If you are blogging about your journey, be it a health, travel, career, parenting, or some other kind of journey, for goodness sake, please blog about your journey! Sound like a dumb thing to say? If you’ve ever followed blogs that purport to be doing this, you’ll know that it’s not.
When someone comes across a journey blog and decides to read it, it’s usually because they are about to embark on the same journey or are currently going through it, so they genuinely want to read about the author’s progress and insights. But all too often what they’ll find is an abandoned blog or something like “Billy’s Vegan Weight loss Blog” only to find Billy blogging about the new Pug he got at the pound for the past 15 posts.
A blog that records someone’s journey can be a wonderful resource and source of knowledge, support and inspiration for those on the same journey. But after the novelty of blogging about the journey starts to wain, an author may begin to treat the blog like a daily journal and the journey becomes secondary. It’s important to keep in mind that the journey is not secondary to the blog’s readers, it’s the primary reason they are there. Think about these folk when you write and design your journey blog. Blurring the personal with the specified purpose of your blog is fine. But just make sure you do it in a way that is interesting and reflected in your categories structure.
If I’m on a nutrition blog and I click on the category “glucose intolerance”, that’s what I want to find blog posts on, not something Dr. Phil said about parenting. I do not want to wade through every vaguely and obscurely relevant post. I’m on your blog because I’m interested in glucose intolerance and I want to read about it. If you don’t have your posts organized properly, I’m not going to waste my time trying to find them, I’ll go elsewhere. Pick a category and stick to it. If many labels apply, use tags, that’s what they’re for. I’ve come to your blog looking for useful information – are you going to help or hinder me in that quest? Presuming you write great content for your blog, do your readers a favor and ensure new visitors can easily navigate your blog to find it. If they want to know about the Pug, they’ll click the Pug tag or category.
I make these comments as an avid blog reader and fan of the blog journey format. If you really must blog about your new pug and facts about your daily life (it’s OK, we all do it from time to time) either start another blog for that purpose or make sure you use your blog categories consistently.
Some useful things to include in a journey blog:
I’ll use a health blog on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) as an example.
Your Story – New visitors want to know on what authority you are blogging about PCOS. A few paragraphs outlining your story is all that is necessary. In most cases people will only read the first two paragraphs anyway, so keep it to the point and don’t waffle on. Leave the detail for other blog pages and posts. Create links to the page topics below.
Timeline – Provide a timeline of your journey up to the present moment, from the appearance of symptoms, to diagnosis, treatment, successes etc. This will provide your readers with an overview of your journey thus far. They will be able to see, for example, that you started treatment for a problem in July and achieved results in October, showing that it took three months to achieve a result with that particular treatment. It also shows in one page that you have make progress in your journey, which will add to your credibility on the subject. A timeline will also be a useful reference for yourself and health care providers.
Treatment – When people search online for information on a health problem they’re usually looking for treatment options. Summarize for your readers what you are receiving treatment for, what treatments you have tried for each, what works, the side effects, etc. These are the kind of things people who are newly diagnosed want to know. They want to know what the treatment options are and what success people have had with them.You could link to blog posts or tags where relevant. There’s no need to duplicate content on this or any other page. Your blog posts can do into more detail on each. A page like this will break the information down and make it easier for people to find.
Your Goals – What are your goals for your health journey? Goals are something that are often overlooked when it comes to health journey blogs, but setting them is a particularly useful thing to do, not only will it focus your energies for addressing your own health issues, it will provide key areas for you to blog about. For example, if you’re writing a PCOS blog, the goals may relate to: loosing weight, changing your diet, hirsutism, acne, and infertility (these goals could become categories on your blog, make sure you link to each category archive on this page if you do). If new visitors to your blog can learn quickly and easily that they share the same goals as you, they are more likely to subscribe to your blog. When you achieve your goals or make significant progress, update your timeline.
If you found this post useful or you have a journey blog of your own, please feel welcome to comment below.