The most common advice handed out when it comes to blogging is, “Blog about something you know and are passionate about.” That’s great advice, as your passion will continue to provide you with a wide range of topics to write about, while your knowledge in the field will give your posts the authority that readers expect, and that combination will result in attracting a steady stream of new readers.
But no matter how smart you are, how much you know, or how much time you spend researching, there are times when you want to write about a subject that is unfamiliar to you, or involves remote locations that you can’t visit in order to gain firsthand experience.
When I started the Global Patriot blog I knew this would be the case more often than not, as the topics which interested me covered everything from human rights, hunger, poverty and violence, to helping the environment and health care. I knew a fair amount about each of these topics from news reports and documentaries, and there’s a wealth of information online, but in some cases that wasn’t enough.
While many medical disciplines reside in the laboratory, the true end goal is about treating people, and this is never more true than when medical teams are called upon to save lives inside conflict zones. In these situations, nothing can substitute for the experience of someone who was actually there.
I didn’t work for Doctors Without Borders, wasn’t a trained doctor or nurse, and had never visited DRC. What I did have, however, was a passion to write about the topic, and a reputation at Global Patriot for blogging about issues affecting people around the world who were in need of medical aid. So when I reached out to the Director of Communications at DWB, he was very supportive of this project and opened doors to internal resources who could provide me with the human experience I was looking for.