Who Are You When You Blog?

We've been talking about blogging here lately -- mostly how to successfully earn from your own. And that's had me thinking about blogger personalities a bit. Let's talk about it.

Your Blogger Persona

You have two basic paths you can take when it comes to blogging. You can be real or you can be fake. Sure, you could fall somewhere in between, but for the most part either you're the same person on and off your blogs or you take the "behind a screen" status to let loose and be a bit out of character.

I don't think either is really "wrong" as a whole. I'm a fan of authenticity in blogging. The Jenn you see here is the same Jenn you'd see if we were out grabbing a cup of coffee. I have my very caring and supportive side, but I also have low bullshit tolerance. If you said something ignorant or did something incredibly stupid, I'd be just as likely to tell you to your face as I am to say something of that nature on any of my blogs.

The benefit of this is that I never have to change hats. I don't have to think about what is or isn't okay to say on one site or another. If it's my site, I'll just be me. I'm too lazy to try to be someone else. But that doesn't mean it's wrong.

Some people act like there's no good excuse to be a bit different in blogging. I say fooey on them -- they're just narrow-minded. First of all there's the branding element. Just as you put on a more professional face when you go into the office where the boss is watching, some people do so online. They want to associate only a certain part of their overall image with their professional one. I don't have a problem with that. Personal prejudices and other behaviors don't always have a place. If they want to share that, cool. If not, no prob.

When it comes to people who open up a bit more on blogs, I actually find it refreshing. I believe people should be willing to speak their mind, because if you're not willing to say it then your thoughts have very little merit in my opinion. If you won't back up yourself, why should anyone else care what you think?

If blogging increases the comfort level to help people come out of their shell, even if it's to rant about something or someone, I say more power to them. (And I'm a-ok with rants about people and not just issues -- to not go into the source of the problem or to attempt to sugarcoat while letting idiocies slip by unnoticed is disingenuous and misleading to your readers. If someone truly does something wrong, I'd be ashamed if any blogger I read wouldn't be willing to call them out when appropriate -- the appropriate timing and a legitimate reason are what matter.)

That said, if they're being nasty just to be nasty, they're not taking credit for their own words, and doing so isn't a part of some brand or character they're developing online (like the former Amanda Chapel character of Strumpette.com), then they're just acting like a little snot because they can and I probably won't waste my time reading them.

So where do you fall? Are you comfortable in your own skin when you blog, or do you feel pressure to be someone else? Are you afraid to really speak your mind because you're afraid people will judge you harshly (for the record, I've always spoken my mind and have gotten more clients for it; not less)? Who are you when you blog, and why do you choose to be that blogger?

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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4 thoughts on “Who Are You When You Blog?”

  1. I’m just basically myself when I blog, except the fact that I make clever jokes that I can’t really crack on the fly in real life. (Yet.) I have my limits on what I’ll say online, though. I don’t like to trash people who mean no harm-while that seems to be the trend where I usually roam on the Internet, I refrain from it whenever possible. (I’m not perfect in this area, naturally, but I do what I can.) Just because on the Internet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your manners where appropriate.

    But then again, that’s why God gave us the ability to block people. 🙂

  2. Jenn,

    I’m pretty much a WYSIWYG blogger: what you see is what you get. I blog for fun, and it wouldn’t be fun if I couldn’t be myself.

    Someone who blogs to make money may have valid reasons to take a different approach.

  3. I’m myself when I blog. Blogging just gives me the time to think things through before I say something, whereas in person I’d probably have more spontaneity.

  4. I’m definitely me…although that could be a liability, who knows. I think that your blog is like your home and just like people don’t generally tell me how to act in my home, they should shut the hell up about how I choose to run my blog. If you don’t like it, don’t read it–I probably don’t want you there anyway. Of course, I generally try to at least be careful with my language because clients might not like my use of certain profanities, but even that I do let drop occasionally.

    If you mix your blog with your portfolio (blogfolio) there is a different protocol you must observe because it is now part of your selling tool–but you can still be you, just cleaner more reasonable you. If your blog is just a blog–screw everyone, do what you want.

    As far as whether or not rants are helpful, I strongly believe that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. We all respond to lessons differently, there is a place for a rant as much as there is a place for gentleness. What there isn’t a place for is people who sit on the fence and talk out of both sides of their mouth. That generally isn’t helpful to anyone–but hell, it’s their house, I just won’t go there ;P


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