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.
Awesome post!!! I loove all of your blog talk tuesdays! 😀
Thank you so much for writing about this topic. I just started my blog and your Blog Talk Tuesdays has been extremely helpful. I have been following you for a year now and I read you three times a day! The love that you have for your blog has been inspiring and I finally jumped onto the blog ban wagon!
I love this post! Especially Sadie’s food plan for the week 🙂
Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola says
I loved this installment of Blog Talk Tuesdays! I’ve been trying to figure this topic out myself lately- how to tell people, when to tell people etc. I wouldn’t mind telling people but I get nervous that they are going to look at the blog and critique it which stresses me out… but I know that’s silly because they would be looking at it to support me! I’m going to try and keep this advice in mind and be a little braver!
i think i made a good move blocking my face in that picture 😉 mmmm drunken pesto pasta…
next time your face is going ALL over the blog, kay. just your face. no words.
Jacqui @ Miss Nutritionista says
This was very helpful. I’m just starting out with my blog and just decided to take a leap of faith and post it on Facebook. I got so much positive feedback from friends and family that it really boosted my confidence in my blog. I love reading your blog and its one of the first i started following and inspired me to start my own. 🙂
Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes says
I love this series of posts! 🙂
Nicole @ Giraffelegs says
Ugh I am facing these same issues. I get nervous when people ask about my blog so I just act like it’s not big deal, when in reality I am really excited about it!
I think this is a wonderful series you’re doing. Keep going with it. And for any negativity, brush ya shoulders off. Just jealous, they are. They don’t have a Sadie!
Ashleigh P. says
I love blog talk Tuesdays! 🙂 I have taken several pieces of your advice and re done my blog! So thank you so much for all of the advice! The one thing I struggle with my blog is that feeling that nobody reads it …just because of the mere fact that I don’t get a lot of comments. I feel like the more comments you have, the more accomplished you feel about your blog. I can see from the stats page that people look at it at least 🙂
I am LOVING this series, Julie. As someone fairly new to blogging, I appreciate your opinions, especially on how much time blogging can take up. When I started blogging, I felt like I had to post every day. A couple of times, especially on vacation this summer, I felt like my unwritten posts were hanging over my head. Then I realized that all of that worrying was taking away from the actual enjoyment of my vacation! Once I snapped back to reality, I decided to not let blogging become something I ever feel like I “have” to do. I want it to be an outlet and something fun that I look forward to doing!
Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled says
Great post! While I’m getting better, I feel guilty when I blog and I’m sitting next to my husband on the couch. He’s fine with it and it doesn’t bother him, but I always want to be cognizant that I’m giving him the attention he needs and we have quality time.
Kristi W. says
I’m sorry to hear that you are dealing with negativity lately. 🙁
If it helps, I subscribe to hundreds of blogs and I honestly think yours is my favorite! I love your writing style, your laid back attitude, your organization and motivation. You’re an inspiring lady! Keep up the good work, and don’t let the Debbie Downers of the world bring you down. 🙂
thank you very much, kristi! i think i’m just sad b/c i see more and more bloggers being attacked and i just have a really hard time understanding why some people want to tear others down.
Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun says
YAY for this post! And I agree that communication is key. I always ask Peter his input on how I’m balancing blogging, family, time with him, etc. It’s a regular conversation here because keeping that balance is #1 to me. 🙂
I will have to echo the thanks for posting these columns. As a newbie to the blogging world, I am trying to establish some “structure” to it so that it doesn’t interfere (or consume) my personal life.
And I don’t worry about the family thing too much. My own husband won’t even subscribe! Guess he feels like he lives it anyway.
The Kidless Kronicles
Wag More, Bark….
I’m struggling with blogging and work at the moment. I’ve only just started and I find my mind is never fully off it! If I could blog all day I would!
Did you find it hard to focus on work when you started? It’s just so all consuming!
Ooh, I really appreciate this post! I’ve been blogging for about two months now and nobody knows except for my husband. I just made a Twitter account when I started with the same name as my blog, so the comments and views I’ve had are all strangers! I wondered if this was weird, so now at least I know that if it is…at least you’re weird with me. 😛
Laura @ Backstage Balance says
Great tips Julie! And may I say that I LOVE the Sadie dialogue photos / captions lately? So funny!
Julie, I can’t lie. You are my favorite food/healthy living blogger! You seem so down-to-earth, I love Sadie, and I love that you write about appreciating life and non-food topics as much as you do about food! Please keep up the good work…I look forward to reading every single day!
Liz @ Tip Top Shape says
I’ve had some people react negatively to my blog. Thinking it’s weird and stuff. But overall, I’ve had really good exprience with people. I even have it on my resume. In fact, at my last interview (for internships) the supervisor read my blog instead of me sending writing samples. She must have liked it because I start tomorrow!
Thanks for sharing! I’m not even doing a full time job and I have no idea how you did it all! You’re like super woman!
Alysha @ She's on the Run says
I LOVE Blog Talk Tuesdays! When you’re talking about people at work finding out about your blog, it seems like it was really successful (if people were using it to find your employer). I wonder how many hits you were getting at this point?
Thanks for the great post!! I actually am only an “outed” blogger to a handful of people in my life (a few friends and family found it) and have been nervous to tell people. I sort of feel like it’s not good enough yet to show people; not consistent or focused enough. This post made me feel better about telling people and sharing what I’ve done. I am on a bit of a quest to amp up my blog and give it more of a style and consistency. Love this series!
Great post, Jul! I feel an itch to start Jelly Toes ;). I love your quote about the candle! So true! Your Pottery Barn living room is going to be so pretty!
ps this post probably had my most favorite Sadie pictures ever. I miss that lil rascal. Don’t forget Ryan’s idea….Nanny Les is happy to come sleep with poppet anytime!
Your blog talk Tuesdays are the best! I have yet to inform & start posting about my blog on facebook. Just because I’m afraid of what people I know in person will say of me because it’s more so a fitness blog. I’m starting to lean more towards personal posts instead of just reblogging but still..Like if my parents found my blog..That’s my personal like hiding place where I can truely post anything and everrrytthingg 🙁 They know about my blog but not where to find it directly lol.
Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy says
You have a great approach to blogging! I know that blogging three times a day while working full-time is not for me, but I give you so much credit for doing it! It’s hard enough for me to balance work, working out, and quality time with friends and family!
Heather Yourex says
Thanks for the blog talk! I’m really trying to get my blog off the ground and its so helpful!
Allison @ Happy Tales says
Aw, Julie, I absolutely love your sentiments in this post. My blog is the tiniest thing ever, but I completely agree with you on so many of your points. I don’t let it overwhelm me, and I post when I have the time to, and when I feel inspired. That way… I can live my life, and reflect back on it, just like you said. BTW, the line you said about your dad printing out all of your Europe posts so he can always remember the memories from the trip seriously brought tears to my eyes. Your dad seems like one of the best father’s on the planet. You are so, so blessed!!
Kristin @ STUFT Mama says
Loved this Blog Talk Tuesday post! 🙂 Thanks for putting it all out there for those of us trying to still figure out how to balance blogging with living in the moment. 🙂
Leah @ LoftyBites says
I love your Blog Talk Tuesdays, especially how Sadie is incorporated! I also use a notebook to jot down ideas for blog posts… it’s super helpful. Great tips – keep ’em coming! I also am into fitness, but blog about my cooking & baking adventures for now. You inspire me to pick up my old fitness routine. I’ve been threw the ups and downs – played a sport in college, took a break after, then got on a great plan for my wedding and now it’s intermittent. I truly like all aspects of your blog including the fashion – you have great style! Looking forward to reading more and chatting with you on Twitter!
Leah @ LoftyBites says
ok I’m a detail-freak… I meant “through” not “threw” and I just have to correct it! Hahaha sorry!
late post, but I have the same fears about anyone knowing about my *new* blog. I refuse to share it on fb until it becomes more than my own personally diary–if it even does– but for now it is for me and like 3 of my close friends…if people in my office found out OR highschool I would probably cry! Even though it is kinda weird that I feel embarrassed but I am really enjoying blogging!
Kari Burghardt says
Blog Talk Tuesdays is so VERY helpful! Thank you!! I just got back from an 8 day vacation and have so much to put on my blog. In a way I wish I would have done some while on vacation so it wouldn’t be so overwhelming to try to get it all done at one time but then again it was nice to just relax and enjoy time with my hubby and daughter. Take care!! 🙂
Love this post! Your blog inspired me to make my own blog and this post was particularly helpful. 🙂
Jenn @ Home is Where You Start From says
wow, great post! You touched on so many big topics concerning blogging!
First, wow- you were blogging 3 times a day! I have trouble balancing my life vs. blogging time…this school year I have blogged only 2 or 3 times a week, I really want to change this…I figure the writing is on the wall that even though I am schedule-challenged, I need to come up with a schedule for blogging.
I have been blogging for several years, but I am still a bit shy about letting people in my real life know about it. I still don’t link to my personal fb page, but slowly friends and relatives are hearing about it from others and finding me. Funny, I don’t feel weird about strangers knowing about my daily life, but it feels weird when distant relatives or old friends find the blog. i’m trying to be more proud about what I do and more open with my sharing, it’s a bit hard though, when so many people don’t really “get” blogging.
finally, love your doggy photos, I think you’ve just convinced me to include way more photos of my pets 🙂
Hi Julie, I just started my own blog and love all your posts! Whenever I don’t know what to do next I check out your blog talks.. They’re really really helpful! ( I don’t even google things anymore because your posts are so AMAHZING :)) and by the way, really love your overnight oats! It’s what I take with me to dance practice every day 🙂
Mia @ MakeMeUpMia says
I have found myself sitting here reading your past blog topic posts and blog talk Tuesdays posts for hours today! I have been a long time reader/lover of your blog, and I just started one myself recently. I just wanted to say thank you for all these amazing blog posts, they have been very beneficial to me on my new adventure 🙂 And I LOVE all the adorable hilarious pics of Sadie you’ve thrown in there!