Have a blogging question? You can submit it here! Don’t be shy! You can even submit it anonymously.
A member of the Chronic Illness Bloggers community recently submitted the following blogging question:
“How do I market a blog post where I describe my medical condition and my struggle? In essence, I’m not providing any solution and therefore, any value to the reader. I can write a blog post about myself, but thinking about 8 feet to describe it without turning people off due to my narcissism is difficult.”
My short answer to her question is I wouldn’t market a blog post about my medical condition and struggle – unless I was able to offer my readers some sort of helpful information in the process. If you follow any popular blogging teachers, you’ll hear them say over and over again: Know your audience and consistently provide content that helps them to solve their problems.
Some of you aren’t going to like what I’m about to say, but here goes: I think some bloggers make the mistake of talking too much about themselves on their blogs. Before I started my blog, I spent some time looking at other chronic illness-related blogs, and I found that some of them are basically just outlets for the blogger to complain about their bad days. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. It is nice sometimes to read another’s words and know that you’re not alone in your suffering, but if you really want to have a successful blog with lots of traffic, then your content needs to focus more on solutions and less on your personal story.
Instead, use your health struggles as an opportunity to help others. Here’s an example: Let’s say you’ve been having a really big problem with fatigue. Sure, you could bang out a blog post that says, “I haven’t been able to blog in 6 weeks because I am so tired, I’ve barely gotten out of the bed, blah, blah, blah….”
But how does that help anyone – except giving yourself a platform to vent your frustrations?
A better alternative is to briefly share your personal struggle and then pivot your post so that you tell your readers how you dealt with that challenge. What strategies did you use to improve your energy levels? What has helped you the most? Your readers may be able to apply some of those same strategies in their own lives and feel better themselves. That makes your personal struggle useful to them!
There are a couple of situations where I think focusing on your personal story is appropriate. Make sure you have a strong “about me” page. Anyone who wants to learn about you personally is going to click over to that page.
You can also share your personal story and build your readership via other websites and publications. For example, I’ve written about my fibromyalgia and Lyme journey in a local magazine and have gained some new readers in the process. Through guest posting and/or freelance writing, you’re reaching a new audience and potentially driving new readers to your blog.