When I started blogging in 2014, my goal was to create a supportive community of like-minded individuals in the cancer space. I was a recent thyroid cancer survivor at the time who was looking for a creative outlet and a way to share my story and inspire other young patients and survivors. Fast forward almost a decade, and I’m now a thyroid cancer survivor, caregiver, board-certified patient advocate, and new entrepreneur.
But there was one thing that I didn’t talk much about in the past—my equestrian roots. When I started blogging, I was in the midst of a long hiatus from the sport post-college. I had friends who still had horses, so once in a while, I would go down to the barn to visit, but it wasn’t something I documented. Then last year, while I was in the middle of cleaning out my grandmother’s condo of 20+ years and adjusting to visiting her in the long-term care facility where she now resides, a friend invited me out to her new barn. We had ridden together throughout middle and high school and kept in touch over the years. Of course, a visit to the barn when you are a rider usually involves getting on a horse, which is what happened next. From there, she integrated me into her barn life, and I eventually started exercising some of the sale horses that would come in. Now that I’ve established some of my own connections at the barn, it’s been easier to get a little more time in the saddle. I’m so grateful that my friend encouraged me to get back to the sport that has played such a significant role in my life. It was exactly what I needed, especially at that time in my life.
I knew returning to riding would be good for my mental health (especially as a stressed-out caregiver), but I never imagined that it would be something that would resonate with my social media audience so much—and help me to grow my following and introduce me to new communities.
It’s funny how sometimes we start with one idea, and then when we put it out into the Universe, it morphs into something else. The same thing happened with my business when I put it out there (but I digress). In my early days of blogging, connecting with other young survivors was important to me, and they helped me as much as I hopefully helped them. But now I am at a different point in my life, and while I talk about cancer and caregiving often, reconnecting to the equestrian world is something that has brought so much joy back into my life, and that comes through in the content that I create these days.
So, what’s my point? While it’s good to have a niche, if you are starting as a blogger or are relatively new to social media, don’t be afraid to show the different parts of your life. You never know where your audience will be (or how they will find you). And, as they say, your vibe attracts your tribe—and it’s okay to have a few different tribes, as I’ve discovered!