Darren over at Blog Republic asks how personal bloggers need to be, a question as good as any. Now, we’€™re talking professional blogging here, not personal diaries and journals. While being a part of the blogosphere I think the question is pretty obsolete here, with the answer being stamped in the actual type of blog.
So let’€™s rephrase: How personal do professional bloggers need to be?
What is your topic? Writing about personal experiences in India sure is different from giving tips on stocks. Sometimes the topic will force you to be personal since it actually revolves around you and your view on things. Then you’€™ve already answered the question and can stop fretting, getting back to business instead.
Will you sell your blog? If you plan to sell your blog in the future then beware of getting to personal. A potential buyer will have a hell of a time taking it up after you if you’€™ve built a readership around yourself as a person and blogger. Needless to say, you’€™ll have less trouble finding a buyer to your blog if it’€™s easy to resume your work.
Are you building your own brand? Blogging can certainly get you work and influence. I’€™ve gotten numerous assignments and freelance gig (hi Matt) through my blog, and you could too if you play your cards right. In my opinion it sure is easier to get this kind of spin-off from your blog if you have a more personal tone, since a more upscaled style will make potential employers thinking you’€™ve got your hands full and is unapproachable. Then again some won’€™t, I guess, so you should think this one through.
What it all comes down to, as so many times before, is what you want to do and what your plans are. And yes, you should have a plan, even for a small project that you run on the side. Granted, it doesn’€™t need to be so detailed but you should at least ask yourself what your goals are, who you want to attract with your blogging and if you’€™re doing it for the cash of for yourself (perhaps a bit of both there)?
And don’€™t mix up adding personality to your writing with being personal. That’€™s two completely different things.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.