Blogging is an internet staple these days. And personal blogs, that get used as online journals, are not quite what they used to be. If you are a novice blogger or a writer that wants to start a blog for the first time, it’s important to identify what type of blog you’re going to create. And if you want to promote yourself, your passion, your product, or your cause then a personal blog is the way to go.
What is a Personal Blog?
Personal blogs differ from other types of blogs because with a personal blog the focus is on the author. And pretty much all other kinds of blogs will focus on the user or reader.
Personal blogs are blogs written by anyone that enjoys sharing their ideas and thoughts with an online community. So you will get personal blogs of all shapes and sizes and in most niches.
Many personal blogs are inspirational. More than a few of them are really funny. And more and more we see personal blogs getting used as a platform to promote the blogger’s talents, whether it is their writing, to sell their latest book or to advertise their services as content writers.
Personal blogs have also evolved beyond the written word. Many users prefer images over the words so expanding your blog with a vlog, or podcast increases your chances of growing your audience. Once you set up a blog (a good place to start is with WordPress.org) and find a good hosting platform, it is a natural progression to vlog or create podcasts.
But no pressure! Starting a personal blog is a great way to test the waters, and who knows where it will lead you! Many personal bloggers now blog full-time by combining a passion (like travel or fashion) and simple marketing strategies (like affiliate marketing).
6 Reasons To Start a Personal Blog
Create a space to clear your thoughts while at the same time sharing them with readers. Using a personal blog as an online journal is becoming less common as more and more people get motivated to monetize their sites. And this method generally results in blogs that focus on the reader, not the blogger.
But you can still find 1000’s of personal blogs on sites of writers and authors who use their blog as a way to introduce themselves and advertise their writing skills, as well as to promote their books.
Example: Dylan Hearn.
Many of these writers swear by the personal blog as a great way to decompress and get things off your chest. And they advocate blogging as a fantastic personal exercise for anyone who needs a platform to just share their thoughts and connect with like-minded people.
Connect with your audience
A personal blog is the easiest way to connect with your audience. You get to introduce yourself and bare your soul online. Followers that subscribe are going to be people that share your mindset, or people that are interested in what you have to say and enjoy the way you say it.
Great examples of personal blogs that do this are mom blogs or dad blogs.
Example: Many parents have special needs kids and as a result, they take to blogging, as a way to get support from other parents as well as becoming a voice that gives support and also teaches or introduces topics that other parents will find helpful and inspirational.
Build an online presence
It doesn’t matter if you are blogging for fun or to promote a cause or to sell stuff, it is important to get your voice out there. A blog is a great way to connect across your social media platforms. If you use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, you can use the site your blog is on to allow readers to connect with you all over the web and share your content with their friends. Thus increasing your presence.
Bloggers who get this right can go on to become major influencers. Companies and brands regularly scour Instagram for people with huge followings. If you back your Instagram presence up with a legit blog, you are even more appealing to businesses that look for people to push their brands.
The blogging niches where this type of opportunity occurs is predominantly found in travel, food, fashion, lifestyle, and health and fitness blogs.
Many people, especially authors with books to sell, or bloggers that freelance, use their personal blogs as a starting point. It’s also a great way to tell others what you stand for, which causes you support and how you feel about things and life in general.
Market your product, business or service
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A personal blog humanizes your product. If your blog manages to touch people in some way, there is a better chance that they will support you. Today business is very much about community. People that have similar values will choose you over your competitor if you are clear about your ethos. A personal blog puts this across beautifully.
A note on “personal” blogs that aren’t strictly personal
Personal growth blogs and personal finance blogs.
Just because the word personal appears doesn’t mean it is a blog that is personal because most of these blogs are written to give advice, solve a problem, or teach. So the focus is on the reader. But of course, you will still find smatterings of personal blogs here too.
I spent quite a bit of time (understatement of the year!) tracking down what I consider to be “good” personal blogs. I find blogs that do well, and that have a growing following, also have several things in common.
What makes a personal blog successful? (6 examples)
- Personal branding
Personal blogs that started 5, 10 or even 20 years ago are today the leaders in their niches. The people behind these blogs have persevered and stayed authentic, and consistent. Over time they’ve gained a loyal following and through hard work and good judgment have remained relevant in their specified genre.
Being able to keep up with current trends, in terms of technology, is vital in the cut-throat world of online commerce and our “beloved” Google rankings.
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Successful personal blogs are the ones that change with the times, making sure their blogs present well across all platforms. As the web has evolved these bloggers keep it fresh, not only keeping their loyal fans but constantly growing their audience to include as many demographics as possible.
Personal blogs are authentic, your lifestyle choices will be exposed to anyone that comes across your blog. This is what will attract your like-minded readers and establish a solid online community. Consumers today are informed and intelligent, thanks to the internet, where all information is a click away.
Your audience and your customer base will be reflected in your lifestyle choice. So if you have certain political or religious opinions, or support environmentally conscious and fair trade businesses, so too will your readers.
Personal blogs that promote a certain ethos or have a strong focus on philanthropy or education will attract the same type of readership.
This is where the personal blog shines. You get to sell a product, or idea, by revealing who you are and not just what you stand for. People will be drawn to personal blogs that are written by funny, interesting, and engaged bloggers. Personal blogs that can convey humor, compassion, and relevance will always do well.
Publish often, and regularly.
Turn yourself into a brand
Personal bloggers that want to make money need to employ marketing strategies and use software that provides good analytics. With good content, great images, and a fast loading site, it is achievable.
What will make your personal blog stand out?
It’s not enough to share your knowledge, experience, and opinions with others. You also need to be in the right places on the web to get discovered. Most serious bloggers will have Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, others will also use Medium, Reddit, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and similar platforms.
The 4 things you need to nail to make your personal blog pop out in the niche you are blogging in are:
- User-friendly interface
A white background is the best color for making your blog stand out. This works exceptionally well on mobile devices. And most users today will be reading your blog from a mobile device. But regardless of what device is being used, there is something so tranquil about a clean crisp blog, unfettered by ads.
Even if you have the best looking site, it will count for nothing if your content is unoriginal and generic. The beauty of a personal blog is that it remains an authentic creation. People crave genuine. This is where the personal blog is winning in terms of longevity. Big biz underestimates the intelligence of its users. But people have a keen sense of what fits with them and what doesn’t.
So if you have a business, talent or area of expertise and you create a personal blog to complement these factors, you have a good chance of gaining a loyal following.
Especially if you are consistent and publish daily.
Your blog needs visuals for 2 reasons. Images break the text and that keeps the reader engaged. And it also adds context. In other words, it brings your message home differently. An image accompanied by text will appeal to more people.
We live in such an image-orientated world. People are lazy to read, so a photo or image of what you are writing about is going to draw in the attention of more people.
Can readers navigate your site with ease? And do the pages load fast across all devices? This is where choosing a good hosting platform is important. We recommend Bluehost, but there are many others to choose from, so take your time and do some research before committing.
How do I make money from a Personal Blog?
Your personal blog can be a great platform for spring boarding a business idea or promoting a cause close to your heart. But what if you want to blog purely to make a passive income?
To monetize the blog you can:
- become an affiliate marketer,
- sell display ads,
- use crowdfunding,
- create multiple streams of income.
But unless you have a real passion for something, or you specialize in a certain field, your personal blog may not have the right criteria to monetize your site with. For people who haven’t got a legit passion, affiliate marketing may become a costly endeavor.
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Affiliate marketing should not be seen as a main source of income but rather as a supplementary bonus to whatever it is you are writing about, on a personal level. Personal blogs are not the best platform for this type of income. And you may be better off creating a business blog that advertises and informs.
So bearing all these points in mind, let me show you some of the best personal blogs around. If you decide to use a personal blog as a way to earn you will need to decide on a niche. And that niche will need to be one that you are passionate about.
What are the most popular niches for personal blogs?
Here is a list of 20 popular blogging niches. Find the one where you have the most to offer readers and then dive right in, start your personal blog today, and share yourself with the world. For better or worse!
- Gardening and Urban gardening
- Wellness and Health
- Fitness and Sport
- Personal Growth
- Digital Nomads
- Natural Living
- DIY sites
- Off-Grid Living
21 Examples of Personal Blogs
You’ll get heaps of inspiration from the way they have styled their blogs to the way they write. Every time I read a good personal blog I get inspired to write. Hopefully, you will too!
Six Personal Mom/Dad/Parenting Blogs
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This niche is very popular and full of competition from very professional personal bloggers. To cut it in this genre you will need to be absolutely obsessed with your offspring and all that comes with them! And have a good dose of ambition! A good sense of humor is also high up on the priorities list.
My Top Mom/Dad/Parenting Personal Blogs are:
1. Kimchi Mamas
This reminds me of the old school blogs (before affiliate marketing and monetizing was so popular.) A group of 6 moms founded this blog and they all contribute their brand of mommyhood, with some delish recipes scattered in between. Kimchi Mamas now have 12 contributing editors.
This is a great blog filled with anecdotes and the trials and joys of being a mom raising Korean American kids. Lots of variety and lots of great recipes too! Most of the moms also have their own blogs too. So this blog is filled with cross-posting. Great place for similar moms to network from.
Ellen Seidman is an established and prolific writer who formed this blog in 2008, in honor of her son, Max, who has cerebral palsy. There is space on this blog for other parents, with special needs kids, to share their experiences too.
Just like Ellen Seidman, Leticia Barr is a passionate mom and has also won loads of recognition in her field. What I love about this blog is that Leticia’s husband Jim, and daughter Emily also contribute. Emily is a tween that loves to code (in Python) and is passionate about philanthropy. This is the perfect blog for “parenting in the digital age”. I love the fact that this blog focuses on STEM (science, technology, electronics, and math).
4. Dad or Alive
This blog is written by a stay-at-home dad, Adrian, with contributions by his wife (and mother of Adrian’s 3 kids), Jen. Their site features travel, parenting tips, and lifestyle sections, as well as Adrian’s humorous blog. He has also written a book, which you can order from his site.
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Another hilarious writer that has totally crashed in on having kids! Mike Julianelle is a dad from Brooklyn, with a son who has ADHD. This is a good example of how you can promote yourself via social media platforms and podcasts. He also has a Dad and Buried Store where you can order Dad and Buried branded things, like mugs.
6. The Dad Dude
Terran Nirvana Williams and “the love of his life” Julie, share this blogging platform. He’s intent on giving 110% to his job as parent and husband (when he’s not surfing Cape Town, South Africa’s cooking waves.) Father of 5 boys, he’s got his work cut out for him!
Five of the Quirkiest Personal Blogs I could find!
Don’t you love finding folk who live their passion so fully, it embodies everything about their lives. Here are some personal bloggers that definitely fit the “niche” they have chosen to blog in.
Allie Brosh writes with humor and a lot of original cartoons. Lighthearted and fun.
8. Woogs World
Mrs. Woog is a 40 something mom with bucketfuls of wit. Her blog will keep you smiling for sure.
Ana and Thea are confessed bibliophiles and what you’ll get is an overdose of book reviews in many genres, short fiction to steampunk, to sci-fi by women.
A great book nook, if I ever did see one! If you like discovering new things like Steampunk and other counter-culture genres, the Book Smugglers is the place to go. And they invite interactive dialogue from bloggers, readers and writers alike.
They promote and review short fiction, sci-fantasy, women writers, and many other topics. Both ladies have other blogs and platforms they write on. This is just their “hobby” blog.
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It is the blog of Hilde Heyvaert. She also has a website (house of secrets incorporated) and is on Twitter and Instagram. She writes about all the things she loves like Disney, Japanese fashion, a bit of steampunk, kittens, and photography. This is a great example of a small blog that keeps going but doesn’t have a large following for whatever reasons.
I think Hilde brings a breath of fresh air and I love her photos and outfit ensembles.
This little gem is a great example of a personal blog. It oozes Kelly from start to finish. Her blog is also her way of advertising herself online and sharing her insecurities and shortcomings. Which she does with grace, humor, and honesty.
She blogs for big sites that need ghost blogging. She seems to be out of action since her last post is 2017. But the design of her site is so user-friendly. It’s simple and quirky and she comes across so authentically. And uses self-deprecating humor, which we can all connect with!
A rare find, hope she comes back soon!
Four Best Personal Blogs that made it to the big time
These next 4 blogs are excellent examples of how one person can start a blog, gain a following and end up with a brilliant business, and an entire team of editors, contributors, and assistants. These examples come from several popular blogging niches.
Arianna Huffington founded this blog in 2005, along with 3 other members. Originally called The Huffington Post, it was a blog that was used for political and newsworthy commentary. It was sold to AOL. AOL was then purchased by Verizon for over $4 billion.
I remember friending Arianna on FB years ago and receiving her personal posts daily. She was ahead of her time. And it definitely paid her well! Although not strictly a personal blog, she managed to personalize it by growing her online presence long before it was popular to do so.
Niche: Political/News blog
13. Gala Darling
She’s edgy and glamorous and oozes attitude. I love this woman! She is all about sharing the passion she has for inspiring people to love themselves. She overcame depression and eating disorders. And now empowers others to practice self-love.
Gala travels giving talks and interviews. She is also an author. Gala started out blogging about 13 or more years ago. She started out writing about surface stuff, fashion, make-up, etc. But soon discovered women needed something more. She tapped into that need and Gala Darling is now a positive role model for loads of girls and women alike. And even men who are needing a boost in the self-esteem department will enjoy Gala.
Niche: Personal Growth blogs
Also on Twitter, podcasts, YouTube and Insta.
14. Pinch of Yum
Lindsay gave up her teaching post to run this blog, which started as a weekend, nights-only hobby. From the design to the layout, to the photography, to the content; it’s not hard to see why she is so successful.
Niche: Food blogs
15. Barefoot Blonde
This is the blog of Amber Fillerup Clark. She writes on fashion, beauty, travel and more. Many of her blog posts are written by guest bloggers because she has grown her blog so much. Amber’s blog shows clearly how a personal blog can back up a product. She sells clip-in hair extensions.
Amber also monetizes her site with sponsored partnerships and display ads. So she has created multiple streams of income.
Niche: Lifestyle blogs
My 3 Favorite Personal Food Blogs
16. Minimalist Baker
Dana and John can’t keep up with the fanbase! Dana’s recipes are simple, using ten ingredients or less. John takes care of the technical side. They also encourage anyone wanting to start a blog to host with, our favorite, Bluehost and to use WordPress.org as a site because it lets you own your content and is open-source.
17. David Lebovitz
His recipes are written in personal blog style making each one a blog post on its own. Photography is superb and the site is fast and easy to navigate. For all his accolades and recognition, his site remains personal.
18. Cookie and Kate
Kate writes beautiful recipe books, and Cookie is her adorable canine sidekick. Kate uses her site to advertise her recipe books. She also has affiliate marketing strategies and displays ads.
Her site has a white background, her food photos are professional and even though she monetizes with ads the site is clean and uncluttered.
Each recipe is like an online journal entry. Just like David’s. She also blogs about photography. So you can see she uses the platform for all her passions; food, photography, and Cookie, of course.
My Best Personal Travel Blog
19. The Blog Abroad
Gloria Atanmo is a very vibrant, successful travel blogger. She is on most social platforms, her site is fast and easy to navigate, her photos are professional. Gloria’s blog posts are personal and her content is uplifting and positive. She manages to travel and blog full-time. What a life!
My Best Personal Growth Blog
Chris Guillebeau shares his success story with you. He is an author turned motivational speaker. With his energy and enthusiasm, he shares how others can do what he does, by being a non-conformist in a very conforming world.
A Great Personal Lifestyle Blog
21. The Frugalwoods
This blog slash personal finance slash lifestyle blog is awesome. Elizabeth Willard Thames, her hubby, and a cute-as-pie baby girl are homesteading, which is an alternative lifestyle choice (for those unfamiliar with this ever-trending phenomenon).
This blog is a good example of personal blog meets business blog.
You’ll find tips on frugal living (financial advice and more), as well as blog posts on parenting and homesteading. Liz keeps her posts personal but also offers great advice for anyone wanting to explore the concept of downsizing.
In A Nutshell
So there you have it! 21 great personal blogs for you to check out before you launch your own blog. Whether you choose to go with a personal blog or a business blog, the world is your oyster and the sky is the limit. Jump into your favorite niche and share your pearls with the rest of us.
Just remember to make sure you keep ownership of your content by using WordPress.org or any other open-source platform.