My first few months as a blogger were filled more with the sound of crickets than critical acclaim.
When I started Sixty and Me, now a community of over 500,000 wonderful baby boomer women, I had exactly one reader – myself. Actually, that’s not entirely true. My son also checked in from time to time to give me support, but, if I’m honest, I was basically talking to myself.
Now, just over 4 years later, it’s not unusual for me to bump into someone – at a train station, a temple or a coffee shop half way around the world – who follows Sixty and Me.
Every time I visit a new city, I look for members of the community to meet with. Sixty and Me has become more than just a blog, but, I still appreciate the opportunity to write and meet other amazing women from all across the world.
Looking back at the evolution of Sixty and Me, it occurs to me that blogging is actually a fantastic way to make friends and increase your happiness. Here’s are a few reasons why.
As I mentioned before, the process of finding friends starts with learning to love and appreciate ourselves. When we force ourselves to share our opinions with the outside world, we learn who we are on the inside.
The great thing about starting a blog is that you don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone else. For several months, you won’t have anyone reading your articles anyway. Oh, your cat may be fascinated by why you are spending so much time at the computer, but, he won’t have much to say.
So, my advice to new bloggers is this – relax. Write about your passions, values, experiences and hopes for the world. There will be plenty of time to get more serious about choosing crowd-pleasing topics when you actually have an audience.
When I started Sixty and Me, I wanted to create a place for dynamic boomer women to come and share ideas about getting the most from life at any age. I wrote about health and fitness, family and friends and many other topics.
Most of the time, people start blogs related to their passions. This is a fantastic opportunity to interact with people who share your interests. As your blog becomes more popular, every post will become an opportunity for dialogue. Instead of looking for friends, interesting people will start to come to you.
Of course, none of this will happen overnight. But, that doesn’t matter. If you’re writing about something that you care about, you should have the energy to keep going until you build an audience.
As a side note – be extremely cautious about seeing your blog as a business. Unless your goal is to establish yourself as an expert and make money consulting, starting a blog is a really hard way to make extra cash. It can, however, be a great way to make friends.
What are you passionate about? Do you love gardening? Are you addicted by building model train-sets? Have you set yourself the goal of getting in the best shape of your life?
Even if you don’t consider yourself an expert, if you keep blogging for long enough, while you improve your skills, you may become an expert in other people’s eyes.
Since starting Sixty and Me, I have been invited to speak at events all over the world. I have interviewed other people who are passionate about helping people to get the most from life in their 60s or 70s. I still consider myself to be more of a “student of life” than an “expert,” but, I also have learned to appreciate the fact that others can learn from my experiences.
If you are looking for a way to make new friends and become happier, I hope that you will consider blogging. Unlike so many other things that people tell you to do when you want to make friends, blogging is something that you have complete control of. So, why not give it a shot? The world is waiting to hear what you have to say!
Do you want to share your passions with the world while making new friends? If you are a regular blogger, what advice would you give to someone who is just getting started? Please join the conversation.