Keeping The Personal From The Professional

imageI went to my first blogging conference at the weekend – Blog Camp UK 2015 – that was hosted by the team at Tots100. It was a last minute decision – I discovered the event after it was trending on Twitter at 8.30am, and by 10.00am I had signed up, downloaded a ticket, got myself ready and was standing outside The Studio in the centre of Birmingham.

It was a brilliant experience – there were lots of food, mummy and lifestyle bloggers from all over the UK, eager to participate in the different workshops that were available, from creating a travel blog, working with brands and vlogging, to metrics, monetizing food blogs and eating yourself happy.

One in particular caught my eye, and it turned out to be one of the most inspiring 45 minutes that I’ve experienced in a while. Presented by Becky Goddard-Hill (@babybudgeting) and Penny Alexander (@PennyAlexander_), two professional and award winning bloggers, they shared their knowledge on Pro Blogging, giving hints and tips on how to make a living from writing online.

I’ve started to have some minor success with this blog, and it has given me the confidence to want to take it to the next level, but there was one particular realisation that hit me during the conference.

I need to separate the personal from the professional.

My mother has always said (and forgive me for channelling my inner Forrest Gump here) that you should never tell anyone anything that you wouldn’t want the whole world knowing. Suzie81 Speaks began almost as an online journal, and over the last two years I have poured my inner most thoughts and anxieties into this little space of the internet, gaining confidence from the false sense of anonymity that a computer screen provides.

I am proud of what I have achieved. However, as the blog has grown I have experienced a number of occasions where the personal has clashed with the professional, and I have been left with feelings of anxiety at the realisation that real people, people within my own life, actually read my thoughts. It’s my own fault, having shared some of my posts on my personal Facebook page and told some of my family and friends about it, but I’ve been delighted by the support and response that I’ve had. However, there have been a few occasions where one of them has remarked about something that they have read, and I have found myself checking what I have written to ensure that it isn’t anything too embarrassing….

As 2015 is about taking the risk, (and I’ve taken so many already this year) I have decided to start a second blog. This doesn’t mean that Suzie81 Speaks is going to be neglected, indeed I am going to continue to write in the same way I always have and build up the already amazing connections, readership and community that I have. However, my second blog will focus more on my daily life experiences and adventures rather than my personal thoughts – food, trips, reviews… A second blog won’t take away the anxiety of people in my real life reading it, but I know that I will feel more comfortable by directing them to my professional blog instead!

There’s a whole world of possibilities out there and I’m excited to try them all!

What do you guys think? Do any of you have more than one blog? Do you have any advice?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

56 thoughts on “Keeping The Personal From The Professional

  1. I am only a hobby blogger, but I currently have three blogs! They serve different purposes. It is possible to drive traffic from one blog to another. In your case, Suzie, you’d possibly only consider one-way traffic. Sue

  2. I think it’s all about finding what works for you. I don’t tend to read ‘professional’ blogs as they can be lacking in the one thing that attracted me to read blogs in the first place – personality. It’s hard to find a balance without stripping away the very heart of a blog but I completely understand why you might be thinking about setting up a second blog. There’s a lot of sense in separating the two parts of your life but it’s just not something that I would personally consider. I’m glad you had a good time at Blog Camp though it sounds like you have come away with lots to think about which is only ever a good thing! Good luck with your new venture!

  3. First off, congrats on finding professional success with your blog. That makes me very happy. πŸ™‚

    As for personal vs professional, I write a lot of personal stuff on my blog, but I cloak a lot of it in the silliness and the various characters I’ve created. Sometimes, I’ll just come right out and discuss something personal, just to throw my readers a curve.

    Most of the time, though, my posts are very personal. It’s just a little harder to tell because I put a costume on the truth and add a laugh track. After all, aren’t we supposed to write what we know? πŸ™‚

    • Yeah I agree, and thanks Austin! I’m going to keep Suzie81 Speaks exactly the same and use it in the same way I always have, and hopefully it will continue to grow… I want to create another that has more of a professional feel to it and after realising the amount of work it would take to edit, update and chane things I came to the conclusion that starting another one would be a lot more simple, as I know what to do now. I hadn’t a clue when I started two years ago!

  4. I tried the two-blog thing a few years ago and found myself just wanting to share with everyone, not just a select few. I guess it just depends on what you want to do with the blog in the future; I see mine staying probably at the same size it is now with no changes. Taking it to the next level, I would probably also rethink certain things, but I am happy with not moving if that makes sense.

    • It certainly does make sense. I want to keep the personal blog because that was why I started bloggin in the first place and I love the community that is here – I don’t want to lose that. However, i’m also concerned that an online journal wouldn’t be suitable for the other areas that I want to branch out into which is why I was thinking about separating it into 2 blogs…

      How are you my lovely?

  5. I think it’s a great idea and just a natural progression. Most blogs that turn professional stop writing personal posts altogether and their blogging style completely changes – essentially leveraging thousands of their followers but maybe also disappointing them. Your readers have grown to love you because of your personal touch, so keeping it alive on this blog is the right thing to do. I’m looking forward to reading your second blog and will definitely follow you there, too πŸ™‚

    • That’s such a lovely thing to say – thank you! I really appreciate the support! I think it’s a little bit daunting to move into new areas – but if you don’t try, you don’t know!

  6. Best of luck with the new endeavor. More than one blog didn’t work for me… But that’s most likely due to a lack of discipline on my part. Even one blog doesn’t always work for me!

  7. I have 2 blogs. I have jillypopmusic that has all my posts about music and my personal stuff and one called Portfolio that is for showcasing my writing. I use my full name for Portfolio and hope to add more to that one. I have found that my music blog readers responded positively to my personal posts so I keep it the way it is. Good luck with your second blog!

  8. I know Gene’O at justgeneo.wordpress.com and sourcererblog.wordpress.com runs these two as well as contributes regularly to others. I secretly think he is possibly an alien that does not require sleep. I would need to have a specific plan to run two or more blogs. I would definitely want a content schedule for my “professional” blog and maybe for my personal blog. I have considered two blogs, but so far, I have not taken that plunge.

  9. Sounds like a brilliant idea. The only thing is that it will probably take up twice the time to do two blogs with different content. I will certainly have a look at the new one.

  10. I had two blogs and cut it down to one. It’s a lot of work. My blog is mostly my writing, but I do let personal come through every now and then. I don’t read too many professional blogs, in fact very few as I like the personal touch. Makes me realize there is a real person behind the blog, not just words on a screen. I keep my personal, truly personal to a minimum, but that’s more me than anything else.

    • Thanks Jackie! As this has been used as online therapy, I have found myself being far more personal than i originally intended because I needed to talk about something at the time. However, there have been a number of occasions where it has been used against me and I have almost regretted it later on…

  11. Over the past 6 1/2 decades, I’ve come to understand the value of dividing the personal from professional. Yet I’ve also come to understand that when you try to keep one separate from the other then people feel you have secrets they can hold over you.

    It’s a very delicate balance, one that I’m not very good at juggling.

    I have a blog specifically dedicated to my book. So far, it seems to be inhabited by crickets chirping in the empty night. But my main blog also has an ad on it for my book. That seems to gain more attention.

    Considering the fact that you have over 12K readers and I am approaching 4K, your instincts about it are probably a lot better than mine. I’m simply sharing my humble “insights.”.

    • I’ve learnt some valuable lessons from not keeping my own counsel too. What’s the link to your book blog? Thanks my lovely, although it always makes me question the validity of a blog just based on the numbers. I follow blogs that have lots of different numbers of readers and they’re all fab, yours included!

      • Thanks for reading my blog.

        The web page with 4 free chapters is athttp://www.attorun.com/atto-run-free-chapters/ and you only have to click on the large book cover to the right to find the link to it on Amazon. Thanks for asking. πŸ™‚

  12. Your followers are here because of your unique voice and personality.
    This is not the same as sharing all your personal life. You don’t need to.
    To me, it’s more about being authentic, being yourself.

    To be professional…what do you mean with that? It can be misinterpreted as it also carries the image of adopting a more sterile and marketed voice.

    Both can work but you need to decide how you want to be known.
    You may get totally different set of followers.
    Cheers!

  13. Go for it. When I first started blogging and I read about people having two blogs I thought they were mad. Then after developing my first blog I self-realised I should have a second blog for all my music stuff so I went ahead and done it. It was a great decsion and I feel like although the music one is not a job, it is more than a hobby – a jobby one might call it πŸ™‚ As for losing personality on a more “niche” blog, I don’t agree with that. I’m random and “awesome” on Steve Says and I am still random and awesome on Now… but it’s directed to towards one specific area. I occasionally reblog posts either way if I feel they are relevant to do so. Some people followed me from Steve Says to Now and some didn’t and that’s fine – horses for courses and music for shmusic. Some people found me on Now… and for some crazy reason came to me at Steve Says too. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer and you won’t know until you try, go with your gut and risk it…for a biscuit! I also at one point had a slight wobble with the new blog that I had, had, had to post certain posts at certain times which was about to lead me down the “this is a chore” route so I made myself remember that blogging is a pleasure and no one was going to die (or even notice) if I didn’t post at the same time every single day.

    Wow, this is quite possibly the giganticisit comment I’ve ever written – hope it helps and makes sense. If it does then please feel free to tell me what the hell I’m talking about too lol πŸ™‚

  14. I have only one blog. I write with a goal of spreading ideas and lessons using personal observations as a template. I’m here to tell stories of my life, not my life story. I avoid releasing personal information that can be traced directly back to me.

    A separate blog for personal matters is of course a personal decision, but if you are going to “go there,” what will you do that you can’t already do on Facebook?

    • Thanks for the advice Chris, that’s really useful! I think the main issue is being able to separate the personal stories, which I often do, from the more professional side of things. I use this blog as therapy, but don’t want potential sponsors to be out off by the content…

  15. Echoing the sentiments above (especially Phil Taylor).
    It’s YOUR blog, so you can do what YOU want. I wish I had the energy/intiative/stick to it-iveness to blog as much as you do. I don’t, which is why I instead compulsively read the fantastic blogs of others.

    • Thanks so much my lovely! I’m going t keep this one the same, but start another one on a more professional basis. Hopefully, I’ll keep my voice in there, just different content…

  16. Hi Suzie, as usual, you have ignited a firestorm of discussion πŸ™‚ I agree with many of the comments, that you are a brand and that your personal insights make your blog what it is. Instead of having a second blog, why not share the blog posts with a separate Facebook page dedicated to just your blog? (maybe you are already doing this). I have a separate FB page where my posts are shared. If I want to share with all of my facebook, I’ll make a separate post. I also don’t share my blog on LinkedIn anymore for similar reasons. If you have time to manage two separate blogs, then more power to you. Just make sure you let us know so we can follow it too πŸ™‚

    • I do have separate social media accounts but some of my friends follow them, which is my fault because I told the, about it haha! Not that I’m complaining – they’ve been very supportive, but it means that I have to think about my content a little more…

  17. Hi Suzie, I got 2 blogs. I decided to use theDesignBender as my professional name and then it became a bit hard to blog about some other things on that platform. So I decided to open another blog just to blog about anything personal πŸ™‚ with my name not linked to Linkedin! and I decide what to share on Facebook Page! Go for it! It’s a wise wise choice!

  18. I currently have 2 blogs: The Adventures of L plate Gran, which is a mini-blog posted every Rues and syndicated on a lot of senior sites, and the main blog, posted Sat. This is a mishmash..I do have personal stuff..esp local politics, but also writing dilemmas and of course guests. I wouldn’t want a second blog, as they are very much linked to who I am on social media and showcase my writing and my books. I know a lot of people have more than one blog, and more than one Facebook page. TBH life id too short. And I am too forgetfull…reason why I don’t use a pseudunym to write nder. I’d never remember who I was!

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