Most tips for business and professional blogs are not much use to us personal bloggers. We are blogging for creativity or company or fun — or all three — or for other idiosyncratic, non-commercial reasons. However, certain time-honoured tips apply to every blog, including personal bloggers. Here are six that you may find useful, if and when you remember them.
- Write for yourself first
- Stay true to your voice
- Be patient
- Write catchy headlines
- Engage with others
- Just get started
This year I’ll write more about these and other guidelines for individual bloggers, and provide links to existing help for non-commercial bloggers.
Maybe you’re like me, someone who has no desire to “succeed” as a blogger, if success is measured by thousands of followers and a six-figure income. Maybe like me you enjoy the quiet world of blogging, with its comfortable balance of contemplation, stimulation, autonomy and company. Maybe you see blogging as a way to express yourself, to become a better writer or photographer or cook. Maybe your blog is just a diary or a convenient database. Maybe it’s a virtual cafe or club where you meet your friends.
How many personal bloggers are there?
Among the millions of blogs out there, how many of us are personal bloggers? Nobody knows, because blogs start and stop at a crazy pace. According to codeinwp:
- 17 posts are published every second on WordPress sites around the world.
- 50,000 WordPress.com websites are being launched daily.
All I know is that we matter, our blogs matter, and we can all do with a bit of help now and then.
How idiosyncratic can you get?
I do want to help and offer advice. But honestly, some of my favourite blogs break all the rules.
James Wharris calls his blog Auxiliary Memory, which is exactly how a blog can function. His 1000th post lists 77 things he has learned from blogging. Read them and marvel. Very few of these (for example #44 and #45) are conventional in any sense: that’s what makes them so interesting. Many ring true to my own experience (for example #2, #12, #16, #32), some are off the wall (for example #59) and many are thoughts I had never thought but make perfect sense (for example #54 and #75).
Your blog, your rules. Or your blog, your no-rules. Or your blog, your learning-on-the-job. Enjoy your blog trip and let it rip.