Transparent Blogging

Posted: August 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Sometimes blogging comes with the challenge of opening up and making yourself vulnerable. Of exposing raw emotions. Of unveiling the layers within and etching the reality of the blogger deeper into the blog itself.  

transparent blogging source

Each blogger has a different level of openness they feel comfortable sharing. Some use every post as a personal diary to expunge their deepest thoughts. Some rarely if ever get too personal and simply strive to keep their blogs information based. Some focus on keeping their space light-hearted for an always positive place for readers to visit and have fun together. There is no right or wrong. I certainly don’t discredit any blog for not sharing the personal nitty gritty from time to time. I simply know what feels right for me. Personally, the longer I blog, I only feel more strongly the need to blog transparently. For me, I could not blog any other way. And the response to my post this morning solidifies that necessity in my blogging voice.

Blogging transparently goes much deeper than simply hitting publish on a more controversial or personal post. Could a post go too far in sharing personal information? Does it carry extra weight and play into that whole blogger responsibility factor? Could it put off any readers? Does it negatively impact the “feel” of my blog? Does it reflect poorly on companies I work with and represent as a healthy living blogger? Those all could pose downfalls to divulging certain aspects of the inner workings of my heart and mind from the rough moments that we all inevitably face from time to time.

However, transparent blogging also allows…

…the chance to garner support and outreach from fabulous friends, which all of you are to me on a daily basis.

…the opportunity to become more relatable and possibly uplift someone else with the knowledge he or she is not alone.

…for every relationship I build through this blog (from fellow bloggers to the silent readers to companies) to sit on the solid foundation of trust. Above all else, I always hope you can expect genuine honesty when visiting FFF. In the many years I intend to blog, I want you to know that I will stand for transparent blogging. I will always hit publish with the satisfaction in the knowledge that I expose truth. It may only be my truth, but it will be truth nonetheless. That I promise. And I thank you for making it easier for me to keep that promise. Cheers.

  • On a scale of 1-10 how “transparent” would you say you are as a blogger? Any things you don’t feel comfortable sharing?
  • As a reader – what level of blogger “transparency” do you appreciate? What takes it too far


86 Comments to “Transparent Blogging”
  1. Lisa says:

    I’m pretty open and honest about my past as an obese person and whenever I have food struggles currently. There are things I don’t talk about for good reason, though.

    I can’t talk about my job at all, so I avoid it the best I can.

    I try not to talk about personal things going on with friends/family/Michael because it’s not my place to tell everything.

    I also don’t always share everything I eat. My blog is evolving all the time and it’s less a food journal than it was last year…but still, if I had a handful of candy right now I’m not sure if I would take a photo and talk about it–unless it was relevant to a post I’m writing. I do slip up. My slip ups aren’t that bad now compared to before.

  2. LOVEEEEE this post. and you know what!? the bloggers i love most are the ones who are transparent – like you and lisa. honest and genuine. i relate to your posts about your struggles the very most.

    for me, i’d say i’m an “8” on the transparency scale. i typically keep thoughts inside until i burst and then i let it all hang out in a post like the one i did about “the comparison trap” or the one about how i have to “say no” to certain foods from time to time.

    when i published my post about saying “no” to indulgent treats every now and then, i was honestly scared about putting off readers since so many bloggers in the healthy living community NEVER address moments where they elect to NOT eat that piece of cake in an effort to be a bit healthier. people jump all over bloggers about deprivation, so i was worried that that post would be seen as “pro-deprivation” when it wasn’t in the least – it was just honesty. if i didnt say no and always said yes to whatever i wanted to eat, i’d eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    the feedback i receive on my more transparent posts is always so moving and encouraging.

    • Tina says:

      I agree that the honest feedback on those posts is always so helpful. And I agree with your rating. You tell it like it is and show a variety of sides of yourself. Yet another reason I find you so fabulous! Muah!

  3. I LOVE how honest you are, Tina! I really admire you and other bloggers that are comfortable sharing so much in this space. I have a really hard time with it and would say on a scale of 1-10, I’m probably a 5 (or less) in terms of transparency on my blog. I want to be but it’s hard when I remember that my in-laws, current classmates, kindergarten teacher, etc all read it. There are some things that I just don’t want to share with some people, you know? It’s tough to find the right balance!

    • Tina says:

      It is hard. I think on some level I pretend that none of the people I know read it because then I might be more hesitant. Each person has a different comfort level…and mine has only grown the longer I blog.

  4. I think honesty on your blog is a great way to have readers relate. I can’t imagine why anyone would choose to fill their blog with anything else.

    PS- I’m going to have to start drinking green monsters out of wine glasses! That’s genius!

  5. I totally love your transparency in your blog. I am scared to reveal some things about myself, like where I work and my last name. I am trying to find the balance of maintaining a separation between my blog and professional life, while still being as honest as I can. It’s tricky!

  6. Kacy says:

    I talk about more or less everything on my blog. Sometimes I’m shy about my dating life, but only because I don’t want to expose the guys. Other than that, anything is fair game!

  7. Kinley says:

    I just started my blog so I would say I am not very transparent yet although I oddly feel more inclined to voice my thoughts on there then I do in person to friends and family… I think there is something safer about typing versus saying words that allows us the freedom to vent/reflect/express/etc ourselves slightly differently online. And I don’t feel comfortable sharing anything about my job or anything that would allow people to know exactly where I am all the time.

    As for other bloggers, I appreciate honest and transparency until it makes me uncomfortable to the extreme. Like something that just does not need to be said or shared – lol!! So far, everything I have read that may seem a little too extreme to some, has been something I am all too able to relate to so I guess maybe that is more my cut off? When it’s gross AND I can’t relate – 😀

  8. I would say that I’m about a level 5 for transparency. If I’m having a bad day I’m concerned that my post will come across as crabby or bring others down. But I really appreciated your post this morning. You have a way of being honest and down-to-earth while still being encouraging and it helps all your readers know that you are a REAL person!

  9. Kelly says:

    I would much rather read a “transparent” blog than a blog where that person’s life always seems so perfect. The same with information blogs…I need to get some kind of personal connection with my reader. 🙂

  10. I’d give myself an 8 too. I have trouble talking about things that involve my family or people close to me, becuase I feel like it’s not really my place to share other people’s business even if it does affect me.

    That said, I am very open about my current struggles with weight, eating, and anything else that I have to deal with. I agree that transparent bloggers are definitely my favorite kind to read!

    • Tina says:

      I think that is a very important distinction. I can’t share others’ personal stuff but my own??? Bring it on!

  11. Thank goodness for the truth and transparency. Keep up the sincere posting! Much appreciated.

  12. I’m not entirely transparent because there are aspects of my job that make it difficult and parts of my personal life that are a big struggle to deal with let alone blog about.

    But for the most part I try to be transparent when blogging because it’s best of me and for my reader.

  13. Marci says:

    About a 2 right now for me. I am in the info group at the moment but hope to move up to about a 5-6 in a few weeks when I share some more. I like reading honest ones but putting too much out there isn’t for me. Too many real life people and family don’t understand why to blog that.

  14. Great post (as always)

    I’m probably about a 6. Because of my job, I cannot divulge too much because it puts me and who I work for at risk.

    My family is not an overly-sharing type either so if I put too much out there, they also feel violated in some ways.

    It’s a fine balance.

    I love reading the more transparent ones though!

  15. Oh Tina, this is why I love your blog. I love your honesty and transparency. I am not sure what number I would rate myself, but I try to be as honest as possible. This keeps me accountable, and shows that I am just a person who is trying to find that balance 🙂

  16. I think I am a 7 on blogger transparency – partly b/c I am new, but hopefully once I generate a few followers I will be able to open up more.
    I love when blogger let their guard down and talk THEIR talk. I like when bloggers are candid 🙂

  17. Errign says:

    As a blogger: I’d say I’m about a five. Like you, the more I blog, the more I WANT to be more transparent. I’m 100% honest, but probably only 50% transparent about most things, because I don’ like asking for help or seeming like I need to be pitied or anything. I think generally, that’s just me having an emotional hang up, than that’s how I think bloggers come across.

    As a reader: I like honesty, but how transparent can vary. I do find some posts that are totally transparent and I can’t relate to them awkward to read and comment on, even though I think putting transparency out there is something to be commended and celebrated, if that makes sense.

    I feel like I’m being rude here, for some reason, and I’m totally not trying to be. And also, any “you” etc is meant to be general.

  18. Your transparency is what I love about your blog. It makes you seem very “real”. Your successes make me want to cheer for you and your struggles make me want to help you through.

    I try to be as transparent as possible on my blog. I’ve been very open about my weight history and struggles with eating disorders. I blog about my success, thoughts and failures. I make sure to include the failures (slip-ups) because I don’t want others going through the same thing to think I was magically cured overnight of my issues. They are still there, but I’ve learned how to deal with them better over time. I hope that if I could help one person through their own struggles and/or make them not feel alone in their issues then I have done my job. That’s one of the things I love about the blogging community.

    There are also certain things that I try to shield. I try to be vague about my company, where I work out (for safety reasons) and try to preserve the privacy others. No matter what, I’m always honest.

  19. Bonnie says:

    Great post again, Tina…thanks for sharing your thoughts on being transparent. I’m not really sure where I stand on a 1 to 10 scale though…for the most part, I feel like I am transparent – I live a great life, have so many opportunities for neat adventures with my husband, and am generally a joyful person. But as a personal trainer, I’ve never really had anyone to talk to on the days when I feel bloated or unhappy with my appearance because others say, “How can you feel that way? You’re a PT!” …so that balance is hard for me and often stunts me from being totally transparent in this community, much like Julie said at the top. Thanks for putting this out there – perhaps it’s more of an encouragement for me to let down my guard a bit and not worry about what some might think or say.

  20. No matter what a blogger writes about, I hope she/he is being honest about her feelings/views/actions/etc in her posts – this is what I consider being “transparent”. I really think it’s great when bloggers post about their difficulties and successes, problems and solutions – it helps me as a reader see the real person behind the blog instead of just words on a page.

    But I don’t think being “transparent” means you have to “over share”. I think it’s a fine line for every blogger & is dependent on the content of each blog. Like I expect to see a variety of topics from you – whether it be fitness, meals, childbirth, marriage or finances – because you’re more of a “lifestyle” blogger. But if you would post a detailed play-by-play of “adult time” with your husband I’d consider that “over sharing” – because some things are better kept private. (Purely an example here…not insinuating you’ve ever done that.)

    • Tina says:

      Agreed, Theresa! It has to fit the content of the blog and being truthful is varied for each blog/blogger.

      I hope this post didn’t come across as those that don’t get into a lot of inner thoughts/emotions are any less worthy. I feared that it would come out wrong. Because I’m with you that I just hope for truth in whatever is presented and love all sorts of blogs and the info they feel right to share.

  21. HIIII Tina! love your posts always…they always make me think! I would say I am not really at all that transparent I guess its just my choice, that I dont want to share too much of my personal life…I really dont know who reads my blog and would rather keep it to tips, recipes, a GLIMPSE into my life but thats about it! nothing too personal 🙂

  22. Your transparency is definitely one of the best things about your blog, it really makes me feel like I know you (in a totally non-creepy way), and makes me care that much more about how you’re doing! When I looked on my reader this morning and saw the title of this morning’s post, I actually think I said ‘noooo’ outloud!

    I was really worried about starting my blog because I didn’t want people to think I was looking for sympathy in any way – but thankfully the feedback I’ve got has been really positive so far. I think people definitely appreciate it when you’re being truthful, as it includes them that much more in what you’re saying.

    I love your positivity though, I don’t enjoy reading blogs that are bitchy and negative in their honesty, if that makes sense. Basically, you’ve got it down! 😀

  23. Transparent blogging is the only way!! I think I’m an 8-8.5. I definitely withhold personal info on my relationship with my husband but I try to be really transparent about food…although I don’t take pictures of everything I eat..or even all 3 meals most of the time!

    I appreciate your honesty. Hope preschool is going well : )

  24. RunEatRepeat says:

    If I was any more open Ben would leave me. And my family would disown me. I’m very open. It never gets easy, but I don’t want a pat on the back for it either. I’m just doing my thing 🙂

    • You are definitely one of the most open bloggers out there Monica! But I always love your posts! I think your sense of humor & personality come though in every word you write but you never seem to go “too far”…at least to a “stranger” like me anyway.

    • Tina says:

      I love how you say you don’t want a pat on the back for it and just do your thing. That’s how I approach it too. I just couldn’t do different.

  25. i love it when bloggers share a lot of personal information. that way i feel like i can get to know them better and connect more. those are the blogs i keep reading! 🙂

    i think i’m in the 7-8 range on the transparency range. i share when i have a crappy day, etc. it totally helps me deal with my emotions and connect more with readers.

  26. I’d say that I’m more of a 5-6. A lot of my Fiance’s friends, family, and my own family read my blog and I don’t like to share anything too personal for this reason. Its strange how I don’t mind sharing with blogging friends whom I’ve never met, but I feel weird sharing personal things with certain family members.

    That being said, I won’t hold back if I really want to talk about something and I’ve never actually regretted it.

  27. jobo says:

    Ya know what? You and other bloggers that are pretty transparent inspire and push me to be more transparent. I think I used to be far more ‘puppies and rainbows’ than I am now that I have cultivated a ‘voice’ I am comfortable with and would say on a scale of 1-10, I am an 8 or a 9. I think it’s important to show it all (as much as comfortable), for the realness factor.

  28. I think being transparent in blogging bonds others to you. We all think our problems are only our own and that no one else feels the same way, but when you read about someone else going through the same thing, it makes you feel not so alone. Being vulnerable is not a weakness, it’s human. And being perfect is overrated. There’s beauty in being imperfect. We’re all beautiful that way.

  29. This is a wonderful post Tina and I agree with everything you wrote about the results of transparent blogging.
    I bear my deepest thoughts and secrets about my disordered eating (and other issues) on my blog because they have been tormenting me for so long and it feels simply amazing to get them out. Blogging has been a key component in healing my relationship with food and my body and I am sure as heck sticking with it and continuing to bear my sole 🙂

  30. I’d say I’m about a 6 on the transparency scale. I’m fairly open about my own inner issues, but I tend to hold back when my issues include other people, as well- for instance, I have some things going on in my family life that cause me a good deal of stress, but I know it’s not fair to the others involved to blog about them. I’m also careful about what I say because I’ve gotten so many reader emails from really young teenage girls, and I know that even if I put a positive spin on things, comments about my “off” days might have a negative impact on them. And one thing I’ve always kept very private on the blog are my relationships. If I were married that might be different, but at this point I’m definitely not going to share things about my love life on the internet!

    Love this post, Tina. Finally letting out issues always gets such a positive response in this community, and when I do it I’m always glad I did!

    • Tina says:

      It’s definitely hard with the reader responsibility and I certainly agree the importance on keeping tabs on info that includes others. You have a great balance on yours. You and your blog are one of my faves after all. 😉 <3

  31. I’d probably give myself a 7ish in transparency. There’s some things I’m really not ready to share with “real people” in my life, let alone all of the Internet, so I tend to keep that stuff off. Plus there’s the general safety thing of not wanting to put my entire life out there, you know? Lately I’ve been taking part in this Kick the Habit campaign, though, which has had me talking a lot about my OCD and anxiety. I’ve been pretty transparent about that sort of thing because it’s something that I know a lot of other people deal with, and I want them to know that they’re not in their journey alone, you know? I think with struggles like that it’s way more helpful to be transparent (if you’re ready to talk about it) than it is to keep everything under wraps.

  32. I’d say I’d give myself an 9 in transparency. I’m pretty much an open book on my blog about my past disordered eating struggles and have so much to say about it and my experiences with it. I’m also very open about my current struggle with athletic amennorhea and how it’s delaying us in getting pregnant. I’m also honest about how I still struggle with exercising less though I know it’s what my body needs right now to make a baby, although in the mind it remains hard.

    It motivates me to put out there what I’m going through because I hope to help those readers in knowing that they’re not alone and I hope my blog helps them in the way reading blogs helped me with my struggles. And I believe I’m 1 point below transparency because there are intimate things that are only shared between the hubby and I and my family 🙂

  33. I would say I blog at about a 6? Since I am new to blogging (7 months) I don’t feel totally comfortable yet. I think it’s a great start, because I really want my readers to understand who I am.

    I always love reading your blog because I know it’s the real deal and you are what I read 🙂

  34. Awesome post Tina! I wish that I could write and express myself as well as you do! I admire you immensely. I don’t really know how transparent I am yet because I think I’m still trying to figure out my blogging voice. I would like to be more toward a 10 on the transparency scale, however I know that there are some things I don’t want to share because my dad and my bf’s parents read this. There are some personal things that I would love to talk more about, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with them knowing- is it weird that I’d be okay with a stranger knowing these things but not my own dad? Probably…oh well. Anyway, thank again for an awesome post that really makes me think 🙂

  35. lindsay says:

    I hope I am transparent. It allows God to really do his work. Like you. God uses your words to show others his love. thats amazing! thank u.

  36. Michelle says:

    I want to be more transparent because I want readers to know me, but I don’t know how well I am doing on that yet. Maybe I am at a 6?
    I truly love reading your blog because when I read it I feel like I know you! Thanks for being open and honest on here 🙂

  37. I don’t know what I’d give myself. It’s hard for me to open up about myself in real life because I’ve been burned so many times in the past so it’s even harder for me online. Plus with my husbands job I can’t be too revealing. I try to keep a balance but when there are days where I don’t feel like my happy self I don’t post because I’ll come off as bitchy and I don’t want to burden people I don’t know with my silly problems. They don’t come to me for that I think. Plus, I’m more of a listener and observer then a talker…which is ironic considering I have a blog haha.

  38. This is a great post. I only started blogging 2 months ago, and I feel that posting “my fitness story” was a big first step for me to take. A lot of my friends didn’t know the struggles I used to have with obsessive exercising / eating. Heck, my mom didn’t know! So posting that was huge for me, and it sort of set a “write whatever you want” tone for the rest of my blog. If I was able to divulge that, then I could say anything.

    With that said, I’ve kept my posts light-hearted and not-so-emotional/personal thus far. I don’t want my blog to become my diary– that’s safe beneath my bed. I have far too much I could say, so I have to be careful and draw a line between saying too much and not saying enough. But I think once I get into a rhythm (which I already feel myself doing!) I will feel naturally more comfortable to share more on a deeper level on a day to day basis.

    Blogging is just like any other relationship– you don’t share too much too quickly!

  39. Nicole says:

    This is an excellent question. I’d say I’m a 7. For the issues I address on my blog, I’m fairly transparent. But there is so much more I wish I could share about myself and my life, but for professional reasons I can’t.

  40. Since my blog is almost entirely recipe-focused, I tend not to be very transparent from a personal standpoint. I try to share tidbits here and there but not go so far off on a tangent that the recipes I share become irrelevant. Anyway… as a reader of several healthy living blogs, I think I appreciate the transparent ones most. They seem to convey a much deeper message than others (which is why you’ve quickly become one of my favorites!)

  41. Good topic! Such a wide array of privacy sharing across the blog world.
    For what it’s worth, I completely feel I get the real you every time I read your posts, Tina! 🙂 It’s one of the reasons I love ya! (and your blog 😉 )

  42. Shelly in MI says:

    Funny because I do have a filter on when I blog. I do it knowing that my family reads it and I don’t want to gross people out. It’s for everyone’s protection, trust me.

  43. Oh Tina, I’m so sorry you had a rough night last night. We are all human and we have these moments of weakness. I’m struggling really hard right now to find a balance in my life. We are still in limbo trying to get settled and well, it’s not getting settled right now. Jay is emotional and now being 13, with hormones, things are really changing. Life is really not easy, but I believe we will get past this and get to our happy future and also come out on top! As for truth in blogging, I try to be as honest as I can, but I can’t go too deep. I’ve done that before and the wrong people too what I said the wrong way and well, they got mad at me for nothing. So, I’m honest in my writing, but I go in to way more detail in my comments to people. I do agree too, I love my blog buddies! They are always there for me and it is so comforting! I hope you’re feeling better my friend! I hope to see you soon!

  44. Today was the first day i actually opened up on my blog. I usually just write light, fun things. But today was a big one – I actually had a pit in my stomach as i hit publish.

  45. What an interesting and thought-provoking topic! On a scale from 1-10 I would say that I am a 7, given that some of my posts are transparent and some are about random simplistic things in my day.

    I must say though, one of the things I LOVE about your blog is the transparency. Keep it up 🙂

  46. I love this post and think it’s such an accurate reflection of you too. I can always expect honesty when I read your blog and love that. I’m still trying to find my “voice” in blogging at times but on the posts that reveal “my life” and not my recipe based posts, I’d say I’m about a 6-7 right now. Not sure how much higher I want to take that number but I guess that’s part of the journey…

  47. Kiah says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot, being relatively new to the blogging world, and still figuring out how much of myself I want to put into my blog. What scares me a bit is our ability, as bloggers, to portray a perfect life: pretty pictures, witty remarks…it’s hard not to want to do that all the time. But I am SO APPRECIATIVE of transparent posting, as it reminds me that the writers I look up to are, in fact, human 🙂 What a great question. Thanks for sharing!

  48. Sam says:

    I really appreciate when bloggers are honest about their personal life. It just feels more intimate. When bloggers talk about their struggles and emotions I realize we all have problems in life and I am not the only one. Of course I know this already but sometimes I forget and fall into the bad habit of comparing others to myself. So honesty of bloggers are really appreciated by me. Especially I can understand how hard it might be to talk about personal matters openly on the Internet. I always find it very difficult to talk about my emotions even to the closest friends of mine so I think bloggers who are willing to share their emotions with their readers are very brave.

    However I find it a bit uncomfortable when bloggers talk about their relationships. Especially when they talk about their ex and breakup story using real names and pictures. I understand it takes a lot of courage to publish the post. Also a post like that might help bloggers themselves and readers in similar situations to get over what happened. But it seems unfair for the other person in that relationship when he or she may or may not have an idea that his or her personal life is revealed without their agreement. And there are always two sides of story as we all know. I find it irresponsible when bloggers say “It is my blog. So I get to post whatever I want in this blog.” when they get criticized about their break up story post. They should respect other people’s privacy and keep the details (names and pictures) out.

    • Tina says:

      I agree with this point. I try to be very aware of sharing personal information that involves others. For example – Peter always knows what I’m blogging about and I won’t write soemthing if it involves him in a way he doesn’t appreciate. Also, with things abuot my Dad…they are all things we have discussed before and he knows I feel called to share certain parts of it.

  49. Khushboo says:

    This is why I keep coming back to your blog- you are honest, relatable and say it as it is. You’re not perfect, no one is and you don’t put on a facade to make others think you are! If we can’t accept ourselves, how can anyone else. I find that I’m probably a 3 or a 4 but I can see that increasing over time. The more I blog, the more I want to share with my readers as I feel like I am developing a relationship with them.

  50. peacebeme says:

    SO much appreciate your transparent blogging, Tina. I am a transparent blogger in some ways and not in others. I kind of do what helps ME.

    So inspiring how you could nip the binging attitude in the bud. I have conquered it before and now am back in that bad binge/purge cycle. But this post made me reflect on how I have beaten this before and I can again.

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