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  Category: Articles » Business » Small Business » Article
 

How To Blog and Still Keep Personal Information Private




By Lynette Chandler

Let's face facts, if you are on the internet as a business owner
then you need to consider safety, and many of use don't. Blogs
make it pretty easy to forget and be careless about the type of
information we give out.

As entrepreneurs, this can be a problem. People say to make your
blog personal, share information and build a relationship with your
readers, but what kind of relationship? Where do you draw the
line? On one hand, you want to be approachable and open to your
customers. On the other hand, you value your privacy. Ah, the
dilemma.

There is no right or wrong answer but there is a lot of things you
can to protect your privacy. While much of it is common sense,
sometimes they are easy to overlook during our every day course
of business. So let's review what you can do.

Who's Blog Is This?
Many entrepreneurs consider their business their life; I know I've
been guilty of this at times. Being so passionate and involved in
our business sometimes causes us to forget it is (or should be) a
separate entity. I'm not saying you should be cold and all
business, by all means you should add your personality. Just think
about changing the 'I am my business' mindset so you are less
likely to spill all.

Business Information Only
Set limits for yourself what information to share besides the
obvious like mailing address and telephone numbers, which should
be different from your personal one. Consider things like:
What pictures are you willing to put up?
If you're comfortable with putting out your own picture, it can help
build your credibility but what about pictures of you and your
family?
Would you share your children's names and ages?
What information about your spouse or other family members are
you willing to put out?
What about your past?
When going on vacation should you post it on your blog? Telling
people your offices will be closed should suffice.

Set a sort of agreement with yourself. On your business blog it
isn't a good idea to make posts about your business life unless
they are directly related to your business and are not getting too
personal. For example, a post about an idea that came to you
during Father's Day barbecue is OK, but if you tell people the
barbecue was at Mary's house who lives out in ABC town and
accompany it with a picture. That +may+ be a bit too much
information. Write just enough to give people a brief background
to set your story. Everything else is overkill.

Consider drawing up an employee blogging policy even if you don't
have employees. Think of how you'd advise an employee and apply
it to yourself. And when you do have employees, you'll already
have a blogging policy in place.

Review, Review, Review
Because blogging is so easy to do, sometimes we tend to hit the
post button too quickly. I've been guilty of that. Try to adopt a
review-before-publish rule. I sometimes leave my posts overnight
so I can see it with a fresh eye the next day.

Reviewing each post after you write it is a great way to prevent
posting information that can be used, or used collectively with
other information, to put you or your privacy in jeopardy. It would
be a good idea to keep a short review checklist you can pull up
each time you make a blog post.


There are going to be some gray areas with blogging. Deal with
making sure your information is safe by doing a check before you
make each post. You'll soon develop a knack for sharing about
your business in a personable and open way without giving out
too much information.
 
 
About the Author
Lynette Chandler, the Tech Diva, regularly dispenses RSS and blogging info to business owners. To learn more about how you can get blogging, and do it well, visit www.BloggingStarterPack.com.

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