12 Personal Blogging Tips

Food For Thought Before You Jump Into Your Personal Blog

Personal BloggindWhy create a personal blog? At its core, a personal blog, regardless of focus, is about your desire to communicate with a broader audience to fulfill a personal goal. (Here are 7 reasons to have a personal blog.)

Personal blogs aren’t diaries.

While a personal blog is like keeping a diary, it differs in several major ways. Unlike the old-fashioned hand written diary, there’s no lock and key.

In fact, the experience is exactly the opposite. By blogging, instead of keeping your thoughts private, you’re inviting the public to read them. Understand – once your content is public, it’s owned by your community of readers (unless you limit access through the use of password protection.) On the Internet, your blog is a public record that lives forever (or at least until the software disappears or is sold.) Lastly, blogs provide for engagement through their comments (if you allow them.)

12 Personal Blogging Tips

Personal blogs, like professional and business blogs, require some thought before you jump in and start throwing words on the screen if you don’t want your blog to be a flash-in-the-pan. While many bloggers are itching to start creating content (Hey isn’t that why you want to blog?), there are factors to consider first to ensure you don’t get blindsided once your information’s publically available. Here are twelve such factors.

  1. Host your own blog. While there’s a cost to this approach, it can help you in the event that your blog grows into something bigger. Understand that no matter how stable a blog hosting platform is now, it can disappear. A self-hosted blog (on your own URL) enables you to broaden your audience and gives you greater control. You own the content you create and have greater freedom to publish what you want.
  2. Anticipate and budget for technical support. Regardless of what you think when you start, there’ll be something you want to do requiring more technical experience than you have. Therefore, create a small budget for this purpose.
  3. Brand your blog. Before you tell me you’re not a company or organization, understand that if you don’t brand your blog that will be your brand. Determine blog formatting, color use, typefaces, media, voice and other elements to ensure they’re consistent.
  4. Set blog category structure. What major topics will your blog cover? Think in terms of the keywords your audience will use to search for your content. Stay away from cute titles don’t mean anything to robots.
  5. Plan for your blog’s future. Where do you see the content on your blog leading? Think 1 year, 2 years, 3 years out, while this may seem like the distant future, time passes quickly. This influences what you’re writing. Even if it’s only for one short term event such as your wedding, training for a marathon or dealing with a disease.
  6. Determine terms of use. How are you going to allow others to use your blog content? Many people assume anything that appears on the Internet can be freely reused. (In reality, this isn’t the case.) So it’s best to protect yourself and make your terms of use public.
  7. Watch your language. This isn’t restricted to four letter words but also encompasses your grammar and usage. It’s important because it reflects on your blog and brand.
  8. Take the mini-skirt approach to blog post length. Blog posts should be long enough to cover the topic but short enough to stay interesting. (Here’s the research on blog post length.)
  9. Don’t forget the blog eye candy. Think beyond text. Use photos, graphics, video, audio and presentations. These formats are often at the heart of personal blogs. Make sure you have permission to use photographs of people you know. This is particularly important when it comes to children.
  10. Publish consistently. Remember that a blog is a media entity. Before you remind me that it’s your personal thoughts, it’s important to think about your readers. To this end, mind your editorial calendar. Research has shown that it’s best to publish two to three times a week. If you don’t do this, at least be consistent in when you publish.
  11. Be selective in where you share your content. Don’t’ plaster your posts on every possible social media platform. Give thought to who’s on each platform and their interests. Consider where your topic makes sense.
  12. Determine how you want to handle comments. Do you want them closed, moderated or open? When you start getting comments is too late to get a policy out. (Need help? Here are blog comment guidelines.)

Remember blogs are a lot like children, once they come into being they have a life of their own you can’t necessarily plan. That said, you can ensure you make a good first impression and lay the foundation from which to grow and learn.

Have you had a personal blog? If so, what were your experiences and what would you recommend others do to start out?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles on blogging you may find of interest.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lecates/307250887/

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13 Responses to 12 Personal Blogging Tips

  1. hosseini says:

    In the name of God, the Beneficent the Merciful

    To the Youth in Europe and North America,

    The recent events in France and similar ones in
    some other Western countries have convinced me to directly talk to you
    about them. I am addressing you, [the youth], not because I overlook
    your parents, rather it is because the future of your nations and
    countries will be in your hands; and also I find that the sense of quest
    for truth is more vigorous and attentive in your hearts.

    I don’t address your politicians and statesmen
    either in this writing because I believe that they have consciously
    separated the route of politics from the path of righteousness and

    I would like to talk to you about Islam,
    particularly the image that is presented to you as Islam. Many attempts
    have been made over the past two decades, almost since the
    disintegration of the Soviet Union, to place this great religion in the
    seat of a horrifying enemy. The provocation of a feeling of horror and
    hatred and its utilization has unfortunately a long record in the
    political history of the West.

    Here, I don’t want to deal with the different
    phobias with which the Western nations have thus far been indoctrinated.
    A cursory review of recent critical studies of history would bring home
    to you the fact that the Western governments’ insincere and
    hypocritical treatment of other nations and cultures has been censured
    in new historiographies.

    The histories of the United States and Europe
    are ashamed of slavery, embarrassed by the colonial period and chagrined
    at the oppression of people of color and non-Christians. Your
    researchers and historians are deeply ashamed of the bloodsheds wrought
    in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the
    name of nationality and ethnicity during the First and Second World
    Wars. This approach is admirable.

    By mentioning a fraction of this long list, I
    don’t want to reproach history; rather I would like you to ask your
    intellectuals as to why the public conscience in the West awakens and
    comes to its senses after a delay of several decades or centuries. Why
    should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past
    and not to the current problems? Why is it that attempts are made to
    prevent public awareness regarding an important issue such as the
    treatment of Islamic culture and thought?

    You know well that humiliation and spreading
    hatred and illusionary fear of the “other” have been the common base of
    all those oppressive profiteers. Now, I would like you to ask yourself
    why the old policy of spreading “phobia” and hatred has targeted Islam
    and Muslims with an unprecedented intensity. Why does the power
    structure in the world want Islamic thought to be marginalized and
    remain latent? What concepts and values in Islam disturb the programs of
    the super powers and what interests are safeguarded in the shadow of
    distorting the image of Islam? Hence, my first request is: Study and
    research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image
    of Islam.

    My second request is that in reaction to the
    flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct
    and firsthand knowledge of this religion. The right logic requires that
    you understand the nature and essence of what they are frightening you
    about and want you to keep away from.

    I don’t insist that you accept my reading or any
    other reading of Islam. What I want to say is: Don’t allow this dynamic
    and effective reality in today’s world to be introduced to you through
    resentments and prejudices. Don’t allow them to hypocritically introduce
    their own recruited terrorists as representatives of Islam.

    Receive knowledge of Islam from its primary and
    original sources. Gain information about Islam through the Qur’an and
    the life of its great Prophet. I would like to ask you whether you have
    directly read the Qur’an of the Muslims. Have you studied the teachings
    of the Prophet of Islam and his humane, ethical doctrines? Have you ever
    received the message of Islam from any sources other than the media?

    Have you ever asked yourself how and on the
    basis of which values has Islam established the greatest scientific and
    intellectual civilization of the world and raised the most distinguished
    scientists and intellectuals throughout several centuries?

    I would like you not to allow the derogatory and
    offensive image-buildings to create an emotional gulf between you and
    the reality, taking away the possibility of an impartial judgment from
    you. Today, the communication media have removed the geographical
    borders. Hence, don’t allow them to besiege you within fabricated and
    mental borders.

    Although no one can individually fill the
    created gaps, each one of you can construct a bridge of thought and
    fairness over the gaps to illuminate yourself and your surrounding
    environment. While this preplanned challenge between Islam and you, the
    youth, is undesirable, it can raise new questions in your curious and
    inquiring minds. Attempts to find answers to these questions will
    provide you with an appropriate opportunity to discover new truths.

    Therefore, don’t miss the opportunity to gain
    proper, correct and unbiased understanding of Islam so that hopefully,
    due to your sense of responsibility toward the truth, future generations
    would write the history of this current interaction between Islam and
    the West with a clearer conscience and lesser resentment.
    IMAM Seyyed Ali Khamenei, IRan suprem Leader
    21st Jan. 2015

  2. hosseini says:


  3. dani says:

    Thanks for mentioning my report.
    کرکره برقیراهبند اتوماتیک

  4. Red Velvet Voyage says:

    Thanks for the pointers… I am starting a personal/travel blog, self-hosted & really struggling to determine my focus of my writing. Its hard to really imagine the future of my blog. great article!

  5. eko hendry says:

    nice tips…in 5 point Plan for your blog’s future., i think not future for my blog. may be I will sell the my blog…
    if anyone is interested contact me, my blog getect.blogspot.com

    • تور چین says:

      One of the modern methods to increase community awareness of the Internet. Nowadays,
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      will go to the Internet. Because this method is very simple and reliable. Glad
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  6. youngboy says:


  7. Great tips! The most important is that you host your own! The ability to brand your blog and create the presence you need ties directly to your own hosting.

  8. Jon Loomer says:

    Good tips here, Heidi. I’m thinking of several of these right now as I redesign my site.

    Thanks for the info!

  9. Lisa Buben says:

    Yes, i just started one about 6 months ago and moved from Blogger to WordPress. If you are just starting out blogging use Blogger or get HELP starting with a WordPress self hosted site. (best option) Don’t give up if you are not receiving comments or many pageviews – it takes time. Be sure to interact with other bloggers too. And Twitter is a must!