So I’ve been personal blogging for close to a month now. Actually, if I count my first run at this with the Ramblings of an Articulate Black Guy, it’s been like 7 months but that’s beside the point. The majority of my blog life has been spent in group homes. A love-hate experience it has been. Awkwardly worded but it still makes sense. On one hand, there’s definitely strength in numbers and I’ve been able to reach a larger audience because of 3 Ways (RIP) and SBM. On the other, the sh*t is stressful as f*ck at times — particularly when you’re playing in a specific niche. I probably shouldn’t say this, but here’s an example of how I see the game:
Relationship or Other Generally Sought Topic Blog = Commercial + Money + Fame. Personal Blog = Underground + Cheap Hosting + Passion + Frustration + Coldstone. I like commercial rap, but I prefer underground blogging.
Just because you have a website doesn’t mean it’s a personal blog. If you tailor your content to your audience and focus on specific topics because you’re trying to grow your readership, you’re in a different lane. Personal blogging is a niche of it’s own. It’s one in which the writer isn’t a slave to the comments section or the readership. It’s one in which the writer develops his or her voice and people follow along because they’re interested in what that person generally has to say opposed to a particular topic day after day after day after day. On a personal blog, you learn about the person rather than just being entertained by them…though that happens too. Of course some people reading along may disagree and I’d love to see/hear why in the comments, but it made sense to define personal blogging since I think a lot of people get it wrong.
And moving on with this theme, I’ve put together a list of 5 reasons that personal blogging rocks:
You can be completely f*cking selfish.
If I felt like writing rap lyrics today as a post, I could write rap lyrics as a post. If I wanted to post a picture of a squirrel with gigantic nuts, I could post a picture of a squirrel with gigantic nuts (I tried to find a picture and almost downloaded a virus, so I got nervous and stopped). If someone walks into my e-house and starts going off, I can moderate/curse them out or completely ignore them and it’s okay. There’s no “Nah dog. You shouldn’t be doing that.” If a story came out yesterday or today and I suddenly had something to write about, I wouldn’t have to check with anybody first. I can move sh*t, break sh*t, and walk around in my boxers or butt-ass naked without having to ask anybody what time they’re coming home. This leads me to my next point.
You don’t have to work around anybody’s schedule but your own…unless you have an editor.
One of the great things about group blogging on a regular schedule is that you only have to worry about your post day(s). One of the crappy things about group blogging is that if you suddenly have a great idea or a strong opinion about a story that just broke, you have to switch post days or give up the topic and let someone else have a crack at it because it’s their day. Doing otherwise might infuriate the readers. Sometimes you just have sh*t to say and it sucks to have to wait to say it or be stuck saying nothing at all.
You develop your writing and style.
I alluded to this above, but it’s hard to truly develop your personal style when you’re doing it for other people. It’s certainly not impossible and there are a lot of writers out there that have risen to “fame” quickly behind their wit and ergonomic keyboards, but the majority of us need time before we go off and take the big stage. A personal blog is great for this.
It’s the best for your personal brand.
In my first post here, I talked about how frustrating it was that the Slim Jackson brand got buried in the identity of the group blogs I was writing for. I’d go out and people would call me SBM or ask about life living in ATL when I’d never lived there a day in my life. Simply stated and reiterated, a personal blog is about the person. It’s not about the team. It’s about the I, which isn’t in personal but is in personality. Meet me half way dammit.
You find out who the real fans/readers are.
It’s tough to tell who your real readers are on a group blog. Some people chime in because they’re boning one of the authors, while others are there because of what’s going on in the comments section. Whatever the case, you can learn a lot about the type of people you attract with your writing by having a personal blog. I guess the author of a personal blog could be boning readers, but I heard that only happens in…
So yeah, I like the reach of group blogging but I love the me-ness of a personal blog. I mean…I’m technically an only child. What did you expect? Whatever the case, just do what makes you happy. How’s that for a happy ending?