A Non-Mental Health Blog Post

How I Grew The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Collaborative Blog


I have been asked by email over the last week what it takes to build a blog like The Bipolar Writer blog. I will first admit I took a class as part of my bachelor’s degree that taught me a lot about growing a brand through a blog. I made the decision to have this blog as both a place to share my experiences and my writing.

A Brand Name

The first thing that I did was come up with my brand. For a long time I thought of myself as “The Bipolar Writer” because it was who I am– both writer and living with Bipolar One disorder. The brand is valuable on so many levels.

Having a domain name vs. a free WordPress blog

Success comes down to the willingness to spend some money to grow your blog. I knew from my past experiences that just having a blog is not enough– no matter how good the content is that you are writing. The first thing that someone does comes to your blog, so it has to look good. With a premium account, you get a domain name and the quality themes.

Always have pictures in your “featured image”

There are fantastic free photo sites out there for all the non-photographer bloggers out there for you to use. I use unsplash.com because it gives me the opportunity to get quality pictures and to give credit to the photographer. Images make all the difference in a post at least in my opinion.



I am by no means an expert at writing the most catchy titles every time out when writing a blog post. It is the first thing that a potential reader sees, so make those titles a good as possible.

A Collaborative Blog

Creating a safe place where people could share their own experiences with mental illness alongside my own changed this blog forever. Working with others is a good thing.

Have Series on Your Blog

One of the best parts of blogging is the series that you can start. My favorite is my “Interview Feature series” that shows the many sides of mental health. Series gives you an opportunity to share different things. My second favorite series here is my music series.

Be the Real You

My last piece of advice is perhaps the one I learned the most over the past year of growing my blog– be yourself. I started two blogs before The Bipolar Writer blog. I came off as an expert who thought he knew everything about mental illness. I came off pretentious and kind of a no it all.

So, when I started this blog, I decided to be me, and share my entire journey no matter how hard the topic was to talk about because at the end of the day people know when you are genuine.

Photo Credit:

Emma Matthews

17 Replies to “A Non-Mental Health Blog Post”

  1. Thank you for this valuable information James. You are definitely doing the right things on your blog. I would love to make mine a collaborative blog and add a series feature, but not sure exactly how to establish good ones. I have tried different things to make those happen, but maybe never pursued them long or hard enough. I will keep plugging at my blog to improve it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is so refreshing to read a to-do list that has nothing to do with SEO. Thank you for imparting the tips, easily graspable by non-tech folks like me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts and ideas! They were quite helpful, and I realized that I should try to start a “series” and also that I need to try to make my blog more collaborative. Do you have any ideas for how to make a blog more collaborative? Do you mean to share other people’s posts on your blog or to make it a place where people can share in the comments, or how specifically could I accomplish this? Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Collaborative to me includes guest blog spots that fit into your niche, and for me adding people to my blog as collaborative writers (you can find the list at the bottom of my website) is that grew my blog. I have about 30 other bloggers who write on my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such awesome advice! I recently decided to purchase my domain and have really seen my blog grow. I can’t wait to really start using some of these other suggestions. Keep being you — your blog is incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very helpful, thanks James! I didn’t know about creating a series and was just putting links in my posts. It’s a revelation!

    Liked by 1 person

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