Wow! I’ve already been blogging for 6 months. When I started I hoped a few friends and family would read my blog. I also wished others with Fibromyalgia would also visit and read as I write about life with chronic pain – I’m trying to raise awareness about this underfunded and often misunderstood invisible illness. My life has changed but I am determined that this chronic pain condition will not beat me and even though I’m often in severe pain I have been setting myself little challenges like learning to bake, cook and I’ve even made my own soap, laundry powder and jam. I enjoy learning new skills and working towards a goal; it keeps me motivated. I try to remain positive and my mantra is: ‘with pain comes strength’. I’m discovering that I am stronger than I ever thought.
In the early days my friends and family gave me positive feedback on my blog and encouraged me to keep blogging, I kept sharing about my life with a chronic pain condition and my readers increased slowly – I promoted each blog post on Twitter (to 45 followers), Pinterest (1 follower!), on my Facebook private account and on a Fibromyalgia forum. But I only promoted it once each time! Those lovely people who read my posts responded positively and I was starting to inspire other Fibromyalgia warriors to keep fighting and keep smiling. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the 1,000 visitors that returned each month.
I didn’t have a clue about the power of social media!
In September I joined a Facebook blogging group and I learned so much from other experienced bloggers. In the past 7 weeks I’ve started promoting my blog posts more frequently on Twitter and my followers have increased to 1268! I’m still getting the hang of Pinterest but I have increased my followers to 120. I joined Instagram and started posting pictures from my blog and pictures of my naughty cats and yummy food – I now have 1737 followers. I also finally got around to creating a Facebook page a month ago. And what effect has all of this promotion had on my blog? Well, my most popular post in September was ‘What do you know about Fibromyalgia?’, it had over 9000 views in one week. My blog has grown in popularity since then. I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive feedback I’ve received 🙂
But why am I happy about this growth in my readership? My goal is to raise awareness about Fibromyalgia. We need the government and the health department to recognise Fibromyalgia for what it is, a debilitating life-changing illness and give more funding to help find a cure. Fibromyalgia is an invisible illness, I may appear fine but it causes quite severe fatigue and severe pain. I’m also hoping to inspire others who live with chronic pain, I want to reach out and let them know that they are not alone in their battle.
So, what are my five top tips for new bloggers?
- Build a community of loyal readers. Write appealing and catchy blog titles, this will inspire people’s curiosity and attract them to your site. Write about something you are passionate about, let your personality and passion shine through your posts. Ensure that you write meaningful blog posts that will resonate with your regular readers. Encourage interaction wherever possible, talk directly to your readers and invite them to reply to your posts. Engage with them and always respond to their comments – let them know how much they mean to you.
- People love images, they add visual interest and help to break up text. Over the past month my food photos have improved. I have a better camera, I bought white plates to enhance the visual appeal of my food and I always try to include at least one close up image of the texture of the food. I hope to continue improving and learn to edit.
- Social media is powerful. You need to develop a promotion plan and follow it with the same amount of intensity you poured into writing your blog post. Join Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and create a Facebook page. Promote your blog regularly! EVERY DAY! I use Buffer to schedule my tweets – up to 10 a day. And best of all Buffer is free! You can download the app and schedule your tweets whilst you’re out living your life. Spend time liking and commenting on photos on Instagram that you love. I’m attracted to beautifully presented food, cute cats and mesmerising scenic views. Oh and pretty flowers! Include social media sharing buttons on your site, you want your regular readers to share your blog posts easily. One of my blog posts was shared over 4,100 times on Facebook alone. This has helped to raise further awareness about Fibromyalgia.
- Join a Facebook blogging group. Never underestimate the importance of networking with other bloggers. There is a wonderful community of bloggers out there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; ask questions, listen to advice and learn from more experienced bloggers. Engage with other bloggers, visit their blogs, show them some love – retweet interesting blog posts, follow them on a variety of social media platforms and comment on their posts. You might be asked to write a guest post on another blogging site, this is a wonderful feeling, a proud moment and it attracts new readers.
- And finally and most importantly – enjoy blogging. Stop worrying about stats. Work on creating great content and rewarding your regular readers. Have fun!
Thank you to all my readers. I hope you are gaining an understanding about what life is like for a Fibromyalgia warrior and if you do live with chronic pain please know that pain can change you but don’t let it define you. Use the love inside you to keep strong, to keep fighting and find some positivity in your life.
Keep smiling 🙂