Do You Even Bother with a Personal Blog?

So here’s a short digression from the usual run-of-the-mill WordPress development post for you:

Do you maintain any type of personal blog?

The reason I ask is because, as if it isn’t evident enough, I’m kind of a fan of this whole blogging thing. But the idea of managing any type of personal blog is something that comes with a set of choices. I’ll talk more about that more in a minute.

I think it gets a little more complicated when:

  • You have friends and/or a following who are also online.
  • You have kids you want to share things about but don’t want to share photos of them because of reasons.
  • You care about data ownership, so you’re not willing to necessarily share the information on other publishing platforms.
  • And other reasons (or maybe not depending on who you are).

Yes, I have a personal blog and no I don’t really use any other social networks (though I have accounts, they are basically placeholders). Furthermore, I don’t normally promote those posts anywhere else.

I publish, and it goes into the ether than is The Google.

Part of it because I ask myself: Who cares? After all, this site is the one I write for the most and that I enjoy writing for the most.

That’s just me, though.

But I’m specifically curious how you deal with aspects mentioned above when it comes to blogging that’s not directly related to some aspect of your profession and whether or not you’d like to do it or not.

Considerations for a Personal Blog

I think maintaing a personal blog is a lot of fun. There’s no agenda, no schedule, and there’s no content that’s off the table. I mean, there should be some stuff that’s off the table (insert Gawker joke here), but you know what I mean.

A Personal Blog: It's fun!

Sure, you don’t want to talk about everything, but it’s also a lot more fun just to share whatever random stuff you come across on the internet, in life, and with everything in between.

Because, you know, we bookend our days with “The Internet” and with “Life,” right? 😂

Managing a Personal Blog. Why? I love the internet.

Seriously, though: When it comes to running a personal blog, there are some considerations with which I wrestle.

I know, I know. Much of this is going to be considered “overthinking” by some (and that’s fine), but hear me out if you feel so inclined:

  • When managing a personal blog, who are you writing for? Yourself or others? Whoever cares?
  • Are they, by their very nature, meant to be read by others?
  • Do you share your content on other social networks? If so, why or why not? If your entire family uses Facebook except you, is it worth joining just to share this stuff with them? Will they care?
  • Where do you draw the line on the content that you share? That is, do you talk about personal struggles, share photos of your family and your kids, share photos of events you’ve attended?
  • And so on.

I know. It’s all subjective, but I am genuinely interested in your feedback and your experience. I mean, how much do we really want other people to know about us when they haven’t met us.

That’s something our generation is having to learn-as-we-go right now. But I digress.

Furthermore (and granted), not all of these questions are relevant specifically to me, but they are questions I’ve heard others ask. Sure, some are ones I’ve asked myself and I’ve either answered them or I’m in the process oftrying to come to a conclusion. I warned you, though. This would come off as overthinking. 😁

This leads to the ultimate question of this post. The bottom line, perhaps:

I’m curious how you manage your personal blog. What do you write about, where do you draw the lines, and how do you share it (if you share it), and why?

And, if you feel like sharing, how much do others people’s tweets, thoughts, comments, emails, etc., play a role in how good you feel about sharing that kind of stuff?

A Note on WordPress vs. Other Services

Right now, there are a lot of services we can use to share our information. We’ve got things like:

All of these just to name of a few. But I’ve got strong convictions on data ownership and I’ve already written about it and content owernship. Given that I also have an affinity for WordPress, it’s a natural choice, right? I mean would you really expect anything more from me? 🙂

So many tools for my personal blog!

Though I don’t care what others choose to use, I opt to use WordPress for those reasons.

The Question Remains

All that said, where do you land on personal blogging and why? And if you have a personal blog, do you make it public or not? If so, feel free to link it up in the comments. I dig reading about what my friends and peers are doing outside of their 9-to-5.

But seriously, I’m genuinely interested in your feedback so leave a comment about all this fun stuff!

18 Replies to “Do You Even Bother with a Personal Blog?”

  1. I love writing and do really want to write a personal blog. Maybe just some part of my life. Pretty much about the secret side lol It should be fun. This post inspired me.

  2. Yes, I do have a personal blog I write about movies, the Oscars and the Oscar nominees.

    Also I write about other movie awards. Sure I like to share blog posts on social media, somebody will actually read what I wrote and maybe somebody will find my writing useful.

    Thank you for sharing this article. It’s good to read about different opinions on this topic.

    1. Yes, I do have a personal blog I write about movies, the Oscars and the Oscar nominees.

      That’s awesome! I’m a big movie fan myself, but a couple of friends of mine are even more so in that they hold Oscar parties every year.

      Thank you for sharing this article. It’s good to read about different opinions on this topic.

      Sure thing — I have fun seeing what everyone else writes about, as well :).

  3. I’ve found myself writing in a number of places with specific niches, so I ended up using my personal blog as an outlet for my miscellaneous personal interests.

    It’s my blogging sandbox.

    A place that I can blog about whatever the heck I want to, whenever I want to.

    1. A place that I can blog about whatever the heck I want to, whenever I want to.

      Agreed. I think it’s also a place where you can aggregate various social services to cross-post to it so you have a collection of the various things you’ve published.

      Or vice versa, even — you post from one place and send it out to other services.

  4. I do have a personal blog, or at least that used to be a case until a few years ago when the personal blog converted into a blog where I wrote about releases of my WordPress plugins.

    I do go back once in a while and came a personal blog post, but I must confess that the list has sharply declined over the years. Someday…

    1. I do go back once in a while and came a personal blog post, but I must confess that the list has sharply declined over the years. Someday…

      Yeah – it’s one of those things I do specifically for fun and nothing more. I really don’t even bother sharing it online.

      It’s more or less an outlet for me to collect random things that I like at a given point in time.

  5. I actually started developing because of personal blogging. I was living in Savannah, GA ,and started a blog to keep in touch with family and friends back home. I was using Blogger(!), and didn’t like the styling, so I taught myself html and css. That eventually led to javascript.

    After that, I wanted to do more, so I taught myself php and started building my own blogging platform. Fast-forward several months (this was all nights/weekends, around my full-time job ), and I discovered this “WordPress” thing. I dove right in and haven’t looked back. The only difference is now it’s not nights and weekends; it’s full time.

    Do I still maintain a personal blog? Nope. I did for a while. It was exciting; sharing and getting feedback. There was a certain validation in people celebrating or commiserating with what I wrote. But after a while, I felt like I was writing more for them, and not so much for me. It was more polished, not raw and personal. That’s when I decided to stop.

    Besides, my professional blog/tutorials takes up all the time not devoted to writing code or being with the family. Priorities are different now. I also find, as I’m getting older with small children (girls, 3 & 2), I’m more selective about what I share online with regards to personal info.

    1. I actually started developing because of personal blogging. I was living in Savannah, GA ,and started a blog to keep in touch with family and friends back home. I was using Blogger(!), and didn’t like the styling, so I taught myself html and css. That eventually led to javascript.

      That’s really cool — especially given that my wife’s family is from Savannah. We normally go down there at least once a year (well, at least to Tybee) and spend time time in Savannah while we’re there.

      Do I still maintain a personal blog? Nope. I did for a while. It was exciting; sharing and getting feedback. There was a certain validation in people celebrating or commiserating with what I wrote. But after a while, I felt like I was writing more for them, and not so much for me. It was more polished, not raw and personal. That’s when I decided to stop.

      Yeah, when you’re in it for others rather than yourself, that’s a good place to re-evaluate why you’re doing it.

      I also find, as I’m getting older with small children (girls, 3 & 2), I’m more selective about what I share online with regards to personal info.

      I’m with you 100% on this. I have two girls, as well (4 and 2) and I don’t share info about them online (at least not much) for a number of reasons. That’s why I generally just stick to what I do for a living and maybe a few tangents here and there.

  6. We live in Colorado, but most of my friends and family are back in NJ and very far flung otherwise, so I love my family’s personal blog. It’s become a good outlet for my husband’s funny, for my serious, thoughtful stuff, and for sharing photos of our daughter with people who don’t get to see her in person.

    I don’t share personal or confidential things that could hurt us in any way and I try to protect the privacy of people I might mention in my posts. But I do talk about things that others might find too personal, like about our infertility battle and the years we were foster parents and our adoption journey and my mental health problems because I think it’s important to share things like this. To tell your story and break down the stigmas associated with these kinds of topics. I don’t do it for pity or to get emoji hearts or anything like that. I do it to share with my friends and family and maybe help someone else who might also be struggling.

    I definitely password protect photos of my daughter and our foster kids, or anything that’s super sensitive like vacation photos if we’re still on vacation. And I only share the URL on Facebook (friends only) and in our Christmas letter

    I am 49 and have been internetting since 1994, when all of my friends and family thought I was crazy. But I love it. And our blog is definitely WordPress, self hosted. I agree with you about data ownership.

    1. It’s become a good outlet for my husband’s funny, for my serious, thoughtful stuff, and for sharing photos of our daughter with people who don’t get to see her in person.

      Yeah, it definitely helps with there’s family who is cross-country and being able to have it self-hosted, like you mention later, makes sure the data is kept by anyone else but you guys.

      For some, that’s not a big deal but it’s something I’m a fan of.

      I definitely password protect photos of my daughter and our foster kids, or anything that’s super sensitive like vacation photos if we’re still on vacation. And I only share the URL on Facebook (friends only) and in our Christmas letter

      That’s awesome – I love that we have the ability to protect our stuff that way and just share with family or a wider audience depending on the subject matter.

      I am 49 and have been internetting since 1994, when all of my friends and family thought I was crazy. But I love it.

      I’ve been doing it since I was 9 or so and a lot of peers either weren’t or didn’t really get it. But now I’ve made a career out of it and basically everyone we know is connected in some way or another so it’s kinda cool that way.

  7. Hey there Tom

    Thoughtful stuff, mate, and a topic I could talk about with you forever. :)

    For me, it’s a place I can write about the stuff I like to read. It’s an escape from the countless blogs about social media, content marketing, social media and where content marketing fits in blah blah blah.

    If others like it, great. If they don’t, just as great. It’s not for selling anything, it’s not for pimping how awesome I am, etc – it’s about being real, pure and simple, and fostering conversations around that.

    Now going by the comments left on this post, looks like I have some new bloggers to explore in the coming days, so thanks for that!

    1. If others like it, great. If they don’t, just as great. It’s not for selling anything, it’s not for pimping how awesome I am, etc – it’s about being real, pure and simple, and fostering conversations around that.

      Right? It’s just about sharing basically whatever is up or whatever we find interesting. If others dig it, cool; if not, cool.

      Now going by the comments left on this post, looks like I have some new bloggers to explore in the coming days, so thanks for that!

      Same. It’s kinda something I was hoping would happen in the comments :).

  8. I have (had?) a personal blog (pretty much mommy-style) that I maintained faithfully for 6 years, at times daily, and in January I locked it all up (see: http://www.amber-hinds.com/). I felt guilty about the fact that I had gotten so busy with work that I was barely blogging and I couldn’t just let it sit there un-updated anymore. I announced a blogging hiatus and since I’m not Young House Love, decided that my archives – full of the really personal stuff & pictures of my kids – did not need to be publicly accessible. Sometimes I miss blogging personally (still do it for the business, but that is a completely different thing), but for now I am sticking with the whole 6 months off thing and I’m busy enough that those thoughts are fleeting.

    I think when I do start back up, the focus will shift, anyway. My kids are getting older and I’m in such a different place that the old style of blogging just doesn’t feel like the best fit anymore.

    1. I think when I do start back up, the focus will shift, anyway. My kids are getting older and I’m in such a different place that the old style of blogging just doesn’t feel like the best fit anymore.

      I think knowing when or how to adapt your habits is smart.

      My wife used to blog daily about a variety of different things, but as the kids have gotten older a lot of that has changed and the blogging has basically stopped.

      I obviously tend to only write about career-related stuff. And yeah, I have a personal blog full of nonsense (but my nonsense) so it works, but it has no real goal other than for it to be a place where I can share anything I want without regard to if it fits any kind of “strategy” so to speak.

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