Should You Treat Your Blog Like a Diary?

The answer depends on what you want to get out of the experience.

Everyone blogs for different reasons, and seeks to gain different things as they publish their thoughts.

And most people love reading about other people’s lives.

This is why vlogging has become such a popular YouTube genre (even though Grammarly apparently doesn’t recognize it as a real word. Come on, guys!). For some reason, watching other people go about their lives is, to many, fascinating.

And this method of blogging — you know, vlogging but with words — has been, and can still be, successful for many people. Especially those who are already under spotlights. Like the Kardashians.

I think people do need to be cautious about the things they post online. You never know what someone out there might do with the information you post.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever get personal online. I share some heartfelt words on Facebook every once in awhile about things that are going on in my life. But I can, as far as I know, trust the people who have access to those words not to use them to hurt me in any way.

There is nothing wrong with treating your blog like a diary. You’re allowed to use it to express your thoughts and feelings as often and as transparently as you want to.

Unless you’re actively looking for a job — remember, blogs are public unless you specify otherwise, just like social media accounts. This is what worries me most about writers who get too personal online. A prospective employer can and will Google you, and if your blog goes deep into personal issues, that might not fare well for you professionally.

And even then, you can be anonymous. Or keep your blog private, giving access to anyone you want to share your posts with — or no one at all. For some reason, people who blog through their experiences with cancer come to mind when I think about this. You can absolutely share your story if it helps you and your family/friends through a tough time.

But it’s not always an effective strategy if you’re trying to build a brand focused on helping other people. There are cases in which sharing your personal thoughts and stories can be part of your business model. But it depends on what your objectives are. Who you’re trying to help. What you’re trying to get out of the experience.

You can build a blog based around your personal experiences, as I did, without turning it into a place for you to summarize your every move and vent about your problems. That’s what I assume everyone uses a diary for. I suppose if you use one for something else, you might have a different opinion on this.

Now I’m curious. What do you journal about? Would you publish the pages of your journal online for other people to read? (I would not — but that’s just me.)

Need a few blogging tips? I think I can help you there.

The Unwritten Rules of Blogging

My Biggest Blogging Mistakes (and How You Can Avoid Making Them)

The Biggest Blogging Turnoffs That Send Even Long-Time Readers Away

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

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4 thoughts on “Should You Treat Your Blog Like a Diary?

  1. I often journal to help me work out what’s going on in my head or just to work through things (writing can be like therapy for me), but I can do that in my journal because the assumption is that no one will ever see it. I rarely post anything personal online, not even on Facebook or Instagram. Part of my thinking is that it’s not a stranger’s business what I’m up to and part of my thinking is that if people I know can’t be bothered staying in touch properly (instead of stalking through social media), they forfeit the right to know anything beyond the basics of what’s happening in my life.Maybe that’s just me though *shrugs*

    PS. I love your blog, I’ve been following it for ages and it has been really helpful but I’ve only just kinda worked up the courage to comment :P

    1. I’m so glad you finally left a comment! :) I agree, I don’t tend to get too personal online, but I understand why some people feel they need to, or feel safe to do so. I don’t judge, but I personally don’t feel like everyone needs to know everything about me. haha.

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