People blog for many reasons. Some write blogs to promote a business or product; others use their corner of the virtual universe as an unfiltered brain dump spot. The best way to write a blog is find the sweet spot somewhere in the middle, where you are able to share your personal story whilst avoiding the narcissism trap. This can be surprisingly hard to do!
The Art of Blogging
Successful blogs reach huge audiences whereas only the author and their family read less successful blogs. Good writers share their personal stories eloquently and with great insight. Blogging about difficult personal events is cathartic for the writer and helpful for the reader who has had similar experiences. For ex-military personnel, blogging can be an invaluable outlet for emotions they find hard to share with family and friends.
Dealing with Mental Health Disorders
Ex-military personnel are just as susceptible to mental health disorders as the rest of the general population. In a recent survey of UK armed forces members, 19.7% reportedly had common mental health disorders such as depression and 4% had post-traumatic stress disorder.
Many of the problems come after armed forces are discharged from the military, as responsibility for healthcare transfers from the military into the community. Veterans may find it hard to adjust to civilian life. They no longer have their support network close at hand. Social exclusion can lead to alcohol abuse and mental health disorders, which is why veterans are at higher risk of suicide in the first couple of years after they leave the military.
One of the problems faced by ex-military men and women is that they find it hard to talk about their time in the armed forces. Many have done tours of duty in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq, been exposed to great danger, and witnessed the death of colleagues. Blogging about your experiences is a way of dealing with the stress. After all, it is a lot easier to write things down in an anonymous blog than it is to sit down and talk to a loved one.
Setting up a Blog
Setting up an online blog is very easy. Free blogging platforms such as WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr are easy to use. You can write blogs and add images, videos and music to enhance your posts. To begin with, you probably won’t have many readers unless you share your posts on social networking sites, but as long as you continue to post regular content, site traffic will increase naturally.
The simple act of writing your thoughts down may be enough for you, but if you are keen for your voice to be heard amidst the cacophony of the internet, there are other ways to increase your readership. Link builders can help you gain greater exposure through SEO. Alternatively, you can start commenting on other people’s blogs and link back to your own.
Blogging is a powerful tool. Sharing your personal experiences can help others who have been in a similar situation and help them feel less alone.