There are no set rules of thumb that are “written in stone” for writing posts for a personal blog. But if there were, I’m pretty sure that BrianSchnabel.com would break all of them. “However,” speaking as one who has spent a lot of time testing and reading the results of those tests in his server log files; there are a few simple guidelines I can give from my perspective that would greatly enhance your chances of being recognized for your writing efforts.
If you haven’t set up a blog just yet keep in mind; blogs can and sometimes do take up a lot of time. So, unless you really enjoy writing and working on computers in general, a blog might not be the thing for you.
Also, when it comes to personal blogs and making lots of money, “If you’re hurting for cash you might want to talk to God about that.” This is because very few people online are actually making money blogging, even for a specific niche, let alone personal blogging. So, if you are thinking that setting up a personal blog is going to make you enough money to quit your day job overnight… Well… “Don’t burn that bridge just yet!”
Now having said all that; there are a few different reasons that people like me blog. These reasons are things like…
- Self-expression: A personal Blog is more or less your journal online and a great way to let people know what’s on your mind. It’s also an awesome way to let off steam from time to time; sharing at other times those things you are really passionate about.
- Recording life events: Are you a pastor setting up a new church? Are you someone who’s got a job you love? Do you travel? You can blog about these things, plus other hobbies and stuff going on in your life daily.
For a lot of folks; it might take a little time for you to get used to the idea of putting yourself out there. There is always going to be the question of how far you really want to go in sharing the personal details of your life on the World Wide Web.
However, when it comes to writing blog posts there are two questions you will want to keep in mind. If you keep asking yourself these two questions every time you feel the urge to post, they should make it very easy for you to filter out the stuff in your life that probably shouldn’t be on the web anyway.
- What is the idea, passion or event you want to write about?
- What value will writing about this idea, passion or event have for a prospective reader?
If you can’t answer both of these questions when you sit down to write down your idea for a blog post save us all the pain and, “Don’t post it!” However, if it would have value to at least one other person in the world looking for what you’ve got to offer up, “Your golden!”
If you think you are going to start a personal blog that will have value to every single person in the world who reads it, “Good luck with that.” The World Wide Web is no different than any other environment where some form of human interaction occurs. Some people will love you, a majority of people will not be able to relate, others just won’t care and a few more will have a problem with you no matter what you do.
One of the really cool things about a personal blog, especially if the domain name is your name, is that it gives you the latitude to test a wide variety of niches/categories to see what kind of response you will get. If the niche/category you are testing seems to be worth it you now have the beginnings to a new niche oriented website; simply by transferring the posts of a test category you’ve been posting to over to that new site.
Still not sure what your personal blog should be about? Write a letter explaining who you are to someone else personally and professionally.
- Personally speaking: What are your hobbies, passions and other points of interest you would share? What things have you personally learned, hobby related or otherwise, that could help someone else with similar interests?
- Professionally speaking: what are your areas of expertise? What kinds of jobs have you had in your industry, or industries? What kinds of things are you learning or have you learned from working in your industry that could help someone else?
After writing this letter, you should now have an idea as to the different categories you can write posts for; each post providing your intended viewers something useful that they can make use of in their own life.
I know a lot of sites make personal blogging sound complicated. However, “It isn’t,” and nor is it going to be a guaranteed money maker for you. There are some things that you will have to learn in order to blog. But, if you already use sites like Facebook or Twitter you will find that the learning curve for blogging is easier than many would have you believe.
The biggest hurdle that you will need to get over if you are serious about starting a personal blog is simply what you want to write about. That’s it. However, you now have a few pointers to help you get started with a personal blog; assuming that you still wish to put the work in after reading this post. If you do decide to go for it; just remember that there really is no complicated secret to personal blogging at all.