To be or not to beyourself

To Be or Not To Be…Yourself

by April on October 9, 2008

If you’re thinking about becoming a Mom blogger or if you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably struggled with the decision of how open you will be. Should you use a pseudonym? Is posting pictures of your kids a no-no? What about family, co-workers, neighbors…should you blog about them or not?

There are pros and cons to both full disclosure and total privacy. There is no right or wrong option and what works for one blogger may not work for the other. Its a personal decision that only you, the blogger, can make.

Let’s use one of the most well-known Mom bloggers as an example. You’ve heard of Dooce, right? Dooce, a/k/a Heather Armstrong, gained major publicity in the world of blogging when she was fired from her job because of her blog, specifically some unflattering posts about her co-workers. Ouch.

Perhaps being so candid and open on her blog and revealing its existence to people in her offline life wasn’t such a good idea. But then again, being terminated over blogging was the catalyst that launched Heather/Dooce into the Mom Blogging Hall of Fame.

Since then, Dooce.com has become so popular that her husband was able to quit his job and become a stay at home dad while managing his wife’s business. Apparently she’s managed to maintain that popularity by remaining completely open on her blog. Now I have to admit, I am not a fan of Dooce and I don’t read her blog. But from what I’ve heard she has written about some very personal stuff including her battle with postpartum depression. She does talk about her family, her husband, her daughter and because of that, people feel like they know Dooce/Heather.

Obviously being herself on her blog has paid off for Dooce although it may not have in the beginning. Personally, I’m a believer in “all things happen for a reason” so getting fired from her job was probably meant to be and it worked out even better for her.

There’s no denying that your readers will feel a greater connection with you if you they feel like they know you. When you remove the barrier of anonymity, you’re inviting your readers into your virtual living room. But what if you’re not quite comfortable with letting a bunch of strangers in on the private details of your life?

Think About Potential Consequences

The bottom line is that its your blog and you can do whatever you want with it. Only you can decide what your blogging goals are, what your comfort level is, and how public or how private you want to be. Think about who you want your readers to be.

Think about how the people in your offline life would feel if they found out about and read your blog. Think about your intentions of being either public or private. Then decide what works for you. And if you want a little bit of both, you can always create two different blogs and make sure their paths never cross. After all, blogging can be addictive and sometimes its hard to stop with just one.

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