On blogging styles

There are as many unique blogging styles as there are bloggers. Some blogs are a recounting of life to date or what’s going on in the world, in pretty much chronological order (today I had class then worked, tomorrow, I’m going to a wedding), and if you miss two weeks of reading such a blog, you’ll see an entry that’ll say something like “I decided not to get the dress” or “I know I said I’d do it but I didn’t”, and loyal readers will instantly know which dress is being discussed and what this “it” the blogger is referring to is.

Some blogs are created to bring issues/concerns to light and solicit opinions and encourage discussion. These issues don’t have to be weighty at all; they can be anything from “I hate corn on the cob, what vegetables do you hate?” to “My friend was the victim of fraud, have you or anyone you know experienced this?” to a discussion of politics. If people are commenting and sharing their own opinion, experience or offering advice, the blogger is happy.

Some blogs are for entertainment, and entertainment comes in many forms. Some people enjoy reading about celebrities, others love fashion and beauty, still others enjoy reading anecdotes that make them laugh. These blogs tend to be visited regularly by readers because once the reader has gotten their “fix” they want more of the same, which makes sense: who doesn’t want to repeat a good feeling or experience?

Some blogs are an outlet for the writer’s creativity and range from the sharing of one’s imagination through fictional stories to sharing one’s emotions, real or imagined, through poetry. Others deliberately blur the truth by sharing details of life that are true along with fabrications, mixing and blending the two so artfully that the average reader would be unable to discern the line between truth and fiction.

Some bloggers only share the big stuff, while others only share minor events. Some blog five times a week while others blog when they think of it, even if it’s only once a year. Some favour anonymity while some put their their name and pictures out for the world to see. Most bloggers fit into one or more of these categories.

I’ve recently been thinking about my online presence. I’ve always said that I don’t post anything that I wouldn’t mind my parents discovering about me, and my family gets mentioned in this blog a lot. I sometimes tell them things I’m planning to write about (most of the time they don’t care, though my father especially would rather he never be mentioned). I have wondered recently if I reveal too much about my life on my blog; if someone could easily discover personal information about me if they were feeling bored out of their minds stalkerish adventurous. When blogs share a lot about the personal life of the blogger, it can lead to readers feeling they know the blogger more intimately than they do. Even if the blogger is posting every day, you can never fully know the person to the degree you think you may. Sure, you will get a good idea of their personality, but if they are someone who only blogs when they’re depressed, you may think they are a very negative person. Likewise if the person is giving thanks to God on a weekly basis for all the good things in her life; you might think she’s never down, grumpy, selfish or gossipy. ;)

Maybe I’m just getting old but suddenly I’m wondering if I should change what I share. What’s your personal blogging philosophy, and how do you decide what you reveal or discuss on your blog?

35 thoughts on “On blogging styles

  1. i don't know any more where i fit in.. Have been wondering a lot recently, which made me move my poetry out of the main blog…

    Plus waaay too many people who know me in the real world read my plug these days… perhaps i shall just create a whole new blogger id.. i dunno

  2. Mine is more of an outlet for creativity and well, to vent that which is INSIDE. hehehe!!

    When i started blogging, i never thought someone would knoe i blog. Duh!! i was so stupid!!! hahaha! but later when people started finding me, even people i know offline, i thought of the dangers of having my real name and my photo on it. I wanted to be anonymous. I mean, someone could abuse me emotionally, or find an opening for hurting me because i bear my heart in blog.

    but i got down to one of the principles i live by: Nothing Prove, Nothing Lose, Nothing to Hide.

    I enjoy blogging!! and yes, im happy i have known you!

  3. Brilliant! Think my submission would be that i fit in everywhere except story tellin-real or imagined..dont think im good at that..I'm more into writing when it comes to me.I dont feel obliged that i should post every other day or week and dont believe i should spew everythin about me online but a small percentage of things i write depicts me sha.

    Just like you,i really dont think i have anythin on my blog that would rather make me uncomfortable should my family or anyone of my friends stumble on it.

  4. I am a bit of everything really. A few people who know me in real life now read my blog and it does make me wonder what I should or should not write.

  5. I'v thought about this a whole lot…..sometimes i feel like people can take stuff i write on my blog and use it against me…..but then even that would not make me stop blogging, i think i made the mistake of telling a few friends about my blog and now they read it religiously. All in all….when the time comes that i feel too exposed i guess il just change my id and my url. This was a nice read.

  6. Hmmm, do i really agree with "…readers feeling they know the blogger more intimately than they do." not necessarily. Intimate, no but, depth of substance yes.

    In ones writings (whether personal, entertainment or otherwise), ones person will not be unrevealed.

  7. Well, i just talk about the things i notice around me and sometimes put some my minor things in life for explanation.

    I certainly enjoy personal blogs, but its not a route i want to take, its too dangerous, opening your personal life to other people like that.

    I get confused with the part fiction, part reality ones, too much hassle

    The fictional ones, you have to read the blog in reverse.

    All in all, its fantastic, the variety

  8. Hmmm, I guess I'm a bit of all that…don't know if I do the fictional story bit though…will have to check my posts to date to confirm that :-)!!!

  9. Don't know really.

    I started off with a private blog with no readers then i invited one person and it turned to 5 and then i thought why not go public.

    I still remain anonymous but obviously some of the readers know who i am. When it was private, i was a lot more open with my thoughts.

    Now i share only what i feel comfortable with, my friends who read it, see it as an outlet to what's going on with me, because the usually find it hard knowing what i'm thinking, as i am quite private.

  10. I blog mostly about my journey down the aisle , I also blog about my personal life, but I am very careful as to what I write because anyone can find it. Someone I know recently found my blog….and I am still deciding what to do next…….

  11. someone who has never met me before can never tell anything about me by reading my blog.yup,i share a lot..my family,boys but i change a lottttttttttt of things too.

  12. Hehe. I think you know where I fit in now…the rarely posting type. :) But…I think that's due to a combination of being (too?) busy, not wanting to share too much personal info, and mostly…not wanting to be like every other writer out there in my age/life category. My life revolves around a kid now..yes, fun, exciting, but not original. Why write about what everyone else is writing about? Dunno. I really want to do more…registering a domain (check) and getting hosting (soon, post baby #2) will probably kick start me.

  13. i think i am a little bit of everything apart from sharing fictionaly story.I use my blog to blog about anything that comes to my mind, i love fashion so most times i inject fashion gist into my posts.On anonymity, i dont see myself revealing my identity cos then i'll feel the need to censor my posts.I know there are about 3 people i know who have discovered my blog sa.

  14. I think changing your style can be tricky especially if you're a long-time blogger and your readers have grown used to a particular style.

    Im still experimenting with styles though i don't intend for my blog to be personal (that's what my journal is for) but some posts are just more revealing than usual. I can't always help that because most of my writing before i started blogging was personal so writing for myself has developed a style that i'm now very used to. I find that i have to modify it for an audience and i find myself revising my drafts quite a few times and perhaps toning things down a bit more. So far, i've mostly done opinions on different subjects but perhaps i'll get into trying out my hand at fiction later. There are definitely topics i'd like to cover but don't because i feel they are too distinctive.

  15. Well, needs change as one gets older. Sometimes the issues we rant about resolve themselves. Sometimes we find that measure of peace we are working so hard to get. I say go with the flow. Wherever life takes you is where you are meant to be.

  16. Hey girl!

    Finally, finally, at last, I return lol.

    Interesting post! I am so sad to not have more time to read blogs and this is going to be a quick response – first of all I do agree and ive worried the same thing myself.. You know I have shared quite a bit. I think as long as one remain anonymous it really isn't that bad.. then if u reveal ur identity to someone its someone u feel comfortable doing that to. i've made some great friends in blogville but theres no need to not be careful.

    How are u? Send me an email ? lots of love

  17. Hello! I understand the need for privacy my dear, but please cease and desist immediately with this change. Perhaps you could use more caution, but i'm afraid at where you will begin. I do not know you. I only know what you CHOOSE to show me and so far i feel impersonally related, yet distanced from you. If it's safety that you're concerned about then by all means lock yourself away. But again, i am afraid at where you will begin.

    As for me, i'm the lazy blogger type. I have a blog and i should blog everyday but i don't because i feel i'm violating some policy about personal issues. People want to see pics, not hear about me life…*shrugs*

  18. I am more like a dedicated writer, I lover sharing both personal and none personal info, yet still private in many ways. blogging is fun to me, I write because I feel like expressing ME at that time and hour of the day. A way to unleash my thoughts….is why I blog YNC style.

  19. My blog is mostly to motivate me to write more and to sample opinion on the fictional story I'm writing. I may share some personal pics but I don't see myself unburdening my mind. I don't set much stock with anonymity but I guard my privacy. I enjoy all sorts of blogs and benefit from all.

  20. â–ºakaBagucci

    It's definitely something to ponder isn't it, this our online presence.

    â–ºJabez

    lol I never search for people online so it still surprises me when people tell me their freinds or family found their blog. Maybe my friends and family just aren't curious about me but all my friends (that I know of) who read my blog know about it because I told them.

    â–ºTrybes

    I'm with you: telling fictional stories isn't my forte. I'd rather just be me — it's easier! I sometimes feel like I should post more regularly than once a week, but I also try to wait for inspiration…that's the balance I try to strike.

    So, do you tell anyone about your blog?

    â–ºThirty+

    I think we can't help but be influenced slightly when we know that people we see from day to day also read our blog. All of a sudden anything we write might be perceived by them as a "hidden message".

    â–ºjuiceegal

    YOu know, like you I was excited about blogging when I started and I told my close friends about it. Some read regularly and others don't bother. I'm still not sure if/how that affects what I write. I try not to let it affect me though.

    I always wonder whether changing the url is effective, because you need a way to get your loyal readers to follow you to the new blog without alerting your friends, and sometimes you're not 100% sure if your friends are using fake ids to get the details of your move.

    â–ºrethots

    I feel like one's writing can reveal a lot about the writer, but it can also be unintentionally misleading: one's life focus and blog focus are not necessarily the same.

    We may be saying basically the same thing though: I feel you can get some great insights into a person from reading their blog, but I'd still say you have to be careful not to think you know the person extremely well because you have read every entry they've written.

    â–ºttlolla

    I'm with you on the part fiction, part reality blogs, but I guess it works for some (too confusing for me! I hate feeling continually duped). I guess even within the realm of personal blogs, there are varying degrees of how personal the bloggers get.

    â–ºNoLimit

    lol I can't recall you sharing fictional stories.

    â–ºGochi

    "When it was private, I was a lot more open with my thoughts" – wouldn't it be grand if there was a way to share as if no one was reading? Unfortunately the minute you know you have an audience there will be subtle changes at the very least.

    â–ºSeptember

    Yes, your blog definitely has a defined purpose, one that will be reached in a few short days! I hope you will continue to blog though!

  21. Well, I blog what is on my mind. How I perceive it… I blog about things I enjoy, things I hold precious; family, faith in Jesus, music… I blog so I can teach people (Weird hunh?)

  22. I fall into the category you mentioned in your 4th paragraph. I feel I have many layers to me, and so most times, I might blog about a true life event, and blur the truth with a few fictional happenings, or whatever my imagination leads me to do. I prefer anonymity, but I always knew that a day would come when I would personally get to know a few bloggers. I guess the parts that I reveal, or what impression people get about me is what I let them see. I believe that there is a part of me that's just as vicious as I portray and another part that's just as insecure as the next girl. In the end, I feel like our words are often times a window to our soul.

  23. For me I intend to reveal my true self sooner or later so that I can use my blog past to mentor and counsel other, I have since started a new blog which is more open to those who know me. At some point they'll be all be in sync

  24. Great post! Sometimes I think about this as well! I don't share that much about my personal life on my blog but I talk about a lot of general and girly stuff. I'd feel a little vunerable putting my entire life out there and so I don't. But I do agree people automatically think they know you from reading your blog! Sometimes I'm not as personable as I am on my blog – lol!

  25. So true.

    There are lots of people that think I'm a depressing evil bitchass because I'm so lazy that I tend to blog only when I get really worked up about something.

  26. See, it all depends on where you want to go with your blog. It comes down to that online presence thing. When I started blogging, I had no readers and knew of no other bloggers – except one. My writing style [unconsciously] has changed. The things I write about and how I write about them has also changed. It's all part of growing up. As you know, I want to write main stream, so for me, I have to be ready to write things that a few people (parents included) would be uncomfortable with.

    That said, I received your e-mail. Thanks girl!!!!!! Will get to it by weekend. Don't wanna give you a one line reply.

  27. I worry bout pple using my blog against me but i don't care and some who reads my blog would still not be able to know me.

    I blog about things on my mind at that very moment.

  28. When I first started blogging, I thought I was going to be talking about present happenings in my life but it just evolved into story-telling.

    I write about true stuff. Stuff that has happened to me in the past and how they affected me or lessons learned.

    I'm not anonymous and I don't really share a lot of personal stuff about my present life. I feel like doing so sometimes but I never really get around to it.

    I doubt that anyone could say they know me just by reading my blog.

    I have opened several other blogs where I wanted to focus on personal stuff or strictly fiction but they just never got off the ground. So I'm sticking to Enkay's in the meantime!

  29. I'm naturally a private person so there is an extent to which i can open up even on the blog….make things worse i have people that i know in my real world that read my blog…

  30. Thot provoking…so true…hmmm..why do I blog? I started blogging mainly becoz I wanted an outlet to vent! which meant I fall in the once-in a year-blog'' category. I definately favour anonymity but Im in the entertainment bizness where its all about being seen and being heard so what to do?…. Im coming out of my shell little by little…and its really not so bad!

  31. i dont even knwo where i fall in anymore..i have become so lazy with blogging.

    my purpose of blogging was/is to share inspirational stuff..i have sometimes shared some personal stuff to pass across my message…

  32. I tend to blog as the spirit moves me, so whatever I feel or want to talk about I do, just like I would if it was a journal. I try to have a no holds barred approach, because my fav bloggers are people who are open about their lives. It is through them, that I have been inspired, encouraged or at least know tha I am not alone in a situation. So my goal is to give someone esle that with my honesty, as well as just express my random thoughts.

  33. â–ºleggy

    When you say you "change" things…do you sort of fictionalize it? :)

    â–ºShannon

    Blogging is so widespread that it's really hard to find your own way of standing out. I'd like to think that being you is enough and it will be to the people who care to read about you. It's if you want to be widely read that one has to be more deliberate about their approach to blogging I think.

    â–ºpink satin

    I'm very surprised that anyone has discovered your blog because you are very private with regard to sharing information about yourself.

    â–ºCulturesoup

    I'm a draft reviser too! In fact I spend too much time editing my posts. I agree that it's hard to make a big change to your style if you have been blogging for a while but subtle tweaks of your style happen naturally as you get more comfortable blogging.

    Ah, so you avoid discussing some things on your blog because you think they'd make it easier to identify you?

    â–ºRosie

    "Wherever life takes you is where you are meant to be" sounds great, but what about those of us who are slackers? ;)

    â–ºAdaeze

    Oh it's great to see you! I know you're so busy so I'll definitely email you to check up on you. Looking forward to reading more blog entries from you as you get back your old routine.

    â–ºtiana

    Hi! Thanks for your comment. I know what you mean about not changing my voice, but I am sure there's a good balance out there.

    lol at you being a lazy blogger. Maybe as you share your gorgeous pictures you can give the reader a tidbit about you.

    â–ºYNC

    You are very dedicated to blogging, arguably one of the most prolific bloggers that I read. I don't even know how you have time to write so often. And you definitely have your own unique voice.

    â–ºMyne White

    Those of you who can weave fiction like that amaze me with your imaginations. I have to confess though that I have a hard time committing to fictional blogs because I feel like if I miss an entry or two, I won't be able to catch up. I do agree that we can benefit from different types of writing.

  34. â–ºHarry

    Not weird at all! I think it's great that you have a goal of teaching others through your blog.

    â–ºNefertiti

    It sounds like you're one of the beautifully complex members of blogville. The thought of meeting bloggers in person makes me want to ensure that the parts of me that I reveal on my blog are consistent with who I am. It's less complicated that way.

    â–ºdabizniz

    Oh, you're taking a route that not many take, but I think your reason for doing so are great. What's this new blog address?

    â–ºOnada

    Thanks girl! Congratulations again on your engagement, btw.

    lol I know what you mean about some parts not being as um, lovely in person as they are on the blog. Like I'm not always a thankful person, despite writing on it weekly. I try to be thankful and appreciative but hey, I'm not perfect at all!

    â–ºSugabelly

    Lovely to read from you! And I can totally see how some might think that. That's why I think it's so important for readers to realize that they can't get a perfect picture of all bloggers from their blogs. We are far more faceted than our blogs reveal.

    â–ºVera Ezimora

    I'd love to know why you decided to blog with your given name, yet you do maintain relative anonymity regarding what you look like. Maybe you're going to be the Nigerian dooce: her family wasn't happy to read about some of the things she wrote about, but mostly it was things written about them directly.

    â–ºRene

    I don't think I do as good a job of concealing my identity as you do.

    â–ºEnkay

    Well I like your blog the way it is so you're doing something very right (in my eyes anyway).

    â–ºschic

    When people we know in person read our blogs, it's hard to be as open as we want to. No doubt about it.

    â–ºwhatsgwan

    How could you not leave a link to your blog? I guess I'll have to email you to discover it! Perhaps you could have a blog for your business, and then still remain more private with your other blog.

    â–ºaloted

    You're an inspiration for sure, and I think the best inspirational writings are able to draw on personal experience like you do sometimes.

    â–ºogonna

    Aww, it's nice that one of your goals is to reach people like you've been reached.

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