What No One’s Talking About on Social Media
By: Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

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Lately I’ve been engaging fellow bloggers in this conversation: How do I keep my brand sounding positive, without making my life seem perfect?

No one’s trying to be misleading, but the girls I talked to all confirmed the same thing: We share the best. The truth. Just not the Debby Downer parts. Which can make a Twitter stream read like life has nary a bump.

Some replies when I asked: “What are you not sharing on social media?”

* “When a client cancels. And then wants a refund. Or is really negative & a struggle to work with. I feel like I can’t share when that make me have a rough day because I wouldn’t want all my other incredible clients to think I ever spoke negatively of them.”

* “I never talked on the blog about why we moved. It was because my Dad has cancer. But I didn’t feel that his personal illness was my right to share, so I just declined to answer when my sweet readers asked.”

* “Our numbers on social media are through the roof. But the reality is we can barely pay our rent. It’s amazing the support we have from our readers, but running a business just takes a lot of money & I’m not out lunching at Barney’s like people probably presume.”

* “I spent days researching business tax law. And pretty much not understanding any more than I did before. So not glamorous. So defeating.”

* “I never installed Google Analytics because I don’t know how. Everyone talks about their numbers & I act like I’m discretely not sharing, but it’s really because I have no idea what mine are & I’m embarrassed to ask for such beginner help.”

* “I moved because my husband & I are getting a divorce. But that felt too painful to share. So while I wasn’t trying to make it sound like that, my readers probably just think I’m a jet-setter.”

* “I have the same traffic as another blogger, but because of where I live I only get 15% of the rate she can command. I feel that’s a reality I should share with my readers who are also bloggers, but don’t know how without sounding ungrateful.”

* “We’ve struggled with infertility this year. Maybe if I get pregnant that’s a journey I’ll go back & share about later. But right now it feels too personal. And awkward to follow up “Here’s where I got that cute skirt” with “P.S. I can’t have a baby”.

 

Steve Furtick says, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

What you read of the above fabulous bloggers on social media is a highlight reel. It’s generally smart, positive, encouraging. It’s honest. But it’s the portion they choose to share. No one’s life is perfect. We should remember that Plato’s “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” didn’t just mean be kind to others, but kind to ourselves. Here’s to starting this new year afresh with less comparison online, & more conversations like the above when we are face-to-face.

 

What do you not share on social media or your blog? Is it because things feel to personal & private, or too negative or boring?

About the Author:
Post by Hilary Rushford of the Dean Street Society

Comments

  1. What a great post! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I don’t like to post anything negative (like most bloggers), but I’m always terrified that I’ll come off as fake or some type of annoying Ms. Suzy Sunshine. Just like everything in life, I think there’s a balance that needs to happen on blogs and it’s something that I strive for every time I write a post.

  2. Kristen says:

    After graduating with a journalism degree in 2009 I found professional life quite difficult and not very fulfilling compared to my friends, who all seemed to have the best jobs and were moving forward quickly with their lives. It took me a while to realize that everyone curates their own profile carefully and creates a very specific vision of themselves on social media (I am guilty of this too, we all are!). Once we realize this it’s easier to take in everyone else’s successes and supposed happiness.

    I think it would be helpful if readers could share their experiences if they relate to any of the above issues. I’m particularly curious about geographically based rates.

  3. the nitty girtties are so different from the pleasant blogging life, isn’t it..

  4. This was the most insightful and honest post I have seen in a while. Thank you for sharing your truth. It is encouraging to be honest with your struggle no matter what business you are in. Every business has their ups and downs. I needed to read this to feel optimistic and it is just the beginning of the year.

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Oh thank you Tracy! It warms my heart so much to know there are people who really want to have earnest discussions & hope that through sharing we can all have a more realistic picture of what success & empowerment can look like. And I hear ya about already being overwhelmed & it’s just Jan 3rd! Ha. Yegads.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  5. Avatar of Alexandra
    Alexandra says:

    It’s extremely hard when you blog. It’s something different then when you only read. When I blog and find myself in so many difficulties, I sometimes think that those that get impressive numbers are so much happier and maybe perfect, which makes me a total failure. Plus the fact that I hate my body :)

    theshoependant.com

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Alexandra, as a stylist I’ll tell you a secret: I have clients from size 00 to 24 & literally every one of them has some element of a “body issue”. It affects them to varying degrees, but it’s one issue that I can guarantee while most aren’t sharing about it on social media, many are wrestling with behind the scenes. Hoping you can have some of those honest face-to-face conversations as you deepen friendships with fellow bloggers. :)

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  6. This is so unbelievable true and hits home right away. For a long time in high school, I spent a lot of time depressed and upset with myself for not being “exciting enough” based on what everyone was posting on their Facebook. It’s something I still struggle with today, and I’m so thrilled to see someone else taking notice of this on a huge platform that will reach very many people. Kudos to you, IFB!

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Thanks m’dear! And you make a great point — it’s not just in blogging! Before any of us ran a blog we were all on social media somewhere & it’s honestly a culture wide issue that we all see this daily “stream of best feet forward”.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  7. Donna says:

    It’s funny because when I run into people I haven’t seen in years, but I know follow my blog on Facebook or Twitter the first thing they always say is “Your life is SO FABULOUS! You do fun stuff all the time and you always look great!” What they don’t know? I work 7 days a week, a full time job, a part time job, and write the blog. I’ve also gained 20 lbs from injuries and I write a blog that is about fitness fashion…I just smile and nod because my life is great…it’s just exhausting.

    I’ve started putting my personal struggles into my posts in a different way; when I gain five pounds I show what fitness fashion gear can help me hide it. I use my struggle to benefit the greater good of my readers, I just don’t tell them it’s from personal experience of having to hide my own love handles and giant bum.

    xo
    Donna
    YogainHeels.com

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Donna, I love that perspective. “It is fabulous … & exhausting”. I can so relate! And in an above comment someone talked about their body issues which is perhaps a whole other post, since we’re often in a position in front of the camera that’s not the norm for your average girl.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  8. Avatar of Andria Rivers

    I typically don’t share negative things unless they’re trivial (like I broke a nail or I’m shopping and nothing’s in my size). I’m a private person and I don’t share much with anyone (even IRL friends). Also, I don’t think anyone wants hear me whine.
    -Andria
    http://indiepunkgoddess.net

  9. Avatar of MonicaP
    MonicaP says:

    For the most part, I like keeping my blog positive. I don’t mind sharing my .. er, 10 lb weight gain .. everyone is in the same situation after the holidays :-)

    But really personals stuff like marriage issues, finances, etc .. is too personal to share.

    Monica
    http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com

  10. Lynzy says:

    Love everything about this post. Blogging, at times, seems to lack “realness” or organic material. I fall somewhere in between all of this. I, personally, connect more with bloggers who talk about their lives and things they have been doing rather than ones that just post outfit pictures and do not say much. Now, I am not saying either way is the “correct” way- each person “blogs” differently. I decided to share more about what really inspires me in 2013 and change my blog in a way that seems more organic to me. Posting outfits every day seems trivial and does not really represent me (especially since I spend half my life running around in scrubs at the hospital all day). The bottom line is that each blogger is different for the exact reason why you created this post. We all feel differently on what we want/need to share. I know that sharing “too” much is not possible because there are many people out there that may connect with you (like Maegan from Love Maegan for instance – how she talks about infertility).

    Bottom line is: Blog how you feel and if that means sharing or not sharing – it’s all good :)

  11. Scarlett says:

    I think it depends of a blogger´s type of site,
    but sharing too much of our privates lifes whether they are good or not so good, is not professional, – in my opinion, if we post about personal styles, and random activities here and there is good, but then sharing even when you go to the bathroom,,,,what´s that?
    ok, I understand people ( readers) they like to feel the person behind the blog is real, and has needs, problems as every person..but there is always a limit…why should be get our only treasure ( privacy) for everyone´s nowlegde?

  12. samurai says:

    For the most part, I like keeping my blog positive. I don’t mind sharing my .. er, 10 lb weight gain .. everyone is in the same situation after the holidays :-)

    But really personals stuff like marriage issues, finances, etc .. is too personal to share.

  13. Alyssa says:

    I think it’s important to talk about struggles sometimes. Not personal issues such as relationship struggles and family issues, but I think it’s ok to reveal when you’re stressed or something of the like. It’s relatable and breaks that glamorous barrier.

    I posted about stress relief a month ago and got great responses.
    It all depends on the topic, but blogs can be great support systems for women.

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Alyssa, totally agree with you on the “support system”! Because I started a style blog in tandem with my styling business, I’ve always seen my blog more about supporting/encouraging/inspiring/being honest with my clients in a way that goes beyond clothes, because what we talk about in our sessions is far more than just their clothes. But I admit I feel so much more free in those one-on-one sessions to share anything & everything because we’re face-to-face whereas it can feel too much when it’s just over social media.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  14. Kory says:

    I don’t share how hard it is to get clients. I’ve worked my butt off to get the few clients I had last year, but that’s just it: I worked my butt off. It’s hard to gain ground when you’re a new designer. It probably seems like I’m raking in the money, but in reality I’m struggling to get by.

  15. Avatar of PJ Gach
    PJ Gach says:

    I think this is one of the best posts I’ve read here.

    It’s really hard to straddle the line between the professional and the personal. I think we all feel that if we write about the good stuff that’s going on, it’s going to increase readership and (hopefully) advertisers and brands.

    When you cross the line into reality–you know what’s really going on behind the curtain and lay your soul bare to readers, there’s a fear of not only revealing too much, and remember what you write will follow you on the ‘net for a long time, it’s the fear that by being honest, or too honest, that you’ll kill your readership and lose advertisers.

    I think if you feel that you can lightly explain what’s happening in your life, you might be surprised about the support you’d get. Remember, as writers, it’s all how you position and “spin” it.

    I lost my job about a month ago. I’ve been job hunting like a fiend. I didn’t mention it on social media until recently. And when I mentioned that I was out of work and looking for a job, I got a couple of tweets back with leads.

    I was so surprised, I almost fell out of my chair.

    Remember, if you do decide to disclose what’s going on, you don’t have to bare every last detail. You don’t have to go into depth. You can change things around.

    It’s like what Donna mentioned in her response. She posts about fitness gear that helps her look slimmer. I gotta ask you, how many want that information? Tons!

    If your Dad has cancer, you can mention that there’s an illness in the family. That’s all you really need to say. You might be surprised to find that you’ll get a lot of support from your readers.

    Take issues about clients etc., and turn it into a feature for your site, or pitch it to a business or women’s business blog. Talk about what it’s like to be in business for yourself. Include bullet points of what to do, what not to do and how to handle disasters.

    Trust me, I’ve been through a lot of really crappy things in my life. Sometimes by talking about it–no matter how lightly can be therapeutic. It can even help you with your work.
    It all depends upon how you view it.

    One thing I’ve learned through my crappy experiences is this, stay positive. You don’t need to go all Pollyanna, but believe that anything that happens to you can be turned into something positive.

    http://www.thequeenofstyle.com/

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Thank you so much PJ! So flattered. And also brilliant point in sharing about your job search. Love that people Tweeted you back with leads. That’s absolutely one of the times when social media is a great blessing. We have all these contacts. We should take advantage of them. But sometimes that does mean being vulnerable enough to say we’re looking for work or seeking comfort in a time of illness.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

    • Avatar of MsFABulous
      MsFABulous says:

      This is a fantastic post. I myself have had some very tough challenges in my personal life, and I did not post about it, thinking it would “oversharing” or intrusive to other people, or they wouldn’t want to hear it and feel awkward if they see me in person.

      PJ, thanks for sharing your struggles. I would never judge others who are going through challenges, and you are right, you never know who can help! I myself am about to be back on the freelance train as the company I work for has run out of funding.

      Here’s to getting to know everyone better, (or worse). xoxo

    • Lois Olson says:

      So well said, PJ. There is such wisdom in your words.

  16. Avatar of Sarah's Real Life

    I find it’s kind of nice to focus on the positive things in my life on my blog as long as I’m not burying my feelings. I like to vent and complain to people I know or even post things on my personal Facebook account. I still talk about crappy stuff when I need to. But for me, sticking to the happy stuff on my blog is actually a way to keep myself positive (because I tend to be a cynical person). Great article!

    Sarah’s Real Life

  17. Portia says:

    I share the good and the bad on my blog. But I have often been criticized for doing so. I just didn’t think the blog was me if I didn’t let the people know I am human and i cry like everyone else. My life definitely isn’t perfect and I don’t want to pretend it is. I definitely highlight the good times, but when I’m down, I feel a lot better after I share those things. Love this post. It was an affirmation that my bog is fine and the good and the bad make me human.

  18. Avatar of Hope Howland
    Hope Howland says:

    I think its incredibly important to be real… not abrasive or too informative… and somethings are better just kept private… Less is more, but saying “hey, this day sucked from the moment I woke up” and then moving on to find something that your thankful for in that day… In the age where beauty is airbrushed and too skinny is boasted about, we as voices to other women and girls cannot afford to live a life and not be real… it does a MASSIVE disservice to ourselves and our readers… If your having a hard moment, that’s ok… and like the saying says.. “if your going through hell, keep going, don’t stop”…

    Hope Howland
    hchdesigns.blogspot.com

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      In an age where beauty is airbrushed we can use our voices as a service to other women … Hope that is beautifully said! So poignant. And exactly what I’m so passionate about at Dean Street Society & why this topic has been on my mind so much the past few months. Love what you’re up to in the world lady!

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  19. Avatar of Destrehan's Daughter

    I think that one of the dangers of crafting an online presence as a part of a brand is that you feel that pressure to only share the very positive things that are going on in your life. I don’t focus on sharing the most mundane or depressing things in my life but if I’m upset, I don’t mind writing it online. I think not having to answer to an advertiser or sponsor does give me additional freedom someone else might not have. I don’t by any means expound profusely on the details of my life, but I don’t feel bad mentioning that I had a bad day because something went wrong or because I got frustrated. I try to keep my professional life out of my blog and the personal lives of my friends, too. It makes my blog a pretty accurate representation of me.

  20. Sundal says:

    My readers think everything’s going great for me, I’ve worked on some amazing projects and I’ve travelled the world this year but I never mentioned that I suffered heartbreak at ending a 7 year long relationship and that my family has been torn apart this year by a culmination of lies, infidelity and domestic violence.

    But these are not things I’d choose to blog or tweet about. I did decide this year, however, after all the deception my family ad I have been through to be more honest from now on so now I will blog about my cellulite or my recent weight-gain and what I’ve been doing about it or the fact that I’ve not been booking much work and therefore have more time to concentrate on fashion or home DIY projects as I think readers are actually interested in reading about someone they can relate to rather than some jet-setter who always wears fabulous clothes and is featured in glossy magazines and is always busy working and creating and still finds time to blog about it all. Because I’m only that person some of the time!

    • Avatar of Hilary Rushford & Dean Street Society

      Sundal, I am so sorry to hear that! What a heartbreaking year. I think you’re right not to share things when they’re too raw. Perhaps one day it will feel like the time to share your story & help someone else. Or perhaps those will always be private experiences. Truly hope you & your family see healing & more joyful days in 2013.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  21. Colony says:

    I just found this site today and I absolutely love this post! It’s so easy to get caught up in analytics and what our perception of what readers want that it clouds and silences our true voice. This is a great reminder to think about the reasons why I started writing my blog to begin with. It is hard to share very personal things out of pure fear of judgement, but I find that the blogs I love most have that kind of authenticity.

  22. Avatar of PJ Gach
    PJ Gach says:

    Hey Hilary!
    Thank you very much for your kind words, I really appreciate it.
    Back when I was a freelancer and trying like crazy to get a staff job, because I was always so “happy happy” people thought I would NOT want a staff job.
    So yeah, being “real” can (pardon the pun) really help you in so many ways.

    Sarah’s Real Life–please be careful with what you post to Facebook. PR people DO read what you post. I found this out when I posted something on FB, and two different people from pr firms asked me about it. And all I was doing was asking if anyone knew someone who could shoot some photos for me!

    And Hilary, thank you so much for bringing this topic to light. We’ve all had bad/weird/crazy/frustrating experiences and you’ve now allowed us to talk about it and find solutions.

    Bless you for doing that.
    Oh, and if anyone’s looking for a top notch style editor, PLEASE let me know!

    Hugs to all,

    PJ

  23. ellegentsia says:

    It’s certainly a valid exploration, but I think what you’re touching on is less a question of content as one of authenticity. No one turns to a fashion blog and expects to read a journey about the struggles of infertility. They do however, identify with writers, and if those writers only present a veneer that life is perfect, things come easily, etc, then they’re doing a disservice to the readers who are putting faith in them… and bolstering their work with their traffic.

    You can infuse you work with authenticity and groundedness and not have to tackle really heavy topics, unless of course that’s of interest, which it is to me.

    I wrote a two part series about my experiences with IUD, and they remain one of the most read posts on my site. Food for thought.
    http://ellegentsia.squarespace.com/ellegentsia/2012/7/5/contraception-matters-the-mirena-iud-part-1.html

  24. Avatar of Chaucee from Streets and Stripes

    Wow, what a powerful post! It’s important to keep things into perspective.

  25. ERMAHGERD. Hilary. You like knock them out of the park, you know. I love hearing these confessions, because they sound so much like the ones I’ve felt or experienced myself. It’s an area I wish more people discussed openly and frankly.

  26. Rachel says:

    Politics. Aside from the post when I addressed the fact I would be keeping politics and my blog separate, but I would still be Tweeting politics, I’ve kept my political opinions off of my blog, aside from on British and American election days when I have urged my readers to go out and vote, regardless of who they’re voting for. The reason I made the decision to do this, was I had a comment on my blog saying that they’d loved my blog, but when they found out I was an active member of a certain political party (I’ve worked in politics) they did not want to read my blog anyone. I know their action was stupid, but it still made me think. My blog is about food, and travel, and shopping, politics does not really fit and while it is a big part of my life I don’t see the point in alienating my readers; I accept while I’m a member of a mainstream party, and not a fringe group, a majority of my readers strongly do not agree with my political alignment. However, the reason why I only use one Twitter feed for the blog and personal stuff, so people following my blogs Twitter get political Tweets too, is because I want my readers to know me, not just a projection of me, and I feel Twitter is a suitable place for discussion and debate, where my blog comments section is not. They can always choose to read my blog for the lighter side of my remit, and not follow me on Twitter after all!

  27. Avatar of Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    This is a good post because some people idealize bloggers way too much. People can’t assume that even top, popular bloggers are making money. The only ones that are, most likely, are the uber elite bloggers that are booking campaigns regularly, and also do collaborations, etc. That or the ones who actually work in the industry and have their own businesses/side projects. Even the ones that have seemingly perfect lives simply because they’re skinny/blonde/rich, well what you see on their blogs is only the surface, and that’s not enough to make a perfect life.

    For me, I share most things via twitter, but not any other platforms. For me twitter is made for complaining about stuff, so if I’m sick of international customers who place orders with me then whine and complain when the order doesn’t arrive in 5 days, I say it.

    http://oohlaluxe.net

  28. zahra says:

    I love this post! I agree with most of the comments above, so I’m not to going to say the same things, but I still felt obligated to comment because this was such a powerful post for me. I am a new-ish blogger, about 8 months, and I have posts that are a little more personal and I have some that are just fun fashion or design posts without much substance beyond that. The people who email me and comment on my blog have told me how much they love the personal stuff and that they truly relate to me. I’m a little miffed on how people actually do make money blogging – because there isn’t a whole lot of information out there on how to get sponsors or advertisers or what you need to be at in terms of numbers to attract that. I haven’t been aggressively seeking followers – I use more of an organic approach because it seems more authentic to me.

    Anyway – thank you again for a great post!

  29. Avatar of Uduak Oduok, Esq.

    Hillary,

    Truly a great post and connects with me.

    Thanks for writing this.
    -Uduak
    http://www.ladybrillemag.com

  30. Avatar of Katrina Elliott

    I think the trials and tribulations in life/business makes a blog more interesting and inspiring to read. Trash talking a client may be overboard, but being honest isn’t. It’s definitely an all or nothing kind of thing though, and making that leap is terrifying. Ever have that desire to post something personal but you’re second guessing yourself before, during, and after you post? Possibly even delete a pretty interesting piece because you’re not sure of the implications? I’ve done that in the past, but I wish that more people including myself had the courage to keep honest/intriguing posts up. – http://katrinja.com

  31. Avatar of Nadya Helena
    Nadya Helena says:

    I definitely don’t let every misery and joy comes out in the blog. Even if something major happened to me (or the blog) I still choose which ones to keep and which ones to share. Even though I have to agree that sharing trivial and personal moments can get us more connected to the readers, because there’s always someone out there that has experienced something similar to what we’ve been through. Connecting is important, not overexposing is also important.

    Nadya
    http://thedillychic.com

  32. Avatar of Alexandria Hubbard

    I don’t talk about my anxiety attacks, how often I cry and how I really feel about my body because I’m afraid everyone will think I’m a complainer and ungrateful. But it’s hard to control my anxiety and my tears, and it’s difficult to explain to people that I will always have an eating disorder, that I’m not cured and I don’t think I’ll ever be. It’s hard to be so vulnerable with people. It’s hard to take that risk. I’m also afraid people will just make fun of me. Like, “Oh did you see Alex was complaining again. That idiot.” I’m so scared of what people think, which is ridiculous because it’s my blog. But who wants to be the sad friend or blogger?

    • Alexandria, I so appreciate your honesty in this comment. Briefly I just wanted to say that if you share your struggles with something like anorexia from a) an “I’m in this struggle, are you?” place of community & empathy or a b) this is my journey & story so far place of mentorship instead of c) a place of self-pity, then it will be well received. The difference is whether you’re honestly looking for venting & pity — those posts make us uncomfortable & feel awkward at the vulnerability — or try to be of help whether in creating community or showing leadership — those posts make us feel connected & grateful for the vulnerability.

  33. Noor says:

    This is a great post. I have so much that I do not share on my blog bc a. I do not want to ever sound negative b. I do not want to over share and c. do people really even care?

  34. Ravyn says:

    This post was so very refreshing!! Thank you sooo much for sharing this. We’ve had friends accuse us of putting on a front of happiness on our blogs, but I’ve always seen my studio blog as a place to share the happy & positive. Towards the end of 2012, we went through a really tough personal issue, and my workload totally got neglected. I felt it was way too personal to share on our blog and with clients, but it’s such a tough place to be. I felt like I owed it to them to explain, but didn’t, and then I had to deal with the guilt. With the new year, I realized sharing a bit more of our personal life is a priority for 2013, and I think my clients & readers will appreciate it & relate more.

  35. Domenic says:

    There was this one time that I published this post http://www.stylehuntingclub.com/2012/12/outfits-abs-really-are-more-confusing.html

    and I turned getting rejected time after time from a modelling agency because I am not buff and don’t have the psychiche into something very intrespective and hopefulkly people found it funny because I did.

    I was not aware though that blog traffic gets affected by your geographical location? Maybe that’s why I have a low traffic number- even though I blog my heart out,

    Also sometimes I see blogs with over 300 comments in a post and I have 0, and I’m like…… I HATE MYSELF, and I feel like I super fail at blogging and I can’t really hate the blogger because they are mostly almost always nice- which is a really big mind fuck

  36. Marina Lejos says:

    the truth is I do not know what happens to google before but now have much TRAFFIC … nor with social media or anything, I’m clueless …

  37. Summer says:

    I’m a new-ish blogger too and blogging about my personal life, I have had to really take a step back after each post and make sure it is the representation I want to put out there. I want it to be real, but I also want it to be positive and inviting. The blogs I read are usually incredibly positive and inspiring and I, as a blogger try to emulate that in my blog as well. There are times when I do feel like I put myself out there a little more than normal. I may write about how I feel about something very personal. I tend to be a bit more anxious when I click “publish”, but I think good blogs need a little bit of both to keep it interesting and real. Great post! Thank you! – Summer

  38. People love to see the positive and not the negative! I for one when I am reading others blog I love to see happy thing, advancements and achievements, but I do love reality and truth, but I am the ladder. I believe life is life and should be keep real. No one’s perfect and honestly I am drawn to blogger that have more depth than just jet setting, shopping at Barneys and prancing around all day in fab clothing! That’s nice but not for a daily reading.

  39. Avatar of Tara
    Tara says:

    Very interesting and SO TRUE! Well except for Facebook- I think most of us share a little too much sometimes on Facebook… or even accidentally through friends haha

    Something to think about for our blogs.

  40. Avatar of Tara
    Tara says:

    I’d also like to add – professionalism is also very important – sometimes it is better to keep some things to yourself. Employers have access to blogs. Something also to keep in mind! :)

    • A great point & also worth remembering on Facebook. Facebook will be around years & years from now, or at least accessible in searches, so think of your best & most successful version of yourself 5-10 years from now & whether she’d cringe that something was put out there, to stop yourself from over-sharing on Facebook, even on your personal page. :)

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  41. Susann says:

    You can always tell a really good post because of the amount of genuine and thoughtful comments it inspires and this post is certainly one of them. Blogging, when you are not quite sure what you are doing and nothing seems to be working, can be quite a lonely thing to do, because you need to be seen as up beat and happy (so I thought )
    Awhile ago I did a blog about losing most of my website traffic due to one of Google’s algorithynms. Another blogger commented by saying ” I have no idea what you are talking about but I am very sad that it happened to you.” That comment was one of the sweetest, kindest things that any one has ever said to me on a blog. It is bringing tears to my eyes now, just thinking about it.
    My blog was about telling Google that I was not going to be beaten and the comment from that sweet young lady helped me become more determined than ever.

    So I dont think there is anything wrong with putting negative things and unhappy events on your blog, but probably not too often.

    Thanks for this post !

  42. Avatar of The Daily Shoe

    It’s true – we share the silver linings but we keep our dark clouds to ourselves.

  43. What a post. The reality and truth of this post had hit home with a lot of us and it’s done such a good thing for so many I can see by realigning our thought processes. Thank you once again IFB

  44. Avatar of Onianwah
    Barbara says:

    A lot of people also think that I am living the best life ever and have all the money in the world which I hate to spend because I am being miserly. They don’t realise that it is so hard to do it all and still be normal. I hate the weight too but I tell myself that my carefree nature prevents me from being weighed down about it but going to a store and having to ask for size 42 pants is the worst thing I think can happen to me right now but unless I want to go without clothes I might have to.

    There are so many insecurites we go through and totally relating with each others’ fears is why IFB is the best blogging community I am proud to be a member of.

    Thank you Hilary

    Barbara
    http://www.barbsiesmusings.blogspot.com

  45. jax sutton says:

    I have had an amazing response to this post so thought I would share it with you:

    http://paperandlace.com/2013/05/21/comparison-is-the-thief-of-joy-a-little-late-night-reading/

    xxx

  46. Avatar of Victoria West

    I don’t blog about negative thinks happening in my life. Two years ago I lost my day-time job after being laid off, and I didn’t say a word about this on my blog, because it felt like a failure, and I didn’t want my readers to perceive me as a failure.

    For the next 7 months after my being laid off I was looking for another job, and meanwhile I stayed home and took care of my child (whom I retrieved from day-care, there was no point to have him at day-care, since I was at home), who was 2 years old at that time. I continued blogging and in fact I enjoyed my “in-between job” period of time, because it gave me some time for me and my family, and for blogging. In those seven months I wrote exactly in the same style as before, without ever mentioning that I don’t have my financial day-time job anymore, like nothing in my life had changed. I was not lying to my readers, I merely was filtering what to share with them and what to keep for myself.

    I mentioned my losing the job for the first time on my blog when I found another job (and a better one for that matter), and when I had a solid offer in my pocket, 7 months later. Then I felt like I owe a little honesty to my readers and I wrote about how I found a new job (I was really excited about this new opportunity) and I how I lost my previous one. In the light of my new job success, my old job failure didn’t feel like a failure anymore, and it wasn’t so hurtful to write about this and to be honest about this anymore.

    Enjoy your Sunday everyone!

    http://fashionstylebeautyandmore.blogspot.ca/

  47. Avatar of Christine & Jenna

    Unless your blog is meant to be a solely personal account blog, I think it’s best to keep a lot of things to yourself. I mean, i guess it depends on how deeply connected you feel with your readers,but remember, there may also be friends or family reading, that you don’t want knowing something, or maybe don’t want you sharing something, and you have to take that into consideration, too. I’ve seen plenty of blogs announce the happy like “I just got engaged!” or “I just bought a house!” and I think that’s cool. But when it comes to negative, you just have to be aware of who it can get out to, out there on the Internet.

  48. Avatar of Camille Sioco

    I personally keep a lot of things to myself, even when you try to indirectly post a status about something negative, others always assume it’s about them and get affected. I think things are better left unsaid on social media and you’re right, some people do it so well that their lives seem so perfect but you never know what happens behind closed doors.

  49. I thought my blog used to be personal but it wasn’t at all. A few weeks ago I found out that my boyfriend cheated on me. I didn’t feel like sharing any of this, but now that I’m moving on I’m writing about it and telling my readers in a positive way. Maybe someone who has been recently heartbroken can find something encouraging in how someone else’s getting over it, at least I think it would have worked for me.
    I still keep a lot of things to myself and don’t give many details about what happened. I would recommend writing about something so personal right when it has happened, but it can be good for you to move on.

  50. Avatar of Anna Peel
    Anna Peel says:

    This was interesting to read! I took a long break from blogging for personal reasons and I just recently got back into it. IMHO, I really don’t think personal problems have a place on a blog(unless it truly is like a private diary). When you’re running your blog as a business, I think it’s important to keep it professional and relevant. People want to read about your style tips or beauty product reviews, they don’t want to read about your personal health saga. That said, I think it’s perfectly okay to share a little bit of information with your readers if you choose to do so. Sometimes it may even be neccessary, like if you had to cancel a blog contest or if you plan on taking a long break. But as a professional blogger, I think it’s important to recognize the boundaries.

  51. Britani Cruz says:

    WOW, I AM SO EMOTIONAL ABOUT THIS POST RIGHT NOW. This was an amazing wake up call. People want to see you win, but it is okay to let people know that you are not SuperBlogger.

  52. Lisa R says:

    I often go for long periods of time without reading anything that approaches reality on blogs and I read a lot of them. If you are dealing with the public, you are going to have horror stories, customers returning soiled clothing, expecting to order tonight @10:00 pm and get the order tomorrow because they ordered overnight. That customer expected Fed Ex and our site to be open at that hour and that we got Fed Ex to fly it in just for her. The problem with real stories is that you risk alienating customers and also most of it really is boring. Often it is just easier to paint a rosy picture and leave it at that. And it is because it can be negative, boring, personal and private.

  53. Lisa says:

    I really love that the conversation is being raised about the not so glamorous part of blogging, social media, etc. I choose not to write about some of the negatives because I am a private person and try to not put myself too ”out there”. Maybe its fear of rejection.. who knows! I know i’ve been like that for a while so its second nature and nothing new to me. I hardly share the bad things with my mom, let alone the internet! lol Although I really do feel that there needs to be a balance. And im thrilled that this topic is being talked about.

  54. Deron says:

    This post and its comments seemed tailor-made for me this week. All week I’ve bounced from entrepreneur to entrepreneur site marveling at beautiful designed sites, enticing free e-book offers, and tales of solidly booking clients for months. It’s both inspiring and exhausting. I’m happy to have the curtain pulled back on it a bit and it says a lot to me about the integrity of your own site, Hilary. Thank you!

  55. Avatar of Eve Gagnon
    Eve G says:

    I was so focused by the envy of making my blog so professional looking -in my beginner way- that I didn’t talk at all about my private life or actually, I’ve only complained once about my not being able to cover the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show because I am not important nor rich enough.

    That was until yesterday. I stopped blogging for a while because I had lost the fun of it for multiple reasons. And then, there was those two people who e-mailed me, coming from their own business, and their thoughtful messages really brought me back to why I was blogging. But then, I felt like I had to explain my absence to my fewer readers, and I did insert the poor reality of my blog and its number of readers. And I did include all of the reasons why I stopped blogging which, in my opinion, is quite uncommon and really weird to do.

  56. Avatar of emmarose
    emmarose says:

    Hi, I’m writing my university dissertation on the relationship between fashion magazines and fashion bloggers. I’d love for some of you guys to get involved and tell me your thoughts. Please fill out this quick survey for me- it will take 2 minutes and I know that you guys will have plenty to say about it!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RCDVNQR

    Thanks, Emma Rose
    xxx

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