Tomorrow is Diary of a Disabled Person’s first birthday, and even in just one year, so much has changed.
When I first started the blog, the majority of the readers came from family, and members of an online Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) support group. It was wonderful to have the support of those around me, but I really wanted to reach out and educate people about CFS and disability who might not know much about these issues through lack of experience. For the first few months I struggled with this, until I had the idea to set up a Facebook page to support the blog, sharing whenever a new blog post was released, plus other bits and pieces picked up from around the internet in-between. Slowly, this began to attract a few more followers, and my readership started to grow.
The biggest boost to my readership came in July, when my first article for Cracked.com was published. At the very end of the article, a link to my blog and Facebook page were attached, and my readership went from approximately 30 views on the day each blog entry was released, to 5,000, with readers listed in almost 100 countries. I was flooded with messages from people all over the world, and surprisingly few of them were trolls. I was told stories of how I was helping people to come to terms with developing a disability, or inspiring others with disability to live a bit. I was also the recipient of many messages telling me that my attitude to disability was both refreshing and eye-opening; I had caught the attention of many able-bodied people, who were suddenly aware of some of the issues faced by the disabled, and actively wanted to help avoid those issues in the future. I even had correspondence from people with entirely different political views to mine saying that they liked my attitude to life, and respected me, even if they didn’t always agree with me.
After a month or so the buzz had settled down, but my regular fan base had more than doubled, and steadily increased thereafter. The release of another Cracked.com article seemed to have a similar effect. Now I have over 80 followers of my blog, almost 68,000 views in total, and more than 400 followers on my Facebook page, and have regular conversation with a few fans. It’s amazing how quickly things have developed. A little less than a month ago, I was also nominated for the Leibster award, a German award given to bloggers by other bloggers celebrating wholesome, fulfilling blogs with the potential to expand even further. I will be accepting this next week!
I now have far more confidence in my abilities as a writer, and I consider it to be one of the most important things in my life, perhaps even having the potential to work as a career. I am happy that I can express myself so coherently, and with such freedom.
With that, I want to thank all of you for taking the time out of each week to read my ramblings, to give me good feedback, and to show your support. I can only hope that Diary of a Disabled Person continues to flourish.