People blog for many reasons. Originally, I started my blog the end of 2013 as a platform for a book I wanted to write to help baby boomers find happiness.
In fact, I’m writing this article to celebrate my 200th blog! (You can take a look at my top ten blogs below.)
It’s so easy to get frustrated when you first start a blog. As a technically-challenged person, I had to learn WordPress. Then, I spent a lot of time promoting my blog and trying to find an audience. As with most bloggers, I quickly became obsessed – and depressed – with the numbers – how many visitors, subscribers, and Facebook followers I had on any given day. Turns out building up readership for a blog takes a LOT of time, effort, and patience.
But as time passed, I realized my blog provided much more than an author platform and it wasn’t all about the numbers. Blogging served a different and more profound purpose. I would even say that it’s changed the way I look at and live my life.
That’s why if you’re thinking about starting a blog, I’d highly recommend it. That is, if you’re blogging for the right reasons.
If you’re starting a blog to get rich or even to eke out a living, well, don’t count on it. Monetizing a blog is super hard these days. In fact, after three years, I’m still not making money from my blog. By the way, don’t believe all the hype from people selling online courses that try to convince you blogging is a great way to make passive income. Make no mistake, writing and promoting a blog is a ton of work. There is nothing passive about it.
So Why Blog?
Some people may disagree with me, but I think blogging shouldn’t only be about making money, drumming up business, gathering a huge following, chasing fame, or trying to sell books.
Blogging can serve as a creative outlet to voice ideas, thoughts, and feelings. On top of that, writing a blog provides a wonderful opportunity to inspire and touch the lives of other people in a positive way.
How Blogging Changed My Life
My blog has certainly seen me through many ups and downs these past few years. I’ve written about joyful moments like a trip to Chicago with my husband to celebrate our anniversary, a day spent playing in the snow with my grandchildren, watching Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones at Desert Trip, and a quick weekend trip with my kids to San Francisco.
I’ve also poured my heart out while caregiving for my Mom who suffered from Lewy Body dementia and wrote about her eventual death. I shared my angst when my mother-in-law died from ovarian cancer and my son went through a painful divorce and custody battle that same year. (Ironically, shortly after I started writing a blog about happiness, I had the worst year of my life.)
Yes, I love reading, which provides a welcome respite from my troubles, but writing is my real escape, outlet, and passion. When I write, I become so focused, my problems fade away for awhile, giving me a much needed break. In fact, if you’re truly a writer, believe me, it is a life-long addiction!
As I’ve written about my life, my blog helped me think about what’s important to me and determine if my life is headed in the right direction.
Since I can’t write about every event, idea, thought, and feeling, blogging provides a sort of filter, clarifying my life. My blogs have helped me understand what is most meaningful to me. I’ve discovered along the way that sometimes it’s the simplest moments that make me the happiest.
As a professional writer, my blog gives me wonderful creative freedom to express myself. Not to pop anyone’s balloon, but writing sounds more glamorous than it is in reality. For most of the past 25 years, I’ve written articles on subjects that magazines, newspapers, publishers, and clients choose for me.
True, I’ve written two young adult books, travel articles, humorous pieces, and feature stories on fascinating people that were fun. On the other hand, in order to make a living, I’ve also written articles that bored me to tears. I’ve tackled technical articles – and one technical book – that gave me an Excedrin headache and drove me nuts . I’ve written on demand, meeting other people’s deadlines, writing late into the night as my brain is desperately trying to call it quits.
Don’t get me wrong. I may sound whiny, but I fully realize that I’m darn lucky to have made a living at something I love. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
The point is, my blog is my baby. I write on subjects I’m interested in and feel passionate about and hope my audience will enjoy as well. My blog allows me to stretch as a writer, explore, experiment, and try new things whenever the muse hits. Writing professionally has given me the discipline to publish a blog every week, but I write my blogs when I choose. And believe me, that’s not at the crack of dawn or 10:00 at night! That is luxurious.
Thank You for Joining Me on My Journey!
So, those are some of the ways blogging has changed my life. But, as I mentioned earlier, the huge bonus is that blogging can change other people’s lives as well.
Some of you have left comments letting me know that I have in some small way inspired you or provided useful information and that always brings me such joy. Writing a blog has provided an opportunity to connect with readers and other bloggers, which has been so rewarding.
I’m beyond grateful for the 23,000 people who have visited my blog, for my 5,000 subscribers (click here if you’d like to join them and receive your copy of a free eBook), 5,000 Twitter followers, and 1,200 Facebook followers who have shared this journey with me. A HUGE THANK YOU!
When I hit milestones, I like to review which blogs have been most popular with an eye to giving my readers more of what they enjoy. It’s always interesting to see what resonates and hits home.
My Top Ten Blogs
So, without further ado, here are my top ten blogs in order of popularity. Feel free to click on any of the links of blogs you’d like to check out:
Every year, this is my top-performing blog by far. Merriam-Webster defines happy-go-lucky as blithely unconcerned and carefree. Synonyms include affable, laid-back, low-pressure, and mellow. I guess we all want some of that!
I was asked to do a book review of Bobby Rydell’s autobiography. This led to an interview, free tickets to his Golden Boys concert with Frankie Avalon and Fabian, and a backstage pass to meet Rydell in person. This was a nice perk that came from blogging! The day they posted my concert review on Rydell’s Facebook page, my visitors increased by 3000% for the day. No joke!
This blog has held a top-three spot since I began blogging. Hey, it’s either laugh or cry through menopause, and wouldn’t we all prefer to laugh?
Everyone has problems that make us feel powerless and defeated, so I’m not surprised this blog made the top ten. I offer three simple tips on how we can control our outlook and still choose to be happy despite our troubles.
If you look back on your life, which moments would you count as your happiest? What would be your biggest regrets? That’s the question one study asked participants aged 70 and older. I share the results of their insightful answers in this blog.
Aww, my very first blog that got Baby Boomer Bliss off the ground. The idea for this blog was based on studies that show, in general, older people – and even the younger generation – are happier than us baby boomers. One study confirmed there is a U-shaped happiness curve with the early 50’s as the lowest point of well-being.
“I want my day to feel like there is boundless beauty and possibilities and joy to be felt, discovered, explored, and expressed. And you know what? I can and so can you,” I wrote. This article got discovered on Stumble Upon, bringing me my second (after the Rydell concert review) all-time record high number of visitors for one day to my site.
I wrote this article after Hot Flash Daily hired me to write humorous articles about menopause to launch their new website. I had never written humor before, but had a blast doing it for them! I happily shared it all – the scorching hot flashes, insane insomnia, annoying forgetfulness, and crazy panic attacks that ensued for years. Yes, YEARS!
This blog was an easy one to write. To be needed and wanted by these delightful little beings is a wonderful treat and privilege. Like many people, I find that the rewards of family life only grew richer and more fulfilling as each new grandchild was born.
Okay, this one surprised me a little bit. But hey, don’t we all still love Snoopy? Now that I write a happiness blog, I’m impressed with how much wisdom Charles M. Schultz cartoons contain on the subject.
So, those are my top ten blogs so far. What will my next 100 blogs bring to the table? Stay tuned to find out! And if you have any ideas or subjects you’d like to see on Baby Boomer Bliss, please share in the comments below. I’d LOVE to hear!
Images courtesy of Stuart Miles and khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.