Have you told friends and family about your blog? Did their reaction affect your writing style or the things you write about?
If your answer to the question is ‘No’, then you are somewhat on the same page as me when I first started my online journal (blog).
I had just graduated from the university and wanted a space online to share my thoughts without worrying about who was reading. I did not tell anyone about it, I did not have to reply comments or worry about numbers. This was my idea of blogging at the time.
Fast forward to current day blogosphere and the story is different. Blogging has a whole new meaning and have metamorphosed into a proper career for some. It is now being taken way more seriously and bloggers are making it ‘BIG’.
This should clearly be a huge incentive to tell friends and family about your blog if you have one, but a major worry have always been how friends and family will react when they know you share personal or not so personal stories online for the whole world to see.
Most of them do not get it. They wonder why you have to always make videos, take pictures of your meal before eating, hold mini photo shoot sessions at the places your visit, take pictures of products you use and why you won’t stop typing on your keypad during a family hangout.
If blogging means a lot to you, then doing all this (creating meaningful content) becomes part of your daily activity. Friends and family will likely notice and will want to share their opinion about your ‘favourite thing to do’.
Friends and family can be the biggest supporters of your blogging journey, they can also pose as your biggest discouragement and this is the part that get most bloggers sceptical when it comes to sharing their blog/content.
I went on a short trip some months ago to visit my parents in-law and while sorting lunch with them one day, my father in law said:
You have a blog…. or is it a website…. I visit sometimes.
I thought that was a pleasant surprise. Before I could reply, he went on to ask about the rationale behind it and of course I was very happy to explain. In excitement, I mentioned what had transpired in this bloggers group.
From the response of other bloggers, It was good to find out that a couple of us get a fair share of support from family. However, the story is not the same for everyone as some bloggers get little or no support and have decided to keep their blog away family and friends.
Basically, i like to think that bloggers fall under any of these three categories when it comes to sharing information about their blog with friends and family:
- Bloggers who have told Friends and Family about their blog.
- Bloggers who have no plan to tell friends and family about their blog.
- Bloggers who leave subtle clues and are indifferent about who finds out.
What category do you fall under?
Bloggers who have told Friends and Family about their blog.
As mentioned earlier, you would expect that close friends and family will find out you have a blog especially if you are always found in your ‘element’. For example, taking pictures of your outfit, carrying flat lay props, unboxing pr packages e.t.c
Naturally, they would want to know what you do and after telling them, two things are likely to happen. You either get their support or you are discouraged. However, It is more favourable when family and friends understand and even become your biggest supporter.
Biba blogs at royalbiba and she agrees that friends and family can turn out to be huge supporters when you tell them you own a blog. In her words – ‘Everyone knows about my blog. My mum watches me take flat lay pictures, my uncle reads my blog and is very emotional about it‘.
Lifestyle blogger, Destiny of Dee Awata also shares the same opinion. She mentioned that all her sisters know about her blog, blog related activities and are a good support system.
To be precise on the type of support you could get from friends or family, Beverly of Beverly’s Beauty Book mentioned that her friends and family know about her blog and she uses their phones to subscribe to her YouTube channel/blog. She also added that her mum is willing to pay for her domain name and hosting whenever she is ready.
Just as every decision we make have it’s consequences, telling friends and family about your blog has it’s downside as well. You may have to filter the things you write about especially when you know it may upset them.
Beverly understands this too and jokingly adds that she is allowed to blog about any topic except ‘boyfriends’ until she is 25 years old.
Negative feedback from friends and family when they find out about your blog remains a major concern as you lose the chance to fully express yourself once you remember a member of the family might be reading. Does this not defeat the whole purpose of blogging? What if you like to share very personal stories on your blog?
Apparently, it is also possible that friends and family can find out new things about you from your blog. Fashion blogger, Matreekah of Styled by Matreekah says that her boyfriend complains that she is more expressive on her blog than with him.
Do you fall under this category of bloggers? Do you get negative or positive feedback from friends and family?
Tips: Since one major disadvantage in this category is being hassled up about your content, here is what you can do:
- Avoid writing stories that affect family or friends directly.
- You can switch things up by changing names instead of personalising them.
- Understand with friends and family if they prefer to stay away from social media.
- Once you are sure of not breaching any privacy rule, share links with them and ask for their opinion.
- If you will share personal stories, make sure you won’t get angry if you hear about it elsewhere.
Bloggers who have not told Friends and Family about their blog.
It is hard to think that one would keep away something they love from friends and family but there are bloggers who have decided to keep it that way.
This is understandable especially when you know you might get feedback that will cripple your creativity and stop you from totally expressing yourself.
Lack of support is usually a major reason for bloggers in this category and New mum / blogger, Vanessa of Nessytalks shares her experience.
In her words – I try not to write so much about my birthstory. In the past, I have been told to delete my blog and even told what content to delete.
An experience like Vanessa’s would make a blogger decide to keep his or her blog away from friends and family. Although, I still think that family reaction will definitely be the least of your worries especially if blogging pays your bill.
Some bloggers also just want to remain anonymous and one of such is Turquoise. She blogs at Naija Fresh Graduate and shared her opinion on keeping her blog under wraps. In her words – No member of my family, friends and even boyfriend know about my blog. I can share any story and not get caught.
However, this category leaves you with more cons than pros as you lose out on readership/support from genuine friends who would like to support. You also have to keep certain activities away when you are around friends and family. How long will one keep hiding though?
Lifestyle blogger, Amaka who blogs at Mind of Amaka says she is reserved and keeps her blogging (flat lay) activities away from prying eyes. She is of the opinion that being monitored stagnates a bloggers journey and most people do not support bloggers until they become successful (start making money).
Tips: People blog for different reasons and as long as you are not blogging to intentionally hurt friends and family, this narrative (keeping your blog away from family) might change with time. Here’s how you can get family to support your blogging journey:
- Send blog links directly to those who understand and will genuinely support your creativity.
- Let them know what you write about and why you like to write.
- Discuss what you stand to gain from blogging.
- Let them also know how they can help. Once people are comfortable with what you do, they start to support gradually.
Bloggers who leave subtle clues and are indifferent about who finds out.
Interestingly, I fall under this category of bloggers as I will not shove my blog and blogging activities in anyone’s face. However, if one finds out, I am always glad to talk about it. To a large extent, this has also helped me manage my blogging expectations because human nature kind of pushes one to feel entitled.
This has it’s disadvantages but aggressive content marketing leaves one with high expectations and if not managed well, a blogger can be discouraged. Naturally, if you send a link to 10 people friends, you expect that they all click the link right? The truth is that, only 4 of them might do so.
I strongly respect personal space and would totally avoid awkward situations like this one – A blogger once shared that she got discouraged to share blog links after she was accused by a close friend of ‘begging’ for comments online and asking for likes.
Apparently, she posts links continuously and her friend found it uncomfortable. So much for being a friend right?
While such feedback can be very discouraging, it is important to consider your method of delivery when telling friends and family about your blog. Are you asking nicely? Are you feeling entitled? Do you take them on a guilt trip if they fail to read and comment?
My Mum and father in law found out about my blog because I left subtle clues online. They both made supportive comments about it and visit when they want to. So does every other person who have seen my blog and sent private messages to me. I can easily share links directly with these people because we have had conversations about it.
This is really just my preference and might not work for everyone. Depending on what end result you’re looking to achieve, find what works for your blog and stick with it.
Tips: Every blogger would love friends and family to support what they enjoy doing but it is important to use the right approach. Here are easy ways to leave subtle clues about your blog:
- If you are like me you do not want to stampede your contact with links, send a more personal message, talk about your blog and leave a link. It will be appreciated than a general broadcast message.
- If you are not particularly obsessed with numbers and comments, leave subtle clues for friends and family to run into.
- Leave a link to your blog on your choice social media profile/status.
- Check your blog using a friend or family member’s phone.
- Share link with like minds. This definitely yields result.
- Create a facebook page for your blog and invite friends and family (keep the page updated with new content).
- Engage with friends and family that read your blog.
- Leave your blog link under your email signature.
- Mention your blog in conversations.
Blogging is very interesting and the part where you worry about reaction from friends and family is just a phase. By being hardworking, consistent and relevant, you can gradually grow into the phase where you get their support regardless of what you write about.
Share your thoughts in the comment section
How did you tell your friends and family about your blog?
Do they read your posts often?
What kind of support do you get from friends and family?
I will love to read from you