How Personal Should A Blog Be?
This is a question I’ve been internally debating a lot recently. And also slightly externally with other humans (friends, not randomers on the street), but mainly with myself. As I try to develop my blog and build my audience, I’ve found myself wondering how much I should post about my life, and how much of my content I should keep generic.
On the one hand, obviously a blog is unique to each person, and it’s a great opportunity to get your own voice heard. Surely writing about your life and what you know best would give you the greatest chance to write well and interest people? But on the other hand, what’s so great about my life? Why should anyone (apart from maybe my mum) be interested in my antics and happenings? And surely magazines have already got all the generic stuff covered (often with much more authority)?
Looking at one of my all time fave blogs, The Londoner – I know she has a huge following, so I’m not alone in my awe – it’s striking how personal it is: choc-full of posts about her amazing trips, adventures and meals, and dotted with stunning pictures of Rose herself, her family and friends to beautifully illustrate her escapades. I think that’s what makes The Londonerso popular – we all love the insight into her oh-so-fabulous life. It makes me wonder if perhaps part of the reason blogs like The Londoner are so successful is because the lifestyles they reveal are so aspirational (obviously I mean in conjunction with brilliant writing, photography, design etc…)
But for someone who doesn’t (yet) lead such a glamourous life, would posting more pictures of myself and my life (to illustrate my posts, that is, not just random selfies) put readers off? Or would it welcome them in? It’s a difficult one. I’ve read on many a blogging website that lots of bloggers saw their blogs take off after starting to post more personal insights, but the more personal you go, the more exposed you are and the scarier it is. Will people think you’re really arrogant for considering your own life interesting enough to warrant a blog post for the whole wide world to read?!
I was recently discussing all this with my good friend Jenny (check out her blog here). For the first time, she wrote a slightly more personal post about losing weight, and said she was nervous about doing so. I could totally relate – body image is such a sensitive subject for the majority of young women today, and I ummed and ahhed for a while before publishing my posts The FAT Truth – Skinny Doesn’t Equal Happy and Tackling a food obsession. That said, I received some really positive, encouraging comments (mainly in private messages) as a result of said posts, in which both girls I knew and some I didn’t took the time to tell me they completely related to what I had said, and thanked me for writing about it. As a blogger, it feels so amazing to get feedback like that.
Realistically, I suppose it’s the same as most things in life – you’re worried about not being liked or accepted. As bloggers, we just want to know which posts our readers like the most. I’m not saying you should compromise what you want to write about just to build your audience – I’m a firm believer in blogs as unique spaces where each individual can do as they please, and I love using mine just to practice writing – but I know that personally, I find it so valuable to find out what people actually like to read about (*hint hint* leave me comments *hint hint*). I suppose I write about the aspects of my life that I think would be interesting to other people, or things I’d want to read about myself.
Although I’ve had my blog for quite a long time, I still feel like I’m trying to find my niche. In fact, maybe I’ll never find just one niche, but keep evolving. Whatever the case, I love blogging, would encourage everyone to do so, and hope to keep developing and improving Handbags and Cupcakes in the future.