Most of you will know that my motivation for starting this blog, was to raise awareness of brain injury. Based on my own dismal understanding of it before my car accident, I figured it’s likely that the majority of people are the same. As I explained in Trying to understand what’s wrong , blogging was the only way I could think of being able to get my message out there. I knew that with time and effort, it is possible to find an audience. The problem was I had no experience. I understood how to use keywords to search for what I want on the internet. But I didn’t have a clue how to set up a website.
I even had to take short cuts in my research.
Even though I was planning on doing this with no support, I decided I was definitely going to do it. My brain injury made me have rigid thinking, so once I set my mind on it, there was no going back. My starting point was to find what other bloggers recommended.
There are so many options out there, and I didn’t have the concentration to delve into it. What I did learn quite quickly was that if you go for a free site, only do it as a hobby. The reason is that as you aren’t paying for the domain name, the host can sell the name to someone else at any point. If it is just a short term thing you want to do, that’s fine. But knew I didn’t want to one day type in my web address and find another persons site open up in it’s place. For more details on Free vs Paid, Should I choose a Free or a self-hosted blogging platform? does a great job at outlining it for you.
Next it seemed the WordPress program was the most widely used for blogging. It you want to see a list of all the options, with their pro’s and con’s How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform in 2017 (Compared) does a great job at doing this. Again as I didn’t have the ability to complete my research from scratch, I decided I would go with the people vote. And the most recommended host site was Bluehost. As I knew nothing about how to do this, I needed a platform that would make it as easy and idiot proof as possible. But this isn’t an advert for Bluehost. Yes I paid good money so I could have a better chance of starting on the right foot.
A brain injury can make learning new things more challenging.
There were lots of terms I didn’t understand, it was like learning a new language. But I had time on my side, so just kept plugging away. Initially i just used images I found on Google and added text to them. But even if your blog isn’t generating money, you can be sued if you aren’t licensed to use that image. However it turns out there are some sites that have images you can use for free. I like Pixabay because it also is happy for you to alter the images.
As I write to support other brain injury survivors, I had to try to reach my audience. Facebook groups have been the best approach for me so far. Mostly because as they are support groups, their members want to talk about living post brain injury. But I know there’s many others out there. I’m still trying to work out how to reach those who favour other social media platforms.
Other than Facebook, I was a complete beginner when it comes to social media platforms. I had never sent a tweet, or even understood why people followed complete strangers. But that’s where my blog has taught me something new. There’s lots of amazing people out there, it’s amazing what you can learn from them. I have been lucky enough to receive a warm welcome from some wonderful people. I didn’t know them before, but they still offer me so much, through useful suggestions, and their open hearts.
If starting a blog something you really want to do, you can make it happen.
Whether you want to write it for your own therapy, or you want to make an impact, there are options out there for you. Yes it’s confusing, so be patient with yourself, and be prepared for the fact that you are always learning. Unlike a book for is no ending with a blog, only how long your commitment lasts.