How much is too much?

I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations and thoughts lately on the use of social media/emails/blogs and when boundaries are crossed in certain areas. With the internet making connections between people and businesses seemingly boundary-less,  I started to think about where I like my boundaries to be.

Let’s discuss, shall we?

1) Blogger TMI – There are bloggers who write about topics from hygiene habits (and sometimes lack thereof) to birth control to personal relationships and everything – everything – in between. There have definitely been blogs I have stopped reading, not because I find them offensive, but because I’m not super interested in the minute details of people’s days. I often wonder what it is like to be the other people in those bloggers’ lives; is there some sort of pressure to be a certain way, cook a certain way, look a certain way because your life is out there for the world to see?

But I do love a personal touch, that is why, after all I keep going back to the same blogs over and over and not simply looking at sites like Epicurious to get my food, wine, and travel fill.

In your opinion, how much is too much when it comes to blogging and sharing your life? Where do you draw the line?

2) Over-emailed – At the start of the New Year and when I really started to buckle down to find freelance jobs/started consulting/continue job hunting, I spent a good amount of time unsubscribing. I think I took myself off of somewhere between 25 and 40 mailing lists. Some I joined on purpose to get information or certain deals. Others, I have no idea how I got on the lists. A thread in common? They sent daily or twice daily emails, and I couldn’t keep up.

If/when I have my own business, I will definitely send one, maximum two, emails a week, and I would advise anyone I was working for to think about keeping things fresh and interesting by doing the same.

How do you feel about emails? Have you recently done a big email list purge like I have?

 

3) Over-sold/pitched – As a blogger I get quite a few emails a day from various businesses and PR agencies. I like to be informed, and of course I am grateful for the opportunity to attend fun events, many times for free. But there is definitely a fine line. Again, daily emails from the same agency are overwhelming to me, and intense follow up after an event (someone called me on a SUNDAY!), is just bad business. It also helps for PR people to get my name right (I’ve been called Emily, Amy, and Kate) and to know a little bit about my blog before pitching. I’ve been contacted about all sorts of diet things and had people follow up with me repeatedly, despite the fact my blog posts say I am on vacation. Research and subtlety go a long way!

I also REALLY dislike requests for link exchanges, and I have been getting them every day recently.

Have you had an experience of being over-sold or over-pitched?

 

4) Self-promotion – I, like many bloggers, struggle with this. As someone who has been job hunting on and off since I started blogging in June 2009, I can’t help but wonder, if I tweet my post just one more time, will someone “discover” me and lead me to an awesome job? If I get more traffic, will that somehow help grow my network as well?

While the original purpose of my blog was a creative outlet from a job I didn’t like, I won’t lie; it certainly has led me to build a much larger network of friends and professional contacts than I ever had before blogging. Still, even though I am currently still looking for work, I have tried to tone down tweeting and Facebooking links to my posts to once or twice a day. All of that self-promoting got a little exhausting, and I think I started to annoy even myself Smile.

How much self-promotion is too much for you?

Speaking of self-promoting, I’ll be back later with a recap of dinner at Tico!

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  1. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    This is a really interesting and important topic. I also pressure myself to attend events, promote, generate traffic.. and am constantly reminding myself that I need to blog for me and attend the events that I would enjoy. I imagine this is a bit easier to do when your blog isn’t related to your full time profession/career goals, but you’re certainly not alone!

    Reply

  2. Jean | Delightful Repast’s avatar

    Great topic. Yes, Meghan,some days it’s ALL too much! I just read something telling me I need to get on Facebook and join several large commercial food media sites. HOW? I don’t have enough hours in the day as it is! I think I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and let the chips fall where they may.

    Reply

  3. Kelly’s avatar

    I sometimes have to remind myself that my blog does not equal my job- and some days I won’t have time to post, or read 100 blogs or self promote and that’s okay. I think maybe I’ve let it slide a little too much recently, but again it’s easy to compare yourself to people who are constantly self promoting.

    I’m not sure if it’s because I am a very small blog, but I don’t mind when people want me to help them promote, I figure we are all trying the best we can.

    Also, I did a huge e-mail purge this summer for the same reason. Way too many e-mails! I don’t mind that the companies do that, but I just can’t keep up with them and they clog my inbox. Though I feel like I’m in need of another one soon- I woke up to SO many e-mails this morning!

    Reply

  4. GirlyGreenGirl’s avatar

    What a great topic! I remember being horrified as I watched the movie “Julie & Julia” at how Julie would blog about fights with her husband (inappropriate.) I try to keep my husband out of mine and avoid anything too personal. It’s a fine line sometimes, especially now that I’m pregnant. In the beginning I wanted validation, ie a lot of readers, now I’m happy right where I am. Social Media can be fun and productive, but just like everything else in the world, in moderation!

    ~ GGG

    Reply

  5. Meesh’s avatar

    I hate when people reveal too much about their personal lives on their blogs too, maybe its just that I’m not like that so I dont understand why other people do it. BUTTT it is their blog after all and we have the right to choose whether or not to read it.

    Reply

  6. Daisy’s avatar

    I enjoy reading your thoughts an opinions on this important matter.
    1) Some blogs share lots of personal information and it can be amusing to read! Others go above and beyond with every-single-second life details and those I tend to shy away from. funny dating stories? good. toothbrushes and laundry habits? bad. but thats just my opinion ;) there is a balance to strike for sure!
    2) I unsubscribe all the way.
    3) I now have a “Press Release” folder where I move all these emails. I glance over them, but for the most part if there are events I’d rather not pay to attend, they go here. I still appreciate being in the know.
    4) It can be tough to strike a fine balance between blog promotion and being annoying. I think just putting your instincts/feelers out there like you did, is what I try to maintain myself.

    Reply

  7. Michelle’s avatar

    These are some great questions and I’ve got to say that I feel similar to you in most of these ways!

    Reply

  8. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    I’m definitely an oversharer and Tweet way too much, but my blog is different from yours in that it’s just a hobby. I don’t get a lot of PR sorts of things thrown my way. I wish I did! I love free food and drinks! I can see how it would get annoying though. Especially getting your name wrong! Very unprofessional. I think you have a good plan for having balance and not being a pain.

    Reply

  9. Megan’s avatar

    These are all really great points, and I’m totally with you on the email thing. I really like when I unsubscribe from emails and get a little survey asking why I unsubscribed. My usual answer is that the company sent way too many emails way too frequently.

    I struggle with the self-promotion thing too. Lately, I have been playing around with the times of day I promote my posts on Twitter. I may be annoying people too. But it’s true.. you never know if all of a sudden that one key person will take notice… so I think it’s okay to put yourself out there a bit more than might be “normal.”

    I also struggle with how personal I should get on my blog. Some bloggers who post every little mundane detail of their lives have insane followings. I don’t really understand it because I’d rather not know all those details. I’m looking for a good recipe, a little insight into who you are (you know, so I can identify with you), and more than anything else good writing. I also don’t understand people who can’t spell correctly and write the worst sentences and still have an insane amount of followers.

    Reply

  10. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)’s avatar

    I am not bothered by bloggers TMIs … I like the realness and their ability to not care what others think.

    I am not a big fan of shameless self-promoting, or overly PRd sites.

    Reply

  11. Sarah - Dodeline Design’s avatar

    This is a fantastic post and so true. I run my own business, and although I really do try to be available as much as possible and want to talk to new customers, I do find it a bit discourteous to call me after 7:00 at night or on a weekend about certain things. I also agree with the daily email thing – I send out newsletters only very rarely, with the hope that people will then read them because they’re not a common occurrence :-)

    I also don’t blog about anything too personal. Some things just really don’t have a place online.

    Reply

  12. betsy’s avatar

    I ask the same question of myself – how much self-promotion is too much. Interesting to see the responses!

    Reply

  13. betsy’s avatar

    @Megan – I TOTALLY agree here “I also don’t understand people who can’t spell correctly and write the worst sentences and still have an insane amount of followers”

    so true.

    Reply

  14. Grace’s avatar

    I have definitely stopped reading blogs that self-promote too much. I also really don’t get some of the sharing. . . if it is for the purpose of learning or could benefit someone fine, but there are definitely people who are over the top. I guess to each her/his own?

    Reply

  15. Elina (Healthy and Sane)’s avatar

    Ugh, link exchange. So ridiculous!! I don’t have a blogroll people!
    I’m totally with you on every point. I actually don’t self promote enough, I think but I definitely don’t want to overdo it. I know if I don’t get “out there” people won’t even know of the existence of my blog but it’s important for me to remember the original intention of my blog and remain true to myself.

    Reply

  16. Elizabeth’s avatar

    We all complain about the absurd, monotonous and unpersonalized PRs that we receive every day. It really makes me wonder who these emails actually serve. They must have some purpose since they continue sending them.

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      The frustrating part is that I have applied for some of these PR jobs and haven’t gotten so much as a response. It frustrates me when they do zero research, get my name wrong, and just mass email all of us. There has to be a better way!

      Reply

    2. Lea @ Healthy Coconut’s avatar

      I think the size of my blog is perfect for me, for now. I am able to interact with the readers and respond to them and I don’t get swamped by PR requests, the ones that I get, are usually do interest me.

      I think the best way to make it more simple is to start de-cluttering your life. That’s a good idea on the unsubscribing on spam emails. I mark a lot of companies spam, but when I am up for a good online shopping deal, my spam inbox has actually helped me out a lot with coupons. I guess I make it work for me and not the other way around.

      Reply

      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        Saving away those deals in a separate folder is a really good idea!

        Reply

      2. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

        What a well-written, thought-provoking post. I work in advertising/social media so on some days I certainly get overwhelmed by EVERYTHING. Like everything in life, it’s about finding a balance. It’s something we as bloggers, and consumers, deal with everyday after all. What I do know is when I feel like everything is getting to be just too much, I like taking a break by turning off my computer (and not checking my phone) and just losing myself in a book or a magazine. Then I can forget the stress of all the over-promotion and even my own self-promoting :p

        Reply

      3. The Chocolate Priestess’s avatar

        I have to fit The Chocolate Cult in my existing life — writing for pay takes priority, time with family and friends, take priority but volunteering at the Museum that gets listed after the blog.

        I started it to help me control my over chocolate use and then it just grew. If I can do three posts a week, I feel good. If I can do more or feel inspired to do more, I will. But I don’t get paid for this so it isn’t a job…. it’s a religion *wink*

        Reply

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