Why I Blog: Or, how to succeed online without knowing code
“A blog is what all websites wanted to be: it contains content of interest to a target audience and is easy to update and change.”- Anonymous
Having built many websites, I heartily second that emotion. Yet, I feel like I came into blogging late in the life of the internet. By the time I’d launched Tasting Room Confidential in 2008, this thing called social media was just beginning, and twittering became the new commenting. So in a way, my timing wasn’t bad.
I started a wine blog because I’m a writer and a bit of a wine slut, better at telling than selling. I wanted to publish as much as I could write about wine and maybe make some money. But most of all, I wanted perks. That’s why I blog.
With the decline of print media, many bloggers are now recognized as journalists. Wine bloggers get schmoozed by the wine business in the same way Wine Spectator writers were in the 1990s. That’s not just because of our mind-blowing store of knowledge or our vast epicurean experience, but because of our medium. Glossy magazines end up in recycling bins. Blog posts live forever on the internet. Which writer would you choose to pour for?
WordPress vs Blogspot
I’d heard that WordPress was the platform of choice, but initially I was put off by my own inability to understand it and download it, so I turned to the pre-Google Blogspot instead. Blogspot, now Blogger, was my training wheels for a couple years and it was great. For a while.
Eventually, I became bored and wanted more funtionality, like unlimited pages, multiple sidebars, and ever-increasing widgets. So, I changed my hosting, got WordPress uploaded to my browser, and it was love at first post.
I have found that WordPress is much like wine. You can never know everything about it, because it’s constantly changing. What I dig most is how a WordPress theme can look like a website while behaving like a blog. That’s why it’s called a blogsite.
Blog + Website = Blogsite
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) which, according to Wikipedia, is the “collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment.”
Since my conversion to WordPress and while gaining a Master Certificate of Internet Marketing, I’ve converted websites to blogsites for musicians, winemakers, and business people who have no intention of posting stories regularly. They just want the functionality of email aggregating, commenting, calendar updating, and connecting to social media sites. So, you don’t have to be a writer or a blogger to have a blogsite.
But if you are a writer and want to put your work out there, WordPress is definitely the way to go.
Right now, I’m working with the West End Writers Workshop to create a blogsite to allow members to critique their writing on line. Using the WordPress User interface, each member becomes a designated Author with their own ID and Password to give them access to update their own page with new writing. When members post an alert and a link on the Home page, the Subscribe2 plugin sends an email to all members. When they put their critiques in the Comments, those too are automatically emailed to members.
WordPress has allowed WEWW to become a virtual writing workshop.
Why I blog more
But don’t just take my word on WordPress. Read this WordPress review at PC Magazine to learn more before making up your mind which blog platform to use.
And happy blogging!