This week Denise O’Donoghue speaks to Amanda Horan, who turned to blogging after she was diagnosed with a life-changing disability
Amanda Horan found comfort in an online community during a worrying time in her life.
When she gave up her career due to struggles with psoriatic arthritis, blogging offered her a large amount of support and comfort.
“I had to give up my career due to my disability. Blogging gave me something structured to focus on and helped me to build and market an online business. I don’t think I’d have been able to do that without my blogging experience,” she said.
“I love the community and how supportive it can be. I also love that it has given me a platform to talk about the difficulties faced by those who live with a disability.”
In addition, she says Irish bloggers are quick to offer advice to anyone starting out.
“Like every community it has its ups and downs. I find on the whole, people are willing to welcome new bloggers and offer help whenever it’s required.”
Amanda, who lives in the Midlands, first began blogging four years ago and today runs two websites; book review site gobookyourself.info and lifestyle blog curlysuereview.com. Although she sometimes feels overwhelmed by the sheer number of other blogs online, she stays focused on why she started writing.
“Sometimes you feel like a tiny fish in a massive pond; like what you have to say doesn’t really matter because it’s going to get lost in a sea of other bloggers.
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“At times like that I step back and ask myself why I started writing in the first place. It was for me, not anyone else. I regularly have people messaging me thanking me for writing about psoriatic arthritis. It doesn’t matter if you’re small. You can still make an impact.”
In addition to her websites, Amanda enjoys connecting with people on social media. “I love the fact that I can instantly communicate with people who have the same interests as me. When I was first struggling with my diagnosis it was people online who suffered with the same condition that offered support and information. It was invaluable to me at the time.”
Despite the rise of social media, Amanda still prefers publishing on her blog.
“I’m noticing a rise in ‘micro’ blogging through platforms such as Facebook and Instagram but I’ll always love hitting the ‘publish’ button on my own site.”
The key to staying inspired is to remember why you began, Amanda says.
“Figure out what you want from a blog and why you want to write. Keep focused on that and try not to get caught up in the fame and number chasing.”
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