2023 Project: Focused Learning in Retirement
My 2023 Project is to do some focused learning each month. In January, my focus was about Finding Purpose in Retirement, and in February it has been about Blogging in Retirement. In March, it’s going to be about Financials in Retirement.
I’m using the “in retirement” addendum because I’m learning that learning in retirement is a lot different than learning in school or at work. It really requires self-discipline. No one is holding me accountable except myself. I’m the only one who really cares if I complete these learning goals. There are no grades or certifications, accolades, or recognition. (That is, unless I choose to take a class or program that gives those things. )
However, part of my process is to hold myself accountable by writing a blog post about what I learned, so.. that’s what I’m doing now!
Making Money Blogging in Retirement
I’m a very experienced blogger. I love technology and have been interested in blogging and social media platforms and tools since they’ve been in existence. I’ve been blogging personally and professionally since 2005. Here are a few of the personal blogs I’ve created:
My Carpe Diem Life: My personal blog about love and relationships
Happier at Work: Part of a passion project to bring more happiness to the workplace
Who Gives a Twit: A Blog about Social Media
Carpe Diem Coaching: This is a free WordPress.com blog that I actively used in 2009 and 2010 for career networking and growth
These blogs were all created for free and were very easy to maintain. You don’t need to be a techie to create or write a blog.
However, it is very difficult to make money from blogging when you’re just doing it as a hobby using free blogging software. You can put ads on your site, but the payout is so small and the market has gotten so competitive that, unless you have a very big following, you’re not going to make much money this way.
That being said, if you have expertise in a niche domain you might be able to make money by writing or blogging on an established site.
I’m a freelance writer for TechBeacon and write articles about Agile technologies for them, which is an excellent way to make some extra cash and still keep current.
Other Ways to Make Money Blogging
Besides ads or freelance writing for established profitable businesses, many entrepreneurs make money with their blogs with Affiliate links or by using their blogs as a marketing platform to sell other products or services that they provide.
Since I have a background in coaching, training and writing, I’ve thought this blog might be a good opportunity for me to build a big network and that some day it might set me up to market a book, course, or do some freelance coaching.
The thing is, the market is saturated with people trying to gain attention with their eBooks, newsletters, Webinars, and other offerings. It’s very difficult to be competitive unless you dedicate time and resources to really gaining followers. Most entrepreneurs that are successful with this have virtual assistants and high-priced offerings.
Can Older Women Make Money Blogging offers up an optimistic point of view and I don’t want to be discouraging. However, I’ve realized for myself, that I don’t want to invest the time and money it would take to be competitive.
Blogging as a Hobby in Retirement
Even though I’d like to put CarpeDiemDay on the map, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d like the time I spend on this blog to be much more of a hobby than a job. In retirement, I’m very conscious about wanting to limit my screen-time.
On the first page of Carpediemday.com I have links to wonderful Websites and blogs that promote the messages I believe in. There’s no need for me to try and reinvent the wheel.
Blogging might be a good way to network and find others with common interests. This was especially true for me with professional networking. In retirement, not so much. Though it’s still a good avenue for making virtual connections, maybe because there are so many social media networks available to us now, I think there are better ways to make friends and connections.
For me, the real benefit of blogging in retirement is that it gives me some purpose. I like the accountability of writing something at least once a week. If I can post something of value, all the better.
What I Learned about Blogging
This month I learned a lot more about WordPress and Plug-ins such as Yoast. I learned techniques to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that I might increase traffic to my site.
I was reminded I need to target an audience. (This is another reason I’m using the “in Retirement” suffix more.)
I also learned more about the many tools available to create newsletters, create a brand, and monitor traffic.
After being the recipient of “Carpe Diem Day” as a 60th birthday present 3 years ago, I had felt self-imposed pressure to get a lot of followers on this site.
I still would like this site to act as my legacy. (Stella has agreed to maintain it after I die.)
I still would like to blog weekly, following some of the blogging practices that I learned about this month around readability, SEO, and adding value to a targeted audience.
However, I would like its primary purpose to promote others and the other sites who are spreading messages about living life to the fullest. Yay!