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Personal Blog

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English

“The simple experience of being able to directly broadcast my own words to readers was an exhilarating literary liberation.” 1

Perhaps you might relate to this and have the desire to broadcast your own words as well. You might initially think of social media platforms, but another popular method is a blog.

A personal blog is an opportunity to share your creativity and style with an online community. The great thing about starting a personal blog is that you can be a complete beginner – it doesn’t matter if you have years of writing experience, or none whatsoever. Many personal blogs are run by people that just want to share their thoughts with the world.

Some examples of things you can start blogging about in your personal blog include funny or inspirational stories, recipes, poetry, or information you are knowledgeable about.

What is a personal blog?

A personal blog is your own online platform where you can share thoughts, opinions, and stories about yourself. A blog is usually written text, but often includes pictures, videos, or other artwork to make it look more appealing.

Personal blogs are different from other blogs because they are created and hosted by you, and cater to your own personal audience.

Personal Blog Add New Post Blog StudySmarter

Personal Blog Post Example, Pixabay

There are no set rules for a personal blog. You can write as casually and conversationally as you like because this is your blog! Personal blogs are often more informal in tone, unlike a magazine article or a scholarly piece of writing.

Why do people start blogs?

A lot of people start a personal blog because they have lots of ideas they’d like to share. Personal blogs are a great way to connect with other people with common interests.

Common topics people like to write about:

  • Personal or Inspirational Stories

  • Food and Travel

  • Areas of Expertise

  • Passions and Interests

  • Book or Movie Reviews

  • Documentation of Life Events

How should you structure a personal blog?

If your blog is purely for your own enjoyment or to share some thoughts with family or friends, you can structure your blog however you’d like. A lot of personal blogs are simply spaces for individuals to express themselves in an online journal format, so the organization or structure isn’t a top priority. If you want to write freeform, go for it! But what if your goals shift? Keeping structure and organization in mind for your blog can be useful for a couple of reasons.

Reasons to consider the structure of your personal blog

  • If you ever want to promote yourself or grow your blog audience, learning SEO will be important.

  • If you ever want to use your blog as a professional portfolio, the organization and presentation of it are going to be important.

  • A well-organized piece of writing keeps readers engaged. If your blog is just a giant wall of text, people may get overwhelmed and leave the page.

Typical structure of a blog post:

You can follow a typical essay format in a blog post if you like, but again, personal blogs tend to stay pretty conversational, as if you’re talking to someone you know. But if you’re struggling to organize your thoughts, try using each of these:

  • Introduction – Hook your audience with a quote or a powerful statistic, or bring up a recent news event that people are familiar with. Tie these into what you’re talking about in your blog post.

  • Body – This is where your readers will learn the purpose of your blog post. If you were planning on telling a story, this is where you would do that. You can make this as many paragraphs as you'd like.

  • Conclusion – Here you can circle back to your introduction and explain the relationship to your story. Some people like to have a call to action at the end of a blog post. This encourages readers to interact with them. An example would be asking readers to comment if they’ve experienced something similar.

Personal blog posts tend to have shorter and more frequent body paragraphs than your average essay. This can make your posts more digestible for your readers.

Things to include on your blog:

  • About page

    • This is where you can let your readers know a little bit about who you are and why you created your blog. Let people know your areas of expertise and your interests are.

  • Contact page

    • This is especially important if you want to create a following for your blog or use this as a personal portfolio as well. You could eventually create an email list so people can enter their email addresses directly on your blog and receive notifications any time you make a new blog post.

  • Links to social media

    • This is optional, but sometimes it can be helpful for people to see things you share on other platforms. If you’re using your personal blog as a portfolio, then sharing your LinkedIn account on your blog is a good idea.

What are some examples of a personal blog?

Personal blogs are often filled with things people are passionate about. Sharing personal stories is a good way to connect with your readers. Perhaps you have a unique experience that others might find inspirational. Sharing your own stories in a blog can be validating to others, especially if similar experiences are being shared.

Maybe you are a foodie and like to share your experiences from different restaurants you’ve been to around the world. You could use your passion for food to create some type of food blog. Or maybe you’re an avid reader so you want to write about books on a book club blog. The point is, there are many reasons to start a personal blog, and all of them are valid! Here is an example of how someone might start a post for their book club blog:

3 mental benefits to joining a book club

Hello, fellow word-nerds! This weekend was so busy for me – but in the good kind of way!

I was finally able to unpack some boxes and set up my reading nook in the new house! I'm so excited! I can't wait to show you guys the new chair I ordered once it arrives.

The best part about this weekend though was my monthly book club. It's always been a safe space for me – a place I can learn and grow as a person. I've come to appreciate the thoughtfulness and insights I get from talking about books with people I know and love. Here are a few things I love about book clubs:

You'll Learn to Express Yourself

Not everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts on things -- especially if you're an introvert, like me! Everyone takes a turn sharing their thoughts about the monthly book, and it challenges you to think about what you want others to hear from you.

In my experience...

Notice the casual tone. Personal blogs are flexible in how they're presented and it's up to you how you want it to read.

Steps to starting a personal blog

Starting a personal blog can seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite easy! Here are some steps to take when you’re ready to start your own.

Personal Blog Blogging Sites Example StudySmarter

Blogging Websites, pixabay

Key terms to know before starting your personal blog

  • Hosting – this is the server that powers your website. Every website in the world uses a hosting site to provide its services or information.

  • Domain Name – this is your online address. This is what you type into the search bar to go to your website and blog.

  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization. This is something you can learn if you want to gain more traffic to your personal blog's website.

Personal Blog: Steps

  1. Does it cost money? That depends. Paying for a host and domain usually means that you get a unique website without the website builder’s name attached to your URL. This would be the difference between yourwebsite.wix.com versus yourwebsite.com. If you choose a paid option instead of the free option, you might have to download hosting software.

  2. Pick a hosting website for your blog. There are many to choose from but here are some of the most popular ones. They all have instructions for installation:

    • Bluehost

    • GoDaddy

    • HostGator

  3. Choose a domain name. These are some of the most popular websites where you can register your domain name:

    • WordPress (works well with BlueHost)

    • Squarespace

    • Wix

    • Blogger

  4. Most of these blogging websites include free domains and hosting for beginners. Again, there are paid options if you want a more professional blog.

  5. Pick a domain name that feels relevant to you and what you’re writing about. Using your name is a common choice, i.e. a free domain would be something like yourname.blogger.com.

  6. Design your blog

    • If you’re completely new to blogging, don’t worry! There are templates you can choose from on your blogging website so you don’t have to use any code to design it yourself.

  7. Start writing!

Can you use prompts for a personal blog?

Of course you can! Every writer draws a blank at times. It's equally true that every writer draws inspiration from other sources. Sometimes that means we need a prompt to help us get our creative thought process going.

Websites to find prompts for a personal blog

The amazing thing about the internet is that you can find ideas everywhere you search. But for that very reason, it can become overwhelming, especially if you go down a Google rabbit hole of what to write about. Before you know it you may have spent more time Googling than you would have actually writing on your blog. Try visiting these popular websites first when you need some inspiration:

  • Reddit – r/WritingPrompts

  • Tumblr

  • Pinterest

  • Medium

  • Writers’ Digest

  • OneWord

Personal Blog: Using apps for prompts

Phones can often be a distraction when trying to write, but here are some apps that can turn bad habits into inspiration:

  • Prompted Journal

  • Writing Prompts

  • Daily Writing Prompt

There are other ways to come up with writing ideas as well, such as taking fifteen minutes to brainstorm about ideas you're passionate about. But if you're still feeling overwhelmed by the options, you can use this prompt for your first post: 5 Reasons I Started a Blog. This can help your readers get to know you and establish what readers can expect from your page.

Personal Blog - Key takeaways

  • A personal blog is your own online writing platform to share your ideas and thoughts. The thoughts and ideas belong to you, the author.
  • Starting a blog includes finding a hosting website and domain name.
  • A few examples of blog types include food blogs, personal stories, and book reviews.
  • Prompts for personal blogs are encouraged! Some popular websites include Reddit, Tumblr, and Writers’ Digest. You can also use apps for prompts.
  • Personal blogs are conversational in tone and writing style.

1. Andrew Sullivan, Why I Blog, 2008.

Personal Blog

The first step to starting a personal blog requires you to register a domain name and a hosting website.

Running a personal blog requires you to have a domain name, a hosting website, and the ability to navigate those websites. Running a blog also requires designing a web page layout and learning how to make regular posts on the platform.

Creating a personal blog requires you to register a domain name that is unique to you. Next, you can register with a hosting website for a fee. Or you can sign up for a free account. Once you have a domain and host then you can start posting your content from that platform.

A lot of people start a personal blog because they have lots of ideas they’d like to share. Some common topics for personal blogs are: food, travel, your area of expertise, personal or inspirational stories, book or movie review, passions and interests, and documentation of life events.

There are no set rules for a personal blog. A personal blog is an opportunity to share your creativity and style with an online community. A lot of personal blogs are simply spaces for individuals to express themselves in an online journal format.

Final Personal Blog Quiz

Question

 What is a domain?

Show answer

Answer

A domain is the address for your website. It is unique to you.

Show question

Question

What is a hosting website?

Show answer

Answer

A hosting website is where the server is. It powers your website. Examples include; BlueHost and GoDaddy

Show question

Question

Do you need to pay for a hosting website?

Show answer

Answer

No. Not always. There are free options available.

Show question

Question

Explain what a personal blog is.

Show answer

Answer

A personal blog is a platform to post content written by the author. It is conversational in tone.

Show question

Question

Which of these is not a personal blog example?

Show answer

Answer

A nonprofit blog that writes about company success stories

Show question

Question

If you opt for a free hosting service, will you be able to have a unique domain name?

Show answer

Answer

Sort of. You’ll have the unique name that you choose, but the website builder’s name will be attached to it. Example: yourname.blogger.com

Show question

Question

Do you have to know how to code to make a blog?

Show answer

Answer

No -- There will be free beginner templates to create a website.

Show question

Question

Which one of these isn't a blogging platform?

Show answer

Answer

Pinterest

Show question

Question

True or False? 

Bluehost is a popular hosting website

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

True or False?

A personal blog requires MLA formatting?

Show answer

Answer

False

A personal blog doesn't require any specific format at all.

Show question

Question

Which of these is the typical tone of a personal blog?

Show answer

Answer

All of the above 

Show question

Question

Which of the following is a reason to consider the structure of your blog?

Show answer

Answer

All of the above

Show question

Question

What does SEO mean?

Show answer

Answer

Search Engine Optimization

Show question

Question

Where can you get blog prompts?

Show answer

Answer

Anywhere on the internet. Some popular websites include (Reddit, Medium, Tumblr, and Writer’s Digest).

Show question

Question

What is the required structure for a personal blog?

Show answer

Answer

There is none. You can use an introduction, body, and conclusion if you'd like. 

Show question

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