I promise that every Thursday from now on, I will have a useful tip for my Blogging 101 series. Before we get into it, I have a confession to make. So please excuse the interruption before we start off, because I have something that I have been meaning to explain to you all for a long time.
Some of you have been loyal readers of mine since the beginning, others are newer friends, and some of you might be reading this post as the very first time on my blog. Here are a few numbers that may (or may not) interest you:
I have been blogging for 491 days, published 561 blog posts on Vintage Zest & The Episodic Eater, and shared a whole slew of photos and more on my Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook accounts.
And how many of those posts and social media shares have included a picture of my face?
A big, fat ZERO.
Why? Because I am a shy blogger.
I get asked a lot why I don't have a picture up on my website, and I figured that I should explain it with a bit of thought behind my answer. If you are wondering why I am addressing it now, here is the reason. As both Vintage Zest and The Episodic Eater grow, I have been attending more events. As I meet more bloggers, shop owners, and PR peeps, I have to explain that I would rather not be photographed. Sometimes I feel bad about it because to fully explain why, I would have to give the whole explanation below. Not time efficient when someone wants to snap a quick Instagram pic!
- It's not because I have a social phobia. I think you know from lots of my previous posts that I share a lot. Sometimes even too much?
- It's not because I'm hideous-looking. I have met a few peeps in person (Tori, Mo, Mary, "Miss Lulu," and all of the Shop Small Saturday Showcase shop owners) and they can vouch for my human-looking appearance! :)
- I'm not trying to be gimmicky as the "anonymous blogger" to get more exposure. In fact, I have been told that people are more likely to engage with you if they see a face on the blog, so it's definitely not for the traffic!
So then why am I a shy blogger?
Here are a few reasons which may or may not surprise you...
- When I first started blogging, it was just to share a couple of sewing projects and the occasional meal out with a couple of friends. I didn't know (or really care) about the blogging "norm" that it is a good idea to have a picture of yourself on the sidebar to welcome people. Since this was meant just for my two friends, I didn't even think once of uploading my face for all to see!
- Sad as it is, I blogged in secret when I first started. I thought most of my friends (except the two above), family, and definitely my co-workers would think having a blog was frivolous and silly. I only had to "confess" to my family when they noticed that I was taking more pictures of recipes and our meals out.
- Along with the point above, I have alluded to my work in the medical field. Because my blogs are a creative outlet, they are completely different than my work life. I honestly thought people would take me less seriously if they found out. This was probably the most important reason for my anonymity. As you might notice, I don't post my last name either, just so someone doesn't find this while Google-ing my full name and therefore connect me to it...
- Also, in real life, I'm the opposite of an over-sharer on social media. I used to share the occasional personal photo on Facebook, but nowadays I will just get a random tag here or there from my friends. My personal Twitter account has only 1 tweet (without a photo), and my Instagram account only has 2 photos, neither of which I'm in. I'm not a selfie kinda girl!
- Lastly, I can kinda be a bit paranoid. Thanks, mom! No, but really I share so much about my life that sometimes I wonder how much is too much. I share when I am on vacation, the events I attend, restaurants where we eat, and more... So, I err on the side of caution. And once your face and life is on the web for display, there's no taking it back. Anyways, I'm not getting too Carrie from Homeland, am I?
So, will I continue to be a shy blogger?
Honestly, I'm not sure!
A few months ago, one of the advisors on my latest work project found out about the website after I mentioned being familiar with HTML. I was ridiculously nervous that my professional reputation was down the drain! Instead, he wanted to know all about it. He asked tons of questions like what I write about, how people find me, and if I do all the technical stuff on the site. By the end, he was impressed that my Big Game Chili recipe was featured in the Smart & Final mailer. He even asked if I considered making it Paleo-friendly and thought I could get more readers interested if I had a specific niche. Apparently, I was worried about nothing. The man couldn't wait to help me with my blogging!
So now that my major concern has been addressed, what do I have standing in my way?
Well, I do know that if I ever decide to post my picture, I will most likely have a professional headshot. Everyone in my family, plus my guy, is photographically challenged, and I'm not about to make any of my friends take photo after photo of me! (P.S. - If you know of a good photographer in the L.A. or O.C. area, let me know!)
So until then, I hope you don't mind me being a shy, faceless blogger to you all. I hope to break the ice with just a tiny sidebar picture one day. Eventually, I might even share a happy selfie here or there. Could you even imagine? :)
Are you a shy blogger, share everything, or are you somewhere in between?
*Update* Check out the latest Blogging 101 posts here: