Could personal blogs be like the bullpen, to warm-up in for the big league game?

As social network publishing platforms get bigger and better, it gets harder to stay focused on publishing on your own piddly little blog. Could there be a symbiotic relationship between the two, though?

It’s hard not to be impressed by the major publishing outlet that LinkedIn is becoming. Entrepreneur Lewis Howes wrote an instructive guest post on the blog of a startup called Clarity today that offers some smart step-by-step instructions to get yourself in good shape for consideration as an author on LinkedIn’s official Thought Leaders channel. You’d be among great company if you could pull that off.

Likewise, when Google+ launched 18 months ago, several high-profile bloggers were announcing that they were moving all their blogging activities off their own sites and onto Google’s social network. People were doing that because the commenting, sharing and engagement that they were experiencing on Plus was incredible. It just blew on-site blog comments out of the water – and isn’t that a major part of blogging, to get feedback and engagement from readers? All that engagement is a proxy for distribution, too.

Perhaps bloggers should go to the most high-profile venue they can publish from, or the most popular place where they can get lots of engagement, but I’ve always wanted to stay here and do most of my publishing on my own site. That’s hard to do on a regular basis, but I own the site and it follows my rules. As I wrote in July 2011, I’ll Never Redirect my Personal Blog to Google Plus.

Maybe there’s something to be said about using a personal blog as a scratch-pad to solicit initial discussion on a draft idea, though, and then taking the polished end-result out to a corporate hosted forum with lots more audience. I wrote a post on our company’s blog yesterday about ways to leverage the experts in your community to collaborate on blog posts and in that post referenced a saying from Google exec Hunter Walk: that you should post to a blog not to show how smart you are, but to solicit feedback from smart people, because that’s a great way to learn.

I love writing in public, but it tends not to get as much engagement as asking people one at a time for feedback and contributions to drafts. Would it work to treat a personal blog as a warm-up zone before publishing an article elsewhere? Would you feel comfortable publishing less than your best work on your personal blog? I may try to see if I can make that work. I’d love to know your thoughts on it though; might this be a way to have our cake and eat it too? Maybe a reference to your personal blog on a bigger site would serve too as a place to find all of your writing, across many different platforms.

Something I’m thinking about, if you’ve got recent thoughts on blog vs social network publishing, please do share them.

  • I feel your pain. Personal blogging seems to have taken a back seat lately. It’s why I moved all my activity over to Tumblr. It seems more suited for the scratch-pad style writing and link sharing I’ve been doing, but I haven’t found the right outlet for the other, more thoughtful stuff (it sure isn’t Tumblr). I’ve become really interested in what Svbtle and Medium are doing but those are still closed.

    Got any tips for non-A list, scratch-pad bloggers looking for an occasional platform to post on?

  • Tac – you’ve got a better informed perspective on it than me, I’m glad you brought up these other platforms still. I love your personal blog and hope you’ll continue posting there. Perhaps we both just need to be more comfortable posting less-polished content to our blogs.

  • That was the whole focus of the “Indie Web” movement – your own blog/wiki/whatever, publishing to the world.

    I went to both the 2011 and 2012 camps. I’m still posting occasionally to my blogs, but I’ve gotten used to Twitter, and Disqus as a place to write / think out loud.

  • Nice post. I’ve recently separated out my personal blogging from what was becoming a blog/site for my business, and I’m looking at the various opportunities that presents now.

    I’ve stuck with WordPress for my personal site – tools like posting via email or lifestreaming plugins tend to get overlooked for third party platforms on which I’d lose a lot of control and ability to backup.

  • Thanks Marshall. I moved my blog because I’m just not writing about (or all that interested in writing about) social media. I’m now at

    Keeping up a middle of the road industry blog is a lot of work and ultimately I found it limiting. All that content becomes a big weight. I’m still interested in writing “thought leader” style pieces and share those with a broader audience. I don’t know that LinkedIn is the right place for me. Maybe I’ll find a place or maybe I’ll just continue to write about whatever I want in my own little corner of the interwebs. But I will keep writing.

  • bwamable mitusera

    no blogs cant be like blue pen. but how can one create a blog sir

    bwambale mitusera from uganda hope that i will meet your nice answer for and i would like to create one

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  • Paul

    We use Linkedin all the time and we have our own blog on our website but for our industry social media does not seem to work so well to gain awareness. We are a Brisbane surveyor company so I am not really sure whether surveying is something that does so well at social media. I think there are other industries which are not really applicable either – would be interesting to know what you think and also how some industries could increase web presence with this – if not in the more ‘popular’ scheme of things when it comes to what you do and how people’s perceived interests are?

  • Samuel Barnes

    I’m a survey draftsman and I have had a slightly different experience with social media. I have used LinkedIn to identify and connect with business owners and managers in the surveying field and have gained a reasonable amount of business out of it.

    With LinkedIn I have mainly used it as an initial point of contact. Admittedly survey drafting is B2B not B2C but I would assume the same tactic could be employed in land surveying by reaching out and connecting with land developers in the area and using LinkedIn as that initial point of contact.