Lessons From BlogHer'12: Stand Out & Be Authentic

Two of the main messages I took away fromBlogHer’12 was you need to stand out and you need to be authentic when you’re writing your blog or website. While I already knew this, it seemed to be continuously drilled into my head over those few days.
If you want to build readership, you need to be honest and real.  While I believe in this 100 percent, it’s hard for me to do it on this site, because as much as I love being social and social media, I’m believe it or not, a private person who doesn’t like sharing my feeling or information that much. If I did, I could probably write one pretty kick-ass memoir.
Maybe it’s the fact that no one really shares personal information in my family, because we are all too worried about what someone will think. Or, it’s been brainwashed into my head that if I mention anything health-related, someone will turn me down for insurance. Or, maybe it’s because if I’m truthful about where I would really like my career to go, no one will hire me.
Earlier this year, I was working with a life coach, in exchange for writing about my experience. What I learned very quickly is that if I were to truthfully write about it, I would a) have no friends and b) have no job. She was good – probably too good – at nailing down the feelings I had about a situation, but didn’t really want to admit.
So then, why am I writing this?
Well, as I move The Adirondack Chick over from this blog-like design to a lifestyle website, I really want there to be a designated space where I can talk about these issues in an attempt to help others who may be experiencing similar things. I’ve also been inspired recently about the frank discussions on other websites, including Nutmeg Nanny and The Actor’sDiet.
Brandy over at Nutmeg Nanny, recently wrote a post titled, “Things I’m Afraid To Tell You." After reading it, I realized we had several more similarities than a love for food writing. It made me want to read her posts more, because I connected with it, and had a first-hand understanding of what she was talking about.
I started following Lynn at The Actor’s Diet after my cousin was featured on her site. Her candidness about the difficulties of being an actor {sometimes very similar to being a freelance journalist} and about her eating disorder is admirable. It’s also made me want to talk about some of my past struggles with food disorders, and body image, which I’ve never really admitted to anyone in my family, and have only hinted about to one or two close friends, who still don't know the full story.
So as I slowly expand my site, I hope I have the ability to be more frank and open with my readers without being afraid. 

Michelle Maskaly

The Adirondack Chick

My Tail Hurts From Wagging So Much&