How Much Personal Is Just Right?

Summer of the Blog

Last week I wrote about different kinds of craft blog content, but a lot of craft blogs feature more than just crafty stuff and that sort of content tends to be more personal. When it comes to Untangling Knots, I don’t talk about my life very frequently. Aside from the fact that my existence is generally mundane, my problems and opinions that aren’t craft related don’t feel like they fit here. Sometimes I worry that by leaving out the personal stuff, my blog makes me come off as something that I’m not. I was brought up thinking that the internet (a) the internet is for everyone and anyone can read what I write publicly, (b) the internet is forever, and (c) it’s rude to put other people on the internet if they don’t want to be there. That makes me careful about what I write and who I include in pictures, but I find that it’s easier to just not write about stuff than deal with figuring out where things cross the line.

This leads me to ask how much personal is just right for you? How do you figure out where the line is for your own blog?





19 responses to “How Much Personal Is Just Right?”

  1. I try not to add photos of friends unless I ask first. No photos of children. But my blog is fairly personal. I set out to blog about my life post cancer which is a personal topic. I try not to delve into politics though I love reading about historical political moments so I might start blogging about that. I feel like that’s OK since it’s stuff that happened over 100 years ago, there’s not that much of a chance to offend someone.

  2. It’s something I am very aware of. I do blog about my personal life but I am extremely careful about what I put out there. In order to keep my husband’s professional life seperate from my personal blog I never use his name. My kiddo’s name is on my blog, but I never put up more than a few details about him and the adventures we have together. If I put anything up that is more personal than normal I always filter it through my husband before posting – I feel more comfortable knowing that he’s comfortable with what I’m putting up about our lives.

    1. Having someone look things over is a great idea.

  3. I realized as of late my blog has become more personal in that events and happenings are blogged more frequently. It has to do with an iPhone making it so easy to share photos (before I relied solely on my DSLR which I didn’t always lug around) and not doing any bloggable crafting at the moment. But even with those posts I don’t share anything *that* personal. Some members of my family make an appearance on my blog but only if they’ve given me permission. The periods where it’s just a succession of life posts are my least favorite and I’m trying to phase them out. They might make me more relatable but I feel like an idiot. I also feel like it gives people an inaccurate idea of my life, like they forget the blog is only a small, small part. They see one beach day and think it’s all like that.

    1. Exactly! It’s hard to share little bits and avoid making that seem like that’s all there is.

  4. Such a great question! I also started my blog to post only about projects, but I find that I love doing the little personal updates from time to time. I think it’s such a rare opportunity to connect with people, why NOT show them who you really are? So lately I’ve been doing 3 or 4 posts a week, with one of them being personal.

    That said – I don’t have children, I’m in a committed relationship, and my friends LOVE being on my blog (someone recently featured said, “I’m on a blog! I’m famous!”). If I had children, I’d be much more reticent. Also I try to not whine or get overly emotional. I learned my lesson about posting sad poetry online in college! Good thing Livejournal has a “private” setting!

    1. Haha! I’m so thankful that my early blogging was on a private LiveJournal. I like to go laugh at it once in awhile, but I’m thankful for the private setting.

  5. I use nicknames for my kids, hubby and family. I use pics of my kids if the post pertains to them; hubby’s on rarely. I blur or put “stickers” over faces (usually children) or crop people out when possible. While my blog is mostly about knitting, I have written about my pregnancy loscartwright twins pregnancy and diabetes.

  6. It’s a great question Andi. Of course, everyone ultimately needs to make this decision for themselves. I think your approach makes sense.

    I am online basically all of the time in so many formats, which is a good and a bad thing. Because so much of me is online anyway, I don’t have much issue sharing personal information. But I limit the extent to which I share and the topics I share on because I know that anyone could be reading that information at any time.

    For me, it’s been useful to maintain a personal blog as well as a craft blog and a separate professional blog. I don’t promote my personal blog much. It’s just an outlet for me. I don’t put things in there that I don’t want the world to know, of course, but I feel freer to share there than to blur those lines by putting the info on my craft or professional blogs.

    Like Katie said, above, I don’t have kids. And I’m actually single, too. So my life is purely mine. I rarely include images of friends and only once in awhile post photos of family in a context I’d know they’re okay with. It’s a tough call sometimes for sure.

  7. It can be hard to know just where the line is, and how not to cross it.. for me, my blog is semi personal. Mostly it’s just about baking/craft/diy, but I find that a small personal element makes it more.. well, personable! But I think it comes down to the information you’re willing to share. I don’t share my exact location, never share information/photos about friends or family members, and I never share my personal problems, as I think there’s always a time and place for that, and a public blog (or any public place) is not the place for them.

    However, like I said, I think it should come down to what the individual blogger is comfortable with. I don’t think lack of personal information detracts from a blog. Unless, of course, you have absolutely no idea who’s behind the blog posts, but I think you’ve shared just enough that you can create a good presence.

    Sorry for the long comment! xo.

    1. Don’t apologize for long comments! I genuinely like reading what you guys have to say.

  8. Ever since I started blogging, I’ve had a hard time deciding how much and what kind of personal content to include. I often write a whole paragraph within the context of a blog post and then delete it because it feels too personal. The one thing that I have become a lot more comfortable talking about is my relationship with my body and the clothes that I wear because I’m in fashion school and I have to think about it pretty much every day. My general rule is that if someone I knew would be hurt or embarrassed by something I wrote, or if I wasn’t comfortable sharing the content with a casual acquaintance, it’s not appropriate to post. I will say, though, that I enjoy it when bloggers share a little bit of their personal life or feelings on their blogs – it’s comforting to know that even people with gorgeous pictures and seemingly endless amounts of crafty energy have off days too.

    As far as other people’s pictures and names go, I use a nickname for my fiance and several of my friends, try to only use my friends’ real names if they also use their names online in a public way, and ask permission about photos of others before posting. I really value my privacy, and I try to respect that of others as well. I expect that I’ll have a mini-crisis about privacy if I’m still blogging when I have kids, but at the moment it’s not an issue.

    Thanks for a great question – this seems to be issue that lots of bloggers wrestle with!

  9. I try to limit the personal stuff because I don’t really like reading it on other people’s blogs. I refer to people in my life that I’m crocheting/knitting for and sometimes share pictures of them with finished objects (with their permission). I mention the existence of my job and talk vaguely about times when I have a lot going on at work. I try to use initials for the names of people I know in real life, unless they are also out in public as bloggers. In that case, I tend to link up to them. I agree with you – many people don’t want their information shared online and I’d rather avoid it than constantly worry about crossing the line. I’m always amazed that people blog about their family using real names and pictures. I guess I’m just paranoid about safety since I’m a native NYer.

  10. I completely agree with you on the posting about other people. I am very cautious about doing that because I know it drives me nuts when I see myself on people’s blogs or Facebook and I didn’t know beforehand that it was going to be there. A person’s image is their own to share as they see fit, right? I’m especially careful about my kid’s image.
    That being said, I do tend to get very personal on my blog on occasion. I have a bit of a WTF attitude there. My blog is a creative outlet so if I feel it, I write it. It’s evolved over time.
    You should only post how you feel you should. Whatever you’re doing, it’s obviously working. Your blog has great aesthetic appeal and awesome craft content. One of my favourites.

  11. I have the same feelings about the information I share. There are times I start writing a post to get some feelings out, and I usually end up deleting. It might feel good for a few minutes, but I know it could have consequences to post something like that. Plus, I like to keep the blog happy. On the other hand, little tidbits are good!

  12. Oh I feel just the same – actually that’s why I’ve created a knitting blog to be just about knitting – and I have an other blog about my city Copenhagen and things I like and do. But in general I like to be personal for example use pictures of me when I’ve made something for me but not private like talking about details of the birth of my son or complaining about things. I like to be positive when I’m online as I never know who reads it – don’t want a possible employer to think I’m a complaining person.

  13. I really do agree with what you say. My blog is really only for me to talk about crafting. My family are mentioned occasionally but they are nameless and will remain so. They only tend to creep into the pages when I’ve made something for them. You have to consider that what you put on the internet will remain there forever. Saying that some people do seem to like to use their blog as a diary for their daily life.

  14. I have the same reservations as you and many of the commenters. However, what I’ve found is that when I post something less topic specific and more personal, I get an amazing response from people who visit the blog. It’s almost as though they’re relieved to find that I’m human. Makes me think that sometimes it’s good to let your guard down a bit.

  15. I loved reading these comments. It is interesting to ponder what I am drawn to, but three of my daily blog reads really let you into their struggles and I am moved and mull over what I have read at points in the day. I agree with hasenschneck’s experience. When I do a stream of consciousness post or something that gives the reader a real view into my life at the moment, I get many more comments, favorable comments. Weird but true. It is hard for me to write those types of posts often, I don’t want to bore readers with TMI too often.

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