How to “Put Yourself Out There” – Part 1: Overcome Your Shyness

Putting yourself “out there” when blogging can be scary. (Heck, blogging itself can be scary!) Many new bloggers struggle with how much they should reveal about themselves, both in their blogs and on social media. To help you overcome your fears and blog more openly and effectively, I’ve created a three-part series of articles to help you put yourself out there when you’re online.

Part 1: How to Overcome Your Shyness – today’s article

Part 2: How to Be Seen As An Authority – coming in October!

Part 3: How to Ooze Confidence – coming in November!

[NOTE: These posts have been published and so the links to them have been added.]

To kick things off, I will give you some pointers about how to “put yourself out there” on the internet.

Don’t Be Shy – Even If You Are!

quote about taking risks

Shyness when blogging really don’t mix well. However, the great thing about blogging is that your online personality – whether outgoing or shy in real life – can be portrayed however you want it to be.

I happen to be lucky in this department; I like talking and interacting with others, whoever they might be. I can always find something to talk about, with anyone, anywhere, in any situation.

Not everyone has the ability to do this, but when you are online, interacting with others is a bit different. For example, you can censor your reactions to certain things. If you get a comment on your blog that makes you frown or angers you, you have the ability to hide your nasty facial expression from that person, and if you happen to shout and swear, they won’t hear you! So, instead of responding with a comment that conveys your displeasure, you can respond in such a way that your anger doesn’t show.

this is a picture of a quote about overcoming obstacles

To overcome your shyness, there are several things you can do.

These include: improving your posture, doing deep breathing exercises, finding ways to turn your (perceived) weaknesses into strengths, using affirmations and positive self-talk, and becoming more social.

Being outgoing will enable you to connect with more people on a deeper level. Asking questions often leads to further engagement, too.

An excellent article found at the Shyness Research Institute offers several tips for overcoming the behavioural deficits of shyness:

  • Start with very, very small talk and simple actions: Getting your feet wet.

  • Perform social graces: Give (kindness) and you shall receive (kindness).

  • Focus on your social successes: Stop whipping yourself.

  • Develop conversation skills: How to keep talking.

  • Avoid perfectionism: Nobody’s perfect.

  • Find your comfort zone: Do what fits you.

To learn more about the varying degrees of shyness, as well as how to cope with shyness, I’d highly recommend reading Getting Over Shyness.

It’s also important to note that being shy and being an introvert are two different things.

Basically, an introvert is someone whois is energized by being alone, and an extrovert is someone who is energized by being around others. How To Be Successful In A Social Media Role If You Are An Introvert is another good reference if you are an introvert who is unsure of what to do on social media, or on your blog.

Reveal Things About Yourself In Steps

When you go out on a date or meet someone new, you don’t immediately tell that person everything there is to know about you, right? Think of blogging as a way of speaking to just one person – your date – and slowly open up, in each post that you write, to that person. That person is your audience.

With each new post that you write that relates to something you’ve said before, include a link to that post, as a reminder to your audience.

With each subsequent post, reveal something new about yourself.

Don’t Be Stupid: Protect Yourself

Greg once made a video and forgot to block out his credit card information. Luckily, shortly after he posted it on YouTube, he caught his mistake right away. He took the video down, had to cancel his credit card, and order a new one!

When posting information about yourself, don’t be stupid. Protect yourself by not revealing personal information that could potentially harm you or cost you in some way. Things that should be kept private are passwords, PINs (personal identification numbers), SSNs (social security numbers), etc.

Don’t Be Fake

The only problem is that you should try to remain “as yourself” as much as possible. No one likes a fake! Plus, it’s easier to simply be yourself, especially if you end up having more than one blog and/or have multiple social media accounts.

Be real. It’s easier, and it’s expected of you.

Here’s a great quote from an article that Drew Hayes wrote about image management that aptly sums things up:

No matter how weird you might think you are, this is the internet. I promise, people have seen weirder, and there’s a good chance that being you might end up getting you connected to similar people.

YOUR TURN:

What other tips can you think of that are not included here?

Have you ever made mistakes when putting yourself out there, online?

What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?

Let me know in the comments!

Wording Well logo with headshot of Lorraine Reguly
Lorraine Reguly is an English teacher-turned-blogger who offers both writing and editing services to anyone in need. She has been a guest blogger on various websites, is also an author, and is currently giving away a free blogging ebook. She can also help you turn your ebook into a print book! Visit Wording Well for more details.

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10 Responses to "How to “Put Yourself Out There” – Part 1: Overcome Your Shyness"

  1. These are great tips! My problem is I’m a shy extrovert, which is the worst combination for a blogger! I’m working on opening up, as well as trying not to get too bored sitting at my desk. Comments are a great way to feel connected to other bloggers. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Meredith, comments are the best way to connect with other bloggers, for sure!

      The good thing is that you know you have a problem. That is the first step in overcoming it, and now that you have a few strategies to use, you will blossom in no time. I’m sure of that. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Kathleen, thanks for the comment/compliment. 🙂

      I’m sure if you do a search for how to be more confident when giving an oral presentation, you will pick up a few tips from that.

      Also search for ways to overcome stage fright. More tips can be found there, too. 🙂

      I hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. Hi Greg and Lorraine,

    Good to see you here Lorraine – and with yet another post! 🙂

    Yes indeed, I think most of us are shy when we start blogging – I think I was too (been so long now, I hardly remember!), because you don’t know many people and hesitate to open up or say what you want to say, freely. And sometimes we aren’t sure and confident about things too.

    However, with time, all of it falls into place, which happens once you find your own voice and start interacting with each other. When you learn things and gain knowledge, and are sure of it and able to express it, the shyness lessens – happened with me. Great tips otherwise to do what it takes to move ahead.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead, both of you 🙂

    Reply
    1. Harleena, it’s great to see you again. It’s been such a long time – LOL (inside joke, Greg, as you know I just guest posted on Aha!NOW last week).

      Greg wanted me to write a post that spoke to his new followers, and our ideas turned into a three-part series. The best is yet to come. 😉

      It wasn’t that long ago that I was a newbie blogger, either. A guppy, some might say… and now – according to Ana Hoffman – I’m a “shark in the making!”

      Finding confidence to blog comes with practice, though.

      I still remember how scared I was to publish my post about my false teeth. I held my breath and hit the publish button (yes this was before I knew about scheduling – can you believe it?) – and now that post is one of my top-performing posts on my blog, ranking on the first page of Google search.

      Sometimes taking a chance on yourself pays off, even though you are scared or shy.

      It did in my case, so I think it would for others, too. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comment. Have a great week, too!

      Reply

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