Every once in a while someone reminds me that my business blogging advice doesn’t apply to personal bloggers.
Their comments usually end up saying that personal bloggers don’t care about money, growing an audience, tracking metrics, or strategy. The liberated personal blogger is guided by one simple motive - "whimsy".
If that was the case, why build a blog, style it, spend hours learning how to manipulate it, installing plugins and widgets, and other chores just to write on a whim?
Like I said. Bologna.
Quite frankly a $10 journal from Barnes & Noble could do the job.
So, why do personal bloggers exist?
For the same reason business bloggers exist - to tell a great story.
The rewards for telling a great story differs, the business blogger looks for profit, the personal blogger seeks conversation.
But we are selling personal bloggers short if we believe they are these devil-may-care digital flower children who just “exist”.
I know a personal blogger who launched her blog to keep off 12 pounds.
Another personal blogger is equipping kids to resist cyberbullying
Vets returning from the battlefields of Afghanistan are using their blogs to fight the debilitating impact of PTSD.
When you talk to these bloggers they are as serious as a heart attack.
- They want authority.
- They want an audience
- They want to motivate, persuade, and influence
And they pursue these goals with the single-minded focus of the business blogger.
They aren’t dismissing editorial calendars because it helps them organize their message.
They care about analytics because it gives them insight into their audience’s passions, point of view, and favorite online hangouts.
They want to build an email list because it allows them to tell a deeper story to a devoted tribe of insiders
They are intensely interested in every marketing tool that expands their blog’s reach.
As the saying goes - “they are in it to win it” tweet
The best personal bloggers often find, to their surprise, that can earn a decent side income from their audience.
Ok I know...
Pushing Social is a resource for business bloggers.
I’ve intentionally steered clear personal bloggers advice by design. My reasoning is based on brand strategy, positioning, and other stuff my business audience will love.
But I’ve never for an instant felt that business blogging tools and goals were out-of-reach or irrelevant for personal bloggers. In many ways the stakes are higher for personal bloggers because “winning” comes down to inspiring the the reader to go and make a difference.
If you are a “personal blogger” don’t get scared off by the capitalists circling these posts. Every business, content marketing, blogging strategy applies to you to - perhaps more than you realize at the moment.
Ok, get back to work.
P.S. Mark Schaefer and I wrote a Born to Blog which is really a love-letter to the personal blogger in all of us. Check it out.