Why You Should Blog About Mental Health—and How You Can Make a Living Doing It
The time to hide is over!
People think that blogging about something personal is a death sentence for their reputation. Even in this day of personal freedom, most are still scared to talk about things that matter.
Mental health is one of those things.
I am someone who has battled severe mental illness his entire life. I know what it’s like to stick my neck out for something I believe in. Over the years, I’ve written hundreds of articles and essays. I've written from a personal perspective. I've also written from my position as an advocate for change in the mental health industry.
There is still a whole lot of stigma associated with people who admit they battle mental health issues. I’ve been lucky enough that the stand I’ve made hasn’t affected me in a negative way. I’ve challenged the critics and came out whole on the other end.
Many people on the web write about their mental health issues and enjoy huge loyal followings. In my research for this post, I found 120 without even trying!
Blogging has been around for a long time and is here to stay. Some people may feel weird writing about mental illness, but there is nothing wrong with it.
What about making money from your pain? Isn't that terrible?
Why not? It’s yours to do with what you want. You don’t need permission.
You should know...
I’ve built and launched many blogs over the years. Some were successful; some were not.
The most important thing you should know is that you must be consistent. You should write well enough to keep people interested. Even if you are writing about mental illness. People are still coming to you for entertainment or information.
It’s hard work.
The days of having a blog where you jot down a few thoughts every few days are over. You have to create engaging and enjoyable content to keep people coming back for more. That is if you want anyone to read what you write.
Blogging is and will always be a great form of therapy. Being able to write down deep thoughts is rewarding and fulfilling.
The Pros and Cons of Blogging
Blogging can open a wide range of opportunities for you, but it might be hard to make money right away. I am not saying you can’t make any money. Once you have spent enough time building your audience, you can run ads (if you must. I dislike ads) and do affiliate marketing, which can be very profitable.
You can even create your own products! Write an eBook about your experiences. Create a course around the methods you used to defeat depression. Write an app that helped people manage their illness.
If your goal is to become a great writer, blogging will allow you to get the practice you need. You should start writing often and improve over time. Also, you should learn what makes for great writing on the web (CopyBlogger is a great resource). It will help you improve so you can build other types of content, like video. I’ve seen people move on to write books and novels. Many do speaking tours and become influencers in the mental health field.
Writing a blog is downright fun. Some of my most enjoyable times were writing on my computer, crafting stories. You also get to meet a lot of great people, some of whom will go on to become friends. If you are like me and deal with social anxiety, it’s hard to meet people in the “normal” manner. Writing a blog is a great way to break the ice!
While many blog and enjoy it, people do get discouraged with their progress and quit. I should know; I’ve quit many blogs in the past!
The ones who do make money have patience and work hard. They are always learning to promote. They also work to become better writers with every post and can tell a good story.
Blogging involves a lot of hard work. You can start part-time. But you will find that your blog (or blogs) will start taking more and more time. If you are not serious, and can’t commit, it may not be the best route for you.
If you are sensitive, be careful! Prepare to get hurtful comments from time to time. There are people that will not like everything you write and then there are the people who are out to be hurtful. There are bastards and hateful trolls. You need to develop a thick skin and learn to ignore. I found the best thing is to delete their comments and never give them a second thought.
You don't know the first thing about starting a blog?
Don’t worry. Nobody knows anything when they first start.
The nice thing about having a blog is you can choose to write anonymously or not. Both options have their benefits.
If you are in recovery, this is a great first step to entrepreneurship. Even if the blog is not a hit, you will start to come up with other ideas. You will also find other opportunities that you would never have thought of before.
The community of mental health bloggers is a great place to make lifetime friends and network with like-minded people. You can talk to others who have gone through many of the things that you have. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and meet people!
There are many things you will learn along the way about blogging. But, above all, you should be a great storyteller. Even with a subject like mental illness, people want to read something interesting. And, they want entertainment in what they are reading.
If you don’t know if you are a great storyteller, read a few blog posts on the subject. You can learn anything, so don’t feel like you don’t have what it takes right away.
Again, you should always be consistent. Don’t write three articles a week for a month then go silent for a year. You must keep up with it and put in the work.
Remember, blogging is fun, even when you are talking about mental health!
Even if you intend to make money with your blog, make the process pleasurable for yourself. If it doesn’t feel like you are working, you are much more likely to be successful.
My days of blogging have been awesome, and I have learned some great lessons along the way.
Get in there and start a blog and see what happens!
The worst that could happen is you could enjoy yourself!