Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks is a small corner of cyberspace I get to call my own and I look forward to visiting it often. Blueberry fields and haunted houses have formed the backdrops for DIY posts I get to shape and edit in any way I wish. Through this blog, I’ve had the opportunity to take on new projects, try things I’ve never done before, learn new skills, be as silly as I want, and make over 850 friends who are kind enough to follow me. No—I’ve never made a dime from blogging, but it has given me the chance to develop a voice, share ideas, and make some great friends I’ve never met in person—but I’d know them if I did, just by the tone of their voice and the topics they might choose to talk about. So, if you’ve ever thought about creating a blog (or weblog) of information on virtually any topic you find interesting—or about your daily life—there are plenty of benefits beyond the monetary promises you may have heard are associated with blogging. Here are a few of the benefits I’ve experienced since I started blogging in February of 2017:
1) You don’t need any money to start a blog. Many sites exist free of charge and you can get started right away. If you want to upgrade in order to gain more room for videos or audio, there are plans that can cost between $50-$300 per year. However, you don’t have to upgrade to make or post videos or audio. Sites such as Youtube allow you to create for free and you can place the link in your blog—free of charge as well. For instance, Blogger, Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix are just a few sites that offer free plans and customer service/support for bloggers.
2) If you have a business or side business you could use a blog to help promote your products and tell stories about them. Paypal can even be added to your blog’s website for free and there are no monthly fees or startup fees. However, a small amount is automatically deducted from each transaction for which you receive money from a customer online.
3) Make new friends and follow other blogs to create stimulating, creative, and dynamic interactions.
4) If you are a writer, student, photographer, artist, or athlete/performer, you could showcase your work in a blog online and provide the link to your site for potential patrons, recruiters, and readers.
5) Gain access to restaurant reviews, recipes, reviews of gadgets and kitchen tools and technology, pictures of nature, short stories, and travel writing. Other bloggers write about fascinating subjects and have recommended products I now use. I’ve discovered interesting books, movies, and music/music genres—including K-Pop—all through blogging.
6) You get to control the comments on your blog—or prevent them altogether if you wish.
7) Other bloggers who have visited my site, and who have left comments, have been incredibly kind and supportive. Writers, artists, and people from all walks of life face rejections often, so it’s helpful to find other bloggers who offer encouragement and helpful advice.
8) Blogging is an excellent way to practice or keep up with a foreign language. Blogging draws people together from all over the world. One way I’ve been able to keep up with my Spanish is to follow blogs in Spanish and leave comments in Spanish as well. If you are new to a foreign language, you might not understand every word on a page, but you might be able to get the main idea and learn a few new words. You may even be brave enough to post something in your new language and get a reply. Just resist the urge to hit the “translate” button.
Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks then, is my humble contribution to this “wild, wild west” of space that spins with an abundance of fantastic images, videos, and text. Creating a blog has also helped me adapt to a new place. When I first moved to the Greater Seattle area from Ohio, I found myself in completely unfamiliar territory. Making new friends and joining new groups suddenly seemed intimidating, but reading blogs about my new surroundings spurred me to get out and try new restaurants, visit museums, and explore. Then, I’d return with pictures of forests, beaches, tulip gardens, and mountains, and I’d begin to fill my corner of the world with these images and the new stories I wanted to tell.
Do you want to create a blog? There’s still time to sign up for my blog writing course this summer at the Art Schack in Everett, Washington. To register, click here: Blog Writing.