Lessons I’ve Learned While Blogging – Be Real!

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If you ever want to start a blog, it can be LOTS of fun.  Blogging can be an outlet, it can be a venue for many different things.  It can even, in some rare cases, make you some money!  I’ve been actively running websites and blogs now for nearly 4 years and so I thought I’d write a 10 part series on what I’ve learned!!  This week, it’s all about being real.

I am who I am.  I’m a dude that coupons.  Yea, that’s right.  I coupon.  Ladies move on over because my binder is bigger than your binder!  Okay, so that would never come out of my mouth, but my point is embrace who you are.  Readers read your stuff because they like YOU.  I love coupons.  I love what they have done to my life and what they can do to yours.  I am passionate and unapologetic about it!  I share my struggles, I share my pain, and yea even my issues at the register.  You even get to see me on national television misplace coupons and have the cashier find them…gasp!  I’m real a guy who makes mistakes and that’s okay!!

When I post something I’m sharing a little bit of myself.  I’m sharing something real with the reader.  If you are not being real with people, they will pick up on it eventually.  I have gotten into a good habit in recent years of following an old Reagan adage, ‘trust but verify.’  I genuinely believe that if I posted something, people will trust me.  BUT I make every attempt to post proof.  When I first started WeUseCoupons, I learned the hard way that some people will mislead you.  I also learned that some people can be very good at lying and even leading a double life, especially online.  But I also learned that people get tangled in their web of lies after a while, and let’s not forget, it’s the internet.  People can find out pretty much ANYTHING.  If you aren’t being authentic, well then you aren’t going to last long.  It will catch you eventually.

Seth Godin, (a great read for bloggers and non-bloggers alike) posted this a few years ago and it struck me.  “Mother Theresa was filled with self doubt. But she was an authentic saint, because she always acted like one.”  Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise, not “being who you are”.  I find myself constantly second guessing myself.  I am extremely uncomfortable in front of cameras, but you wouldn’t know it.  I constantly stand in the line of fire, whether it’s my local station, CNN Live or FrugalTV on YouTube.  I have learned to accept and bear the fear, even though I am completely enveloped with doubt.  Another area are my own posts.  I post constantly but doubt anyone cares or reads.  I spend hours writing about something, say this series, and wonder if anyone will leave a comment or share it on Facebook.  But the quote above reminds me of something, Mother Theresa was human, just like you and me.  I’m no saint, but I do have skin and bones and I guess that makes me more like Mother Theresa than I thought.

Lastly, remember, when I say you need to be authentic that does NOT mean over share.  I’m not a huge personal facebooker, but I have noticed that people on Facebook share deeply personal things.  ‘I got in a fight with my husband today’, or ‘I think that witch should go back into her hole,’ are not opinions that should be shared with readers (in my opinion).  It’s rare that you will ever see me criticize someone or something.  There is a simple reason, it’s not professional.  If you wouldn’t say it at work, you shouldn’t say it on your blog.  There is a line when ‘being real,’ becoming a reality show.  Don’t air out your dirty laundry!

I really like Seth’s line, because to me it sums it up.   Do what you promise to do every day, deliver yourself.

Lessons I’ve Learned While Blogging is a 10 Part series.  Next week’s article is about drama.

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  1. Robin says:

    Thank you for the nice article! Very well written and helpful! :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very informative. Thanks

  3. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  4. Angiesangelhelpnetwork says:

    I just love the post!! Ty for writing this! angie at AAHN

  5. Hi Nathan, its Joey and I’ve been following your blog for 3 years now! Thank you for all that you do!! It was an awesome treat to meet you in 2011. Can’t wait to meet up with you next month!

  6. I look forward to more in this seris I love reading blogs, especially life style ones. But love your personality and how it shines through in everything.

  7. Lynnette says:

    Thank you so much!!!  I for one, am VERY happy I ran across this site!  Is it is the best I have found, bar none… thanks for this inspirational and motivating post!  :)

  8. I just started my blog 2 days ago and love to hear what other bloggers have to say about the process.  Thanks for your heartfelt thoughts.  Can’t wait to see the next articles.

  9. Naviarex says:

    I am very new to couponing but have found that people like you (and other bloggers I follow) are in general true and what one would call “good people”. It comes with the territory, since the whole point is to help others save and make their lives better. 

    I would not try and compare yourself to Mother Teresa though. Not because you cannot compare but but because even though she was canonized as a saint, to me and others, it is a matter of opinion wether she was (or anyone for that matter) is truly a saint. She taught people to accept their suffering, and did little to nothing to help the people of her birth country (very much in poverty), once she achieved considerable backing and notoriety. I wouldn’t call it an authentic or genuine action to accept donations from terrorists and money launderers, no matter how much she put them to good use. I would also add that her preaching was also incredibly unfair to women who were instructed to be subservient. For example, I think that a true and genuine action towards those less fortunate is to offer help, without an attached philosophy or religious experience attached to it. I came from a very poor country, and it was humiliating to have missionaries dangle the promise of help with the precondition of selling your soul. It is not genuine help, like say, doctors without borders. I think in regard to your blog, being true to yourself is great, but what you do (sharing and helping), is really what makes it a great deed! 

    I like your blog, and others like it. They have helped my family incredibly. I think you might be filled with doubt, but the purpose of what you are trying to do, help people live better and within their means, is genuine because it is a one way street of sharing. So thank you! 

  10. Nicole Pulliam says:

    I’ve seen many people harmed under the guise of ‘it’s anonymous’. The internet unfortunately gives some people a false sense of “This isn’t real, so it doesn’t matter what I say or do”. I have seen this begin to change over the years, but for so long it was a prevalent issue. ((unfortunately I see the trend GROWING in young people)). I’ve been online pretty much since there WAS a www and I’ve had to learn by what I observe.

    People who have even the slightest tendency to be nasty, will be more likely to be so online. (generally). I think it brings out the best and worst if either is allowed. For me, I’m far more confident online than I would ever be in person, and it seems from your post that this wonderful tangled web has brought growth in you as a person Nathan.

    I wish you the best, keep doing what you do, it works

  11. that the GA is only one and if i want to reach the stage area i just have to go there early. I’m not sure if i got the wrong tickets or they’re are crecrot, because when i checked the stadium map for the concert the PIT GA section is kind of separate from the rest. Please let me know. thankssssss .

  12. Now I know who the brainy one is, I’ll keep looking for your posts.

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