After a one-week hiatus, Blog Talk Tuesdays is back with a bang!
In case you’re new around here, Blog Talk Tuesdays is a series I started on PBF to address the blogging-related questions I’ve received in separate posts centered around the most common inquiries.
Past Blog Talk Tuesdays posts include:
- How to Start a Blog, Blog Focus, Self Hosting and More
- Blogger Safety
- Company Outreach: Receiving Free Products, Hosting Giveaways, Posting Product Reviews and More
- Connecting with Other Bloggers
- Rising Above Negativity <— Seems more pertinent than ever in the blog world lately
Today’s topic addresses juggling blogging with your REAL life…
Blogging and Real Life
- When did you first feel comfortable sharing your blog with your family and friends?
Ryan knew about my blog from day one and my immediate family members were the next ones to be “in the know.”
It took me a good month or two of continually blogging to tell my friends. I wasn’t sure what they would think of it and, to be honest, before I started blogging, the word “blog” had a really negative connotation in my mind that I figured it would have in the minds of others as well. (I thought blogs were just random ramblings from angry, negative people.)
- Did you experience any negative feedback from friends or family members when they found out about your blog?
I feel very fortunate that every single person in my personal life that I told about my blog was 100 percent supportive. Those that weren’t sure what to make of my blog asked me a ton of questions which I think helped them to understand the point of my blog and the release blogging gave me for writing about topics I wanted to write about versus writing about pharmaceuticals, cancer and side effects like I was doing in my full-time job.
The only resistance I experienced was from family members who were concerned about my safety. You can read more about this in my post about blogger safety.
I find that negative reactions related to blogging seem to relate to not understanding exactly what you’re trying to accomplish through blogging or why you feel the need to blog. I try to address these concerns openly and outright as soon as I sense them in another person.
If people are being mean to just be mean about your blog then you may want to check out my rising above negativity post.
And remember: “Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours burn any brighter.”
- How did you find time to blog three times a day when you were working full-time?
It wasn’t easy, but I loved blogging enough to carve out time especially for writing blog posts. Obviously blogging regularly – whether you blog three times a day or three times a week – requires a real commitment.
I would wake up at 5:30 a.m. to workout so I’d be done with my workout and Sadie’s walk before 7:30 a.m. I then would use the next hour or so before I had to leave for work to shower, eat a quick breakfast and blog. You may see a more detailed breakdown of this routine in my post about streamlining your morning routine.
I also often think about morning blog post topics as I workout at the gym so the posts come out fairly easily when I sit down at the computer (unless they call for research).
For my afternoon post, I would jot down blog topic ideas as they came to me throughout the day as I was working in my blogging notebook. I used my lunch hour at work to post.
Dinnertime posts were the easiest to fit in. I blogged after dinner on the couch beside Ryan while chatting with him as he watched ESPN or a sports game I had no interest in on television.
- Did your coworkers know about your blog?
At first I was VERY private about my blog at work. I wanted to keep my personal life separate from work and never told anyone about my blog. (I even had all of my coworkers in a certain “group” on Facebook so they were blocked from seeing my wall, my status updates and personal website – and yes, I received heckling about this from a bunch of the guys I worked with!)I also made sure to never blog about my workplace or work-specific topics.
Even still, slowly but surely coworkers began discovering my blog on their own because of my ties to Orlando and UCF. I was friends with my coworkers on Facebook (even though they were blocked from a lot of my content) and we knew mutual people and those people mentioned my blog to them.
I think the web guys at my job also had a head’s up when I became the number one search term leading people to my company’s website.
I will never forget the day that most of my coworkers found out I had a blog. I brought in extra treats that I received from a company through the blog for the office to enjoy and one person saw them on my blog and asked (aloud!), “Are these the same chocolates you posted about on your blog yesterday?”
I basically died.
I watched as my blog began slowly popping up on every computer in the office as my coworkers visited the site.
From that point on, I knew my blog was no longer sheltered from my coworkers.
- When did you feel comfortable sharing your blog on your personal Facebook page?
I still remember the day I first shared my blog on my personal Facebook page. It was the day after Ryan and I got engaged. I shared a link to my post about our engagement because I had a bunch of friends asking for details about the proposal.
I remember wanting to share my blog with everyone before this event, but our engagement helped push me over the edge and gave me some extra courage to just do it.
I was definitely ready. I was proud of my blog and felt like I was ready to share what felt like a “top secret project” with others at this point.
- Do you ever feel like blogging interferes with the quality time you spend with Ryan, your family or friends?
I asked Ryan this very question at breakfast this morning.
We talk about my blog and blogging habits a lot and keep communication very open so I wasn’t surprised when he said he doesn’t really feel like my blog takes away from our time together. (Communication about my blogging habits with my loved ones is seriously pivotal for me. Communication is key!) I share details about how we overcame one blogging-related argument in this post.
Ryan said he appreciates that I don’t tweet about every activity we do as it’s happening and that I try to “live in the moment” and recount the memories later rather than let my blog interfere with the moments as they’re happening.
If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that I’ll often drop off the face of the earth on Friday nights and post less frequently on weekends. When I started my blog I promised myself I would look at it only as my hobby and never let it take away from my day-to-day life.
As much as I love blogging, I won’t leave somewhere to blog. I won’t remove myself from a fun time with family and friends to blog. Blogging has since blossomed into more than simply a hobby for me, but I try to stick to my principles of treating it as a hobby when it comes to posting three times a day.
- Do you think taking pictures all the time annoys those around you?
While I snap pictures of my food in social settings, I’m not photographing the heck out of people and making them feel uncomfortable. I know people hate being in pictures by themselves (I do too, actually!) and getting pictures of an entire group is a pain in the butt, so I rarely request these types of photos. Candids are my favorite, anyway.
I think it’s pretty clear when someone doesn’t want to be photographed and I really try to be cognizant of this.
I also have this little ham on hand to photograph when I need “filler” pics.
- Do you ask your family and friends permission before posting pictures of them?
If they’re my close family or close friends, no I don’t. They already know about my blog and blogging style and assume the pictures may make it up on the blog (unless we’re out drinking and we all look like a hot mess and the pictures could show them in a less-than-ideal light in the eyes of an employer).
For example, all of the pictures from this 3 a.m. cooking session of making “gourmet butter noodles” after my friend Leah’s bachelorette party did not make the blog.
I also tell all of my friends and family to let me know if I post a picture they don’t like and I always respect their wishes and take it down immediately.
As for people I don’t know as well, I typically keep them off the blog or I will always ask them if they’re okay with me posting a picture of them on my blog. I’ve never had someone say no to me. In fact, most people are really excited about it!
- How do you explain blogging to people who don’t get it? I always find myself putting down my blog when people look at me funny rather than proudly telling them to check it out.
When people I’ve never met before ask me what I do for a living, I say I’m a freelance writer and a blogger. No one seems to care about my freelance writing (boo to that because I’m really proud of my freelance writing!), but people are always curious about blogging.
I am the exact same way as the person who posed this question (Hi, Brittany!) and tend to be self-deprecating about my blog. I should really change this because PBF is so important to me!
Usually when I meet people I’ve never met before and conversation turns to careers, Ryan is with me and he sings my praises about my blog. (My dad does this, too. He seriously should be my publicist or something!)
When I tell people who “don’t get it” about my blog, I try to say it’s an online journal of sorts where I am able to communicate with readers and talk about food, fitness and whatever random stuff I have on my mind. I emphasize the fact that my blog is a place where communication happens and a space where I take time to carefully craft posts, not just a place where I blab on and on and vent about what’s bugging me like many people assume.
- Blogging on vacation – yay or nay?
It totally depends! If blogging takes away from your enjoyment on vacation or takes away from quality time with loved ones, I say a BIG “nay.”
I take a very relaxed approach to blogging on vacation. I’ll set up guest posts ahead of time and will only blog when others are sleeping (this is easy since I wake up earlier than almost everyone) or when people are getting ready and showering. I honestly like having vacation posts to look back on (my dad actually printed out all of my posts about our family’s trip to Europe to keep to remember the fun we had) but I don’t beat myself up for missing a blog post (or 10) while on vacation.