Last Updated on August 14, 2020 by ThoughtsStained
Happy Friday! I know this week has dragged on a bit too much for me, so I am excited for the weekend, where I can hopefully recharge and relax a bit. It’s Friday, so time for a new discussion post! As always, Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion!
This week, the topic is:
Do You use an Online Persona for Book Blogging?
Basally, this question is asking two main things: do you keep your book blogging and your personal life separate or do you let them veer together in the same space? And, do you think you should?
I’m super excited to dig into this, because I have a lot of Opinions™ on the matter and I’m curious to see what you all think, as well!
So, it’s quite obvious that I don’t separate my book blog from my personal blog. In fact, I first attempted to do just that by creating an entirely separate book review blog–because, I thought (and who knows why this is) that you weren’t allowed to be personal on your book blog or ever deviate from that. Who It thought made these rules is beyond me, but I wanted to be a “true” book blogger, so I made the attempt to run two blogs for about a year? Maybe a little longer?
But, I found trying to manage two different blogs to be exhausting and not as enjoyable as just having one space to call completely my own, that shows almost every side of me. And I think that’s one of the main reasons I advocate that, if you are comfortable with it or want to do it, you should be able to have your book blog be more than “just” a book blog (though, there is nothing “just” about being a book blogger, for it takes a lot of work and dedication!); but also a space where you share more personal posts, if you want to.
For me, it’s what makes me the happiest. Of course, I love writing and talking about books, so a lot of my content is surrounded in that. But I also talk about my writing, personal posts including mental health struggles, looking for advice on navigating life and rants; as well as other reviews, like films or video games, and starting to share activism and advocacy work, as well.
I like having one space for all of this, because not only do my readers have a chance to get to know me more fully, but it feels less restrictive. My blog feels fully mine because I’m doing exactly what I want with it, even though it doesn’t look similar to many book bloggers content, because it just covers such a variety and opens up a very personal, very vulnerable window into the person behind the blog.
Of course, I also think it’s totally valid to not share any of this and to use an online persona. It could be to protect yourself and your privacy or simply because you don’t want to share that much and I think that’s so, so valid. I think the biggest thing is you shouldn’t feel pressured into sharing what you don’t want to–just like you shouldn’t feel lesser if you decide to get more personal.
For, I will admit: there are times when I feel like I can’t claim the title of “book blogger” because, when people come to my website, they can just as easily stumble upon my most recent post being a rant about student loans or a discussion about my depression as they could find a book tag or a passion-fueled review. Sometimes, I feel like, because my content is so varied, that I’m a lesser book blogger because of it. I don’t truly believe that’s true, but the feeling is still certainly there.
Tl;dr: I think the blogger should have the right to choose what they want their blog to be and what they want it to include. I think you can still be a book blogger, even if you post personal content. I think you can be a book blogger and never veer away from anything bookish and you should be just as respected as someone who wants to share everything.
But, I’m curious to hear your thoughts! What do you think? Do you enjoy blogs like mine, who do share more content aside from book blogging-related material, or do you wish my blog stuck with just the book blogging aspect of it? Let me know in the comments below and, as always, thank you so much for reading!
Elizabeth Schap says
It’s no secret that I adore your blog and writing, haha. One of the reasons tho is becauseo it’s so varied. I love that I can read about a lot of different things at your blog. It’s still one of the few I read. I’m more into news letters with lists of various links because of that very reason. And it inspired me to get out of the rigidity I thought I had to have with my own blog. You were a great example that a blog can be a variety.
Still, I completely agree with you, where what and how you want where you want: it always makes for a better read.
Nicole Evans says
BETH, you always make my day, did you know that? My goodness, thank you so much!! I agree, some of my favorite blogs offer insights into other aspects or vary their content and I am hear for it (while respecting each bloggers’ personal opinion and style, ofc).
Davida Chazan says
Hm… well… regarding what you put on your blog – you do you!
Off The TBR says
My personna on the blog and Twitter and in real life are pretty much the same. But I don’t put as much of the personal stuff on the blog or Twitter. I’m not two totally different people, nmbut online me is not the full me. So you get less of my politics online because online is book centered. I mention family but not everything going on. I try not to talk about work except to say I’m busy or tired (which impacts the book stuff).
Nicole Evans says
I think that’s totally fair and valid (and pretty common, with a lot of bloggers I read). You have to do what makes you feel the most comfortable and make your space feel like your space!!
I wish I could have my personal accounts and my “work” accounts tied together, but I work in a sensitive field that wouldn’t really like what I…create. I wind up being somehow more personal because I’m hiding behind a persona, but there’s that bit of distance, you know? I’m a new reader to your blog but what attracted it to me was just how lively and personable it is. I’d rather read the blog of a well-rounded person, even if they veer off their usual content every once in a while! ☺️
Nicole Evans says
I totally understand! There are so many different ways and reasons why some things cannot be connected and why distance is necessary, so I completely understand why you have that persona!
Aww, thank you so much! Your comment absolutely made my WEEK. <3
This is such an interesting topic, I love it!
Personally, the only moment I’m getting a little personal on the blog is for monthly wrap-ups, and I tend to keep it short and sweet… I’m kind of a private person soooo I guess there’s that. 🙈 I have to say though that I enjoy people that are branching out a little bit, exactly like you do whenever you feel like it, to go into more lifestyle kind of posts, too. I find it so wonderful to read different things from book bloggers and it doesn’t make you any less of a book blogger at all 🙂
Nicole Evans says
I think it’s TOTALLY valid to stay private! And I don’t think I’ve ever felt pressure from the blogging community to be more persaonl than I want to be, so I hope that aspect of respect always stays! And thank you for saying that it doesn’t make me less of a book blogger, because impostor syndrome LOVES to harp at that detail. <3
I know how it feels, but you’re an INCREDIBLE blogger and I’m always here to remind you of it <3
Nicole Evans says
I adore you. <3 <3
Jenna @ Falling Letters says
Hi Nicole, I’m catching up on blog hopping after being away for a couple months. This is a great idea for a discussion post! I don’t think I’ve seen anyone talk about this before. Over the years, I have gotten less strict about separating my ‘personal’ life from blogging persona. They became a lot more closely linked when I started studying and then working as a children’s librarian. Even when primarily keeping the focus on book reviews, as I like to do, I try to be aware of the perspective that I bring and make that known to my readers. But I don’t make entire posts about my personal life. Overall, I read book blogs because I like to read content about books. I agree that any blogger should write about what they want to – I believe bloggers should write to enjoy themselves, not please a reader. As a reader, I can easily skip over the posts I’m not personally interested ;P
Nicole Evans says
Jenna, it’s so good to hear from you! <3 <3 I hope you had a good break! I am also trying to catch up on everything after a month of being too busy to do so, so I feel you on that!
I thought this was a really cool idea that Let's Talk Bookish hosted and it was really fun to read the responses! I love your experience with it, too! And I agree: I think bloggers can forget sometimes that readers can just skip posts they don't want to read, but that doesn't mean you as the blogger shouldn't write them!
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction says
I totally agree that you should be able to share whatever you want on your blog. I tend to post mostly book-related posts, but I still share a good amount of my personal life on the blog, especially in my Sunday Posts. I feel like my blogger friends are just that—friends—so it’s nice to share a bit about myself and not limit myself to 100% only books.