Grief blogs are a great way to process your grief and connect with others. If you’re going through a season of grief, you might be asking yourself if starting a grief blog is right for you.
In the article that follows, we’ll provide you with information about what a grief blog is, why people start grief blogs, and things you should consider before starting your own.
What Is A Grief Blog?
A grief blog is just what it sounds like: a blog that details a person’s journey through grief. It’s a blog that allows a person to share the ups and downs of grieving while also remembering lost loved ones.
Grief blogs typically center around one kind of grief, although your grief blog could focus on your personal relationship with grief (especially if you’ve lost more than one person). As you move forward, your grief blog may also become a place to share resources with others who are coping with similar losses.
Why Would You Want To Start A Grief Blog?
There are lots of reasons why people start grief blogs. The following are six of the main reasons why you might want to start a grief blog:
IT CAN HELP YOU FACE YOUR GRIEF
Many of us have a tendency to ignore our grief and move forward with our lives. Starting a grief blog is a good way to make sure you’re actively facing your grief. It’s harder to work through your grief if you’re actively avoiding the emotions associated with your loss.
Instead of pushing down your feelings, a grief blog allows you to embrace your grief and everything that comes with it. When you commit to regularly writing down how you feel, it forces you to slow down and consider your feelings.
WRITING ABOUT YOUR GRIEF CAN HELP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Studies show that writing in a journal can help you combat depression and anxiety. While a grief blog isn’t the same as journaling, it can provide many of the same benefits. Combined with counseling and grief groups, your grief blog can be a good aid to your mental health.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress or depression in the face of your grief, starting a grief blog may help you process those emotions. When you express yourself on a regular basis, you’re better equipped to manage your grief.
IT'S A CONSTRUCTIVE OUTLET FOR GRIEF
There are lots of destructive things we could do when we’re grieving: drinking, using drugs, shopping too much, or engaging in other destructive behaviors. Starting a blog about your grief might be a more constructive outlet for your grief.
You shouldn’t only blog to create something marketable, but starting and managing a blog may give you something to put your energy into during your grief. Not only will it serve as a diversion, it will help you circle back and connect with your feelings on a regular basis. This will push you to make decisions that further your healing process.
IT CAN HELP YOU CONNECT WITH OTHERS IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS
Grief can be isolating, especially if your friends and family don’t understand the grief you’re going through. Starting a grief blog is a good way to connect with other people coping with the same types of grief. If you’re not sure if a blog is right for you, you can still connect with other grieving individuals through grief retreats and cruises.
Connecting with others can help you feel less isolated during your grief. It may also provide you with tools you might not otherwise stumble upon, as others facing the same grief can speak into your life as well.
IT CAN GIVE FRIENDS & FAMILY INSIGHT ABOUT YOUR GRIEF
When people ask how you’re doing after a loss, your grief blog will help you give a more concrete answer. If you’re regularly checking in with your emotions, you’ll be better equipped to share those emotions with friends and family.
While your blog may be read by people who don’t know you, your friends and family are those most likely to read what you’re writing. A grief blog allows people a closer look inside your mind while you grieve. If your grief blog is about a lost loved one, it can be a place where others come and gather memories of your departed loved one.
YOU CAN CREATE A PLATFORM TO HELP OTHERS
You may not be ready to think about how your grief blog will help others. When you’re in the throes of grief, you’re not necessarily thinking about the good that can come from your experience. However, your grief blog may become a platform that allows you to help others going through loss.
Ruby Dhal is the bestselling author behind five books, but her writing career started when she created an Instagram account to process her own healing. When other people connected with what she wrote, she turned a simple social media account into a thriving business centered on helping others process their own heartbreak. She touches thousands of lives and your story has the potential to do the same.
10 Things to Consider When Thinking About Starting a Grief Blog
If you’re thinking about starting a grief blog, it’s important to have an idea of what to expect from your blogging experience. The following are ten things you need to consider when you’re thinking about starting a grief blog. By working through these things, you’ll know whether or not a grief blog is right for you.
1. TAKE TIME TO UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WANT TO START A GRIEF BLOG
Before you start a grief blog, you should take some time to understand why you want to start one. Most importantly, you need to determine whether you actually want to start a grief blog or whether you’re doing it out of a sense of obligation to others.
It may help you to talk openly about the grief you’re experiencing. Blogging may offer a possibility to encourage your own healing and growth while investing in the healing of others. You may want to start a blog for one or more of the reasons listed in the previous section. It’s important to take time to understand why you want to start a blog.
If you share eloquently-worded updates on social media, others might tell you that you should start a blog. In the days after a major loss, those suggestions may nag at you. However, you shouldn’t only start a grief blog because other people keep saying you should.
You can be a great writer, but that doesn’t mean you have to start a grief blog in the aftermath of a loss. Loss is very personal and only you can determine whether you’re ready to share that journey with others. If you want to keep your journey private, journaling may be a good solution. We have a great guide to journaling here.
If you cope with things by writing, that’s great. A grief blog may be the perfect way for you to process your loss. However, it’s important to make sure that you aren’t using your grief blog as a coping mechanism to avoid your real feelings.
Some people cope best by talking through their grief, even in a public forum like a blog or social media account. If you process things best by talking through them, starting a grief blog may be a good choice.
2. CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL & EMOTIONAL READINESS
Writing about your grief is one thing, but sharing it publically is another. Are you mentally and emotionally ready to share about your grief in such a public way? When you share anything online, you can get a wide variety of reactions:
- Support (the best possible reaction others may have to your work)
- Unsolicited advice
- Unwarranted criticism
- Probing questions
- Insensitive comments
- Trolling or bullying
While the optimists among us might encourage you to think about the potential for good, it’s important to consider the potential for negativity on your grief blog. If you aren’t mentally and emotionally ready to deal with the darker side of sharing online, it might be best to wait a little while before beginning a blog.
Everyday Demands Of Blogging
It’s important to remember that running a blog has everyday demands. Even if you don’t post every day, you need to consider how often you’ll post. While you can make it as casual or serious as you’d like, it’s important to remember that comments or messages may come in at any time.
Embarking on this journey will demand a lot of your attention. Are you ready to give your blog that attention, or is it too soon after your loss?
Numbness Does Not Equal Readiness
It’s important to remember that feeling numb isn’t the same thing as healing. Your numbness in the aftermath of significant loss is a necessary defense mechanism. It allows you to get things done (like legal matters and funeral planning).
Unfortunately, we sometimes think that our numbness is a sign that we’re doing alright. Before you start a grief blog, make sure you’re ready to publicly work through your grief. Be prepared for your grieving process to get a lot uglier than it is right now, since actively working through your grief will force you to face it in new ways.
3. ASK YOURSELF IF YOU'RE OPEN TO CRITICISM & JUDGEMENT
Most people will be nice, but it’s important to remember that there are some terrible people who might say negative things when you open yourself up through a grief blog. Be prepared for comments both online and in-person.
If friends, family members, and even coworkers read your blog, you might hear comments about it. Make sure you’re ready for both the positive and negative comments. While most people will have good intentions, your openness about grief may open you up to criticism and judgement.
Some people have no problem brushing off online comments, especially if those comments come from someone they don’t know. Others may obsess over every comment. Before you start a grief blog, it’s important to know what type of person you are.
Decide ahead of time how you’ll handle online comments. Will you reply to every comment? Or will you choose to ignore the bad ones while engaging the positive ones? It’s best to have a plan ahead of time, since it may be harder to think when you’re left spinning from a negative comment.
In Person Fallout
Unfortunately, starting a grief blog puts you at risk of fallout in your personal and professional life. Grief isn’t always pretty, and sharing the grittier parts of grief online may cause problems for your real-life relationships. In the best cases, your blog may promote increased openness in your relationships.
In the worst cases, though, your words may upset other people. People may respond with judgement instead of empathy. One woman shared with us about how one time she was publicly sharing about her grief surrounding her miscarriage when she heard a man from the back of the room yell, “Who cares?!” While it’s hard to believe that people could be so calloused, it’s important to prepare yourself for the possibility that someone will say something so heartless about your grief.
4. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE TIME TO START A BLOG
It takes a lot of time to create content to share online. Before you start a grief blog, carefully consider whether you even have the time in your personal life. If you don’t have enough free time to keep up with a blog, it may not be a good time to start one.
You can post when you want, but you may decide to stick to a certain schedule for your posting. Do you want to post every day or just a couple times a week? It’s important to decide how often to post based on your ability to create content.
For a personal blog, it’s okay to post infrequently. However, building a blog into a grief community will require a greater commitment. If others are coming to your blog to process their grief, it’s important to make time to post on a regular basis.
Different types of content may take longer to create than others. While short updates on social media may not take up much time, writing long posts or creating an edited video may take a significant chunk of time.
When you’re figuring out how much time your blog will take, it’s important to factor in the medium you’ll be using to share your content. You should pick a type of content that fits within your time availability. Don’t commit to a weekly podcast episode if your free time only allows the occasional text update.
5. DETERMINE HOW RAW YOU WANT TO BE
Before you start a grief blog, consider how much you want to share online. Will there be limits to your sharing? Will you keep certain details to yourself? Figure out how you’ll determine what should and should not be shared on your blog. For more guidelines for online sharing, check out our guide to grief and social media here.
You should do your best to figure these details out ahead of time, since you may struggle to make decisions as you type things out. It’s important to create boundaries for yourself. You want to be honest, but it’s important to decide what details may be best withheld.
Blogging anonymously is one way you can protect your personal life online. You can create a blog without disclosing information like your name or where you live. Blogging anonymously is a great outlet if you aren’t sure how you feel about people at work reading what you have to say about your grief.
However, it’s important to remember that you cannot guarantee your anonymity online. Curious readers may be able to piece together clues to find out your identity. Even if you’re blogging anonymously, make sure you aren’t sharing anything online that you wouldn’t be okay with people finding out later on.
Levels Of Transparency
You might choose to share your identity and share details of your grief, but you may choose to withhold certain things from your audience. Starting a grief blog is not an “all or nothing” endeavor. Instead, you can choose the level of transparency you want before you begin your blog.
For example, you might have a boundary that you won’t share stories about your children without their permission. It’s important to consider your boundaries before you start your blog, since that’s one of the best way to prevent those boundaries from being violated.
6. PICK A PLATFORM FOR YOUR GRIEF BLOG
There are lots of options for starting a grief blog, many of which aren’t even blogs! While you don’t have to choose a platform you’ve used before, it may be easier to start a grief “blog” on a platform you’re already familiar with.
The following are different ways you can share your grief journey online.
Free Blogging Sites
Blogger and WordPress both have options that allow you to create a blog online for free. When you sign up, you’ll get a username and a web address (although it will have the blogging platform’s name in it as well).
These are great options if you plan on using a grief blog as a personal outlet. Even if your grief blog morphs into something else down the road, both sites allow you to upgrade to premium features.
You can purchase your own domain or share your grief journey on your personal website. This is a great option if you want to build a business based on helping others through your grief blog. If you want your blog to become more than a hobby at some point, you should consider purchasing a web domain.
Sometimes the easiest option is the best option. You might choose to make a Facebook page or Instagram profile to share your grief journey. This option is great if you want to make shorter content for people to read on social media. It’s important to note that if you create a blog website, you may also need to create social media accounts to share your content.
As of 2020, an estimated 55% of people listen to podcasts on a regular basis. Podcasting is a great option for a grief “blog,” since it allows listeners to hear your voice. It offers a more personal avenue for sharing such intensely personal details about your life.
To create a podcast, you need to make an audio recording and upload it to a podcasting site. You can share your finished podcast episodes on your website and social media to promote new episodes.
Vlogs (Video Blogs)
Video offers another great platform for sharing about your grief journey. You can create a YouTube account and upload videos about your grief journey. They can be simple recorded videos or highly edited recordings, based on your interest and abilities.
7. CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES TO BLOGGING
If you’d be just as happy doing something else, you should probably do something else. For example, writing might be the part of grief blogging that interests you. If this is the case, you might be best served by journaling or typing your thoughts into a document on your computer. Some choose to blog as a way to memorialize their deceased loved one. If you want to create a memorial for your loved on without the public exposure of a grief blog, consider investing in a piece of memorial jewelry.
It seems silly to suggest not starting a blog on an article about starting a grief blog, but it’s important to remember that blogging isn’t for the faint of heart. You must be ready to deal with all it entails. If you’d be just as happy doing something else, you should do that thing instead.
Drawbacks To Blogging
There are many drawbacks to blogging. It can be time-consuming and getting the technology to work can be stressful. Worst of all, people can say extremely hurtful things online. Trolls don’t consider your feelings when they comment online.
You must be ready to deal with these drawbacks. The end result has to be worth it to you or you’d be better suited finding a different outlet for your grief.
Instead of starting a grief blog, you might be best suited by participation in an online grief community. You don’t need to focus on creating content, but you can share your thoughts and feelings as they occur.
There are lots of great online communities centered on grief. If you think you’d be better served by joining one of them, you should try that before investing time and energy into creating a grief blog.
8. GET FEEDBACK FROM TRUSTED FRIENDS & FAMILY
Before you start your blog, consider getting feedback from people you trust. Ask your closest friends and families what they think about you starting a grief blog. Elicit honest feedback, since this can help shine a light on your blind spots. Your loved ones may be able to point out things you haven’t considered.
Advice From A Spiritual Leader Or Counselor
When you’re thinking about starting a blog, consider talking through the option with a spiritual leader, mentor, or counselor. Ask them if they think a grief blog is a healthy outlet. They may also be able to give you a better idea about your own readiness to share your grief online.
9. EVALUATE YOUR READINESS TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AND PROVIDE ADVICE
Are you ready to help other people process their grief? It’s important to remember that a large part of starting a grief blog is working with others who are processing similar grief. You should be prepared to accept other peoples’ coping mechanism with an open mind. You must also be prepared to accept the fact not everyone will be helped by your coping mechanism.
Is your heart ready to take on the emotions and the depth of another person’s grief? People will share their stories with you, so it’s vital that you’re prepared to deal with their emotions (in addition to your own).
Pivoting From Grieving To Helping Others Grieve
Your blog may eventually become less about your own grief and more about how you can help others facing the same types of grief. You may get to the point when you’re ready to help others face their losses.
Even in the short term, it’s important that you’re ready to answer questions. You may be in the thick of your grief, but so are others who are reading your words. If you aren’t ready to help others, you may be better served processing your grief in a different way.
10. WRITE DOWN SOME CONTENT IDEAS TO "TEST OUT" YOUR READINESS FOR BLOGGING
Before you start your blog, sit down for an hour and write down ideas for blog posts. For example, if you’re creating a grief blog about losing your dad to cancer, you might write down the following ideas:
- How planning my dad’s funeral brought me and my siblings closer together
- 5 things no one told me about losing a parent
- Surviving my first Father’s Day without my dad
- 3 things I wish I told my dad before he passed
- My favorite memory with my dad
You should be able to write down several ideas in one sitting, especially if you want to create regular content for your blog. If you don’t plan ahead, you might sit staring at your keyboard without any idea of what to write.
Once you have some short-term post ideas written down, you’re ready to consider long-term planning. What will you write about a year from now? You can write about your ongoing grief or revisit feelings from early on in your grief journey.
It’s important to know what you’ll write about when the initial waves of grief pass by and life moves on. Remember that it’s also okay to start a grief blog and discontinue it after you’ve processed your grief. Just make sure you know that’s your intention before you begin.
How To Start A Grief Blog
If you’ve thought through all ten points above and still think starting a grief blog is right for you, you’re ready to learn how to start a grief blog. There are lots of great resources online to help you get started with blogging. Below are the basic steps you need to follow in order to begin a blog.
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR FORMAT & PLATFORM
Figure out how you’re going to share your blog content. Whether you create social media posts, blog posts, podcast episodes, or video content, your content type will determine how you go about the rest.
If you’re sticking with a traditional blog, you need to pick a platform for your blog. You can sign up for a free blog website through Blogger or WordPress. You may also buy your own domain and create your own blog.
STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR BLOG'S NAME
You should create a name for your blog. It should be something that captures the intent for your blog and communicates that intent in a short, concise way.
STEP 3: PICK A TEMPLATE FOR YOUR BLOG
If you’re creating a traditional blog, choose a template for your site. It should be eye-catching and easy to navigate. Blogger and WordPress both have a wide variety of free templates to choose from.
Figure out what sort of design you like for your site. Although you can change your template later on, you should avoid changing it too often. Take time to choose something you really like, since it will be the framework for your site down the road.
STEP 4: WRITE & PUBLISH YOUR FIRST ENTRY
You can design your site all you want, but you won’t be blogging until you actually write and publish your first entry. Sit down and write your first blog post. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, you might just write a post about who you are and why you’re starting your blog.
STEP 5: PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
Once you’ve written your first post, you’re ready to promote your blog. Share it with friends and family and post it on your social media accounts.
When you have time, comment on similar blogs. Introduce yourself and share about your blog. When other people comment on your posts, make sure you reply to their comments. This will encourage them to share about you and your blog with others.
Blogging Frequently Asked Questions
Can anyone write a grief blog?
Yes, anyone can write a grief blog if they have ever experienced grief. However, you may not be ready to start a grief blog if you don’t have the time or emotional energy to dedicate to blog content.
Can I make my blog private to only family and friends of my own choosing?
Yes, you can. There are ways to make your blog password protected, only allowing people with the password to view your content. One of the easiest ways to select who can see your posts is by creating a social media account for your grief “blog.” Facebook and Instagram both have great tools that allow you to choose who can see your content. You can utilize these tools to make sure that only certain people are seeing your grief journey.
How do I respond to someone who is very critical and hurtful on my grief blog?
You don’t have to respond to them if you don’t want. If someone is being intentionally inflammatory, you have every right to ignore or delete their comments.
If you decide to reply, you can kindly (but firmly) let them know that their comment is overly critical or hurtful. You may also tell them that continued comments of a similar nature will not be accepted. You’re allowed to have firm boundaries and have every right to ignore people who choose to violate them.
How often should I post on my grief blog?
The frequency of your posts is entirely up to you. Some people post every day while others only post once or twice a week. It’s important to pick a schedule you can commit to and stick to it.
If your grief blog is strictly a personal endeavor, you can post on an inconsistent basis. You might choose to post whenever there’s a new development or when you need to process a part of your grief. Since it’s your blog, you make the rules.
Does it cost money to start a grief blog of my own?
It doesn’t have to cost money to start a blog. You can start a free blog on platforms like Blogger or WordPress, although the host site’s name will be in your blog’s URL.
If you want a unique web address, you will have to spend money on your blog. However, owning your own domain is not a requirement for starting a blog. If you’re still trying to figure out if blogging is right for you, consider blogging on a free site and upgrading to a paid site down the road.
What kind of grief can I write about in a grief blog?
You can write about any type of grief in your grief blog. You might write about the loss of a family member or friend, infertility, a difficult breakup, or any other grief in your life. Since it is your blog, you have full creative control. Your blog doesn’t even have to neatly fit in the category of “grief blog” to be your grief blog.
Writing Your Grief Story
Starting a grief blog can be a meaningful way to process your grief and remember a deceased loved one. Although blogging can be rewarding, it’s important to consider all aspects of blogging before you take the plunge and start your grief blog.
Make sure to carefully consider the time, energy, and resources needed to start a blog. If you aren’t sure if starting a grief blog is a good idea, ask trusted family and friends for their input on the subject. They can help you decide if starting a grief blog is the best way forward for your grief journey.
March 21, 2022 by Jeri K. Augustus