Are you one of the many blogging seniors who want to make some coin with your writing? Or a wannabe of any age looking for a quick buck? The answers are usually immediately yes and yes, But for older bloggers there’s a new wrinkle they have to consider.
Are you really past your sell date? Does your age prevent you from learning new-to-you writing tricks that you need? Can your writing actually compete with hot young coding expert whipper snappers for Google’s ranking attention?
It’s not only blogging seniors ...
It’s even worse when you belong to the dinosaur generation like me! Your body is older, yet you still feel those grey cells in your brain are working quite okay, thank you.
Leaving ancient school learning!
You look at some of the blog writing around you, and realize the writing, (let alone the language) really doesn’t measure up to what you learned at school and at home when you were growing up. Yet you have to admit these same smarty pants young folks are apparently making thousands. You have to start asking yourself could I learn how to write some of those money maker blogs?
Learn and earn isn't easy or instant - promise!
Study them, and you’ll find there are some characteristics that define successful bloggers:
- They have a passion for learning new technology, and putting it into practice.
- They are used to sharing on the world stage how they do things.
- They don’t let themselves be defined by the challenges they face. Instead they keep a shining virtual beacon of potential success firmly in front of them.
- They understand patience, walking before you run, is a systematic part of becoming so good that eventually others want to follow in your methods to success.
- They’re using social media extensively to promote themselves, develop their brands and market their products. These don’t necessarily mean their very own ones. Instead they become affiliate marketers. Like car sharing. You sign up, get your own code, and a little financial reward becomes yours if your readers click and buy through you.
- They get up earlier, so they can work on learning. This often takes the form of hefty payments to reputable bloggers who are at the top of their game, and have buckets of knowledge to share.
- They practise, practise, practise their writing.
- They have huge confidence, just totally believe they’re perfectly situated to succeed - and then they do!
Takes some to make some!
In spite of this, it’s only very recently I’ve started thinking that isn’t enough. What made me look at this predicament? Was it the tax man that did it? Was it the hazy, uncomfortable realization that dang, I want to value my writing and experience by earning way more from my site than I do at present?
When you start thinking like this, pulling up your virtual Rolodex cards in front of your face, you have to start facing up to reality. First thing is to figure out how you can do things better. In my case I had to consider two things I’d resisted for all this time:
- Buying knowledge from someone who has established a big presence on social networks.
- Developing my own presence on social media.
The latter still finds me resistant to the whole thing. I remind myself of Stephen King’s observation on it, and it’s like I’m thinking about diving into a very deep pool.
One day you wake up to realize your life is nothing more than a series of digital communications. You wonder, is all that blogging and twittering and facebooking really serving you, or are you serving them? Who is the master, and who is the slave?
Seems crazy, doesn’t it? I mean, supposedly you don’t have all that many years left to be around on this earth. You’ll be in it instead, in one form or another, so what’s the use?
Some facts here. If you’re 75, thanks to health technology, good genes and not eating processed convenience foods you could theoretically still enjoy another 30 odd years of learning, writing and blogging.
As a more mature blogging senior working at developing new neural pathways, I’m going to focus on a plan for future learning:
- Live every day like it’s going to be the last. You never know when that will be. Age is no guarantee of life span. Anyone could be hit by a Mack truck, any day.
- Use your old brain to explore new truths. The older brain is perfectly capable of learning new concepts, and even repairing parts of it that might have been damaged. This ability is called neuroplasticity, and has been extensively researched.
- There are several studies dealing with brain neuroplasticity in older adults. The essence of latest research emphasizes that the senior brain responds to “use it or lose it.” If you stop learning new things the brain ages. If you keep on challenging yourself it keeps on being smart, and even reversing some of the ageing process. Exercise helps a lot too.
- Choose your ride. I’m hitching my wagon to the knowledge and help of Jon Morrow, a hugely successful blogger who’s managed to achieve incredible success by learning how to move his lips the right way! He’s a young thing of course, and very cheeky, but I have a feeling he’s the guy who’ll prod me onto the right path for my objectives.
- Attitude can accomplish amazing things. You have to start somewhere, using what you’ve got. I hear older folks often state they can’t do this or that, because …, and then you hear the litany of why they can’t.These are folks who haven’t looked at modern technology, and how you can do or find pretty well everything you want. But it usually doesn’t just drop into your lap.
- Exercise, both physical and mental, is hugely important. But attitude to start on learning new things is just crucial. Be patient with the first bit of non-action, but then Watch this!
When in doubt...figure it out!
Through this lengthy process several things you’ve previously questioned about your own writing gradually and persistently become crystal clear. For instance I’ve always felt as if every blogger online had something to sell except me.
I have my product
Now I know my writing can be a saleable product, in time, and if I’m willing to follow in the steps of others who have businesses online. My writing “product” and research abilities can be very helpful to business owners who may be challenged with the need for excellent promotional articles, but an inability for whatever reason to fulfill this requirement.
It’s like having a good sales person, but not in your old fashioned thoughts of a bricks and mortar store in your neighborhood.
I’ll be filling stated marketing needs from business owners, and of course getting paid for it. That’s called content writing. But it won’t be on my site.
What I love is the idea breaking into new blogging fields of adventure, while continuing to enjoy my site here with you, the readers. Practice makes perfect as you know. But now I want to add this new dimension and capability to my writing as part of my learn and earn project.
Be brave - try something new today
There are all kinds of enjoyable things to learn, just by downloading books onto a free Kindle app you can have on your computer or device. Whenever I say this the response will invariably be, “but I like the feel of the pages in a real book.”
True, but does your "real book" automatically open to where you last read, let you mark parts that interest you, tell you what page you’re on, and keep your library orderly and always available? Attitude to try it might lead to good things!
I have a good library on my iPad mini, and always have something to read. It’s hard work toting books in your luggage to a destination holiday like I used to!
Wake up your brain!
*For this article I was inspired to download this book, The Scientific American Healthy Aging Brain, and I found it kick-started my confidence, but also gave me a sense of urgency about this new learning project.
Love this book. It's written in everyday language that any folks can understand, and without meaning to, it's motivational. It's also very educational.
And also, its my very first affiliate link! If you decide to be brave, and download the book to your kindle app through clicking this image something amazing will happen. I will get a tiny share of the proceeds!
Going with feelings of sudden doubt, I cheekily emailed one of the top bloggers and master of digital marketing technology, Neil Patel. Can I be successful at this? I asked.
“You can still do it. It's not late... even as a beginner you can learn and get things going. It takes time, but it is possible.”
Such encouragement. Instant love and sharing for this guy, and of course I subscribed to his site right away.
So in 2019 I’m going to continue on with looking to the future, my learn and earn project! There's no magic yellow brick road, but, fellow blogging seniors, if you decide to chart your course with the right folks, read lots, write lots, learn lots, and practise lots, who could doubt this seems to be a recipe for success?
It could be yours too, that’s the beautiful thing.