Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you blog happy birthday to you! One year old! I am so proud that I’ve managed to commit to something for a year, let alone people are still reading it. So from the bottom of my heart and stoma thank you for keeping this going, it is as much to do with you as it is me.
So a lot of my opportunities and experiences that I have gained have been because of my stoma. But being able to blog about them have opened up new doors that would have never occurred to me.
I started writing this blog because I needed to get out thoughts and feelings that I couldn’t verbalise. Sometimes just knowing that I had the blog as a place I could just vent helped. It has also meant that friends and family who wanted to know about everything that was happening could at relatively the same time. This worked well as I have a few friends stateside and now down under.
Everyday that I have at least one page view or a new follower here on on the Facebook page for the blog makes my day. I still get so happy that people want to read about my life and how I do things now with my stoma. Especially when I didn’t think people would care about another ostomy blogger. But I have made some really good friends through blogging.
Being able to send companies a post of my product review, has opened up doors for me that have new audiences as I now am a resident blogger for both Comfizz and Securicare. I felt really honoured to be asked by both companies to write for them, as it gave me a sense of external validation I guess. I hope I can keep finding topics people can enjoy and relate too.
I’ve thought about the things I have learnt or wish I knew when I started out and thought why not share that with other people? It’s not always about page views and stats. In no particular order and I mean that! Literally wrote them down as they came to me:
- Picking an image and sticking with it. I constantly think about changing mine but people can be more likely to remember a photo than a name. For example Nozar who owns Comfizz looked at my blogness card and knew my blog as I had written some reviews he had been shown all because of the image on the card. HOWEVER as I have the new website and new ventures I have updated my blogness cards, also I recently took part in an ostomy photoshoot for Purple Wings Charity and wanted to show a photo off!
- Write how YOU want to write. It is great to like the way someone else writes but it’s always easier and better to just be you.
- Write about what you want too. Lots of the “big” bloggers suddenly wrote about a topic you want too? Meh no worries write it anyway, then you either schedule it for a later date or just go ahead and post it. If you wanted too, you could always link them in and then you could always let them know, your point of view might be different due to your own life experiences anyway.
- Not all criticism is constructive – some is just jealousy. If it upsets you, write down a response to get your feelings out as you don’t need to tell the person.
- You can look for blogging groups that you post into and you can all share each others posts.I made one for ostomy blogs on Facebook, called Ostomy Blog Share. Periodically I share the page or blog on my Facebook page, but I always read the posts that are added into the group. It’s nice to have like minded people to talk too or even point someone in the direction of.
- Don’t be scared of social media use it to your advantage! On my old WordPress I had it linked it to my twitter so that it shares my post when I publish, even better I have learnt you can type in your tweet description before you publish. That makes it look better than just the link like I had been doing!! Share your posts in groups but I do suggest you make sure it complies with their rules first. Still need my friend Tiffin the Great to go through it with me again for this site! He is my techno wizzard (keeping the double Z for all the Discworld fans out there) if you would like any help with website design etc please visit here.
- Don’t expect a butt load of views straight away, a lot of bloggers seem to stop because they don’t always hit sky high views. I have a steady amount of views daily its only small but I appreciate them. You build a following slowly over time.
- Interact with your followers that comment – even if you just “like” their comment it shows you have read and acknowledged the fact they have taken the time to not only read your post but give their opinion; other peoples opinions are just as valid as our own even if we don’t agree.
- You don’t have to post everyday or be consistent we all have lives outside the blogisphere so don’t beat yourself up if you have a break.
- It is suggested you try to write everyday anyway whether its lists or short stories, draft ideas or a diary, it makes it easier to get things flowing if you have felt like you have hit *ahem* bloggers block (sorry but if there wasn’t some cheesiness it just wouldn’t be me!)
- If you have an abundance of things you want to write about, write them then schedule them for a couple of days, a week, a month! Whenever then you don’t have to worry about having too many posts then a dry spell, or just being too poorly to blog.
- Network! Go to events, local and national. Vary them up if you like so you have a wider range of people. Not only does it give you something to write about but you can mention your blog. I made up some blogness cards that I mentioned above and handed them to people at the events if they were interested, it saves time rather than hunting for a pen and paper.
- Carry a notepad and pen or pencil with you, so you can jot down ideas whenever they come to you. I would suggest your phone but you could be like me and practically living in battery saver mode! I’m a gaming addict I can’t help it!!
- Read other blogs – this is great because you can always learn something new and be inspired.
- Know that your writing skills can and will improve, never be embarrassed about where you started I’m sure not!!
- Be honest with yourself and your readers. Not only is this just good for you in general, but it will allow your readers to see the real you.
I hope that has been somewhat useful and maybe even inspired you to write if you have been thinking about it. If you do choose to write, make sure you add a link to the bottom of this post so I can read it and follow you.