Using Your Blog at SparkPeople.comBlogging Basics for SparkPeople Members
-- By Jen Mueller, SparkPeople Community Leader
I remember the first time I heard the word blog. I had to ask for an explanation, and even then wasn't exactly sure why I should be interested in reading, much less writing, a blog myself. According to Merriam-Webster, a blog is "a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer." The more familiar I became with blogs, the more I discovered how helpful they could be, and how I could use SparkPeople.com to meet all of my blogging needs.
The popularity of blogs has skyrocketed over the past few years. There are currently about 15.5 million active blogs, up from 5 million in 2003. (This includes all blogs, not just those on SparkPeople.) What's more, Internet users create over 120,000 new blogs every day. More than just a passing trend, blogging is here to stay.
With so many bloggers as it is, why should you do it, too?
A blog is your own personal outlet, where you can voice your opinion, share your ideas, and reflect on the changes you're making. Blogging on your SparkPage (whether it's a written or video entry) is a great way to update people on your progress, share your ups and downs, and talk about anything and everything that interests you. When you post an entry about how you had a bad day, for example, you'll often get encouraging comments from other members who've been there, telling you to pick yourself up and start again. When you post about your accomplishments, others can congratulate you on your success. And even if no one comments, your blog is still helpful to you (just like conventional journaling is), and to anyone else who stops by to read (or view) it.
As an extra bonus, blogging on SparkPeople is a good way to get involved with the vibrant and positive SparkPeople Community. We've found that members who are active in our Community tend to lose more weight than those who are not as involved. That's just another reason that blogs can be a helpful tool in your healthy lifestyle journey.
Using SparkPeople.com for All of Your Blogging Needs
We recently launched some new features that allow you to customize your blog and make it easier to do all of your blogging right here at SparkPeople.com. Now you can post multiple photos on a single blog entry. You'll also see links to more blog posts to the right of each entry, as well as links that make subscribing to blogs quick and easy! You can choose to post a written entry, or do a video blog. Your real-world friends can also follow your blog through an RSS feed or email subscription, too, even if they aren't members of SparkPeople.com.
Your SparkPeople blog doesn't just have to be about your weight loss or health goals either. You can write or talk about a wide variety of topics that interest you.
Now that you know why you might want to blog, how do you get started? You'll find a link to your blog on your Start page (look in "My Community" column) and on your SparkPage.
To add an entry, click on "Blogs" at the top of your SparkPage, then on the "Add a New Blog Entry" button on the right if you want to do a written entry. Simply fill in the title and body of your blog and then click "Post Blog Entry" at the bottom. Or you can click "Add a Video Blog", and then upload the blog from your personal computer. You're on your way! (Yes, it is that easy.) Also, be sure to tell your friends and family about your blog to get additional support as you work toward your goals!