For whatever reason, you have started a personal blog. So headlines like these spark your interest:
- How to start a successful blog in 2018
- 6 strategies for launching a successful blog
- Top 25 blogging tips from the pros
There’s a heck of a lot of headlines where those came from. A search for “successful blog” on Google today produced “About 1,030,000,000 results”, so there’s no shortage of advice out there.
You’ll soon discover that the vast majority of articles assume that you are blogging for business or professional purposes. But hey, you don’t want to build a brand, make money, or grow your business. You are blogging to express yourself, to make friends, to develop your own ideas, to learn about other lives, to expand your understanding of the world, to get advice or support, to offer advice and support to others — or just for fun.
I’ve been a business blogger in my time, blogging for years on behalf of Contented, my business. (We provided books and training courses in — guess what — business writing in the internet age.) After I left Contented, I became familiar with the marvellous unsung world of personal blogs. I soon realised that for us personal bloggers, certain widely accepted guidelines for blogging are just plain inappropriate. Sure, we can do our best to follow those business rules, but we are free to change direction at any point. That’s the point. We are free, yippee! Free to make our blogs like no other, break (nearly) all the rules and make up our own.
Business blog tips vs. personal blog tips
- Business blog: build your brand
Personal blog: just be yourself and find your niche along the way
- Business blog: get squillions of followers or you are a failure
Personal blog: some are happy with six followers or none at all
- Business blog: blog frequently and regularly
Personal blog: it’s OK to blog whenever you like; your blog, your rules
- Business blog: be successful, be the best
Personal blog: blogging is not a competition and there’s no such thing as failure
- Business blog: monetize your blog from Day One
Personal blog: making money is not what most personal blogs are for
- Business blog: you must have a professional and brand-appropriate design
Personal blog: start with a free WordPress theme and customise or change it as you go
- Business blog: find powerful topics to write about
Personal blog: that’s ideal, but many bloggers get satisfaction and find an audience writing about common or generic topics
- Business blog: write compelling content
Personal blog: compelling content is the exception rather than the rule (in business blogs too)
- Business blog: focus on writing an amazing call-to-action
Personal blog: a call-to-action may alienate your readers
- Business blog: build your email list
Personal blog: oh please, give me a break!
How to get maximum satisfaction from a personal blog
Now hold on, this is a big topic and the slate is blank! However, I’m keen to deal with it, and I will do so in future articles. My mind is teeming with ideas and I know I can help. Watch this space…
Please give your own ideas and please share!