Starting Off With a Personal Blog

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There was a good article posted on Problogger.net this week about what type of blog to start when having trouble choosing a niche.  The article written by Darren Rowse talks about the benefits of starting a personal blog if you are getting your feet wet or don’t really know how to start or what to start blogging about but sure you want to dive into blogging.

I agreed with this and my own technology blog started out as a personal blog which adapted three months later into a technology and blogging niche only.

The reasons for having a personal blog can be rewarding in that you can blog about anything you want, test themes on the fly, learn without worrying about brand / business reputation or side effects.  Personal blogs are also a great option for people who already have an established blog but want to build trust and relationships with their audience by allowing audience members to know more about the person behind the blogger.

With personal blogs you can also cross promote your other sites later, network with peers and so much more.  My own personal blog is my second most popular and has received as much as 10,000 visits on some months with an average of about 5k visits.

I use it as my "catch all" blog, personal diary, sharing my own thoughts about raising kids, working, blogging, pets, Arizona news and events and so much  more.  I do however restrict what I write about as everyone should when considering a personal blog.

Problogger.net listed some reasons to start a personal blog, but I am going to list some things you should not talk about in your personal blog unless you are really sure you know what you are doing.

Do Not Blog About People You Know

Unless you are a celebrity blogger you do want to refrain from talking about anyone you know or associate with.  Don’t include real names or identifying issues.  Unless you are given permission to share details of someone else’s life that you know, you can break the trust in your relationships with people by blogging about them.  The last thing someone wants to do is search for themselves on Google and show up on your blog when they didn’t know it.

Don’t Share Too Much Personal Details

Employeers screen employees in ways never done previously, if you share information about the last time you smoked pot or a crack pipe, you will likely risk losing your job.  Remember about company reputation and your boss, manager, coworkers and anyone else you associate with may potentially find and read what you write about.  Always write keeping this in mind.  This also includes information about your children, where you live (city is fine, but don’t go into street or neighborhood), when you go on vacation (see my blogging safety article)…etc.

Remember that some people can start to blog thinking they have no audience and write freely only to regret things written later.  Always write with the assumption everyone you know may read it (not just friends) and you will do a good job of filtering your own content.

Final Thoughts

In review, I think starting a personal blog is a really good idea but just make sure you keep your content appropriate to where you won’t risk doing any harm to your career or relationships as a result of the information you are sharing.

Do share your personal thoughts and views on everything, people read personal blogs because they want to know what the "blogger" thinks about a political situation, product, event…etc.  Reports just report, bloggers are supposed to add unique insights and their own point of views in my opinion.

What other tips do you have for people and starting a personal blog?

-Justin Germino

Updated: September 23, 2010 — 8:00 am