WHY START A BLOG WHEN YOU'RE OVER 50?

Why start a blog when you're over 50? Jo explains why she did it and why it's such a great idea.

INTRO

When you live in a smallish town in the southwest of Western Australia you don't expect to bump into anyone who reads or, more amazing still, writes a blog. So, I was surprised and delighted to find that Johanna Castro (who writes a fabulous Midlife blog called Lifestyle Fifty) lives almost in my backyard. She is a gorgeous person both inside and out and I'm delighted to have her as my guest today. Jo has chosen a topic that resonated with me and I'm sure will interest bloggers and non-bloggers alike - here's why you should start a blog when you're over 50...

WHY START A BLOG WHEN YOU'RE OVER 50?

It’s not necessarily normal to just start sharing your life journey with the world. Offering life tips, style hacks, and advice about getting older along the way. Then there are all the ‘selfies’ that need to be taken, and begging your photographer son and husband to do your fashion shoots. When you’re knocking 60 years old this is a little - er narcissistic for sure.

But these days, compared to when I first started blogging in 2010, there are more and more empty nesters, mid lifers and yes also sassy granny bloggers jumping on the bloggie band wagon.

SO WHY START A BLOG?

I think the over 50s demographic in the Western World has become fragmented, and over the garden fence natter has disappeared in favour of Facebook groups and online searching. Many of us no longer have extended families around us for support because the world has become a global village as so many people move country or region.

More than ever before we live in a youth centric society in which age isn’t applauded so we can’t expect to become revered Wise Ones and it’s easy to lose our way and sense of purpose. I think we’ve become quite disconnected in a general sense, plus it’s easier to become isolated as you get older, yet we are looking at living longer than ever before in history.

Writing a blog can give you a wonderful sense of connection. It can connect you with a wide community of women who think the same as you and who are going through similar life challenges. Basically, in a fragmented world it can help prevent loneliness as you age.

Finding a like-minded tribe is one thing, but there are other benefits too.

1.     It keeps the brains cells working as you stay up to date with technology.
2.     It’s a fantastically creative pursuit - and you can tweak this in many different   directions depending on what you write about.
3.     It gives you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
4.     It gives you good reason to get up in the morning and be organised.

SO WHY DO I LOVE BLOGGING?

The crux is that I’m a writer with a motivation that runs deep in my veins to help, entertain and act as a crash test dummy in some ways for others going through the same things at the same stage of life as me. Ever since I could read, I wanted to be a writer and my dubious career  started when I was 19 when I fell into writing for newspapers and magazines courtesy of a lucky encounter.

Then I married a geologist and our lives became peripatetic, but this gave me the wonderful opportunity to become a freelance writer. Moving to Australia was our 11th international move and the GFC made it very hard for me to find freelance gigs.  So I started a blog about our new home, and all the great things we were finding out about SWA.

Why start a blog when you're over 50? Jo explains why she did it and why it's such a great idea.

From there great things happened. The blog provided a platform for other things, writing freelance articles for the West Australian Newspaper’s Travel Section, and updating the WA section of the Fodors Travel Guide. I started attending blogging conferences on the east coast, and made many new friends all interested in the same thing as me - which was blogging - and sharing our lives and our challenges, our tips, news and life hacks online.

LIFESTYLE FIFTY

I started Lifestyle Fifty just after I turned 50 because I found this Big 0 was a bit of a milestone when it came to how ‘old’ I really felt. My style had gone to pot, my sense of adventure needed bolstering and I realised that there were many other people like me over 50 who wanted to look good, feel good and have adventures. Women, who like me were finding this age to be a very different country when it comes to style, travel and keeping fit.

Why start a blog when you're over 50? Jo explains why she did it and why it's such a great idea.

My message is all about the art of ageing and living the good life - it’s not about taking up knitting and waiting for the grandchildren to arrive. It’s about embracing the next phase of your life with gusto.

I love what I do. When I get up in the morning I can’t wait to get to my computer. This is a big downfall because I can forget to exercise and eat! My tribe, my friends and my blogging peers are online. It’s where I connect with my readers, it’s where I learn, and most of all it’s where I create - and creation gets me up in the morning.

Yes, it’s the blogging life for me until the day I can dream no longer!

I’d love to know how and why other mid life women started on their own blogging journeys, and what blogging means to them.

Jo and where you can find her: 

Jo Castro loves to write, and share insights and photographs of everyday, and not so everyday, moments.   You can find her online at Lifestyle Fifty (https://lifestylefifty.com/start-here)

Jo Castro loves to write, and share insights and photographs of everyday, and not so everyday, moments. 
You can find her online at Lifestyle Fifty (https://lifestylefifty.com/start-here

Why start a blog when you're over 50? Jo explains why she did it and why it's such a great idea.
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52 comments

  1. Hi Jo, so lovely to see you over at Leanne's Social Saturday. You know I'm a fan of yours and am always inspired by your style and also I enjoy reading your memoir posts and didn't realise what a fascinating life you have led. I never thought of blogging as replacing the 'conversations over the back fence' but my connections with other bloggers is just that! I think we are all facing Midlife & Beyond with such positivity that we feed off each other. I'm almost 61 but don't feel it because I don't worry about my number. I'm focusing on life not my age. Thanks Leanne for another fabulous Over 50 blogger and enjoy your weekend, ladies xx
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

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    1. Hi Sue - I loved Jo's post too - she's led such an interesting life and I think blogging is all about sharing our stories, connecting on different levels and cheering each other on. It's hard to believe that ten years ago Midlife bloggers weren't on the scene - we're certainly making up for it now!

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    2. Hi Sue, thanks for your lovely comments. I too am a fan of yours :) Mutual midlife crush! Yes, I totally agree that age is just a number and we must live every day to the full - whatever that means for each person.

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  2. I've always thought that blogging was the modern day version of chatting over the back fence! Love Jo and her blogs.

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    1. It's a great analogy isn't it Jan? I think that's why I love end of the month round-up posts so much - it's like catching up for a coffee with a friend.

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    2. Hi Jan, thanks so much :) Yes, it really is like having a chat over the fence - I'm not sure what borrowing a cup of sugar looks like though - maybe that's asking for blogging tips!

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  3. Great post! I don't blog alot but for me it's realising I have something to say. Maybe others want to read it or maybe not, but blogging is my way of saying it.

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    1. I think your FB group is your back fence Michele :) I guess it's all about how we choose to engage - some like a long natter, others like short snappy chats and we're discovering we can do both/either online - and we're loving it!

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    2. Hi Michele, I think like Leanne says - we are all different in how we engage with others. It can be short and sweet or long and wordy, but I think there are always people online we can relate to somewhere.

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  4. I have stories to tell. And I'm so grateful that there are wonderful people who want to hear them! And better yet, tell me theirs!

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    1. I love your stories Diane - it's like you live in an exotic foreign country - all that snow and wide open farmland - so different to where I am!

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    2. Hi Diane, I think it's so wonderful that everyone has different stories to tell - and that these days we are privileged to be able to read or hear them.

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  5. Hello Jo and Leanne! Happy Saturday! Thanks for the insight into your blog, Jo. I started my blog a couple of years ago at age 54 as an outlet for my desire to write creatively, to help me sort through this transition into midlife, and to connect with others. It has worked wonderfully in all three respects! I love our blogging community and the friendships I have made here!

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    1. It's funny Christie - I had no strong reason for starting my blog - other than having somewhere to put my thoughts - but I've gained all three benefits that you mention and they've probably become my top three reasons - another similarity between us x

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    2. Hello Christie, how interesting to read about your own reason to start a blog. Yes the community around mid-life blogging is just ace!

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  6. Hi Jo and Leanne. Great post. Yes to creating in all kinds of ways. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Janet - thanks for stopping by and (being a creative person) I think you'd be the perfect person to describe blogging as a creative outlet.

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  7. Hi, Jo - I greatly enjoyed learning more about you here. Like Sue, I had never thought of blogging as replacing chatting over the backyard fence...but it makes total sense. Like you, I love reading, writing, listening to the stories of others and sharing my own. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Hi Donna - I think Jo really nailed it about the back fence chat - another blogger uses her FB page much more than her blog - I see that as a different form of the same concept - shorter and snappier, but still engaging and connecting. We've been so blessed to discover our online community.

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    2. Thank you Donna :) We are so lucky to have this wonderful online network :)

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  8. When I started blogging I had no idea about any of it really. It was all about my writing in the beginning, making myself get it out of my journals and put it into the world telling the story that wanted to be told. Now I am discovering the communities and the support available . I was especially struck by your comment.. 'its not about knitting and waiting for the grandchildren to arrive ' because I think that has been me waiting and not seeking out my own life. I am very grateful for all the wisdom women sharing honestly their lives and I hope to learn how to be better at being me. thanks Jo for the reflection and you..leanne ..

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    1. I'm the same Sandra - I started because I wanted to put my stuff down somewhere for posterity. It seems to have morphed into something else completely and I love that transition and the friendships and connections and encouragement - it's all such a joy isn't it?

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    2. Hello Sandra, thanks for sharing why you started blogging too. I think it does give us a reason to reflect and look at our own lives going forward, so that we don't just wait for the grandchildren to arrive!

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  9. Thanks for putting this into words. Many of us have stories to tell, but no one to listen. I learn so much from just chatting to others, and listening. Having been house bound the past few months had certainly highlighted the benefit of reading & sharing blogs. Cheers, Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa - my husband tells me that my online life is starting to replace my IRL - I seem more reluctant to make the effort to go out and engage with people when I can be sitting at home chatting to other bloggers who "get" me more than a lot of IRL people do these days. It's been such a blessing to discover the Midlife blogging world.

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    2. Hi Lisa, thank you. I'm glad that you've found a community to join while you've been housebound. May it long continue to be a source of joy for you too :)

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  10. I confess, I never thought much about the benefits of starting a blog at/over 50. I just did it. But, reading this excellent post, I found myself nodding my head, saying, "Yeah! That is so true!" It's good for us, too. I loved this highly relatable piece. I will be checking out your site, Jo.

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    1. I never knew what blogging had to offer when I started either Heather - it was just something to try. THEN I discovered the Midlife community and all the lovely women out there who are writing and connecting and cheering each other on - and I love being a part of it - I feel like I've found my "people" :)

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    2. Thank you Heather - look forward to following you too :)

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  11. I may not be a revered wise one, but even at 60+ I still feel that I have interesting, useful and humorous things to say. I'm glad I discovered other over 50 bloggers because, yes, it sometimes feels like only the young are catered to in our society. I started out with a political blog, retired it, and then started up a new one about a year ago. Like you, I blog because I love to write and express my creative side. Thank you for being part of a wonderful community of bloggers!

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    1. How have I not found your blog yet? I've just discovered where you are through your profile link and will be off to have a read! I completely agree about the need to be heard and valued and how much we still have to offer. That's the joy of finding this wonderful group of women who blog at 50+ and who are so supportive. I hope you'll be back x

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    2. Hello Snoring Dog Studio, thank you :) Like Leanne I'm going to check out your blog too :)

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  12. Jo, I started blogging when I realized I loved to write and share my thinking with others - kinda be a "sage" with my experiences and learning. ( It was what I did while working and loved.) But I've gotten much more... a tribe of women (and men) who are inspiring me and supporting me as I figure out this next stage of life. Yes, it's my backyard fence. Great analogy!

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    1. Pat what you wrote there is EXACTLY how I feel - I thought I'd start writing my thoughts down and I love your "kinda be sage" description - but the unbelievable bonus was all the fabulous people I've met and who I connect with every week - it's such a joy to open my blog every day and read the comments and to visit other bloggers to read what they've been up to.

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    2. Thanks Patricia, glad you liked the analogy. So glad that you too are finding blogging to be both inspiring and supportive. We are so blessed :)

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  13. Jo - thanks for sharing your story. I've often used the 'front porch' analogy to describe the new form of building community through social media, but I like your 'over the fence' analogy too. I am at the beginning of my blogging journey, but I started it like some others have mentioned, to share my thoughts and experiences with those who might be able to learn from them. I've written reflectively for work over the years and many people encouraged me to share more widely. We'll see how it goes...

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    1. Janet I think we start discovering this wonderful Midlife community and the engagement that comes with it and wonder how we ever thought we could blog without them. I really love the comments, the encouragement and the friendship that blogging brings with it - that's what makes it worthwhile for me.

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    2. Hi Janet, I think a common theme is coming out about how much people want to share their thoughts and experiences with others who are interested or who might learn from them. I look forward to reading more of your stories :)

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  14. Yes, Snoring Dog, everything seems to cater to the young. When I turned 50, I started to feel invisible. Even my adult children unwittingly discount my previous life experiences, and I've done a LOT of different things. Like Patricia, my professional work including providing advice, by phone and email. I still have those skills, but miss the satisfaction of sharing. I guess we all have a lot to contribute still, regardless of age. I had a creative blog, but it became a chore. Maybe it's time to reconsider, with a different focus. Thanks, all of you! Lisa in Melbourne (Australia)

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    1. Lisa - Do It! Start another blog that reflects where you are now. I blog on the Blogger platform - it costs me nothing and it keeps evolving as I learn more and find my voice. If you're at home more these days, it's the perfect time to join in the Midlife fun with the rest of us x

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  15. This is just the way I see it too!! I loved Jo’s post and her reasons for blogging. Thanks for sharing other bloggers with us Leanne!!

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    1. I think she has it pretty well defined Deb - you start with something and end with a community, an outlet for your thoughts, and a whole new world to embrace - what's not to love?

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  16. Because you can and it is a great creative outlet. Have a wonderful Monday

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    1. Perfectly said Patrick - what would we do without our blogs?

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  17. Hi Jo and Leanne,
    Months before I started blogging (in October 2016 at age 57), I wrote my three reasons for having a blog. I still look at those three reasons all of the time and use them as my metric for deciding whether my blog is achieving what I want and still satisfying to me. It is on both counts! My three reasons are (with a touch of embarrassment for the loftiness of the first one):
    Make my art - combine words and images in ways that bring more beauty into the world and inspire people.
    Synthesize, consolidate and understand what I am learning on this profound journey of mine.
    Find my tribe of women who want to live vibrant, creative, purpose-filled, passionate lives.

    Leanne is a highly valued member of the tribe, and now it looks like she has just introduced me to another. I'll be checking out your site, Jo. And thanks Leanne for letting us know about Jo.

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    1. Hi Karen, I absolutely relate to your reasons for starting a blog, and I don't think #1 is lofty at all. If we don't have big dreams and ideas for our blogs then they are at risk of simpering and dying. It's sometimes hard putting ourselves out there, even though we know there is a majority who will love and support us regardless - even so, we have to be brave and bring our own ideas of beauty to the world as well as entertain, inform and be part of a tribe. Yes, isn't Leanne amazing!

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    2. Karen I couldn't believe anyone would be that intentional about starting a blog - then I realized it was you and you always put a lot of thought into what you do (so why would blogging be any different!) I think you've achieved all three and I love being part of your tribe xx

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  18. For some reason Leanne I had it in my head that you are in SA. How wonderful for you to have Jo close by! I blog because I just love to write, and I love the immediacy of feedback and connection with others that you can get from blogging.

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    1. Yes Jo and I are almost next door neighbours Janet - she asked me where I was and I was busy trying to explain the complexities of WA's Southwest - only to find she lives on the other side of Bunbury to me - amazing! And yes, you're right - the connection and the putting thoughts down somewhere would be my top two reasons as well.

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