People IRL Read This Blog?!?! | Discussion

Today I’m here to discuss a dilemma that nearly every blogger must confront at one point or another: the collision between “real life” and the blogging world.

In high school I was very secretive about my book blogging escapades. I never told anyone at school about it and no one ever randomly asked, “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to run a book blog by any chance, would you?” so I never had to actually say, “Why yes, I’ve run a book blog for years that no one knows about except people online and my parents. And my dogs.” I was perfectly content with the fact that no one else knew, happy to keep clacking away at my keyboard with my nerdy little secret tucked safely between the pages of whatever I happened to be reading that day.

And then I went to college.

Here’s the thing about college: it’s a lot more difficult to hide things from people when you basically live with them 24/7. It’s not like blogging is anything that I had to hide in a bad way– I’m proud of my blog and the hard work I put into it– but I’ve always had mixed feelings about telling people about it. Part of my hesitancy is that I don’t feel like many of the people I know personally would necessarily enjoy reading a blog dedicated to overly enthusiastic ramblings about books and bookish things. I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is a relatively niche subject area, or at least it seems to be when the majority of my college-age peers are more concerned with partying and watching Netflix than anything else. (Shout out to my nerdy friends, though– you’re all gems! <3)

I quickly realized that it would be nearly impossible to keep my blog a complete secret from my friends, especially if I wanted to keep updating it and replying to comments throughout the semester. Gradually I plucked up the courage to gradually mention it to more and more of my small circle of friends. I was taken aback by their genuine enthusiasm, interest, and support. People I knew IRL being interested in my quirky little blog about books? This was a feeling I had never felt before– to be honest, it was a huge relief. 

Then I started a bookstagram account last summer.

Here’s the thing about Instagram: it shows you what other people have recently “liked.” So when my close friends from college started “liking” my bookish photos, more and more people from school began to see my account pop up on their screens. Little by little I watched in simultaneous horror and bewilderment as people I had never intended to know about my blog suddenly began to know about my blog. (I had foolishly put a link to my actual book blog in my Instagram bio.) When I got back to campus in the fall and continued to post photos on my bookstagram, I was shocked to find that so many people actually enjoyed scrolling through my carefully posed pictures of books that I had taken in my front yard and stockpiled on my phone like some sort of weird preparation ritual for an illiterate apocalypse. It was strange to talk about my book blog to peers in person. Suddenly it was no longer a platform leading directly into the Internet void; rather, my voice was being heard by people I came into contact with every day. 

I don’t mean to make it sound like my book blog is some popular site visited by the majority of my college campus. In the grand scheme of things, relatively few people even know about my blog to begin with. What I do mean to emphasis is how my attitude towards people know about my blog has changed. In high school I likely would have cowered away from the mere thought of people from school reading Nut Free Nerd; now, I almost welcome it. I still get flutters of nervous butterflies whenever someone mentions it to me in person, but I’m getting there.

To those of you reading this who I actually do know in person: Thank you bunches!!! *hugs*

If you’re a blogger, how do you deal with the crossover between “real life” and the blogging world? Do you actively spread the word about your blog or do you sit back and wait for people to find out about it naturally? Any advice? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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55 thoughts on “People IRL Read This Blog?!?! | Discussion

  1. I’m still in that “Nobody asks, nobody knows” phase of book blogging. I really like being anonymous and even though I wouldn’t mind my friends knowing about my blog, I don’t like having to tell them about it. Also, I really enjoy being able to talk about whatever I want without being concerned with how IRL people will react. For me, blogging life and real life are still strictly separated.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was like that initially as well, and then this all sort of happened accidentally and I just rolled with it at that point haha 🙂 But there’s definitely not anything wrong with wanting those two parts of your life to be separate from one another– sometimes it’s just easier that way!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Holly! I’m still in hiding. The only one who knows I blog is my husband. I’m not sure why I hide.. I just feel that with blogging you are putting so much of yourself and your opinions out there.. it’s nice not to have that connected to my real life persona. Maybe someday I’ll let it out…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do briefly get a pang of horror if someone from my old school finds my instagram etc (thanks facebook, for automatically linking them without me wanting them to with NO WAY of unlinking them), but now I just think “meh, so what?” If they find it weird, they don’t have to keep looking. With people at college and when I start uni in September, I’ll be completely fine with them knowing because it’s a huge part of me now, which it wasn’t in school. That seems to be the difference for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree! For some reason there was a distinct line between high school people knowing about it and college people knowing about it. I think a large part of the divide for me personally has to do with where I go to college. Everyone here seems to have so many quirky passions and interests beyond academics, so it feels natural for people to eventually find out about this because it is such a big part of my life. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way!

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  4. I get super embarrassed when people in real life mention my blog. There are only a small handful that know about it (mostly my family and none of them read it), but one guy at work found it and he used to mention it to me at work around other people and I would shut down the conversation as quickly as possible. I prefer anonymous internet people 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so awkward when situations like that happen! It’s one thing for someone to talk to you personally about it, but another for someone to bring it up randomly in front of a bunch of other people. Sometimes it’s definitely easier to keep real v. blogging life separate! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This was a great post to read, Holly! I kept my blog fairly secret in the beginning but then word just got out. People started asking for the url and I was really nervous to give it to them (more than once I pretended to forget to send it via facebook or something) but as time moved on, I became more confident about the subject. I now actively tell strangers that this is something I do, although I often still try to downplay it. As soon as they ask for my follower count that goes out the window though … Anyway, what I actually wanted to say was that I gave quite a couple of people the web address and I can confidently say that about 10% actually visited the blog, nevermind read something. I am always surprised when I bring up a subject and someone says they read that on my blog (mostly that’s my cousins and sometimes my mum but literally no one else). I love my little corner of the internet, but the crossover to my “real” life hasn’t worked quite yet. Wow, that was very rambly. Sorry for that hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always cringe inwardly whenever people ask about how many people follow my blog… there are just so many aspects of blogging that matter to me more than stats. I must admit that I do actively avoid linking any of my posts to my personal Facebook page to avoid a ton of people I know in real life seeing them… maybe one day I’ll post about it, but for now I’m perfectly find with a small number of people finding out about it through word of mouth. It’s such a tricky and weird situation haha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, I avoid linking to my personal Facebook 90% of the time as well. It’s the strangest feeling out there to have people you actually talk to face to face know about this kind of stuff. I love blogging with all my heart, but the worlds colliding part will never seize to be weird.

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  6. I’m really happy that I read this post! I haven’t told anyone about my blog yet except for my family because I’ve been too scared to! I feel like sharing your thoughts and opinions on things (even if it’s “only” books) is really scary but your post made me reconsider! You got such positive reactions so it can’t be that bad right? 😀 Once my spring break is over I might actually start telling my friends about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad!! 🙂 In my experience, my friends have always been really excited about and supportive of my blog, mostly because they see how important it is to me. Best of luck with telling your friends about it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That was such a lovely post to read, Holly! And it’s great that you feel gradually better and more, confident about sharing your blog with people you know. At the beginning, I didn’t share this at all but now it’s such a big part of my life, people sharing my life with me such as family and very close friends can’t NOT be aware of this ahah. I guess I’m trying to feel more confident about it, but blogging still is a very personal space at times 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!! ❤ I definitely agree– there are times when what I post feels really personal, especially when I'm sharing rather controversial opinions on books or different topics that I haven't really expressed openly before. Still, it's nice to know that others I really care about are aware of my blog since it's been such a big part of my life for so long.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful post, Holly! And I can’t believe I didn’t check your blog about after so long — I thought it would be a lifestyle & health blog. *smacks self* I totally understand you. I’ve only told a few of my friends about my blog, and some of those friends were even inspired to start their own. However, I didn’t tell other friends because I was scared of how they would react. But the funny thing is that in my family, the only person who pretty much knows my blog exists is my sister. I asked my mom for permission to start it, but I think she may have forgotten about it??? 😄 And my dad found out about it too, but it’s not something I actively talk about to them. I actually get embarrassed to talk about my blog IRL. I mean, I know it’s nothing to be embarrassed about??? But I guess that I’m so different on my blog and don’t want people to think I’m… weird… even though I am. 😄 Wonderful post, Holly! Looking forward to reading more of your posts now that I know what your posts are ACTUALLY ABOUT. 😄 *facepalms again*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!! 🙂 I definitely understand your point about feeling kind of embarrassed when talking about blogging IRL… there’s something strangely and unexpectedly personal about sharing so many opinions on books you really love/hate, even if it is through the void of the internet. 🙂 (Also, I think it’s hilarious that you thought this was a lifestyle and health blog haha I’ve done that so many times with other blogs before!) ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a great post! It’s really interesting to read about your journey with this. I never kept my blogging from anyone in my IRL life, so it was interesting to read about that transition. I have a kindof similar thing with posting blog posts to Facebook. I’m always conflicted about whether or not to share. My Twitter pushed my posts because most of my followers are also book people. But on Facebook, I’ always worried that if I share my posts, my IRL people will get annoyed and silence me on their feed lol. I’ve had a few people tell me that they like seeing my posts on Facebook, but I’m not convinced, lol. Maybe I’m just self-conscious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha no I definitely feel the same way about linking my posts to my personal Facebook page. For me, it’s mostly a fear of even more people finding out about it, especially since I’m friends with a lot of people on Facebook that I’m not particularly super close with in actuality (isn’t Facebook so weird that way?!). Maybe one day I’ll link the two, but for now I’m fine with keeping it the way it is! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s so awesome!

    I didn’t tell anyone about my blog for a long time because I had some of the same concerns. Now several people know and don’t care at all. So I don’t know if that’s good or if it’s awkward no one wants to read it. :p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha I’ve had that experience with some people, too. I look at is as though them not reading it is better than them reading it and saying bad things about it! 🙂

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  11. I’m still the blogger that doesn’t really tell anyone that they actually have a blog, besides my siblings. It just seems odd to me, even though it’s probably normal to others. Understanding the fact that people would be understanding about it all, I still don’t want to tell people, just because I don’t like the conversation that would come with it. Well, I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem like something I want to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally respect that! I still feel that way about telling a lot of people– in fact, I don’t go out of my way to tell anyone at all. If they find out through the grape vine, that’s fine with me. But I’m not going to be the one to plant the seed! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, I have the same thoughts! Hardly any of my IRL friends are as bookish or nerdy about things as I am, so it was such a relief to find like minded people through my blog! I do put some of my blog posts up on my FB account, but I too have worried that my friends are going to think, that I promote too much or that I’m just too geeky for words. I semi-recently started to tweet, and that’s what I really worry about my IRL friends finding, for I really let my freak flag fly on Twitter. But on the other hand, when my IRL friends or co-workers bring up my blog, it’s always done positively.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s awesome that your experience has been positive so far! That’s why I started my blog in the first place, too– back in high school I only had one or two friends that were really nerdy, and they were more nerdy in the TV/movie way than the book way. I wanted a way to talk with other about nerdy bookish things, so here we are! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Hello! I like your blog, I don’t always comment but I read it. About your situation and not telling people I think that in high school your interests are different from your peers, and in college you find the people who really like the same things that you do. So that’s why I think in college was easiest to did people who read your blog. And when you grow up you are more confident.
    In my case, I started my blog when I was working and I told my friends to visit my page. I like when strangers find my blog because it’s not like I push it to them. And it’s weird for me when people from my school read it and like it, because I’m a engineer and it’s unlike that someone, who works with numbers all the time, write every week.

    Ps: my first language is Spanish, so if something it’s wrong I apologize.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First: thanks so much for reading my blog and commenting!! ❤

      Second: I definitely agree with you about college being a place where you finally find people who like the same things that you do. Come to find out, a few of my college friends actually have blogs of their own as well, which is really fun to talk about together. While I don't go around advertising my blog outright, I now feel more comfortable and confident talking about it if people do learn about its existence. I would have never done that in high school!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that in high school you feel judge by your classmates, but then you learn to not care about what other people think and pay attention to those people who care about you. Greetings from Chile

        Liked by 1 person

  14. My blog isn’t about books, but I definitely have told almost no one in real life about what I write about. I can count only one friend who I’ve told and who knows my WordPress blog url. I have written about family, friends and acquaintances in my blog posts, but I use fake names to be discreet and because I’m paranoid one of them will one day find my blog. The only real name on the blog is mine (although it’s a shortened version of my real name) and the names of real locations mentioned in some of my posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was definitely more secretive about my blog in the beginning as well, and I think it’s really smart of you to use fake names when talking about people you know IRL. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with keeping the circle of people IRL who know about your blog really small– sometimes it’s nice that way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess I’m so secretive is because of how sensitive I feel about some of the things I’ve spoken about on my blog. Most of all, I’m afraid of judgement from those close to me about what I’m writing about and my feelings on certain issues.

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  15. This is a really interesting discussion! Part of the reason I started a blog is that my teacher suggested it, but I thought i’d be doing creative writing not book blogging. I have two friends IRL who read my blog, plus my parents (they get emailed my blog posts. Sometimes my dad comments except he doesn’t read YA so it’s rather awkward). Some other people know about it but I don’t think they really read it. And its weird, because apart from a few good book nerd friends, I kind of feel like my IRL friends would think I’m weird for having a blog and acting different on the internet. Quite a few of my real life friends follow me on Instagram, but I think they think I just like bookish photos and don’t really look at my blog (thank goodness)
    This is a really interesting discussion, Holly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahaha I’ve definitely had some of the same experiences! I think a lot of people at my college assume that my bookstagram is just me taking pretty pictures of books as well (little do they know… 🙂 ). I never really told any of my friends in high school about my blog because I felt like they would also think I was strange for having such a different presence on the internet. But fortunately my college friends are really supportive about it, which is awesome 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m not keeping it a secret per se, but I don’t really mention it either? I dunno I feel awkward bringing it up and sometimes I just don’t feel as free posting knowing that some people I know IRL might read it, even though they’re people I love and trust. It just makes me feel weird haha. I really loved reading this post! 🙂 I’m glad your friends are so enthusiastic about your blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same way! I hardly ever bring it up on my own in conversation… I usually only ever talk about it when someone else mentions it. It still takes me by surprise whenever someone does bring it up in conversation– it’s strange to think that they see what I write on here, even though I know that anyone can see it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. lol. The horror. My parents and brothers know and that’s about it. The parents asked about it when I did discuss a book I got to read because I have a blog but I was and am still to apprehensive for them to read it. I didn’t particularly like my writing for a long time. It’s only really now, 6 years, after I started that I would consider allowing them to read my blog. But one of my brother’s is a pain so I won’t discuss it with him ever. I actually wouldn’t mind my mom or dad reading it now but anyone else in my family I feel yeech no. My personality comes out to much and sometimes I just don’t understand myself. It’s too weird. It’s like when actors don’t watch their own movies because it just hurts. So I don’t deal with it at all lol.

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  18. This is something I’m thinking about as well! I just started blogging today and I’m happy I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m still debating what I should do. I’m still trying to figure out wordpress, so maybe once I play around with it and get a few more posts up, I should?

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  19. Everyone knows I blog & have a bookstagram. It’s still kind of embarassing when people mention it? Even my husband. He’ll be like “I read your review the other day” and I’m just like >.< NO DONT TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT IT hahah His friends even read my movie reviews. LIKE WHY STOP hahah but it's whatever, I'm used to it now (even if I do get a little shy about it). I try to embrace it.

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

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  20. A few members of my family and my close friends have known about my blog since day 1 haha I never intended to make it a secret, especially because I needed a lot of help in the beginning from them. Now I’m pretty sure my entire class knows about it, as I accidentally linked my bookstagram to my facebook account and nothing I did could undo that. (it’s still linked, and even people I only see once a week follow me there because of that haha) I don’t care much about it, though. People never made mean comments, thankfully. Sometimes my friends are reading my posts and even point out some typos, which is nice of them haha One thing that could annoy me, though, is that my friends tell EVERYONE about my blog – the worst case being my english teacher haha I don’t know if I’ll tell anyone about it once I’m in college :/ Maybe, if they ask, or if they find it through my facebook 😛

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  21. This is such a great topic for a post! I only tell a very small amount of people I know IRL about my blog, because I feel like I’d censor myself more if I knew a lot of people IRL were reading it. My bf, family, and some very close friends know, but other than that I enjoy that I’ve been able to keep my blogging life separate and focus on making bookish friends!

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  22. I love that I am not alone in this! I totally don’t hide that I blog, per se, but I don’t bring it up voluntarily either haha

    I haven’t really run into anyone IRL who’s stumbled onto the fact that I blog yet – I have no idea how they wold react. I think I make a bigger deal out of it, in my head, than it would be if it did get brought up.

    It’s weird that something so public feels so personal, but that’s the power of “anonymity” I guess!

    Like

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