Guest post by Eve Grzybowski
Last year I earned part of my income with the impetus of my two WordPress blogs, Yoga Suits Her and YogaAnywhere. How? Yoga teachers who have been inspired by articles they have read on Yoga Suits Her have invited me to teach workshops as a guest teacher. Even though I live remotely and am semi-retired, I stay in the public eye through my blogging.
YogaAnywhere is an online business for selling yoga-related products, including practice cards and posters. The posts I write on this blog allow our potential customers to learn more about yoga, practising, props, and sequencing, for instance. My writing aims to inspire and support students in doing home practice.
I now come across as a big promoter of blogging, but it wasn’t always so, even though I was an ‘early adopter’.
In 2006, I was embarking on a new journey, that of communal living. A friend encouraged me to document my experience by regular writing on a blog created for this purpose, TheVilleBlog.
Truth be told, I was so afraid of having my writing appear on a global forum that I started out mainly publishing photos. A toe in the water to begin with, yet my small audience liked these images. Gradually I became braver. I was strengthening writing muscles that had been dormant since university.
As of today, I’ve published 1,060 posts on Yoga Suits Her, 76 posts on YogaAnywhere, and untold numbers over a three-year period on TheVilleBlog.
A valuable lesson I learned in those early days is that there is no such thing as bloggers’ block because even that can become another topic to write on.
Here are the main benefits I’ve enjoyed by plunging into blogging:
1. Getting teaching work
I’ve built a network that is global in reach. People know who I am and what I’m about. My blog is a bridge that connects me with a wide audience. It’s up to me how much and for what purpose I want to cultivate it.
2. Establishing credibility
The posts I write and the expertise I share demonstrate my knowledge in the field of yoga. People see that I have skills in teaching older students, that I am a teacher trainer, and have wisdom born of 33 years in the field. Rather than being put on the back shelf which can happen to teachers who are older and semi-retired like myself, I’m still called on for teaching, presenting, giving interviews and advice.
3. Selling products
If you have an online business, a blog will help your customers understand more about your product and how to use it. Your in-depth posts will help give your clients answers to their questions or pique their curiosity. You will also get feedback about what you are selling and that may lead to improving your product.
4. Becoming published
I was already a published author when I took up blogging, but these days, publishers are less likely to take on an unknown author. Your blog is your platform for becoming an author. A friend who wrote a book published it on her blog, a chapter at a time, and now Amazon sells the book for digital readers.
5. Keeping on learning
Writing posts will give you the motivation to keep up on the latest information relating to topics you are presenting. You will be researching books and the internet, contacting individuals, finding quotes and images. Over a nine-month period, I wrote a post on each of the 196 Yoga Sutra. I studied 10 different compilations of Patanjali’s Sutra, as well as researching the internet. It was the equivalent of doing a self-study philosophy course. As a result, I was able to create a 6-week Sutra course that I then marketed through social media and my blog.
6. Become a better writer and communicator
Even though I could always write reasonably well, daily blogging sharpened my skills. I use an editing program for feedback on how to write more powerfully and succinctly. Along the way, I’ve also learned about myself. The expression “How do I know what I think till I see what I say?” applies here. Your blog can be a way of distilling your thoughts, fashioning them and sometimes propelling you in surprising, new directions.
7. And, last and best –personal development
In the same way you place yourself on your yoga mat day after day, the time you spend blogging can bring you up against the most essential and real parts of yourself. What may have started out as a thing you should do and a way to collect an audience, might just become the very thing that has you evolve into your best self.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, was one of my writing mentors, even before I started blogging. She has said that we should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living. She’s thrown down the gauntlet for all who are sitting on the fence, those who have a book in them or maybe a blog. She says: “We should write above all because we are writers, whether we call ourselves that or not.”
Perhaps it’s time for you to take the plunge!
Eve Grzybowski has been teaching for 33 years, practicing yoga continuously since 1971, and training yoga teachers since the early nineties. She founded and directed two yoga schools in Sydney, has two published books, Teach Yourself Yoga and The Art of Adjustment, and has written yoga-related articles for overseas and Australian periodicals. Eve has been an almost-daily blogger since 2006 and continues to teach yoga workshops and courses.