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1 in 5 adults suffer from a mental illness in any given year – and those are just the ones who talk about it. Blogging helps me with my mental health symptoms in a number of ways. Is blogging a way for you to cope with anxiety and depression too?
I’ve had a diagnosis of panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder for over 10 years now. It took me all of those 10 years to really feel comfortable talking about this part of my life, and even still I keep in hidden from certain situations and people. I’ve had really great, easy times in my life, and I’ve had dark, difficult times too. I can’t say for sure what causes this in me, but I’ve come to accept that my brain just works differently than “normal” sometimes. I’ve built up coping skills and ways to help with my anxiety, and blogging is just one of the things that helps me with my mental health symptoms. Here’s why:
A Safe Place to Share
This is MY blog. I write it, I manage it, and I decide what content shows up on it. I could publish this post right now and set it to private so that nobody could ever read it. I could also share it over every social media outlet and start conversations with hundreds of people. This website is my own open book to do with what I choose.
Is the internet a safe place? Definitely not. There is some risk of trolls and other people who might not care for my blog or for me. I’m ok with that. It’s a risk I’m willing to take in order to have my own piece of the internet in which to speak my mind and my heart.
Since starting Be Ideal, I’ve interacted with all types of bloggers – those who also blog about mental health and those who blog about other things like parenting, food, or fashion. All of them have taught me things, and I have people who I can go to with questions or ideas. Readers leave comments on posts letting me know that they understand what I’m telling them, and that they appreciate my content. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As I mentioned before, at least 1 in 5 people experiences mental illness. People need the information that I provide here, and that makes me feel good.
A Healthy Creative Outlet
Writing is an enjoyable creative outlet that just about anyone can do. You don’t need a degree in journalism to be a blogger – you just need to want to write.
At the end of the day, my blog is one thing in my life that I’m really proud of. I make a few bucks here and there, I reach people every day, and I enjoy spending time creating the content you see here. Win-win-win!
You know, You could start a blog too.
You could write about YOUR experiences and the way that you see the world. You could teach people what you know about any number of topics. You could carve out your space in the vastness of the web. I highly recommend it. Below are some resources for you to get a blog started for yourself. I’ve done this a few times and know which companies/platforms to avoid, so I’ll share with you what I DO use in order to create a blog that looks great and has the potential to bring in money from ads and such.
**NOTE** If you plan on at any point making money from your blog, stay away from platforms such as blogger.com or wordpress.com. These sites will allow you to have and publish a blog, but they don’t allow advertising, and if they do it’s very limited. You’re also building a blog on someone else’s platform, which can be problematic. Using WordPress.org and having your own hosting allows you ownership and freedom to do what you like.
How to Start a Mental Health Blog (or any kind of blog) – The quick and easy step by step to-do list:
1. Choose a domain name. Don’t be bummed when the exact one you want isn’t available. Choose the next best .com and move on.
You can buy your domain name in a bunch of different places, but I like Namecheap.com. You’ll get the cheapest prices here – so cheap that you might even buy more than one domain name – just in case 🙂
2. Get Hosting. There are choices here, but I personally use SiteGround. I find their customer service to be top notch. I’ve used some of the other big names, and I have to say I like Site Ground much better than any of them. Having your own domain and hosting is IMPORTANT if you ever plan to make any money from your blog. You can’t blog on someone else’s platform, you need your own space. This costs a little bit of money. Probably $15 for a domain and between $50-100 for a year of hosting. It’s worth it. You’ll work harder to get the blog up and running when you have some cash in the game.
3. Install WordPress. If you choose a good Host, they will do this for you or give you an easy way to do it yourself.
4. Give Your Blog a Title. This can be the same as your domain name, or different. But you will need a name.
5. Consider the design of your blog. Starting out, there are plenty of free templates in WordPress that you can use. I moved on to a theme from Elegant Themes (I use Extra) once I was comfortable enough. You can find some gorgeous themes at RocketTheme at fairly low prices too.
6. Start Writing! No need to write 20 posts before publishing the blog. Make it live immediately and publish your first blog post. This will give you momentum.
OK, so that was really quick. Literally the 6 steps you need to start a blog off right. Nothing more, nothing less. After you do these things, THEN focus on improvement because you can only get better from here.
Need help getting started? Reach out to me. I will help in any way that I can!