photo of modern desk with laptopBloggers are very proud of what they post.

Being a published author makes their heart sing.

Bloggers travel through blogosphere, leave comments, tell their cyber-friends about their latest article, Tweet their work, link to it on Facebook, ask for Stumbles and love when others pay them a visit.

When comments are left on their posts, they feel validated.

However, most of those who leave comments are technically strangers.

Today’s Lesson

I’ve lost count of how often I’ve seen comments or posts stating “my real life friends don’t read my blog and/or comment”.

In fact, Robin of Let’s Live Forever just stated that in her comment on the Write Responsibly Right From The Start post.

PS – I’m jealous that Vered had a few close friends reading her blog in the beginning :=)

This appears to be a recurring concern for bloggers. They have found a hobby they’ve come to love, but their real life friends and family don’t “get it”.

Those in their real life show no interest in reading their writings nor do they want to hear about their blogging milestones.

Although some friends and family may show an interest in the beginning, even that quickly wanes.

Short of begging to get our friends to read our work, what other methods can we use?

One thing that worked for me was to have my husband proof read an article I wrote for my (rarely updated) “green” blog. I had written a post that described how we recycled waste wood products, and because I didn’t want to publish incorrect information, I asked him to verify what I written.

Ironically, when he saw the article published online, he began to “get it”.

The fact our offline friends don’t seem to care about our online work is hurtful for some.

So what’s a blogger to do?

Today’s Assignment

Do your real life friends/family read your blog?

Do you care, if they do, one way or the other?

Do you have any suggestions others can use to engage their real life friends to show an interest in their blogging endeavors?

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Only one of my real life friends reads my blog regularly. Others know and they read once in awhile. It bothers me a little. So I mention it from time to time and link it from my facebook page.
    .-= Check out Jacqueline Hough´s awesome post: It made me think =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jacqueline,

      That’s a great idea. With so many of our friends not understanding the concept of blogging, but being on Facebook, linking to your posts there is a great way to showcase what your work.

  2. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    My real-life friends don’t seem to read my blog (or they don’t leave comments, at least). I know my sister reads my blog. However, my friends are more likely to read it if it was imported into my Facebook profile. I guess my friends pay more attention to Facebook than blogs.
    .-= Check out Kelvin Kao´s awesome post: TV Puppetry Workshop: Week 3 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      That’s what Jacqueline (see above comment) mentioned too – that her friends spend more time on Facebook. Facebook appears to be a great place for our non blogging friends to see our work.

  3. KathyNo Gravatar says:

    Both of my sisters read me, but my brother does not. My dad reads me and literally reads it to my mother, who hasn’t ever touched a computer in her life. Some friends and coworkers read me, but my best friend of 40 years doesn’t. She’s a busy mom and never really got caught up in the online/blog wave.

    I felt awkward in the beginning (and sometimes even now, two years later) talking to friends about the blog. I feel like I’m selling it to them. I’d rather they find out accidentally or in passing from someone else. Then they can hopefully be pleasantly surprised and happy to read it on their own. I hate shoving it down people’s throats. Feels better when they find it organically.
    .-= Check out Kathy´s awesome post: What’s That Wednesday =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kathy,

      I love your story of how your dad reads your posts to your mother. That’s sweet.

      Your comment made me wonder why we do feel that way – like we’re trying to push our blogs on others if we talk about them, when in fact, it’s no different than talking about our other hobbies.

      Another point in your comment reminded me of a story I want to share.

      My best friend who lives in the Midwest called me one day, all excited. She was talking so fast I couldn’t understand what she was saying. Finally, I could make out, “I found your blog”. She went on to tell me that she was searching for something online and her search took her to my Observation Mountain blog. She said she stared at it saying to herself, “I think this is Barb’s blog”. When she clicked on the about me page, that confirmed it. She said she was SO excited, she just had to call me. I’m happy she did.

  4. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    I find it is no different from anything else in life. If you do not drive what you want to have happen, the business of life takes over and people get overwhelmed by all what is on offer and nothing happens.
    If I want friends to make time for me, I need to let them know and make it easy for them to come. I must say a date and time and what they are coming for, then it is likely they find time and come.
    I think it is the same with a blog, if I want my family and friends to read it, I need to invite them.
    If I do not want them to see it, I do not invite them.
    That is how I have stopped my being in a muddle about this as I too have been wondering about visits from friends and family.
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: When the heart guides the mind, the dance can begin. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wilma,

      You’re right. Inviting our friends to read our blog is the first step. Whether that be via a phone call, email, Facebook or another means, supplying them with the URL will give them a chance to see what we do online.

      And you’re also right about not extending an invite if we prefer they don’t see our work.

  5. JeanneNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, I’ve let all my friends/family know where to find me online. I’ve gotten mixed responses. Some are too much into other stuff and not into reading blogs. Some read, but don’t feel comfy commenting — I think they’re the ones not into online interation, but they’ll pass me on to others, go figure! And some friends, computer savvy, will read and occasionally comment.

    Just doesn’t bother me at all. Everyone’s doing their own thing, what can I say? I guess if it did bother me, I’d make a greater effort to get into what their passions are, in hopes they’d reciprocate. But, is that genuine? Or is it an ‘I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine”?
    .-= Check out Jeanne´s awesome post: My Next Adventure Begins NOW =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jeanne,

      Mixed responses is quite typical. Like you said, some are not computer savvy, nor do they want to leave a comment.

      Yes. Everyone does their own thing, and as bloggers I think we find we’re comfortable communicating with our online friends as they truly “get it”.

      P.S. With regard to friends who are skeptical about leaving comments. I have one friend who wanted to comment, but she didn’t want to use her name online. I explained to her she could just make up a name. That’s what she did and proceeded to comment on a couple of my posts on my other blog.

  6. KeithNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    You know, I hadn’t thought much on this until now and now that you mention it, I don’t have many close friends who read my writings. I’m okay with that if that’s what they wish, but they are aware of my blog to be sure! I speak of the things I write about often and sometimes they’ll go and read stuff. I have a co-worker or two who read as well. I work hard to be certain I’m not at all pushy about my blog but at the same time I keep it fresh in people’s minds. 🙂

    Thanks for the thought provoking article Barbara!
    .-= Check out Keith´s awesome post: Joy In The Journey =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Keith,

      It sounds like you’ve found the perfect way to share your work, but yet not be pushy about it. Not only do your friends and coworkers get to see what you do online, but they can learn from your posts, as well.

  7. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. Very few of my friends read my blog. Some have asked for the link to it but then weeks go by and they eventually ask me how my blog is — with a guilty look on their face — because they haven’t been reading it. They make an excuse. I don’t push it and I don’t worry about whether they do read it anymore. I’d rather they not feel obligated to read my blog just because we’re friends. The only way I think people get it truthfully, is if they start a blog of their own.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Alluring Pathways Through Thyme =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      You’ve hit the nail on the head. To “get it”, you need to blog.

      One way of giving your friends the link to your blog without seeming pushy is to include it in your signature for emails. That way, if they want to click on it, they can, if not, or well…..

  8. I used to have this issue, but more and more, real-life friends are finding my blog posts when I repost them on facebook, and they love them! Some of my posts actually help create lively discussions when we are invited to, or host, dinner parties.
    .-= Check out vered – blogger for hire´s awesome post: A Warning Label for Retouched Photos =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      That’s another vote for Facebook. And I can see how they would love your blogs. I’m guessing some of your dinner parties can get mighty interesting if you’re discussing your blog posts, as you always come up with great debatable articles.

  9. My family and friends know about my blog. Some read it and some don’t. I have mixed feelings about them reading it. Sometimes I wish I was completely anonymous and other times I’m so glad that people I know are reading what I’m writing. I feel like — whether your family/friends read the blog or not — who reads (or doesn’t read) your site can have a big impact on the way you write.
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: get happier (.com)! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dani,

      You’ve raised a good point when you said, “Sometimes I wish I was completely anonymous…”. Some bloggers may prefer to stay anonymous because they don’t want their friends and family reading their work.

      And yes, knowing our family/friends are reading our blogs can affect how we write.

  10. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I know one friend reads my blog and sometimes she comments. I think my older sister reads it, but the rest of my family doesn’t. My husband actually doesn’t read it because it is my creative release and it makes it easier for me to write what I want. It’s hard to explain, but I actually prefer it this way. Once in a while there’s something I want him to read and he will but otherwise I guess it’s kind of like not reading my mail without my permission. I figure my real friends know what’s going on in my life because I talk to them so why do they need to read the blog.
    .-= Check out Debbie Yost´s awesome post: Birthday Snacks =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Debbie,

      You know, as I was writing this post, I didn’t think how a mommy blogger may see this issue different. With you having your hands full with kids, meals, etc, your blog does become your creative release – your chance to vent and to have “your” time.

      And you’re right. If your friends know what’s going on in your life, and know you write about it, there would be no reason for them to read about it, too.

  11. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    My wife reads almost everything I write. My parents read some. A few others may dabble at it. And otherwise, not much…

    And I’m okay with it. I just accept that this might not be their thing. While I like more readers, I also don’t want to feel like I’m forcing my work on anyone.
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: If It Matters, Choose to Show Up =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance,

      I think that’s great your wife is your biggest supporter, and I’m guessing she is very proud of the presence you’ve created for yourself in blogosphere.

      And that’s true, we don’t want to force our work on anyone, but with it being such a big part of our lives, sometimes it’s difficult to stay silent.

  12. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    On my eight month of blogging, my family finally discovered why I hole up in my room every night. Other than this, I’ve no way of knowing if they read me or not. And it’s okay with me.

    My first name is different from my online identity. A niece once surprised me when she called me by my online identity. Was that a clue? I did not press her. Maybe she did.

    I’ve become great friends with some of my online buddies. Finally met them in blog meet ups. That’s a great equalizer, knowing real people read me.

    In balance, however, I find sustenance even in “strangers” who just happen to drop by initially but become regulars. That’s a great thing to have. And I try to work on this tenuous relationship with one “stranger” at a time.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: Surefire – But Often Ignored – Trick to Superb Writing =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      I’m betting your niece has read and maybe still reads your blog. And your family members may, too.

      That’s great you got to meet other bloggers in the real world. It puts a face on a name and cements a relationship that had it’s origins online.

      Even though our blogging buddies are technically strangers, over time they become friends we never forget.

  13. Pretty much none of my family or close friends suffers from Someday Syndrome, so I don’t mind at all that they don’t read the blog. Everyone has to make choices about their actions and priorities and reading just to make me happy is not a good use of dwindling time resources.
    .-= Check out Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s awesome post: What Carries You Through The Tough Times? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alex,

      That’s great your family and friends don’t need your “services”. Instead of saying “someday”, they’re living it, and you’re teaching it. That’s pretty cool.

  14. CarlaNo Gravatar says:

    That’s a very good question!

    Actually only one IRL (in real life) friend reads my personal (not Green and Chic) blog on a regular basis. That is only because I send him the links. He doesn’t know what an RSS is or even how to subscribe, so he asks me to send him updates via email.

    Other than this person, no one in my life reads my blog.
    .-= Check out Carla´s awesome post: Green and Chic Reader Survey =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Carla,

      I like how your friend wants to keep up with your blog and you send him email updates. That’s a great way to stay connected and for him to follow your work.

  15. Hi Barbara!
    You chose another great topic. Funny enough, my in-laws are my biggest followers! They are very supportive and even my father-in-law talks about it with the women at his office. My own parents were proud in the beginning but now never bring it up so I assume they no longer read it??? I have a few friends who read my blog and that makes me happy but if they didn’t, it would be okay. I know people get busy and if reading blogs isn’t what someone is “in” to, I’m okay with that. My husband’s support is the most crucial. He’s on board with all this and he gets the work that is involved, the blogging friends I’ve made and how important all this is to me.
    .-= Check out Jodi at Joy Discovered´s awesome post: Expressing Thanks =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jodi,

      Your inlaws are probably very proud of their daughter-in-law and the articles you share online. How sweet that your father-in-law shares your work with the gals at his workplace.

      That’s great your husband understands the joy, work and benefits you receive from blogging. Having support like that makes all the difference in the world.

  16. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    ha ha Barbara – I was indeed JEALOUS! I did actually conscript a few friends to write comments after a few posts – but they wrote weird things, so I gave that up quickly. These days a few people I know outside mention my blog to me now and then – they say they like it, but they never comment – it’s too daunting, I suppose, to a non-blogger. Thanks for the mention!
    .-= Check out Robin´s awesome post: When Someone Close To Us Is Struggling =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Robin,

      That’s true. To comment on our posts could seem daunting to the non blogger. If you friends were leaving weird comments, you must have felt no comments were better than that.

  17. JMNo Gravatar says:

    Honestly, I tend to forget that anyone reads my blog. I post for my own pleasure and get a bit of a wake-up call when someone I know comments. That’s not to say that I’m not aware that my husband and some friends read my blog… I just forget about that when I’m posting. I don’t much care.
    .-= Check out JM´s awesome post: The One Where I Confess My Secret Desire… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi JM,

      Comments can be a wake up call when we’re not expecting them. But when our blogs are public, we never know who might show up.

  18. judyNo Gravatar says:

    My entire family (not husband and child, the family I grew up with) has completely different values than I when it comes to politics. Unfortunately, they read my blog and they tend to approach each post that is even remotely political as a personal attack. (the song, “you’re so vain” goes through my head at this point). I’ve actually considered starting a new blog and facebook page under an alias so I can be myself.

    My husband reads my blog regularly. He is very supportive, but doesn’t comment on the blog.
    .-= Check out judy´s awesome post: Dear Gem – Month 6 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Judy,

      I can understand why you would consider starting a new blog and Facebook page and use an alias. When family members take our words as a personal attack, it’s hard to be ourselves and write from the heart knowing we always have to be on the defensive. That would take the joy out of blogging.

  19. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I have three real life friends and/or family members (that I know of) who read my blog on a regular basis. Some of them never leave a comment but will send me an email or pick up the phone and call me about something I have posed.

    However, it does seem that the vast majority of people I know, don’t seem to interested in reading my blog. Fortunately, I do have readers, subscribers, and I get comments so it doesn’t really bother me.
    .-= Check out Chase March´s awesome post: Went Downtown in the Rain 9:30 on a Tuesday night* =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      That’s always a nice compliment when friends or family remark on what we post. It shows they’re taking an interest in what we’re writing about.

      When we know our blogging buddies are reading, commenting and subscribing, that’s what seems to give us the most validation as they’re the ones who can empathize with us and our blogging milestones and/or struggles.

  20. Some do, some don’t! I always mention my blog to friends but some really aren’t interested. I suppose not everyone will be. But many friends have supported me in it, leaving comments and encouraging me. I will remain friends with all of them! I think if you don’t do it then you don’t get it and can’t understand it.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Annabel,

      I agree. Some of our friends will never be interested in our blogs. Some, because they have no interest in the topic, some because they’re not computer savvy, and some just don’t have time. You’re fortunate to have friends who support your blogging endeavors, as many bloggers don’t.

  21. Hello Barbara,
    I have a few friends who read my blog and one daughter. It bugged me in the beginning but then I let it go.

    The really weird thing is I published my book in 2003 and many friends and clients bought it, still buy it and never read it. Now that I think is weird! One friend said they buy it just because they get excited they know an author. But hey I’m too happy to care what others do.

    I think some just aren’t readers and others just aren’t interested. I think if we really wanted to know the answer we’d all be polling our friends and family and come back together and share!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      That is odd you have people buying your book and not reading it – just so they can say they know an author. But like you said, you’re too happy to care why, as long as they keep buying it.

      That’s a great idea – to poll our friends and ask them why. For myself, I do know some of my friends and family have no interest in the topic of blogging and/or aren’t computer savvy. Those who do read my work, read my Observation Mountain blog as the non-niche topics are of more interest to them.

  22. Hi Barbara – We have friends who read our blog regularly – one darling has us as her home page. We have friends and family who read us from time to time. And we have friends and family who only read when reminded or not at all. I am gratified when they enjoy and appreciate.

    I believe I was able to comfort my friend when her son died and we wrote about it in a couple of posts. I also know my family enjoyed the stories about my dad, family history and the garden. My 80 year old uncle said about the story of his life, “Girl, that was really something.” LOL don’t you love that? Another of my friends said she was intimidated by our posts. When I asked why, she responded that she couldn’t believe we thought about so many different things. Well, allrighty then! Where do you go with that?

    Like others, we’ve found that Facebook updates/networked blogs are great in getting the word out that there is a new post – for those who are active on FB. Sometimes I’ll send an email around after I’ve done a post that I think the extended family will enjoy, but I haven’t done that too often. God forbid we seem too “needy.” 😀

    In business, our friends and family are not necessarily going to be our customers. If our blogs are more personal in nature, we’re going to have to accept the possibility that they’re “just not that into us.” In that case, if it really bothers us, living well – meaning, doing our best writing, growing our readership and even making money off our blogs – is the best revenge.

    I know that I could do a better job of supporting more bloggers that I enjoy with comments and follows, so I am going to strive for that. What goes around comes around, doesn’t it? Thanks.
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: POETRY FROM OUR SPAM FOLDER =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Betsy,

      Oh, I love what your uncle said. That had to have made your day.

      From your comment it sounds like you’ve “polled” some of your friends and family. It’s interesting to hear what others think about us publishing our thoughts online.

      I remember the posts you did about your friend’s son who died. The posts and the comments undoubtedly had an impact on her, and hopefully eased her pain, and probably helped some of your readers, as well.

  23. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! My husband reads my blog and has been so encouraging all along – he comments on rare occasions. He actually Made UP a name to comment under, like I wouldn’t know it was HIm! ha! I actually didn’t at first, til he fessed up. My daughter reads it when she can – very supportive. My friends? They all think I’m nuts and haven’t a clue what a blog IS. Sure I’ve invited them to read it – few do. I, too, have mine linked to Facebook – I’ll get comments there that I only WISH were on my blog!
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: Affirming Appreciation and Respect =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzen,

      That’s funny how your husband made up a name and was commenting on your blog and you didn’t know it was him. How sweet.

      I find that fascinating how your friends will comment on your blog posts on Facebook, but won’t comment on your blog. What’s that all about? Facebook isn’t all that different than a blog. Hmmmmm.

  24. DotNo Gravatar says:

    This was a good question — it got a lot of people thinking and writing! My three closest friends don’t read my blog. One is a baby boomer and one older than that, so they’re not really into the computer, except for email. The third is a big social networker, but he’s already aware of many of my inner thoughts through our phone calls, and not interested in more than that. I don’t have a problem with this.

    Several of my old high school friends have requested the blog address, but they’re not regular readers. Again, baby boomers don’t seem to be tuned in to blogging. Blogging has brought me friends who are much more like me than the ones I’ve met through other means, partly because I’m unable to get out much, but that has made me very happy!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dot,

      Your comment makes me wonder if part of it is generational. I’m a baby boomer as are a lot of my friends. Some read the blog, some don’t. But like you said, some are not into computers except for email.

      What you’ve said is very true. The friends we make via blogging end up being very much like us. It seems like we’re all on the same page, doesn’t it?

  25. Well, Mom and Dad don’t even own a computer Just as well… 🙂

    My sister is a regular reader / occasional commenter and my Canadian cousins pop in, mostly to see new pix of my daughter, but nope, it’s kind of me and you guys out here in the wild blogosphere. Nah, doesn’t bother me at all most of them don’t read.

    Ahh, but maybe they are lurkers here? I have no idea.

    Oh, my hubby – he reads all my posts (he better!) and that is satisfying enough for me.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Jannie Funster Blog Hits The Big Oh-1! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie,

      Good point. Some of our friends and family could be lurking, but not commenting nor letting us know they’re reading. It would be funny if they were and one day “slipped up”. 🙂

  26. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I actually prefer not to tell local folk about mine. I lost a few friends who couldn’t stand the thought that I might write about them some day, although it’s something I’d never do without permission. My online friends know me well enough to know that much about me. A few friends are extremely derogatory about lifecoaching as well as blogging, and others have asked if it’s not time I get myself a proper job instead of writing all that New Age arty farty sh***. When an old friend stumbled across my blog, I couldn’t write for a week. I also suspect one relative googled me and thinks I don’t know. My next blog will be anonymous to free up my writing.
    .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: 101 Slightly Unpredictable Tips for Novelists and Screenwriters =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Janice,

      I’m laughing at your comment – especially the part where you say, “…others have asked if it’s not time I get myself a proper job instead of writing all that New Age arty farty sh***.”

      I can understand why you would prefer to be anonymous. But if you go that route, don’t forget about us. We’ve got your back. 🙂

      • janiceNo Gravatar says:

        Thank you, Barbara. I appreciate it. God bless WordPress and the fact that I have the email addresses of many of the bloggers I care about. That way I can point you to the new site if I do it. You’d recognise my style anyway; more floral ramblings and a robin than Pullitzer! I’d keep up the commenting, but some issues, like sibling stress, teenage trials and the awfulness of watching parents become hurtful as they age can only be explored with blisteringly brave honesty.
        .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: Berries and Birds =-.

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Hi again Janice,

          Please do let me know if you start another blog. You can email me at the address I used to notify you when you were the new blog of the week, or use the contact form on this blog.

          The email account I use for comments gets so much spam, I’ve quit checking it.

  27. MarylinNo Gravatar says:

    MY parents read my blog to keep up to date with the family are doing, they have from the start, but now I have been wishing they didn’t. I would love it to be more private so that I could be a little more candid about what I’m saying on there.

    The grass is always greener on the other side I suppose! 😉
    .-= Check out Marylin´s awesome post: Happy Birthday Mum! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      That is one thing about letting family and friends know we’re blogging. If they do read it and we’re not careful, we can easily offend those in the real world.

      Maybe you’ll have to start a second blog under an alias.

  28. Hi Barbara,

    I am so happy you wrote this post because I thought I was alone on this topic. Many of my friends and my father have no idea what I do. They think that writing a post only takes about a half hour and they just do not understand how much I love blogging and how time consuming it can be.

    When I explain to them how many hours is takes, they are amazed. Yet they still do not get it. However, to be fair, my husband is a big fan and that makes it so much easier. He understands when I need to go respond to comments or when I am off researching some topics. It helps a lot. 🙂
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: The Diamond In You & How You Can Never Be Threatened =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      Fortunately your husband understands your love of blogging and supports you in your efforts. As for the others, they may never understand.

      Trying to explain to those in our real life what goes into blogging and how we grow to love it is difficult. Sometimes it seems it’s best to say nothing.

  29. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, I try to remember that when I let my friends down or am a less than perfect friend it is because I am fallible and busy and not because of any ill will towards them or malicious intent on my part.

    Notice I said try. Heh.

    I agree with those that said Facebook is a great way to share your blog with family and friends. Email works, too.

    Some of my family (including family members I’m not friendly with and ex-spouse) read my blog, with various degrees of regularity. Ditto my friends, although I do like all of them.

    That said, I am a little shy about sharing my posts/achievements sometimes ever since I heard from the grapevine that an online acquaintance was grumbling about me sharing posts and asking folks to comment when I had guest posts.
    .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: The Power of a Whisper =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tracy,

      Why do us bloggers do that – hesitate to share our online achievements? It’s no different than someone in the real world winning a race or getting an award.

      As for the grumblings you’ve heard through the grapevine, that’s going to happen. I think it’s best to let it go, keep doing what you’re doing and savor your accomplishments.

      • TracyNo Gravatar says:

        It’s crazy isn’t it? I think that’s why it hurts so much when we do get wind of people saying not so nice things about our promotion efforts/achievements behind our back, it reinforces that we’re not supposed to toot our own horns.

  30. Like others have said I find more real life friends are reading my posts because I post them on Facebook.

    I have one friend who reads every article and comments on many of them – but I think he feels a closeness to the site because he encouraged me to start it.

    My Mom read everything although she often told me that she didn’t understand what I was writing about 😉

    I think other friends and family do but they are secretive about it. A friend that I used to work with me saw a recent article and asked if anyone was allowed to comment. I’m like PLEASE – LOL.
    .-= Check out Kim Woodbridge´s awesome post: 10 Things I’ve Learned During My Adventures in (Anti) Social Dating =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kim,

      After reading all of the comments about how well Facebook works, I’ve been spending more time there setting up Networked Blogs. Apparently, if we want to have our real life friends know what we’re doing online and to read our posts, we have to showcase them.

      How sweet that your Mom reads your blog even though she don’t understand all you write about. Who knows, maybe she’ll start a blog herself. 🙂

  31. BunnygotBlogNo Gravatar says:


    I know some of my friends and family read once in a while they will comment but not so often.

    My husband edits the majority of my articles.
    He is very meticulous when it comes to grammar He has a problem with my slang. English is his second language but you would never know it, he doesn’t have an German accent and is fluent in English.

    Several times he will ask me if I am sure I want to word something differently. His reason is not everyone in the world is going to understand my slang. I never thought about that before, yesterday when we locked horns over a long post.
    Now I am aware of it and although, I like to just let the words flow, I have decided to edit before he does just to tone down any slang. This has also made me aware that writing about history which has some European phases that we, Americans may not know.
    What I would like to add to the class whether it is friends or family, the readers need a clear grammar concept of the content. This issue may not have come to my attention if it wasn’t for my husband.
    I just thought I would throw this in.
    .-= Check out BunnygotBlog´s awesome post: Earth’s Own Little Universe =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      That’s wonderful that your husband will edit your posts. It always helps to have an objective opinion.

      And thank you for bringing up the fact we often use slang that is not understood world wide. Like you said, it’s more fun writing when we just let the words flow, but if others don’t understand the slang we’re using, we could easily lose readers.

  32. Barbara — You are so on point with this post!!! Not only is hard to get family and friends to read my blog, it’s also hard to get them to understand how I can spend hours of my day reading the posts of others, leaving comments or replying to comments. I’ve had friends tell me that I’m wasting my time. A few years ago, I might have been one of them.

    But I love blogging. I love every bit of it…well, except for Twitter. I’m still not very good at that:~)

    In answer to your question about family and friends reading my posts, I happen to have a wonderful boyfriend, JC, who reads each one of my posts. Sometimes it’s to check for errors and sometimes it’s just because he likes to read what I write. I think I’m very lucky!
    .-= Check out Sara B. Healy´s awesome post: How Courageous =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sara,

      Yes, you are very lucky to have JC on your side, reading and/or editing your posts.

      What you said is true. Most of our real life friends cannot understand the draw blogging has on us. How we can spend hours reading, writing, commenting and communicating with people we’ve never met. It’s like our little secret.

  33. I’ve often found that family/friends from the “real world” just don’t get what I do. I even had someone ask “What do you do, publish little poems on MySpace?” — I couldn’t believe it! I think it’s simple: Some people just don’t understand freelance writing/blogging and others are jealous because we’ve found a niche and are successful at something we’re so passionate about.

    I find it’s easier to just focus on my writing and blogging and not worry about trying to get my offline family/friends to “get” what I do.

    .-= Check out Michele | The Writer’s Round-About´s awesome post: Michele Tune On The Business of Blogging =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Michele,

      That’s very true. We could try to explain why we love freelance writing and/or blogging, but if they don’t understand the concept, they never will ‘get it”. Blogging is like one of those things, if you’ve never done it, you won’t understand.

      Little poems on MySpace? LOL – far from it, hey?

  34. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    No one in my family “gets me” and why I keep doing these things that are “time wasters” or just my attempts at being “Important”. They do not understand my writing all the time.

    My own children do not read my blog, except the one that is my IT person and she is trying to be helpful in helping me find my “niche”

    I really do not have many friends in person and I do not expect them to read what I write because they are at the peak of their work lives and several are mediating in war zones – they are in the moment.

    Most of the people in my life are the folks I meet on my walks they are retired, joggers, new mom’s and dad’s with strollers, other walkers, dog walkers, those walking to work, and the homeless – we share a smile a wee greeting. I am the person who listens and gets the fellow with the infected foot to the free clinic and I maybe the only one who shares with the missionaries in the black trousers and crisp white shirts – who are afraid of the guy with the infected foot.

    My husband gets interested as his blog and Blogger Dad’s good help is finally bringing in some eco friendly work to his office and because his kids pestered him until he read my anniversary post! He has found it embarrassing when his partner’s comment on something posted on BA that he has not read! That just makes me laugh!

    I just keep writing with a little more hope and wishes come true these days.
    I never expected friends or family to come on by….though, if they want to see the pictures from my UK trip – they are only posted on my blog!
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: I LOVE THIS MAGAZINE =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      “Time Waster” – I hear you. I think many of our friends and family think that’s what we’re doing when we blog. If only they knew….

      Your comment makes me think. I feel all of us can become very successful with our blogs, or because of our blogs. I hope the day will come when I can post a lesson and title it, “Now That You’re An Online Success – What Do Your Friends and Family Think?” I can already envision the responses. 🙂

      Hang in there Patricia. Dream DO come true.

  35. JulieNo Gravatar says:

    Loved this post, Barbara. I’m comforted, knowing I’m not alone in this! As far as I know, the only people I know who read my blog are a couple of friends who also write blogs. At first, I was hurt and tried peddling it to my family and other friends. That faded when I realized how uncomfortable I was making all of us. All I received was blank stares (except from my husband; although he doesn’t read my posts, he’s very supportive). I just don’t understand it, because when my family and friends are passionate about something, I’m interested. Hm.

    I no longer mention the blog—or any of my future writing plans, either. That said, it was a little tough to find my comfort zone, and I can’t ay I’m 100% there, yet. Like some of the other commenters, when I do think of people I know reading anything I write, it’s a little uncomfortable. LOL, it was uncomfortable knowing they didn’t read, because I wanted them to show interest. Now it’s uncomfortable to think they might read, because what I write is so “me.” It’s not like they don’t know me, but this blogging version of me is a little more “real” than we tend to be on a day-to-day basis. Honestly? I think I still waffle a bit from time to time, but mostly I’m perfectly okay with knowing I’m just writing to write.
    .-= Check out Julie´s awesome post: Honor Redux, with a Twist =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Julie,

      I know exactly what you’re saying. You nailed it with the line, “…when my family and friends are passionate about something, I’m interested. Hm.” It leads us to ask, should our blogging hobby be different?

      Like you, I don’t mention my blogs or online adventures to anyone anymore. Some that know I blog will ask if I’ll I’m still blogging. I’ll say yes, but I leave it at that.

  36. Barbara,

    When I started blogging it was just an experiment. I actually didn’t want my real-life family and friends to know about it or read it. Now I’m ok if they stumble upon it but I generally don’t even mention my blog when I meet people in real life.
    .-= Check out Daphne @ Joyful Days´s awesome post: What Makes A Good Relationship =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Daphne,

      What you did is probably what a lot of us should have done. Just set up a blog and go from there – leaving our real life friends in the dark. I’m betting those who do find your blog are quite surprised at not only your writing talent, but the name you’ve made for yourself in blogosphere.

  37. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – My parents don’t really read my blog. My mother said she doesn’t know how to unless I email her a link. They’re not very technical.

    Stuart reads my posts if I ask him to proof read them. And my kids read some of them. I used to think they didn’t but then they’ll make comments like – “why did you write about X”, or “what did you mean when you said that – I wish you’d explained it a bit better.”

    I usually assume my friends don’t read but a friend popped round recently and she started talking about some of the posts she liked. And a friend I hadn’t seen for a long time emailed me last year and said he was finding my posts really helpful. That surprised me as I assumed he didn’t even know I had a blog.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Catherine,

      Your comment is a good reminder of how we probably have a lot of lurkers reading, but not commenting or letting us know they’re reading.

      That’s funny how your kids will make comments about what you wrote or ask you to explain something better.

  38. JensNo Gravatar says:

    I totally agree. Our friends or even family members are the least to read what we write. That is true. Hence, blogging creates a different circle of friends. It turned out that those we had not even met are those who are there to visit and read our posts. They became our new set of friends. Well, at least, that is how it happened for me.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jens,

      That’s true. When we start blogging we end up with a new set of friends who not only understand our love of blogging, but who appreciate what we share and let us know by commenting. And, the community that can build around a blog, now that’s priceless.

  39. Ahh, as a newbie (I’ve only been blogging for 3 weeks), this question never occurred to me until I read your post. Now that I think about it, I kind of like the idea of making online friends — people who already have an interest in blogging — and gaining support from them more and more over time. I might mention my blog to my friends, but I can’t expect them to support it if it’s simply not their thing.
    .-= Check out Belinda Munoz´s awesome post: ALL CLEAR: FeedMedic Alert for thehalfwaypoint =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Belinda,

      First, welcome to wonderful world of blogging.

      What you said is very true. In blogosphere we make friends who not only have an understanding of blogging, but will be supportive of other bloggers. Although our real life friends may never “get it”, in blogosphere, we’re just a click away from someone who does.

      Happy Blogging!

  40. I’m not that bothered that my friends dont’ read my blog because most of them have blogs too and I just don’t have the time to read them. They often contain things they’ll tell me about in person anyway so it’d only repeat what I already hear. So I suppose we’ve all got an unwritten rule to not read each others blogs.
    .-= Check out Karen @ Cheap Sportswear´s awesome post: Cheap Sportswear Goes Live =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karen,

      How fortunate you are to have friends who have blogs. And that’s true, if you all talk in person, there’s no reason to read each others blogs.

  41. I’ve been reading blogs for 2+ years and blogging for (almost) one month, and i ADORE everything about blogs – they are personal, current, diverse and interest-specific. Despite this, I am the only person that I know “in real life” that regularly blogs or reads blogs. My Boyfriend supports my blog and always jumps online as soon as I post to see what I’ve written, but he doesn’t comment because he can tell me what he thinks in person.

    A while ago, I posted a link on my facebook so that all my “real life” friends could check out my blog, and while my blog views soared, none of these people commented! I did have people come up to me the next day at school, however, and tell me that they liked my blog and my writing.

    I think it’s not so much that “real life friends” don’t get it, but rather that it feels awkward for them to leave a comment when they know that they’ll probably see you in the next couple of days and want to tell you what they thought in person.

    Additionally, I have found that since I started blogging, i’ve been commenting more often on other people’s posts because now I understand how much effort goes into blogs and how much pleasure one gets from a comment. I think this also plays into the reasons that offline friends don’t comment as much.

    Alana Ekerplay
    .-= Check out Alana Ekerplay´s awesome post: 5 Quick Ways To Shop Faster And Better =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alana,

      Welcome to blogosphere. It’s great to hear after reading blogs for 2+ years, you’ve decided to jump in and start your own.

      That’s a great point about friends whom we’ll see in the next day or two not feeling it necessary to comment, as they can just tell us in person (that is if they read our blog posts).

      And you’re right. When we do start blogging we understand how much time and thought go into blog posts, so we’re more apt to comment. Real life friends often don’t understand that at all.

  42. PeggyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I know that some of my friends read my blog. I know that some in my family read my blog. My husband reads both my blogs – I think he’s my number one fan (but he also knows I write about him and us all the time, he’s my muse and sometimes, he helps me brainstorm an idea into existence)

    My youngest daughter is the only family member to actually leave a comment on my blog (that thrilled me!!)

    My best friend of 25 some odd years reads my blog, but she’ll either call me or comment to the link I posted on Face Book.

    One of my brother’s called me this morning to congratulate me on what I blogged about this morning…which is cool…he rarely calls!

    The way I see it, It’s All Good 🙂

    Have a fabulous weekend!
    .-= Check out Peggy´s awesome post: It’s Party Time!! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Peggy,

      It does sound like all is good in your blogging world. How cool is that your brother called after reading one of your posts. That says a lot, plus I bet it was a pleasant surprise to hear his voice. When we least expect it…..

      I’m wishing you a great weekend, as well.

  43. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    Most of my actively online family understands buying online or Facebook, but I think blogs seem — to them — to take too much time, too much learning curve, or too much need to check back with regularity. None truly understands the community or conversation aspect of it. Their faces go blank when I talk about it as if I ‘m talking about an odd and obscure pastime. I let nieces and nephews on Facebook know about my posts and sometimes they comment at or not. I think people find and act on information as they need it in their lives.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Distractions help movie heroes and self defense =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      Don’t you love that blank look you get? I hear you. And you’re right, people will find and act on information when they need it.

      Earlier tonight I was talking to a friend and asked her if she would ever start a blog. Her response was, “No, it sounds way too time consuming”.

  44. I had this same problem. I wanted people to read my blog so much that I would pester my friends. This tactic only made them avoid my calls and emails.

    So I stopped. If my blog came up in conversation, great, if not then that’s cool too. After blogging for over three years I’ve realized that people need that honey to attract them. One of my friends loved my stuff so he would tell my other friends about this great article. Now they had to check it out.

    Another boost is my YouTube videos. Since I’ve been posting video I get more of my friends watching my blog. They weren’t readers to begin with, but once I started doing video they jumped on board.
    .-= Check out Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s awesome post: Hard Fun and The Beautiful – The Rain Edition =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karl,

      I never thought of that – how some prefer videos to reading. It’s great how your YouTube videos have attracted more attention from your friends.

      I know what you mean about pestering friends to read our work – that doesn’t work well, at all.

  45. I know that some of my friends read my blog but never choose to comment.

    I personally choose not to consider who reads it or not…the only concerns I have are:

    1.) Would the posts make my kids/husband proud?
    2.) Do the posts help my readers succeed in their goal?

    Everything else is secondary. I’m weird that way. 🙂
    .-= Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s awesome post: How to PREPARE to make a HOT ebook for 2010 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barbara,

      You’re not weird. 🙂

      Asking the two questions you do, is a great way to stay on target and relieve the worries of whether our real life friends are reading and/or what they think.

  46. […] @BSwafford:  When Real Friends Don’t “Get It” […]

  47. I’ve always considered online and offline to be two different worlds. There’s little overlap between them for me, and even when I know the same person in both worlds, they aren’t really the same. For now, I haven’t tried to connect these worlds, but that can always change.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hunter,

      They are like two different worlds, aren’t they? Although I don’t know any bloggers in real life, your comment makes me wonder, if I did, how would I “see” them?

  48. I’ve gotta agree with Karl that video does attract friends to view too. 🙂

    I remembered the early days when I just did some email blasting to all of my friends, hoping for them to read my stuff. But I didn’t get any response after a while so that email sending thing that I did… stopped.

    Well, since the day I totally started my blog from zero (31 Aug ’09) I didn’t have any clue if my friends actually did check my blog stuff out.

    Something interesting happened though; I went to check my stats out and saw that my post appeared on someone’s facebook’s wall. And that person was a friend of a mutual friend of mine. Maybe that might help in giving some exposure for the blog. Haha! 🙂
    .-= Check out Daniel Richard´s awesome post: Top 10 Reasons Why 6 Hours of Sleep is Essential For Your Productivity =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Daniel,

      How ironic. When we change the way we market ourselves – to our friends, we get different responses. In your case, it appears less is more. Pretty cool!

      P.S. I keep hearing Facebook is a great way to get our blogs in front of our friends. Some will choose to check it out. Others, maybe not.

  49. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    It is possible that some of my family reads my blog, but if they do they’ve never commented so I couldn’t say for sure. Since they’re not really my target audience, I guess it does not matter to me very much whether they do or don’t.

    I’m much more interested in my community, their thoughts and input.

    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: Buzzing Around the New Blog of the Week =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      That’s true. A lot of us don’t blog to show our friends what we know, but to connect with others online who are looking for our type of information. I agree, hearing from our community helps to keep us on target.

  50. Hey Barbara,

    I liked this post of your very much, because this topic is really interesting.
    In my case, I got encouraged by my friends to have a blog of my own. However after sometime the number of readers who are my real life friends dropped significantly, but then all over again… I found new friends who appreciated my work and are regular readers to my blog.

    Its been a amazing Journey for me so far.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Rick,

      We never know where the journey will take us, do we? That’s one thing about blogosphere, once we start getting out there, we find online friends we never knew existed. Don’t you just love how that works?

  51. Barbara, I love how you touch on such KEY issues! This is marvelous!
    I guess so much of this is subconscious, I barely notice it until you mentioned it! But it is true! In fact, I’ve been sending out my bi-monthly newsletters for my upcoming book lately and its been what 3 mths I think since my family and some close friends receive this. I wonder lately especially if ‘they get it’ or if they even really read it. Some are truly interested and do but technically they aren’t my closest friends or family, more good co-worker friends so I think still its not the same which supports what you say! I think its true – they don’t ‘get it’ because once one decided what is relevant to them or not, they just sort of remain in that state unless you try a new approach.
    So, lately, I felt I am investing more in the skills of ‘engaging others’. I find it makes for better response. The reality is that most people ‘want to know what is in it for them’.. So I started adding more to the newsletter on a topic that I can leave them thinking about, and then post my updates at the end. I am hoping it will be more effective! I think for me, I find peace in knowing that I love what I do, and I’m committed to it, regardless. When our own intention is true and pure, then we can’t be let down too much by even those closest to us. At the end of the day, week, month of course we hope that sometimes we’ll be receiving feedback from at least a few of those closest to us.
    I post at the end of my emails some links at times also, and I find this helps! It’s there and if serendipity takes its course, that is wonderful!
    Great topic!
    Blessings to you this week!
    luv Jen
    .-= Check out Love’s Leading Companion´s awesome post: NEW! Companion Coming Soon! Feel the Light! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jen,

      I hear exactly what you’re saying. If someone in our offline life isn’t interested or don’t get it, no amount of pushing or prodding will help. In fact, it may just drive them further away.

      On the other hand, like you said, when we truly love what we do, in a sense it doesn’t make a difference if our offline friends don’t read our work. When we publish online, those who are wanting our information will find it – eventually. And it’s those who visit and read what we share who end up being a captivated audience.

      It’s like we live two lives. One online, and one offline. Both of which can be fulfilling.

  52. alaJoAnnNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s my theory:

    95% of the population is pragmatic, busily maintaining the status quo. Thank goodness, they keep society stable.

    The other 5% is creative, branching off from the herd and evolving in some new direction. Thank goodness, they keep society from stagnating.

    Bloggers fall into the creative category. The 95% won’t “get” blogging unless it generates income, which is a practical concern.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi AlaJoann,

      Your comment reminds me of the saying, “money talks”. 🙂

      What you said is true, bloggers do fall into the creative category, and others won’t get it until they see they can benefit monetarily or in other ways. It’s like our little secret.

  53. GeorginaNo Gravatar says:

    When I started my first blog, I asked a trusted co-worker to check it out. It was a really big deal for me and I wanted at least one witness before I ventured too far. She’d sit on her computer at work and find multiple other sites to visit, not actually doing her real work. So when I asked her if she had read my blog yet, and she said she was too busy, I felt discouraged. “You have time to watch The Colbert report online (when you are supposed to be working), but you don’t have time to visit my blog? Not once?” So, now I just blog anonymously and enjoy all my online friends. Thanks for bringing up this topic. I thought I was the only one who felt that way! – G

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Georgina,

      Your comment made me sad. But I’m happy this post and the comments let you know you are not alone.

      It is frustrating when our real life friends don’t take an interest in our blogs, but we quickly find out there are many bloggers who are here to not only read our work, but to support us, as well.

      The next time you come by, I’d love for you to leave a link to your blog. I’d love to read your work, just as I’m sure many who comment here would, too.

  54. […] the comments of the When Real Life Friends Don’t Get It” post, Sara Healy of A Sharing Connection said, “…I love blogging. I love every bit of […]

  55. JaniceNo Gravatar says:

    I do feel how you feel, my friends don’t actually care what I do online, I tell them I started blogging and they just said “what’s that?” and I replied explaining them what it is, and they just said.. “why need to make an online diary or write something to show to other people in the net, why do we need to read it if we can ask you about it personally”.. then they just laugh, and I said “ok, never mind”.. anyway, they are still my friends for they are helping me in real life..

    by the way I think this site is a compliment of yours, The Freelance Writer’s GPS is a new e-book that tackles how we can start our career in freelance writing industry, I found it very useful so I wanted to spread the word about it..

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Janice,

      It can be disheartening when our real life friends don’t “get it”, but like you said, they are still our friends, and in the meantime we can build other friendships online with those who “get it” and willingly share.

      Thank you for the link to the Freelance Writer’s GPS. It sounds like a fascinating read.

  56. i dont tell most people i have a blog. they wont get it. they might not even believe it
    Check out jumoke @jobsnigeria’s awesome post.Velosi nigeria Oil and gas vacanciesMy Profile