What Every Blogger Should Do Before Clicking “Publish”

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Blogs and social media have given people around the world the opportunity to connect in ways never before imagined. It has provided an outlet for many folks to express themselves where they would otherwise feel inhibited. But, is it really necessary for bloggers to share everything on their minds? Here are 5 reasons why I believe it isn’t.

Discretion is a virtue to be desired.

There’s a proverb in the Bible that says, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18) Having wisdom to know what to say, when to say, and how to say enables you to be a more effective communicator, both in the blogosphere and in your daily face-to-face interactions.

Self-editing is a skill in life, not just in blogging.

Most bloggers will edit their post before publishing. But, beyond checking for grammatical errors and typos, make it a habit to also check if you’ve just shared too much.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you. You’re in a conversation with a group of people. And, when you leave the party, you’re replaying the whole thing, all the while, kicking yourself for all the foolish things you said. Self-editing is definitely a life skill. Well, the plus side to blogging is that you have time to proofread before making a fool of yourself to the whole world.

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Gossip is a dangerous poison.

I used to have a blog, where I posted anonymously. It was a journal type of blog, where I often wrote about my family, so privacy was a concern of mine.

There is a temptation, though, when you are writing anonymously or under a pseudonym, to gossip about or slander others. You can even change the names of the parties involved, and you may feel safe in saying negative things about them from behind the computer screen. But, the wounds from hurtful words sometimes never heal. And often, the damaged relationships go beyond just the immediate persons involved.

If you have a private conflict with someone, be aware that discussing it in a public blog will only escalate it.

Your face-to-face relationships may be impaired.

When I first began blogging, I would tell my husband about all the nice people that I was meeting through this site. He totally supports me in this and was happy that I was making some meaningful connections. But, he also reminded me not to neglect the wonderful friendships I have been blessed with. If I am developing worthwhile connections online, how much more meaningful should my relationships be offline?

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Transparency is not the same as complete exposure.

To be transparent means having a willingness to open yourself up a bit. Part of the reason may be to help with processing your thoughts and emotions. But, the other part (and this is why you put it in a blog, and not in a diary) is to reach out to someone, who may also be in the same shoes.

I enjoy reading posts, where the writer gives you a window into her world, sharing both her triumphs and trials in life without necessarily disclosing everything. Just enough is shared that I am left saying, “That is exactly how I feel! I’m not alone!” That’s transparency!

Remember the 4 P’s

Anyone can start a blog and speak their mind. The possibilities seem endless. But, the next time you’re ready to unveil the next blog post … Pause and take a deep breath. Proofread but go deeper than checking for typos. Ponder if what you wrote is the best way to share with the world. And finally, you are ready to post.

What goes through your mind before you click “publish”?

 

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36 thoughts on “What Every Blogger Should Do Before Clicking “Publish”

  1. I love this and often have this run through my mind, particularly when writing about certain topics. Its a very difficult balance to find because part of the whole point is to share your heart and your life, while also not sharing the hearts of those who haven’t consented. Its tough. Thanks for this eloquent reminder. I pray I walk the line with grace.

    1. I think that’s why it’s good to stop a moment before publishing a post. I just read your latest post, and I thought you did an amazing job courageously opening up as you did, but remaining tactful, given the circumstance you were describing. Keep it up!

  2. Since I’m trying to focus on food, I think I have an easier time of not sharing too much. But it is really tempting for me to overshare in the form of complaining about how things are going. So, I really do have to step back sometimes before I hit publish. Excellent advice Ai!

    1. Yeah, I don’t expect you to share some harsh words about that dish that didn’t turn out right. 🙂 But, seriously, even with a food blog, you have the freedom to go off course once in a while, and share a non-food post. When we have bad days, we want an outlet to vent, and having a blog can make venting all too easy.

  3. This is a wonderful post…. such a good reminder and I like the connection made in editing in blogs… and in conversations/life. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

  4. This is a great, thoughtful post! Blogging and writing is a very vulnerable process and finding the balance between sharing enough info and not to much takes some practice. There are some pieces I write that I work on for a while and others that flow out of me quickly. I often pray that God will give me the words to write, words that will help others and speak life into others lives. Especially when I’m working on a post and I don’t feel quite settled about it, I stop and spend some time seeking his direction. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom!

    1. I agree. For me, some posts just remain in draft form and never see the light of cyberspace. Sometimes, when I come back to them, I’m glad I wasn’t quick to publish.

  5. This is so great for so many reasons. I really enjoy reading posts that are as you said transparent. I sometimes wonder if I’m teetering on that edge though. I want to be honest, but I don’t want to air all our dirty laundry. It’s definitely a balance!

    1. I remember when I was writing on our family blog, my husband would ask me, “If the kids read this, how would they feel about the things you wrote about concerning them?” It is a balance indeed! It’s good for us to step out of our blogger’s mind and look at our post as one of our readers.

  6. Beautiful post! I agree whole-heartedly. 😀 Shared this on FB this morning but I didn’t have a chance to comment until now! 😛

  7. A great post, and such an important topic. We’re all on new ground. I’ve also thought about this a lot since I do have a pretty personal blog and write about my family. I worry about privacy, and what they will think when they’re older since they’re babies now. Not sure if it’s appropriate to share, but here’s a blog I wrote on the topic, too if you’re interested: http://spacemonkeytwins.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/is-it-wrong-to-blog-about-your-kids/

    1. I can totally relate to your concerns about privacy. It’s a real issue. By having a blog that’s accessible to the public, you’re accepting the fact that your privacy will, in a way, be affected. When you’re blogging about real people, including your children, we have to consider their best interest. I don’t think the things that you share about your family, especially your kids, cross the line. The real danger of negative blogging is when you’re in a conflict or something happened where you’re so emotional charged that you need to let it out. Blogging kind of gives you an easy way to fulfill that need. That’s why, in the post, I was encouraging us to take a breather before clicking that publish button. Writing helps; it is great to aid us in processing things without taking any rash actions. But, when we publish it for all the world to see before really considering the ramifications, that may nullify whatever help we got from writing it all out in the first place. Sometimes we just need to write, but not post. And that’s ok. Who says we have to publish every piece that we create?

    1. Thank you! These are the things I was challenged to consider when I first started blogging. I hope it will be a help to others.

  8. I try to figure out if what I’ve written comes across as opinionated or gracious. If I feel it’s rooted in opinion, or would be likely to cause division, I’m probably going to pull it back. Thanks for the post. It’s a good reminder.

    1. Those are some good guidelines! We want to encourage conversations around the topics that we write about. Even though not everyone may agree, there’s a way to have a healthy discussion. We can really set the tone for that when we post.

  9. Definitely LOVE this post! Thank you for the advice and insight as I am formulating and writing blog posts ahead of time. Very true you can write and edit the posts but I think I may get my husband to proofread as well as he will be able to tell me if I have said too much. I am loving developing friendships through looking at various blogs and hope to grow those friendships and meet these wonderful ladies one day but very true keeping current relationships is a must!

    1. Libby, I really appreciate your visits and comments here. I look forward to seeing your blog once it’s up! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jaya. I think most of us have done that, giving out more information than we should … if not in blog form, then in our other social interactions. The art of communication is not that easy to master. I pray people I encounter are forgiving for all my blunders.

  10. All good advice. I like how you make the distinction between transparency and complete exposure. I love the blog posts where I’m left saying “that’s how I feel” too! #shinebloghop

  11. This is such a wonderful post and a fabulous reminder! We do have a responsibility and sometimes it can be easy to forget what’s important when we’re writing from the heart.

    I am very cautious about what I share and how I share it but your reminder to stay connected with my offline relationships really hit home today.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop)!

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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