Written by Hannah Blum, author of The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love
Many of the questions I receive are about my job as a mental health blogger. It excites me to have people reaching out for advice. I hope to see many more advocates blogging in the future. Here are 12 questions answered about mental health blogging.
How do you make people living without a mental illness interested in topics about mental illness?
If you want to reach a bigger and more diverse audience online and social media then making your posts relatable to people living with and without mental illness is essential. When I started my blog, I wanted to write posts with a message that would resonate with the everyday user. Outside of sharing your life as someone living with a mental illness, I would suggest discussing experiences that we all deal with such as heartbreak, losing a job, social media pressure, etc. Think about your own experiences and of those around you where mental health was present and use that as your foundation for creating. However, its important to remain loyal to your community of individuals living with mental illness. I relate general mental health topics to myself as someone living with bipolar disorder. Here are some of my posts that discuss mental health as it relates to everyone: 9 Things Mental Illness Has Taught Me About Life, To The Women Who Feel Too Much and Fall Too Hard: 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Feel Ashamed, How To Mentally Survive A Breakup: Stay Off Social Media
Do you face stigma as a mental health blogger?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes I do face stigma as a mental health blogger, but I was prepared for it before publishing my blog. Some statements and comments are more extreme than others but it’s always present. The most reoccurring stigmatized messages I receive are about relationships and love, specifically targeting women with bipolar. It doesn’t affect me as much as people think. I am not going to let ignorance stop me from accomplishing anything, or helping others, but easier said than done.
How long does it take you to create a single blog post?
It depends on the topic. Some posts I can write in a couple of hours, and others days to weeks. The post, Marilyn Monroe: What You Didn’t Know About Her Journey with Mental Illness, was in the works for years. I had been collecting books and researching Marilyn’s story for a long time. I wanted to make sure I had enough credible information to share a very personal piece about someone else’s life. I don’t like throwing things together just to publish more pieces on my blog. It’s about quality not quantity. I want people to feel my posts not just read them.
Do you work regular hours?
Not at all, but for me personally it is not a negative thing. Media is continuously active, and as a mental health blogger, I have to keep up with all platforms all day. My schedule is very flexible, and I work remotely which I am very grateful for, but there is no clocking out time. It’s definitely not your 9-5 job!
What does the job of a mental health blogger entail?
It entails many different things, especially since media platforms change so quickly. Maintaining my blog, researching, keeping track of insights, engaging with followers and creating posts for both my blog and social media are the main aspects of my job.
Being that you are public, how supportive is your family and are they happy you are outspoken about mental health?
My family is very supportive. Of course, like any parent would be, my mother and father were concerned that revealing my diagnosis could potentially harm my chances of getting a job. Even as a woman with bipolar, if my daughter told me that she was going to be public about a stigmatized condition I would be nervous. Some of my family is not happy or supportive, but the people who matter do, which is all I care about at the end of the day. I decided to start the blog before addressing it with anyone, including my family. It’s my journey, and my family supports the way I choose to walk it.
How do you make content that teaches and inspires people?
The content that inspires you will inspire others. When you are scrolling through your feed and come across a quote, image, post or statistic that makes you stop, share it or write a post about how it relates to your life and why it inspired you. I will find a video or read a poem that encourages me to share something about my own experience that is relatable to those who follow my blog. I hope some of my work can do the same for other bloggers.
What is your self-care?
My main self-care technique is allowing myself time to step back from my blog and media. My work suffers when I overdo it. Recently I lived in Portugal for a month and decided to take a break from Instagram and my phone. It’s important if you decide to blog that you take time to reflect and breaks when needed.
What has been the key to your success in blogging thus far?
Hard work, and remaining authentic in my message. Every day I am creating, researching, and working to improve my blog. I am not trying to fix or lecture people through my posts. Instead I want people to read my blog and feel like it’s okay to be different. I don’t mimic what everyone else is doing or what is considered “right” as a mental health blogger. I don’t pretend to be fixed or healed which makes my content relatable and inspires people with mental illness to love themselves.
What’s been the hardest part of working as a mental health blogger and public about your diagnosis of bipolar disorder?
Maintaining balance and times of uncertainty. Maintaining a balance between my social life and work life is difficult. It’s hard to financially support yourself being that mental health advocates, in general, receive little payment for their work which is something that needs to change. It’s looked at as a kind gesture rather than a professional platform that deserves a commission for the content produced. With that being said, living in uncertainty has become my normal which I both love and hate at the same time. We all face challenges, the question is, do you believe in yourself enough to take the risk and is it worth the sacrifice? My answer is always yes. I am reminded by my beautiful community every day why those challenges are worth overcoming.
How do you make an Instagram account as a mental health blogger?
Definitely start social media accounts that connect with your blog and advocacy. Check out my post- Want To Start A Mental Health Instagram Account: Here’s How To Do It.
Do you love it?
Absolutely. I’ve never regretted my decision to start a mental health blog and publicly open up about my mental illness.
Thank you to the people who sent me these questions on Instagram. You inspire me!
For more mental health content follow me on Instagram @hannahdblum