One of the things I love most about the blogging world is the wide range of people who inhabit it: these days literally anyone with access to the internet can start a blog and share their interests and personality with the world, whether they are naturally outspoken, or on the quieter side.
As someone who is personally very introverted, sharing my interests with people in real life is not something that comes naturally. In social situations I tend to feel uncomfortable and am more inclined to listen than to speak, and a good night in with a book sounds a hundred times more fun to me than a night out on the town. Therefore the opportunity blogging has afforded me to share some of my passion for books and writing and meet some like-minded people has been pretty amazing, and all the better that I get to do it from home (not to sound grumpy and anti-social)!
In this way, blogging is an ideal outlet for introverts, who are defined by the way they draw energy from being alone in a calm, quiet environment with their own thoughts, as opposed to from interaction with others as extroverts do. However, there are also some downsides, and aspects of blogging that are much better suited to more extroverted personality types.
Therefore I thought for this week’s discussion post I’d take a look at the pros and cons of blogging for introverts!
- They can express their personality and interests
Most people who meet me in real life tend to think I’m pretty boring. I have no interest in the usual ‘young people’ things like drinking and going out partying, and I’m so terrible at small talk that it tends to give people the impression that I simply have nothing interesting to say. However, for people who can look past my social awkwardness (and I’m not saying all introverts are socially awkward – it’s just that I’m a shy introvert!) they eventually discover that I do in fact have many interests! I love reading, writing both fiction and non-fiction, blogging and photography, although for some reason I just don’t feel comfortable talking about this with people I’ve just met. Therefore it can often feel like a lot of people can’t see the ‘real me’, as it were, and so this blog is a place where I can really express myself, and talk about the things that interest me in a way that doesn’t feel uncomfortable – basically to strangers on the other end of an internet connection (which I guess is quite odd when you think about it)!
- They can meet like-minded people
Due to the fact I tend to avoid things like parties, I don’t really meet all that many new people, and of all the new people I do meet, the likelihood that they will share mutual interests with me is pretty small. Therefore blogging is a great way to find like-minded people – after all, I have a book blog, so I would assume that anyone who would be interested in reading it would also have an interest in books!
- It’s a creative outlet
A lot of introverts are highly creative people. That’s not to say that extroverts aren’t, but seen as things like writing, drawing etc. tend to be solitary, quiet activities, I feel like introverts are more drawn to them. And whilst community is a huge part of blogging, your own blog is essentially your own personal arena in which to indulge your creativity – you can write/photograph/create whatever you want, and I think this is very appealing to introverts.
Networking is an inevitable part of blogging. If you want any kind of readership outside of your family and friends you will have to put yourself out there and do some socialising, even if it’s only virtually! Whether that’s commenting on other people’s blogs, reaching out to them on social media, or chipping in on a forum, it has to be done, or you can have the best content in the world, but no one will know it’s there. And whilst the blogging community is without a doubt one of the best aspects of blogging, it can also be one of the most daunting, especially for introverts. When you start out it can feel a little bit like being the new kid at school – everyone already seems to have their friends or cliques, and you think you won’t fit in. But in actual fact, the blogging community is very friendly and welcoming, no matter how scary it may look from the outside, and most bloggers love hearing from new people and new bloggers.
I don’t know about other introverts, but talking about myself isn’t something that comes naturally to me, or that I find particularly comfortable. Therefore the idea of ‘self-promoting’ is pretty damn scary. But similarly to networking, you have to do it if you want to actually reach people. And by self-promotion I don’t mean spamming other people’s blogs with ‘please follow me’ comments: I mean creating social media accounts for your blog and sharing your latest post etc. It’s all about getting yourself out there – something that doesn’t always come naturally to the more introverted bloggers!
So what about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? And how do you think that has helped/hindered your blogging?