Have you taken the plunge or are you not ready to reveal your blogging secret?
In the past three years, I have shared my passion for blogging with many people.
Not everyone shares my enthusiasm.
This post will argue both sides of this issue.
Did you know the decision to tell or not to tell people you blog was an issue?
My experience sharing that I blog has been met with mixed results.
For this reason, you should give the decision to tell people you blog great thought.
With apologies to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To tell or not to tell?” that is the question.
When some of the bloggers I interviewed for this post discovered I was exploring whether you should tell non-bloggers that you blog, they were shocked.
They explained it never occurred to them not to tell people.
As it turns out, blogging stigma is a real phenomenon.
It’s true! Instructions exist on the internet telling you how to reveal to people your blogging secret– you are a blogger.
Should You Tell People You Blog? Yes:
You meet interesting people.
I told someone I blogged. He responded by telling me about his son who was a successful travel blogger. On one of his travels, he was robbed and almost kidnapped. He became so disillusioned with travel, he never blogged again.
I told someone else I blogged. He responded by telling me he was a YouTube sensation with 13 million hits on one of his videos. Now he wanted to blog as well.
- You could get traffic and business. On a recent vacation, when I told people I have a blog, they asked me for my business card.
- I’ve been able to get amazing photo opportunities as a result of my divulging my blogging secret. For example, I could use photos of robots for my posts about chatbots and blogging tools. Where can I find photos of robots? The robotics teacher at my school had Lego robots. What excuse could I offer for photographing them? I honestly explained my need for the robot photo. I shared my blogging secret. I am a blogger and needed the photo for blog posts. She could not have been nicer about allowing me to take the photos.
Should You Tell People You Blog? No:
In Kimsea Sok‘s guest post, Want to Start a Blog? 7 Important Reasons You Should Not, he shares the horrified reaction of people when they heard he is a full-time blogger.
Here are excerpts from his article about his challenges trying to start a blog:
If you were in Cambodia, you wouldn’t tell your friends anything about your career because they don’t believe in an internet job.
You might be considered a scammer If you try to chat or persuade them to do anything relating to blogging.
“Stop wasting time with a nonsense career because you aren’t going get it done,” my friend advised.
“What are you doing for a living now?” another friend asked me.
“I’m a full-time blogger and work online,” I answered my friend.
You know what?
His wife looked at me using an attitude which was difficult to explain, but I’m sure she was worried that I was going to cheat her husband.
Now consider other bloggers’ reactions to his post:
It has not been a comfortable journey because I have run into many similar struggles including many skeptical folks who believed blogging was not a real job or business. ~ Ryan Biddulph
I cracked up laughing at the one where you tell people you are a blogger LOL. When I tell people, I HATE when they look at me as if I said my career is robbing banks… ~ Caryn Gittleman
- Your friends think you don’t have time for them.
My friends knew I had a community of bloggers so they formed a local day trip community and didn’t invite me. They assumed I wouldn’t be interested since I had my own community of bloggers. I accidentally learned of it and told them I’d love to go on day trips with them. Now, I’m a member of that community as well.
- Your friends don’t understand and won’t understand.
I told my friend I planned on blogging on vacation. She responded with disapproval. She lectured me on the importance of relaxing on vacation. I told her I relax by blogging.
- If your friends aren’t interested, you’ll be confused and even hurt about why they don’t share your interest. The least they can do is seem interested when you discuss blogging.
- When a close relative heard I blogged, she asked me if I ever wrote anything “profound.” I felt small. Unless I confessed to penning the next “Romeo and Juliet,” I imagined my inquisitor would be underwhelmed and not impressed.
- I always fear people will see me taking a photo for a potential blog post and wonder why I am photographing that particular subject. You might advise me not to care what people think, but what if those people are my colleagues? My school as many amazing photo opportunities. (See “Yes” #3.)
- People may want to use your blog to further their own agenda. People tried to use my blog for their purposes on several occasions.
First, when Donald Trump became president, two friends expected me to use my blog to try to oust Donald Trump from office.
Are you surprised to hear one of them was a blogger? She was using her blog for this purpose and expected me to use mine for the same purpose.
Happily, I am still friends with these two women.
Next, I met an author on a cruise. When he heard I blogged, he asked me to favorably review his book on United States-Chinese relations on my site. First, I hadn’t even read his book. Next, since mine is a blogging tips site, there is no connection between the content.
I conducted an interview and asked bloggers if they feel comfortable revealing their blogging secret:
I’d like to thank the members of the Facebook group the Women of Midlife and the members of the other Facebook groups that helped me for their participation. Here are their responses and the responses of other bloggers who participated in my interview:
I do tell people. It is the reason I started one. Most are supportive.
I always tell people. They are usually amazed.
Why wouldn’t you tell people you blog?
If asked what I do, I always share my blog. Why wouldn’t I? I am super proud of it and also make money through it.
Yes, I tell people I blog. What I haven’t really disclosed is that I’ve been broadcasting live on Periscope.
I am surprised by all the people saying they don’t tell anyone… I do. I love that I am writing… I am not writing best sellers or making lots of money on my blog… Note: I haven’t made one cent… but I have wanted to write since I was 12 and I am now… so yes, I tell people…
I do! (Tell people). I suppose it’s partially because I figure they will find out anyway if they want to know. I also blog about causes frequently so it’s in my best interest for people to know about the blog. Also, I stopped my full-time job three years ago while caregiving for my father-in-law so it became a bigger part of who I am. I think people (mistakenly) think I am making lots of money off it (but I’m not … yet ).
I tell everyone. I’m proud of being a blogger.
Yes, but I don’t tell immediately.
I always tell people. They are usually amazed.
I do tell people I’m a blogger all the time. I do get some blank stares; but moreover, I get questions. People seem to be interested especially if they are not familiar with the entire scope of blogging. Maybe it is because of my enthusiasm because I do light up when people ask me about it. In answering their questions, I have picked up some clients too. That is the cherry on the cake.
I have my blog address on the back of my car. Everyone knows.
Very rarely. I don’t even post my blog posts on my personal page. I feel too vulnerable.
If I meet new people, I don’t tell them… I was told I shouldn’t even have a blog. This was only a few weeks in and it was one of my best friends.
If people ask what I do, I say I am a writer who blogs. (Note: Two bloggers shared this response.)
I usually do not. I can talk to anyone from behind a screen, but I am completely anxious about talking about writing to most people. (Note: Two bloggers shared this response.)
I usually do not. I’ve actually been mocked for it by someone I know (someone who, as far as I know, does not even read blogs). I am careful who I share with.
I don’t usually disclose it. People may be accepting of it at first, but often… if they remember… they will later ask about it in a condescending way. I assume they may just be looking for something to talk to me about, but it feels negative in a way. I’d rather not use energy talking about it. I’d rather use energy to write.
Lately, when I encounter people I know or work with and they ask what I’m doing, I just say, Oh I’m retired. I don’t do anything anymore. (Which is not true… )
The other day I got, “I’m sorry…. what’s a blog?”
I use to tell people I blog. I no longer do. I get blank stares and funny looks like I am wasting their time. I might mention in a quick passing but no longer give my site name.
Unless it makes a decent income, I keep it as a secret. Most won’t understand what we are doing with it.
I write under a pen name and I am very selective about the people I tell about my blog.
No, I do not tell anyone I blog, I just have an online community that I share blogs with.
I’m selective about who I tell. (Note: This response was shared twice.)
It depends. At conferences, I do give the name of my blog/podcast. Meeting non-bloggers and individuals that I might not meet again, probably not unless they ask the name of it. If so, it generally goes well. At the day job; a small few know I do something called ‘blogging’ but they don’t ask about it.
I think it may also depend on the age of the person asking. I am 62. I’ve been blogging/writing online since 2011. Many of my contemporaries are that age or older. I find that if a younger person, say 25-45 asks, they know what a blog is and they may even ask what I write about. I’m not dissing us older women. I just find that unless they are doing the same thing they may not be interested or know what a blog is. I’m not trying to offend any of you “wrinkled ladies.” Honest. I believe in lifelong learning and learning new things until we die. They may also be interested in or have other obligations that call for their attention.
It depends on the person. My family, boyfriend, and fellow work at home co-workers know I blog. All of them ‘get’ it for the most part. They do tend to ask a ton of questions and want to know to know how to make money, why do you do it, is it really worth it, etc.
In closing, you need to consider the pros and cons before you tell people you are a blogger.
An expression goes, “I diet. Quiet.” It implies you shouldn’t tell people if you are on a diet. Their opinions and questions could deter you from trying to reach your goal.
I am applying the expression to blogging. My personal choice: I diet quiet, and I blog quiet.
This interview seemed to resonate with many of the bloggers I interviewed, touch a nerve, so to speak.
What is your opinion? Do you tell people your blogging secret, you are a blogger? What is their reaction? Are your friends and relatives supportive? Would you advise telling others? I look forward to your views in the comments section.
Readers, please share, so other bloggers know they are not alone in their emotions when they share their blogging secret, whether those emotions are pride or embarrassment.