I can’t believe that it has been a whole year since I started this holistic health website!
I have tried a few home based businesses before but they never really stuck. I wasn’t truly committed to them as I am to this blog.
Over the past year I have learned a whole lot about what it takes to successfuly run a website and get my message out there.
Ironically, I am spending my first blog-a-versary in the Bahamas. One of the reasons I started this website was to be able to use my knowledge of the human body to help people, while being location independent.
While it is definitely not the norm for me to be writing from the beautiful Bahamian Islands, it sure is a nice way to celebrate this huge accomplishment.
In this post I wanted to share some of my biggest lessons from a year of blogging, and more specifically, alternative health blogging.
I hope that my story is relatable and helpful for anyone else starting on the same journey.
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Lessons from One Year of Running a Holistic Health Website
1. Blogging is the perfect work-at-home job for a Nurse
When I first had the idea to start this website, I was actually looking for a work-from-home nursing job. My son was 7 months old at the time and I just couldn’t fathom the idea of letting someone else raise him..
My husband is also in the military so childcare drop-offs and pick-ups get a bit complicated with my 12 hour nursing shifts.
I thought working from home would allow me to continue my career, but be able to accommodate my family’s needs.
I searched and searched for a work-from-home nursing job, but couldn’t find anything that would provide me with the flexibility I need.
I had heard about blogging as a real way to make income from home a few months back and thought it might be a good way to be flexible around my son’s schedule.
My knowledge about health from a ten year nursing career is not something I should squander. However, I have seen the medical system fail people over and over again.
We have a wonderful system in place for acute care needs.
Fall and break your arm? You can get it reset properly with the help of x-rays and pain management.
Get into a horrific car wreck? We can literally bring you back from the brink of death and you can thank the good Lord personally for your miracle.
Despite the incredible advanced technology, I see so many people suffering from chronic health conditions at such early ages!
It really breaks my heart to see 30 year olds coming in after a heart attack with only 15% of their heart function remaining.
When I signed up for nursing, I wanted to help others have healthy lives.
As thankful as I am for my experience in the hospital, I truly love sharing tips about holistic living.
I want to help mothers and fathers feel confident in being the executive decision maker for their children’s health and wellness. I feel this is the area I can make the most positive impact.
This blog has allowed my message to reach over 60,000 people this past year. I truly hope it has helped one family heal naturally and stay out of the medical system.
2. Not everyone agrees with holistic health and alternative medicine
Probably around my fourth month running this website, another fellow nurse blogger wrote a very negative response to one of my posts about alternatives to Tylenol.
She wrote an entire post and even posted a low quality youtube video about how you shouldn’t trust what you read on the internet. She was absolutely appalled that I questioned the safety and usefulness of such a commonly used drug like Tylenol.
This was my first experience of internet trolling and won’t be my last. People’s belief systems are so deeply engrained and certain topics will strike a nerve, especially with moms.
Trust me, I totally understand where this person was coming from.
I mean no one wants to admit that they could possibly be poisoning their child. Or that everything we have been indoctrinated about health could actually be manipulation from the biggest cash cow in the world…the pharmaceutical industry.
I know this better than most because as an ICU nurse, I am right there in the thick of it. I hand out more pills than I can keep up with the contraindications.
Just to clear the air on this topic, I truly do not believe that if you give your child a few doses of Tylenol, they will have some devastating metabolic or neurologic event. We are all doing the best we can as moms to keep our children healthy and comfortable.
My purpose in sharing the things on this holistic health website, is to give people other options.
Since I started studying alternative medicine more seriously, my family has not used one SINGLE over the counter drug.
No Tylenol, no allergy meds, no flu shots, NOTHING. It has been an entire year and none of us have gotten even a bit of a sniffle.
I say this not to brag but just to highlight that it is possible to handle the everyday pains of humanity with the natural substances that God put on this planet.
It will take time and dedication to learn about them, but you will likely raise a much healthier family this way.
Being criticized by a fellow nurse definitely hurt a bit.
But after spending the last decade watching my patients return to the hospital with more comorbidities, I am more convinced than ever to handle every possible health ailment as naturally as possible.
3. I am still sharpening my message
Just a week ago, I developed a mission statement for this blog and posted it as the first thing you see when you go to my homepage.
I figured, if I am going to run this online business for the long-haul, I need a framework to come back to anytime I feel like I am drifting.
I have already found it to be extremely helpful to have this mission statement. I think about it as I am coming up with ideas for new topics.
I also think about a fellow mom, looking for encouragement and advice on holistic living.
I hope that my little blog helps others have the courage to question the status quo and be an advocate for their children’s long-term health.
I am pretty sure every single one of the posts I publish have some kind of grammatical error in them. I read them so many times too!
It’s funny because writing papers was my least favorite part about nursing school, yet here I am spending 20-30 hours a week writing.
I admit I have so much to work on when it comes to delivering my message in an easy to digest, friendly format, and free from errors.
I am definitely not perfect in the category so as I work to improve, I hope that my readers will give me some grace.
4. I feel like I have found my tribe
I have a handful of great friends in my local town. We connect on so many levels and I appreciate all the color their unique personalities and strengths bring to my life.
That being said I absolutely adore all the new online mommy friends I have made that share my passion for holistic living.
I love learning from each other, sharing enthusiasm for DIY baby lotion recipes, and just knowing other people out there who have had the veil lifted from their eyes as I have.
As of right now, there are a few other natural health blogs that I adore and learn from everyday.
Some of my favorites are:
I have not met any of the people behind these blogs in person, but I hope to one day actually make them my real life friends. Maybe that’s a dream beyond reach but you never know! Aim higher!
5. Running a Holistic health website has been an asset for my family
A year ago today my knowledge of holistic health involved being committed to eating organic food and drinking echinacea tea when we get sick. Well, maybe a few other things but no where near the level of understanding I have now.
After a year of researching every little thing about holistic living and positive parenting, I can honestly say my self-reliance skills are at an all time high.
This past year my husband reported that I greatly reduced the severity of his allergies with homeopathy.
I managed to get through almost an entire cold and flu season without one of us getting sick.
I know so much more about gut health and how important it is to keep in check.
I am learning each and every day on which supplements to actually spend money on and where to skip and save.
I am learning how to make healing herbal tinctures and brew my own delicious kombucha tea.
I could keep going on but you get the idea. I know these skills will serve my family well for the rest of my life.
6. I probably lost 6 months of progress to mistakes
In the past year, I switched hosting companies, rebranded, tried out three different themes, and revised my old posts a few times each!
I started blogging courses and never finished. I took three months completely off. And I am pretty sure my husband frequently prays that the next thing out of my mouth isn’t related to blogging.
On this first blog-a-versary, I feel like I have worked about half the kinks out yet I still don’t have half a clue how to cultivate a thriving blog. I will report more on that after year two!
The monetary income from this blog is still minimal, but I see so much growth in other areas that I know I am headed in the right direction.
I am finally seeing a steady increase in traffic and getting some organic comments on some of my posts. Those little comments mean the absolute world to me.
I hope by the time I summarize year two I will be able to report a real paycheck for my family from the endless hours of work.
Goals for the next year of this blog
I don’t want to end this post before mentioning my plans for the next year.
First of all, if you are a loyal reader of this blog, please reach out to me via email and let me know what topics you enjoy. I want to serve you the best that I can.
When I first started this blog I was a new mom. Pregnancy & breastfeeding were fresh on my mind and heart.
My husband and I want more children so going forward I would like to write more on natural pregnancy topics. I will be using a midwife for my next pregnancy.
I would like to highlight the difference between receiving prenatal care with a midwife verses an OBGYN.
I would also like to create more recipe posts and ideas for family fun.
Lastly, I would love to collaborate with other bloggers on some bigger projects.
Thank you everyone who has gone on this journey with me and I hope to continue to provide excellent content in the year ahead.