This is day 4 in Jeff Goins' Intentional Blogging Challenge. He asks his members to chose from two types of blogs: topical or personal.
For me, this question is pretty tough to answer. My blog is meant to be a personal blog, yet I'm publishing content on a specified range of topics. So you could call it a topical blog too.
The reason I chose the personal type of blog to be my main style of blogging is, because I want to build my personal brand with this blog. I want to make myself accessible as a person and make a positive impact in the lives of my readers.
I don't want to limit myself on a certain topic, but to write about topics that evolve with me.
Before I started blogging, I was reading different types of blogs myself. I was following bloggers like Pat Flynn, Spencer Haws or Jeremy and Jason. Those blogs are on the topic of making a living on your own, by building online businesses.
To that time I was employed in a job I wasn't happy with and I was searching for ways to get out of the rat race. I felt miserable during those days and I was thankful for those bloggers showing and teaching me that making a living online is actually possible.
The reason I'm asking that question is, that I believe that both topical and personal blogs should serve similar purposes. I think that both are meant to share information the blogger knows and that helps blog readers to solve a problem, relate to the blogger, or simply feel better.
What differentiates both types in my eyes is, that personal blogs tend to bring the blogger himself into the focus of the reader. The blogger builds a brand and becomes known by his readers, because he's sharing stories out of his own life.
On topical blogs however, the topic is more important than the reader. The blogger could use a synonym, which might especially be appealing to introverted people who want to write but don't like to be a public blogger.
In March 2013 I decided to start my entrepreneurial journey and to become a blogger. My goal was to quit my job as business consultant by making a living online.
To be honest, I wasn't really sure to that time that making a living online is possible. I was scared that sites like the ones I mentioned above don't work in real-life. I was scared that starting a blog was wasting time and energy. I was scared that I would never be able to quit my job by making a living on my own.
Yet I took action.
If there's one mantra that I'm living by, it's the following:
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. - Steve Jobs
The one thing I knew for sure was, that I didn't want to work as business consultant anymore. In fact, I knew that I didn't want to be employed at all. I'd rather work on my own and take all risks associated to it, than being told what to do and spending 40 hours a week doing things I don't really love.
I didn't know about the different types of blogs. I didn't know about terms like copywriting, search engine marketing, blog hopping, and all the other fancy words.
I wrote about my progress in learning how to build an online business. To that time, I signed up to Internet Business Mastery Academy. Please note that this is an affiliate link for the academy. But please also note that Internet Business Mastery Academy taught me how to make a living on my own.
Until today I believe that this is one of the most comprehensive trainings on building online businesses that I've ever seen. I would still be working as business consultant, feeling miserable and wasting 40+ hours each week if it wasn't for Internet Business Mastery.
Back to my blog. I wanted my blog to be an inspiration for others. I want to show that anyone can live life on his own terms, that it's not a myth. And I hoped that blogging about my journey gives me the option to impact other people. How else could I reach people all over the globe?
You see, I didn't pay much attention to the different types of blogs in the beginning. I just wanted to inspire and share my experiences.
Today this hasn't changed much. I still want to lead by example, I want to show my audience how I built my online business and how they can do the same.
But my blog became more targeted. I chose to position myself as web designer and restart strategist.
I built a service based business that provides WordPress services and customization. I want to help bloggers and entrepreneurs to focus on running their businesses, and free them from WordPress updates, security against hackers, and hassling with WordPress customizations.
Therefore, my blog became not just my personal platform, but a platform to share the knowledge and experience that I've acquired over time. I want to help my readers with my content, to make their lives easier.
In the beginning I had no idea what I was doing. I was just publishing blog posts regularly, which allowed me to build a loyal audience of readers.
Now I feel that I've grown up a little. I'm still just a normal guy publishing content. But at least I have an idea of what I'm doing here. There will always be experts knowing way more than me. Nobody is the best in a certain field, there's always someone better.
I think it's good to stay humble and down-to-earth. It's good to appreciate the small things in life and business.
I hope this post has given you an idea of how I chose between the two different types of blogs: topical or personal. It's up to you what type you chose. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, because this is a very intimate topic.
This is the foundation of blogging, which not everyone feels comfortable talking about. I hope you do.