Be authentic! This is the new blogger battle cry. The Blog Elevated motto echoes: “Be Inspired, Be Professional, Be YOU!” There is no substitute for being yourself and telling your story.
Many people read blogs because they want a glimpse into someone else’s life. Readers come to your blog because you make them feel something. They find your blog inspiring, or funny, or fascinating. Sometimes they read because you are just like they are. Sometimes they read because you are like no one they’ve ever met.
Bloggers are by nature story tellers but sometimes, a story isn’t ours to tell. We need a dose of wisdom and common sense and occasionally a kick in the pants from a trusted friend to tell us when we’ve gone too far.
Oversharing your story or sharing someone else’s story is a trap bloggers must avoid. Take a peek at our top 7 Oversharing Mistakes Bloggers Make
1. Forgetting that the Internet is Forever
The internet never forgets, and it especially never forgets people at their worst. Yes, you can always go back and delete or make changes. You can block the Wayback Machine from your site. You’ll never know who may have taken a screenshot or simply remembers your post. Nothing is ever truly gone from the Web, and once something is out there you can’t take it back.
Every photo you publish could be put on a coffee mug used in your spouse’s office. It could end up on 1000 flyers plastered all over your child’s school. It could end up republished on a viral aggregator such as Buzzfeed or Upworthy and shared by thousands on Facebook. Never forget the power of the Internet.
Fix this mistake: You only hit publish once, so think twice.
2. Posting While Peeved
We’ve all been there. We’re angry, insulted, affronted, and we have a blog. Let’s post!
Blogging when you are in the middle of processing strong emotions of any kind can be cathartic. It’s a good outlet and can help you clarify your thoughts on a matter. However, posting immediately? That’s not a good idea. If you write something while you are on an emotional high, never publish it right away. Give yourself some margin and maybe make some changes to make that angry rant become a thoughtful critique.
Fix this mistake: Sleep on it before posting, and maybe even let a trusted friend take a look at it.
3. Ignoring Strangers
If you take your own photos for your blog, or simply share daily anecdotes, sooner or later a stranger is going to show up on your blog. Maybe it’s a guy buying a hotdog in the background of your Zoo trip pics. Maybe it’s a little girl learning to swim next to your child who is just so cute in her new floaties you must share the photo. It could be a pharmacy clerk or barista that happens to be a tiny character in your epic tale of Target Woe. Maybe that little girl’s parents don’t want her posted in her swimsuit on your blog, however innocently, and maybe that barista reads your blog and will be mortified to recognize an unflattering description of herself.
Fix this mistake: Pay attention to the background characters in your photos and posts. Anonymize anyone who didn’t consent to being on your blog and remove/cover up any children who may have strayed into your frame.
4. Faking the Good Life
It’s easy to get caught up in the online Pinterest world of curated perfection. Bloggers especially tend to be under pressure to present a pretty life, and become an aspirational blog no matter what the niche. We want build our authority on a topic, be seen as having it all together, and build our blogs into an expert platform. Along the way, many bloggers start “faking it until they make it”. Sometimes that’s just putting the best face on things, but sometimes a blog life and a bloggers life don’t resemble each other at all.
It’s okay to put your best foot forward but don’t create a fake life. You’ll be found out eventually, plus it’s exhausting to try to be someone else all the time. Are you making choices based on what you think your readers want? Are you living your life by public opinion poll, overusing Photoshop, or putting elaborate spin on things so they look all fabulous, all the time?
Fix this mistake: Arrange don’t stage. Don’t become the star of your own blog style Truman Show.
5. Disappointing Real Life Friends and Relatives
Blogging lets us create a safe space on the web to pour out our opinions, advice, creativity, and stories. Sometimes we forget that people we know in real life read our blogs, and that if we write about them it affects them. Your cute story that makes your neighbor look shallow and petty can damage relationships for years. Making fun of someone’s shoes at the PTA meeting could embarass your kid’s next-year teacher.
Your blog might be your safe place but it’s not a private place. Could blogging someone’s secret get you pageviews, or give you an angle for a post? Maybe. Is it worth violating the trust of people you know in real life? Never.
Fix this mistake: Caring before sharing. Look over your posts and make sure you aren’t revealing too much information about someone else or casting people you know and love in a bad light.
6: Endangering Loved Ones
Posting about your upcoming vacation? Did you just blog about when your home will be empty, with information in the archives about that awesome TV and sound system you bought your husband last month? Then on your Instagram you posted pics of your kids playing in the front yard- with an image of the front of your house and street number? Are you asking to be robbed?
Bad people are on social media and bad people read blogs. Don’t endanger yourself or your loved ones with Tweets, Facebook status updates, or blog posts detailing that you’re home alone, or have expensive equipment, or even too many details about your kids. Also remember that any photo you publish on your blog could end up in saved on someone else’s hard drive and swapped like a commodity. Protect yourself. (Recommended reading: The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker. *affiliate link* This book teaches you to pay attention to your instincts and also how to tell if that message is just a vent or an actual threat.)
Fix this Mistake: Use common sense when posting, and remember- safety first!
7: Overblogging the Bad
Being authentic means being yourself, warts and all. It takes bravery to admit failings and mistakes, but it makes you seem like a real person. We sometimes take it too far and blog only the bad. Self-deprecation can be taken too far, and you really don’t want to build a brand on being a bumbling idiot.
Blogging authentically does not necessarily mean blogging about bad things. You shouldn’t pretend nothing negative every happens, buy you should dwell on all the ways you are a hot mess, your kids are terrible, your spouse unloving. Put some mental boundaries in place and make an editorial note so you are not always portraying anyone in a negative light, including yourself.
Fix this mistake: Don’t just blog your fails. Your readers want to read your story – and no one’s story is a tragedy every day, all day.
Boundaries make for better blogging. Be aware of these common oversharing pitfalls and you’ll be on your way to blogging better!
What oversharing mistake did we leave out?
Want to help other bloggers keep from oversharing? It just takes a bit of sharing on your part. Share the graphic below on your social media platforms!