Sharing Personal Information on Your Professional Site

Flash the DogSay hello to my dog Flash (pictured here).  You’ll see why I added his picture in a moment.

If you have a site you use to promote your freelance writing business, or even a niche site you’re using to make money, you’ve likely written a lot for the site.  Most people (myself included) write almost exclusively on the main topic of the site.  On this page, for example, I’ve got many pages about how to write and how to market your writing and things like that.  I read a post on another page which had a lot of personal information about the site owner, and it got me wondering.  Is it a good idea to merge a professional site with personal items?

Before I get too far into this, let me tell you, I don’t know the answer.  I have a feeling that there are some pros and cons to adding personal items, but I don’t really know which one is actually better.  I’m going to list off my thoughts and you can decide which option is best for you.

Pros of Getting Personal

When running a professional site or niche page, it may be a good idea to share some personal stories or pictures.  Here’s why:

  • You can build a relationship with your readers.
  • Gives you more to write about.
  • It shows that you’re a real person and not just some company trying to make money.
  • It can create an emotional connection.
  • When done properly, it can help to build trust.

Cons of Getting Personal

Of course, it might not be a good idea to share personal information on your professional site, here are my thoughts on that:

  • Readers may find it distracting from the main point of the site.
  • Possibly opens you up to additional risk if people now more about you.
  • Your professional site may start looking like a personal blog, which could turn some readers off.
  • It can be hard to find the balance between professional and personal posts.

Additional Thoughts

Personally, I think it is ok to include some personal things in your professional blog.  As you know, I have my picture on the front page of this site.  In addition, the picture in this post is of my English Bulldog, “Flash.”  I try not to over-do it with personal information, and stay focused on the main subject of my site, but every once in a while I think it is ok to write about personal thing.  Especially if they can be used to illustrate a point about writing for money online.

I’d love to hear what you think about this!  Please, share your comments below.

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Michael

Comments

  1. says

    I think there’s personal, and then there’s personal. As writers and curators of our own sites, we’re a little like fan dancers: reveal enough to keep your audience interested and let them know there’s a real person behind those fans, but not enough to get in trouble.

    Where those lines are will vary from person to person, and from website to website. We each need to judge for ourselves what is appropriate. I’ll share some of my hobbies online, but not all of them. I may share a photo of my latest completed project…but not one of my office or my car. It’s a matter of cultivating your image, like wearing decent slacks and not torn jeans to work.
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