I’m on my way to 3 years as a disability blogger now, so I felt like it might useful to give some tips to those who may be thinking about starting out as a disability blogger. So, here’s my top 5 tips for getting started as a disability blogger!
Know Your Collaborators
I think the key word here is collaborators, not competitors. Know the other disability bloggers that are around and making content, for me that’s people like Carrie Ann Lightley and Shona Cobb. These bloggers can give you other views on disability, particularly key since disability is an identity that everyone can experience, even if someone may have the same diagnosis as you. Other bloggers may also lead you to explore different angles on content that you didn’t see before, you might see something they post and think “I could expand on this point from my point of view” and then you have new content!
Write About What You Know
Write about things from your viewpoint of your disability and experience. Don’t write about the issues you don’t live with, for example, I only talk about accessibility from the viewpoint of a wheelchair user, and I wouldn’t talk about accessibility for a blind or visually impaired person because I don’t KNOW about that experience or what would be considered good accessibility. However, that’s where you can collaborate and reach out to other bloggers to get their viewpoint like I mentioned in point 1, or link to a specific blog post if you know they’ve already written on that topic.
Find Your Niche
Find your niche that you think will make you unique, this might be looking at your hobbies in terms of how they interact with your disability and how you experience that hobby. For me, I do that through my accessibility reviews of concert and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) venues. I mostly see my niche in the MMA venue accessibility reviews because I don’t see that content elsewhere (drop links in the comments if you do see that content around though), but MMA is also something I love very VERY deeply. I think that’s also key, find your niche but make sure it’s something you love, that love will show in the posts.
Not Everything Has To Be About Disability
Going back to talking about hobbies, talk about how much you love the hobby alongside the accessibility of it and how it interacts with your disability. OBVIOUSLY, my disability will come into everything I do because it’s a constant part of my life, but that doesn’t mean I have to mention it in every post. Another note is, if there’s no accessibility issues to talk about in a specific post, that’s a good thing! It means that the world is becoming more accessible, and that’s worth noting too.
Show the Good and the Bad
You need to be realistic and show both the good and the bad sides of disability. I see this most obviously in my accessibility reviews. The response to reviews for poor accessibility can lead to connecting with the venue and working with the them to increase accessibility and create change for the disabled community. However, by the same token, a review for a good accessible venue or company can provide a shout out for that venue or company, which can drive more business their way as disabled people will be more likely to go somewhere if it’s accessible, and the Purple Pound (the money from disabled people’s buying) is worth a fair bit. This extra business is particularly welcome if it’s a small business or venue you’re reviewing, such as this Bed and Breakfast in Liverpool that I reviewed and encouraged everyone to go for their “work with the customer to make things accessible” attitude.
I hope these tips help a new disabled blogger get started in their new venture.
Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)