Why the Stakes Are Higher for Personal Bloggers

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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”

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.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

6 thoughts on “Why the Stakes Are Higher for Personal Bloggers

  1. seo copywriting

    Personal bloggers make up a significant portion of the blogosphere and so they are serious competition for many business bloggers. This means that they are competing for the same places in the SERPs as many corporate blogs and, just like professional bloggers, they will want to take the few top spots in those results pages for their targeted keywords. Whether they do this consciously or not is irrelevant as even the most amateur blogger knows the value of the search engines to building their following. Using professional methods is just as important to personal as professional bloggers.

  2. David Mattichak

    Just because you are not a pro-blogger doesn’t mean that you can afford to ignore the methods employed by them. As you say, every blogger wants to attract a following of loyal readers and it only takes a short while on the web to discover where most of those readers are coming from- the search engines. Social media may be a direct means of spreading the word about your latest blockbuster blog post but search engines will be the source of the majority of the traffic to it in the long term. Just this alone makes SEO a vital part of any blogging strategy- amateur or professional.
    This implies that the blogger has a plan (i.e. to build a following) and so even hobby bloggers need to work out their strategy if they want the connection with and approval (or otherwise) of readers.
    Failing to plan is just planning to fail Stan.
    Another great post mate! This is why I keep coming back.

  3. Jane Wells

    Thanks for the recognition, Stan, that a personal website is such an investment. Mine really is a labor of love, sweat and blood.
    It is the personal blogger we turn to for real inspiration and track proven advice.
    Only when a business blog is run with the same passion, commitment and honesty as a personal blog (I think you are a pretty stellar example of this) does it have a similar impact.

  4. marcy orendorff

    I agree that excellent work is done by the personal blogger. The support networks they build are a labor of passion. They certainly deserve the best tools available. Great post, Stan.

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