This is post #15 in the series: CHOOSING A NICHE
Do seniors really use the internet? And do they really blog? Yes, they do! In fact, in December of 2009 The Neilsen Company released statistics which showed that, by the fall of 2009, over 17.5 million seniors (age 65+) in America were using the internet. Between 2007 and 2009 alone, the number of seniors visiting social networking and blog sites increased by 53 per cent. In fact, by fall 2009, 8.2% of all social network and blog visitors were over 65. And of course the numbers of seniors who use the internet – and who themselves blog – are increasing every day. Add in the numbers of “young seniors” between 50 to 65 and those numbers likely double.
How old is too old to blog? Perhaps you think that most of the “seniors” who blog are at the lower end of the age spectrum, perhaps under 70 years of age. Not so! There are seniors blogging – and reading blogs – in every age decade: fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties – and yes, hundreds! In fact, one blogger, Olive Riley of Australia, blogged regularly as long as she lived: age 108! So it is unlikely that YOU are “too old” to blog 🙂
Would anyone be interested in your blog niche? Seniors use the internet for personal e-mail, online maps, weather, paying bills, posting and viewing photos, news, health care information, travel planning, recipes, and business and finance news. And those are just the top 10 uses and topics – there are countless more! So as you can imagine, no matter what your personal interest or passion, there is no doubt a group of internet users who would love to read (or watch via video or photos, or listen via podcasts and webinars) your blog!
Why do seniors blog? Here are some reasons:
- mental exercise: to keep your mind sharp
- to meet people and expand your social circles
- to bring the world to you when you can’t get out there
- great way to communicate when one’s senses (hearing etc) are failing
- provides a voice, a public platform
- connect with the world
- to learn new things
- to keep up on current events
- to share life experiences
- to share knowledge and wisdom
- to teach hobbies and career skills
- builds self-esteem and sense of accomplishment
- keep connected with loved ones and friends
- to tell stories, write poetry, and other literary endeavours
- to share your life story, and the story of your family
- to reestablish appreciation and respect for elders in our society
- and yes, even to get a bit of fame and recognition
Society benefits from Senior Bloggers! Blogs are a great way for seniors to accomplish any of these goals. The cost is minimal (or even free), and not only are the personal benefits great, but in sharing their wisdom and knowledge, seniors enrich the younger generations. Society benefits from the recording of history by those who have lived through it, and the same goes for the recording and building of cultural identity. Seniors can also pass on useful tips to younger people who are following in their career paths; you can become a wonderful teacher and mentor. Seniors who have succeeded in business can help young people establish their own businesses. Seniors can pass on useful skills which are being lost.
And unlike traditional ways of writing and sharing information, with blogs you don’t have to worry about finding an agent, or a publisher or printer. You don’t have to put money upfront. You don’t have to worry that there will be no readers, for search engines will bring you readers from many parts of the world. And if you are hoping to make some money from your blog, that is also possible, though of course you will have to work at it (find some starter information here and here).
Here are some interesting articles about seniors blogging:
- Blogging and writing opportunities for seniors
- Meeting Blog Friends – by Roni Bennett
- Blogging: It’s not Just for the Young – By George Williams
- Why Blogging May be Good for an Elder’s Health – by Sarah Henry
Coming in part 2 of “Niche ideas for seniors blogs” : A list of some niche topics for seniors blogs; links to lists of seniors sites; a discussion about writing by hand vs writing on computer; and links to some useful “how-to-computer-lesson” sites for seniors.
Question of the Day: Look at the list (above) of reasons seniors blog. What reasons relate to your life? What other reasons can you think of? (Please list your ideas in the comments section below. Thank you).
Tip of the Day: If you think blogging is only for young folks, get started today before you get any older 🙂
Put it into Action: Read the articles listed above (just click on the links) to get more inspired about becoming a senior blogger!