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!
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.
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.
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!