Developing Your Blog

In this free lesson, learn how to develop a blog of your own using goals you can set for yourself and options available online.

Deciding how much personal information to share

Before you write your first blog post, you should already know how personal you want your blog to be. Some bloggers choose to blog with their real names and include personal details about their lives. Others blog with a pseudonym, or fake name. If you're either a private or open person, the decision on whether or not to reveal personal information on your blog probably seems pretty straightforward. However, there are a few things everyone should consider when deciding how much to share.

Review the graphic to learn about the pros and cons of sharing personal details on your blog.

Deciding how much to shareDeciding how much to share

What's the best choice for you?

Now that you understand the pros and cons of sharing personal information on your blog, look back at your blogging goals and the audience you decided to write for. Depending on how you're going to use your blog, you might have to share at least a little information in order to reach your goals.

Blogging openly

Elena Casarosa
Elena says: "I blog to show off my photography and attract new clients, so it's essential that I use my real name. I need to include my contact info, too. If I don't, how will people find me?"

For example, if you're like Elena and want to use your blog to promote yourself or build a career, you'll need to include at least some personal information. You don't have to include many personal details—just enough that someone looking to learn about your work would be able to find your blog and get in touch with you if necessary.

Blogging anonymously

Jessie says: "Since I'm posting pictures of my kids, I don't feel comfortable sharing our last name, the city where we live, or anything else that would let strangers find us."

On the other hand, if you have a more personal blog you may not want to link real-life information like your full name and location to the things you write. In Jessie's case, there's no real need to share identifying information on her blog. Her main audience is her family and friends, who already know who she is.

Blogging cautiously

Craig says, "There's no reason my readers need to knw my last name, but I don't mind letting them know where I'm from and posting a link to my Twitter. I can always share more later if I change my mind."

Whether you choose to make your identity public or be completely anonymous, you should be cautious about sharing personal details online. As you decide how much you feel comfortable sharing, keep this in mind: Once you post information about yourself online, it's almost impossible to be totally anonymous later, even if you remove the information you shared.

Unless you're like Elena and have a real need to share personal details, we recommend starting out by sharing a minimal amount of information about yourself. As you get more comfortable blogging, you may choose to share more about yourself with your readers.

Before you share any kind of personal information on your blog or other social media, it's important to make sure that you're not compromising your safety. For more information, check out our Social Media Privacy Basics lesson from our Internet Safety tutorial.