Photo Credit bs70

1415647513_629b3c8009.jpg

If you know me, you know I don’t mean she exposed herself, like “that”.

Search long enough though, and you will find some bloggers are literally exposing themselves to gain readership/viewer ship, but that’s not what today’s lesson is about.

Today’s Lesson

Have you ever read a blog, marveled at the content and design, and wanted to know more about the author?

You click on “About Me” and it says, “Hi, I’m a new blogger, and I will share what I know, blah, blah, blah……”.

That sounds like my first “About Me” page.

When we start blogging, we all ask ourselves, “Should I use my real name?”, “Should I say if I am gal or guy?” “Should I be mysterious?” “How much should I say about myself?”

These were questions I asked.

Then I looked at the big name blogs. They all gave their names. They all shared a little about their personal lives,. And, they all had a large following.

It was that transparency that I liked about those bloggers. They didn’t appear to be hiding anything. For me, they gained instant credibility.

That is what I wanted, so I rewrote my “About Me” page, and continue to work on developing a name for myself in the blogging community.

When I read other blogs, I want to know a little about the author. Share more about oneself, credibility increases, as does traffic. If an author doesn’t “expose” who they are, and/or share real like stories, I soon lose interest, and move on.

Often it’s our experiences that help us to create a great post, which in turn, lets our readers into our world.

Although it’s not necessary to reveal all about oneself and/or family, it appears, some transparency, leads to success.

Today’s Assignment

Do you use your real name in your blog?

Do you frequent blogs if the author remains mysterious?

Do you think a blog can become successful if the author does not expose themselves to their audience?

Is it time to write/rewrite your “About Me” page?

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Look Who's Talking
  1. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – This is a great title.

    About me pages are tricky aren’t they? I’m about to rewrite mine.

    In the beginning, I didn’t have one. Then I gave to much info away. Then I cut it down. And since then, I read that the about me should be more about the blog than actually about me.

    But, as you say, people do want to read a little bit about the actual person behind the blog and that is true.

    I don’t like anonymous blogs. For a start, if I leave a comment, I like to address the blogger by name and if I can’t find that name anywhere it makes it difficult.

    Unusual names are also confusing – especially when I’m unsure of the blogger’s sex. For example, I referred to Asako as a man in a link once, which was really embarrassing, as she was a woman. And I’ve also referred to Nez as a woman, when he is actually a man!

    Also, I hate it when other bloggers come to my blog and don’t leave a real name, but some silly generic name or their blog name, as it makes it so difficult to interact with them.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..11 Star Quality Customer Service Tips

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    I knew you would like this title. πŸ™‚

    I feel an about page can me anything you want it to be, but personnally, I like to know about the blogger and a little (or a lot) why they blog about their topic(s). I usually read about pages on blogs I visit, and if they don’t exist or say nothing, I wonder how credible the information is. By looking at the blog, it’s usually obvious what the blog is about, so I would rather read more about the author.

    Granted some could lie, but in the end, that could catch up with them.

    I normally won’t comment on a blog if the information doesn’t appear credible, or the author is being mysterious.

    And yes, user names can be confusing. Like you, I make assumptions and sometimes am wrong on their gender.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blogger Exposes Herself – Traffic Soars

  3. Barbara, I’m wondering what naughty keywords you had to search on to find that picture. πŸ™‚

    A blog can possibly be successful without the blogger exposing themselves, like the shoe blog written by someone who calls themselves “The Manolo.” However, I think it’s much better to expose a little.

    Different readers may have different preferences for how much personal information they want to know. (Can I see by a show of hands who wants to know what Barbara had for breakfast?) But using your real name is pretty basic. Wouldn’t it be fun introducing someone at a party as “SEO Services” because you don’t know their name?

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Free Ebook: The Zen Of Blogging

  4. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Do we all wear different hats? And when we’re in front a screen with a keyboard and mouse, how does that affect our behaviour?

    Would we say the same things to people face-to-face that we say with a few or even thousands of miles of cable separating us from the people receiving our message?

    I think we can all take on a complete different persona than in most forms of communication. I find email very dangerous for conveying an unintended tone of voice.

    I feel as though I can “act out” different roles with a blog as a barrier – I’m naturally quite shy and quiet.

    However with those I know, I use humour (humor sorry) quite a bit.

    I try wherever I can to switch off that tendency to project a corporate image in most things I do. But I don’t think it really captures who I am when I read back some of the blog posts I write.

    I’m trying to be a little more serious at times because I think that suits the tone of those who are struggling in business and need to find answers.

    But thinking about it, I’m probably wrong.

    In fact thnking about it – and I do this constantly with blogs! – I’ve probably got the tone wrong in the latest re-design.

    Arugably, people don’t want to be hearing that I’ve tasted success from a failure. That may seem completely out of reach. Maybe if they saw more of the struggle it would help them feel closer to the situation they are in?

    I’m my own biggest critic, so maybe a bit more self-deprecation and fun would be in order?

    Maybe not as risque as my last one on left-handed people. But then again, why not? Most people saw the joke and how ridiculous it was.

    But maybe people struggling in business or failing need to see a lighter tone and a bit more fun?

    In reality, I need to find out where struggling business people hand out online.

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..The Best Bloggers Are Left Handed

  5. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hunter,

    You’ll laugh at this one, I found that by searching “trench coat”. πŸ™‚

    We’ll wait for the votes to come in on what I had for breakfast, although on a personal type of blog, breakfast can become part the story for the day.

    I agree, the name tags at a blogging party could get quite interesting.

    Ian,

    As bloggers we can put on different hats, speak differently, and even appear more outgoing than we would be in person, however, the message is still ours. And since it’s our own blog, we can “act” however we want.

    Ironically, it’s often our loyal commenters who “speak out” if we get too far off track.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blogger Exposes Herself – Traffic Soars

  6. NezNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I’ll admit it. Nez is a pseudonym.

    I chose it because it’s an anagram of Zen. Zen Habits was one of my inspirations, plus I find a lot of Zen Buddhism philosophy fascinating, although I’ve yet to explore anything in real depth.

    I also decided on a pseudonym because I wish to preserve my privacy. And I was inspired by Ender’s Game, where the main character’s siblings created online personas that changed the world (I even posted on this idea as applied to political blogs – the Locke and Demosthenes post).

    I also noticed a lot of blogs’ comment template would have *name* Says, followed by the comment, and so that’s how I came up with the idea of NezSez — something easy to remember, easy to (hopefully) spell.

    Well, there ya go.

    Hope everyone will still come visit πŸ™‚

    Nez’s last blog post..Dungeons and Dragons in Real Life

  7. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Nez – I’m sorry I thought you were a girl. And I promise I’ll still drop by. Barbara realised you were a man.

    Please don’t take it personally – it’s a mistake I make quite often online.

    It’s a great way to choose a name though. And NezSez is easy to remember. I can even go to your blog without using a reader.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..11 Star Quality Customer Service Tips

  8. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Nez,

    In a effort to preserve your privacy, I do understand why you chose a pseudonym, and I respect that. With that being said, yours is not a blog I would put into the category of the “types” of blogs I spoke of in the post. Even before I named you as the NBOTW, I was impressed with the accuracy of the information you posted, so whether Nez was your real name, or not, was not an issue.

    I do like how you are sharing a glimpse into your personal life, i.e sharing discipline/childrearing tips.

    One question though, am I correct in assuming you are a male? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Have no fear, using a pseudonym. will not stop me from visiting your blog. I enjoy your posts too much to let that get in the way.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blogger Exposes Herself – Traffic Soars

  9. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    This is true Barbara. Nez sounds like a name and I think that makes a difference. I just thought it was short for something.

    It’s when they have totally stupid names that it becomes difficult to have a serious conversation.

    And I can understand people who are going to blog about work remaining anonymous too – especially if they’re actually doing the blogging at work.

    Also, you’d want to remain anonymous if you were blogging about particular subjects. I know someone mentioned in a Problogger guest post that one of the most popular blogs in the UK is written by a call girl. I haven’t read it, but I’m guessing you would want to hide your true identity if that sort of thing was your blog topic.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..11 Star Quality Customer Service Tips

  10. NezNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, I’m a guy — couldn’t you tell by my constant geeky references? πŸ˜‰

    Nez’s last blog post..Dungeons and Dragons in Real Life

  11. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    I believe you and I are on the same page.

    Hi Nez,

    Thank you for clarifying. We don’t want to make assumptions. πŸ™„

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blogger Exposes Herself – Traffic Soars

  12. Hi Barbara. I’ve been traveling and excited to finally catch up on my favorite blogs. Love the title & photo. I can’t even imagine the types of photos you found while searching for it..hee hee.

    I totally agree with your article. My favorite blogs are transparent so you can feel a personal connection to the author. I try to be transparent and share personal info. Next step is to come up with a more interesting About Me page.

    sterling | bizlift’s last blog post..Fishing With David Lynch: Creating Value From Nothing

  13. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sterling,

    I do have fun finding photos to match my content. Obviously, some aren’t appropriate for this “g” rated blog.

    I’ll be checking in on your blog ans see what you do with your about page.

    Even though I am getting ready to post my NBOTW, I’ll be following your blog via my feed reader. Hopefully your “reign” resulted in a few new visitors.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blogger Exposes Herself – Traffic Soars

  14. Do you use your real name in your blog? Well I don’t use my birth name the most, but I use a name that people call me. I don’t know if I even like my birth name. I have used it though, people know my name, first name and last because that’s the name of my website. My blog is an extension of ME, so I guess I do.

    Do you frequent blogs if the author remains mysterious? Yeah I will visit blogs if the author remains mysterious, as long as the information is valuable or useful to me, they can call themselves Buddah. I do understand that you have to be careful what you put on your blog or on the web in general because it can follow you forever. If you don’t blog for a living, then you might want to be careful at how you represent yourself and ask if what I’m doing is going to come back and bite me in the behind.

    Do you think a blog can become successful if the author does not expose themselves to their audience? Well sure, it depends on what you are writing about. I do look at about me pages, but I don’t need to know you too personally…a little blurb is fine and I get to know people through their writing. I like to draw my own picture and conclusion. I like to wonder sometimes instead of just having it put out there for me to read. It makes the “relationship” more interesting.

    Is it time to write/rewrite your β€œAbout Me” page? Nope, not gonna do it. My about me page on my website is revealing enough. I have a 5 things about me meme scheduled for tomorrow, stop by and learn 5 more things about me if you like. Keep up the great work Barbara!

    Natural Woman’s last blog post..The Results Are In!

  15. MyOpenWallet.net is about a 30 something blogger who writes under the name of Madam X and she has a huge following. I don’t think too many people care what her real name is. I doubt she will ever expose herself and that’s fine by me…her info. is read worthy.

    .02

    Natural Woman’s last blog post..The Results Are In!

  16. DebNo Gravatar says:

    I ‘m finally getting around to reading your post and responding. Yesterday was a NIGHTMARE Monday!

    I use my first name but not my last. I like to keep a little anonymity. But I share where I live, because I like know where people are. It helps me relate to what they are saying somehow. I keep my family’s names private because I don’t think it’s fair to them. I chose to start a blog, not them. Since my blog is a “mom blog” it’s kind of hard not to give personal information. That’s what it’s all about!

    I will read a blog that is anonymous, but being nosy, I’m always curious for more information. I think that as you become more popular the ability to remain anonymous becomes more difficult. I like to be approachable and have no problem sharing my e-mail address. I have shared information privately with some people through e-mail even if I don’t post it on my blog. I think that’s the big issue: Do you appear to be approachable? If not, I think others will get bored with you and move on. I know even some of my favorite blogs I am losing some interest in these days because they NEVER visit and say hi. I don’t expect a daily comment, but once in a while a “Hey, how are you doing?” is nice. Otherwise I get the feeling they are just too busy for me. I’m not exactly sitting around eating bon bons and I may decide to spend my time somewhere else.

    Deb’s last blog post..Peanut Revisited

  17. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural Woman

    Thank you for doing the assignment and sharing your answers. I enjoy hearing how others feel about these issues.

    That’s a great point about being careful how we represent ourselves in our blogs…and how it could come back later and bite us. Can you imagine if a future politician has a blog, and 10+ years from now, all that they wrote was published.

    I’ll come by tomorrow and check out your meme. Although I don’t participate in those, it is fun to read the answers of others.

    Madam X – that’s an interesting pen name. The name alone would make people curious.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Help For Life Issues From The NBOTW

  18. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Deb,

    Hopefully today is going better for you.

    Approachability is very important in a blog. I read some, and based on the “feel” of the blog, didn’t feel welcome, so won’t stick around.

    I like how you said you’re the one who started the blog, not your family, thus you don’t share their names. That’s a good point.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Help For Life Issues From The NBOTW

  19. Just this morning I was reading a story about a mayor whose relative posted pictures of her from 3 years ago on myspace for a fitness contest she was in. guess what? the mayor lost her job because one should not be shown in such a manner and still hold that position.

    it depends…many jobs now search the web to see what they can find out their prospective worker. many people blog to vent and say whatever because they are behind a computer. later when they grow up, this stuff may still be out there some where and it can cost you. i’m careful never to say anything i wouldn’t want my mother or child to read. i don’t even curse on my blog.

    Natural Woman’s last blog post..Five Little Bits Meme

  20. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural Woman,

    I just saw that story on the news.

    I would guess anyone who is running for public office is often “googled” and like the story, even if the information is old, it’s still “dug up”, and can be used against a person.

    I also agree, prospective employers may do the same thing. It’s one thing to have a glowing resume, but if research proves different, you can kiss that great job goodbye.

    Haha…I can see anyone reading this saying “Have I said anything online that could harm me? πŸ™‚

    P.S. I don’t swear on my blogs, and don’t allow it on my blogs either.
    The most I’ll allow is a few **** (bleeped) words.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blogging? Watch Your Language

  21. j2rNo Gravatar says:

    B,

    I’m proud of you! Your blog is really taking off!
    I remember when you were just starting πŸ™‚

    Hope you become one of the big names in the blogosphere someday!

    j2r’s last blog post..The new bubble – we caused this by being impatient

  22. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi J2r,

    Thank you for the compliment. It’s good to see you here again.

    If I ever become a big name, I’ll never forget my first supporters and commenters, you included. πŸ™‚

    Barbara’s last blog post..How Links Increase Visits And Earnings

  23. […] also wrote a post titled, “Blogger Exposes Herself, Traffic Soars”, where we discussed the necessity of letting fellow bloggers know a little more about ourselves, […]

  24. DavidyaNo Gravatar says:

    Great article – thanks. I have 2 blogs – one were I blog about tech and science, partly related to my work. I’m open on the About page there, even have a picture. I have another blog on spirituality and the nature of reality where I use a nickname and am much more careful about what I present. This is partly around career and partly zealots. I’ve not found skills in big thinking to be a selling point (laughs). The second gets more traffic.

    But its something I’ve been playing with, related so some good points you make. I’m aware the second is a side of myself I’ve kept more hidden – my alternate persona in real life too (laughs). And there has been an evolution of that shy side coming together with the overt side.

    Curious how such dynamics reflect in everything we do. Ah, but that discussions for a different blog…

    Davidyas last blog post..The Electric Sun

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Davidya,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    I just left your science/tech blog. I’ll be back later and dig a little deeper into your archives. It does look fascinating.

    I do find it interesting that you have two blogs but don’t reveal yourself on the second one, and it gets more traffic. Apparently it’s the subject matter? Or have you promoted that one more?

  26. DavidyaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    Thanks. On the tech blog theres lots of dry but useful stuff like Backups and Security. The popular stuff is things like aqua cars and 3D TV. (yep – HD is already on the way out. The way of all things.)

    Yes, the subject matter draws the traffic. The second is the one thats gotten the “recommended sites” links. I’ve done almost no promotion of either, only recently even adding my URLs in places like this. I have a drive to express but little to promote (laughs). Need to read your lessons. πŸ˜‰

    The other blog is quite different, if you like to do deep. Also ideas oriented but focused on the inner side.
    http://in2deep.wordpress.com/

    Davidyas last blog post..The Electric Sun

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi David,

    3D TV? Good thing we haven’t replaced all of the TVs with HDs

    You’re the first blogger who has “exposed themselves” as NOT caring (?) if you get found, and haven’t been using the “leave a comment link” so others can read your writings.

    I will check out your other blog too. I’ll be dropping a comment so you’ll know I was there. πŸ™‚

  28. DavidyaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    (laughs) I would not say I don’t care. I would just say that its just something I wanted to explore gradually, add to the toolbox when I knew how to use it. I guess there has also been the concept that its a proving ground, testing the waters to see what bites and prepare long term. I spent the second half of last year writing a book and saw it as related to that. I also had a couple of web sites since the mid-90’s and knew what was needed to promote them and didn’t want it to take over. I have a life (laughs) Blogs have turned out to be much easier to promote. And much more in line with my ‘style’.

    The 3D TV thing is pretty cool. And its in manufacturing so not a distant reality. Imagine your living room with multiple sets, creating an immersive reality. Oh right – thats called life. (laughs)

    Thanks for the feedback.

  29. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Davidya,

    Ah ha, a man of many talents. A book author too.

    We do have to remember we also have a life, but unfortunately, blogs can easily become addictive too. It’s a fine line we walk, hey?

    A living room with multiple TV sets? Yikes. I can’t imagine that, plus all of the cords, cables and plugins. Not to mention more screens to dust. πŸ™„

  30. I recently did a rewrite on my About Me page after a comment from a blogging friend who wanted me to use part of a comment that I had written on another person’s blog. She wanted me to explain that my personal stories were just a point of reference to who I was and where I came from more than who I am today. I rewrote my About Me page and also wrote an article to expand on the statement.

    I use a lot of personal stories about my childhood incest to show other survivors that they can do better and do more than just survive. I share my recovery to show others that you can always overcome the obstacles of your childhood, no matter how bad life was. We can all go beyond just surviving and actually thrive and learn to love life and love who you are and even learn to love your past because without it you wouldn’t be who you are today.

    Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworkers last blog post..I Feel Like A Woman

  31. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Patricia,

    That is so true, we wouldn’t be who we are today, if it wasn’t for out past. If we had different parents, or had taken a different fork in the road, we would be someplace totally different.

    I like that you’re sharing and helping others who are survivors of childhood incest. Who better to learn it from, than someone who has been there. I imagine your blog is helping many, and probably more than you’re even aware of.

    Kudos to you for taking your story public.

  32. Tom BNo Gravatar says:

    I also had those questions you were questioning.. and my decision was to use my real name too. The first blog i really felt attracted to was stevepavlina’s blog. And the secret was that Steve was very honest with his readers, sharing his personal life stories, his problems, concerns and stuff like that. So i fully agree with your article.

    Tom Bs last blog post..Plan #2

  33. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Tom B,

    Steve Pavlina is a great long time blogger to “emulate”. He has done so much to educate others on blogging and on life issues.

  34. ZenobiaNo Gravatar says:

    I am JUST now reading this blog and have been inspired to add my profile. “Better late than never”, they say πŸ™‚

    Zenobias last blog post..How Do You Love a Black Woman

  35. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Zenobia,

    It’s great to see you here again. It’s been a long time, and you’ve changed your blog. Or is that a new one?

    Don’t be a stranger. I missed hearing from you. πŸ™‚

  36. ZenobiaNo Gravatar says:

    I actually combined the two. I felt a bit confined with the other one and find myself expressing myself more often and more freely with this new one.

    I love your articles and will definitely visit often. πŸ™‚

    Zenobias last blog post..Money Matters Part 2

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi again Zenobia,

    I like your new site. I’ll change my feed so I can follow you. Thanks for letting me know.

  38. […] BloggingWithoutABlog: We think http://www.bloggingwithoutablog.com is written by a man (65%). Wrong again. Blogging Without A Blog, is written by Barbara Swafford. I thought it might get this one right. I mean, a man wouldn’t write, Blogger Exposes Herself – Traffic Soars […]

  39. LisaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. For me, it is very important that I connect with my readers. I don’t feel like I can do that if I don’t “expose” myself to them. My blog is very new and I’ve made some really good connections with quite of few people. I think one of the primary reasons is because people feel that they can relate to me.

    LisaΒ΄s last blog post..Raising Our Consciousness