Today I am going to be talking to you all about a topic that many of you have expressed interest in and that is starting a blog with a visual impairment or disability.
Of course I am not excluding anyone who is fully sighted or not from the disability community, but these tips are the ones I have used as someone with a visual impairment and they may prove useful.
Over the past 3 years as a blogger one of the biggest questions I get asked by followers is ‘how do you start a blog when you are visually impaired?’
Being a blogger with sight loss can prove to be challenging in certain areas, but here are some of my key things for how to be a savvy and confident blogger even if you’re peepers don’t work!
Find Your Passion
With any blogger the important thing to begin with is to find a topic that interests or inspires you. Being in the sight loss community is no acceptation to this rule. Whether you want to talk about technology, culture, politics, fashion, beauty, cooking or living with a disability.
Make sure the topic is something you can talk about and you have some understanding of and that you are able to write well-constructed blogs on.
But also be sure that you enjoy talking about the topic and that you are not writing on it simply because thats what everyone else is writing about.
Don’t Limit Yourself
One thing I have noticed with blogging and visual impairment is that a lot of bloggers choose to soul write about their visual impairment. Now, although I am in no way opposed to this, after all its great to open the conversation on disability, change stereotypes and show what its like to live with sight loss. Try to have a field of topics you can touch upon on your blog like literature, culture or science. You can still relate it to visual impairment, like current events and developments on assistive technology, books which include visually impaired characters and so on. Make your blog a mixture of different perspectives and aspects on sight loss, with different tones and points of view.
Take me for example, I may write about my disability, but I also write a lot on fashion, beauty, culture and other such topics. Both on my blog and Huffington Post collum.
Have fun with it and always be sure you enjoy what you are writing about. Never get bogged down with your topic.
Start With An Accessible Blogging Platform
Having a blog when you are sight impaired very much relies on your ability to actually write a blog, reply to comments and keep up with admin work. If the platform you are using is inaccessible, you won’t be able to keep on track.
Try a platform like WordPress, which is accessible and compatible with Voice Over and has great themes and plug-ins which can easily be added to your blog.
It’s accessible for both the blogger and the reader.
Everyone Starts Somewhere
You don’t need to have expensive, state of the art equipment to begin as a blogger. Many successful bloggers and indeed YouTubers start with a small camcorder, webcam or even the camera on their phone.
I started off working from my iPhone and the built in accessibility features on an iPhone make it relatively easy to take and edit images, write text and surf the web for blog post ideas.
Believe me your iPhone or iPad can do a lot if you know what Apps to look for!
Keep It Real
Don’t feel that you need to remain constantly upbeat and never talk about how living with a disability affects you. But, try and talk about the positives too. As a blogger the key thing you need to keep a relationship with your readers is to come across as a real person and talk about your experiences as you find them.
You’re bogging mantra should always be ‘Keep It Real.’
Network With Other Bloggers
Socialise and network with other bloggers in the areas that you are interested in. I regularly socialise with beauty bloggers, fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers and bloggers from the disabled community.
Its really important that you form a good base of bloggers who you can talk to to trade advice, get ideas, collaborate to strengthen your readership and provide encouragement and support to one and other.
Interacting with other visually impaired bloggers is also helpful if you need advice in terms of accessibility or helpful technology that can help you blog.
There are tons of accessible apps that you can download to your iPhone that will help you blog such as the WordPress App, Twitter, Instagram and so on.
Plenty of them are free and have great features for creating and sharing content.
If you want me to write on my top Apps I use for blogging be sure to comment below.
If you decide to talk about disability related issues you may receive some negative comments or feedback. Constructive criticism is acceptable; it helps you improve as a blogger. However, comments that are hateful, derogatory or make you feel harassed or bullied are not acceptable. Make sure you keep tabs on you social media and keep a record of any such comments that are a product of cyber bullying. If you do feel that these comments are unacceptable don’t be afraid to prevent them from communicating with you.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If you need help in terms of taking images, working on a design or any of the visual aspects of your blog ask for it!
I regularly ask for my dear mummy for help with the filming and photography of my blogs and it means that I am able to provide blogs with good visual standards a well as well written blogs (if I do say so myself.)
There are lots of people that can help whether that’s a friend, family member, a professional who deals with you and your visual impairment related needs and even fellow bloggers.
Its no shame to ask for help and if anything it will only strengthen your blog and your content. And its also prudent to remember that if you ever want to earn money as a blogger having good visuals is extremely important even if you personally cannot see it.
Never Give Up
Don’t loose heart if you don’t get the reaction you want to begin with. Building a loyal network of followers takes time, patience and consistently writing blogs.
Keep at it and your hard work will pay off in the end.
Those are my key top tips on how to be a successful VI blogger.
I really hope you found this useful, be sure to comment below with your tips on how you blog.
And I will see you all next time!