Blogging over 40 – Paula Gardner @ Soothed in the city

images-78  The Beauty of Blogging.

My friend, Paula Gardner of Soothed in the City, published this great article today.

I’ll end with a quote from my friend Karen de Villiers of http://mysilverstreet.com/

“I love blogging because I feel I have a voice that may resonate with others still finding theirs. It is therapeutic and helps me be more creative. Blogging regularly is a discipline, and leads me to thinking about the world in a totally different way, finding interest in everything I do and see.”

me-at-cantrebury

ADVICE FOR FORTY SOMETHING BLOGGERS
As a blogger over forty (I hesitate to use the word “middle-aged”), at first glance, I don’t fit the usual blogging mold, but, dig deeper and you’ll find there are plenty of us. Still, we are a small part of the blogging population and if you’re over 40 and thinking of getting into blogging, you can be forgiven for shrugging it off as a young person’s game.

It certainly doesn’t have to be, but what I will say about being an older blogger is that things are different. For a start, you probably have a much more intricate life with many responsibilities and obligations. You may be working, have a family, be looking after parents, volunteer for charity or run a club. You may, like me, also be at University and juggling that with working to pay the bills. Where on earth will you find time for blogging?

There’s also the confidence issue too. I’ve spoken to many mature bloggers who confess that they wonder who on earth is going to listen to them, who feel a bit “funny” about writing a blog (“it’s a bit self-indulgent isn’t it?) or who just feel outside of and daunted by the blogging social scene, which is where you get all the insider knowledge on how to make blogging work for you.

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With fellow blogger, Hulya Erdal, from Made by the Chef.
I certainly don’t have all the answers. I blog both for work on another site and for fun here, and finding the time, energy and inspiration to do both is pretty damn hard I have to admit. But I persevere. Why? For a start, this is a lovely creative outlet for me. I’m proud of what I do here and it’s fun. Soothed in the City feels very me! Even though I may not have the answers, I do have some years of experience now, so I hope that by sharing this I may help anyone over forty – well, perhaps of any age – who is considering starting their own blogging journey.

Accept it for what it is: you no doubt have a complex and multi-layered life and you should be proud of that. So, if that means you can only blog once in a while, accept that that’s how it is for the moment. But you can still start. You don’t have to wait for the kids to leave home or your job to be less stressful. In fact you will be able to share your experiences with you children and it may help your job feel less stressful.
Go along to the blogging events. The two big ones are Tbex and Traverse (for travel bloggers) and the first is held all over the world. You’ll also find plenty more on niche areas like food or fashion, especially around London. Check out Meetup as a good place to start your search. Although it may feel daunting to walk into a group of bloggers who probably all know each other, blogging is a very sharing community and people are friendly and supportive. You will not be the only older person there, I promise.
Do it your way. Your life comes first. If you’re getting stressed by articles that say you should be posting three times a week, just remember that one of the perks of being our age is that we’ve earned the right to do things our own way. this should be fun so blog with that in mind, and not stressing about reaching some random gurus high expectations.
If you can’t get to meetings and events reach out virtually. Share other bloggers’ content and social media posts, ask if you can interview someone or just look for local people that you can meet up with, one to one or in a smaller group.
Be prepared to learn. There are bound to be things you don’t know, whether that’s about how to use Instagram or SEO. Every blogger goes through this, whatever their age. The rewards of making the effort to get to grips with them though are huge. But, as I said, this is meant to be fun, so learn them in a way that suits you. This could be a workshop, an online course or just asking someone for one on one help. There is a fairly steep learning curve in the early days of blogging – writing your posts are only the tip of the iceberg! But it is worth it, I promise!
It doesn’t have to all or nothing. A while ago I went through a time when I just didn’t have the heart to blog. A bereavement, family issues and needing to concentrate on work sent blogging out of the window. I could have packed it all in, but instead I waited my time and came back to it when I was ready, and I’m so glad I did this rather than throw in the towel.
Be realistic with your social media. As I said, there’s a lot more to blogging that just writing, and social media is one of those jobs. My advice? Pick one avenue that you enjoy and concentrate on that. Fun remember!

I’ll end with a quote from my friend Karen de Villiers of http://mysilverstreet.com/

“I love blogging because I feel I have a voice that may resonate with others still finding theirs. It is therapeutic and helps me be more creative. Blogging regularly is a discipline, and leads me to thinking about the world in a totally different way, finding interest in everything I do and see.”

Read more about Paula at www.soothedinthecity.com

images paula gardner and linkedin

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