Before the next blogs about how to make the most out of your mental health blog I wanted to talk about why you should start one. I’ll be sharing a few of my mental health blogging tips to help you if you’re just getting started, or haven’t taken that first step yet.
I’ve specifically written these posts for those with mental health niche blogs, be it self care, recovery or just your personal ramblings. Writing about mental health is different from just having a company blog, it’s not just talking about your favourite cooking recipes or your holiday too.
When blogging about mental health, you’re sharing something personal to you. You’re letting yourself go and laying it all on your website for the Internet to see. This is a big thing. It’s scary. And that’s why I’ve written this guide. Because we’re not just writing and marketing random words – we’re sharing our stories.
Today I wanted to answer a big question. Why?
Before you start anything, I’d recommend working out what’s right for you. Spending hours writing and creating content for mental health is going to be tiring. First, you want to find your purpose – your reason for writing.
Working out your purpose means everything can link back to it. You’ll have a reason for writing and to keep going when it’s slow to start off. It will also give your blog a direction, which can help you know what to say next.
So what reasons do you have for writing?
I’m not going to answer this one for you. I’m not even going to ask you to select from a list. Because everyone has their own reasons for talking about mental health. It’s about figuring out yours.
Ask yourself why sharing your story matters? What can you share, who can you help? Sometimes simply sharing your story can help someone else know they’re not alone. You don’t need to be a psychologist or have qualifications to run a mental health blog. You should, however, have a reason.
I first started on the ChildLine message boards when I was 13. I didn’t have anyone to talk to about what I was going through. I wasn’t really confident in seeking help for myself at that time, so I made an account and started answering other people. Responding to people made me realise I could be useful and gave me a sense of purpose that I was actually doing something good.
From there, I wanted to write to more people. I wanted to reach a bigger audience, not just the 1:1 interaction on ChildLine. I started my blog in June 2018, and it was a way of me expressing what I wanted to say, rather than just replying to others.
So what matters to you?
Mental health is such a wide niche; there are so many avenues you could go down. It could be talking about campaigns and the latest issues, to sharing your own story, to making resources that people could use.
When thinking about your purpose, think about specifically, what you want to achieve. Why is a mental health blog the right thing for you? Why not talk about something else? This can be as broad as “I want to help people” or “I want to express my own story” to start with. Once you’ve nailed down your purpose and got your reason, you can then move onto making that more specific.
What people do you want to help? Are you talking about mental health in general or something more specific, like eating disorders? When you know exactly who you want to help, you can tailor your entire blog to that audience. This will help massively in growing your blog as it’ll give you a sense of direction which is not to be underestimated.
When you’ve got a purpose for writing, you’ll find the experience of starting your mental health blog so much easier.
So think about your purpose. The big why you want to start this. Keep that in mind when setting up your blog.