Intentional Blogging [Lesson 4: Type]

Choosing a Blog Type

There are a lot of different types of blogs:

Travel blogs. Romance blogs. Finance blogs.

Blogs on blogging. Blogs on politics. Blogs on religion.

So what type of blog should you have?

Two Main Types

There are basically two routes you can take when it comes to branding a blog:

  1. Personal: You can make it about you: your life, your perspective, your experiences.
  2. Topical: You can make it about a subject: something you care about, a topic people resonate with, or a burning issue.

Which one you choose really depends on what you want to do with your blog and your own personal passion.

Starting a Personal Blog

If you start a personal blog, be prepared to work hard. Unless you’re already well-known or a celebrity, the only people interested in reading your blog are your friends and family (maybe).

So before you launch a personal blog, think good and hard about what you’re doing.

This type of blog assumes that there is a reason why people would want to follow you, that you have something to say that people want to hear. And this may be exactly the direction in which you want to take your blog. Just consider some of the consequences and implications of a personal blog.

With this type of blog, it takes longer to develop a faithful following (unless you’re Johnny Depp), but it is more flexible, which means that it can grow and adjust with you. Personally-branded blogs tend to have longer lifespans.

If your blog is going to be a place for you to share your ideas – and these ideas change over time – then you might want to make it (or keep it) a personal blog. Just make sure your readers understand that this is your intent — and that your content will change over time.

Starting a Topical Blog

If you start a topical blog, choose your topic wisely. Make sure it’s something people care about.

This type of blog is easier to grow, but it can be harder to get personal. It’s great to scale, but may not allow you to open up for a heart-to-heart. (Something to consider.)

Because of the nature of the content, a topical blog can sometimes keep your audience at a distance (even if it’s unintended). If your blog is more pragmatic (as many topical blogs tend to me), then you may struggle with emotionally connecting with your audience.

The good news, though, is that people tend to congregate more quickly around ideas than people — that is, other than your immediate sphere of influence.

Which type is right for you?

It all depends. Doing a topical blog will win you a community quickly, and in less time that you’d expect, you can sell it or give it away to the community. Doing a personal one will allow you the freedom to be yourself and be much more flexible on topics, but it will take work to develop an audience.

Here’s an exercise that might help: Spend 15-30 minutes listing the pros and cons for launching a personal or topical blog.

Before you begin, settle on a writing subject. As you go through the pros and cons, list out the first 10 posts you’d write for each one (just the titles).

If you find that going one route is easier than the other, that may be an indicator of which type of blog you should choose.

So what’d you end up with?