The blogging world changes all the time and it can be hard to find your footing with tricky terrain underfoot! I’ve witnessed lots of bloggers lately bow out thanks to public criticism or an overwhelming feeling of not wanting to share any more. Anyone who knows me knows I am a very private person so this topic interests me greatly and is definitely worth discussing!
Does a blogger have to be a brand?
There is a lot of pressure for a blogger to become a brand, lately. Working in social media, I am surrounded by bloggers all day every day and I have a few opinions of my own! A blog is a brand, indisputably. No matter what you write, you will attract an audience with those interests. If you stick to the same topics or ‘branded’ content, they will return until their interests change or until you change. It’s important not to forget that bloggers are human, however, and humans change. You can’t expect a person to always be the same, which is why we stop checking on blogs we used to love and why we find new ones to celebrate. Don’t feel pressured to stay in your brand box, it’s okay to change but recognise that your audience will change too.
Blog about things not people
Bloggers start writing because they enjoy what they are writing about. What do you write about? No matter the topic, you’ll find that writing about things and not people will help you hold fast to your privacy. Most of us are writing about things naturally. Look closely. Books, beauty products, fashion, food, the top blogging topics are not people-focused but product-focused. It’s quite easy to pass opinion without giving anything of yourself away.
The power to share or not to share
The person holding the pen, or in this case, the laptop, is in charge. You don’t owe anybody anything and that’s something to always keep in mind. If you want to share something of yourself, go ahead. If you don’t want to then you don’t have to. As a brand manager, I have seen that personal touches do go a long way in this industry, but it isn’t impossible to get ahead and stay there while maintaining your privacy. You are always in control of what you share. (And if you aren’t, you need new management!)
Photos as snapshots
I started blogging many years ago, when all you needed to get by was a domain and a flair for writing. The blogging industry today is largely dominated by photos. If you don’t have the visuals, you won’t attract people to your site. I often get asked by brands if they need to use their own photos and the simple answer is no. If you have a creative vision, I’d encourage you to run with it, but there’s no need to stop the world hearing your point of view just because you aren’t a photographer. After all, aren’t bloggers writers first and foremost? There are plenty of ways to maintain your privacy.
For example, I very rarely share pictures of myself, my home or my life. I keep a great deal about myself private because I want to and because I couldn’t take a good enough photo even if I wanted to. Instead, I partner with much better photographers and share and credit them, or seek Creative Commons images. Don’t see it as a blogging failure, use it to elevate someone else! There’s a photographer out there who doesn’t blog for every blogger who doesn’t take photos!
Privacy is a delicate thing in today’s world of fast social media. Almost all of us have our lives plastered on one site or another, whether we want to or not. If you’re feeling a bit exposed, it’s totally okay to change your privacy settings on your platforms and be confident that you hold the reigns of your own blog and what you do and do not share!