Sam Brown

Personal blog, business blog. Both, one or the other?

Leanda just asked a good question on Twitter that I thought I would weigh in on:

“should my blog be integrated into my portfolio site [or as] a separate playground?” – “I’m really interested in if their should be a distinction between professional and personal blogs.”

While I agree that there are many different cases, personal blogging on your business site is vastly different from writing it on an independent site. The distinction I make is that they are separate sites, with separate domains. I am a freelancer at Massive Blue, it’s just me and I always make that clear when I work with new clients and is my personal site where I will always write what I want.

I had a business blog and for the longest time it lay dormant, but at no point in the past few years have I ever thought more deeply or carefully about what I write on my personal blog, no more so than I do to start with. My main caveat about the whole situation is that if a client does not like what they read or see on my personal site chances are we aren’t going to get along in real life and for that matter on a business level either.

Post a link to this on Twitter ↩


Leanda Ryan 13 August 2008, 09:10 #1

Three years ago I left a design partnership to become freelance, I set up my business site with a blog on the home page which is now dead in the water, I worried about what to post and it quickly just turned into a news feed about what projects I’d just completed. I’m planning a redesign and I’m asking myself the same questions that I asked three years ago. Should the site have a blog, twitter feed, links to, delicious bookmarks and a flickr feed or should this be a totally separate personal site?

I’d like to write about personal interests, running, yoga, Apple, travel, music, but worry that this may turn some clients away. On the other hand, as you say, maybe they would be the wrong clients for me.

I think a good compromise for me would be to have the blog, flickr, twitter etc. integrated into the main site but give it less importance and not have it on the home page.

Bill Grey 13 August 2008, 11:01 #2

I think the idea that we should hide our personal interests from the business world is not a good policy. I don’t mean we should show the world all of our private issues…not at all. But “showing who you are” eliminates mismatched clients that have to be dumped eventually anyway.

The “like attracts like” rule works well, in my experience. Put yourself out there as you are and attract like-minded business that lasts for decades. If a potential client is put off by your style or blog offerings… then they’re a wrong fit. I guess this all depends on how you look at business and life. I see it as all the same. I spend 12 hours a day doing business so I want to work with people who appreciate who I am and what I have to contribute.

Elliot Jay Stocks 14 August 2008, 02:47 #3

I’m really not sure how I feel about this one. By and large, I agree that personal and business blogs should be separate. Even more importantly: companies need to realise that they don’t have to have a blog.

But I find myself in a different situation. Instead of having a separate site for my business, it’s more just tacked on to the end of my blog. In this sense, the reverse scenario works best: I think it would be detrimental to move my portfolio / business stuff away to a different site when it’s getting more exposure with everything in one place.

I know that my clients see my blog, and – like you – if they don’t like what they read, I probably wouldn’t want them as clients anyway. :)

Kev Mears 19 August 2008, 09:18 #4

I’m still undecided about this myself. My personal site is currently mainly drawings that I do, and I have a tumblelog that chats a little about what I’ve been up to in work.

Maybe it’s different if you’re in full time employment as opposed to freelancing, where I suppose you have more of an individual ‘brand’.

Love the site btw

Craig 21 August 2008, 14:33 #5

Yeah… the more I think about it, the more I Mr. Brown has the right idea. The blog/journal should be separate from the design portfolio site.

I think I’m going to move my blog over to, make strictly a design portfolio, and start up a Fw site for the tutorials and other goodies…

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Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.