Chronic Illness Social Pod: What, Why & How

Chronic Illness Social Pod: What, Why & How | A Chronic Voice

What is the Chronic Illness Social Pod For?

So I finally set up the social media engagement pod I’ve been talking about! It wasn’t so difficult, but kind of tedious at the same time. I had discovered (after all these years, I know right?) similar pages on Facebook a month or two ago, and have found them helpful when used correctly.

One major point that bugged me however, was that a lot of the content was about the usual topics online – finances, fitness (not in a chronic illness sense), parenting, self-care (once again not in a chronic illness sense), make-up, fashion, travel, and a shitton of recipes (nothing against delicious food but yes, a whole lot!).

How Does This Impact Online Advocacy?

What this means, is that there’s a lot of access and promotion for such topics on social media. That’s understandable, as they’re appealing to us as human beings and will always be in demand. Who doesn’t like some entertainment or self-improvement?

Chronic and mental illnesses on the other hand, are dreary, godawful topics that we’d like to avoid as much as possible. No need to think about them until necessary *touch wood*! This makes raising awareness about chronic and mental illnesses online tougher.

Why I Set Up the Chronic Illness Social Pod

I felt like there was a huge gap and need for a separate group, specifically for our very niche niche. A group where people with chronic illnesses could interact and support each other, and at the same time grow their social media accounts in order to raise more awareness. Kind of a little infiltration into the social media space; a bit more reach into that black, mysterious hole called SEO.

Many of these social share groups also require total participation in all threads. For example, if a thread that you’ve participated in has 100 pins, then you need to repin all of them in reciprocation. I don’t see how this is helpful for anyone.

Pinning irrelevant pins to your account not only floods your feed with unwanted information, it also hurts your SEO. It might also make you lose credibility with your audience. This is applicable to all social media channels where you choose to reshare posts. Do you see where I’m going?

How Do I Participate in the Chronic Illness Social Pod?

I have made participation as accessible as I can for those with chronic and mental illnesses. (Feel free to let me know if you have better ideas anytime though!) None of the threads are too demanding, and only require you to share a certain number of posts that fit your niche and beliefs.

Think of the Chronic Illness Social Pod as an online spoonie bar, where everyone can go to get the latest news around town. Share your ‘best of’ or ‘please look at this’ posts there, so everyone can view them altogether, and help to spread the word.

Pin to Your Chronic Illness & Mental Health Boards:

Chronic Illness Social Pod: What, Why & How | A Chronic Voice
Chronic Illness Social Pod: What, Why & How | A Chronic Voice

Whilst you are expected to finish threads on time, they have a wide time margin and shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish. You can always let me know if you’re unable to finish a thread on time for any valid reason, too. They also run every other day, so if you don’t feel well today, just rest up and participate any other day!

These threads currently include blog SEO and comments, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest channels. Let’s ease into it together, and work as a team. We’re all chronically ill, so let’s do this our way – well paced with a lot of margin.

So that’s a little introduction to the Chronic Illness Social Pod. If you have more questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. I hope to see you there with everyone else soon!

2021 Update

I now have three lovely moderators who help me run the group to ensure that everything is going smoothly! I knew that I couldn’t do it all alone, and these lovely ladies not only stepped up to the plate, but have become very dear online friends to me.

They have supported me through panic attacks, pain flares, and we all try to do the same for each other. I really think that the involvement in this FB group has brought about more benefits than I had initially envisioned 🙂 Give them a read and follow here:

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*Note: This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.

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Chronic Illness Social Pod: What, Why & How | A Chronic Voice

Chronic Illness Social Pod: What, Why & How | A Chronic Voice

Chronic Illness Social Pod: What, Why & How | A Chronic Voice

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  • This group has been a life-changer for me. I’m learning so much from everyone. Also, it’s given me a purpose. While I don’t earn any money from my blogging, I see it as my job. I even now say to my family “I have blogging work to do” and I feel justified and productive. Also, I know that I am sharing good info for those who need it. This is a generous, kind, trusted group of people and it’s my honor to be a part of it. Thank you, Sheryl! (PS-I tried another group like this but not with other chronic illness bloggers; it did not have the same vibe. I couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel authentic.

    • ‘I even now say to my family “I have blogging work to do”’ – this literally made me chuckle because I can imagine the scenario. It really IS hard work blogging, isn’t it? Sometimes when I have no paid work to do, I spend 40 hours a week blogging in general (so many things to do!) – that’s like real working hours!

      I am happy you find the group so supportive. I agree – I am in many groups but many of them are full of dishonesty, can be intimidating, even stressful, and belittling. Together with you and the other moderators, I hope to keep this group supportive, kind and ‘clean’ – chronic illness or not 🙂

  • I’ve been a member for a while, but never got around to participating before. After participating last week I was super impressed by the support for other bloggers. Great idea!

    • Happy you managed to participate more – the more the merrier! The greater the awareness raised, and it’s a fab team of people in there I personally think!

  • I am so happy to be a part of CISP – it’s really opened me up on how other people create Chronic Illness content – the various perspectives and styles plus and most importantly, how supportive everyone is on this group. Quite proud to be on it.

    Thank you for starting this Sheryl – You started this group on January 9 2020… and I started my blog on January 7 2020 – and it’s proven to be super special for me. 🙂 …thank you once again.

    • I’m so happy you are with us, and how international our team is! 🙂 And wow, didn’t know your blog was so recent, it feels like it has been around a while! 😀

  • Very happy to participate and now be a moderator for the group Sheryl!

  • I absolutely love this idea. Unfortunately my health hasn’t allowed me to get involved as much as I would like yet. But I will. Thanks Sheryl

    • No worries Jo, take your time. Your health comes first as always! But just to let you know, there are some really light threads to participate in that might even be pain distraction 🙂 For example, the pinning or retweet threads. You just need to post your link, then repin/retweet 8 over 2-3 days. x

  • Love this idea and really like how you’ve set up the threads in the group to keep track of who is doing what, different to any of the other similar groups I’m in – makes more sense though. I’ve often avoided taking part because the posts I’d be sharing just don’t interest me at all or don’t go with what I’m doing online. Having one for our niche makes so much more sense. Thanks for setting it up.
    I am constantly amazed at how you keep on top of everything. So organised.

    • Hi Char, thanks so much for the word of encouragement! I totally agree hence why I set it up! I have no idea either, I don’t feel very organised lol :p I just do and then somehow it gets done 🙂 Sending love! x

  • This is amazing you created a group for other who have chronic illnesses. I hope you all bond together and grow!

  • Very exciting to hear you are focusing on this subject! Way to take an initiative in creating content on this!

  • Congratulations for finding the gap in the market and filling it with your creativity and ideas. I am sure that people with chronic illnesses will appreciate it and join your new community.

  • It’s really good when someone writes about something that needs more information for other people to understand. I definitely need to learn more about chronic illnesses and this is something that has taught me a lot.

    • Hi Kathy, that’s for sure! Sometimes the problem is that such content is out there, but isn’t spread around enough though! So hopefully this social media engagement group can help with that!

  • Good for you for establishing this new community where you felt there was a need! I’m sure that both you and the community is going to thrive!

  • Congratulations on starting the group. It is important for people in similar circumstances to have a common area for self-expression and be appreciated. It is not in my niche so I will not join but I do appreciate the idea.

    • Hi Kevin, thanks for the kind words and support. Definitely it’s better when people of the same niche band together because that can only grow and become stronger. If it isn’t then it definitely isn’t helpful, like pulling strings in all directions! 😀

  • Such a beautiful and noble cause! All my best wishes to you! Sometimes, it feels so good to meet and support who are in the same boat as you 🙂

  • Congrats on your group. I was thinking to change mine to engagement but since I already have so much work to do I gave up. And exactly what I was thinking today, how hard is to finish all threads I joined but I have to. What bugs me it that some people just come drop link and never do their part. Will check your soon! Thanks!

    • Hi Milica – exactly. And it’s so hard to keep track as well. I even found some admins of certain groups who drop links and don’t reciprocate in other groups (and kicked me out of theirs when I was following all the rules). So I hope this one is sustainable in that it’s a little slower-paced, and more niche/topic oriented. Wishing you all the best!

  • Woooohooo, well done Sheryl! You do so, so much for chronic illness community, I’m in awe of you. Will check this out now as I’d love to join if I may? And I think your issues around making it as accessible as possible are fantastic because there are some groups that get too demanding and overwhelming; when we’re already sick, this sort of thing can just make it all the more stressful. Huuuuge congrats on doing this and thank you!

    • Hi Carol! Thank you so much for the mutual support. I believe you’re in now! 😀 Yes agreed. These pods can be time consuming and irrelevant often. So I hope this one is a little different, and accessible to those with chronic illnesses, too! xxx

  • First of all congo for launching your new pod. My point of view is depression is caused by information overload and by light stimulation to the brain through your eyes by looking into the screen. And the treatment is to have a break from the electronic equipment and go out for a walk.

  • This is a beautiful pod, there are so many people out there suffering from depression, and with all the sad tragedies around the world, most of us experience the same most of the times.

    • Thank you, I hope it certainly is useful for both those who need it, and to raise awareness to those who may not have even considered such things!

  • Congrats on launching your new pod, i am so excited to hear it and be part of it. You’re right there is a gap and we need content like this. Thank you.

    • Join us if it fits! Yes there is a gap for awareness on invisible illnesses. Thanks for your support!

      • Good job; great post!
        We are all suffering from one illness or the other, and even mental illness. Even when we think we are not, there is always someone beside us who is. And it happens to be something we can’t talk about or might find embarrassed to mention or admit.
        This is a great channel to do that.

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