This post was actually inspired by a reader who e-mailed me asking for some advice last week.
In short, she is a new blogger who is worried about promoting her posts across Twitter and Facebook for fear of people she knows thinking her blog is a bit silly. She was wondering if there was even a point to blogging if she isn’t going to promote the posts.
Lately this topic keeps on coming up. Over and over again.
I know a couple of my blogger friends that keep their blogs private, but most of them are really open about it, sharing it across their personal Facebook.
It seems to shock people when they find out that people in my real life don’t know I blog.
Well, that’s a slight lie, there are a handful of people who know. My housemate, for example. A few of my close friends. And my work colleagues are slowly starting to reveal my secret…
My Secret Life.
At work, it’s become a bit of an ongoing joke. They knew I did something outside of work that is to do with the internet, but they just didn’t know what. I’m actually surprised they’ve not googled me yet. Or maybe they have, but they’re not telling me. My old manager used to call me Batman and every time I needed to request certain shifts for events, I’d say it was because I was busy Batmanning.
My decision to keep my blog private was because when I first started out, I would look at my blog compared with other blogs and feel embarrassed. I thought people would laugh at my naff blog, that people would think it’s stupid and I’m being vein for posting photos of myself across the internet – especially when my blog was mainly fashion based during the first year of it’s life.
I’ll come out when my blog is bigger.
I always told myself that if I ever became a big blogger, that I would start to share my blog with others.
When my blog was successful and something to be proud of, I’d tell all. At this point in time, my idea of a successful blogger was someone who had 1000 followers on GFC (Google Friend Connect), Bloglovin and Facebook. I remember looking aback at my follower count that sat under 100 and thinking 1000 seems like a number I could never read.
I remember thinking that when I got to 1000, it would be like I’ve made it.
As with everything in life, when you grow, so do your goals and I kept putting that bench mark higher and higher. When I got to 1000 followers, it suddenly didn’t feel like a big deal any more and I rose the bar.
The thing is, throughout your whole blog journey, you’re going to feel like you’re smaller than a lot of bloggers. Because there will always be bloggers bigger than you, just like there’s always bloggers smaller than you and there is no actual definition of a ‘big’ or ‘successful’ blogger. We all have a subjective view on this, probably heavily influenced by where we sit on the scale.
How to keep your blog private.
It’s not hard to keep your blog private if that’s what you want. Here are some things you should know if that’s what you’re leaning towards.
Twitter: You can create a new Twitter account to go with your blog. You don’t need to stick with your existing account that has people on it from real life. I have a personal account, which I NEVER use, and my blog account.
Facebook: You can start a fan page for your blog and it won’t link to your account in any way unless you invite people or share posts to your personal profile. You can also join private groups without being discovered.
Instagram: I made the mistake with Instagram that I created it before my blog – I should have started a new one with the blog but by the time I started using Instagram properly, I had too many followers to start again. I link my Instagram account from my blog, but not my blog from my Instagram account. REGRET but it keeps me a secret.
Prepare to Be Found Out
If you Google my real name, I come up as a guest poster on various sites and a speaker at a web festival which links to my speaker profile – this has my blog link in it.
I always knew that one day, I would be found. For example, last month I was on a few websites that I worked with, including The Body Shop, Asda and House of Fraser.
For the past few months, I’ve been really focusing on only publishing things I’m really proud of. This means that if anyone every discovered me, I wouldn’t feel embarrassed by my blog.
I always stand by the rule of if I would be ashamed if my Mum and Boss read a something, I wouldn’t write it.
Will I Ever Come Out?
I think I will. I’m kind of being forced out.
You see, at the time of starting this post, I was safe, although I knew it wouldn’t last for long.
Something happen on Facebook on boxing day. My personal profile was, for some reason, sharing stuff on my blog fan page – this meant that anyone who has me on Facebook would see ‘Corinne shared BLAH to skinnedcartree’.
I’m pretty sure most people didn’t even notice or click. But someone did.
That person was a work colleague. For the purpose of this blog post, let’s name her Leanne. Actually, that’s her real name.
Well, she saw my post and that was it. She outed me to the rest of the managers at work. And Leanne, if you’re reading this, THANKS FOR OUTING ME YOU DICK. I’M GONNA PUNCH YOU THE NEXT TIME I SEE YOU AT WORK. :/
It was only my Facebook page she shared with them, so it is unclear to me right now if they know about my actual blog (or all three blogs) or if they think I just run a Facebook page. She briefly spoke to me about it on Monday and I DONT KNOW.
Either way, I’m trying not to freak out too much, because when I think about it – I work really hard on my blog. I put in a lot of hours. I write good content. I take good photos. I have a decent following. I get pretty good page views. I make some money. I get to go to bar openings and have free meals. I get to try new products and I’ve met so many great people who I’m glad to call my friends.
If I look back at what my blog was like when I first started blogging and could go back 3 years, I probably would have expected to have come out to the people in real life months ago.
Maybe at the point when I was invited to London to do a talk about blogging, maybe the point I was short listed for an award, maybe the point when Microsoft prompted my post almost crashing my server.. there’s so many things I should be proud of and share with people in my life. But I just don’t.
I don’t know why I keep it a secret. I guess I shouldn’t. And neither should you.
One of my very good blogging friends, Saloca, is open about her blog to her family, friends and work colleagues. She’s wrote a post about her view on it which will be live today, too. You can find her blog post at Saloca In Wonderland.
Do people in your life know you blog?