When was the last time clicking “publish” gave you butterflies and made your palms sweat? Are you afraid someone might view you differently if you share your story? Every single time I publish a new post on Irresistible Icing I feel this way. I share personal and vulnerable stories with my readers. It’s therapeutic for me, and at the same time it helps people who are ashamed to speak up.
People like connecting with other humans and blogging helps us do that. That’s why influencer marketing has taken off over the past few years. We want connection with people we can relate to. We want to read something and say, “Me too.” We want people to listen to us and say, “You too?”
How vulnerable are you with the content you share? When do you know if you’ve shared too much? Before you hit publish, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I Ready to Share?
When I’m in the middle of an emotional crisis, the last thing I want to do is share it with the world. I need to come to a place of acceptance and clarity before I can do that. I relate this back to being bullied in elementary and middle school. I never told a soul at the time. Not even my parents. Now, as a woman in her 30s, I have no problem sharing those stories. Not everything takes 30 years to share. What I’m saying is that you need to be emotionally ready to share your story. You’ll know when it’s the right time.
Even when you’re ready, it’s terrifying to click the publish button! It takes courage and confidence. Those are the posts that need to be shared. Getting vulnerable with your readers is part of being a confident influencer.
2. Why am I Sharing?
This goes back to being really clear on the purpose of your blog. Will sharing your story build a better connection with your readers? Is this relevant to your brand and will your readers care? If you write a pet blog, your readers may not care if you were bullied as a child (sorry). If a pet helped you to overcome this traumatic experience, then it makes sense to share that story on your pet blog. Always connect your story back to how it will ultimately be of service to someone else. Again, sometimes it’s as simple as wanting your reader to say, “Me too.”
3. Am I Being Vulnerable or Oversharing?
Vulnerability is NOT the same thing as oversharing, and there’s a lot of that going on these days with social media. Being vulnerable is not sharing the intimate details of a fight you had with your spouse. Sharing every single detail of your day with your social media followers is not vulnerability.
You need to have boundaries around what is acceptable for you to share and what stays protected. One way I figure this out is to ask myself, “Would you be comfortable talking about this with Oprah on national TV?” If not, it’s either not the right time to share or it’s crossing boundaries.
4. Will Sharing This Hurt Someone I Love?
All I can do in this world is share MY story. Sometimes those involve other people directly or indirectly. It’s important to me to be protective of my loved ones when it comes to my online work. If there’s something that is unresolved with another person it’s probably not a good idea to share that.
It’s OK to be yourself and share that with your readers! They want to get to know the real you. There’s enough picture perfect, happy 24/7 personas floating around the web right now. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being happy, but sometimes it’s good to let the cracks show a little bit. It shows that there’s a real human on the other end of the keyboard with real problems. That’s how you make connections.
The world needs to hear your story. When fear kicks in and tries to prevent you from publishing, move forward anyways. Only you will know when it’s the right time to share. Be brave and show the world who you really are!
Join the Conversation
Leave a comment below and answer this: How do you determine what to share with your audience?
Aimee Beltran is the Director of Community Education for BlogPaws. She also writes two blogs, Irresistible Icing and Irresistible Pets with her Chihuahua, Chuy. Aimee is passionate about her mission, “create an irresistible life you can’t resist!” She loves anything with glitter, kayaking, and spending time at the beach.
Images: Darren Baker/Shutterstock.com