Start a Blog. Here's Why

by Mira

By Mira at Wizzley. I've become a fan of blogging on Wordpress.com. Here's about my 8-month blogging experience on this platform.

For a long time my friends kept asking me why I don't blog. I told them I didn't think I had something to say on a blog. In fact, I did have a lot to say but haven't yet found that voice for speaking online. Then I joined Wizzley hoping to make some money writing articles, and soon I figured it was time to start a blog in order to promote my articles and my Zazzle store.

And then I fell in love with blogging on Wordpress.com. Here are a few things about Wordpress.com that appeal to me the most.

Positive Energy

There's a tremendous surge of positive energy on Wordpress.com, despite the fact that many posts are rather sad. People vent in Life about failed relationships, about illness, mourn the loss of dear ones in Poetry, and so on. But they also write books about finding renewed hope and meaning through faith, meet people who reblog their posts to gain them more followers and support, and generally spin their posts so as to end on a positive note. Which is truly wonderful. It seems to me that people are using blogging not simply as an outlet for negative energy, but also as a medium where they work through their feelings in a therapeutic way.

The wonders of blogging ;-)
The wonders of blogging ;-)
Irvin D. Yalon, Momma and the Meaning of Life: Tales of Psychotherapy

Ever since I spotted his novel When Nietzsche Wept at my favorite bookstore, I have been going through more books by Irvin D. Shalom about the benefits of group therapy, philosophical therapy (The Schopenhauer Cure), etc. Turns out there's also blogging therapy. It sounds cheesy but I assure you it's not. If writing helps people understand themselves better, blogging adds a further dimension – that of a network of support.

One example: David, who used to have a blog called The Commonzense of Saint James, wrote a book about his spiritual journey, all the while enjoying the following and support of a great number of people. I think he benefited greatly from the suggestions and encouragement. Then when he finished the book, he decided to let go of the blog. Other writers, however, stick it out for years and years, as they develop a writing career. Which leads me to #2.

Writers benefit greatly from blogging

It's not only because they have a place to showcase their writing and have it read by other people. It's also because a blog typically accommodates short bursts of writing, which means you spend a few minutes on a post as often as you like. More often than not, this gets you in the mood to spend some time on your blog more often than you would have thought. Part of it, if you want to gather a large following for a future book, is the fact that each posts gets you a few more followers. Also, you do find that voice I mentioned, which works a little differently from the one you use in a longer article of the kind we write here on Wizzley.

Before you self-publish, gather a following
Blogging will help your book
Blogging will help your book

The exercise is great, especially if you set out to do a poem a day (quality tends to suffer in those, however) or follow any kind of daily prompts (given by Wordpress or other bloggers).

Then there are reviews and guest posts. The latter can even bring you some money.

There's also a lot of inspiration. On some days when I write poems, I tend to look at posts under Poetry. I have lots of magazines at home and could do that, but this feels so easy, so immediate, and even though a lot of poetry is not up to par, there's a lot to learn from it as well.

Guest blogging can earn you money
Make money writing guest blog posts
Make money writing guest blog posts

There are lots of ideas for readers

Books you may not consider otherwise

I often check the Books topic in Wordpress, to see what people are reading and why. Of course, I could go on Amazon, or Goodreads, or type review in Google, but for that I'd need to know about the books, right? Sure, I get some newsletters about that (which also include reviews), and there are lists of bestsellers on Amazon, and writers you love, who mention other writers – you always learn about books. But if you follow the more traditional paths and don't go to mortar-and-brick bookstores often to leaf through books, chances are you'll be reading only books in the genres and of the types you already favor.

Well, things change with Wordpress: you'll learn about all kinds of books, and may find yourself reading something unexpected. A book you may not have learned about otherwise. For instance something an author self-published, something that may not have had a lot of advertising. Which is not to say you should forget about Pulitzer Prize books. With each new book, I find there's a lot going for them, so now I'm set to read as many as I can. Something I can't say about many other literary prizes out there.

One great book I discovered is Anita Nair's Ladies Coupé. It's as much about Indian women on a train ride together as it is about discovering vicariously what India has to offer to the senses. Her descriptions are so vivid you really picture yourself there, in that train compartment, looking in turns at one woman or another, or at the food offered from the platform. The way she draws us into their lives is just as fascinating. I can't say enough good things about Anita Nair.

Anita Nair, Ladies Coupé

You'll read nice poetry

While most people share some of their poetry, you'll find that a good number share some wonderful classics. So you'll be rereading William Wordsworth (I recently enjoyed his "Daffodils" poem again: "And then my heart with pleasure fills, / And dances with the daffodils."), Sylvia Plath, and so on.

You'll get to discover some music

If you look under the Music topic, you'll find a lot of interesting videos you may not discover otherwise. Often these posts include just the video. There are also longer posts which end with a video, or which include several videos. Or you may be reading about a book and the playlist the author associated to that book, and discover music that way. I discovered Antony and the Johnsons that way, while reading an interview with Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, who wrote Damn Love, a book I have actually ordered and am reading now.

Here's Antony, singing Leonard Cohen's "If It Be Your Will"

You'll read wonderful articles about art

Some blogs on Wordpress are truly wonderful. One of them is Strange Flowers, written by James Conway, a writer and translator living in Berlin. Another blog with great posts on art is The Bleeding Tomato, kept by Dutch visual artist Roberto Voorbij, who also promotes his designs there. Which brings me to the next wonderful thing about blogs.

You can easily promote your Zazzle items and Wizzley articles

I started my blog with the intent of devoting a large portion of it to promoting my Zazzle products, many of which involve some sort of quotes I put together. So I named my blog funlifequotes. Of course, I soon discovered that this commercial bent, even if cloaked under some sort of commentary sometimes, was rather bitter to the taste. So I started writing about random things: books, music. When I do promote Zazzle products, it's easy:

I often just list the items – which might not be great for search engines, but it does get me some new followers each time. I figured by the time I have 1,000, some of them might actually buy some products when I do a  Zazzle blog post.

Remember to chase butterflies Mug

I also use my blog to promote Wizzley articles after I write them. A photo, a few sentences, and a link to the article is all it takes. Some of the bloggers do land on Wizzley to read the article.

I also figured that since I named my blog funlifequotes, I should stay true to that and post my blogs under some quote titles ever so often. It's fun and these quotes do attract the attention of other bloggers.

I also like to post 2-minute posts involving a YouTube video. You just write a title and post a link, and the YouTube video appears in the Reader. If I have written an article about the band, I also link to that. (I find myself listening to Depeche Mode a lot more after their concert in Bucharest, so I've posted their songs a few times lately.)

Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day

It's very easy to start a blog on Wordpress.com

These are just some of the things about my blogging experience that keep me hooked. Hope I have intrigued you enough to consider starting your own blog. Of course, your interests will be different and you will find a whole lot of other incentives to continue blogging of you do give it a chance. But do sign up and put up a blog. It's really easy. Note, however, that if you want to run Google ads, Wordpress.com won't do. I don't do ads, however – only Zazzle products and Amazon books, which works fine for me.

Did I mention that blogging takes very little time?

I don't log in / post every day (have an average of 15-20 posts a month). With all the reading involved, and the listening, and the writing, blogging takes very little time per session (as I said, people usually write very little, and you can write your post and like a few others in a matter of 10-15 minutes), and you can squeeze it between various tasks when you need to unplug a little from a task that takes a lot of time.

And here's my blog

I guess that after all this talking about my blogging experience, I should give you a link to get an idea what my blog looks like (nothing fancy). Here it is: funlifequotes.wordpress.com.

Updated: 07/11/2013, Mira
 
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Do you have a blog? What is your own blogging experience like?


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Mira on 05/10/2016

I found your message on my blog :). Thank you, Derdriu. I'm afraid though I don't understand what entry and link you're referring to in the other comment . . . Oh, you mean I should give inactive links to other Wordpress.com blogs?

DerdriuMarriner on 05/09/2016

Mira, I made my first visit and read your "ORiGiNAL" tee shirt series. I left a comment but I don't know if it showed up. It wouldn't let me leave a like without signing into accounts that I don't have!

DerdriuMarriner on 05/09/2016

Mira, Thank you for the article and for your link! I'll check it out.
Would it work to end an entry with a statement on the order of "for more information..."? The url can be given, but in black and de-linked. It's a bit inconvenient in the sense that the reader has to copy-paste the url instead of just clicking. It probably would just work with one link, and it sounds like you may have a number.

Mira on 01/01/2014

Blogs tend to follow a theme, it's true, but you could find a theme that's more encompassing. I try to do it around quotes. There are quotes everywhere. Of course, sometimes I forget and post other stuff. Or link to Wizzley articles -- which is frowned upon, I've been told; so I try not to overdo it.

AbbyFitz on 12/31/2013

I tried to blog once, but since I didn't have a theme I didn't stick with it. As you can probably tell I write about whatever interests me at the moment, which is not good for blogging I've been told

Mira on 11/27/2013

Yes, it does. But the best thing about it -- about Wordpress.com at least -- is the community, I feel.

NateB11 on 11/27/2013

This is all very true about blogging, there's something unique and special about it and rounds out the online writer's repertoire very well.

Mira on 11/14/2013

Thank you, Derdriu, for your comment. Yes, I think that's the idea: a strictly creative outlet. The only problem with that is, they won't get much traffic if people don't also review books, etc., so their ads will hurt.

DerdriuMarriner on 11/13/2013

Mira, A quick visit to your blog reveals the fun of your quotes, coming from unexpected sources giving interesting glimpses of ways of being, seeing, thinking, etc.
It sounds from your recent comment below that Wordpress may not be encouraging affiliate links after all. So is blogging on Wordpress a strictly creative outlet, with no chance of earning money?
Thank you for taking the time to share your insights about and experience with Wordpress.com.

Mira on 11/11/2013

Yeah, well, don't know what their deal is, after all. I received a notice that they're closing my blog. They let it be but it turns out they don't like affiliate links or articles that send to third parties -- even though a lot of people post links to Amazon when they review books; many people also post YouTube videos. But the community is great, and I've discovered many interesting writers and things on Wordpress.com


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