I’ve been thinking about personal blogs a lot lately. Sometimes I just want to write what’s on my mind, but it’s too off-topic for my freelance writing or food blogs. I tried to have a personal blog, but to be honest, no one cared. For me, most of the enjoyment of the blogging is to share with others, that doesn’t happen when no one comes a-calling. My blogs that have a specific focus, do very well. Blogs that are just me talking about stuff…not so much.
I wonder…is there a place for the personal blog?
Can a personal blog be a success?
I tried personal blogging in the past and no one read it but my family. They laughed at all the funny spots and reminisced with me when I discussed hand-me-downs or living on powdered milk, but besides one of my siblings and a friend or two, no one was interested. Unless you’re truly funny or can get your rant on at regular intervals, it’s tough building up a community.
- People who read blogs are confused when a blog doesn’t have a purpose. I’m finding that while personal blogs had a place several years ago, now they’re a much harder sell. Blog readers want a focus. They want a topic. They don’t want to read about my cat or the second grade recital. At least not on the same blog, it would be a better sell if I had a parenting or cat blog.
- People want to read blogs that teach them something. They don’t want to learn about my lunch with the girls or Thanksgiving traffic on the BQE – unless I’m teaching them how to avoid Thanksgiving traffic on the BQE. Heck, I’d pay for that information.
- Personal blogs are harder to monetize. Sure, we can put up ads, but no one is buying or clicking. Advertisers don’t want to buy space on a blog lacking focus or traffic. It’s hard to keep something going every day when you’re not getting paid for it.
- Personal blogs don’t rank as well on the search engines. They don’t have a niche or keywords, they’re just random musings. Google doesn’t care about random musings, it cares about keywords, even if those keywords make absolutely no sense.
Personal blogs are fun, but they’re not a way to make a living, at least that hasn’t been my experience. Lately, all the personal blogs I come across are infrequently updated with hardly any comments. If you blog for the love of this, that’s probably not a big deal for you, but if you want something more it’s probably not worth it to keep going.
I’m interesting in hearing from those of you who maintain personal, non niche-oriented blogs. Do you have a successful personal blog, one without a distinct focus? If so, I’d love to learn more about it and how you made it a success.