How to Talk About Your Blog in Real Life


Alright fools, settle in, it’s story time.

Last Friday night, like most Friday nights, I found myself three (or five) beers deep at a local pub.

I was there with Ashley, Alex and a nice group of lads. Two of them were good friends that we have been hanging out with often over the past few months and two of them were friends of theirs that I had never met before.

As per usual, we were doing the whole what’s-your-name-what-do-you-do-are-you-interesting-at-all schtick to get to know one another and one of them posed the question: “What do you do?”

I quickly replied, “I work in marketing at a digital agency down in Soulard. It’s great, I like it a lot.”

To which he said, “Oh. Cool.”

THEN, my friend piped in and said, “AND she runs a pretty awesome blog.”

Blushing. So much blushing. Flattery. The weird urge to hug him for saying something so nice. And then…

Stammering. Embarrassed, uncoordinated, stammering.

“Oh, erm, yeah… I do. I guess. I have a blog. Sure. Yeah. It’s fun. Just a little side hobby. Nothing much, really. Just a thing. That I do. Sometimes. Yeah.”

Then I looked around shiftily, stared at my hands, blushed some more and started praying someone would change the subject.

Alas, they did not. This new lad, despite being completely uninterested by my marketing response, perked up at the blog comment and said, “That’s really cool. What do you write about?”

I took a GIANT gulp of my beer. Choked on it a bit. Giggled nervously. Looked at my friend in semi-panic and replied, “Well, erm. My life, mostly. You know. Day-to-day stuff. Thoughts. Stories. I guess I write about random things. Yeah.”

And then I imagined his thoughts to be something along the lines of “This chick has some angsty Xanga blog where she details her feelings, food choices and frivolities and people actually read it?! Is she for real?!

Despite the internal dialog taking place in my head, the conversation continued with my friend jumping in for me and saying something far too nice, along the lines of, “Yeah it’s pretty great. I like it a lot. Tell him about some of your recent posts.”

To which I responded, meekly, something about how I wrote a philosophical piece about a hike in the woods (erm. Okay. Weirdo.) and how I recently wrote one about clothes (cue his thoughts again about my girly, angsty Xanga blog, for sure) and about food or on occasion, about creativity and cultural norms. (cultural norms?! Ranting about online behavior probably doesn’t qualify as aΒ cultural norm.)

And then, probably to the detriment of bloggers everywhere, I begged them to change the subject. “I’m kind of self-conscious about it! I love it… but it’s weird to talk about in real life! Hahahaha (laughing maniacally) tell me about your life!”

And with everyone feeling sufficiently awkward, the subject changed. THANK GOD.

I have been at this blogging thing for almost a year now.

In that time, have made several friends that never knew me pre-blogging. As in, they found my blog about the same time we started hanging out, so it’s a part of me that they’re aware of and talk about freely. Which, I’m not going to lie, is still kind of weird for me.

I have some odd (but I hope normal? You tell me, fellow bloggers) insecurities about blogging and talking about blogging to non-bloggers and people who know me in real life, despite the fact that I’ve always been willing to share my blog with IRL friends and family. In fact, they probably make up the lion share of my regular readership.

Blogging is weird.

But dude, despite (and probably because of) it’s weirdness, blogging is absolutely my #1 hobby. And like any other hobby, it is going to come up in real life conversation. If there’s one thing I learned Friday night, it’s that I need to handle it better. Β Because like I said, not only am I doing a disservice to what I have created here by blibbering and blushing about it every time someone asks me about it, I’m doing a disservice to bloggers in general.

Blogging is no joke.

It’s a lot of work. There are a lot of bloggers out there doing really awesome things and honestly, if I could get more hours in the day, I’d be bringing my A-game to this space WAY more often than I do. It’s fun, it’s a creative outlet, and it’s a wonderfully fulfilling hobby.

…One that will undoubtably continue to come up in bar banter situations.

Therefore, in the aftermath of this ridiculous show of it, I am memorizing and practicing a better answer to the questions that stumped me SO BADLY the other night and reduced my normally happy, confident(ish), slightly tipsy self to a stammering, stuttering mess.

Therefore, a role play:

Random lad at the bar: “So Erika, what do you do?”

Me, standing tall and smiling broadly: “Well thanks for asking! By day, I work in marketing at a digital agency. In my free time, I’m a lifestyle blogger. I write about the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life, creativity, books, and whole slew of fun and random lifestyle topics, including food, home decor, clothes and travel. What about yourself?”

BAM. That’s what’s up.

Two questions for y’all today (join me in the comments for a quick chat, if you will):

For the bloggers: How do you talk about blogging in real life? When do you tell new people that you have a blog and am I the only one that’s weirdly insecure about it?

For the non-bloggers (hiiii Mom, hi friends, hi family!): If you had to describe what I’m writing about over here, what would you say? Is there anything I forgot in my go-to script?Β 

As always, thanks for all of your support in this blogging adventure. It’s fun. You guys make my day with your sweet comments, both in real life and here on the blog. You’re rad.

Linking up for Funday Monday.

44 Comments

  • Amanda says:

    I “came out of the blogging closet” to my new boyfriend this weekend. I was scared, too! I felt so exposed and so self-conscious about it and even told him so. I don’t hesitate to share anything with him, but for some reason this was something I needed to think about for a long time, and even then be somewhat encouraged into sharing. I basically loaded the site on his computer, talked about it for no more than 2 minutes, and then told him he can read it if he wants, but doesn’t have to.

    A few of my friends, and most of my immediate family know about my blog – but I primarily keep in touch with these people online. The people in my physical life know much less about my blog, and they are the ones that I freak out about sharing it with.

    So no, you are NOT the only with that’s insecure over it.

    I also feel really insecure about talking about people in my life on my blog.

    • Ah congratulations! Ha I love the “coming out of the closet” idea. Isn’t it crazy how comfortable and easy it is to share with total strangers but when it’s the people we like most, it’s all sorts of awkward?!

      I’m with you on talking about the people in my life – sometimes I have to catch myself before I go too far with that. Being “out” about blogging to pretty much my entire extended family/all of my IRL friends and all of my coworkers has helped me feel less weird about it, but I definitely keep it in the back of my mind.

      Thanks for the comment! :)))

  • #LLinaBC says:

    you’re definitely not the only one who has a hard time talking about blogging in “real life”. it’s not the easiest thing to describe. and most people have a preconceived notion of bloggers & blogging, in general. but usually, they’re wrong. You have a great blog. and you’re your biggest advocate – so own it. love it! [and stick up for it, because we’ve all had to defend our blogs before]. at the end of the day, you put a lot of work into it. be proud πŸ™‚

    • So glad I am not alone! πŸ™‚ You’re totally right about the preconceived notion of bloggers – I think that’s part of the insecurity. But you’re totally right, have to be our own biggest advocates – if we don’t think what we’re saying matters, then why would anyone else? πŸ™‚

  • Cassie says:

    Oh gawd, I can relate to this on so many levels. I’m getting better at talking about my blog, but I still feel somewhat self-conscious about it at times. It’s one thing to promote your blog online, but talking about it in person makes me feel like I’m promoting myself or bragging or something. But because it is my number-one love, I need to add to its credibility by talking it up and having a go-to script of sorts like you mention here. It’s funny, because I didn’t tell most of my loved ones about it for a looong time and felt so awkward about it when I finally did, haha.

    • It’s funny you’d mention that it feels like bragging – I really think if I were more positive about it in person, I would agree with that wholeheartedly – I tend to devalue it so much in trying SO HARD to not brag about it that it sounds like I’m ashamed of it or something! Ack. Also not a good thing.

  • Erika says:

    Oh man, I know this feeling! I actually used to share my blog posts on my Facebook account, especially back a few years ago when it was about me traveling. But then it got more and more personal and so I stopped that, but some people from my real life still read it and it always shocks me — and sometimes the people are such a surprise! If I see them again and they mention it, I get SO embarrassed and start staring at the floor and I have no idea what to say. I also was in a situation where my boyfriend was trying to explain what I spend so much of my time on and I was like, “NO DON’T TELL THEM!” but he was really proud of it. I just felt embarrassed, though.

    I think… maybe it’s because it’s so personal? I don’t know. Even though you know people are reading, sometimes it only feels like the people who comment are reading? And when that’s only like 2-20 people, it feels more intimate and safe. Knowing other people are… I don’t know. And it’s just such a hard thing to explain… I’m proud of it, I really love it, but still, it is kinda weird, haha.

    • You’re so right – sometimes I think the only people who read are the ones who comment (sooo like… 10 or 15 total haha) but the AWESOME commenters probably only make up 2% of all of my readers. Ha I love that your boyfriend was so proud of it! Sounds like he’s an awesome guy!

  • Erika, I am right there with you! I feel awkward talking about myself generally, but when the light is put on my blog I get even more flustered–but why!? It’s totally something to be proud of (especially if someone else is talking you up–how cool is your friend, btw). Like @chimerikal:disqus, I get super embarrassed when people talk about my blog in real life. I think it’s linked to the fact that it’s hard for me to accept a compliment/toot my own horn/etc. and it’s something I’ve been working on. Recently, I’ve been more open about my blog, even asking for feedback from in real life friends. It’s been so fun to talk to them about my hobby and learn more about what makes them passionate!

    It’s funny because many of them have told me they want to start a blog or [insert fun hobby/life passion here] but don’t know where to start. And that’s when I really start enjoy talking about my blog, since I had no idea how to start so I just jumped right in. Best move I could make since I refused to let myself wuss out. So talking about blogging as a way I faced a fear and cultivated courage makes me feel a lot better about the whole thing. Thanks so much for sharing this story!

    • I love the idea of asking for feedback from real life friends – I should do it way more often. My sister seems to always get the brunt of the “is this a good idea? did you like that post?” questions, but I feel like real life friends would be such a great source of feedback too.

      And I get the comment about wanting to start a blog a lot as well – I love how you think about your blog as the way you faced a fear and conquered a challenge – SUCH a positive affirmation for blogging.

      Thanks so much for the comment Amy! πŸ™‚

  • This post and the comments (from bloggers I love!) makes me feel so much better! I am in exactly the same boat. I get so flattered and embarrassed when real-life friends tell me they read my blog, even though they are kind souls who only ever follow that with nice comments about a post they liked.

    What I realized was that once I started talking about my blog and my goals for it/side work, I started to move closer and closer toward those goals. I had a real life and online group of friends who supported those goals and I could be honest about challenges and questions that arose along the way. Packaging it up in an elevator speech/introduction like you have is such a helpful way to get that ball rolling! Thanks for sharing this post and obviously saying what we’re all thinking. πŸ™‚

    • I love the idea of sharing your goals related to your blog/side work with your friends in real life – I’m sure it adds a bit more weight to them and helps make you more accountable. I may just have to start doing that more often.

      SO glad you found my blog and connected on Twitter/Bloglovin – I just spent like thirty minutes digging into your blog and can’t believe I hadn’t found you sooner! So excited to read more of your stuff, Alicia! Thank you for the sweet comment! πŸ™‚

  • I’ve been blogging for so long (not on my current blog, this one’s new) that I don’t really think about it before saying “Oh, I write a lifestyle blog,” but it doesn’t tend to go well in my circles (married, small town, don’t “go out”). I get that blank stare, the occasional half-hidden smirk, and suddenly I’m 12 years old announcing to my mother that I want to be a brain surgeon when I grow up. Not pretty. I recently went to my first trade show, though, and introduced myself as “Hi, I’m Alena with The Homemade Creative! I’d love to chat with you about running a feature of (your brand here).” By the end, I was on top of the world!! β™₯ Now to transfer that confidence to random friends, family, and strangers…

  • […] Bar Banter & Blogging Confidence – AKA talking to cute boys about blogging at the bar?! Painfully awkward. But it spurred a great discussion about bridging the gap between Blogland and well, the real world. […]

  • BeNourishd says:

    I feel exactly the same way!! I find it REALLY weird to talk about my blog. I have no idea why. I love my blog! But if someone asks me about it, I get all shy and weird about it. I definitely need to get more confidence around it.

  • […] started talking about this blog to new acquaintances. Hell, I’ve even been bringing it up on purpose in bars and on dates. I’ve started to talk about my blog in equal measure with my job. Sometimes, […]

  • Kelli says:

    Its so interesting how many of us feel this way! I’ve barely even mention my blog to my IRL friends, because I feel a self-conscious about it. I guess because my blog feels so personal to me and when you blog you are really putting yourself out there.

  • Paige Brown says:

    This so true! I rarely talk about my blog to my family. Half of them wouldn’t know what blog is, and the other half wouldn’t understand the purpose of having one. It’s is kind of an awkward, self-conscience thing to talk about.

  • Lauren says:

    Gosh I am so awkward when talking about my blog. I think its because I still haven’t truly defined what it is/ what its purpose is for myself yet- so how am I supposed to define it for other people?

  • OMG THIS. Yeeees. It’s all kinds of awkward. I called my blog a website for ages and I started that darn thing in 2009. Haha. I try to remind myself often not to minimise the work I do, the thought or effort required to run a blog but sometimes, that awkward falls right out. My husband, like your friend, is my blog’s biggest champion and demands I tell the world all about it. Thank goodness for him.

    • Erika says:

      Yay! Gotta love supportive significant others! So important. Own that awesome blog!

  • SO happy I’m not the only one! I pretty much stammer the same thing. But after reading this post, I think I’ll practice a few lines with my boyfriend. I’ve always heard that you should be able to describe your blog and what it’s about in a short elevator ride. Thanks for posting this!

    • Erika says:

      Of course! I hope you come up with an awesome elevator speech for your blog!

  • gemma says:

    This is just like me, I never want to talk about having a blog in with people I know, it’s just weird. but I am a little proud of my blog but still… I wish I could speak more confident about it too. so you are not the only one

  • Oh my goodness! I so need this. One of my big goals for the year is to “come out of the blog closet” and so far I’ve done nothing about that. But I’m moving in the fall, so hopefully I can bring it into the open then? But I feel like it just doesn’t come up in conversation since it’s not my job or anything.

    Also, if I mention it, then people want to read it and that’s just so much pressure! It’s easy blogging to unknown people but much harder when you know that people you know in real life are reading it.

  • Erica, this post is like reading my own thoughts, thank you so much! Now I know I’m not the only one! πŸ™‚
    I don’t know why I struggle to tell people that I blog, maybe it’s because I’m new to it or maybe its because blogging is a bit like giving up your inner most thoughts and feelings for the outside world to comment on.

    Love your blog, definitely will be visiting it again πŸ™‚

    • Erika says:

      Glad you could relate, Becky! πŸ™‚ Come back again soon!

  • Hi, Erica!
    I’m a Brazilian blogger and in here the blogging thing is really strong nowadays but mostly for beauty, makeup and lifestyle blogger. I’m actually a book blogger and for the past two years I’ve discovered how many of us are there.
    There are SO MANY book lovers blogging and vlogging and it’s like a small book loving comunity. I’ve made great friends, learned a lot, got some GREAT recommendations and I am really happy to admit to be a blogger now. There is still a lot of judgement ’cause people don’t understand how much is maintaining a blog, but from seeing how much effort people put in their work (and how that actually give results and people actually like to read and watch us) I am proud to answer ‘So, what do you do?’ with ‘I study Translation and I have a book blog where I post reviews and discuss book related things. Oh, I also have a regular job’. πŸ™‚

    I loved this post and your blog. It’s really inspirational!

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  • Heidi - Laloe.be says:

    Oh so recognizable! I don’t like to talk about my blog in real life either. I’m a shy blogger πŸ™‚

  • Don’t you love it when someone comments on an old post. Ha. Awkward.

    Anyway, you live in the same city as my best friend and I’ve said “blogging is weird” more times than I can count. Because weird.

    • Erika says:

      Blogging = SO WEIRD. πŸ™‚ I love comments on old posts. And responding to comments on old posts 10 days after the fact πŸ˜‰

  • Rutuja says:

    Yeah, seriously! I wonder why do we feel awkward to talk about our blogs?!

  • Farrah says:

    I adore your internal dialogue with yourself, hahahaha. :] No one that I see on a regular basis knows that I have a blog, and I prefer to keep it that way. πŸ˜€

    • Erika says:

      Ha thank you Farrah!

  • […] How to Talk About Your Blog in Real Life […]

  • Marissa says:

    For me, it helps that my “day job” and my blog topic are related. So I can say something like “I’m a therapist and run support groups for first-time moms and I also have an online presence (sounds super fancy!!)”

  • Kara says:

    Oh my goodness, YES!! I’ve struggled so much with talking about my blog to my IRL friends! Now I don’t feel alone. Thanks!
    -Kara
    coffeewithkara.com

  • Exactly!! I am so self conscious about my blog. Its only been up for about a month, but im loving it! I just wish I didnt feel so weird telling people. No one I know irl knows about it except my husband. I keep thinking once I get more followers and comments and can prove I have a following ill start telling people, but I dont know. Right now I just feel like everyone will thing im some weirdo talking to myself online lol. This was a great post and its nice to know im not alone!

  • Amber Young says:

    I find it a bit more difficult to talk about my blog http://www.journeytoanxietyfree.com because it’s about going through the challenges of mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Discussing mental health is a bit of a stigma in today’s society, but I want to change that and be able to help others struggling with mental illness. So I do it. I try and make helpful and meaningful blog posts using my day-to-day experience with it. I’m still figuring out how to tell people that I’m blogging about my mental health issues, especially my extended family, but I think that the more confident you are in your blog, the more confident you’ll be talking about it IRL.

  • Someone recently asked me what I do “in the house all day” and I just told them website design. Kinda the truth, right. Certainly more socially acceptable and easier than a spiel about being a blogger. Mostly, though, I said that because he was not technologically advanced (still has a flip phone) and I just wanted my dog to do her business and hurry up and get back in the house.

    One of my pet peeves is when family/friends call you on the phone to talk about the post rather than just leaving a comment. (Is that an extrovert thing??) I just direct them back to my blog by telling them it will help me so much more if they left a comment rather than call.

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