The Obscured Art of Personal Blogging

Let’s face it—personal blogging is a profitable niche no more. It’s a sad fact, seeing as how the original purpose of blogging was to serve as a sort of online journal. People’s tastes have changed, and blogging isn’t the obscure medium it used to be. Now, no one can wade through the Interwebs without hearing the word “blog” being mentioned—and boy, what a meaning the word has. The term now conjures images of fat geeks making money from home, and of websites that deliver to us breaking-news information even before television and print media get a hold of the tip.

True enough, amidst all this information being shared at the speed of light, the personal blog has become lost, obscured, inglorious.

Here I am, a personal blogger, one of only so many, lost in the buzz of daily life. Why has personal blogging become so recondite, why haven’t I stopped personal-blogging, and how does a personal blogger in this blog-eat-blog world where personal blogging has gone to the dogs?

Reasons why personal blogging has lost its luster

So, exactly why has personal blogging stopped appealing to writers/bloggers? Maybe because of the following reasons…

Changing tastes for the changing times

In the twilight of the 20th century and in the dawn of the 21st, I would’ve guessed that personal blogs were all the rage. And why not? After all, it was an ingenious idea—the thought of having your journal published online and being viewed by the world. Brilliant!

Not so now. Somewhere along the way, people began realizing, “Why the hell should I care about your personal life?” The blogosphere evolved into an information portal that rivals conventional media, and in that riptide of megabytes being zoomed back and forth across the Internet, personal blogging has lost the luster it once held.

Social networking is the new personal blogging

Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace make it more convenient and less tedious for people to share their lives online. To be perfectly honest, it is so much easier to simply upload a picture or video onto MySpace or Facebook than to write, in a dull, tedious fashion, about how your day went on a weblog.

Personal blogs tend to spread out too thin

In the world of niche blogging, there is a rule that goes, “Look for a nice, profitable niche you can blog about constantly. A niche you’re interested in. Blog about that niche, and that niche only—never step out of topic.”

Personal bloggers needn’t have such a rule, simply because “personal blogging”, in my opinion, isn’t a “niche” in the same sense as, say, technology or lifestyle. We can therefore write about anything and everything under the Sun. Although that means that we have potentially limitless topics to create content around, it also means that we spread out too thinly—and blog readers aren’t too keen on following blogs with no specific niche covered. Do you think this is why personal blogging has lost its grandeur in recent years?

Why I haven’t switched to a niche

So, personal blogging has lost its appeal. Some would argue to the death that it has lost its importance and relevance. So, why am I still writing a pesonal blog and not a niche blog?

I suck at niche blogging

Hey—better to shamelessly admit your imperfections than foolishly pretend you’re good at something you’re not. I’d rather enjoy writing about something I’m comfortable with (i.e. my life and thoughts) than to try to write good content about something I know nothing about, or have no interest in.

Freedom, baby, freedom!

I’d mentioned earlier that niche blogging means you have to restrain yourself so you don’t step “out of bounds”—that is, to write about something outside your niche.

Personal bloggers know no limits. Admittedly, it doesn’t come with much promise, financially speaking, but the freedom to blog without restrictions is… well, it’s amazing!

Training ground

Darren Rowse started his blogging career in the personal blog world. In his outrageously popular blog, he even wrote a blog post entitled “Seven Reasons Why Personal Blogs Rock“. I can certainly say that some, if not all, of the reasons Darren wrote about in that blog post, apply to me and my personal blogging life.

Anyway, in that post, Darren says:

My first entry into blogging around four years ago was on a free blogspot blog which was largely a personal blog in which I reflected upon many aspects of life including spirituality, movies, politics, my church, work and miscellaneous ramblings from the various hobbies that I have.

And look where he is now. Personal blogging is to bloggers as boot camp is to would-be soldiers; as infancy is to humans. It’s the formational years of a blogger’s life, the era of “discovering oneself”. As Darren said in the aforementioned blog post, personal blogging opens your eyes and reveals to you how the blogosphere operates and helps you define yourself.

Over to you

I’d love to hear your take on personal blogging. Is it being driven to the extinction, or is it very much alive and well, if obscured? Do you think the personal blog can make a comeback? Are you a personal blogger, and if so, then why choose personal blogging? Did I miss a point in the blog post? Fire away.

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