Personal Blogs: What Do You Think About Them?
You know what? I follow quite a few blogs and two of the top performing blogs I follow started out as personal blogs, believe it or not. And by “top performing” I mean I’d pit either of these two blogs against some of the top earners in the Internet Marketing arena and I bet they’d win. Or come pretty darn close. But let’s talk about personal blogs because I’m sure you have questions.
What is a personal blog?
In the strictest sense, personal blogs are exactly what they sound like. The blogger just blogs about whatever comes to mind with no intention of ever monetizing the blog, no worries about SEO or keywords, it’s like an online journal. The blogger typically just chooses an interesting domain name and doesn’t worry about traffic.
With no focus on keywords or SEO or any of the other tactics we use to generate traffic you have to wonder why anyone would even start a personal blog. But some people just like the idea of blogging.
If a personal bloggers keeps blogging long enough they’re eventually going to attract organic traffic. Additionally, many belong to social networks and they send traffic to their blogs, but not because they’re trying to make money – they just want people to read their blogs.
After a time, that traffic develops into a group of followers and the blog gradually evolves to reflect the ideas of the group. Instead of blogging about whatever is on their mind, the personal blogger starts engaging in a conversation with their followers and they talk about things that interest the group, which means the content becomes a little more focused.
For example, a few years ago, 14-year-old Tavi Gevinson started a personal blog on Blogger.com called Style Rookie. She blogged about fashion, art, school, museums, friends, and whatever was on her mind. Gradually she started to build a following and they started zeroing in on the topic of fashion and at this point there was no monetization on this blog.
Soon, though, as Tavi’s traffic exploded, she started attracting the attention of people in the fashion industry. Designers started sending her clothes to talk about on her blog. Department stores started contacting her with promotional deals. Now Tavi gets front row seats at Fashion Week in New York and Paris, she’s addressed some of the top designers in the world, she’s been featured on magazines and she publishes her own magazine – and she’s still in high school.
Can You Monetize A Personal Blog?
Tavi’s is a perfect example. Yes, you can monetize a personal blog, but only after you’ve built up the traffic and you engaging with your readers. Start a personal blog and put baneers up and down the sidebar and you just look like another spammy blogger. You’ll actually drive traffic away, especially if you’re not focusing on any particular topic.
In Tavi’s case the advertisers pursued her. I follow another blog that started out as a humourous personal blog and he also developed a huge following. He has AdSense in the sidbar, along with some sponsored ads and affiliate products, and he was approached by a publisher. He’s getting ready to publish his second book now.
The benefit of a personal blog is that you can blog about anything you want and you don’t need to pay attention to stuff like keywords and SEO and link building. On the downside it takes longer to build up a following. But the following you develop is extremely loyal because they grew, with you, with your blog.
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