It’s funny, I was asked by Domain.ME to write this post a few days before the Internet blogging world blew up. If you have no clue what I’m talking about you are lucky. Long story short… a blogger accused all bloggers of being sellouts. Hmm… Sellout = Not Authentic. She had a lot of good points. However, many did not like her tone. I think it struck a chord with many. Me? Not so much. Why? I like to think that I am always myself. I take pride in my personal branding. I enjoy being the real me online. I don’t try to be someone else. I don’t try to blog about things that I don’t know. I try not to blog about things that do not fit my blog. When I decided to start a blog, I didn’t have to think long about the subject at all. I was working in IT at the time. I was living tech. It was only natural that my blog be about tech. I feel that it’s important to blog what you know… not what you pretend to know, not what you think you should blog to get free stuff. It’s important to be authentic on your blog. This same philosophy applies to the rest of social media.
Why is It Important to Be Authentic Online?
Some of the things that draws people to a certain blog are decent writing, a good story, and a good voice. I attribute a good voice to being authentic. This means that when you read a post it is obvious that a certain blogger wrote it. The writing style becomes your voice. Your voice is who you are. Someone reading your blog should feel like they are sitting and having a conversation with you. It should feel natural. When you try to do anything else, it shows. Now of course this is fine if you are a fiction writer, but most of us are not. Most of us are just trying to connect with our audience be it family, friends, or classmates. And when you are authentic that connection is real. Followers will look to you for advice, a laugh, a cry, or whatever the case may be. However, if they feel that you are not being authentic they may just look the other way.
How Much of ME Should I Share?
You should share whatever you are comfortable with. There are some people that think of Facebook as just a fictional place on the web. I don’t. I think of Facebook as an extension of me, an extension of my brand. I would not put anything on Facebook about my life that is not true. Nor would I put anything extremely personal on Facebook. You do not have to share all to be authentic. Do I share everything about my life? No… certainly not! I am not one of those people that posts an update or checks in from every grocery store, gas station, and the like. However, I share what I think will touch my followers, or give them a little glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of LittleTechGirl.com. Not too long ago, I posted the following on Instagram as part of a challenge.
I’m Kris. This shirt that I’m wearing says it all… “The Struggle is Real.” I consider myself a struggling entrepreneur. I love what I do, but it’s hard…. So hard. I was let go from my full-time job of over 15 years in Jan 2012. Since then I’ve been a full-time blogger and photographer. I also dabble in web design, but I’m getting away from that. I blog mostly about technology at LittleTechGirl.com. I’ve had some truly awesome opportunities, trips, and experiences all because of blogging. I’m a mom to 2 sets of twins. I just got married (again) last June, so I’m a newlywed. I’ve known my husband for almost 27 years. We met in high school. It’s April so we are headed into birthday season. Everyone in the house is a Taurus with bdays between April 21 – May 15. Because of last year’s wedding things have been pretty slow for me over the past year business wise. I’m struggling to recover from that. Trying to up traffic, readers, followers, paid opps… you know the drill. I’m also looking for a job. I really, really do not want to go fully back into the 9-5 workforce because I feel like I’m giving up… but it has to be done. My dream is a social media job that I can still do from home of course. I tried one (sorta), but that structure was not at all what I hoped it would be. Must try again. But, If I cannot get that, then I will kick my tech skills back in gear. I must say that so far the job search has been depressing. So… if anyone is looking for a tech savvy, social media savvy, hard-working tech nerd or photographer, call me. 😀 I’m in an great group called #CourageToEarn participating in the #exposeyourself challenge, so this is bit about me and one of my current struggles. #ltg #entrepreneur #thestruggle #wfm
Now did I have to do that? No, not at all. However, it was therapeutic. It was real. It was a something that I have touched on before about the struggles of being an entrepreneur. You never know how something that you are going through may touch someone else. You never know who may have been feeling the same, but they were afraid to share it. I got such a response to my post. I got emails, Facebook messages, Instagram comments, and more from friends sharing that they had similar struggles, and some friends sharing job leads, or just support. It was awesome.
Now people who may have thought “man, she is living the life!” realize that I’m a real person. My life is not always the glamour, the snapshots with stars, or the travel that often shows up in my Instagram feed.
A photo posted by Kris McDonald (@littletechgirl) on
Yes, it is awesome. However, behind that there is sometimes a struggle to find balance, a struggle to make ends meet, and a struggle to find time to get everything done (or not).
Just Be Yourself
One of my favorite lines from my bio is “I’m a true geek. I don’t just play one on
TV the Internet.” This could not be more true. You won’t find me blogging many recipes. Well…. unless it involved a BBQ grill! If you’ve seen my Facebook feed during the summer you will see that we love to grill. However, I do not bake… so I won’t be accepting any sponsored posts about baking. You won’t see me testing many toys because my kids are now well beyond that age. And I won’t be doing any makeup posts. Although I do wear makeup, I am certainly no beauty blogger! I will leave that to experts. Who I am is a Converse wearing, car loving, travel addict, & computer geek… plain and simple. It’s what I know and love. It’s in my blood. One scroll down my Instagram account and you will have me all figured out… no secrets!
Are you being authentic online? Is it something that you think about at all? Please share!
Disclosure: This post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal domains that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”