Blogging U. Day 15: Create a New Posting Feature


This is my last assignment at Blogging U’s Blogging 101 course.  On day 15, my assignment is to create a new posting feature:

One of the best ways to inspire loyalty is to publish regularly. And the best ways to make sure you publish regularly is with a recurring feature — it’s like making a pact with yourself and your audience.

Today’s task: develop a regular feature for your blog.

Why do this?

  • Creating a regular feature means your readers have something specific to wait for at regular intervals — it gives your blog a hook.
  • It’s always a good idea to work on healthy blogging habits, and regular features help you stay on track.

Media Mondays

My new feature for my blog is “Media Mondays.”  On Mondays, I will feature an epilepsy related video, podcast, photo, or pinterest pin.  As I become more comfortable with cameras and photography, I may decide to post my own videos.

If you have other suggestions for regular features, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.  I love to get feedback from readers.

Looking for Modified Atkins friendly Recipes


For years, I have tried to cut the amount of carbs that I eat.  I have several reasons for wanting to do this. Today I finally took things one step further.

Why?

I have many personal reasons for wanting to lose weight.  According to most BMI calculators, I would need to lose a lot of weight before I would be considered to be at a “healthy” weight.  I believe it would be a significant boost to my self-esteem to lose some weight.  It may also help me make a good first impression when I go to interviews.  It is also infuriating to find out that most of the cute dresses/outfits that I like are not in my size.

The main reason for attempting this is better seizure control.  According to the Epilepsy Foundation, the modified atkins diet has proven to be effective in reducing seizures.  The modified atkins diet is low carbs and high fat.  Does it work?

In studies so far, yes. About half had a 50% reduction in seizures after 6 months. Many were able to reduce medications. (see epilepsy.com)

What did I do differently?

Today, I started searching for interesting recipes that were ‘Modified Atkins’ friendly.  Until now, I had concentrated on reducing the number of carbs.  Today, I took things one step further and started to actively look for recipes that would work for me.  At this blog, I found a bunch of recipes that I thought I could start using right away.  I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes.

Note:

Consult your neurologist first before attempting this.

Day 4 – Identify My Audience


The assignment for day 4 publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element in it.  So let’s get started!

My audience includes epilepsy patients, other patients who have other chronic illnesses, and anybody who wants to learn more about epilepsy.  I like to learn more about the condition through other people’s stories.  Hopefully some of the resources that I have posted will be useful to others.

Let’s say someone around you on the street or in the office is having a seizure.  How do you know if you should call an ambulance?  You want to do the right thing, but you are not sure what that is.  I found the infographic below on Pinterest.  It is an extremely helpful pin that describes when you should call an ambulance:

Day 2 – Titles and Taglines


What’s in a name?

My blog’s title is dragonandrose.  Although it is not very descriptive, it has a symbolic meaning.  The ‘Dragon’ part of the title refers to the ‘negative’ aspects of the chronic illness.  For a while in my life, I was consumed in this type of mindset.  It was difficult for me to see anything good happening in my life.  If you look carefully, there is the positive aspect. The ‘Rose’ part of the title represents this.  I also feel that dealing with various problems related to epilepsy has made me a patient person.

What is my tagline?

I have changed my tagline to:  Personal Experience Driven Guide to Epilepsy (for the misguided!)

A guide for the misguided (or uninformed)!  Are you new to epilepsy?  Maybe you were just diagnosed or you know someone who has it and want to learn more.  This blog has a collection of resources for persons with epilepsy as well as some of my personal experiences.  Some of the problems I face are typical for others with epilepsy (and chronic illnesses) such as:  finding full-time employment, getting affordable health insurance, celebrating holidays on a budget, and so on.

What do you mean by “Personal Experience”?  According to epilepsy.com:  “Epilepsy is a spectrum condition with a wide range of seizure types and control varying from person-to-person.”  I am not a doctor or social worker.  Most of what I know is based on personal experience.  Epilepsy is different depending on the person, but hopefully you find some of what I have written useful.

Day One – Introducing Myself


In my last post, July in Blogging U: Blogging 101 and 201, I talked about how I signed up for Blogging 101 in Blogging U.  This is in response to my first assignment: introduce myself to the world.

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

I have had epilepsy for over 20 years.  Many people who do not have the condition have misguided ideas on what to do or how to do when faced with an issue with a person who has epilepsy.  (I do not pretend to have all the answers, because I am a patient and not a doctor.)   I find writing the blog posts to be very therapeutic.  I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that in some small way I may have helped educate someone else out there about epilepsy.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

Some of my blog posts will include helpful resources and coping strategies that I have found.  I try to make sure the resources are genuine and are backed by either the Epilepsy Foundation, CURE, or some other epilepsy related non-profit.

The rest of the blog posts will include experiences from my personal life.  Often, patients learn a lot from each other.  Writing about your difficulties is not only therapeutic, but sometimes followers sometimes give good suggestions on how to solve your problem.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

I have three main categories of people that I would love to connect with:

  • fellow patients with epilepsy
  • fellow sufferers of chronic conditions – others with chronic illnesses or invisible illnesses would relate to some of the topics that I talk about.
  • various nonprofits that support patients of chronic conditions

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

Throughout the next year, I hope to have the following accomplished:

  • make more connections
  • increase the number of followers
  • strong strategy for social media
  • improve blogging and writing techniques