Kate Swenson Opens Up About the Secret World of Autism
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog?
Hi there, my name is Kate and my website is Finding Cooper’s Voice, a site that I created over six years ago to talk about autism and our families journey with our son. Today, I share stories daily of hope and love and joy surrounding the secret world of autism. I want people to see the humor and the joy in our world. I want them to not be afraid of the word autism. I want them to think of my sweet son and how awesome he is when they hear the word autism. I want to change the world for him especially and people like him. It’s a big dream and I refuse to give up.
How did you get started blogging?
My son was 2 years old and I knew something was going on with him. I could feel it. I could see it. But it was almost like no one else could. And I wasn’t able to help him. Or, talk about what I was feeling and seeing. So, I started a blog on my living room couch late one night after a few glasses of wine. And for years I wrote just for myself about what I was feeling. Writing saved my life.
What is the mission behind Finding Cooper’s Voice?
My mission has always been to create a safe space where families of children with special needs can come and share their stories. A place where they can celebrate the unique joys and also the unique struggles that they face. A place where they don’t feel quite so alone.
What is the one thing you’d want people to know when it comes to autism?
When my son was diagnosed 6 years ago, I only heard about the hard and the fight and the scary and the things he would never do. No one spoke about the amazing life that he would live and that we would get to be a part of. A diagnosis of autism is not the end of the world. It’s just the start of a different one.
How much has creating your blog helped in building community with other parents?
Daily, I get hundreds of emails, messages and comments from parents and grandparents, thanking me for creating this place of education, love and hope. One of my goals now is to connect these parents with each other either via texting, video chatting or even in person. No one should ever have to be alone with a diagnosis.
Share with us a favorite quote!
“Believe in your child so much that people think you are crazy. And then believe some more.”
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What tools or resources do you use that help with your blog?
I use mailchimp, survey monkey, adobe photoshop and design as well as multiple photo editors.
What social media tools can you not live without?
I work very closely with Facebook and communicate with them often. I test many of their tools and offer feedback on what works and what doesn’t. I am a member of a few groups on facebook where other bloggers and influencers share trends and that really helps me when I see changes in engagement.
What do you focus on most when it comes to creating content?
Authenticity and vulnerability. I also make sure every single thing I post is on brand (is this helping another parent out?). I do not post anything different and I will admit sometimes that is hard. But I want to stay focused on helping parents.
What are some of your favorite posts you’ve written?
I Never Knew Being A Mother Would Be So Hard For You
Share with us any goals you have for 2020.
This year my goals are to use my platform to elevate voices in the special needs parenting community. Especially women! I want to have my in-person events for moms and for children as well as to kick off a sibling group. And lastly, finish writing my book! I signed with a publisher in March!
Any tips you want to share with bloggers just starting out?
Speak your truth and be as vulnerable and as real as you possibly can. And don’t let anyone silence you. Trust me, they will try. People often ask me how my following got so big…my answer is, I said what I was feeling. My words were polarizing, and many hated me but even more loved me.
What’s your favorite book?
Anything by Jodi Picoult
Where is your favorite place to travel?
Anywhere warm! Anywhere I can sleep 12 hours a night.
What are some of the most popular posts on your blog?
When the Autism Super Mom Gets Depressed
A Letter To My Other Son…The Sibling To A Special Needs Child
I’ve also had multiple videos go viral on Facebook!
What’s the best blogging advice you’ve ever received?
Set up a daily posting calendar and stick to it. To grow you need content and it needs to be sharable. So every day produce content. Yes, a viral post can change everything but volume counts too.
What are some of your favorite blogs or bloggers?
My favorite blogger/writer is Carrie Cariello. She is the best writer ever. I also read Tinkles her Pants, Keeping up with Kya and Cody Speaks daily!
What is your favorite part of being a SHE Media Partner?
I love that they manage my ad stack. I would love to do more though. I would love to be a resource if possible. I have grown a large following from my living room couch and I’d love to help others do the same!
What steps have you taken to increase your website traffic over the last year?
Created a content calendar, do more live video on Facebook and write for other larger websites.
Thanks so much, Kate! We love your site and can’t wait to partner with you more.
Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.
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