Blogging

How Personal Should I Be On My Blog?

I often as myself the question 'how personal should I be on my blog?'. To answer, I created a checklist to determine how much information I want to share.

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This is a question as a lifestyle blogger that I often struggle with. How personal should I be on my blog? Not to confuse ‘personal’ with ‘honest’ – I’ve always made a point to be honest on my blog as I believe that is the best and only way for me. I don’t want to offer false support or fabricated stories. But I do wonder just how personal I should be.

Now I understand for some people this wouldn’t apply quite so much – for the business bloggers out there your focus is business. For some bloggers, being incredibly personal and sharing intimate details of their lives is part of their brand. It’s what they do and some do it very well. But what about those of us who share stories of our lives, who share details of our parenting styles, opinions and our children’s milestones, but don’t want to share everything?

I have often written a post, only to go back, edit, delete and rewrite. I even re-wrote a whole series because I wanted to change the focus. I have been quite personal on my blog – I’ve shared details of my son’s NICU journey, I’ve shared the heartbreak I faced with a miscarriage and I share details of our family and our day to day lives.

To help work out how personal I should be on my blog I came up with a quick set of rules to get by. I use this little checklist whenever I’m questioning the level of personal information shared. Perhaps it could help you to.

I often as myself the question 'how personal should I be on my blog?'. How much information is too much information? To answer, I created a checklist to determine how much of my personal life I am willing to share.

The Checklist

  • Would I want my Mum/Dad/Nan/Sibling/other important person to read this post?
  • If this post went viral, would I be happy having this topic associated with my name and my blog?
  • If I read this post on someone else’s blog, what would I think?
  • Is sharing this information essential and does it add value to my blog?
  • Is this post in line with my blogs ‘brand’?
  • Will this post negatively impact on my brand and my PR goals?

So far this checklist has worked well for me. It’s served as a tool to remind me about keeping things in line with my brand and not getting too caught up in my emotions.

This also extends to all forms of social media. We all hear stories of people using Facebook to air their dirty laundry and to be honest there are times when it is tempting to post a rant about poor service you’ve received or a negative review you’ve had. For me – I use this checklist for social media too.

How do you determine what is too personal to share on your blog? Do you have rules or do you just share whatever you feel like at the time? I’d love to hear how others answer the question ‘how personal should I be on my blog?’

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17 Comments

  1. What an interesting article – thank you for sharing! I too have often thought about ‘how much is too much?’ and sometimes it can be tricky to make that call (I currently have one post I am sitting on that I am not sure is too much). You want to be open and share things on your blog but at the same time you want to keep that level of privacy – that’s why that checklist looks like a good tool to keep us in line! After all, if we didn’t have those boundaries our blogs/social media would all be the cringe-worthy impulsive rants, wouldn’t they? Thank you again!

    1. I am so glad you can relate! I too have posts that I sit on an wonder ‘Should I…? Shouldn’t I…?’. As much as I think it is fantastic to share our experiences with others I agree with you, you do need to keep that level of privacy. xo

  2. Just what i needed to see!
    So how about it negatively affecting the brand? What would be an example?
    I suppose because my brand isn’t clear right now, this part is not evident to me.
    thank you for the article!

    1. Hi Carolina. An example of a negative impact for me would be if I started raving on social media about all the things that go wrong in my life, or if I started swearing or being negative all the time. My brand focuses on the fact that not everything is perfect in life but as long as we have health, happiness and each other, then life is Perfect Enough For Us. I hope that has given you a good example. What are you hoping to achieve with your brand?

  3. I loved this article. Such great topic. I am fairly new to blogging and I feel like I get pretty personal-maybe to personal and I always wonder if I should say what I do. It’s great to know others think the same way.

    1. Hi Lexi. The best part is that how personal you decide to be is entirely up to you! I hope this checklist helps you too – I know it has been a bit of a saviour for me in some situations. xo Your blog looks lovely by the way 🙂

      1. Thank you so much. I ‘m glad you enjoyed my blog. I love being able to make all the decisions regarding my blog-I think it’s one of the best parts of having a blog and your checklist has been really helpful so thank you for writing it.

  4. This is so helpful! I often have a hard time drawing the line between what is too personal to share and what is personal enough so as not to sound too stiff. You have to find a balance between the two in order to connect with you readers. I think as long as your genuine and you don’t get too carried away with your emotions, personal posts are actually a good thing. Some of my favorite bloggers live very transparent lives and it’s refreshing,

    1. I completely agree – it’s all about connecting with your readers, but doing so in balance. Those who are transparent help us to realise that we too are normal – that we don’t live in a world with an Instagram filter over the top of it. I am so glad you found the post helpful. xo

  5. I love that you addressed this. It’s something I think about too… wondering how much is TMI. I like this list. I will definitely store this away for next time I write a more personal post.

    Just found your blog and am loving it. I can’t wait to read more stuff like this, so I’m officially social media-stalking you. 🙂

    1. Haha. I love being social media stalked!! I’m loving your blog too – your hubby and son are adorable!! It’s so easy to overshare on a post, especially when we are talking about our loved ones – and just love talking about them. I get my fiancé to check over all of my posts and a few times he has asked if I think I’m sharing a bit too much. It’s good to have a second opinion sometimes… 🙂

  6. This post is really helpful! I will keep that checklist in mind when I make a new post from now on! Just came across your blog and I love it already. I recently started a blog but decided to make a new one and do it the right way this time by purchasing a domain name and everything. Your blog has been so helpful and I find it very relatable, so I just wanted to say thanks! Keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. Thank you so much Maddie – this means a lot to me. I hope so much that I can help people realise they can achieve whatever they want – and that includes blogging. I’m so glad you’ve found my blog helpful and if there’s anything else I can help with please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. I’d love to chat. 🙂

  7. This is exactly what I needed to read. I’ve been struggling with this issue with my photography businesses blog in addition to starting my own monetized blog next month. As a someone who loves to write, blog, share, and considers herself “an open book” that line is difficult. Especially when it comes to my marriage. I’ve decided to omit my husband from my blogs as to protect our relationship, our faith, and yes, what others might think or read.

    Thank you so much! I can’t tell you have easy you’ve made this decision for me! I’ve been asking my mentor, friends, and potential readers and no one has really given me a straight answer. Thank you thank you thank you!!

    1. You are so sweet!! There is a definite balance between being an ‘open book’ and telling everyone everything. I think despite how much you share about your life, you should always be honest. That alone is far more important than how much you share. I am so glad you’ve been able to make the decision and found a way to share yourself online, and I am so happy I could help. xo

  8. I love this post! I learned the hard way about this subject. I was writing a post after a blog break I took to recover from personal issues. I lost my best friend and two friends as we decided to move in together and it was an utter disaster. I wrote about what happened, leaving out detail and one of them read it so it obviously touched a nerve. I edited the post (which contained no names) and was greeted with a lovely facebook status (I really hate facebook) about what a b**ch I was and how I should get a life. It’s hard to blog about your life when things go wrong when it involves other people sometimes :/ Especially when people misinterpret your message. I wasn’t blogging about it to cause drama or hurt anyone’s feelings, I was simply blogging about it to educate others that may follow in my foot steps.

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