Secret diary of a blogger aged 55 3/4

Doing something for the first time is often nerve-racking but for me learning something new has become increasingly pleasurable!  

I decided six months ago to become a blogger. Except I didn’t call it that. I wanted to write articles about my experience of being 50 plus so went to Google and Pinterest to find out what was already out there.  Answer: not too much, which for me was an opportunity! 

By doing my research I started to realise all types of people are writing about all sorts of things and writing as they speak. Then I learnt this is called blogging! So in the spirit of learning new things I signed up to go to ‘Blogtacular’, a blogging conference in London.

I am not new to conference going. My career has always involved going to conferences, but I was nervous. Would everyone be 30 years younger than me? Would I be able to understand any of the sessions? Would I be bored? Would I wish I’d spent a Saturday doing something else? Would anyone speak to me? Would I speak to anyone else? 

The answers were no, yes, no, no, yes and yes. 

First difference:

Conferences I’ve been to (in the Health sector) do not involve people whistling and cheering speakers as they go up to speak.  The woman who introduced the conference said, in not so many words ‘you are the Pioneers, it is you bloggers, who will challenge the status quo, you will make difference visible’. I was hooked, hooked, hooked. No more dominance of the white, thin, young and gorgeous. Our (the rest of the population) time has come!

Then there were loads of words I didn’t understand, like ‘side hustle, SEO, SLL Certs, backlinks and Rich Pins’. But no matter, as the day went on (unlike most work conferences) my enthusiasm grew and so did my knowledge. 

Who knew that people read web sites in an F shape and that I would need to stay in ‘beta energy mode’, if I am to succeed?  But all advice was delivered with authenticity, kindness and a willingness to help. I genuinely felt that everyone I spoke to (a lot, even though I hate small talk) wanted me to do well and thrive.

Best bits:  

I liked the exercise where we had to come up with an innovative title for a blog we would write in the future.   My favourite (not one of mine) was ‘Is crocheting your new counsellor?’

I also learnt how important it is to ensure your message is inside the ‘crop’ of the picture. A woman I sat next to, told me a story about her blog titled ‘do you love making things in leather’ that ended up as ‘love making in leather’.  I don’t know if that increased her views!

Thank you to the Blogtacular team for making me welcome and feel one of the ‘tribe’. This is a sort of group in old language. I will certainly be investing in more learning and more conferences.