Do you want to become a blogger but you’re feeling a little daunted by the number of blogs out there?
Authenticity is everything in the blogging game, particularly if you’ve made a conscious decision to work with businesses and sponsors. It is vital that your blog can be seen as a true reflection of your life and circumstances while producing the kind of content that’s likely to stand out from the crowd. Authenticity is so much more than that; it’s the creation of relatable, trustworthy content that readers will engage with in droves. Blogging our deepest, most sensitive thoughts has become the norm in the quest for authenticity – and increased traffic.
However, have you ever stopped to think about issues with privacy and security during your quest to produce the most authentic and honest content that you can? Who has access to your content, and what are they likely to do with your deepest thoughts and personal information? You see, once content has been released onto the Internet, it is virtually impossible to remove it. This means you must stand by every word you say or safeguard your writing and those it talks about.
Luckily there are steps you can take to protect your privacy, identity and reputation while blogging, as long as you’re happy to make a few compromises.
Be conservative with personal information
It is absolutely essential that you refrain from providing personal details that could be used to pinpoint your identity, your home, or your family members. You may wish to use your real first name, but keep your last name, house address, telephone number, personal email and social media accounts out of your blog posts altogether. Similarly, if you’re sharing personal photographs, keep them as vague as possible. Don’t capture images that may identify where you live, where your kids go to school, or where you work. You do not need to reveal private information about your family life in order to encourage readers to be invested its dynamic.
Consider using stock images and photographs
If you’re worried about the content of the images that you are going to be using, consider sourcing pictures, photographs, and animations from a stock gallery such as Dreamstime. These sites are fantastic libraries of images that are ready to be used for a relatively small charge, and they can ensure that your privacy, dignity, and reputation remain intact. Moreover, sourcing your images elsewhere will give you plenty of time to update your blog with the content that matters to you instead of worrying about taking the perfect picture.
Allow your family to have a say
Consider the thoughts, feelings, and rights of your children, family members, and friends before you write about them. Once that cute-but-embarrassing story has been shared, there is very little you can do about retrieving it. Don’t allow your quest for likes and online recognition to cloud your judgment, and never disregard another’s emotions purely because you’re set on telling a story. Children deserve to have the innocence of their memories protected for as long as possible, so consider asking your family members what they’re happy with you sharing and what they’d like to keep from the public domain. Are your children too young to have a say? Ensure you have the backing of a partner or family member before sharing those most personal moments.
Create a persona
You should not hide behind a character; how can your blog remain authentic if you’re pretending to be someone you’re not? However, there is nothing wrong with using a blogger handle to post content under or bestowing nicknames and initials to your nearest and dearest to prevent them from being identified. Such tactics will ensure you can blog openly and honestly without compromising your family’s safety or your personal reputation. Consider changing place names or remaining vague if you must discuss the town in which you live for product placement purposes, and always re-read content to ensure it is written with your best interests at heart. Your readers are sure to understand and respect your privacy while enjoying the content you post.
It’s time to get technical
Sometimes it’s not enough to be careful what you post or to be a little inventive with the truth. If you’d like to protect your privacy entirely, you’ll need to get a little more technical. If you’ve registered a blog domain, your information will be stored on the Whois Public Domain Registry, which lists anyone who has used his or her personal details to establish a blog. The only way to prevent this is to register your domain name anonymously. Other strategies include using an anonymous network such as Tor to edit and post blogs and using ping servers. They will disguise your IP address and prevent people from accessing your location.
Of course, not all bloggers will go to such extremes to protect their privacy. These tactics are usually employed by those fearful of the professional repercussions of what they post. Nevertheless, being this careful about your privacy does not have to compromise the authenticity of your blog as long as you’re still able to speak freely about the subject at hand.
By following each of these points carefully and taking a moment to consider the content of each blog post before you press “publish”, you’ll be able to maintain a blog that is authentic yet conservative – a blog that is a reflection of your lifestyle and parenting abilities without revealing too much and risking your security or reputation. There is a fine line between blogging and over-sharing, and many first-time writers and social media users run the risk of crossing it. Your family’s safety and your privacy should be treated with the utmost respect, so be sure to start as you mean to go on.