someone who is just looking for a creative outlet may be perfectly content at keeping their blog to themselves.
My reasons and experiences
Personally, I started blogging for two reasons. One, I wanted to share my love of books and connect to other people who loved reading. (While I have some friends who like reading, it’s not the same. I mean, if I talk too long about books or get a bit too excited, they look at me funny and change the subject. While in the bookish blogging community my ramblings and fangirling are welcomed with open arms) And secondly, I wanted to use a blog as a means to gain some online skills and use them in my professional life.
While my first reason wouldn’t have necessarily required me to tell anyone about my blog, I still made the decision to tell all my friends and family about it. For me the reason for doing so was simply that I was excited. I love this blog and I was so proud for having finally started one. Plus, it’s become such an integral part of my life, something I couldn’t imagine myself without anymore. So I felt like this was something I should share with friends and family. And though I know they don’t actually read any of my posts, knowing they have my back is still pretty great.
My second reason made me more uncomfortable, because it made me share my blog with colleagues. I told my former boss as an example of what I was doing to enhance my skills. And now that I am job hunting again, I am mentioning my blog in interviews to show companies what I can do, what I know and what I have accomplished. This is of course a little nerve racking, because it’s not just a portfolio, it’s a pretty huge, personal part of me and showing it off to strangers is waay out of my comfort zone. But, I still believe this blog will still someday give me the edge I need and land me my dream job.
But like I said, this experience is different for everyone. So why don’t we list a few possible pros and cons about telling people you know in real life about your blog.
>> Pros of telling people about your blog <<
People won’t jump to funny conclusions about what you’re spending your time on
Blogging takes up A LOT of work and a lot of time. So maybe your family or loved ones may get a teensy bit curious as to what you are spending all that time on. Why you’re typing away at your computer for hours on end. Why you’re suddenly staring at your bookshelf, mumbling things like “Which character would I like to have dinner with?” (necessary questions for a book tag, of course), or “Come on shelf, give me topic ideas”. Or why you are spending an entire afternoon taking pictures of your books with a huge assortment of random accessories. Before those loved ones are starting to jump to the worst possible conclusions, you may want to consider telling them you’re a blogger. They may be relieved. They may be more worried. But at least, they will know and your behavior will start to make some sense. Kind of.
You could get some much-appreciated support
Even if friends and family don’t completely understand why you’re blogging or relate to your passions, they can still support you in this endeavour. And that support can mean the WORLD. Whether it’s your mother who is the first person to like your newly-made Facebook page. Or your husband who helps you take bookish pictures without question. Or your friend who subscribes to your blog and likes every single post just because. It may be little things, but they can help a blogger out so much in so many ways, especially one who is just starting. All those little things can make the blogger heart incredibly happy. Getting the support from people you love is the coolest.
You can use your blog as part of your resume
Well, if you’re spending this much time on your blog, you may as well use it, right? I mean, there are so many skills you could highlight using your blog. Your writing skills, your graphic design skills, your content management skills, your creativity, your understanding of SEO, your social media skills, your general online marketing skills. The list goes on. You can list it on your resume and even use numbers to quantify your successes. Highlight the increase you had in number of subscribers, the average amount of page visits you have per day, the amount of social media subscribers. Use the fact that you are cooperating with publishers to review ARCS as a way to market your communication skills, social skills, organisational skills, your initiative, your passion. You have put so much work and effort into your blog, so don’t be afraid to be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
>> Cons of telling people about your blog <<
You may end up needing to censor yourself
Well, the most obvious reason for not telling anybody about your blog is if you just don’t want them to know what you are blogging about. This can go from the little things to huge life-changing things. For example, if you are reviewing smutty romance novels on a regular basis, you may not want to tell your grandmother about your blog (unless you know she would love some recommendations). Or, if you are trying to use your blog as part of your resume and need to be taken seriously, you may not be able to talk in fangirl (lots of CAPS and “OMG”s and “ASFHJALMNJAH”s) as much as you may really want to. Whatever the reason, you may need to edit yourself in some way, depending on who you’re expecting to read your blog that you also know in real life.
Also, unfortunately not everybody is in the best situation possible to just go around and tell everybody about their blog. Perhaps you have very good reasons to keep your blog a secret. Perhaps you are in the position where you can only be your true self on your blog and the people in your life wouldn’t understand if they found out. If that is the case, then you could of course choose to keep your blog a secret from all or just certain people in your life.
You are putting yourself out there and open to criticism
Telling people about your blog can always be risky business. After all, a blog can become such an integral part of your life, of who you are. You are pouring your heart and soul into it every day and it becomes a piece of who you are. So when you tell people, you are putting yourself out there. Having people you love take a look at your blog can feel like handing them a piece of yourself. If you are in any way self-conscious about that, or uncomfortable about it, you may need to think twice about whether or not you want to tell people. They may have some criticism. They may not always be nice or even constructive. They may take a look at something you spent hours on and immediately come up with a list of things you could do better.
So keep this in mind if you’re highly sensitive. BUT always remember: if you started a blog, you already took a huge leap towards accomplishing your dreams. You already did this amazing thing! You are off to great things so while the haters waste their time hating, you go be awesome and rock the world!
It can be demotivating or hurtful when friends or family don’t support you
Yes, I know I put the support as one of the pros. Because if you have it, it’s amazing. But you may also want to keep in mind that people, even friends, family and loved ones, may simply just not care. After all, you are blogging about something you‘re passionate about. They may not care one bit about books. Or whatever else it is you’re blogging about. And while you may be expecting them to subscribe to your blog and your social media and read all your posts, the truth is… they may not. Because of a gazillion possible reasons.
And while that is completely understandable, it can also sting. It may feel as if they don’t care about you as a person. Which is of course not necessarily the case, but just keep this in mind. In the end, it’s your blog and your project. And even though you may love it dearly and you may want the people you love to love it as well, you also can’t expect other people to love it just as much as you do. So if you think you could be easily dissappointed or even demotivated by this scenario, you may need to consider whether or not to tell people.
The upside? For every real-life friend that doesn’t care about your blogging passion, you can find someone online who is more than ready to rave, ramble and obsess with you. And nothing builds friendship like shared passions and obsessions!