(me – trying to demonstrate I don’t hide who I am anymore lol)
If you’re a blogger I suspect (like me) you’ve had moments of wanting to hide your blog be that from family, friends, peers or work colleagues. I’ve had my blog for 5 years now and it’s something I’ve kept very on the down-low up until extremely recently – I’ve always reffered to this as blogging fear or blogging embarrassment. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved blogging and been proud of this outlet I’ve created but naturally, it’s not something everybody understands. For some reason, there’s something ~awkward~ about putting yourself out there on the internet in ways that are less common and conventional than the regular social media outlets (I know some YouTubers express this too, especially in scenarios like vlogging in public).
Back when I was in lower school (I was more open about it in sixth form) I’m sure there were people that knew about my blog – after all, it’s pretty hard to hide something completely but still, barely anybody knew the URL. Not only this, before my blog became ‘ELLE MARY JANE’ it came under two different titles which didn’t have my name in – this obviously made it more anonymous and easier to hide. As I got more and more into blogging I wanted this space to be somewhere where I didn’t have to remain anonymous – there’s nothing wrong with this but there’s something more trusting about reading opinions/reviews when you can match them to a name and face and I kind of wanted to develop my blog into an extension of my own personality.
Blogging ’embarrassment’ was something I had to get over and here’s how I did it:
1) Be 100% Yourself. When I decided to make my blog more public, one of the things I had to do was try and eradicate all the cringe. Some of my posts I read and thought, yeah that’s alright I wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone read that, and others, well, consider them deleted. Way back in 2013 when I started blogging, I feel as though I hadn’t really found my blogging style and my online identity and this was really reflected in my blog posts – really cringe, really ‘wannnabe’ blogger, really un-engaging. If I’m totally honest, I only found my feet in creating the content that I want to around last year, but doing this has made me proud of what I create and want to share it instead of hiding it.
2) Create content that you LIKE. The bottom line here is that if YOU don’t like your content, you won’t have confidence that anybody else will – thus leading to embarrassment. Don’t put your work down – if somebody compliments a post or your blog in general don’t be like ‘oh thank you but its awful’ – this used to be me. If you really and genuinely like your own content, there will for sure be somebody else who does.
3) Invest in your blog. People see invest and instantly think money, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Personally, I’ve invested a lot more time into my blog than money – money does help in terms of buying domain names, templates, hosting and what not but those things aren’t necessities to begin with. If you’re just starting out or you’re unhappy with your blog, invest some time into it. Spend time making it look how you would love it to look (this doesn’t have to cost money), spend time creating content you love (cheeky plug for point 2) and hopefully these investments will bring you to a point where you are proud to show off your blog. You can’t expect to create a blog in a day and be completely happy with it – blogging is a constant learning curve and you’ll chop and change bits as you go!
4) Stop caring what other people think. I know this is significantly easier said than done but changing your outlook on how other people see you can bring you more confidence without even taking into account the points above. If someone wants to worry about and judge what you’re doing, they’re clearly too bored or unsatisfied in their own life. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. If you can maintain this attitude and just keep doing what you want, it makes things a whole lot easier. This attitude might come straight away for some people, but if it doesn’t, just keep going for it.
5) Enjoy what you’re doing For smaller bloggers (like me) it’s not uncommon to get snide remarks or looked down on because you don’t have 30k Instagram followers or your own Boohoo collection. Don’t let this scare you away from celebrating and sharing your blog content – nobody should be embarrassed about their blog. The amount of traffic you drive and the amount of #spons you have (or haven’t) done is no indication of the quality of your content, your blog as a whole or you as a person. Don’t let that embarrass you, keep doing what you love and things like traffic will increase naturally.
I hope some of these tips help – I know these are things I’ve come to realise over the last couple of years. Keep creating, keep sharing!
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