I don’t discuss blogging very much…or at all on this blog, but I’ve been asked a few times about blogging and being slightly older than the norm. With that in mind, I”m here to share a few tips that will be helpful to any woman over 35 who wants to start blogging.
First off…every single living or non-living organism is relevant in this world. I find that to be completely true even if others do not, but when it comes to blogging, this can seem to ring false. Our universe is small when you take in what affects you personally and the blog-sphere is judgmental, short-minded and unforgiving. All that means is there is a type that gets more play than others and fandom can come and go as quick as a blink of an eye.
I started out late in this blogging game (I was 40) and while it was a hobby at first (I was working a 9 to 5 and needed an outlet so I wouldn’t kill my co-workers), it turned into a career within a few years. I than began to see that I was at a disadvantage from some of the more successful brown bloggers. They were:
I find myself to be beautiful but gorgeous…hard to say in comparison to the descriptions listed above. It was somewhat intimidating but I had to get over it and find my space on the internet and guess what…I did! My words were for all women (mostly women of color but all women can relate) and while some may feel a sting at the ‘racially ambiguous’ point mentioned above our world is still working out the kinks on finding everyone of equal value. Sad but oh so true.
Despite that limited skew of what people want, I find there is room for women over 30, over 40 and even over 50 out here if you want to blog and do it successfully. Here a list on what you need to be doing if you fall into that category (such as I) and want to give give being a blogger a try.
Follow your own voice
Sounds funny to put it in that way but if you become too bogged down by what others are doing, you may become anxious or veer off from the path that was meant for you. Work on what you find interesting and useful and worry less on what others are doing. It can be a rabbit hole you do not want to fall into as everyone has their own unique qualities that makes them relevant. Make sure it’s something you feel passionate about because you will become a blogger in that area and you will being discussing it a lot!
Know your audience and give they what they want (need)
Hopefully, that is something you are already doing but until you find out who they are, you are flailing in the wind. Do a survey with real questions to find out not only what they want from you but get to know them as well. I soon found out my readers were just like me, older black women, highly-educated, with older children, pets and career driven. That began to give me a face to my reader and I was able to give them what they wanted.
Don’t assume you and your biggest readers are even in the same age group. I”m not with mine as my readers are younger than me and at first that freaked me out! Like, what do I even say to them? Well, they are feeling some sort of kinship to my words and blog so I just need to keep saying what I’ve been saying and the rest is blogger history.
Make your voice heard
I knew very little about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but I made sure to learn and that is a big asset in getting your voice heard. I have much to say and it’s good information…scratch that. It’s excellent information but if no one sees it, is it really helping? Be a guest blogger, write for a bigger publication, do product reviews and always share your work everywhere! From Facebook groups to StumbleUpon to Pinterest, make sure your give the world access to your work. Every post I create can be found on at LEAST five social media sites because I know the importance of getting my work out there to the masses.
Be willing to evolve
We all know too well how many perceive the older worker. We are unwilling to change or learn and becoming obsolete and unmarketable. This is what they think of us and that can happen to your blog too. That is the quickest way to find your blog becoming stale and lose followers. Many popular bloggers are forever evolving and growing. You must do the same and I started out as a natural hair blogger and freelance writer for big publications but have evolved into a lifestyle blogger and creating books. I also discuss working for self as I am in that category and know black women are The fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in America.
No one says to stop being yourself or being fake. Just know that when working for self, and blogging, you will new a few revenue streams to stay afloat and realize when something is no longer working for you, the blog or your reader.
Show the market they NEED you
I have to say that me being an older blogger has NOT hurt my chances on working with brands. I know some bloggers feel brands only want to work with a certain type (like the list above) but I’ve worked with retail chains, to hair care brands to Fortune 500 companies promoting their products. The reasons I get these gigs is because I work with third-party companies (Influencer Marketers) like Clever Girl Collective, Massive Sway and TapInfluence and I am big on cold-emailing brands and telling them how I can positively promote their products. All they can do is say no or ignore you, but quite often they work with me because my voice is genuine and I can promote the hell out of a product.
Too often older bloggers feel they are not the right fit for big campaigns and while you may not be perfect for every brand, you are perfect for the millions of others that are out there wanting access to your readers and love your storytelling ability.
Do something different
I find there are an overabundance of older bloggers for fashion but when it comes to everything else…we are lacking. Older women have much to say and not just about fashion so if you are looking for a niche, look to any and everything because older women are interested in EVERYTHING! We love animals, art, beauty, home decorating, motherhood, politics, the environment and everything in-between. I am not saying nix the fashion blogging but know you can blog about anything and to set yourself apart from others, make sure it is something you feel needs to be said and is NOT already being said through your vision.
There are thousands of natural hair bloggers out here but not that many popular ones are over 30 or over 40. I snagged that niche up and owned it, and as an older woman I give a unique perspective to the niche.
Just a quick add: Anti-aging is BIG BUSINESS and brands are touting their wares in this category and readers are looking for the latest and the greatest info in this area. Being older gives you and advantage to discuss this topic (from skincare to hair) and brands will want you to try their products and share your experiences. Use your age to your advantage.
Know what you can give and give it differently than others by giving it your experience and voice. Worry less about what those Millennials are doing and concentrate more on your contribution as a blogger.