Blogging and Authenticity

Blogging and Authenticity

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A lot of people don’t like social media because it’s so hard to separate business from personal. Some create multiple accounts for that very reason.

I really don’t mind that. I love getting to know my clients and other business contacts better by seeing photos of their home town and family events, especially since most of them live far away and, in many cases, we’ve never met face-to-face. I also like it when my business peeps comment on my personal photos, send me birthday greetings, or offer condolences on the loss of a pet or family member. I think this type of interaction allows me to build the type of relationship I have with people I see regularly.

Back in 2014, I started a personal blog called “Away from my desk” where I blogged about books, photography, and reflections on life. Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed a few things.

  1. Even a personal blog can feel like work sometimes.
  2. Most of the people reading my personal blog are also reading this one.
  3. Some of my most popular business posts have been those that share something about me rather than strictly informational ones.

With those things in mind, I asked my good friend, Susanna Miles, whether she thought combining these two blogs would dilute my brand. Here’s how she replied:

If you’re a personal brand and solo expert entrepreneur, it makes sense to keep them together.

THAT is the more authentic way to be.

There is absolutely nothing unprofessional about getting a little personal on a website. In fact, it’s the way forward for personal brands.

That was all the encouragement I needed to make this change!

There’s now a new category here called “Away from my desk” which includes most of the content that was on the blog of the same name. If you already subscribe to this blog, you’ll automatically receive any new posts in this category by email.

If you’re not already a subscriber, maybe it’s time to change that!

How do you feel about mixing business and personal?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Blogging & Authenticity
Casual Photo of Janet Barclay

Janet Barclay

I eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, cooking, watching movies, drinking tea, and spending time with my family.

Join the Conversation!


  1. Hazel Thornton on March 28, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve long had a category on my blog called “Hazel’s Stories”. But they’re usually in some way or other also about organizing. The more stories I write about my family history, though, the less they might end up having to do with how I found or organized the information. We’ll see. In general, though, I agree that an “Away from my desk” category is perfectly appropriate for your brand! It’s not only personal, but it’s business, too, in that it kind of gives us all permission to spend time away from our desks!

    • Janet Barclay on March 29, 2019 at 8:45 am

      Thank you, Hazel! It’s also a very subtle way of saying not to have too many projects on the go at one time! 😉

  2. Seana Turner on April 1, 2019 at 8:03 am

    I love the “Away From My Desk” concept. It gives people who want to know you better a chance to do so, while also keeping your blog focused for those who are only interested in your professional services. Great concept, and has me thinking over here this morning. I’m not sure I would start another blog concept given my full schedule, but it is a nice option for the future!

    • Janet Barclay on April 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      I probably wouldn’t start now either, but I was caught between having an additional website to manage that I wasn’t using much and having a lot of content on said website that I didn’t want to lose!

      You use quite a few personal examples and photos in your blog posts, which goes a long way to helping people get to know Seana the person.

  3. Sara Skillen on April 1, 2019 at 8:39 am

    I have often wrestled with the personal vs. business thing in social media – I see a lot of organizers posting business content on their personal pages, but I have always tried to keep things separate (even though it’s more work). As for blogging, I do include personal stories and examples but as Hazel mentions above they generally have to do with organizing/productivity. I like this idea of creating a separate category, however, and as “authenticity” is one of my words for the year this post is really resonating! Lots to think about…

  4. Linda Samuels on April 1, 2019 at 10:45 am

    I love the advice that Susanna shared with you, Janet. What a great solution to incorporate your personal blog into your business blog by adding the “Away from my desk” category. It makes a lot of sense.

    While I don’t have a “personal” section on my business blog, most posts incorporate personal experiences and images I’ve taken. Much of my inspiration comes from the people (family, friends, clients, strangers, colleagues, and self) that I interact with. And while I am an organizer and the blog is about organizing, it’s also about inspiring people to live life in a way that makes sense for them.

    I love writing and blogging. One blog is plenty.

    • Janet Barclay on April 1, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you, Linda! I love seeing your photos that you use on your blog, including (maybe even especially) the ones of your family. You do a great job!

  5. Sabrina Quairoli on April 1, 2019 at 11:23 am

    That is a wonderful idea to have an “away from my desk” category on your business blog.

    For me, I use my Sabrina’s Organizing blog as my away from my desk blog since I do admin services for clients. It’s funny because I always was of service to small business owners so it felt natural for me to separate out my home organizing from my office admin support business.

    When blogging became popular, I started sharing things that involved home organizing and then the office organizing seemed natural to be on my admin support blog. It’s a great idea though to link the two blogs together with links and images so people know they are from the same person. I original used the same color and theme so people saw a similarity as well.

    • Janet Barclay on April 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm

      I love seeing all the DIY projects you post on your blog! I seriously don’t know how you do it all. 🙂

  6. Janet Schiesl on April 1, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    I thinks it’s a great idea to combine the two blogs. People like to buy from people they know, so it’s a great way to let people get to know you but offering some more personal blog posts. You take great photos Janet!

    • Janet Barclay on April 5, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      Thank you so much, Janet! I just hope knowing more people will likely read my personal posts doesn’t cause me to hold back. 😉

  7. Andrea Sharb on April 5, 2019 at 7:49 am

    So glad I found this post, Janet. Prior to revamping my business website this past January, I felt I needed a blog to share my personal journey with minimalism and was born. Now that I’ve incorporated minimalism coaching into my business I sometimes find myself wondering where best to post certain minimalism related articles. Combining these two sites may be an option given my current business trajectory. You have given me something to consider which could further simplify my life and for that I thank you. 🙂

    • Janet Barclay on April 5, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      That’s fantastic, Andrea! I’d love to think I helped a simplifying master simplify even more.

  8. katherine lora on April 6, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    And finally, I got the blog which I was looking for a very long time. I was in need of some blogging tips for my new blog and the tips you shared are amazing. Thanks for such article.

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