There’s something almost magical about finding and connecting with a blogger around a subject of mutual interest. Or who’s just on the same wavelength as yourself.
I believe this is because a personal blog that works is both personal and permissionless.
Personal in that you know who’s writing the blog. Blogs tend to be more informal than traditional media outlets. Personal means there’s more potential to form an emotional connection with the blogger.
Permissionless in that anyone can blog. There are no rules. You don’t need anyone’s permission to start. Anyone can do it.
DON’T ASK FOR PERMISSION. ASK FOR FORGIVENESS.
Hat tip to James
Even in 2010 (at least 13 years in) blogging was still a new thing for most of us. I quickly discovered and made a connection with a whole bunch of blogs and their writers. Some of them I still follow today. Others, I’ve just moved on from. And there are some I really miss because the blogger has stopped for whatever reason.
Back in 2010, blogging still felt new. Pioneering, alternative and little bit exciting.
Now, the web is awash with blogs of all sorts. (How many? 100s of millions!) It doesn’t feel the same as it did. It’s now ‘normal’ for businesses to blog as part of their marketing strategy. Most do it badly but that’s another matter.
So why bother to write a personal blog in 2019?
A. Clarify your thoughts
I find the mere act of getting my thoughts out onto the page forces me to think them through. All the more so, knowing the page is going public!. Blogging makes you think better.
B. Hold yourself accountable
Putting your thoughts out there in public is scary but is also a strangely effective way of holding yourself accountable. Tell the world you’re going to blog once a week and it’s hard to renege on that.
C. Own your voice
If you use a blogging platform like (self-hosted) WordPress, you own a little piece of real estate on the inter-webs. You get to decide what your visitors see. No-one else can change it or take it away from you. This is not the case with platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Medium. Blogging on your own platform avoids the trap of digital sharecropping. It’s the difference between owning your land and feudalism.
D. Raise awareness of what you care about
Even if you get just a handful of people reading your blog, it’s a handful who wouldn’t otherwise know about what you have to say. If others benefit from your thoughts, you’ve made the world a better place. You will have performed an act of generosity.
E. Build credibility
A personal blog can help you earn trust and build credibility with potential customers, clients, employers, investors, employees, partners and patrons. Whether you’re employed, freelance, an artist or entrepreneur, you can earn a little more trust, build a bit more credibility. What’s more, familiarity, credibility and trust opens doors and leads to opportunity.
F. Update people who care
I’m interested to know what my favourite bloggers are up to. Projects and plans. It helps if they drop a few hints about their personal life. Showing you are human deepens the connection. Be human. Be generous. Here is my update.
G. Benefit from your readers spreading the word
If you make a connection with others then it’s only natural for them to want to tell their friends about you and your message, your ideas and your projects. This can only help your cause.
H. Get feedback from your readers
If you want feedback on your ideas then blogging can be helpful. People don’t tend to want to comment directly on blogs as they once did, but it still works. Your readers may well want to feedback via email, social media or in-person. Make it easy for them.
I. Monetise your blog
A personal blog is an opportunity to generate a side income. Either directly via on-site advertising or sponsorship. Or indirectly via consulting, courses, speaking and books.
J. Create a legacy
Who knows how long your digital ramblings might survive. One day, who knows, your child or niece or nephew or partner or student could, out of idle curiosity, take a look at your blog. They might just discover something about you. Learn something. They might even thank you!
PS Does this post mean I’ll be writing here more often from now on? You’ll need to check back next week to find out… 😉