How Personal Should Your Professional Blog Be?

drawing-line I came to the world of business blogging with years of personal blogging experience. Did that mean I already knew what to do in regard to a business blog?  Was it as simple as transferring what I was already doing for my personal life to my business?

Absolutely not. There are some very distinct differences between business and personal blogging.
Unfortunately, not everyone immediately understands the subtle differences.  Often, someone with personal blogging experience will simply throw up a blog for their business and continue to write in the same manner, with the same voice that they do on their personal blogs.  And there aren’t a lot of ‘experts’ out there giving direction to the seasoned personal blogger.

Just what are the differences between a blog for your business and a personal blog?

  • The goal of your business blog is to convert visitors into clients/customers.
  • The goal of your personal blog is popularity.
  • The goal of your business blog is to give visitors (aka potential clients) information that they find helpful on a consistent basis to bring them back to your website.
  • The personal blog goal is to entertain your audience and keep ‘em coming back for more.
  • The goal of your business blog is to make a connection with those visitors, with the potential of building a relationship and trust.  People do business with those they trust.
  • The goal of your personal blog is whatever you want it to be. Personal expression, your own private soapbox, sharing your life and ideas with family and friends are just a few, but honestly it’s a personal thing so it varies person to person.

As you can see, it’s a rather fine line between what you’re looking to accomplish with your business blog versus a personal blog, but still important to recognize that there is a line.

Generally,the following are things that should probably remain on your personal blog:

  1. Politics
  2. Personal Issues/Medical Issues
  3. Complaints, especially about clients (note: one should not complain about clients anywhere unless they want them to become former clients)
  4. Profuse Profanity

Please note that I did say ‘generally’.  There are certainly business bloggers who have been successful including some of these in their blog posts.

For instance, you may be sarcastic and snarky on a personal blog and it makes you one of the cool kids.  And although some businesses have found success with a bit of snark, like Itty Biz, whom I adore, being able to pull it off requires a huge amount of talent.  Something that they have and I don’t.  Remember, you run the risk of alienating potential clients if they don’t get your particular brand of sarcastic wit.

That’s not to say you can’t throw in some edginess in order to relay your own personality, but you must always keep in mind what the purpose of your blog is and whether or not your ‘over-sharing’ of yourself is going to make someone think twice about using your services.

By now I’m sure I’ve left you with the impression that a business blog has to be all stuffy and proper.

Not true.

You can and should let your individuality show, but in a more professional manner. Think of your business blog as  how you would behave in an office or professional setting. What kind of impression do you want to present?  Sort of like drawing a line between professional you and personal you.
For the same reasons you keep certain things for the privacy of your own home, some things should be saved for the more suitable atmosphere of your personal blog.

What do you think?  Agree? Disagree?  Talk to me about it in the comments section.

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Tina Marie Hilton is the virtual assistant behind Clerical Advantage, a faculty member at Solo Practice University and contributing editor at Home Office Warrior. You can keep track of what else she’s involved in by following her on Twitter where she is @TMarieHilton.

About The Author
Grant Griffiths is founder of Blog For Profit and co-founder of Headway, the first Drag and Drop WordPress Theme Framework. You can follow Grant on twitter at @grantgriffiths

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