Interested in starting a blog? This is the year to do it!
More and more people are starting a blog and turning their personal blog into a sustainable income. I know!
How can you do that?
I started my personal blog – Elna Cain – in 2014 and I wrote about writing of all things and what I was learning at the time.
And now? That blog helps me make money in all sorts of ways and now it’s your turn to start a personal blog too!
So, if you’re a stay-at-home mom, working mom or just crave a creative outlet, why not start a personal blog this year?
Before I share with your some popular personal blogs, I want to go over what is a personal blog and some quick tips to help you succeed with your new blog.
What is a Personal Blog?
A personal blog is similar to a lifestyle blog in that the blogger focuses on things that are personal in nature, they talk about themselves or things they are passionate about.
From technology to fashion and all things parenting, there are no boundaries with a personal blog.
When blogging first started many, many years ago, pretty much every blog was a personal blog.
Nowadays, personal blogs are ones that are highly injected with the content creator’s personality and style.
They discuss their personal experience in depth and don’t make you feel like you are reading a magazine or newspaper article. They bring you into their world and share their life experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
While personal blogs can be niched down into areas such as personal fitness, finances, or food, they often incorporate a mixture of different categories and topics or might not seem to have any direction at all.
While not a hard and fast rule, personal blogs are also commonly branded with the creator’s name or something personal to them. Often, personal blogs aren’t seeking to be monetized, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be.
Many personal bloggers blog simply for the love of sharing their stories or to connect with others in certain communities and across the blogosphere.
For example, look at Southern Curls and Pearls. I featured Caitlin’s blog as a lifestyle blog, but if you read her content, she is personal and shares her personal life from her wedding to her pregnancy and beyond.
One of her post is just a few hundred words of where she is staying for the week but there are several styled photos of her her. That post has over 20 comments.
So, you can see, your personal blog is YOU and you are the brand for that blog and people will come to YOUR personal blog to learn more about you. This is cultivating an audience that wants to know more about you.
Let’s look at fifteen personal blogs to inspire you to start your own personal blog!
Best Personal Blogs
1. Love That Max
If you are a parent of a child with any kind of disability or special needs, then you will really appreciate this blog.
Mom Ellen Seidman started this blog for her son Max, as a way to celebrate him and connect with other parents of special needs kids.
From sharing their challenges and their wins both big and small, parents of all walks of life can relate to her funny and insightful posts.
2. Design for Mankind
Author, wife, and mother Erin Loechner writes about homeschooling her little ones, expecting baby number three, and how to slow down your life. She loves to share her favorite products for her family and promote her book “Chasing Slow.”
In her about blurb on her homepage, she comes right out and says there is no sales funnel, editorial calendar, or virtual assistant, just her and all her faults.
3. Tech Savvy Mama
This is a great personal blog that really focuses on parenting in the digital age, which I think we can all relate to.
Leticia, the mom who runs the blog focuses on things like charitable causes, lifestyle topics, and education in addition to technology.
She reviews some really neat up and coming tech products for families and is a big proponent of supporting causes like gun control and period poverty. She’s one passionate mama that isn’t afraid to share her opinions.
4. Kittens And Steam
If you are a cat lover and appreciate cute fashion, then you are going to get a kick out of the personal blog called Kittens and Steam.
From creating lockdown lookbooks to her experiences at Comic Con, Hilde Heyvaert loves to share all of her cats’ antics and traveling adventures. This is truly a personal blog or random thoughts.
Single mom, Chelsy has a personal blog and she talks about narcissistic relationships and how to parallel parent.
She has honed down to a specific audience – single moms with narcissistic partners – and has build a successful personal blog.
6. The Everywhereist
Truly a perfect name for this personal blog.
Hailed as “consistently clever” by TIME magazine, Geraldine DeRuiter covers any and every topic that she finds interesting. From recipes that she has tried and sometimes failed at, to random, amusing Tweets she has made that went viral.
Her new book, All Over The Place, is just as quirky and weird as her blog.
While she is a personal blogger, she has been featured by some pretty big name publications such as Mashable, Forbes, and Huffington Post.
7. Cup of Jo
From style to motherhood to food, Joanna Goddard writes about topics that inspire her and that all other mothers can relate to.
As a former fashion magazine editor, she started this blog as a weekend hobby that she quickly grew into her full time gig.
Even though Cup of Jo has a team behind it cranking out content and taking beautiful photographs, it still feels like a one woman show and the personal blog it originally started as.
8. enJOY it
This is another perfect example of a personal blog.
Elise Blaha Cripe is a wife and mother of two who launched her online planner business in 2015.
For over 10 years she has shared her journey with those wishing to read it on her personal blog. She discusses books that she has read and daily DIY clothing challenges.
Her simple blog beautifully shares the challenges of mom life while also capturing it in stunning photos.
9. Miss Thrifty
Craving savings? In a credit crunch?
Miss Thrifty is a UK based personal blogger who shares all things money and frugal living related.
She teaches other young moms how to be savvy savers without having to sacrifice their happiness.
She loves to boast about never having to pay full price for anything and sharing crazy cheap recipes.
10. The Blog Abroad
Run by female solo traveler Gloria Atanmo, she talks about her world travels to over 70 countries and six continents on her personal blog The Blog Abroad.
Her quirky style is complimented by her beautiful photography and her unabashed realness with her readers. From discussing all things travel related to her personal health struggles, “Glo” isn’t afraid to be herself.
11. Tatertots and Jello
Run by crafty and creative mom of four, Jen Hadfield loves to write on her personal blog and share all things craft related.
From cute things to create with washi tape to how she remodeled her laundry room (which was featured in a 2012 edition of Women’s Day) she never shies away from a creative challenge.
She offers tons of free printables for creating your own DIY projects and shares her favorite things of the week.
12. Mama in Heels
As a twin mom blogger, I have to feature some twin mom bloggers in this persona blogs list, right?
Mama in Heels is by Janise, a mama of twin boys and she believes in always looking her best.
From sharing beauty and style tips to reviews of German luggage, Mama in Heels is a beautiful personal blog that encourages mamas all over to not give up on their self-care just because you are taking care of other tiny humans.
Popular Personal Blogs That Hit The Big Time
While many people start personal blogs as a means to connect with others or share their stories, they can sometimes evolve into something much bigger than the founder ever expected.
Whether you are just looking for some new blogs to check out or inspiration for your own blogging journey, here are a handful of blogs that started out as personal blogs but grew into so much more!
Making Sense of Cents
If you follow any personal finance blogs, you have probably already heard of Michelle Schroeder from Making Sense of Cents.
This massive blog (which now regularly earns 6-figures PER MONTH) started as a personal blog in 2011 as a way for her to stay accountable with her personal finance journey and paying off her student loans.
In addition to focusing on personal finance tips and tricks, she also discusses how to build a money making blog and her newest venture, RV living.
The Penny Hoarder
Another personal blog turned personal finance mega giant is The Penny Hoarder.
While you have probably already heard of The Penny Hoarder, you might not have heard of its founder, Kyle Taylor.
In 2010 he started The Penny Hoarder with $50,000 in student debt as a way to document the different ways he was making money on the side (I think I see a trend here…).
The blog turned company now brings in over $20 million a year in revenue and has a team of over 160 people!
Pinch of Yum
If you have ever looked up a recipe on Pinterest, then you are sure to have run across recipes from Pinch of Yum.
Started by a Minnesota 4th grade teacher and her husband to share their love of food, Pinch of Yum is now considered a pinnacle of food blogs for many other food bloggers.
Started in 2011 as a “food blog money making experiment,” it obviously went pretty well.
Five years later in November 2016 they made a total of $95,197.34. While they have since stopped sharing income reports, it’s safe to say that they have continued to grow and added even more revenue streams with their course, Food Blogger Pro.
So, How Do Personal Blogs Make Money?
As a blogger with multiple blogs, I can certainly see the appeal of a personal blog.
I LOVE blogging to begin with!
Starting a personal blog is the perfect marriage of blending your personal stories with the advantage of growing a brand to make money with. You can definitely pivot a personal blog into an income-generating blog by doing a few key things.
1. Pepper Your Personal Blog With Helpful Advice
One key thing to do with a personal blog is to stop blogging about you and start helping others with their challenges.
But Elna, my personal blog is about my cats, how do I help others?
If your personal blog is about college life or cats or your musings for the day, you can think about who is reading your blog and make a list of challenges or questions they need answers to.
For a cat personal blog, some challenges around cats might be:
- a simple care plan for cat owners
- providing fun activities for your cat when you are gone for work
- knowing how to groom your cat
After you come up with a few topic ideas, you can search on Google these topics and see what sites pop up and what related searches come up.
From there you can see if there is a need for that topic.
But, how do I monetize my blog then?
The easiest way to get started with making money blogging on your personal blog is to start affiliate marekting.
If your post is about grooming your cat, you can find the brushes you already use and see if they have an affiliate program (or sign up to Amazon’s referral program) and you’ll get a special link to use in your blog.
Now your helpful post about grooming your cat will have links to products you use. If your readers click on that link and purchase the same products you use, then you make a commission!
That’s the beginning of monetizing your personal blog.
2. Start Building an Email List
Email marekting is what will separate your personal blog from other personal blogs.
An email list is the primary way bloggers make a sustainable income.
Because once someone signs up to your email newsletter, you have a direct and almost personal line to your readers. You can nurture your list and share your stories and connect with them on a deeper level than with a blog post.
Here’s a simple guide to start an email list.
3. Diversify Your Income Streams
Once you try some affiliate marketing, you can dabble in other areas to make money. For example, Geraldine from The Everywhereist wrote a book.
Pinch of Yum created a course.
For your personal blog, you can connect with brands and create a sponsored post. For example, Stacey of the Soccer Mom Blog, often writes sponsored blog posts to help her monetize her blog.
This can be another easy way to love what you do – share personal stories – and make some cash too.
Personal Blogs for Inspiration
Why not share your story and experiences with the world?
Check out my start a blog tutorial (with video) to get you started!
There is always someone else out there that will resonate with what you have to say.
Over to you – do you have a personal blog? I’d love to check it out! Share your blog with me in the comments!
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