Sharing your story online
- Consider whether to make your blog public or personal, open or anonymous.
- Consider blogging anonymously if that is safer – but be aware that a falling out with a friend could result in you being outed, so be careful.
- If you are sharing your personal story, then you are effectively a peer worker – representing other people who have similar experiences to you. It may help to think about what makes a good peer worker when writing your blog.
- Decide on boundaries of what you won’t share before you start writing. Don’t share information that could be used to track you down, eg. photos of your front yard.
- Work out what your point is and stick to it in each post. If you are writing several thousand words, try breaking the post up into parts. People read these on the bus in to work; they want to be able to digest a post in one sitting.
- Don’t traumatise your reader with unnecessary details about intense situations. Certainly share things but be aware that graphic descriptions of abuse for example, may cause distress.
- Learn from other people. Follow blogs that are about similar topics to those you want to write about and see how they manage things. Model your way of blogging from those more experienced. (Never copy someone else’s work though!)
- Invite feedback from your readers, they will often have invaluable insights.
- It often helps to picture a specific person that you are writing to, perhaps a close friend. If your blog is public, edit your work with a more challenging audience in mind – your most difficult relative, your future employer, your kid.
- If in doubt – less words, more pictures.
- If in doubt – sleep on a post. If you’re still uncertain the next day, don’t put it up. Write something else instead and come back to it later. Yes, you can edit or delete your work later, but with the internet – once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.
- If you are impulsive, structure your blog to allow you ‘cooling off time’. Schedule all posts for a week or two ahead to give you time to reconsider.
- Post reliably. Set a pace and stick to it. Let your readers know what it is. If they have come to expect that you post every Sunday, they will come looking for new material on Sundays. If you deliver, they will return. But don’t worry about this if it’s too hard. Decent content is better than being reliable.
- Promote your blog using whatever social media you’re comfortable with. Commenting on similar blogs will also lead people to find yours.
- If your blog becomes popular, expect troubles. That’s just the way of the internet, nasty comments or emails will happen at some point. Delete, moderate, block, and take care of yourself.
- Never “delete” your blog, this just blocks your access but leaves it on the net. Delete the content of each post and save it empty, and then delete the blog.
- Think about what you are trying to do – share your art? Raise awareness? Showcase your pets? Tell funny stories? Share recipes? Blogs with focus are good to read.
More suggestions for starting your own blog.