Filling the internet with more and more unnecessary content?
And for what?
What a waste of time!
Is that what you are thinking?
As you would imagine, I beg to differ.
Blogging is the number one strategy used by many professionals today to demonstrate their authority and knowledge in their field of expertise and become, what’s known as an “influencer” (although not every influencer is knowledgeable about what they write about!).
While you might not have the time or the interest to focus on building a successful blog, regularly publishing and sharing articles that highlight your knowledge on the topic might help you become one of the go-to authorities in a specific area, leading to new opportunities you might not have earlier imagined.
Opportunities you might be able to pursue while traveling and discovering new places!
If you put a sound message forward, to the right audience, in the right format, through the right channels, you could be opening doors you never imagined much earlier than you expected!
Too old to blog? F of.
That’s right: F of.
That’s exactly what you just go ahead and politely tell anyone who implies implicit or explicitly that blogging is not for the over fifties.
Or to those who might suggest you will get lost when it comes to technology.
Remind them that while we might not be “digital natives” (a term coined by U.S. author Marc Prensky in 2001) and did not grow up with the Internet, recent research has shown that baby boomers comprise the fastest-growing segment of smartphone owners in the US and they make up a third of all Internet users, with a third of those boomers describing themselves as “heavy Internet users.”
Google’s study of more than 6,000 boomers and seniors confirmed that:
• 78 percent of boomers and 52 percent of seniors are online
• The two groups spend an average of 19 hours on the Internet each week, more than with TV, radio and magazines/newspapers
• 71 percent of boomers and 59 percent of seniors use a social networking site daily (the most popular being Facebook)
• 82 percent of viewers say YouTube is their preferred online video watching site with three in four online video watchers have taken action — such as searching on the Internet for more information — as a result of an online video.
• 77 percent use their mobile device simultaneously with another screen
• 82 percent of them use a search engine to gather information on a topic of interest,…and to broadcast their opinions, not unlike these very savvy, very cheeky older internauts:
We are not digital natives, sure.
We might be what CNN’s Olivery Koy would call, “digital immigrants”, “a relic (thank you very much, Olivery!) of a previous time… Old world-settlers, who have lived in the analog age and immigrated to the digital world.”
There might be a lot more differences than merely our typing speed.
We might even process information differently (they say that we digital immigrants take it in linearly instead of switching from source to source at warp speeds as natives do).
But so what?
We still have a lot to offer.
The generational digital gap is narrowing
In many places.
We know now that over half of the world’s population is online – that’s more than 3.5 billion users.
Today, those of us in our late forties and early fifties represent 5% of 3.5 billion.
That’s 175,000,000 persons all over the world.
Added to the other 175,000,000 users in their fifties, sixties, and seventies and you have over 350,000,000 digital immigrants ready to hear your story.
And who knows? Younger audiences may also be interested in what you have to say!
So, yes, by all means…
Say what you have to say!
Forget about stereotypes, false myths, and unsolicited and unwanted opinions.
From a technology point of view, it’s never been easier to start a blog.
And while monetising it will not be without its challenges, it’s certainly very doable.
For me, at 53.
And for you, whatever your age.
How do you get your blog to become a significant source of income?
Community and Traffic.
The two main building blocks of your monetised blog.
If you create a community that trusts you, and you get traffic towards your blog, you’re onto a really good start.
More visitors mean more clicks, more sales, more donations, more potential customers, and more of anything that has the potential to generate revenue for your blog.
Now, there is something very important I would like you to drum into your head every time you start writing a new post:
One thing is to have traffic, and the other is to have Qualified Traffic
The first one will give you a lot of hype but it is of little use when it comes to monetising.
The second will give you a lot of hype but most importantly, a reader who is interested in your offer.
Exactly the same that would happen if you had a physical tennis equipment store.
You may have the store chock-a-block full of customers but if the crowd gathering there is only interested in playing football, no one is going to buy anything from you!
And how do you get qualified traffic to reach your blog?
There’s a lot to be said about that – in fact, the whole internet is full of content about that precise topic – but for now, here are some ideas:
- Write stellar and original content.
- Write content that seduces both Google and human beings (I’ll shortly tell you all about that in another article).
- Be you and nothing but you. It’s great to be inspired by someone you admire, or one of the pioneers in your field. But don’t forget that showing who you are is the best way to establish a bond with your reader, and to find common territory.
- Focus on solving your readers’ problems. But beware! Please avoid the “I’m great and you are a nobody trying to learn from me!” kind of attitude.
Stay away from anything that resembles “I have succeeded, and you have not”.
You must know your reader very well to understand what kind of problems they face and what you can contribute to their lives to make them feel better.
- Publish in other blogs as a guest author. By writing in another blog, you make yourself known to an audience interested in your area that you have not had access to until that moment.
This is starting to generate qualified traffic.
But what can you do to turn your blog into a healthy source of income at 50+?
Where do I begin?!
For a start, I want you to take your blogger hat off, and put your Expert hat on (humble expert, of course!).
From now on, you are a mentor, a teacher, an entrepreneur with a lot of experience in a certain field.
And you have a lot to offer.
Ok, expert mode on.
And now? How do you start making money with your blog?
1. Through Adds
You have the option to generate income on your blog by publishing Ads from the following companies
- Google AdSense
- Text Link Ads
- Text Link Brokers
- And other private companies
2. Through Affiliates and Collaborations
Jonathan Morrow, one of the most popular bloggers today, recommends forgetting about the potential passive income that the ads in point 1 might bring you, and focus on selling your own products and services or collaborating with affiliates.
How does the affiliate system work?
You simply promote the product or service of another company in an article, or in some other space of your blog.
When a visitor clicks on your affiliate’s link and purchases their product (or completes the action set by the visitor), you earn a commission.
There are countless Affiliate Programs you can join:
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Partners
- Rakuten Marketing Affiliates
- Commission Junction
But be careful! As Flynn himself warns:
No passive income is generated overnight.
Writing a blog and capitalising it’s a marathon.
If you are a sprinter, this will not work.
Few become viral stars of the digital world overnight.
Things take time.
You have to gain the trust of your reader.
So, take a deep breath, and take it step by step, like a good marathon runner would.
The key is to enjoy every second of it.
You’ll see how soon enough you’ll reach that point in the race where you feel comfortable enough to separate yourself from the squad.
And when that time comes, you can start to think about:
3. Selling your own products and services.
- Create and sell digital products: Ebooks, courses, apps, plugins, domains, online workshops, webinars, premium content IPs, mentoring, and any other formats you can come up with
- Sell physical products: books, handmade products, merchandising, etc The sky is the limit!
- Offer services: it will depend on your skills, but you can promote your services as a designer, audio or video editor, app developer, virtual assistant, social media manager, copywriter, beautician, etc.
- Share your knowledge in person: through talks, seminars, presentations, workshops, etc.
And can you imagine yourself travelling around this wonderful world of our inspiring others and writing about a topic that you have always been passionate about?
I’m doing it!
And you can too!
Yes, even if we are digital immigrants!