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Blogging Over 50 Can Be Done
If you’re like me, you hear about all the change in this world, especially in the world of technology and it seems overwhelming at times trying to keep up with it all. Younger people seem to adapt really well.
Even though blogging isn’t something new, I would guess the percentage of those blogging over 50 must be quite small. I work in IT, and I only started doing it last year.
There are an estimated 200 million blogs worldwide. It started in the late 90’s. The word blog came from Peter Merholz, who took the noun weblog and broke it up into two words, we blog, creating the verb BLOG.
It’s the beginning of the year and I’ve written about exercise, diet, and goals. One of my goals last year was starting up a blog. It actually wasn’t too hard to start. I decided to put together a series of posts on starting a blog up from scratch. So some of you may be thinking the same thing. Yes I know there are tons of blog posts on starting up a blog, but there are a lot of people who would prefer to be taught by someone in their own age group. So let’s put the ole “am I too old to blog?” thought to rest. Let’s jump in.
PART ONE – WHY BLOG?
Any time you think about doing something, one of the first questions that comes up is why should I do this? So in this case, why should you blog? I list below many reasons for doing so. Take a look through the list and see if something resonates with you. So step one is just deciding if blogging is something you want to do. Don’t worry at this point what you will blog about, what you will call it, or how you do it. Keep it simple, do you want to be among those blogging over 50?
Reasons to Blog
1. Hey it’s Cheap! – Not many things are cheap, but blogging can be. You can get going for around $50-$60 per year. For that I’m talking about your very own website. You can blog on sites for free, but I would not recommend that. Having your own site gives you more freedom, and if your blog becomes popular, you will be glad you have it on your own site. Don’t worry about how to do this or where to do this. We will go over that in future posts.
2. Journal Your Life – If you read biographies of famous people, you will learn that the vast majority of them wrote in a journal, a daily account of their lives, how they felt, what they did, what they saw, who they met, how they did it. Keeping a journal is a great way to capture all of that information for future use. But it also helps to get it out of your mind. There’s a freedom that comes with lightening the load that your mind carries around, with all these thoughts running through your head. Writing them down frees up your mind allowing it to be more productive and creative. This is a great way to start blogging cause you don’t have to think about what you will write about it. You just write about what you are thinking about that day, or what happened the day before.
3. Learn to Write – There is no better way to learn than by doing. If you pick up a guitar and take some lessons, and practice every day eventually, you become a guitar player. You may never be Stevie Ray Vaughn, but you will play guitar. The same goes for writing. Do it every day and you can call yourself a writer. You may not publish a single thing, and you may not have the talent of Ernest Hemmingway, but when you write regularly, you earn the right to call yourself a writer. Doing it everyday will create a habit – a good one. The discipline will prepare your mind to know it is time to write, and the job will become easier.
4. Learn to Research – Sometimes you have to write about something you don’t know much about. You have the idea and it is something you want to discuss or learn in your own life. So you read books, take classes, research online, and talk with experts in that field and then you write what you have learned. The more you do it, the better and quicker you become. Suddenly you have even more to talk about with people. It is also has the benefit of making you smarter and a better thinker.
5. Learn to Create a Website – It is not as hard as you think. With over 200 million blogs out there, the process has become quite simple, but there are still tweaks you can do to your site. Once you have a basic site up (can be done in one day – a few minutes really), and you have blogged for a couple months, you can start to make changes to your site. Things like creating a logo, adding buttons for people to like your post on Facebook and color/font themes. In the process you will learn a lot about how websites are put together. There’s a lot of information out there on the web to help you too. Anything you want to do has already been done and there are articles, videos and podcasts to show you how to do it too. If you want some help putting your website together, check out my resource page for a link to a company that can help you. LINK
6. Connections – When you write about topics that resonate with people, they will come to your site to read your posts and leave comments. Some of these people will comment frequently and you will get to know them. These people can be very helpful and provide you with ideas for future posts, or teach you things. You will also begin to read other blogs in your niche and comment on their sites too. Through all of this activity, you are building connections with other people, and helping each other. You never know who you may meet and who you may partner with on a future project.
7. Market/Promote Something – After your traffic becomes large and you have developed a loyal group of readers who trust you, you may decide to offer them something additional for a price, like an ebook or consulting services. Since they already trust you and value you, your “tribe” will want to purchase these products and services. You can use your blog to write posts related to your offerings to help promote them and stir up interest.
8. Helping Others and Making a Difference – You may decide to start a blog with no interest in making a profit. But rather to help people such as; people who have been through a tough situation like health or family issues, a non-profit or charity cause, or to inspire people to act and help others themselves. One of the best ways to develop traffic to your site is by helping others with problems they have.
9. Become Knowledgeable or an Expert in a Topic – Through time and persistence your research and writing will make you very knowledgeable in a topic and others will perceive you as an expert or THE expert in that topic. This will drive even more people to your blog and may create opportunities to write a book, speak at conferences, appear on TV shows, or turn the topic into a business. Staying active on your blog and continuing to write new posts will help develop that knowledge and improve your reputation even more. You can become famous in your niche.
10. Develop Good Habits – Writing a blog takes a lot of discipline. You constantly need to be on the lookout for topics, write about those topics, edit your writing, market those topics and tweak your website. By developing a plan and a routine, these tasks will become a habit. You may not have time to blog with your current schedule, so you may be forced to wake up an hour early to make room for it. Is waking up early a good thing? Yes, if you’re a morning person and it helps you accomplish your goal. If you’re a night owl, stay up an extra hour instead. You will see that other areas of your life become more organized and disciplined as well. Your blog posts may help you become healthier. You may decide to run a series of posts on running, forcing yourself to train so you can write about the experience.
11. Make Money – If your blog develops enough traffic, or you attract a group of loyal followers, you could opt to make some money off of your blog. There are several methods to do so. One is to have your followers purchase products or services from you, like books or coaching services. A second method is to run ads on your site. And a third way is to have affiliate links on your site to products or services, and if visitors to your site click on the links and purchase these items or services, you earn money.
12. Forget the Rest and Have Fun – This should be your main reason for starting a blog. Don’t do anything that is a drudgery. Pick a blog topic that interests you, and you’ll enjoy spending time on it, even if it requires you to work on it daily. Treat this time as a way to use the creative side of your brain that may not get used very often. And if you’re lucky and pick the right niche, you can have a nice community of like-minded people to chat with.
If you’ve come to this post, you have probably already thought about starting your own blog. Maybe one or more of the reasons above are why you have given it some thought, and hopefully you are no longer asking yourself, “am I too old to blog?”, but rather “Yes, I’d love to be blogging over 50!”. If your answer is “Yes, I want to do this,” then come back next week for the next installment where we will get into WHAT to blog about. After we discuss the WHY and WHAT, we will discuss the WHERE and the HOW.
Questions? Please leave a comment.