It’s been more than a year since I launched WordScarab, a fact that prompted a former business colleague to write, “I’ve never understood that whole blog thing.”
I didn’t understand it either when I launched WordScarab in July 2011 but I wanted to try, learn, do – make a commitment to post once a week, which I have for a year.
Except for that one week when I didn’t. A dear friend tried letting me off the hook. “It’s okay,” he said, after listening to my whining about lightening zapping my computer equipment. “No. No it’s not,” I said. “I made a commitment to this and I’ve got a deadline to meet.” (And I see now I missed last week. Ugh. Just plain blew my own deadline. Aack!)
It was during a year’s stint as a business and feature writer for a New Mexico weekly that I was reminded of why I love journalism – satisfying an innate curiosity. I so enjoy learning something new – that feeling of “I didn’t know that! People have to know about THAT!”
How many times have I wanted to share that “new thing” with readers, craft the story, see it in print. When I left the paper I needed an outlet and joined the blogosphere. Nearly every day I hear about a new topic – “oh, I’d love to write that story.”
Bloggers are publishers. We create the page, or medium, first. Then we write, right? But how do you “get it out there,” someone asked.
I chose WordPress as a blog platform because it’s a well-crafted tool that’s easy to use. There are hundreds of templates available, for free, and the blogger simply customizes the template. Or not, for that matter. No customization required. You can go to the WordPress site right now, download a template and be blogging in a matter of minutes.
Yes, yes, content is key. To make money as a blogger you must write things the world wants to read. Experts tell you a blogging “niche” is important. What are you writing about? Food? Parenting? Making soap? How to shop? Run for office?
WordScarab is not a money machine. I haven’t built a bankroll but I have been building relationships. I’ve had comments from readers all over the world. Helped some people connect with lost loved ones.
My site’s busiest day so far was July 2011, when I posted A Very Sushi Birthday. The word WordScarab itself has captured a surprising number of hits.
More than anything, it’s been a wonderful learning tool. I’ve learned that a commitment takes discipline, that wordsmithing is fun and that it just might be time to launch another blog. WordScarab will remain in some form because I’m attached to this notion of “searching for nuggets of wisdom in the detritus of life.” But I’m thinking it’s time to take this search to a higher level, expand my reach. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.