I thought I'd share why I started blogging in honor of my blog's 4th year! There are lots of reasons why I blog. It started when I did Stand-Up Comedy on the BigTen Network. My Stand-Up comedy is all about my Cystic Fibrosis. If you want to watch a clip of it, it's here (I start about 10 minutes into it- this was my 2nd time ever doing stand up, I was NERVOUS! lol)! It was pretty rewarding though being able to spread awareness via jokes on TV! Please, understand that I didn't make jokes directly about CF. Having CF itself, is not funny. However, CF can get you into some funny situations and we need to have a good outlook on life. Why be negative and sad all the time? PLUS, Why not share mine and raise awareness?!?! I graduated that semester from college (Fall 2010) and moved back to my hometown.
I felt like I wasn't doing enough for the CF Community. Nobody in my hometown, really had CF (those who did had already passed away), and our town didn't have any awareness events. My best friend (w/CF) Laura started to struggle more medically and she was pushing me to stay healthy and accountable for my meds (which I try my hardest). Laura and I would talk about certain topics (via phone) like how hard it was to have a disease where we can not go to support groups. We aren't supposed to be around others with CF, as we can spread superbugs. It was a tough time, I didn't have college or my social life to keep my mind off my CF anymore (in a good way). Therefore, I focused on it more (not obsessing, just being more proactive).
I realized those very topics we struggled with, probably a lot of other people were too. Around the end of 2011 (1 year post graduating), I started teaching myself web design & blogging, etc. So I decided why not test it out. On Feb 12th of 2012, I started my blog and that was the 1st year I started TEAM CF2 for Great Strides! Laura had introduced me to great strides in 2008 (last time we physically saw each other, before she grew some superbugs). We both started teams where we lived. I was so impressed with mine by the end of 2012! That gave me all the motivation I needed. I wanted to see how much bigger we could get and just HOW MUCH awareness we could spread! And today we are a National Great Strides Team, we have started our own Great Strides Walk in our small hometown, and its a big success! Thanks to the support of my team, we have raised (from our walks & teams)- over $40,000 since October 2012! -talk about motivation!
Once I started blogging I found other motivation too, which kept me determined to keep blogging, such as:
1. Keeping me accountable with meds
2. Meeting other CF patients and family through the blog
3. Spreading awareness, especially about certain topics
4. I could get feedback on certain topics from others
5. Being able to share, helps with coping.
But, blogging can be difficult. It is a time commitment. So to those new bloggers out there, hang in there. I promise it will either get easier or you will decide it isn't for you. But, don't let it take over your family or daily life!
Some things you can struggle with and how I dealt with it:
1. is anyone reading this blog?- I added a counter on the upper right hand side and I check my stats weekly.
2. Is it interesting? - I base this off the stats & if I get comments
3. I have no idea what to talk about- Switch it up
4. I don't have time to blog- I do it during meds... see ----->(pic on right)
5. How do I get readers- Find a way to "promote or advertise" & use pictures!
As you start, it is okay if you stumble. Heck, my first couple posts, were nothing amazing... Haha, check out my first post HERE- wow, a lot has changed!
Overall, my statistics on this (Blogger) platform tell me where my readers are from (country) and how many views I get. The way (I try) to make post's interesting, is just by being honest. I try not to just narrate how my day went, as that can be boring... Sometimes I will discuss my day & how CF affected it, health problems I'm having, or big topics like G-tubes, etc. I tend to blog once or twice a week during my meds. I usually try to take a few photos throughout the week that I can post. Did you know readers are WAY more likely to go into your post if you have a video or photo attached??? And the BIG blog question: How do you get readers: There lots of ways. I use social media for most of my "promoting." Every time I have a new blog post, I share it on Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes even on other websites!
I know in my last post I discussed all the GI problems that are back.. Well they have gotten a little better, and we are still trying to decide on the best course for me (new GI doc, etc). I'm scheduling my eye surgery on Feb 22nd too (so that will be at the beginning of march)! Gotta get everything figured out, Great Strides Season is approaching fast! Which I why I shared this post...
Last night we had a National Family Team Conference Call! We all discussed how we promote Great Strides and I realized my blog is my main source of advertising (along with social media)!
How do you promote your CF events? Have an idea to help? Why do you blog?
I will be posting some tips & tricks for my walkers, as well as challenges and competitions! I'm announcing a new giveaway as a celebration of my 4 years of blogging on my CF Facebook page! Make sure you like and keep your eyes open! And share your thoughts below.