SL recently emailed me this question and I thought it was a great topic to talk about:
Renee, is your online persona the real “you”? I am always curious about bloggers: are they trying to sell a fantasy or some made up version of themselves? Do what we see on their blogs is their real lives, etc? And have you ever been fake on your blog?
I am very sure there are many bloggers who create “characters” for their blogs, and to each their own. Sometimes I too think; where they heck are they getting all that money? How can someone afford that kinda lifestyle at X years old? How can someone be all sparkles, glitter and cupcakes (aka “deliriously happy”) all the damn time?! But I suppose our blogs are like all our social media profiles – the majority of us only put up the “good stuff” and so you are only getting a small part of a bloggers life; that make it look exaggerated.
As for me, yes, what you see on the blog is the real me. I wouldn’t know how to create a fake online persona; plus it sounds really tiring trying to be someone you are not.
The only time I felt I was being inauthentic to myself on my blog was a year or so back, concerning “branding”. When I pursued my blog as a full time endeavor I thought, OK, time to get serious – it’s a women’s blog, I need to project that image. So what did I do? Make the design girly and pink. And yes, all my stats did go up; be it traffic, social media followers, comments on each post, etc. But after awhile I started to hate my blog. I hated looking at it, because I am not a “girly” girl. Was I lying to my readers? Nope. I am, like everyone else, just going through life and figuring out who I am and experimenting as I go along. Anyway, that design is long-gone and I believe the one I have now is a true representation of myself.
How to portray the real you on your blog:
Anyway – let’s talk how to portray the real you on your blog. Or at least how to come out of your shell a little bit on your blog, so the readers can see “you”. Because I believe that for a successful blog, you need to be somewhat personal. So whatever qualms you have about posting your photo online, etc, you’ll have to get over it! Blogging is about community, interaction, discussion… and I believe that the most successful bloggers are those that are open to sharing (a little) about themselves and connecting well with their readers. Here are some ways you can portray who you really are on your blog:
1. Write like you speak. Unless you’re writing a blog for an educational institution, blogs are supposed to be friendly, casual and well, not that serious. Write like how you would speak to your friends. If you use a lot of slang, use a lot of slang. Be yourself in how you write.
2. Take photos how you like them. This is where I feel I showcase “me” the most. Honestly? Half of my blog images are taken from my iPhone. To me, I don’t like the whole professional-glossy-magazine image look. I like phone photos, I like polaroids (but they are so expensive so thank God for Instagram!), I like collages, etc. So be yourself. If you too like phone photos, then just use your phone!
While we’re on the topic of photos, another (important) tip – try to add a photo of yourself regularly. If you’re shy (like I was; when my blog started I was “anonymous” for 2 years); start by putting a photo on your About page. Then, if you have a post related to what you are talking about on your blog, add it in!
3. Make your header completely “you”. The first thing a person looks at when visiting your blog is your header. So make sure it is “you” – make sure your blog name font is a font that represents you; make sure the style is your taste, make sure if there is a photo of you, you are not “playing dressup” and that it is, in fact 100% representation of you.
4. Try doing videos. As much as someone can get your personality through your writing, nothing beats a face-to-face conversation. Online, the closest thing is a video. It;s not for everyone, but if you’d like to try, try to make “talking head” video, which just means it’s you; in front of your camera, talking about whatever. This will give your readers a true sense of who you are and you can connect with them better. I’ll be taking my own advice soon, haha.
5. Share anecdotes and tidbits of your life. I know lifestyle/personal blogging is not for everyone, but whatever topic you are blogging about – show yourself a little more. Share some funny stories that has to do with what you are talking about. Open up! Show your personality, opinions and stories – after all, this is how you will be different from other bloggers.
Over to you – how do you make sure you are “real” on your blog… or are you even? Are you the “real” you on your blog?