A personal blog is a weblog where people publish articles related to their daily lives, interests, projects, passions and happenings. Personal blogging is a crème de la crème when it comes to being a creative outlet for self expression and a wonderful way to meet new people online.
Creating a personal blog that stands out among the millions is essential to attracting an audience. But be cautious about featuring multiple niches, as it can dilute your blog’s focus and make it even more difficult to attract a regular readership.
People are social and blogging is social. There are as many reasons to blog as there are bloggers and they center around connecting and forming relationships; exploring ideas, concepts and beliefs; sharing expertise; inspiring and persuading; entertaining; sharing experiences; and learning and growing.
Each blogger has a unique personality; each has a unique writer’s voice. Your audience will be coming to read what you think and what you have to say so don’t leave “you” out of the blog.
Your personal blog can contain a wide range of topical articles on everything under the sun from acorns to zebras but those focused on no more than four major themes do best.
You can use your blog as an armchair for fireside chats or a soapbox for expressing opinions on a wide range of topics but do consider the long term.
While blogs are great places to let go and be yourself you need to keep in mind that publishing a personal blog and promoting it in social networks can impact on employment, job search, etc. for better or for worse so it’s wise to think things through when creating a blog. Everyone with an internet connection will have access to your blog and what’s in it now and even after deletion may still be available in years to come. Just how personal you may want to be is up to you but a question you need to answer early on is: Will you blog under your real name or a pseudonym?
In Example of a Perfect Personal Blog, Lorelle isolates what’s key to succeeding as a personal blogger.
A personal blog is about sharing personal stories with readers – readers that might be family, friends, or strangers.
It’s also about focusing on the story, not the commercialism and monetization. The site may or may not have ads, but the blogger isn’t obsessed about his or her stats, clickthroughs, and such.
It’s about being personal, not distant, with the reader. It’s about sharing. It’s about the story. …
A well-told story is one that is visual, emotional, and features a great climax, a powerful point in the story. It’s a rare talent to combine the visual arts and written arts with passion and style.
Heidi Cohen provides an very interesting comparison highlighting the differences between personal blogs and professional blogs in Blogging: Balancing Professional Versus Personal [Chart].
To help you navigate the blogging waters regardless of whether it’s designed to achieve professional or personal goals, here’s a chart across a variety of topics. (Note: When we discuss personal blogs, the reference is to something broader than a personal journal.)
Leo Babauta provides his insights and advice:
When people begin to learn about you, whether that’s at work or through a personal relationship or through your blog or other ways you’re establishing a reputation … they put you into a pigeonhole in their minds. Once you’re in that pigeonhole, it’s really hard to get out. Personal Branding: Be Aware of Your Pigeonhole – It’s Hard to Switch
What goes into creating an Engaging personal blog?
Attracting an audience is hard and retaining their interest is even more difficult, so have something interesting to say, say it well and say it often.
Be an artist
Be a poet
Be a friend
Be a guide
Be a reporter
Be a reviewer
Be a storyteller
Be a good listener
Be a problem solver
Personal Blogs Sampler
Zeb Bakes: Bread, the Garden, Walks in Green Places
This isn’t a very serious food blog, it isn’t meant to be, it falls into the category of journal/social/chitchat/foodie sort of a blog.It has bits about growing things in it, a few posts about local places we visit, it has occasional rants.
Ekostories: Exploring narratives of nature, culture and self
The purpose of Ekostories is to look at the many interesting stories, anecdotes, parables, tales, and myths that have influenced my personal thinking on the connections humans have with the earth. They come from a diverse range of sources, ranging from novels, films, childrens’ books, and television, to games, biographies, short stories, and documentaries. They could be prominent environmental works, or they could be things that have very little to do with environmental thinking outside of my own mind.
Cycle Write Blog: My words, visions & trivia along the way
Cycle Write Blog is Jean’s personal blog on cycling and how cycling leads her to other things along the way.
Since 1992, Jean has been a long-time regular cyclist in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. Vancouver has been one of her bike home destinations since 2002. She has written for Tourism Vancouver’s Inside Vancouver blog to promote cycling tourism (sample articles provided) and has written for Momentum cycling magazine. She knows many regular cyclists who have discovered the key to good health, youthfulness and fun.
Lantern Post: Read. Think. Write.
The Lantern Post is my little spark in the darkness of cyber space, shading light on my words all the way from the cobbled streets of Zagreb, Croatia to the wind-swept streets of Wellington. It means to serve as a platform to chronicle and share ideas, love for the written word, and spark conversations.
Quirk. Eccentricity. Genius. Content I won’t find anywhere else is what attracts me to personal blogs.
That extra ‘something’ of time, effort, engagement, competence, caring, a world view that is worth respecting – those are the kinds of things I look for in a personal blog.
What do you look for in a personal blog?