You’re tuning in to week 3 of Word to the Newbies! Every Monday through August I’ll be featuring a guest blogger sharing what one thing they wish they knew when they first started blogging.
Today’s guest is one of my IRL besties, Samantha from The Peanuts Gang. She’s a social media strategist, wanna-be television star, and a really amazing friend (hugs!). Her word to the newbies is one that’s near to my heart – blogging through struggle.
Oftentimes, when you first start blogging or go through a blogging drought, you wonder what you should even write about. Is what you have to say worth sharing? In those moments, head back to what you know. For me, it’s been opening up and being transparent in the midst of struggle. Intensely personal and often difficult, why share the struggle?
1. Personal Knowledge
Most often, it’s something you know extremely well. Whether you are in the midst of the experience or well beyond, sharing painful experiences creates words to type out and exposes you to a wealth of possibilities and opportunities. You usually know the situation well, so it’s simply taking something you are already familiar with and translating that into a post.
Whether you’re going through it at the time or reflecting on the past, opening up a part of yourself lends itself to a time of healing and renewal. Working through your feelings through a post or series of posts is often cathartic and therapeutic. You have the opportunity to say, share, and think whatever you’d like because it’s your space.
3. “Thank you for sharing” and the art of finding comrades
The willingness to lay bare before an audience is intensely frightening, but can also be insanely freeing. Your experience becomes a page of words and in the process, has the ability to reach someone at the deepest level, either in that same experience or something similar. When I opted to share about my miscarriages, I opened wounds that I thought had been closed for a good long while, but I exposed them. In return, I received countless messages of people thanking me, feeling free to talk about something they so desperately longed to share with someone. Your struggle just may be what someone needs to hear in that moment.
So you’ve decided to share. Now what?
Be detailed and be specific.
If your struggle is weight loss, share what you’ve done, what you’ve struggled with and how you’ve overcome it (or if you’re still in its midst). Be honest with your audience about where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re headed.
Use pictures to illustrate a point.
Pictures speak a thousand words and can enhance what you say in your post even more. This post about my weight loss update was made even more powerful by the picture.
Answer your readers.
When they reach out to you, engage with them. You may need it, they may need it, but regardless, create and build relationships. Some of my best relationships have been born out of struggle.
Regardless of the struggle, keep sharing. Write a new post with a fresh twist. Share the same post with a new hashtag. Share at different times of year, share via email, think outside the box. Not only will this help with the basics of pageviews, but it also creates the opportunity to bring your struggles to the forefront.
Do you find it difficult to share your struggle? What things might you share that would get others to connect more deeply with you?
About the Author
Full-time wife & mommy, part-time marketing guru, professor, licensed (not practicing) attorney, recent runner, lover of all things technological (usually), and generally happy person! You can also find her blogging at Chicago Parent and Fandango.