Blogging And Sight Loss: How It Works

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well.

Today I wanted to address a question which I get asked quite a lot, ‘how do you blog even though you’re blind?’

This is a very valid and interesting question, I get asked it by both sighted and visually impaired people. So today I wanted to tell you how I’m a blogger even though I am blind, give tips to aspiring bloggers out there and hopefully answer that question for you all.

So, without further ado let’s get into today’s post!

 

Find an accessible blogging platform

Once you decide on the main focus of your blog, it’s important to find a blogging platform that’s accessible and one that you like, and feel comfortable using. You may need to do some research beforehand on different blogging platforms, this will help you decide which one is right for you.

Personally, I use WordPress, as I find this to be the most accessible with my chosen screen-reader. It’s also got an app which I also use on my iPhone or iPad which I find very useful and it is also very accessible. I do know blind and visually impaired people that use Blogspot, so it’s all about personal preference and finding out which one works best for you.

When initially creating my account, and setting up my blog, I did need sighted assistance to originally find a blogging theme and to help me with my blog header and things like that.

Blog header that says 'Life of a Blind Girl'

However, the pages, menus and other aspects that are on my site I did myself.

 

Writing posts

Writing content is obviously the main aspect of blogging. Everyone has different ways of doing this, and there’s no reason why you should be limited to doing this because of a visual impairment. There’s so much technology out there that can enable you to do this such as screen-readers or magnification software.

To write my posts I use Jaws screen-reader on my laptop and sometimes tweak them using VoiceOver on my iPhone or iPad. In simple terms, a screen-reader reads out loud everything that is on the screen and also what you’re typing.

Before I even write my posts, I like to plan them and write down any ideas that I have for future blog posts. To do this, I usually use the notes app on my iPhone as it’s something that I can refer back to quickly and easily.

picture of an iPhone

In terms of writing posts, I will either write my posts on a word document or write them straight into WordPress and spell check them using the built-in editor.

 

Visual content

For fully sighted people, visual content is often as important as written content. It catches people’s attention, and can often draw them into reading your posts. Depending on how much vision you have, adding images in your posts may be something you need assistance in doing. When you insert images into your posts, it’s important to add Alt text (alternative text) or a photo description so people who are blind or visually impaired know what the photo shows. That goes for any sighted bloggers out there as well!

I’m going to be honest here, I don’t take blog photos myself as I don’t have any useful vision to be able to do this. My Mum or Dad take them for me, which I am extremely grateful for. I do insert them into the posts myself and write the descriptions to go with them. I will often get my Mum or Dad to check whether they look okay before I press publish.

 

Sharing posts on social media

It’s important to share your posts on social media in order to gain new readers, followers, and visitors to your blog. All social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are fully accessible for blind and visually impaired people so this shouldn’t be a problem. Sharing and promoting your posts is all part of blogging! Social media is also a great way of interacting with other bloggers and being part of the blogging community. It’s important to share the love!

 

Engaging with other bloggers

It’s important to engage with other bloggers – read their posts, leave them a nice comment and you may even find that you will make new blogging friends along the way. Depending what blogging platform they use, you may experience accessibility issues such as not being able to leave a comment but there are other ways in which you can do this such as contacting them on social media or sending them an email. It may also be good to let them know if their blogs are not accessible as they may want to try to change this.

I like to engage with other bloggers and have also found some of my closest friends through blogging. Engaging with other bloggers may lead to blogging opportunities such as being asked to write guest posts or being contacted by brands.

 

That concludes today’s post everyone, I hope some of you have found it useful or that it gave you an insight into how I blog as a blind person.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, or do not hesitate to contact me. Are you a blogger with a visual impairment and have some other useful tips? Or are you a fully sighted blogger and have some general blogging tips? Then leave them in the comments below!

Holly x

How I Balance Blogging and University

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well.

As you can tell from the title, today’s post is about how I balance blogging and university.

It can be tough and I don’t post as often as I’d like to but that’s due to a lack of time, but I am always working on my blog, a lot of it being behind the scenes so you may not see or read it.

Being a third year student in the last few weeks of my degree, and also working for a wonderful sight loss charity, the pressure is well and truly on and the stress levels are high! On top of that my visual impairment can add extra stress and pressures like resources not being accessible, organising support and things like that. That’s all part and parcel of having a visual impairment, but it can take a lot of time up and can be a lot harder compared to sighted people.

I have come up with ways in which I balance university and blogging which work well for me so I wanted to share them with you all. I hope some of you find today’s post useful!

 

Plan ahead

Everyone says ‘plan’ but it is key when you’re a third year student and blogger. Personally, I use the calendar app on my phone to plan and organise things coming up such as deadlines, meetings for work, tutorials, social events and basically everything that I’m doing. That way, I can plan ahead and know what I’m doing when and where I need to be at specific times.
Prioritise

Whether you’re a student, blogger or neither, this tip is so important for everyone. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses of university and life in general that we don’t often know where to start. University will always come first for me, so if I have any deadlines looming then those are my priority!

To prioritise, I write myself a to-do list every night so that I can wake up the next morning  knowing exactly what I need to do. I then go through this list and work out which things are my priority and make sure that they’re at the top of the list. My to-do lists include things such as dissertation and assignment goals, other work that I need to do for my job or just in general, blog posts that I need to write or schedule etc. It’s a great way of prioritising what is most important and what needs doing when. I use the notes app on my iPhone to write these lists, it’s nice and simple.

(photo of iPhone)

Have a routine

I’ll be completely honest, I have days where I feel extremely unmotivated and exhausted that I don’t feel like doing any university work or writing blog posts but I try to stick to a routine.

For me, I like to get university work done during the day and spend my evenings writing blog posts and taking some time out for myself. Blogging is a hobby that I enjoy so I like getting some university work done, then sitting down and doing something that I enjoy afterwards.

 

Prepare blog posts in advance

When I have an idea for a blog post, I write it down in the notes app on my phone so that I don’t forget it and can come back to it.

I also try to write blog posts in advance so that I don’t have to rush them, especially if I have deadlines coming up.

I also use an app called Buffer to schedule tweets in order to promote my posts, if I know I won’t have time to sit and promote them on social media myself. Work in bulk.


(photo of the app Buffer)

This can often be quite hard to do if you’re like me, and run out of hours in the day to get everything done that you need to! Working in bulk means that you don’t have to rush posts and write content that you’re not happy with. If you work in bulk, you can post content when you have time or schedule it and it’s extremely rewarding knowing that it’s ready for you to schedule or post.

 

Take time out for yourself

This is definitely something I have been guilty of not doing and I’ve got to the point where I’m extremely exhausted and stressed because I’ve been doing too much and working beyond my limits. I try to take time out for myself and do things like have a catch up with a friend, listen to music, read a book, have a long bath and generally do things that I enjoy doing. Taking time out for yourself means that you can recharge and relax so that you don’t burn out quickly! Since I’ve been at university, I’ve really started to realise that self care is so important.

 

So there you go, that’s how I balance university and blogging. I hope you enjoyed reading and that it helped some of you out there.

Holly x

The Blogger Recognition Award

Hello everyone,

I’m sorry for the lack of posts at the moment, I’ve got rather a lot on but I’m trying to post as often as I can.

I’ve been nominated for the blogger recognition award by my best friend My Blurred World. Thank you to Elin for the nomination, it means a lot to me. Make sure you check out Elin’s blog!

blogger-recognition-award-logo

(photo shows the blogger recognition award logo)

The rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog ☑︎
2. Write a post to show your award ☑︎                                                           3. Give a brief story of how your blog started ☑︎
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers ☑︎                                          5. Select 15 other bloggers for this award ☑︎
6. Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and link to the post you created ☑︎

My Blog’s story

I started my blog back in January 2015. I wanted to start a blog as I wanted to raise awareness of visual impairment and disability, to educate others and to share my story. I thought having my own little space on the internet would be a great way to do this but I didn’t really think that anyone would read my ramblings. I I also started blogging as a hobby as I do enjoy writing so thought it was something fun to do. I do hope my posts can help those in similar situations to me and for people to know that having a visual impairment or any other disability isn’t all bad, it can be very positive. I try to educate, inspire, support and provide an insight as to what it’s like being a blind girl in a predominantly sighted world.

My advice

The first piece of advice that I would give to any of you out there that are wanting to start blogging is to write about something you’re passionate about. When reading posts, you can really tell if people have a real interest about the topic they’re writing about or whether it’s all made up. If you’re passionate about a specific topic or subject then it really shines through, it gives you post ideas and you can grow your audience easier. Blogging about something you’re passionate about also makes it easier to think of post ideas!

My second piece of advice that I would give to aspiring bloggers is to communicate and engage with other bloggers. This allows you to build readers/followers, create friendships and possibly find people to collaborate with. It’s important to share the love and recognise other people’s hard work!

My nominees: Thinking Out Loud – Sassy Style The Heart Of Me Fashioneyesta The Invisible Vision Project Lauren Rellis Glasses Girl Kimberley Jessica Jade Marie Meg Says Luke Sam Sowden Well Eye Never Journeyofthemindblog Beauty Blog Wales Sarah and Ellie talks Sarah in Wonderland Make sure you check out their blogs because they’re all amazing bloggers!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I’m in the middle of planning some posts so if you have any suggestions then do let me know!

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Holly x

Two Years of Life of a Blind Girl

Hello lovelies!

On this exact day two years ago, I published my first blog post and what an incredible two years it’s been. So much has happened, both as part of my blogging journey and in my personal life. I thought I’d do a post reflecting on my favourite memories of blogging over the last two years and some of my favourite posts that I have published so far.

When I started blogging, I honestly didn’t think that anyone would read my posts and people would actually visit my little corner of the internet. When I published my first post two years ago, I didn’t really know what I was doing but since then I’ve grown as a person both online and offline, found my writing style and developed new skills that I never thought blogging would give me.

 

I’d firstly like to thank all of you for your support, you truly are incredible and the fact that you choose to read my posts means the world to me. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my posts or send me an email or a message on social media, knowing that you enjoy my blog and that some of you find it educational and inspirational is amazing. I can’t thank you enough for all of your support.

 

My favourite memories of blogging so far

I didn’t really achieve that much as a blogger in 2015, I was getting to grips with it all but one of my favourite memories of when I first started blogging was being nominated for the Blind Girl Beauty Tag, I felt like I was slowly gaining readers and other bloggers were wanting to read my content too.

In 2015, I blogged about my experience with special assistance when flying. For me, that was something that I’d never done before and I wanted to share my experiences with others. You can read that post here.

Fast forward to 2016 and this is where I started to publish posts a lot more and really found my passion for blogging.

I was featured in RNIB Connect Magazine which blew my mind a little bit.

I was also asked to write guest posts for Action for Blind People, RLSB and Through Scarlet’s Eyes to name a few. To be asked to write posts for such brilliant organisations was a huge honour.

I was asked to take part in the RNIB’s #HowISeeCampaign. Being asked to do something like that really meant a lot to me, I felt like my hard work was paying off. You can read my #HowIsee entry here.

I took part in my first interview for The Aidis Trust which was a great experience.

Whilst we’re on the topic of guest blog posts and interviews, I recently created a portfolio which contains all of my guest posts, interviews and reviews, you can find that here. I will keep updating it with new content so make sure you keep checking back!

I met my best friend. Without blogging, we wouldn’t know each other. We created our seeing through sight loss series and it’s something fun to do to help raise awareness of visual impairment/disability, educate others, and share our experiences.

I also made other close friends through blogging, such as Sassy. I also took part in Sassy’s disability Q&A series which was really fun to do, you can read my interview here.

One of my favourite blogging memories has to be  reaching 10,000 views on my blog. This was a massive achievement for me. I know it’s not a huge number of views but as I’ve said previously, I didn’t think my blog would go far at all.

Those are just a few of my favourite blogging memories over the last two years!

 

My favourite blog posts so far

I haven’t been happy with every post that I’ve published but some of them I’ve really enjoyed writing and had a great response from you all.

I’ve published 58 posts on my blog so far, so here are just a few of my favourite ones, they are in no particular order:

Embracing Your Disability Meeting My Best Friend My Mainstream School Experience The Importance Of Having Blind and Visually Impaired Friends Am I Inspirational? If I could See, Would I want to? Letter to My Younger Self

 

As you can gather, it’s been a rather fabulous two years. I could have definitely wrote a lot more in this post! Blogging is definitely a huge passion of mine now.

My blog wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for you all, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I hope you will continue to follow my journey and enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them.

Bring on the next two years!

Holly x

 

My Favourite Bloggers

Hello and welcome back to Life Of A Blind Girl!

Before we get into this weeks post, I’d just like to thank you all. I’ve had over 3000 views on my blog and I honestly can’t put into words how happy that makes me! I never thought i’d get this far, the aim of my blog was to help other blind and visually impaired people like myself in any way that I can and it will always stay that way. 3000 views though…crazy! Thank you all so so much!

So let’s get into this post…

 

Last week in my April Q&A post I was asked who my three favourite bloggers were, I’ve been planning to tell you all about my favourite bloggers for a while but haven’t actually got round to it so here it finally is!

I’m not the best at reviewing so sorry if the descriptions of these bloggers aren’t great. But they’re all amazing so make sure you check them out!

 

My Blurred World I started following and reading this incredible girls blog when we both first started blogging which was at the start of 2015. Ever since then, we’ve become really good friends and I truly believe that blogging has brought us closer. She’s my number one for all beauty tips! She blogs about life as a visually impaired girl, beauty, lifestyle and disability.

 

Thinking Out Loud – Sassy Style Sassy is an amazing writer and I’m so jealous! We’re really good friends and we truly support each other in blogging and everything else in our personal lives, I feel so lucky to have her in my life. Sassy blogs about all things blindness/disability, lifestyle…you name it, she’ll blog about it! She’s got a great sense of humour and as the blog states…she’s a sassy one!

 

Yesterdays Wishes Lucy is literally my number one for makeup and beauty. If I’m struggling with something to do with makeup i’ll always go to Lucy! She also blogs about all things blindness/disability  and puts across the fact that having sight loss means that you can still care about your looks even if you’re blind. We’ve become good friends recently which I’m honestly so glad about.

 

Molly Burke If you just want to sit down and watch a video about lifestyle, beauty, disability or anything to do with visual impairment then I suggest you click the link above. Molly’s a great motivational speaker as well…I need her to be my personal motivational speaker sometimes!

 

Fashioneyesta Emily is literally my number one for fashion…whether you’re sighted or not you’ll learn so much from Emily!

 

See My Way Elin blogs about what it’s like to be a blind person in a visual world. She’s completely honest in what she writes and I love her doggy blogs as well!

 

Where’s Your Dog? meagan is 100% honest in everything she writes. She is like me and doesn’t sugarcoat anything and I love that about her. She’s absolutely hilarious as well and makes me chuckle all the time.

 

Gabriella Gabbies videos are incredible, I love her honesty…she’s just someone I could watch for hours.

 

Emily Canham Emily’s videos are always fab! I especially love her beauty videos…I never get bored of watching those.

 

Fabulous Hannah Hannah literally vlogs about everything from fashion, to food, to lifestyle…she’s fabulous 😉

 

Emmie Elizabeth Emmie’s posts are just your typical teenager/girly thoughts put into one nutshell of a blog. She brings out her inner fangirl in her blog posts as well which is basically me summed up!

 

Sarah In Wonderland Sarah writes about lifestyle, makeup and all things disability. What I love about Sarah is that she really puts a new perspective on things and makes you think outside the box.

 

Beauty With Rach Rach is a huge Jessie J fan like me so she’s obviously an absolute babe 😉 no but seriously, her videos are brilliant and her makeup tutorials are great! Her channel deserves so much more recognition!!

 

Glasses Girl I love Lizi’s honesty, she cuts out the absolute rubbish and keeps it real. She writes about life as a typical girl in her 20’s, reviews places/products and so much more! It’s so weird to think that we actually used to be friends and it’s so nice to see how far she’s come. I love how she critiques things she blogs about, her posts are far from one-sided which is great

 

Catch These Words Holly says exactly what she’s thinking/feeling and I love that. If you want advice on blindness/disability then Holly’s blog is the place to visit. Check out her goodreads page as well!

 

Girl Gone Blind Maria writes about sport and what it’s exactly like to be a woman that’s lost her sight. She’s absolutely real in her posts and I love her total honesty.

 

Tommy Edison If you’ve never watched one of Tommy’s videos then I suggest you do so! He vlogs about everything to do with blindness and he never ever fails to make me laugh!

 

Luke Sam Sowden Luke blogs/vlogs about his life as a visually impaired guy. I especially love his ‘adventures of a blind guy’ and ‘confessions of a blind guy posts.

 

Well Eye Never Glen blogs about life as a blind guy, to his music collection and anything he wants to put out there. He’s always really supportive of my posts as well 🙂

 

Hannah RenéeHannah uploads videos on beauty, fashion and lifestyle. Her makeup tutorials are really well described which I really do appreciate as a blind person.

Just Jodes Jodes uploads beauty and fashion videos. I love her positivity!

Meg says Meg blogs and makes YouTube videos about all things beauty, fashion and lifestyle! I love how down to earth she is!

Louise Ng Louise uploads YouTube videos on everything to do with beauty and they’re fab!

Eve Doherty Eve’s videos are amazing, she uploads great lifestyle videos and her vlogs are great too!

Nia Patten Nia is one of my favourite beauty bloggers…that is all!

Sarah and Ellie Talks Sarah and Ellie are your go-to for everything beauty, fashion, food and lifestyle!

Lauren Rellis Lauren blogs about health, lifestyle and travel, her posts are brilliant!

Beauty SpectrumMolly uploads videos on beauty, fashion, lifestyle and has very entertaining vlogs too!

Alice Thorpe  Alice is by far one of my all time favourite YouTubers! She uploads videos on beauty, fashion, lifestyle, all things university and I love her vlogs too!

Elle Elle blogs about all things blindness/disability and tries to help and educate others. She also has a YouTube channel which is equally as good!

 

Eve Bennett Eve’s videos are so so good, she uploads videos on everything beauty, fashion, lifestyle and all things education/study tips!

I hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to check out these amazing bloggers!

Who are your favourite bloggers? Let me know – I love reading new blogs!

Also, please please send me blog post suggestions – I need your ideas!

Hol x