Did you know that blogging has therapeutic benefits?
When you go into therapy, you unload all the stress, sadness, and trauma onto a professional who overtime becomes a solid, reliable support system. Blogging works on similar lines.
It’s not a professional acting as a sympathetic audience, but strangers around the world. In fact, blogging does you one better by connecting you with people who have first-hand experience of what you are going through; Sharing helps you process the events and experiences better. It gives your fresh perspective.
Apart from all the psychological benefits, it can actually improve cognitive functioning. It can help you think better. Writing about your feelings and experiences can help you achieve better emotional balance.
Scientists have gone so far as to claim that blogging (sharing your pain with the world) can help you heal faster. There is a reason why so many cancer patients have blogs dedicated to their fight against the disease. It helps them deal with the pain – physical and emotional.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
– Maya Angelou
My motivation for blogging-
If you’ve been following my posts, you know I have always struggled with emotional balance.
One day, I came across a piece on the internet about ‘Highly sensitive people’. It was like reading about every day of my life. It made me realize that there are people out there struggling with the same things I struggle with.
The difference is that I am beginning to see a light at the end of this tunnel while they are still immersed in a mire of pain and hopelessness. I can be the one to tell them that the pain does stop. You can come out of it – stronger and heart-whole.
Then, my mom gave me the final nudge and told me to pursue writing through a blog, and put my talent for it to good use. So, I setup Quirkheavy, and I fell in love.
Writing hits your brain with dopamine which is the drug behind addictions so, perhaps that’s what’s going on with me, but I don’t think so.
I am sharing what I have hugged to myself for so long. More importantly, I am letting go!
Every time I put up a blog post about something painful, I rob it of the strength to hurt. It becomes something so inconsequential that I can let the world see it. My wound is open for everyone to gawk at.
Do your worst! – The line running through my head every time I press ‘Publish’.
The first few days were pure bliss. I would do my 9-5; I would come home to my laptop and write my heart out.
Sharing my self-growth plan with the world reinforces it. I think better, and I can analyze my own progress. Before I share it with anyone else, I look at everything objectively.
It helps me understand what works and what doesn’t. This helps me grow, and it helps me help others.
That makes blogging a pretty effective tool to create a happier, healthier life, right?
Not Exactly. It all depends on why you blog.
If it’s just an online journal, great! You can quit reading this, and move on with your life. If not, stick around.
My love for writing fuels my passion for my blog. I want to touch lives with my words.
At the back of my head is the hope that someday, some depressed teen in a different corner of the world will read something I’ve written, and find the strength to fight or seek help. The hope is to make a difference which is a pretty huge goal considering there are millions of blogs out there competing for attention.
Then, there are those who blog for income. Having experienced it, you realize that a 9-5 grind is not for you.
You want to work from the comfort of your home or on the move, exploring the world.
It is important that you be there for your family. You don’t have fancy degrees. You are not a team player..yadda, yadda, yadda!! Turns out, blogging perfectly fits your needs. So, you blog! Easy-peasy, am I right?
Yeah, not so much!
As a person who has recently set-up a new blog, let me burst some myths right now.
1) Setting up a website is easy
Umm..no, it’s not!
I did a lot of research before I started my blog so, I am really surprised that none of the websites ever mentioned exactly how hard it is to create a website. They pointed out that without prior knowledge of coding, you’ll have some difficulties.
Turns out, ‘SOME difficulties’ is an understatement.
Every little tweak takes a long time, and you make the smallest mistake and the appearance of the blog has been altered to something unrecognizable.
God forbid, you pick the wrong theme!! The right theme will make a lot of things easy, but the wrong one that doesn’t fit with your vision will really screw you over.
2) Pick a name & get started
I promise you that at least the first 15 names you come up with will already be taken by someone else.
It took me two weeks to find one that suited my idea for the blog and was actually available.
Lucky for me, I like the name I finally chose. It could have easily gone in a different direction with this blog named after something I couldn’t care less about.
3) Writing kick-ass content is easy
Writing is my way of thinking and formulating ideas. I analyze by writing, be it facts or emotions. Most importantly, I process difficult days and setbacks by writing.
Basically, I write a lot.
I am a highly emotional person who gets through the day by writing. So, I honestly thought blogging will be a walk in the park for me. I just have to write content that others can read. I cannot point to one single post on this blog that was EASY to write.
With every post, I open up my own life for people to look into. Every time I talk about something, I go back in time and I relive it. Then, I try to paint a picture with my words, and I try to cover the smallest details. None of it is easy.
Each and every post took hours for me to finish. I am getting better at it, but it still takes a good amount of time for me to finish each and every post.
4) It’s about good content
Unless you’re okay with putting out mediocre content, you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time and energy creating your posts.
Every blogger will share two tips with you –
- Write about something that sets your soul on fire
- It’s 20% writing and 80% promotion (Every single article on blogging has this tip)
Does that make any sense to you?
20% of total time invested is not enough to complete a really good piece. If a person genuinely cares about the subject, they’re not going to be ok with putting out half-baked posts on their precious blog. I wouldn’t!
Having said that, they’re not lying. You have to promote your website. No matter how great your content is, it wouldn’t matter if nobody knows about it.
Also, the promotion is way more time-consuming than the writing part of it.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a worse time of it.
I had to set-up social media accounts from scratch. I did connect with really great people who helped me out with the whole thing, but it was only when I actively started participating in FB groups, Instagram engagement, Pinterest that I saw a growth in my blog traffic.
This part of blogging requires consistent effort. No matter how tired I am, I put in the required amount of time every day.
It is really not going to be easy, and it’s really not just about great content.
5) It doesn’t require much financial investment
If you think, you don’t have to spend any money on it, you’re wrong.
Buying a domain and hosting requires money. Getting a good theme requires money. The upgraded versions of the plugins you use require money.
You need good pictures for your website. We don’t all have photographer friends or spouses so, you may have to hire someone who’ll obviously expect to get paid for his efforts. If you want to do it yourself, the equipment is going to cost a bomb.
Blogging courses are really, really expensive especially, considering it’s for something that may not be making you any income at that point in time.
If you decide to free up your time with automated posting using apps, you’ll need to buy monthly or annual membership packs which is also going to cost money.
6) Writing & promotion, followers & Readers – Mantra to Success
Blogging has turned into a competitive industry, but unlike other industries, there is no sure shot track to success. Yes, most businesses have a high-risk factor, but with them, you know the rules of the game.
You can judge what you need to bring to the table to make things work for you, that does not hold true for blogging. You can hustle your ass off, and you may still fail. (I can practically FEEL the hate coming at me! 😛 )
There are bloggers who found success in the first month of blogging. There are others who have been at it for years and haven’t seen any tangible amount of success.
Instagram accounts with 1000s of followers have yet to get brand partnerships but, some tiny accounts are collaborating every day. The first time I was approached by a brand, I had only 60 followers. Isn’t that crazy?
You can google for ideas that make blogs work, but none of it comes with any guarantees. What may have worked for one blogger, may be a complete waste of time for you.
This applies to every single piece of advice you’ll find on the subject of blogging. If it has worked for 10 people, you’ll find 50 others who had no success with it.
7) Placing ads and affiliate links can help pay the bills
We all want to dedicate our lives to doing what we love. In fact, we should dedicate our lives to what we love, but you gotta pay those bills pal!
A lot of people quit their jobs to focus on their blogs, but as I said, there is no sure shot route to success. You may put aside savings that will last you good 6 months thinking that the blog will definitely take off by then, and the whole thing might blow up in your face.
Ads and affiliate links aren’t enough. I have been blogging only for 2 months so, this information isn’t based on my own experience with it. No, I learned all of this by talking to people.
I have read and heard so many stories of people staking their everything on their blogs, and it all came to nothing.
“It’s ok to be brave. It’s ok to leave.”
The wonderful thing is that all of these people (at least the ones I spoke to) kept going.
Ramsay of Blog Tyrant has predicted that 99% of blogs will fail in 2018, but he remains hopeful.
Lauren and Alex in their video ‘Pinterest Marketing 501: Why Blog Traffic Cures All’ talk about how their first website tanked, and yet they are a prominent part of the blogging world.
So yes, you can fail bad at blogging but, you can bounce back from it.
I am an optimistic person. I believe that anything is possible, and the only thing standing in our way are the limitations we place on ourselves.
At the same time, I like to make informed decisions. I am aware of all these things, and I have no plans of quitting. I don’t mean to scare anyone or dampen their enthusiasm, but as someone who protects her peace of mind with ruthless determination, I just want you to be very sure of what you’re doing when you get into blogging.
Maybe don’t quit your job.
Maybe don’t stake everything on the success of your website.
Choosing to have a safety net doesn’t take away from your courage.
Go after your passion with single-minded determination, but protect yourself as best as you can. It doesn’t mean you lack confidence, it just means you are smart enough to cover your bases.
In conclusion, blogging is definitely a happiness tool that can help you live a better, more balanced life. Just go into it with your eyes wide open, and your expectations on a realistic level. Then, hustle hard! Give it your best shot, and let the chips fall where they may.
Despite what all the cool, motivational posters will tell you, even dreams are not worth destroying yourself over. Live a healthy life, and follow your passion with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
Take risks with money, not your peace of mind. If you think I am wrong, let me hear your opinions on the subject.
Use the comment section to correct me, or to add to the post.