Close
Close

7 Reasons Why Personal Blogs Rock

I am regularly asked how I started blogging and whether I’ve always been into making money from them.

My first entry into blogging around four years ago was on a free blogspot blog which was largely a personal blog in which I reflected upon many aspects of life including spirituality, movies, politics, my church, work and miscellaneous ramblings from the various hobbies that I have.

While some entrepreneurial bloggers seem to look down a little on ‘personal blogs’ as being second rate – I think that it was my years of using blogs in this personal way that actually made me a better blogger.

If you like – my personal blogging was a great training ground for my current blogging on an entrepreneurial level.

Here are a few ways that come to mind that personal blogging can actually improve your entrepreneurial blogging efforts. Personal Blogs:

1. teach you the skills of blogging

When I started blogging I had no idea what I was doing. In fact I often tell new bloggers that when I started out I didn’t even know how to make text bold. This slowly changed over time – not from reading any books or online resources – but simply by blogging.

2. familiarize you with the tools of blogging

Within a month or two of blogging I not only learned a lot of skills but I also had a pretty good idea about what blog tools and platforms that suited my needs. As a result I moved on from my Blogger.com blog for MovableType where I continued to blog on a personal level. I also experimented with plenty of other services and widgets that continue to serve me well to this day.


3. help you work out how much time you have

Many new entrepreneurial bloggers under estimate the amount of time and energy that building a successful blog can take. Starting out with a personal blog gives new bloggers a taste of what is involved.

4. help you work out if you can sustain blogging for the long term

Personal blogs are a good way to get a feel for whether blogging is actually for you. The fact is that while some talk blogging up as being the be-all-and-end-all – blogs are not for everyone. Starting a personal blog and just writing about the things that you love gives you a realistic feel for whether you actually enjoy the medium. You also begin to develop a ‘rhythm’ of blogging that will help you down the track as you blog commercially.

5. give you a taste of blogging ‘culture’

Bloggers are a strange bunch and have developed their a whole way of relating with each other which at times can be a little foreign to ‘non-bloggers’. We’ve developed an unspoken etiquette, rules and customs that can take a little while to get your head around. Starting a personal blog can help you understand this before you launch into it as a commercial enterprise.

6. help you define a niche

One of the biggest benefits from my own personal blogging was that over a year or so I gradually began to discover the niches that I then wanted to blog about entrepreneurial. Over time I began writing more and more about gadgets (and a series of blogs was spawned off) and then I started writing about blogging (and this blog was born). I wrote about other topics and didn’t go on with them – but it was only through having a personal blog where I could write about anything at all that I began to see what clicked for me in terms of topic.

7. help you find a readership

Another benefit of blogging on a more personal level is that over time you begin to connect with more and more people. As you blog on topics that appeal to others you’ll find some will keep coming back for more. This means that when you’re ready to launch your commercial blog you are able to leverage some of your personal blog’s traffic and will start with a more established readership.

So – these days when I’m talking to someone and they tell me that they want to start a money making blog and ask for advice on how to start – I generally tell them to ‘just start one’ – and to at least start out with something basic, free and of a more personal nature. Get a feel for the medium, work out if it’s for you, test some topics, make some friends, build some skills and as a result when the time comes to launch into commercial blogging you’ll do so from a much better position.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. George says:

    That’s how I started too. I started a free account on blogspot, started to write on a funny topic, enjoyed it and decided to try starting up other blogs to make money from.

    I think it’s a great way to see if you like it and decide if blogging is for you.

    Good advice.

  2. I ahve been blogging for probably about three years now and my wife never really understood. Finally last year she had me set up a blog for her but she never posted.

    my wife is a scrapbooker and she started reading some of the scrapbooking blogs and decided that she wanted one. Now I am sure other people will say this about their niches but scrapbooking is definitely a lifestyle as any husband of a scrapbooker can attest to, so my wife starts her own scrapbooking blog and what do I see? Half of the blog is scrapbooking techniques so far and the other half is family stuff.

    This is a great example of how a family or personal blog ends up being a lot more. I did not think this would really work but now i am going to have to start studying how my wife markets unconsiously through her family / scrapbooking blog.

    OK, a plug for her http://blog.michellescrapbooking.com

  3. brem says:

    Point no. 6 is still a work in progress. No niche yet. Too many niches.

  4. Ari says:

    I couldnt agree with you more. The amount of time one needs to devote for successful blogging is often underestimated. The thing about personal blogs that makes them so important for experience is that the people starting them just want a simple blog to post their thoughts. This way they dont get bogged down with perfecting the look and feel of the blog and they can instead concentrate their strengths on just posting their daily thoughts or whatever.

    Someone recently asked me to help him start a blog for his business. I think I’ll offer him your suggestion first. This way he’ll get hands on experience on blogging and then once he knows the basics he can work on something more professional.

    I started the hard way and now after two months of full time blogging I’m still just at the beginning. Wow, it takes so much time and patience.

  5. Channel Flix says:

    blogging helps you to become a good writer :-)

  6. Mike says:

    I normally know it is time to spin off a niche blog from my personal blog when my wife tells me that she is sick about reading whatever subject I have been focusing on. Now I have to learn how to develop them once I spin them off.

  7. Ari says:

    I couldnt agree with you more. The amount of time one needs to devote for successful blogging is often underestimated. The thing about personal blogs that makes them so important for experience is that the people starting them just want a simple blog to post their thoughts. This way they dont get bogged down with perfecting the look and feel of the blog and they can instead concentrate their strengths on just posting their daily thoughts or whatever.

    Someone recently asked me to help him start a blog for his business. I think I’ll offer him your suggestion first. This way he’ll get hands on experience on blogging and then once he knows the basics he can work on something more professional.

    I started the hard way and now after two months of full time blogging I’m still just at the beginning. Wow, it takes so much time and patience.

  8. NeoTechie says:

    Thanks for the overview.

  9. Ms. Q says:

    I agree with you – I started my blog just a few months ago for the very reasons you listed; I want to learn and gain experience. While I’d like to monetize a blog at some point, my current focus is on enjoying the learning process and not worrying about “getting it right.”

    I agree with the comment by Channel Flix – blogging helps you to become a better writer. Well, it CAN help you! It certainly has given me more discipline.Which I am so far able to maintain as you list in point 4!

    Another way personal blogs rock: You learn that there are some really good people out there in the world. They aren’t writing for the money, but to share their stories.

  10. GREAT post Darren – I’d like to add one – a personal blog helps you to find and define your own voice. On a business blog, we tend to be more formal. But as you have rightly pointed out in the past, blogging works best when we speak in our own voices. :)

  11. jeff barson says:

    My wife and I started a blog for our 13 year old daughter at: http://www.ponytailclub.com for her to express her love of riding and so that our entire family can work on it as a project.

    It’s been great fun so far and our traffic is growing faster than any of the other four blogs I run. Go figure. Evidently there’s an untapped market.

  12. Katie Baird says:

    I’ve been struggling to come up with a good answer for clients and colleagues who ask me how they should get started with biz blogging. I’ve gone through various analogies, but none are quite right.

    This post makes sense to me completely. Once they try it for themselves, they’ll start to get it and see the possibilities. Far better than me stumbling to come up with an answer for a person who has never ever looked at a blog!

  13. I agree that it is truly a progression. I have been keeping a personal artistic blog for eighteen months and am now in the process of gathering materials and ideas for a more commercial and information based blog related to my day job. Reading problogger and other commercial blogging resources over the last couple months has definitely helped me refine and find a solid approach to my idea, but if I didn’t already have a feel for the blogging process, know that I could sustain it, and have the writing practice, I would not have been able to even envision the idea in the first place.

  14. Darren, I have to relate this back to the post you made on November 20th, where you advised to blog about your passion. I agree completely. You have to start out small for yourself and figure out what you want to talk about and more importantly what you really have to say. Write about what you love, not just topics that just make money…the money will come don’t force it.

  15. Oh yes. Point number #1 is soooo familiar to me when I first started out. I drew nothing but blanks. Then I started reading other blogs articles which gave me some ideas.

  16. John Hood says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your sentiments Darren!

  17. Steve Olson says:

    My blog has helped me find meaning in my life. I love what I am doing and I love the readers. I can’t put into words the changes blogging has made to my life.

    Steve

  18. Don M says:

    Personal blogging is good because after awhile you get into the search engines and start showing up on social networking sites. What will usually happen is you will eventually (it make take months before this happens) write a post from your gut that gets a reaction and generates a lot of conversation. When this happens, and a post engages readers like it does, it is usually a good time to examine if the post you wrote is a niche worthy of it’s own blog. Sometimes it might not be, but sometimes it could. When it does, then go for it!

    You make your own luck.

    -dm

  19. I had a personal ‘blog and it helped with all seven points mention .. well, all except number 3…

  20. andrew wee says:

    Hi Darren,
    Doing a personal blog has been integral to my branding purposes, especially if you want to establish your online presence.

    in fact, super affiliate ewen chia’s had the biggest influence on me in this regard. (to the extent that i’ve blogged about the ‘me’ brand multiple times)
    http://www.whoisandrewwee.com/202/ewen-chia-building-me-brand/

    and i think it’s paid off, because #7 help you find a readership – has worked in a different way. my readership has found me. and it’s a simple process too, assuming you update technorati, ping your blog, etc.

    one of my contacts told me: do what you’re supposed to do, and you’ll get what you’re supposed to get.
    it’s worked out for me thus far.

  21. Craig Harper says:

    G’day Darren,

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

    The reason I love blogging is “No editors to dilute my message”.

    Craig

  22. Good points, Darren. Many of these fundamentals can be applied to almost all types of online venture – like selling a few items on ebay to get familiar with the entire process before coming out with a full-fledged ebay business.

  23. Shawn Blanc says:

    My personal blog is ad free. The concept of blogging for money is still a little out of my paradigm.

  24. Darren my personal blog is one of my biggest money earners. Sure makes personal blogs rock to me.

  25. jeff barson says:

    Since my daughters success with Pony Tail Club: http://www.ponytailclub.com
    I’ve been flooded with requests from other family members to set up blogs for them. So, now my neice has one at http://www.chestnutpony.wordpress.com it seems that girls with horses love to talk about them.

  26. I agree about the learning….I only started in June on blogger, but have just made the switch to my own domain..I’ve got two and decided to do wordpress on one, movable type on the other so I could learn them.

    It’s amazing how much i’ve picked up and learned all ready. i was in a safe and comfortable spot with blogger and html, so playing around with wordpress and movable type is taking me out of my box and letting me experiment and learn new things.

    I’m all for learning. Cheers, Deb

  27. Hey Darren, thanks for the tips. That’s how I’ll be starting off in January. The URL isn’t active content wise as I was initially having it designed for another career months ago. But it is the site for the BLOG to come at the beginning of 2007.

    I’m a member of Toastmasters International and I want to use my BLOG as a creative offshoot of public speaking and use both – speaking and blogging – to eventually publicize and reinforce the other.

    Do you have e-books? One of your countrymen, Angela Booth, has a couple that caught my eye and I was wondering if you had any offerings since you’re the first bloggger that I’ve really been following closely.

    Thanks,

    Martin
    Opelika, Alabama, USA

  28. Dustin says:

    How does one make the transition?

  29. Darren,
    Great little list on why personal blogs rock! Would you suggest a different strategy for monetizing a personal blog over an entrepreneurial blog?

  30. Keral Patel says:

    I am treating my blog as my personal diary of tips and resources Not the secret sharing one though. But somewhat a personal diary of things I found useful enough and to my surprise on some occasions I refer to my own blog for some development issues because I might have blogged about it in past and there might be some solution in there.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I am far from expert (ahem), but have recently been searching for analogies that would help the uninitiated “get” what blogging is all about. Then today I read Darren Rowse’s post “7 Reasons Why Personal Blogs Rock.” [...]

  2. [...] Darren Rowse of Problogger.net has posted an article on his opinions on why personal blogs rock. [...]

  3. [...] 7 Reasons Why Personal Blogs Rock 7 razões pelas quais ter um blog pessoal é ótimo. (tags: Blogging) [...]

  4. [...] To read more about these, visit HERE. To get the latest blogging tips, you can subscribe to this blog for FREE. [...]

  5. [...] Darren Rowse wrote about 7 Reasons Why Personal Blogs Rock, worth a reading, and perhaps can convince some newbie that they know about rather than pretend to be some experts. [...]

  6. [...] 7 Reasons Why Personal Blogs Rock at problogger.net. Darren points out how useful it is to learn to write with a personal blog. [...]

  7. Weekly Brief says:

    [...] Are you struggling to find a topic to blog? Write about your life. You will do well. Darren Rowse explains it in his article, 7 Reasons Why Personal Blogs Rock. [...]

  8. [...] Darren Rouse of Problogger.net posted a really good article about on why he things personal blogs can be helpful. [...]

  9. [...] Its been proven to be effective, hence its popularity. Examples such as the article 7 Reasons Why Personal Blogs Rock by Problogger and 7 Reasons Why List Posts Will Always Work by CopyBlogger. [...]

  10. [...] To read more about these, visit HERE. To get the latest blogging tips, you can subscribe to this blog for FREE. [...]

  11. [...] the fact that some prominent bloggers got their blogging ideas from their personal blogging, like Darren Rowse talking about getting an idea for a niche from his personal blog, to assume that personal blogs are [...]

  12. [...] Some of these reasons I’ve read sometime ago on Darren’s Problogger. [...]