Blogging for Empowerment – Straight from the Mouths of Health Activists

Health Activists come in all types – ranging from the leaders of online forums, to caregivers focused on the health of others, to folks who spend their time behind the scenes, making sure online health communities run smoothly for everyone else.  As we’ve discussed with this month’s theme “Empowering Your Community and Yourself,” empowerment is different for everyone in the community and for every type of Health Activist. But “empowerment” itself is a word – and concept – that rings true for all Health Activists.

 

Last week, we held a few online insight groups, where I had the honor of talking with a handful of Health Activists who blog about health.  Here at WEGO Health, we’re in the process of putting together a program for Health Bloggers (more on that later!) and, It was important to us that we chatted with folks who understand the power of blogging and recognize all the challenges that come with reaching people through the written word.  While our Health Activist participants contributed a great deal of feedback that will help to make our new program that much more valuable, I was really struck by how many times the topics of empowerment and community came up in our chats!

 

Though we brought together Health Bloggers who focus on very different conditions, they all had so much in common, more evidence that a large part of empowering your community is connecting with others who share the same successes and struggles that you do.

 

Seeing those common bonds and hearing the passion that fuels these Health Activists empowered me. It’s a powerful reminder just how influential empowerment is. I left our sessions with a huge smile and the genuine feeling that what we all do is truly making a difference.  It’s such an amazing feeling that I don’t want to keep it to myself! So here is some of the inspiring feedback that we got from our Health Bloggers:

 

  • Health Activists blog for their community.
    Though each blogger has their own individual reason for getting started, nearly all Health Bloggers mentioned how important it is that they can give a voice to their community or help others to feel they aren’t alone.
  • Information is power.
    Every Health Blogger has experiences to share with the community, a unique viewpoint to offer, and important information to add to the collective knowledge of their condition.  More information is always better and Health Activists said that, if they can help even one person by sharing their story, it’s worth it.
  • More topics, please.
    If you sometimes struggle to write every day (or even every week!), you’re not alone.  Health Bloggers are dedicated to offering posts that are interesting and valuable to their readers and most face the challenge of keeping their content fresh and engaging.
  • Help me track success.
    All of the Health Bloggers we talked to do some sort of analytics or metrics tracking on their blog. But the actual tools and systems they use vary a great deal. Many thought that some basic training to get folks started would be really valuable.

 

Well, Health Activists, we hear you loud and clear!  We hope you will join us in the near future for a new webinar: “Health Activist How To: Analytics” with WEGO Health’s own Andrew Hopper, tech genius and results tracker extraordinaire.

 

  • I know my readers, but I’d like to know more.
    Health Bloggers have a good, basic idea of who is reading their blog and who they’re trying to reach with their content – but they want to know even more.  Specifically, Health Bloggers would love to know what their readers really want from the blog – what they like now and what they’d like to see more of.

 

As you can tell, the feedback we received from the sessions was incredibly inspiring and helpful – both for this specific program and for our overall mission here at WEGO Health.  It’s always exciting and rewarding to hear from your audience – something Health Activists know well. Feedback helps you make sure you’re on target and shows you where to focus going forward. So, thank you to all of the Health Bloggers who participated in this session and to all of the other Health Activists in our community who share their passion with us every day.

 

As a Health Activist – what would you like to know from your readers or followers? Is there anything you’d add to the notes above?

 

4 thoughts on “Blogging for Empowerment – Straight from the Mouths of Health Activists

  1. Markjohn1 says:

    I know this is probably splitting hairs but I think it would be great to discuss the differences between an advocate and an activist. Even though there is a small difference, that small difference makes a huge impact on what is done in the health area. 

  2. Great point Mark. Here at WEGO Health, we see everyone who is advocating or activisting as a Health Activist.  If you’d like to write a post about the difference and share it with us, we’d love to see it!

    1. Markjohn1 says:

      Hi Susan,
      That’s what I enjoy about WEGO Health. I wasn’t trying to disuade anyone except to maybe help to explain the political difference of an advocate to an activist.
      Coming from the late60’s and early 70’s, plus being at the beginning of and working with writing a manifesto for Greenpeace I tend to lean towards the activist role but know there is a time for advocating. 
      I would enjoy the opportunity writing about the differences and maybe even discussing it live.

  3. Just wanted to say how empowering it has been to read this – it is wonderful to feel part of a community with common goals and aims and I look forward to learning more through WEGO about how to be a more effective health activist.

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