I didn’t start a blog to talk about blogging. That was the furthest thing from my mind.
I started my blog to survive. I needed a way to release ALL of the hate that I was feeling inside. From the outside, I had a great life.
I was married to a man who loved me.
I had 2 beautiful children.
We had just moved to a new province.
Everything from the outside appeared to be normal. Appeared to be what I wanted.
BUT inside those walls, was a whole different story.
My husband and I fought. There were moments when I didn’t think we would make it.
I hated who I was.
I thought that I was ugly.
Every morning I would wake up and question where I was in life and how I got to where I was. Yes, I loved my children but I wanted so much more. I wasn’t fulfilled. I wasn’t happy.
I started my blog to get the darkness out into the light so that I could truly begin my life. I needed to learn how to love the after version of myself.
BLOGGING TO SHARE YOUR STORY
I believe that EVERY woman should have a blog. We are all made up of stories. Words that create who we are. Powerful change begins when we can take those stories that we are made up of and begin to change the lives of others.
I remember hitting publish on my first blog post. There was this instant relief that washed over me. I no longer had to keep my secret. I no longer felt like everyone was staring at me, knowing my deep secret.
I didn’t think anyone would read it. To be honest, that was okay with me. I was perfectly happy with no one reading it. Once I started getting messages from women, my life changed. These women, whom I had never met before, were cheering me on. They were on the sidelines of my life but it felt like they were right next to me, holding my hand.
They were the motivation that I needed to continue. To continue sharing my story led to me healing on a level that I never knew was possible.
These women didn’t even realize the impact that they were having on me. I would print out their messages and keep them close to me so on the hard days, I could remember why I was sharing my story. They kept me moving forward when all I wanted to do was give in.
We all have a story inside of us. Well, we all have many stories inside of us. They have helped us build who we are, why we do what we do, and who we want to become.
Our past is someone’s current reality.
There is someone right now, that is struggling with what you have gone through. Someone who is desperately looking to know that they are not alone. They want to do this without bringing attention to their pain point. They want to remain anonymous but feel like they are connecting with someone. You could be that someone.
TIPS TO HELP YOU START YOUR MENTAL HEALTH BLOG
Stories have been such an important piece of every culture for thousands and thousands of years. You know you have a story to share but you really don’t know where to begin. I am going to share with you tips on how to start your mental health blog. Some of these tips are going to be technical. Some of these tips are going to be emotional.
TIP 1| Write down why you want to share your story.
Now, you don’t need to say that you want to help people. For me, that wasn’t why I started. I started to get it out of my head. I started because it was keeping me stuck in one place and I just couldn’t move forward.
No one needs to know why. Write it in your journal. Get brutally honest with yourself because that is the only way that you are going to be able to succeed.
TIP 2| Start a journal.
I recommend doing this if you aren’t already doing it because it is a great way to document your emotions. I wish that I had journaled more after my sexual assault so that I could know now what I was actually feeling at that moment. I wish I could go back and reread what I wrote to see how far I have come.
I know that I write powerful posts when I am highly emotional. I also know that sometimes, I can get stuck when I am so emotional and my writing may not make sense. Journaling is a great way to get the emotions out and allows you to sit with them before using them on your blog.
TIP 3| Don’t overthink your writing.
We want everything to be perfect. So much so that we will not publish something or write something because the words just don’t come out right. I do it sometimes.
I am here to tell you to just publish. Write what is coming to you and keep writing.
TIP 4| You do NOT need to be perfect.
You aren’t here to be perfect. You are here to heal, share your story, and continue moving forward in your life. There is no such thing as perfection and the sooner that you realize that the more you will take chances with your writing.
Plus perfection is boring. Take the leap and publish that emotional blog post. Be yourself because that is how your story is going to make an impact.
TIP 5| Be truthful with where you are.
You do not need to have all the answers. When you are starting a mental health blog, the biggest thing to remember is that you are sharing a journey. You do NOT have to have it all figured out to make a difference in your life or someone else’s.
I prefer when someone doesn’t have it figured out. I get to watch them grow and learn while they are helping me do the same. Do not hide where you are or who you are because you aren’t where you want to be. Embrace that and show it. That is when a real and true connection happens with your readers.
TIP 6| Just hit publish.
You finally have the words on a document. They are there and ready for the world to read but you haven’t yet pushed that little publish button.
Remember, if you are just starting, more than likely, no one is even going to know that blog post exists yet. Hit publish and wait minutes, days, weeks, or even months before you share it. Just hit publish and keep moving forward.
You can also start small and share the link with 3-4 of your closest friends. Hear what they think.
For me, it was easier to share it with strangers than it was to share it with my closest friends and family. So if that is the case, find a Facebook group that you can share it in or even share it to your Instagram feed.
TIP 7| Have a coping strategy for negativity.
I was lucky that I didn’t get much negativity in the first few months of blogging. Most of the comments and feedback that I received were helpful and inspirational but we all know that social media makes it easier for people to say mean things.
How are you going to handle it if you get a negative comment? I recommend having a close friend that you can go to when these things happen. Create some self-care rituals that you can easily do.
I want you to remember that you will get negative comments and that is okay. You aren’t meant to be everyone’s favorite. People have differing opinions for many reasons and at the end of the day, that doesn’t matter. Keep doing you. It will get easier as you keep blogging. I promise.
TIP 8| Know what you are ready to share.
You don’t need to share everything on your blog. After all, it is yours and you get to choose what you want to share.
I suggest that you write a list of content ideas that you are ready to share. You can continue to add to this list. I would also suggest that you write a list of content ideas that you are not quite ready to share yet. Someday, you may be ready.
It can be scary to put your story out into the world and that is normal. You will learn the ins and outs of blogging as you go so I don’t want you to worry about the technical side of blogging in the beginning. I want you to focus on sharing your story.
If you would love help with starting your blog, I am taking two 1:1 blog coaching clients for the month of February. Let’s get your mental health blog up and running.