You’ve decided to jump feet first into the realm of the unknown, and you have officially submitted your adoption application papers to your agency of choice. Upon approval, you have a lot of decisions to make. Do we adopt internationally or domestically? Do we differentiate between a boy or a girl, a single or a sibling group? What about special needs? If we choose to go overseas, what country do we choose? How will we afford the first payment? What about all the ones after that?
Even if you don’t decide to formally announce your paper pregnancy, one viable way to encase yourself with a strong village of support, one that will hopefully grow at the same rate as your journey, is to start a blog. Here are six blogging tips to help you run the best adoption blog.
1. Use an interactive hosting site to start the best adoption blog.
There are plenty of free hosting sites available for you to start your blog. Learn the ins and outs of the one you choose, and make it completely user-friendly. Make sure it is easy to navigate, and utilize the tools it gives you, like adding various widgets to your main page. Computer engineers have really sunk some hidden treasures into these free blog sites, so make sure to invest the time in making it what you need. Some good places to start are Blogger and WordPress.
2. Have all your information easy to access.
When you’re designing your blog, make it visually appealing and completely organized. Have your domain name match the title of your blog, and have the big important “need to know” items as widgets on the front page (things such as your fundraising goal, list of recent updates, timeline, country/demographic of your future child, adoption announcement photo, etc.). Having various headings at the top of your web page that can link to more information is a great idea – heading ideas could be “our story,” “fee schedule,” “puzzle fundraiser,” “t-shirt fundraiser,” etc. Each fundraiser would ideally have a separate space on your blog, so that each one could draw in a specific crowd. Make sure to have your updates easy to access, and keep things organized and easily found by date.
3. Update, update, update.
If you want to build a community of support, start writing. Write even when you don’t think you have something to write about – even the mundane is worth knowing. When your village thinks you’re just sitting there, twiddling your thumbs, help them realize that you just filled out your tenth 15-page grant application. When you haven’t updated in awhile because you’re stuck waiting for travel dates, update your support group with a personal submission stating why the wait has been so hard for your family. Don’t be afraid to over-update. Those outside of the adoption world don’t necessarily realize what goes on behind the scenes – addressing the timelines, paperwork, governmental hoops, and never-ending bills help others realize why the plight for adoption truly is a group effort.
4. Ask others to share your story.
Social media can be an adoptive parent’s best friend. Utilize your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and/or Twitter to create an even bigger audience. Asking others to share your story truly often only takes a single click. And, with each additional share, you are reaching more and more people that are outside of your inner circle. Pulling people that you don’t personally know onto your blog not only widens your fundraising efforts, but it will help others learn more about the adoption process and culture our world faces today. You’re well on your way to the best adoption blog!
5. Link everything back to your blog.
Whether you are hosting a silent auction fundraiser on Facebook, or sharing a personal story on your Twitter account, an important way to continually filter people back to your blog is to always include your domain name in any of your online posts. Linking back to your blog will encourage continual, reliable traffic. And let’s remember: more online traffic = bigger support community.
6. Be REAL.
Don’t be afraid to share the hard stuff, the personal stuff, or the money stuff. Those things are the real side of adoption, and the world deserves to know how hard adoptive parents are fighting to unite children to their families. The adoption world is already full of bribery, judgement, and sneakiness – we need to continually combat that with honesty and truth. Encourage people to interact with your journey by asking questions and commenting their feelings. Adoption can’t be about only sharing the good. Adoption in and of itself is a difficult process, and we need to make sure that we can be honest about our journey, and share with others what adoption truly looks like.
Having the best adoption blog is a completely doable, and borderline necessary, endeavor. Don’t be afraid to jump right in and ask people to join you. If parenting takes a village, adoption can take a whole country. Build up your support group by being organized, concise, and REAL while sharing your ups, downs, and in betweens on your adoption blog.-