Having a Personal Blog: Is it Worth It?

Posted By Darren Rowse 26th of April 2016 General 0 Comments

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When people first start blogging, particularly with an eye to monetise, they often focus on a niche or specific topic, and spend their time providing value and being “useful” to their audience. But recently listener Dorothy asked my opinion about personal blogs, and it’s a question I’m frequently asked:

“I’d love you to talk about the “usefulness” or “value” of personal blogging. There has been a bit of a discussion about this lately on a few blogs.”

The Benefits of Having a Personal Blog

People usually want to know if there’s any benefit to having a personal blog as well as a niche-focused blog (as usually, but not all the time, personal blogs are harder to monetise). I think having a personal blog is incredibly useful, and I always recommend it to everyone, whether they want to monetise or not. I also think everyone should have a personal blog at some point and in today’s ProBlogger podcast I want to explain the reasons why I think it’s a great idea.

Having a personal blog does wonders for your writing and your enthusiasm, and can be the best way to explore, experiment and learn about blogging and how you want to be seen online. Not all blogs emerge fully formed, but often evolve over time as the blogger finds a groove and settles into it – partly what they love to share and partly what their audience wants to hear.

Having a personal blog will help you get to that juxtaposition of personal and audience satisfaction much faster than if you were blogging with a restricted niche or business.

It can also be a fantastic way to express yourself and to record parts of your life to reflect on later, and help you share and connect with like-minded people. Having a personal blog can be an incredibly enriching experience, and can often be a source of satisfaction, no matter what the motive.

But What About Usefulness?

It’s true that if a blogger wants to monetise, the advice is usually not have a niche, rather than personal blog. It is possible to monetise a personal blog but often those blogs started out as a niche, or end up morphing into one. In this episode I discuss the personal bloggers I know and how they make a living from recording their life online.

But either way, a personal blog is something you should seriously consider, and I actively encourage it.

Do you have a personal blog? What has it brought you? Do you monetise it? What would you recommend to others?

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Further Reading:

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.
Comments
  1. That is a great show Darren. :)
    I started this time last year building my blogs with your help, Michael Hyatt and Jeff’s inputs also – and I quickly got a bit lost over niche and ‘helping others’ because I had taken the point that I needed a website and an email list ‘as soon as’ for selling and promoting my fiction that I was still writing – so there was no product either…
    However my blogs have given me a brilliant opportunity to learn how to use the technology, ‘chat’ on line and the discipline to post to them once a week at least – I am learning about my camera and phone to help me with this.
    None of it is earth shattering but I know a hell of a lot more now about what I need to promote my books when they are revised and ready to launch and without my personal blogging that wouldn’t be the case – I am not looking to teach others how to write fiction or ride horses or farm – but I do write and blog about those things – and they feature in my Young Adult and Adult fiction too so there is a cross over point that may be useful one day…
    I can also make sure I contribute to other sites where the kind of folk who may like to read my fiction are so that my name is ‘out there’ – without the blogging and building my own site I would not have the confidence to do that.
    I am not looking to monetise per say and neither do I get screwed up about reader numbers – there are likely none – because I still have things to learn to add to the site and I still have my books to finish – hence I only post on each about once a week in order to keep my perspective on this – it is still about selling and promoting the fiction ebooks that are in production…
    I love you new look site! :) Thank YOU for this post – it makes me feel less alien because I am a Personal Blogger :) – if it makes it’s own niche and anyone enjoys reading it that is cool…

  2. I agree with most of the points made in this podcast episode. I believe my blog is a personal blog but I have no plans for monetizing it. I have found writing to be just as intellectually stimulating as reading. Blogging has helped keep my mind sharp. I can say that I wrote more for myself than anything else. Maybe someday my blog will morph to a niche, maybe not. I must also note that apart from being healthy for the mind, blogging is just plain fun! Thanks for the podcast episode.

  3. I have personal blog. It’s new, and it’s fun. I never plan to monetize it, so I can treat it like a hobby. I can write about anything that comes to mind, and there is no pressure to build an audience. Overall, I like having an outlet to write about anything :)

  4. I think that a personal blog is a pretty good idea, especially for branding purposes. With everything being online these days we kind of lose the personal touch of getting to really know someone.

    I think a personal blog can be used to show the “other” side of any business professional i.e hobbies, family life, etc.. which makes people more relatable and more likely to be trusted.

  5. A personal blog was exactly how I got started. I was writing about music, tech, food, observations on life, etc. It was a WordPress.com hosted blog. After a while I realized I was focusing mostly on tech tips for parents, and that led me to starting my current site. It was about this time that I also started looking online for advice on blogging which is how I landed here at problogger. :-)

  6. Thank you very much for your article! I am sure that it will help budding entrepreneurs. Personal blog undoubtedly distinguishes people from the rest of the businessmen who have not yet presents its services online. Thanks to your post, many will think of relevant things.

  7. It depends on each. Some write only in order to share their lives, with no order monetization. And I think that is the true meaning of blogging

  8. Do you have a personal blog? Yes. Didn’t initially but split it off after a year or so (over a decade ago!). My site landing page has title links and recent content summary from both blogs but most readers arrive via direct content links from search, social.

    What has it brought you? Gives freedom to blog outside my topic focused blog but sometimes link between the two. For example did a 30 post series about a cycle tour in Tibet that was nothing to do with my main CAD software blog. Could not have done it there but know lots of the CAD blog readers also read it. The blog split also allows me to write about topics, politics/religion etc, that have nothing to do with the more industry focused blog.

    Do you monetise it? No, but no longer monetise either of my blogs other than (rare) post content appropriate links (eg book link in book review). Found the hassle of monetising not worth the return.

    What would you recommend to others? If you do a topic focus blog think carefully about how specific your name is. I’m glad I used a category name (CAD Blog) rather than specific platform. Avoids getting trapped by product name changes, platform death etc. Start a personal blog from day one, your readers will be interested.

  9. I’d love to see a specific podcast or article on how you would grow the readership a personal blog; or even an interview roundup on how personal bloggers started off getting traction/traffic. I love hearing people’s stories, and there are so many examples of how niche bloggers grew their readership, but not (in my opinion) very many flushed out stories of how personal bloggers got to where they are.

  10. Having just recently started a personal blog, I believe it has tremendous value whether you monetise it or not. Not only is it a great outlet for creativity, I believe when done right it can really help to establish your brand (as echoed by other comments). It may be difficult to calculate the ROI on your brand, but I believe many find that it pays dividends in the long run. This could be the difference between a certain job opportunity, new business venture, etc. Having a stronger brand than your peers will help you to stand out, and a personal blog is a great way to accomplish that.

    Great read, thanks for sharing.

  11. I have more than one personal blog, actually. There’s my generally personal blog, my mommy-life personal blog, my self-learning personal blog… and many fiction blogs (or character blogs, as I like to call them, where I blog as one or more of my fictional characters).

    Personal is how I got started on the Web, back in 2004, and it’s how I want to continue on the side of all niche blogging I do for myself and my clients. Personal blogging is a place to connect with others (and with myself) at a more intimate level than with niche blogging.

    It’s a great way to make friends, too!

    I monetize personal blogs via advertising and sponsored posts. I find the latter particularly fun to write, especially when I know the sponsored product is something I or my reader would enjoy. Sponsored content gives me blogging ideas, too.

    The only recommendation I could give other bloggers is to stay true to themselves in their writing and how they relate to the readership. And to show their kind side, always, because kindness is what really connects people, no matter the diversity or the agree-to-disagree moments.

    Thanks for such a great post and podcast, Darren! :)

    ~ Luana

  12. Great post, Darren! I have been maintaining both a personal and professional blog for over two years now and love the progress I’ve made. My professional brand even caught the attention of a company and landed me a job! It’s definitely become a passion of mine and love that I have my own little space to create content.

  13. I do web designs, and I have a site to showcase my portfolio etc… At the same time, I run a personal blog. That’s where I post regularly and building a list. It’s definitely useful and help my business a lot. I love what I read here. Just tweeted ;)

  14. I don’t have a personal blog but i think in the future i will try to create one for myself as it makes you authority in the industry which is very costly these days with the other method of marketing, i have seen many popular bloggers are also running a personal blog themselves and promote them on their niche blogs.