The Pros and Cons of Blogging for Introverts

13/02/2015 Blogging, Discussions 30

The Pros and Cons of Blogging for IntrovertsOne 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!

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Networking

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.

  • Self-promotion

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?

30 Responses to “The Pros and Cons of Blogging for Introverts”

  1. Jessica

    Wow! I agree with all your points!
    Well, personally, I think I’m an introvert but most people think I’m an extrovert just because I’m really chatty. In actual fact, I require me-time. I need time to be alone, to read my books, to gather my thoughts and reflect.
    What I like most about blogging is being able to reach out to like-minded people and share my likes and dislikes, thoughts and opinions with others. I guess this is the extrovert part of me talking. In real life, if one talks too much, it seems like one is dominating the conversation. It’s even worse if the people you are talking to don’t share the same interests as you. So I think blogging provides me with the perfect platform to share myself.
    I also like that blogging allows me to share my creativity. However, I’m not a very creative person. Like, I’m not good at writing or drawing or photography. If I’m not good enough, there’s no place in the real world for me to share. But I have the desire to share my own creations. And this is where blogging comes in.
    The introvert part of me dislike networking. In a party or conference or seminar, I’m really quiet and hide in a corner. I guess I fear rejection. In contrast, it’s easier for me to network online ‘coz I can’t see the other party reject me.
    I’ve been trying to network and self-promote but it doesn’t seem to be going too well. Oh well 🙁 But at least I’m enjoying blogging to express my creativity and thoughts! 🙂

    • Laura

      I know other introverts who are often mistaken for extroverts because they are quite chatty – I think it’s only obvious that I’m an introvert because I’m also very shy, so I don’t tend to say much.
      And that’s a good point about the whole ‘dominating the conversation’ thing! I’d imagine blogging is good for extroverts that way in that they can talk about their interests without fearing that they are boring the other person if they don’t share interests. After all, if you aren’t interested in the content of a blog you can just leave it!
      I get what you mean with the whole fear of rejection thing as well. I think that is part of why I’m really shy – I worry about people not liking me. In that way it is easier to reach out to people online, because if they ignore you then it still kind of hurts, but it isn’t as if they blanked you to your face!
      I’m glad you’re enjoying blogging anyway, and thanks for commenting! 🙂

  2. Roberta R.

    I know what you mean. While I wouldn’t say I’m an introvert, I still tend to “disappear” in huge social contests. But I have this burning desire to talk and create, which blogging (along with my job as a radio MC) satisfies.

    Really good exposition!

    • Laura

      I think even for non-introverts blogging is great for expressing yourself and being creative, so it’s great that you feel that way too (and radio MC sounds like a seriously cool job!)!

  3. Bruna

    Great post! I agree with everything. I’m definitely strongly introverted and I can identify with all this difficulty to talk about my interests in real life and having the blog as an outlet for that. I have been pretty ok with networking – I try to comment in as many posts as I have time to and in different blogs. But self promotion is where I fall short – most of my posts go to my twitter account, but other than that I don’t do a lot of promoting on social media. This is mostly because I am afraid that people from real life will see things and not understand the whole blogging thing.

    • Laura

      I think I find commenting on other blogs the most comfortable way of networking too, although I’d like to get a bit better with chatting to people on Twitter and things like that, which is a bit more out of my comfort zone. I definitely find the self-promotion part harder than the networking though. I link to my posts on my Twitter account and Google+, but because I don’t often post anything other than links I do worry that people will just feel like I’m spamming them!
      And I worry about real life people knowing about my blogging too, which is partly why none of my social media accounts have my surname on them. My family and close friends know about my blog, but I definitely feel like some people I know who are just acquaintances wouldn’t get it.

  4. Maddy

    I really don’t know whether I’m an introvert or an extrovert. On the one hand, I can pretty easily handle myself in social situations, being naturally confident in my opinions and expressing them. On the other, I only have to handle those social situations when I’m forced into them. For the most part, I would be content to stay home with either a book or my best friend for company.

    All I can say is that I find networking very daunting and anxiety-inducing. I think it’s a pretty universal feeling, introverted or not. Reaching out and interacting, especially when it’s asking for something, be it a book or anything else, always has the possibility of failure. I think that’s the worst part.

    • Laura

      I think there is such a thing as an ambivert which is a mixture of the two, so maybe you would best fit that personality type? It sounds like you have a pretty good balance of both sides though!
      And you’re definitely right – I think networking is pretty tough for everyone. Reaching out to people always means there’s a chance you will be rejected, which is pretty scary, introvert or not.

  5. Arianna

    I’m a shy introvert person and I find quite difficult to interact with people when I’m not in a comfortable situation or if I don’t know anyone, not because I don’t have anything to say but I’m scared people will not like what I would say and find me more awkward than what I already am.
    Also online I find quite difficult to promote myself but I’m trying to push myself to do that!

    • Laura

      I can definitely sympathise with you! In social situations where I don’t know people I tend to panic and can’t think of anything to say, even if they are discussing something I am interested in, and I think it’s partly because I subconsciously worry about people not liking me or disagreeing with my opinions. Blogging is great for that though because I can just say what I think, and the worst someone can do is comment and say they disagree, which doesn’t feel as bad as someone telling you to your face!
      And good luck with the self-promotion thing! That’s the part I find hardest too.

  6. Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] I consider myself to be an introvert, but when it comes to promoting my DJ and his work, I can voluntarily switch to the extroverted mode.

  7. Ardelia

    I love this post! You really hit the nail on the head.

    I’m introverted, too, and it’s been a challenge I’ve had to grapple with multiple times while starting my blog. I don’t really like socializing with other people face-to-face, but I’ve found that virtual connections aren’t so bad. I still feel like an outsider in the blogging world because I’m new at this, but I find that the more time I spend blogging, the more I’m kind of creating a space for myself.

    I also dislike networking, but because I’m a freelance writer, it’s crucial to my job. I’m getting better at it (I think), but I still don’t like it.

    My motto: Introverts unite! Separately…in your own homes. 🙂

    • Laura

      I definitely second that motto! 🙂
      I find making virtual connections with people a lot easier too. Face-to-face I tend to panic and can’t think of anything to say, but through blogging I can think about what I want to say and I don’t feel under pressure. I do sometimes still feel like an outsider in the blogging world though too, even though I have been doing it for over six months. I just think that sometimes my introverted nature has held me back and I’m not as immersed in the blogging community as I could be if I was more extroverted and more confident with networking etc.
      And I would love to get into freelance writing too, but the whole networking thing is what scares me. I felt like that about blogging though too, so I will definitely have to try and push myself.
      I’m glad you feel like you’re improving with your networking, and best of luck with it!

  8. Amber @ YA Indulgences

    I’m an introvert by far around the majority of people I know. I love blogging and how it can really give a person a voice who normally wouldn’t be heard. Not to say that I’m not heard, I have the occasional effect of saying something “serious” that people listen when I (occasionally) talk. I like how much more outgoing I am online. Especially with “Networking” and self-promotion. Haha. 🙂

    I’m more upbeat (generally), but I can also feel more comfortable in being “down” or sad and talking about that. I love being able to meet so many new people. I can’t believe I lived this long without knowing about this community and all of the people I’ve met, it’s just like “Look what you would have missed out on if you never blogged”. The internet’s like that in general for me, I go on sites, I meet people, I make friends, etc.

    • Laura

      I can definitely relate to so much of what you have said!
      I also feel like I’m more outgoing online, and it’s nice to have a place where I can interact with others without feeling self-conscious and awkward. I’m definitely really glad I started blogging too, because I would have missed out on so much. I don’t know that many people in real life who love reading as much as I do, so it’s great to be able to talk to people who do, and just to meet people in general, because I’m not too good at that in real life!

  9. Killian

    I definitely agree with you that blogging is a great way for introverts to get there voice heard. I’m quite a bit of an introvert myself (I like socialising, but only in small doses) and also none of my friends are really into books or music, the two things that I really love. As a result blogging, which I’ve just been doing for two months now, has been a way for me to talk about these things and get my opinions out there.

    Also, like you, I’m not a regular attendee of parties and on the rare occasions that I do go I don’t drink (which, even though it is a total stereotype, is very weird behaviour for a sixteen year old Irish guy) so people tend to think I’m anti-social and boring. Thankfully the book blogging community has been really welcoming so far and I love it!

    This was a really interesting post and I really enjoyed reading it!

    Killian
    http://leaf-on-the-breeze.blogspot.ie/

    • Laura

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and that you feel blogging has helped you get your opinions and interests out there too.
      And I get that all the time too about not drinking. People are always really shocked when they find out I’m a twenty-one year old who doesn’t drink, and assume I’m really boring!
      The book blogging community really is very friendly and welcoming though, so I hope you continue to enjoy blogging!

    • Laura

      Online interaction is definitely less intimidating, and I really struggle with the self-promotion side of things myself. I thinK I have definitely improved since starting blogging, but I still worry about just coming across as spammy or annoying if I post a link to my blog anywhere!

  10. Terri M., the Director

    What I’ve found most rewarding is being around other bookish type people on the web and in real life. I’ve found a core group of local authors I interact with and that’s helped bring me out of my shell a bit and network. We got together as a group yesterday and they were ribbing me about my “brutal” reviews of their books. And also asking me for advice about book tours and wondering if I would read their ARCs. It was so exhilarating!

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

    • Laura

      It’s great that blogging has introduced you to a new group of people! I think one of the best things about blogging is meeting people you might never have met otherwise (like fellow introverts!), and whilst I have never met any of the people I have spoken to through blogging in real life, I have definitely interacted with more new people than I ever would have done if I didn’t blog.

  11. Vlora

    What a great post! I’m definitely an introvert, but I do like having the option of hanging out with people as long as I always have the choice to return to my room and do something solitary, if that makes sense. The problem with being an introvert isn’t that there aren’t a lot of like-minded people, it’s just that it’s really hard to meet them. With blogging, I don’t have a problem at all with commenting on people’s blogs or anything similar, but I’m really hesitant about reaching out via e-mail or sometimes even replying to someone I don’t know on twitter. One of the disadvantages, I think, is that people are all over the place, so you can’t meet up. Talking to a friend JUST online doesn’t really work for me, but if I do get the chance to meet someone I’m totally awkward, so yeah. I do love that blogging gives everyone a creative outlet; it’s so much fun, and there’s a low pressure social aspect to it that’s kind of perfect if you’re not in a socializing mood, but do want to feel connected to the outside world.

    • Laura

      That definitely is one downside of blogging – you get to interact with lots of like-minded people but a lot of the time they are from the other side of the world or the other end of the country, so it isn’t as if you’re likely to ever meet them in real life (and I too would just be really awkward anyway!).
      I get what you mean with emailing people and chatting on Twitter too. I’m OK with blog commenting and replying to comments, but if I try and email anyone it ends up taking me ages because I keep having to rewrite it because I get really nervous for some reason!
      And I like the whole ‘low pressure socialising’ aspect of blogging too. It’s definitely great for introverts that they can sit at home on their own, yet technically still be socialising!

  12. Jackie

    I completely agree with all of your points. I consider myself more of an introvert as I’d much rather spend a night reading instead of out with friends. I find that it’s harder to find people who like reading or talking about reading. In my opinion, this has to do with how society views reading and how most people don’t like to read. As a result, I found that wen I did talk about reading I was looked down on. While I’m an introvert in real life, I find it much easier to interact with people online. I think this has to do with the fact that I’m not actually looking at them. Furthermore, as a blind person I find it easier to talk to people online as I don’t feel they’re judging me because even though they know I’m blind they don’t actually see the difference. I don’t really find it hard to promote/network online although I agree it was kind of hard at first as I thought people already had their group of friends. However, I’m going to a book festival in a couple of weeks and I’m a little daunted by it. I don’t mind talking to authors and such, but when it comes to promoting my blog and meeting other bloggers in person I find it’s a whole lot more scary. Anyway, I think this is a great post. Sorry for the long comment. 🙂

    • Laura

      It’s OK, I love long comments! 🙂
      It’s definitely really hard to find other people who like reading, and I don’t know many people in real life who do. I have also found that people tend to look down on me for reading when I have talked about it, because I think people consider it to be kind of a boring interest, or don’t even count it as a hobby.
      And I find it easier to talk to people online too. I think for me it is easier because I’m very shy and when I speak to people in real life it is quite noticeable, because I tend to mumble or can’t think of anything to say and just stay silent. It’s great that you don’t find networking and promoting online too hard though, because I did struggle with it quite a lot when I started blogging (again because of the shyness), although I think I have been improving recently.
      I’m glad you liked this post anyway, and I hope you have a great time at the book festival! At least you know you will have something in common with the other people there, which I always find makes it easier.

  13. Rosalie Royan

    Personally, I’m one of those rare extroverted writer types. I LOVE reading and writing and I don’t mind staying in to do those things but at the same time I like being around people more than I like to be by myself. In fact, if I spend too much time without some type of socializing I lose energy for writing and often get writer’s block.

    However, on the point of self-promition I’d have to disagree with you. That’s a bit nerve wracking no matter what type of personality you have because for me it’s just a bit like, “How can I promote myself without sounding an arrogant twat?” But yeah, on social media you do have to show some form of extraversion, although I’ve heard many introverts say it’s easier when you’re behind a screen and have time to think of what to say.

    • Laura

      You’re definitely right – self promotion is pretty scary no matter what personality type you have. I guess it comes down to the fact that self promotion is basically about saying ‘look at me!”, and that’s pretty hard to do without coming across as arrogant.
      And as an introvert I can definitely say that it is a lot easier to socialise on social media when you are behind a screen. I still find it hard, but it is definitely easier because you have more time to think about what you want to say and it doesn’t have to be immediate.

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