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Most workers look forward to their golden years, when they can finally escape the 9-5 grind and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
However, when it actually comes time to retire, people inevitably experience mixed emotions.
You might feel apprehension due to the financial worries of living on a fixed income. Or isolation due to a loss of regular contact with friendly co-workers. And even guilt for not using your time productively.
All of these concerns can be addressed in one surprising way: start a blog of your own.
This might seem like an absurd suggestion at first. But consider how a blog can help you continue to demonstrate your knowledge and skills, earn money, and even market a new, post-retirement startup.
Demonstrate Your Skills and Expertise
If you want to continue to be a part of the conversation in your industry, you need to have a voice.
If you are a baby boomer looking to start a business after retirement, that voice is your own personal blog. Keep in mind that “personal” doesn’t necessarily mean “say whatever you want.”
To build a positive reputation online, you’ll want to use a friendly but professional tone while discussing relevant and trending events or news in your area of expertise.
You may even want to create how-to guides for people looking to complete tasks. For instance, if you worked as a web developer in your career, a guide detailing some HTML basics would be an appropriate piece of content.
There are two benefits to creating such a blog. First, a blog can allow you to spread awareness of yourself.
If you want to take on freelance or consultancy work down the road, you’ll need some evidence to demonstrate your expertise.
Second, your blog content can actually become profitable in and of itself, even when starting out with a limited following:
- You can sell long-form content as e-books.
- Blog content can be organized into online courses that you can charge subscriptions for.
- When you pass a threshold (typically at least 1,000) of site visitors per month, you can begin selling ad space on your site.
So how do you get more eyes on your content, boosting your blog’s potential profitability? You’ll want to reach out to enthusiast blogs in your industry and offer to write content for their sites.
In return, you should ask to be able to link back to your blog, which will bring in a relevant readership for your blog.
Using social media can also improve your visibility. Facebook ads and boosted posts, in particular, can be used to effectively build your follower count. Although, these tactics require a small investment.
Market Your Business Startup
Of course, you aren’t limited to selling content and ad space on your blog. Many retirees use their years after full-time work to create and maintain a business startup.
As noted in Forbes:
“Older Americans are actually well suited to join the start-up culture, whether they are pushed into starting a business in retirement (a layoff, age discrimination) or pulled into it (pursuing a dream, wanting to be the boss).”
While this may sound intimidating, you’ll find that having a blog can make marketing and generating conversions easier than you might think.
A blog, in conjunction with active social media accounts, gives you the ability to actively put your voice out there. Consequently, you end up sending people to your blog who can potentially become customers.
In addition to following the outreach advice given in the previous section, you should write top-, mid-, and bottom-funnel content.
These are fundamental pieces of what internet marketers call “the marketing funnel,” and it is a proven method of driving conversions.
Top-funnel content is designed to draw the interest of a general audience of readers who may have a passing interest in your industry.
Mid-funnel content will appeal to potential customers who want to learn more about your services and past successes. Or if they need advice for a very specific problem (hopefully one that your services or products can resolve!).
Finally, bottom-funnel content needs to persuade potential customers to make a purchasing decision.
Ideally, top-funnel content will internally link to mid- and bottom-funnel content, sending customers down the funnel. You’ll need a variety of content that suits readers at each point in the funnel.
Through this process, your blog can generate sales for your business startup. Once the ball starts rolling, you might want to invest in some tools to streamline your marketing process.
For example, a project management tool, accounting tools, email marketing tools, and a content management system.
These will help you quickly and efficiently generate new content, acquire new readers, and generate more conversions.
Who knew that a simple personal blog could become such a lucrative source of income?
Attention Retirees: How to Start a Blog
Sold on the idea? Get ready to start your own blog.
Pick a Domain Name
Create a domain name tied to your personality, name, or expertise. Be sure that it is short and easy to type. You may even want to use relevant keywords in your domain name.
For example, if you offer custom 3D printed goods, you might want to include the term “3D” in your domain name. Ideally, you’ll want it to be memorable.
Check Instant Domain Search to see if your dream domain name is available.
Select a Website-Building Service
Unless you have extensive experience creating and managing web sites, you’ll want to pay for a website-building service.
While this will incur a monthly cost that you might not want to spend, they come with many benefits.
Such services usually provide you with templates, e-commerce tools, and analytical tools to streamline the website-building process.
Once your site is live, you’ll need to start adding content to your blog — after all, no one enjoys visiting a site only to see an “under construction” notice and no substantial content.
When generating topics for your first few articles, ask yourself these key questions:
- Who are you trying to reach? Define your target demographic and focus on their needs. Many marketers like to create a “client persona” — a fictional customer that represents your typical client. Try giving this a shot and writing content that would appeal to this persona!
- What questions will the audience likely have about the industry as a whole? What questions will they have about your services in particular? Demonstrate the knowledge you’ve acquired through your years of work by addressing these.
- How can content drive further interest in your services or the industry? Create topics of interest based on current events. You may even find internal linking opportunities to mid- or bottom-funnel content, potentially turning that interest into a purchase.
Measure Your Content’s Performance
Take a look at your site analytics and social media accounts to determine if your content is having the desired results.
Use Google Analytics to track your web traffic for each piece of content.
How long do visitors stay on the site? Do you notice trends, such as certain types of content outperforming others? How do your click-through rates look?
Such observations could give you ideas for the direction your content should go in.
Furthermore, if sharing certain pieces of content garners more social media followers than others, you can use that information to shape your content and social media strategy.
While your retirement years are typically viewed as the years you should wind down, they could be a prime opportunity to find greater financial security and growth.
A blog is an essential tool to facilitate this effort. For more tips on monetizing your blog, continue reading at Right Blog Tips.
Devin Morrissey lives in Daly City, CA, where he writes about small business and SEO. When his laptop updates or his Wi-Fi is down, Devin modifies his friends’ cars and hunts for vinyl records.