Starting a personal blog is easier than ever before. If you’re looking for a blog/social media hybrid experience, Tumblr makes it easy for newbies to get started, and if you want a more professional-looking website, WordPress is also free and easy.
But before you start delving into highly personal topics on a highly public space, there are some things you need to know.
The Benefits of Personal Blogging
These are some of the most powerful and important benefits of personal blogging to note:
- Emotional catharsis. Whatever you’re experiencing, personal blogging can be an effective channel for catharsis. By writing about what you’re going through, you’ll get the chance for introspection, allowing you to better understand your feelings and giving you a sense of release. Think of it as a form of both venting and processing.
- Learning new things. When trying to articulate your thoughts in a readable format, you’ll force yourself to consider new concepts and you’ll probably end up researching various topics to support your claims. That means you’ll have multiple opportunities to learn new things, and you’ll improve your knowledge in multiple areas.
- Developing your communication skills. Blogging regularly forces you to think about your sentence structures and how you communicate with others. Given enough practice, the process will come naturally to you, and you’ll find yourself becoming a better communicator in all other areas of your life. For example, you’ll be able to write better emails, hold better conversations, and even understand other people on a deeper, more fundamental level.
- Introducing yourself to a community. Depending on where and how you blog, you’ll likely open the door to a community of other like-minded people. For example, if you blog within a specific niche, other people in that niche will gravitate toward your work, comment on it, and introduce you to their work. It’s an easy way to make friends and new connections online.
- Developing a personal brand. Blogging personally also gives you the chance to develop a personal brand for yourself, improving your reputation and showing off your expertise in your chosen field. If you hope to make your blog profitable in the future, or if you have an existing business, this is especially beneficial.
- Building traffic online. You can also use your personal blog as a means of generating traffic online, which you can redirect to your main money-making site or profit from by using ads and affiliate links. Any traffic you generate is valuable, so long as you know how to tap it; accordingly, if your personal blog picks up steam, you’ll be able to profit from its popularity.
Why and When to Be Cautious
However, you’ll need to be cautious of these potential pitfalls:
- Using blogging instead of professional help. Some people use personal blogging as a method of release or therapy rather than seeking professional help. For example, they might detail their struggles in marriage instead of seeking a divorce attorney, or they might talk about their mental health disorders instead of making the effort to find a qualified therapist. Blogging shouldn’t be used as an exclusive outlet for anything.
- Sharing too much online. You’ll also need to be careful not to share too much information about yourself online. People will eventually figure out that you’re using a personal brand to post personal information, and depending on that information’s nature, it could damage your reputation or negatively affect your relationships. This is especially true if you’re writing about something sensitive, like the emotional turmoil of your relationship or the inner workings of your place of employment.
- Blogging aimlessly without a goal. Blogging has many benefits, but only if you’re working to achieve them. Blogging aimlessly, without a direction or idea of what you want to do, typically amounts to nothing. Instead, make sure you have a firm idea of what you’re trying to do, and a series of goals that will allow you to do it.
Overall, personal blogging is a rewarding and beneficial experience—so long as you’re familiar with both the possibilities and the dangers. Spend some time considering why you want to start a personal blog and how you’re going to use it before you dive in headfirst, and you should be able to capture all the positive elements without losing anything.
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Now let's find some opinions of people who use blogging as a means to promote their business, personal brand, ideas or whatsoever.
I started blogging as part of The Authentic Masculinity Project in late 2014. The benefits have been almost too numerous to count, but I'll focus on what I think most readers can relate to-- discipline, confidence and creativity.
"Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly."
We grow when we write, and making a commitment to write a fixed number of words a day is a perfect beginning to improving your discipline. The number can be quite modest-- as few as 50, but I think 500-1000 is more impactful. The reason we grow when we write a fixed number of words a day is that sooner or later we run out of "top of mind" topics... and have to start digging to hit that goal. That's when the real gold starts to flow... because even if you describe the room you're in to hit your goal, you start to write about things you didn't even know were on your mind and you look back and read what you wrote and say, "Wow. Who wrote that?" The answer surprises us. That discipline to sit down and hammer out words is good for us. The other tip is to promise yourself that if you skip one day you'll double the next... that keeps you focused and consistent. Don't worry about quality, worry about sticking with it. You'll get better as you go and your writing muscle will strengthen as you exercise it. You'll find you start to write about things that surprise you.
"Learn to work the high-wire without a net."
The reason blogging makes you confident is that you must confront the fear of putting your thoughts out in front of the world and that takes courage. We all know that courage is not the absence of fear, it's the decision to face down your fear. Few things can be as frightening as hitting the send or publish button and knowing you are working the creative trapeze or the high-wire without a net, so to speak... in front of the world where your mistakes are open to all to see. The joy, of course, is that once you start to overcome that hesitation, the act of publishing a blog becomes exhilarating because most people... most people... are thrilled by your willingness to lead and that's what blogging is... leading. Have the audacity to believe in yourself. Have the audacity to believe the people who loved you as a child. They told you are great and they were right. Believe and trust them. Put your thoughts out there... but keep your dreams to yourself until you find your feet. Dreams are precious and beautiful and deserve to be protected. Slowly... your confidence will grow... and nothing healthy grows quickly.
"We don't write what we know, we write what we're working out."
When you stick with it... your subconscious starts to create and push ideas to the surface and they surprise and astonish you because you start to see what you're brilliant brain is working on without your knowledge. You start to become creative. The discipline builds the confidence and the confidence builds the creativity. My own experience has been that for AM... Authentic Masculinity... the business grew, really, from blogging.. Blogging is no more than journaling in public... and journaling taps into the best parts of us all... if we let it. So... discipline yourself and grow your confidence. You'll be surprised by what you create for the world, even as they watch.
Main objective: to showcase skills, bring awareness and create an interested audience in you and your brand. I work with both a personal blog jongeek.com and a corporate blog ubreakifix.com/blog and both have a common purpose.
Blogging (other then for SEO reasons) allows me to answer questions about myself or my company. Personally I use my blog to attract an audience that I can use for showcasing the company I work for and my knowledge, side work, and other projects. It showcases my skills and gives them the security of what I can bring to the table.
For us, blogging not only allows us to discuss our products and collections in much more detail, but it gives us the opportunity to explore the wider world of interior design. We manufacture and supply a wide range of blinds and curtains, but we're also proud to have a team of dedicated fabric specialist and designers working with us, so our blogs provide a great platform for sharing their expertise and ideas. We also regularly share interviews with suppliers and customers, offering a deeper look into the journey of our products, from fabric selection, to manufacturing, to installing in the home. We also like to promote customer-generated content, including images and videos, which help to persuade others to purchase from us. As you can see, blogging brings plenty of benefits for us, including allowing us to assert ourselves as industry experts, as well as providing inspirational, quality content that convinces new customers to make a purchase.
Amy Kilvington, Head of Content Marketing at Custom Curtains
I’ve been blogging for years, personally and professionally. I started blogging initially as a way to capture my thoughts and opinions about local road races I ran. I then branched into blogging for work. I blogged as part of my job as a catalog copywriter for a national direct mail firm and now I blog about careers for the recruiting office of Oldcastle, a national building products manufacturer.
Benefits of blogging:
- It forces you to focus on your writing and become a better writer. Good blog writers know how to organize their thoughts and present them in an interesting, organized, enticing way.
- It’s a great, free way to promote your personal or professional brand.
- It helps establish yourself or your company as a thought leader in your field or about a particular topic.
- It can help you get PR about your brand. By creating blog posts, you know have links you can share.
- It can set you apart from the competition in a job search.
- It’s fairly easy to see up a blog, affordable and intuitive to learn. It teaches you skills valued by employers – from writing to tags to WordPress (or whatever platform you use).
P.S. I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn’s self-publishing platform for blogging as well, and have written 85 posts on there. It’s an easy way to get into blogging without having to set up your own blogging platform.
Kyra Mancine, Social Media Specialist/Blogger/Writer
For business websites, especially service businesses, a blog is really an essential part of a website. Its main objective is to build your business’s reputation as an authoritative source on a particular subject matter. This has several benefits, but I will focus on the SEO benefits of blogging:
SEO – Blogging can help your website rank in organic search results and increase the overall traffic of your website.
- Content Freshness - Google loves it when websites regularly update content (so long as the content is meaningful.) Creating a blog strategy and posting at least once a month is a great way to keep your content fresh and show Google that you're making regular updates to your website.
- Long-Tail Keyword Targeting - In addition, it gives you the ability to target “long tail” keywords with your SEO strategy. For example, you may have a page on your website that ranks well for the keyword “blue widgets.” Blog posts give you the opportunity to target more granular keywords related to that topic, like “What are the benefits of blue widgets?” Essentially, blogging widens the total net in terms of keywords and keyword variations that you can get your website to rank for. This is especially important given the increasing use of voice search, where people tend to search in question form.
- Building a Backlink Profile - If you create timely, engaging content on your blog, it will attract links. Building authoritative, high quality backlinks will help your website’s overall authority and search engine ranking. Infographics and list-style blog posts are an especially effective way to do this.
- Capitalizing on Timeliness - When an event occurs in your industry, it’s important to capitalize on that by blogging. Newsworthy events often generate a lot of Google search demand, so Google will be looking for relevant results to provide users. If you can react quickly by publishing high-quality content before others in your industry do, you’ll have a competitive advantage. It will also showcase to your customers that you keep a pulse on your industry.
Julie Howell, Marketing Director (and previous SEO Director) atPostali
As a successful business owner and blogger, I can attest to the benefits of blogging. I added a blog to my website, CynthiaRowland.com (https://www.cynthiarowland.com/), many years ago and it has been an integral part of my business ever since. Blogging is a way to connect with our customers in a more personal way than simply “selling” them products. In addition to skin care, we offer unique products that customers don’t find elsewhere, including the Luscious Lips lip pump and Facial Magic facial exercise program. Blogging allows us to give our customers insight into the beauty industry and the ways our products benefit them in a detailed, yet conversational way.
Cynthia Rowland, your face is your calling card! Rejenuve, Inc.
As a digital marketer, I would say blogging will help you to get in touch with your audience. Blogging can be of different topics, maybe a product or service, sometimes about some latest technologies. Whatever, people always tend to accept fresh things. So, when you're putting up something new, People will engage with your content, and they will recommend it to their network. This will bring you or your brand to more people in your niche. Google has always supported genuine, and quality content, If you're getting good followers and shares for your blog, it will unquestionably help to get a good ranking in search engines and also you can gain the trust from them. If you could build a circle of real people, it can give a lot to your business, through blogging you can achieve that.
Sreejith.MT, Digital Marketing Strategist at Acodez
Why does a retailing website have a blog? Promoting our brands is the obvious answer and it is true however, this is not the only reason. Our international content team is young and enthusiastic and they need a creative outlet for themselves. We want our employees to express their individualities and our blog is also a way to escape from reality for some time.
We have a blog for our most important domains, which means that we write articles in more than 8 languages.
We write articles on the following topics:
- Latest Fashion Trends
- New Brands and Collections
- Influencer Interviews
- Eye Health
- Major events
We keep track of our blog pages in terms of pageviews and conversion sales.
Valentina Di Bari, Digital Marketing Department
My site at https://crimeinamerica.net allows me to communicate on crime and criminological issues with experts throughout the world. It allows me a presence in retirement that would be impossible before the Internet.
My site at https://leonardsipes.com allows me a source of information for freelancing and for the promotion of my book.
Leonard A. Sipes, Jr.
Having a blog alongside a business is a great way to broaden our audience. We blog about many lifestyle topics (food, gardening, crafts, home) while also incorporating posts about our sheds and log cabins. Some of our content also targets potential customers, such as a guide for how to create an outdoor office which includes our products, as well as handy tips and furnishings.
While a blog post on autumn recipes or how to make a bird feeder might not inspire a viewer to buy a shed, more visitors to the blog means more awareness of our brand. The variety of topics we blog about increases our reach.
We also use the blog as an extension of our website, www.tigersheds.com. We have many posts on shed maintenance and care, as well as posts with customer images. We also sometimes post about our sales – but we try to ensure that the blog does not seem like an advert, and instead stands alone as a lifestyle blog.
In summary, our blog is a good way to post useful content for our shed customers (including maintenance, care, tips and how to convert sheds or log cabins into workshops/home offices). Our blog also increases brand awareness, and The Hip Horticulturist receives around 10,000 unique visitors a month.
Kiarna Benson, Content Assistant
Blogging is something that I not only do myself, but recommend that all of my clients do as well. I run a social media marketing agency and blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field, and provide value to your current/prospective clients. As a business owner, it's tough to make a sale on the first point of content with a prospective client. It can often take up to 7 (or more) unique interactions, and blogging is a way for you to make those connections with large numbers of people. When it comes to social media strategy, we recommend posting a variety of content including promotional posts and shared content - a blog is the perfect place to pull promotional information for your business.
Meg Brunson, Founder & CEO
I have always liked sharing my own thoughts and experiences with other people and was always very moved by social media. People seemed to be interested in my thoughts and travels so I began thinking about the possibility of blogging my life and making it somewhat of a diary of the things I go through. While the idea was already on the table, I started thinking about future business opportunities and career paths. I'm working towards becoming a publicist and thought a personal blog would be a great benefit to showcase my abilities and gradually build a portfolio so future clients can see my work. As much as I enjoy writing for personal pleasure, all the work and energy put into it are in the effort of catching the attention of potential business and collaborative opportunities. As an aspiring publicist, I want to learn how to build something from scratch and use my social, marketing, and publicity skills to take it to the top. Part of the benefits of blogging are going through trial and error and learning what does and doesn't work for you. The experiences I have had through creating my personal blog have made me grow as a person and allowed me to see how hard work and dedication to create positive outcomes.
Sara Arbelaez, blogger.
My blog was recently awarded by FeedSpot as one of the Top 30 Game Design blogs. I currently blog on a weekly schedule. Initially, the blog was a community blog in which different people ideally were supposed to contribute. However, I found that it was far faster if I blogged something instead of bugging people to contribute. For a long time, I didn't use the blog for personal gain, but when I saw that people were linking to it and using it in course curriculum, I decided that I would embrace the blog as my own. After all, I was doing the work! I signed up for Google AdSense with no expectation of earning money from ads, but this allowed me to learn more about the analytics behind the blog.
I do think the blog does establish my brand as a writer and consultant. If I were to expand it as a website for myself, the blog would give continual reasons for people to come back and visit. In addition, as a writer, I think it's beneficial to be continually writing. Since I try to link events or even my own classes into blog articles, I find that blogging keeps a record of what I learn at panels or conferences. I also learn what appeals to my audience.
On our blog, we talk about a variety of topics including Style & Fashion, Lifestyle & Culture, Festival News, Music, and much more. We provide continuous coverage of music festivals leading up to the event, during the event, and after the event. We shed spotlights on individual musical artists while discussing recent albums, new singles, performances, and interviews. We also tie in festival fashion with some of our blog posts, which highlight a variety of the products that we sell on our online store. We’ve become an authority in the dance music world, so people come to our blog for news and information related to the industry. It is for this reason that our blog complements the products we sell in a way that doesn’t come across as spammy or unwarranted. People come to our blog and end up purchasing festival gear.
Brandon Chopp, Digital Marketing Strategist
Personally, I’ve been blogging since 2004, and have managed corporate blogs since 2006. For me, it’s the essential cornerstone of any content marketing effort, but also a great place for your own PR.
Blogging allows you (or your brand) to talk about things you may not get to discuss in boardrooms, websites, or even other social media channels. It’s a way to influence the conversation and get your own unique perspective out there. And if you can craft a compelling message and add value to your audience, they’ll keep coming back.
Unless your company has a hot product or funding from one of the notable investors, it’s very difficult to get your name out there through traditional media coverage. A blog enables you to build your own audience and control your own message, allowing you to manage your own PR efforts and connect directly with your audience. That’s true for business as well a personal blog.
Blogging is the podium by which we craft our adventure. For us, blogging is at the core of our growth. While we have our product, our blog offers further context to users. I think of it as adding meat to the structure. It’s an opportunity for us to not only earn a following by creating quality content but also to situate our product in the greater landscape of our market. With a blog, we can differentiate our product from those of our competitors. It’s a chance to offer users something unique, but it’s also a chance to entertain, to inform, and to surprise. Overall, blogging is an essential part of marketing a product and growing a business.
Marcus Harjani, Co-Founder, and Chief Operating Officer