Wednesday, July 1

Cross roads, What do you think?

I'm at a cross roads with my blog, and I think decisions need to be made. A couple of things have happened to make that abundantly clear. When I first started my blog, only etsy folk stopped by. I got to know them, read their blogs and some of the entries were pretty personal.
Then, last year, as I expanded my company, I started my own website and linked my blog to the site. Last week, I wrote a post about Michael Jackson, and while I stand by every word, I got some hate mail for it. (thanks to the kind soul who alerted me) and I removed the whole post.
I know now that having a website makes the circle a whole lot wider than etsy and I cannot be so personal anymore. I've always thought that a blog, a virtual on line public diary was narcissistic, and yet I've done it anyway. I'm not sure my customers need to know about my weight loss or cycling goals or that my son is headed for college.
It's funny, but the more my name gets out there, the more google pages I see, the more I become protective of the private details of my life.
So, I could write a more professional blog, actually a new one. I could stop writing in public all together. I'm at a cross roads. What do you think?


uncorked said...

I have pondered the same thing- I have written entire posts and then not published them- mainly about things that I started thinking might make me look too inept or careless to potential customers (not actually a big stretch for me) and I have censored certain language with customers in mind- this is hard because a blog should be a personal thing - otherwise it will end up being a cookie cutter of everyone else with all kinds of business info and bland pleasantries and no real Sherry in there- but it is tough call because you could alienate certain readers. I was just thinking myself of doing facebook (ACK one more thing to do!) for my family and close friends and for things I wouldn't post to customers- not sure what the answer here is.

High Desert Diva said...

You could do private, one for your biz.

I personally like to read a bit about the biz person...straight biz blogs are a snooze to me. But everyone has their own thoughts on the subject.

Waterrose said...

Sounds like the Robert Frost poem.

For our other "real" business I have a professional blog. Giving out hints and tips..etc. That one is a bit boring for me.

On my creative blog I think that I self-censor anyway. I approach it like I did when I worked in an co-workers didn't need to know my personal/religious beliefs. But, I still shared some of my life with them so that there was still a connection. Sometimes those office friends became personal friends after we spent time with one another and understood one another better. I think there are too many people ready to "go off" on others and bring harm based on what one writes. It's so easy to find someone, so I don't know if it's worth it to state, in this medium, how you feel about touchy subjects. The world is different right now.

It really is a shame, but you have to do what keeps you sane and safe. I like your outspokenness and do not feel threaten by it at all, but many other people, zealots, are a much different beast. I think there is a middle ground and I think you would still have an interesting/successful blog if you took that path. But you have to be true to yourself...or you won't enjoy writing your blog.

KMJewelryStudio said...

I include personal bits in my blog here and there, but I mostly talk about my jewelry making journey...but I guess thats what I like to talk about most.

I don't think it is unprofessional to talk about your life in your blog. After all- we are all human.

I do make a point to stay away from political/ religious issues in my blog- only because that's not what the purpose of my blog is for- and those issues will spark up fights from all corners. That's not for me.

You can't please everyone, so write your blog for yourself. If you've developed followers- It's because they enjoy the topics you write about. Everyone else can go fly a kite! :)

Julie Beck said...

the goal of a blog is not so everyone in the world likes you and everything you say. it's so people who are on your same wavelength can see what's up. as a public figure, thick skin is a must.

there will always be haters.

personally my blog is a mix of me, my art, and my thoughts. take it or leave it. leave a nasty comment or not, i don't care.

i thought your MJ post was right on... it's called an opinion...and everyone has one.

Pretty Things said...

I love having a blog. I've gotten some great customers from it and some new friends, too. My rule of thumb is not to write something that I wouldn't want to be printed on the front page of the paper. There was one post I wrote about being an artist with depression, but I felt strongly about that, and would have gladly been interviewed by anyone, be they layperson or CNN about it.

If you like to blog -- do it. Follow your heart.

jeweledrabbit said...

No matter who you are or what you do you'll never please everyone. And unfortunately, the anonymity of the internet makes it a breeding ground for haters.

Personally, when it comes to indie artists I like to get a sense of the person behind the art. I enjoy reading the blogs of artists who have strong opinions and aren't afraid to express them, or who post things about their personal lives.

I don't think you should let a few haters make you change the direction of your blog, but you have to be comfortable with what you post.

Katie said...

First, I'm sorry to hear about the mail that you received.
I always try to be very candid on my blog; not going into details about anything. We just never know who's out there reading.
The other day I was very angry about some trespassers up at our other place and blogged about it. A few hours later, I deleted the post. Mainly because I didn't want to look at it, but also because I think it had TMI about me in it.

I do like reading blogs that mix business with personal life, as long as the personal life isn't too personal. I've never once thought that your blog was too personal.

T.Allen-Mercado said...

As someone who has written a fair share of "against the grain" posts, I have this to say:

I can not, or will I ever try to please everyone. I welcome any and all input and ask only that it is respectful. Hateful comments, and personal attacks speak volumes about the party posting them. My writing is an extension of who I am as is theirs.

On the business only blog-all work and no play and all that...I'd miss you terribly. I hope you find the answer that works best for you and yours.

connie said...

I get board with blogs that are all business. I think the personal part makes those of us who are pondering the business end of things feel like we could possibly do it. I like reading about peoples lives. Unfortunatly there are those out there who feel they should tell the rest of us how to write, think and act. I personally love and enjoy your posts.

Sherry said...

I am so touched by all of your posts. Thank you. Had I thicker skin, I may have left the MJ post up. But, it was scary mean, not just mean.

And, so with all of your encouragement, and because I realized I love reading your blogs as well, I'm keeping mine.

Like my friend, T, I do operate against the grain sometimes as well. It's part of who I am.

Cicada Studio said...

It took a lot of soul searching and commitment to post a picture of Obama right before the election. Up until that point, I hadn't mentioned a peep about my political views. But after a while, I thought, this is MY blog. This is MY life. If I want to, I shall... On the other hand, I'm largely aware that I have a reading public, and with that, I'm naturally careful not to want to alienate anyone, so I said my peace simply. I hardly think anyone was surprised, but I did get one customer who told me she thought it was inappropriate and could no longer purchase from me (which I thought was very twisted logic). Still, oh well.

But after that moment, I found I had little *controversial* things to say, so it's all been a bit moot these days.

If your blog is not a marketing tool and really is a personal diary, perhaps you shouldn't publicize it to where customers may find it (that is, if you are). However, people will find you and there are obviously those who love to put in their $2000 worth of opinion. It's the risk we take putting anything on the net!

Your pals know you're here! We'll keep reading. :)

Judy said...

If you did a purely "professional" blog I think people still would want to know about the person who is creating this wonderful item and the hows and whys daily musings...I think it is hard not to include those such things, and you know it could just be a little boring...just my 2 cents worth.

Anonymous said...

Lately I've been wondering how I could turn my blog into something more professional. But at the same time, I really just want to say what I want, when I want, and not worry about who thinks what of it.

I find myself toning down my feelings sometimes, because I still want to remain professional to those who are purely customers, and not etsy sellers or friends/family. But it's tough. Sometimes I too think about having two blogs, but what's the point in that?

I think the best way to answer your own question is to ask yourself... What do I want my blog to do for me? Or, What do I want to get from having a blog?

If you can think about it in such a way that you can ask productive questions that start with 'What' (I just recently learned this) it helps you find the real answer, rather than just more questions.

I personally like your blog just as it is, and I enjoy reading about your work as well as your life in general. I think that I've made sales and repeat customers, by letting them get to know 'me' the artist behind the name... I think it's only human nature to be curious, and a blog is a fun way to let people in... if only just a little. ♥

foobella said...

Sometimes it's hard, but you must have a thick skin when blogging. As well, readers need to have a thick skin while reading blogs!

If you said the same things in your small circle of friends, I'm sure you'd get one or two folks that would disagree with you, but in the blogging world we have a much larger audience, therefore, more chances for dissent and ugliness. That's the chance we take.

I read your blog, too. Nothing in it was worthy of ugly comments. I would not have deleted it if I were you. Maybe I would have just closed the comments on that particular post. Is that even possible to do? Not sure. If someone sent me a nastygram, I'd just tell them to "eat it" (ha! get it?)

Keep on posting!

PoleStar Jewelry said...

I really don't know or understand why such a true and relatively benign statement would "inspire" hate mail.

Maybe just keep the blog business related and keep a private journal if you feel so inclined.

I personally have a separate family blog for friends and family that is on a separate account than my business blog and I only share that personal blog with very close friends, a few Etsy close friends and a customer who has become a close friend. In other words, very trusted people.

I like your blog and your updates about family though, I will miss it. I have two boys and I feel like I look somewhat into the future when I read your posts about your wonderful son.

elisa said...

I wanted to write a very long comment here in response to your post but honestly a lot of people before me have said what I was thinking (supporting you, saying that the hate comment was very unnecessary etc).
It's a difficult decision but I think if you just sat down somewhere quiet - don't think about the mean blog comment - don't think about everyone's thoughts on the subject - just sit and listen to yourself and what you want for this blog you'll know the answer.

woolies said...

Only once did I write a very personal blog post. I try very hard to keep my posts interesting (frogs in the pool) or work related. I sometimes feature other artists. But as much as I'm tempted to write about my family, I refrain. This is the world wide web.

Fire Lily Jewelry said...

As somebody else here already said ... two blogs is the way to go.

A personal blog that you can share with family and friends.

And a blog for your business.

There's some messed up pple in the world, and they love the anonymity of the internet. Keeping your personal blog private to just family and friends will help you avoid them.

This same issue is why I don't use my real name as my business name. My real name is extremely unique, and I prefer to keep a bit of anonymity.

Fire Lily Jewelry said...

Judy said...

If you did a purely "professional" blog I think people still would want to know about the person who is creating this wonderful item and the hows and whys daily musings...I think it is hard not to include those such things, and you know it could just be a little boring...just my 2 cents worth.


A business blog doesn't need to be 'sterile'. You can still add personal touches. Having the personal blog alongside just means you can restrict certain things to a more personal audience.

Cindy said...

I think that is a good idea to have two blogs if you can keep up with them. I do understand to keep things private. It seems no mater what you do someone is going to do something negative. I have written things also about my son. I am sorry this happened but now I can learn from it also. Thanks for sharing!! Good luck in your decision

Gypsy Moon Designs said...

Sherry I was happy to hear your opinion on the media and M.J. but I know what you mean.

I like personal touches to blogs. I have wanted to blog about politics but refrain. I think if we blog with our business attached to it then we keep it kind of vanilla.

Thing is if we refrain ourselves then people only see the vanilla side of us when in reality we are so much more.

In regards to MJ, I think the media jumped on the band wagon. We could have heard more about Farrah's type of Cancer, Obama in Russia, much more!

I sure hope you continue to Blog Sherry, I enjoy getting to know you!

~ ennui ~ said...

It's your blog and you have every right to do whatever it is that you want to. I'm glad to hear that you stand by your words.

Where is the post on Michael Jackson? I'd love to read it.

Anonymous said...

tough decision...I hear you.

Getting a scary-mean comment is horrible. Sadly, those people are out there...

I think a business blog has to be a bit personal in order to be interesting {all work and no play...}. I guess the key is trying to figure out just how personal you want to make it.

Good luck with your decision...hope you find a way...but I'd hate to see your blog gone for good.

Kathy said...

I love my blog. It gives me the chance to just write...and to meet wonderful people. Those who don't like what I write, don't have to read what I write. If they really don't like me or what I write, they don't have to stop at my etsy shops either. Everyone isn't going to like me, or my crafts, or stories about my life.

If it really bothers you Sherry then either have 2 separate blogs, or pull the plug on the personal stuff.

If it doesn't bother I'm hoping it doesn't....keep on writing girl...your followers love it!

Have a great trip!