Since starting blogging, I’ve been surprised at how many people haven’t told friends and family about their blogs. It never occurred to me not to make mine public even though I set it up for me, and then N to be able to look back on when he’s older.
I happily set mine live, told my mum I was doing it and that was it. The OH isn’t interested – he thinks it’s a waste of time. Otherwise as long as he doesn’t appear on it and I’m careful about N being on there, he’s not worried. He’s never read a blog, is never likely to and has no idea the details about my blog. Apart from review items turning up. He gets annoyed about more ‘junk’ arriving.
But my mum was my biggest champion, and most frequent reader, even though we only lived a few miles away and saw her lots. It meant she could keep up with what we were up to, and she also told all her friends about it. If your family are proud of your blog and what you’ve achieved, then it does help keep you enthused.
I feel for bloggers who don’t have supportive families or who feel like they need to keep their blogs away from family and friends. When family put a downer on it, and a blogger feels they have to keep their blogs private, I think it’s a shame.
Obviously there are some people who due to their jobs need to stay anonymous, or have sensitive topics and that makes sense. In my current job we have to get any second job, volunteering or public hobby approved, even if we were doing it before starting at the company – a bit worrying considering I was quite clear on my cv that I blogged. But it does mean there’s obviously certain things I wouldn’t blog about -whether family or otherwise.
If you’re discussing anything regarding relationships or family, there’s always going to have to be a level of regard to ensure you’re not going to hurt someone by referring to an obvious situation. But I wouldn’t want someone else in my family telling me what I couldn’t blog about if it didn’t talk about them.
Family disinterest or annoyance at a blog does make it hard for a blogger. The OH doesn’t oppose the blog, but he never wants to be on it or social media, and if we’re offered a family day out or review opportunity he wouldn’t take part. If he did (e.g on a holiday), he’d refuse to be in any photos, and would moan about the number of photos I was taking. Which doesn’t work for reviews. But he wouldn’t dream of telling me not to write my blog like some family members do to other bloggers.
When I think about my readers, it feels nuts that I wouldn’t have made my blog public. My readers are basically other mums like me: 30-40 year old mums (and a bit either side), most working in some way, who like getting out and about with their children. So that’s the majority of my friends. Likewise, my dance blog is for people who love to dance (specifically modern jive/ceroc) so of course my core audience will include my dancing friends. It means they’ll like (if not comment) and probably via Facebook. They know me, will enjoy reading, and hopefully will therefore like and share my blog with their similar friends too.
If friends and family know you blog they can support you too. They will likely be interesting. Mine are usually intrigued by blogging and the whole community thing. But blogging also brings additional benefits and skills like website design/maintenance, marketing, promotion, content and copy writing, social media f you shout and networking. Skills that can be shared and can increase your value in the workplace if you shout about those skills. My work have a social media manager, but I’m the one asked for advice about that team.
Some people do share their blogs with family and friends and get negative reponses. Defensiveness, name calling and anger towards them and their blogs. This makes me sad because as long as a blog isn’t naming names, attacking others, then why should others be coming down on someone’s enjoyment or blogging? Or them trying to feel more like they were before having children. But it happens.
So if you want to go public but don’t know how or aren’t sure, here’s some tips:
Tips on coming out with your blog
- Get family and friends who’ll be directly mentioned, on side and agreeing that they’re happy to be talked about and what the boundaries are
- Write what you want, but think about how others will be implicated. Could it be awkward for their children.
- Launch your blog quietly. Just write and don’t worry about getting the reach and promotion from the start. If you work up to people knowing about it, it’ll be easier to get used to you being out there.
- Share your posts with people you definitely want to see it who’ll be advocates.
- Mention it to people you know who are your typical reader/audience.
- Don’t get het up about negative feedback. If you don’t want to rock the boat then change the relevant post that’s upset people, or make sure you have your rationale for why you wrote the piece.
- Get a thicker skin. If friends and family moan, there may be comments from strangers too, and not everyone’s comments are nice (although I have to say in 5.5 years of blogging I’ve not yet had nastiness.
Have you ever written anonymously? Are your freinds and family supportive about your blog?
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