How to Blog without Annoying Your Friends and Family

Blogging tips for building a blog audience by Nina BadzinI’ve said it before, but it merits repeating: Your blog’s main audience cannot be your family and friends.

Why am I back on this issue? I recently had a significant increase in traffic on a post I wrote in May 2010 called “Blogging Tips: What I Know Now,” and most of the new comments focused on that specific tip—”Don’t expect your friends and family to read your blog.”

The boost in my post’s popularity occurred (I realized later) because the good folks at wordpress.com included it on their widely read blog THE DAILY POST, a site aimed at supporting new bloggers. Comments ranged from frustrated to deeply insulted at the TRUTH of what I said about friends and family not reading posts. People agreed with me and accepted the need to expand their audiences, but they still felt dismissed by those closest to them.

Listen people, expecting your family and friends to keep up with your blog is asking too much. Your blog is about you. Even if it’s about your hobby, your philanthropic endeavors, your children, your desire to have children, your travels, or your writing career, it’s still about you and your unique view of the world. And just because your family is related to you, it doesn’t mean they want to read about you all the time or ever for that matter. Same goes for your friends.  Though your real life connections are a great place to start with a blog, if you want your posts to have an audience after those first months of excitement, then you’ll have to look beyond your inner circle. Unless of course you like talking to yourself.

I try to keep an attitude of shock and gratitude when people I know well or even peripherally mention they’ve read a post. Hey—if a friend or family member occasionally spends fifteen minutes catching up on a month’s worth of posts (I only about post once a week so that’s actually doable), then I consider that person a fantastic supporter. I’m delighted at any level of interest from the people in my life, and most importantly, I don’t feel entitled to it.

When you move beyond badgering your family and friends to read your blog, you’ll force yourself to find readers with genuine interest in your content rather than readers who follow you out of obligation.

SO WHY DOES MY BLOG HAVE AN AUDIENCE BEYOND MY MOTHER?*  (A modest audience, but still . . . )

I regularly read other blogs and comment on posts. This is non-negotiable. There’s karma in the blogging world. You have to engage with other bloggers and leave thoughtful comments that go beyond the empty expression “Great post!”

I write about a variety of topics. This goes against some advice to find one niche, but maintaining variety works for me. Glance at the “CATEGORIES” column on the footer of this page. My posts about social media and writing often reach a different audience than the ones about friendship, parenting, and marriage. All the topics have one thing in common though—my voice. If you can develop a consistent, trustworthy, and likable voice, you can write about almost anything. For example, over time some of the people who found me via my posts on Twitter tips have stayed to find out why I’m letting my husband name our fourth baby and vice versa.

I write guest posts for other blogs. I’ve had guest posts on Scary Mommy, Writer Unboxed, Nameberry, and other sites that are infinitely more popular than my blog. I gave those sites some of my best and in most cases original “stuff,” and they gave me their wide audience. I also regularly write for Jewish sites, which allows me to discuss a favorite topic of mine—Judaism—without making it too much of a focus on my personal blog.

Twitter: I use Twitter to stay connected with my blogging friends and to make new ones. I support others’ posts on Twitter and make it a point to only forward links leading to content I think many people would find useful or amusing. In other words, I do not automatically  retweet others’ posts, even posts by my favorite bloggers. For this reason, I think people trust my tweets, then me, and my blog.

SOME OTHER IDEAS

  • Facebook: My traffic always skyrockets on the days I put a link to my blog on Facebook, which I do once week on average. If that’s the case, then why don’t I post on Facebook more often? I’m sensitive to over-promoting myself, and I’m sure some people find even those four monthly links annoying enough.
  • Stumble Upon: I signed up, but I don’t understand how to use it. If I ever figure it out, I’ll report back. In the meantime, Eli Rose Social Media has a tutorial to get you started.
  • Digg & Tumblr: I don’t get those whatsoever, but other bloggers seem to like them. I have too many kids at this point to take the blogging thing into the depths of Digg and Tumblr.
  • Blogging conferences: I have never attended one, but I’ve read the tweets from attendees and always feel jealous.

What other ideas am I missing? I know I have blogging friends out there with far bigger reaches than ninabadzin.com. Will you share your secrets with us?

*Not that I don’t value your devotion, Mom!



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Nina is a contributing writer at Brain, Child Magazine's website and at Kveller.com. She's also a freelance writer with articles in several anthologies as well as in The Huffington Post, The Jewish Daily Forward, and elsewhere. Her short stories have appeared in over a dozen literary magazines. She was thrilled to participate in the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother, and she enjoys co-leading the book review site GreatNewBooks.org. Nina lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

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81 Responses to How to Blog without Annoying Your Friends and Family
  1. mayur hulsar
    October 10, 2011 | 5:29 pm

    that was a nice piece of advice. I m going through the same initial phase, where I do not have a huge subscribers or regular readers for my blog.

    And I guess I would be patient about it, and rather just enjoy what I m doing, that is posting images and stories about it.

  2. jacquelincangro
    October 10, 2011 | 5:41 pm

    I agree, Nina. My friends and family see/hear me regularly. They shouldn’t feel obligated to read my blog. If they do, great, but I don’t expect it. In fact I’ve taken it one step further. I have a separate blog for the writing classes I teach. There I can go on about writing techniques and upcoming classes without boring my personal blog followers.
    I haven’t figured out Tumblr or Stumble Upon either. Have you figured out Squidoo? I thought about signing up but I’m a bit confused.

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 9:42 pm

      Oy! Squidoo! Not only have I NOT figured it out, I didn’t even know/think to add it to my list of ideas. In some ways I feel very “on it” and in others I’m way behind. I think since I don’t advertise on the blog and never intend to, I’m not as aware of the other ways to get traffic.

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  3. Anne R. Allen
    October 10, 2011 | 5:44 pm

    Great post–so true. Friends and family won’t read your blog. Not even the people in your critique group. Although they’ll often give you advice on how to “improve” it. In fact, a member of my critique group told me a writing friend had just found the best blog, with the most wonderful information and I should go check it out so I’d find out how to blog “the right way.” She’d forward me the url. Guess what–it was my own blog! (But will that critique buddy read my blog even now?–NOPE. She figures if I know her I can’t be an authority on anything–What I call “Groucho Marxism.”)

    Of course I have a very different kind of blog from this one because it grew out of a column I wrote for a popular Canadian writers magazine. When it went under, I started posting my old columns–mostly to archive them. But it wasn’t until I started visiting other blogs that I got any kind of audience. Duh. How were people supposed to know I was there? Getting a chance to guest post for a really popular blogger is also a great way to build audience. i was very lucky to be invited by Nathan Bransford early on.

    Even so, when I’m working 12 hours a day on revisions and promotion, the way I am now, and I just don’t have the time to visit other blogs, my stats go into the toilet. My audience just evaporates. So you’ve got to keep the dialog going. OK, now back to work…

  4. ramblingsfromtheleft
    October 10, 2011 | 5:52 pm

    Nina, yours is the third post this month that asks these same questions. Not so much, do we expect family and friends to read our posts, but who and how do you get readers, is blogging dead and is it nothing more than another time-drain? I do it because I love it. I have a nice steady following and I do the same. Later this month, I have a post on the “blog” of it all myself.

    Again, I must admit I haven’t the slightest clue as t what TorS is and I looked at Squidoo and skidaddled. I subscribe here because I think your posts are thoughtful and you do not bang me up side the head with a “message.” Also, I tend to get tired of self-promoting blogs where every post eventually leads to a plug for someone’s book. I also read all your short stories, not because you mentioned them, but because I was curious and clicked on your page above the banner. Not for nothing … but this was a “great” post :)

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 9:50 pm

      Seriously, you’re one of those “virtual” friends who keeps me motivated. I feel so moved that you DON’T know me in real life but you seem to believe in me. Anyway, like you, I blog because I love it, not because I need it to sell anything. As you pointed out, I have nothing to sell now, which honestly allows me tons of freedom on the blog. It’s great!

  5. Hallie Sawyer
    October 10, 2011 | 6:02 pm

    This was a source of low self-confidence for me a while ago. I had been sharing with close friends and family that I was blogging but my traffic didn’t increase. I have about four people that follow my blog religiously that also know me personally. My best friend from childhood doesn’t even read it and we don’t live close to each other (okay, that one bothers me a little) but you made a great point that they already know me. But they don’t know me as a writer. Why wouldn’t they want to stay in the know?

    I have realized something. Not everyone likes to read. (Gasp!) And some aren’t computer savvy. (Say what?!) The whole RSS thing boggles their minds. Writers and regular bloggers get it. They blog and want others to read their blogs. Those are my blog readers.

    Maybe family and friends assume all I blog about is writing and won’t be able to relate. But I would much rather have quality than quantity. I like having blog followers that really care what I have to say than those that are just doing it out of obligation.

    Your content is fresh, engaging, witty, and filled with hot topics. You are a blogger to model after. As far as your other social media outlets go, I think you are doing it just right. You don’t shove it down their throats; you dangle the carrot just above their noses. :)

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 9:51 pm

      Hallie—thanks so much for those compliments. I feel the same way about your blog and I’m not just saying that. Maybe it’s our Midwestern connection. And you’ve hit on something important that I should have mentioned in the post—for many of us our family and friends are not the blog savvy, twitter savvy, or even computer savvy people that we are. We HAVE to be as it’s part of career aspirations, but “normal” non-writing types don’t have to attach themselves to the screen (sometimes I envy those people.) So instead of feeling bitter that certain people in my family don’t read the blog, I absolutely get it. They live in a total non-virtual world–and GOOD for them!!! It’s healthy! ;) Side note: it’s great that you have some close “real life” friends who read all your posts. I do too and I appreciate their feedback so much.

  6. Ann
    October 10, 2011 | 6:10 pm

    All that and, well, good content! I too, am surprised that people I know still/ever read my blog. Great post. And congrats on the traffic and mentions!

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 9:52 pm

      Yes! I probably should have mentioned “good content.” Really that’s #1!

  7. Ali
    October 10, 2011 | 6:31 pm

    This is very interesting and helpful. In setting up my blog and online persona as a writer, my main goal was to keep that online persona a secret from my friends and family, both to not annoy them with constant blog posts and begging them for opinions, and also because I want to prove to myself that I can gain any following without jabs at my friends to help promote my blog between them, from personal experience I know how annoying that can be.

    Even though I don’t have friends and family following my blog, I’ve still got a few comments from my twitter followers, which is fantastic because I had expected nothing so far. Thank you a bunch for the tips behind your success as a blogger. :D
    -Ali

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 9:59 pm

      Hi Ali! So listen, my two cents . . . I 100% get your motivation to keep the online persona anonymous, but if you want to get published and use the blog to get connected more and more, then I think you want your name out there ON the blog itself on the front page (not just the “about me” page) and as your Twitter handle. Many people with anonymous types of Twitter handles end up changing to their name, even after having hundreds of followers. I always advice using your real name rather than something more generic. P.S. I just followed you on Twitter. I totally think Alison_(your real last name) would be good if it’s not taken already. It’s not too late to change it! (Sorry to be so bossy . . . can’t help myself.)

      • Alison Martin
        October 10, 2011 | 10:38 pm

        Thanks for the advice! My full name is pretty, um… common? so it’s taken on twitter, but I’ll definitely use the advice for my blog and commenting. :D

  8. liz
    October 10, 2011 | 7:32 pm

    I think you hit them all! Go Nina!

    Thanks so much for the Eli Rose shout!

    I hope you are feeling good, and I love that your mom loves your blog. :)

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 9:59 pm

      She loves it, but DOES tell me each week after reading a post, “I really don’t get this whole blogging thing.” (Hi, Mom. . . she reads the comments too.)

  9. Melissa Crytzer Fry
    October 10, 2011 | 7:32 pm

    Great points. I gave up on family/friends reading a long time ago. It’s infinitely more fun to make new friends who read your blog anyway (I’m not saying old friends and family aren’t fun, but there is that element of the unknown when you start to get new readers). I have yet to venture into Facebook b/c it just seems like yet another time suck, and I want to maintain SOME privacy and anonymity in my life. I realize doing so means I miss opportunities to drive traffic to my blog and to platform build, though (when I’m a published author, I will bite the bullet and do it – and maybe some of the others. How’s THAT for optimism?). And all the others you mention … mind-boggling to try to keep up, but – again – I see the value!

    Congrats on being on the WordPress page. VERY cool. I want to be featured :-). Informative post as usual, girl. Thank you!

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 10:01 pm

      I wasn’t on “Fresh Pressed” if that’s what you were picturing. That would be REALLY awesome. This was something else, though still great (don’t want to sound ungracious.) So you’re not on FB at all??? Impressed!

  10. Rivki
    October 10, 2011 | 7:49 pm

    I have a strange reaction when people I know comment that they’ve read my blog, or that it’s “cute,” or what have you. I tend to scurry away from the topic as quickly as possible. I haven’t quite pinpointed why that is, but I suppose I like that many of my readers are people who I primary know online. However, I do have a decent number of people I know IRL who read my blog. Generally they live in a different location, and don’t see me very often.

    You have covered most of the ways that I publicize my blog. I also occasionally upload a post to SheWrites or various Jewish networking sites, when I feel the post is something that would interest the audience. I’ve earned a few subscribers that way.

    Really, though, I think it’s better to focus more on the content than the publicization. I’ve encountered bloggers with impressive-sounding credentials, but unless there’s a reason to stick around, I won’t.

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 10:03 pm

      *YUP, Rivki, you nailed it right here*: “Really, though, I think it’s better to focus more on the content than the publicizing. I’ve encountered bloggers with impressive-sounding credentials, but unless there’s a reason to stick around, I won’t.”

  11. Patrick Ross
    October 10, 2011 | 7:59 pm

    Wise words. My wife and kids here enough from me without reading my blog. They just check occasionally to see if there are new Mr. Bacon photos.

  12. julie gardner
    October 10, 2011 | 9:12 pm

    One of my biggest concerns is how often to put up new content. I know frequent posting is good for numbers and increasing traffic; but I would like to build loyal readership for the long term. I know I find myself feeling overwhelmed by (and sometimes turned off by) blogs that are TOO prolific…I always feel behind and tempted to give up.

    So I don’t want to do that at my own place.

    Still. Most blogs I follow post several times a week.
    What are your thoughts on frequency?

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 10:09 pm

      Hi there! Loved your latest post by the way. I think you and I blog at a similar rate. I post once a week. I like that when I get to your blog I don’t feel too far behind. I can read a few posts at once or just the latest and feel up to speed. I guess when it comes to bloggers that post a lot more often, I still only read the latest one OR I scan a week of posts and read the one with the headline that interests me the most. I think bloggers who post often sort of expect that and don’t mind.

  13. Jess Witkins
    October 10, 2011 | 9:18 pm

    I had to crack up when you verbalized the harsh reality that no, your family will not read your blog. It’s true! And I’m ok with that. It does make me appreciate when they do send an e-mail or link my blog to a friend of theirs. I get more excited when my regular blog readers put me in a mash up or tweet my post, then I know it’s cause they were interested and inspired.

    I’m glad you posted more tips Nina, thank you. How’s the baby name battle going? What names does your hubby have in the running?

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 10:13 pm

      Exactly–when a friend or my sisters or anyone I know in real life puts a link on Facebook or just tells me about liking a post I’m GENUINELY grateful. (especially for the FB link to be honest because their online support introduces a post to an entirely different “crop” of readers. It’s priceless, really.)

      As for baby names . . . I’m due in 3-4 weeks. Bryan has picked his names and I can live with them, though I prefer the boy’s name to the girl’s. We’re also going to follow “traditional” Jewish custom and not announce the name until the bris (circumcision) or the baby naming ceremony for the girl. Actually, I think I’ll post about that custom next week. :)

  14. Anastasia
    October 10, 2011 | 9:39 pm

    You may yourself known to me on my blog and as a fellow blogger (albeit not active at the moment), I naturally became curious about you. Your easy going way about writing and the variety is interesting and adds to my life. I’m not even related to you, but I think we are linked by the communal energy of writing. Way to get WordPress acknowledgement and don’t stop showing up in my e-mails!

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 10:20 pm

      Hi! I DID notice that the Edina Mom blog was kind of on hiatus. Maybe it’s this summer-like weather we’ve been having. It’s good to be OFF the computer (I hear). ;)

  15. Christi Craig
    October 10, 2011 | 10:03 pm

    Nina,

    Great post. I’m always surprised, and honored, when someone in my family does read my blog, especially when it’s my husband. He surprises me now and then when he mentions a post. But, I don’t expect him to subscribe or anyone in my family to comment. Most of the time the topic of my writing stays out of our conversations, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s a wider audience I’m more interested in reaching — those who come by the blog by way of the writing itself.

    On the other tactics you mention for spreading the word, Stumbleupon and Digg and the whatnot, wish I understood them. I glaze over when I think of all the options :)

    • Nina Badzin
      October 10, 2011 | 10:23 pm

      Hi! When I wrote that original post (the one after the first 6 months of blogging) I mentioned that my husband never reads my blog. He actually reads it more often now. I think he got drawn in with the baby naming stuff since he was pretty central to that post. He’s a big fan of my TC Jewfolk stuff and forwards it to all of his friends. I take that at his biggest sign of support. :)

      I agree about family and friends commenting . . . that is ABOVE and beyond. Just knowing some of my close friends and my mom, aunt, sisters, and few other family members read the blog is MORE than enough for me. I agree–it’s an honor as they all have busy lives and don’t live in the “blogging world.”

  16. Cynthia Robertson
    October 10, 2011 | 10:45 pm

    I agree, Nina, my family sees enough of me as it is. They don’t subscribe to my blog, and I don’t expect them to do so. One of them might click on a post link via Facebook, but even that’s rare.
    Like you, I don’t post every day, or even necessarily ever week, if I’m too busy with work. And I enjoy just writing about whatever I have been thinking about, or reading.
    Actually, when I first started my blog, I didn’t want my family to even know about it. Weird, I know, but it’s just ‘my thing’ I do. I didn’t see any reason to involve them.

  17. Leah
    October 11, 2011 | 12:08 am

    Completely agree with you, Nina. I’ve been blogging for nearly two years and the only family members who read my blog on a regular basis are my sister (who is also a writer/blogger) and my mother-in-law. I know my own mom reads occasionally. But my other two sisters don’t read it. Even my husband doesn’t want to read it. And I’m fine with that, really. I like having the blog about me and my community of blogger friends who now know me. So yes, don’t blog for the fam!

  18. Barbara Forte Abate
    October 11, 2011 | 6:30 am

    I am seriously horrified by the thought of expecting my family and friends to read my blog. I don’t feel it’s all that much different than if I demanded they sit next to my desk,or worse, they expected me to sit-in at their job. I love to think that anyone reading my blog actually WANTS to. In a weird way, it even keeps me honest :-)

    • Nina Badzin
      October 12, 2011 | 12:03 pm

      SUCH a good point, Barbara: “I don’t feel it’s all that much different than if I demanded they sit next to my desk,or worse, they expected me to sit-in at their job.”

  19. Julia Munroe Martin
    October 11, 2011 | 8:00 am

    I totally agree. One friend reads my posts on a regular basis (by choice), but no family members (that I know of). Which is more than fine with me–and one of the reasons I don’t use my personal FB account to post blogs. However, one of the hardest things for me to get used to, as strange as it sounds, is that I never really know who is reading what I put out on the Internet, whether blogging or tweeting. (And what will be thought of what I write!) And when I really think about that, it makes me a little nervous and a little more cautious…

    • Nina Badzin
      October 12, 2011 | 12:07 pm

      Julia, it’s funny you mention that re: not knowing who is reading the tweets. Someone I know recently referred to a few things i had on Twitter. Nothing scandalous or anything (I don’t put anything that interesting on there). BUT she’s not on Twitter. And it’s the second or third time I’ve noticed this pattern . . . so she must be checking out my Twitter page once in awhile. I don’t really care . . . there is absolutely nothing private on there, obviously, but Twitter is like it’s own world . . . I don’t really get the point of peeping into it.

      • Julia Munroe Martin
        October 12, 2011 | 12:30 pm

        Strangely (and you probably already know this)–why I mentioned Twitter at all is because I’ve noticed that when I do a google search on my name (and I assume it is probably true for anyone)–tweets will pop up in the google search. So your friend may not have gone in search of tweets at all — which is why I try to think twice prior to tweeting… or commenting on posts (which also show up in google searches! ;)

  20. T.M. Souders, Author
    October 11, 2011 | 8:00 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more about your blog being about “you” and not expecting friends and family to read it. Another thing that first time authors find out a lot is not to expect your family members to read your books either (because a lot of them won’t!) I just recently heard about stumble upon, but I, too, have no idea what you do with it. I just joined google plus and have no idea what to do with that either! I’m a mother as well (although you’ve got 1 1/2 kids up on me–the 1/2 is the one still cookin’). If only there were more hours in the day…and more sleep at night…

    • Nina Badzin
      October 12, 2011 | 12:09 pm

      Oh yeah—I didn’t even mention G+. I’m on there too, but haven’t done too much with it and I don’t see much traffic to the blog coming from there when I put up a post. And good point on the novel . . . I’ve found that with short stories. Furthermore, the blog readers won’t necessary be the same audience for the novels. I think there’s been a lot of discussion about that across blogs these past few weeks.

  21. Libby
    October 11, 2011 | 8:45 am

    Great Post! (Just kidding)
    I never read your posts out of obligation. I always love what you have to say and am truly interested in your point of view. And I especially love your humor. So even though I am a friend, I can say that I read your posts because I am truly interested in hearing what you have to say. So there.

    • Nina Badzin
      October 11, 2011 | 8:55 am

      Check is in the mail! No seriously, that means a lot and I really DO appreciate (not expect) your support. You’ve helped me brainstorm for posts too! You’re a co-writer!

  22. Gabriel Santos
    October 11, 2011 | 9:11 am

    Nina,

    Someone must have told you that up there, but you’re absolutely right.

    I’m from Brazil, and have an small blog. The fact that my wife never reads that almost kills me!

    But I feel better now :)

    • Nina Badzin
      October 12, 2011 | 12:12 pm

      I love that you found me from Brazil. How cool is that!?!

  23. Colline
    October 11, 2011 | 12:22 pm

    When I started blogging I was so excited and wished everyone would feel that excitement with me. Now I know that there are more strangers than family members reading my blog and I have come to accept the reality. I am enjoying the communication I have with people that I am getting to know and who have an interest in what I am writing. Now I blog for those readers.

  24. Rachel H.
    October 11, 2011 | 2:24 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I just started two blogs–a professional one and a personal one–so I’m new to the blogging world, and this is very helpful information. There’s a fine line between letting your loved ones know what you’re up to, and bombarding them with your thoughts on life!

    • Nina Badzin
      October 12, 2011 | 12:14 pm

      EXACTLY! THIS: “There’s a fine line between letting your loved ones know what you’re up to, and bombarding them with your thoughts on life!”

      I’m impressed you keep up two blogs . . . that would kill me.

  25. abby
    October 11, 2011 | 4:23 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. I definitely don’t expect my real life friends and family to read my blog. However, if they do I’ve got nothing to hide. :)

    • Nina Badzin
      October 12, 2011 | 12:18 pm

      That’s how I feel too . . . you have to write posts knowing they’re public and COULD be read by any one at any time. Always best to stay professional.

  26. Sara Grambusch
    October 11, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    Really great post and such fruitful comments! When I first started blogging my audience was mostly my co-workers. It was not my intended audience, but they were the only ones reading it. That group and people they are know are still a larger chunk of my readers. I find it so weird because they don’t blog or read other blogs regularly. It’s pretty awesome they read mine and periodically tell me how much they enjoy it.
    I don’t think there is a better way to expand your reader base than Twitter. You can connect personally with other bloggers and find new blogs to read. Twitter has almost replaced search engines for me.
    I am genuinely surprised when friends and family tell me they read a post because I figure they already have to listen to me talk, why read me too? Generally if I want them to read something I have to say “Hey read this. You’ll like it”. Even then they might ignore me. I’m even more genuinely surprised when I see that someone has read through practically all my posts. Mostly I wonder who that person is.
    My traffic has increased substantially lately and I think it’s because I’m covering a wider variety of topics. I know that’s moving away from being super-niche-y, but I read a wide variety of blogs and have a wide variety of interests. I blog because I love to and I’m just glad other people like it too :)

    • Nina Badzin
      October 12, 2011 | 12:22 pm

      Sara,

      I think our blogs have similar “flavors” even though we have some different topics (and of course some overlapping ones.) Anyway, I so agree on Twitter. I don’t use Google Reader or anything like that. I follow my favorite bloggers, “Favorite” their links when I see a new one and I always get to the new post eventually, even if it’s not for a week or more. As I’ve said many times in my “Twitter tips,” people appreciate an RT no matter how long after the post. I personally love getting them later because it brings new traffic to an old post! :)

  27. Scary Mommy
    October 11, 2011 | 7:02 pm

    I totally agree, I am always surprised when I find out real life people read my blog. And then? I’m mortified.

  28. Ruchi Koval
    October 11, 2011 | 7:28 pm

    Scary Mommy, me too! Though honestly it makes me feel way cooler when a stranger reads my blog than someone I know IRL (and sort of may feel obligated…?)

    Also, Nina, I actually love when people write “Great post!” Really. But I love the engaging conversations too. And I love a thoughtful, intellectually honest, respectful counter-opinion.

    Truly I feel that those who read blogs (as mentioned, must be both avid readers and computer savvy) do so to be either entertained or educated. So successful bloggers will need to be doing either, or both, and well. Lots of competition for attention out there.

    As for twitter, still learning that one. All the abbreviated links scare me. It’s like walking into a dark tunnel.

    • Nina Badzin
      October 12, 2011 | 12:32 pm

      Well, it’s not that I don’t like to hear “Great post.” It makes me wonder if they actually READ the post though, or just want me to turn around and visit their blog . . . like they are just making the rounds. I know that’s sort of pessimistic.

      Great point about the competition for attention out there . . . I feel that pressure with each post. I want to add SOMETHING to the internet space out there . . . entertaining (so subjective of course), helpful, or thought provoking. Has to be one of the three.

      As for short links on Twitter . .. they’re necessary for the 140 characters HOWEVER, never click on one without some sort of description of the link because those are spam. And don’t just tweet out a link with some sort of headline. Hope that helps! :)

      AND, going to check out your blog right now, as I don’t think I’ve been on there yet! Happy Sukkot by the way! Our sukkah is up and ready to go. Now I just hope the rainstorm that blew by didn’t harm it.

  29. Jack@TheJackB
    October 12, 2011 | 2:10 am

    I intentionally haven’t shown my blog to family and friends and i am ok with that. I may change my mind eventually but it has always been a separate world for me to kind work on my writing and air out my thoughts.

    Sometimes it is nice to be able to speak about things with others that don’t have preconceived notions about who I am/should be, what I want/should want etc.

  30. brandeewine
    October 12, 2011 | 1:08 pm

    It’s funny…I’m surprised when a family member or a friend does read my blog. I have had to assess what and how I post, so that I am respectful of all concerned. I have several blogging friends that maintain a separate online persona, and keep that from those close. It does give them more freedom to express themselves when it comes to relationships and work. I’m trying to maintain a positive presence on the internet without giving away too much about those tht I care about.

    Thank you for this post…I found it interesting to read a varied perspective!

  31. beverlydiehl
    October 12, 2011 | 5:46 pm

    There are tons of great blogs out there – including this one. I don’t read every post for every one, even the ones I love with all my heart. I don’t Tweet enough. I *do* have a FB pan fan, have my blog hooked up via Networked Blogs to autopost on my FB fan page, so anyone looking at my FB fan page can easily find my blog. I follow other writer blogs through Networked Blogs that post there too, so there’s value to being a FB fan follower, content that may not be in my Tweets or on my blog.

    But, I do the best I can, and don’t beat myself up for not doing everything, because I *can’t*. I couldn’t do everything even if blogging & Tweeting was all I had to do, even if I was twins. Just doing the best I can & trying to be efficient yet not annoying.

    • Nina Badzin
      October 14, 2011 | 4:31 pm

      Sounds to ME like you’re doing great! And you’re so right . . . we can’t do everything. Best to pick and choose the things you enjoy most. The writing should always come first no matter what.

  32. Angelica R. Jackson
    October 12, 2011 | 5:55 pm

    I’m okay with my friends and family not reading my blog–it lets me tell embarrassing stories about them! And I mostly use my blog and twitter to keep in touch with my circle of writing friends, and they accomplish that very well.

  33. Paula
    October 12, 2011 | 6:24 pm

    I’ve been blogging for a year and a half, and only recently did I even start telling my friends and family that I have a blog. Part of me wanted to keep my blog to myself, but as I’ve gained more confidence in my blogging, I now feel like l can share what I write with those I know in real life. I don’t expect them to read it, but the idea no longer freaks me out. :)

  34. Mary Pfeiffer (@MaryEPfeiffer)
    October 12, 2011 | 11:03 pm

    This blog is FULL of “amen” ideas. RE:relatives. I feel much more pressure⎯self-imposed of course⎯to write beyond brilliantly for people who know me (a prophet without honor, etc.). All the blog analytics: you’ve given me names to check out (so I can further confuse myself :) ) Writing about a variety of topics: I don’t want to pin myself down to a single area when my life is going in so many directions. . . . Now I just have to decide on a topic for my overdue blog.

  35. Lisa Ahn
    October 13, 2011 | 8:01 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out my blog and exactly what I’m doing and where I’m going. It’s relatively new. I love what you write here about having a consistent voice rather than a niche. Thanks for that. As for family and friends, I think those are most of my readers still! I’ll keep working on getting that wider audience.

  36. Rachel Gall (@GallBR)
    October 14, 2011 | 11:55 am

    I’m just starting out, but I have NOT revealed to friends on FB. The idea is that I want objective feedback, and to connect with people who are interested in the topic of the posts, not the author.

  37. ceciliag
    October 17, 2011 | 9:34 am

    All so wonderfully true, I have discovered a wealth of new and engaged people in the blog world. There are also quite a number of friends and family who read my blog but sometimes I find this strangely limiting. However I am thrilled that you have given me permission to just let go of those who do not care to read. Its OK. They are still lovely people!
    Another point you raised was about being diverse. I was worried that I was a bit too diverse but as the blog rattles on it has shaken itself into a sensible yet spirited format. And it attracts people from all walks of life really, not just the foodies, or the writers, or the fashionable girls.. we are all naturally eclectic I hope.
    Thank you Nina..
    c

    • Nina Badzin
      October 17, 2011 | 11:50 pm

      Yes! My concept is to celebrate the people who read it and cut the people who don’t some slack. We’re not interested in every aspect of others’ lives either. Meanwhile, I just checked out your absolutely gorgeous blog. The photographs are so impressive. Can you come to Minneapolis and cook for me!? ;)

  38. Jolina Petersheim
    October 17, 2011 | 10:47 am

    I am always slightly embarrassed whenever my family, friends, or my husband’s family tells me that they liked a certain blog post. I try to mentally scan back through it, wondering if I had written something that might offend. Because of this, I completely agree that we cannot write for our family and our friends alone. We have to write for ourselves, come what may.

    By the way, the disclaimer at the bottom of your post about your mother truly cracked me up. It hits very close to home.

  39. iowadogblog
    October 20, 2011 | 11:53 am

    Ok, I know I’ve been commenting on a lot of different posts of yours lately, and I promise I’m not blog-stalking you. (Well, maybe a little…) Anyway, I found this post very helpful, as well as your post with step-by-step Twitter advice, and your post about starting blogging. But I have a question for you.

    I am a freelance writer (of magazine articles and newspaper features), and I would like to become an even busier, more successful freelance writer. So I’ve been thinking about your advice that writers should eschew the cutesy named blogs and just write as themselves. However, I started my blog (Iowa Dog Blog) to write about one of my passions and to create a clearinghouse for dog-related businesses, events, causes, travel destinations, and products in Iowa and the Midwest. I am also hoping that it leads to other dog-related writing opportunities and helps me build a platform as a writer about dogs and animals. It didn’t make sense to name it after myself, so I gave it a simple name based on the subject. But should I do more to put my name out there in the blog? I have considered starting another blog, a writing one named after moi, but I don’t want blogging to take over my life.

  40. Jen Erickson
    October 22, 2011 | 5:41 pm

    Nina, I happened upon you and your writing through Twitter. I never would have met the lovely and talented Jenna Blum had I not met you. Your writing is sincere, funny and lively, just like you. People gravitate toward that. Keep these great blog posts coming.

    Always a fan,

    Jen

  41. willofheart
    November 5, 2011 | 5:38 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this, actually I am new in blogging and this tips help me a lot…

  42. [...] How to Blog Without Annoying Your Friends and Family [...]

  43. Annoying S–t. « Three Sixty
    November 29, 2011 | 6:06 am

    [...] How to Blog without Annoying Your Friends and Family (ninabadzin.com) [...]

  44. JJ - The Dude of the House
    December 23, 2011 | 6:24 pm

    Hi Nina,

    Just discovered your blog through Twitter and have been enjoying the breadth of your topics as well as your sage advice. I’m only a few months into blogging and while I enjoy it tremendously I’ve hit a plateau in terms of readers. I’ve maxed out my FB friends and commenting on other blogs doesn’t seem to help. I guess I’ll try a bit more of that, though and see if it helps. Maybe find some new blogs to comment on.

    This post of yours caught my attention b/c of a discussion I had with my wife last week. I asked her if she’d read my newest post and she said “why should I read it? I lived it.” I hadn’t thought about it, but it’s true. Even if she wasn’t personally involved in the story, she already heard about it. So the surprise is lost on her. Oh well. Guess I need to find a new wife. JK.

    Thanks again for your words of wisdom.

    Jay

    The Dude of the House
    dudeofthehouse.blogspot.com
    http://www.facebook.com/TheDudeOfTheHouse
    Twitter: @DudeOfTheHouse
    Check out my new blog post: All I Want for Christmas is Jews. http://bit.ly/tDTpog

  45. Bonnie Way
    March 8, 2012 | 5:19 pm

    Love this post! Like you, I’m super excited when my family or friends say that they’ve been reading my blog, but I know that most of them don’t. And I don’t force it on them. My blog publishes to my FB feed, so if they want to read it, they can find it; if they don’t, they can ignore it. I also try to limit how much I post to FB (and to keep it interesting) and like you, I blog on a variety of topics (writing, parenting, marriage, books). I’d love to have more time to read other blogs, because there are some fantastic bloggers out there (like you!), but I don’t – and I respect that other people also have limits upon their time. :)

    • Nina Badzin
      March 9, 2012 | 10:09 am

      It’s exciting and over-whelming know how much great stuff there is to read out there, isn’t it? Well, I found you on Twitter. Sometimes that’s the easiest way to stay in touch!

  46. Marilyn
    March 16, 2012 | 2:31 pm

    Why did it take me so long to find this post? Loved it. Plan to memorize it! Thank you.

  47. thesingernurse
    July 2, 2012 | 1:29 pm

    Aside from the singing voice I constantly fortify (I am super flattered when you took the time to watch my crappy “On My Own” video. Lol.), I am trying my best to give identity to my blogging voice. I would like to settle on a style that’s uniquely Tina’s. With that, I’d like you to know that you’ve played a big part in such undertaking. When I’ve read your Blogging Tips: What I Know Now, sometime in May, from that time on, I’m taking one step at a time.

    Thank you very much for sharing everything you know, with us. I am so looking forward to seeing your brand new site. :)

  48. Laura
    July 21, 2012 | 9:59 pm

    I completely agree. I am always so surprised when a friend or family member reads my blog. I mean, I know my mom probably reads each post like three times which is awesome, but come on, she’s my mom! Actually, I sometimes forget when I’m posting something to my blog that not all my readers are strangers on the internet. Imagining an audience of strangers somehow makes it easier to get personal. If I imagined all my friends and family reading every post, I don’t think I could be as candid.

  49. Alisha @ Flourish
    August 23, 2012 | 6:47 pm

    Hi Nina. Thank you for the great tips. I had to laugh when I read this:

    Facebook: On average of three times a month I put up a link to one of my posts on my personal Facebook account. (I don’t have a FB account for the blog.)

    And *directly* across from it is a “Like” box for your blog’s Facebook page. Lol! (I’m sure your post came before you had a FB page, but I did get a chuckle out of it!)
    Alisha @ Flourish recently posted..Comment on The Answer is on the Way by Sarah {the fontenot four}My Profile

    • Nina
      August 23, 2012 | 11:22 pm

      Oh my goodness! You’re right! I’ve only had a “fan page” (hateful word) for a month, and I wrote this post quite a while ago. I’m going to edit it RIGHT NOW. Thank you!

  50. Stacey
    June 23, 2013 | 2:24 pm

    Sage advice then AND now. Thanks for sharing this post on Twitter today, Nina. I missed it back in Oct.
    Stacey recently posted..Giving Her WingsMy Profile

  51. Kristen
    November 4, 2013 | 11:16 am

    I know you wrote this a while ago now, but I just read it for the first time last weekend and wanted to say thanks. It was the tough love (OK, kick in the butt) I kinda needed now that I’m 2+ years in. I realized I need to reflect about the who/what/why of my blog and, quite likely, regroup! But first, some more coffee. :)
    Kristen recently posted..My Bookshelf: When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice, by Terry Tempest WilliamsMy Profile

    • Nina Badzin
      November 5, 2013 | 11:24 am

      I’m so glad you read this and liked it! (Even the tough love parts.) I think it’s important to keep asking these questions as we go. Otherwise, it all starts to become part of the “I have to” part of life, and nobody “has to” have a blog!

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