Blogging for older people. How I started blogging after 50.

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When I first started writing Lifestyle Fifty, I was worried that there may not be enough tech savvy over fifty year olds to make writing a blog about aging worth while, but what I’m loving is that I keep discovering more and more of you who are just that. Tech savvy, or trying to be.

And although we’re not ‘wired up’ to the technological world in quite the same way as our children or grandchildren may be, we make a pretty good job of keeping up to date.

Through the online world I’ve recently met a lovely lady, called Rae Hillhorst, who began blogging after she turned 50.

She’s very kindly written a guest post for Lifestyle Fifty about how she came to start blogging in later life.

So over to beautiful Rae …

Rae 3

“Firstly a big thank you to Jo for inviting me to post on LifeStyle Fifty. It’s so exciting to find a blog aimed at my demographics – middle aged but not yet dead.

I am honoured.

Blogging after 50

I wanted to post about being 50 and the challenges I faced in the technological world.

Go figure! You know, not in a million years when I was a stay at home mum raising our girls would I have imagined that I would one day be blogging.

Tip: “Blogging for older people can be a wonderful way of writing a memoir for your children or grandchildren to look back on” – Jo Castro

Blogging was not on my radar when I was younger

For a start back then, I don’t think blogging even existed or if it did it wasn’t  on my radar.

I didn’t use a computer back in the day, as you mostly used them for games, and a gamer I was not and I am not.  I never saw the point in sitting on your ass in front of a computer for hours on end. How could you when there were children to run after and chores to complete?

Raising, Running and Running

Raising the girls and running around like a lunatic were more important to me then, and still are.

I remember there was so much running, running and running (well mostly in the car). I would be ferrying my girls to dancing activities and sporting activities, or I was running to do some volunteering at school, perhaps making costumes.

Then alas my loved ones grew, the last one had entered high school and I begged to be able to go to work. Michael didn’t want me to work, a fact that I think he now regrets as working brings so much more into your life, aside from tiredness, grumpiness and wishing you could retire. I do not lie, true story.

How did my blogging journey begin?

So where did I start?

Well after the girls became more independent, I took an introductory computer class. They were completely foreign to me at that stage.

Then I progressed from an introductory class to Windows.

But you know quite frankly it didn’t help me much as every time I screwed up I would call my boss over to fix up my mistakes. He would chuckle and shake his head and say ‘Rae Rae Rae’.

He didn’t say much else though because I was the company’s best sales person raking in 1.5 million dollar sales per year. You can get away with a lot when you are good at your job, which by the way I loved.

Burnt out

But you guessed it after 5 years I was burnt out.

My company wouldn’t let me leave though and after much juggling I became their staff trainer as they had 5 stores.

I attended Tafe and with their support gained my Trainer and Assessors Qualification, something else I never imagined I would be doing. I am still constantly up-skilling and adding to my qualifications which at my age can’t be a bad thing, can it?

In a round about way this led me to blogging, because after I left this company I worked for, and still do work for a small training company where I now deliver the Diploma in Management, Cert 1V in Retail Management and Cert 1V in WHS, which I am the all time guru at.

You can only now imagine the computer skills I have gained.

Amanda Kendle to the rescue

One of my trainees just loved reading blogs. Well, that opened up a whole new world to me and I was hooked.

I then attended some  blogging workshops and just went on from there. Amanda Kendle my ‘blogging guru’ helps me out (at a cost I might add) that I pay willingly.

I never said I was great at technology did I?

It’s my blog all mine. I find I am going from strength to strength. It is my hobby, my words, my mistakes … my world.

A journey and a memoir

I think of my blog as a journey for my girls to look back on when I am either to old to talk or have dementia or I’m ill and pass away. I reflect back on what my dad’s life must have been like, realising that I don’t know much about his thoughts feelings and early life, as there are no records as such.

He counts, but I want to count in a different way, so that my girls can really know who I am.

I am an honest open book.

I didn’t start blogging until I was over 50. So if you are just starting, please keep going.

I hope you get the same pleasures out of blogging that I do.”

Rae xxx

Bio:  Hello my name is Rae, I  blog for a hobby, as well as hoping to improve my writing skills … if I have any 😉
My blog is meant as a reflection for my children … once I have gone or have lost the plot, which let’s face it is quite likely.
I love to hear other people’s stories and am probably a bit gullible, as I always take them to be true and hope they are!
I work full time as a Lead Trainer and Assessor for The College of Retail Training.
I  deliver Cert 1V in WHS, Retail Management, and Diploma in Management.
We are based in Perth Western Australia.
My husband and I have recently joined the empty nest syndrome, I am still located at the wailing wall.

My blog can be found at : I opened my mouth and it ran away with me.

Lifestylers please won’t you tell us when you started blogging,  if you do at all? And do link to your blog in the comments section. If you don’t have a blog, do you try and keep up with the technological world?

Comments

  1. yes I qualify! I started blogging when I was 53! I initially started it as a sideline to my writing and photography (after finishing a freelance journalism course when I was 47), and to promote my work, but now it is more a journey through my life, where we have traveled, my exploration of photography, some things close to my heart, yes a memoir in a way. I am thinking I need to collate it all into a book – perhaps an e-book! I live in dread of the whole thing crashing! Blogging becomes a bit addictive….
    Thanks for your story Rae – I’m off to check out your blog. Cheers.

    • Wonderful Jill. So interesting to hear other people’s stories. And your blog is a wonderful example of current memoir.

      • Johanna,

        I too just started blogging and I will be turning 90 this December! I feel it is a great way to express my feelings even though I feel no many people read (yet) what I write.

        Keep on the great work!

        Nechama

  2. I was 58 when I started blogging 18 months ago (yes, I turned 60 yesterday) and have found a whole new community of friends out there in cyber space. I too was, and still am, a bit of a technophobe, I still struggle with some of the aspects of blogging but am thoroughly enjoying the process of learning. It’s surprising what we can do when we try. P.S. Jo, I met you a couple of years ago when we did a memoir writing workshop at the Perth Writer’s Festival at UWA.

    • Pam I do remember you! Thank you for showing up here. What a wonderful blogging story you have. I so relate, as I’m sure do others. It would be lovely to meet up again Irl one of these days 🙂

    • Rae Hilhorst says:

      Hi Pam, I loved reading your blog, I will now see mandurah in different eyes. Couldn’t see where to leave a comment though? xxx Rae

  3. I wrote this long comment this morning but it seems to have disappeared! Here goes again 🙂
    I also qualify. Last year I started a blog to share photos of our holiday to Mauritius, South Africa and Namibia with friends and family. I really enjoyed it after I had worked out how to post on the run. I am self taught (and still on a steep learning curve) and definitely not a writer, but I love the immediacy of blogging.
    My husband and I have since moved to Malaysia and I am enjoying sharing the excitement with our daughters, extended family and friends who are dotted all over the world – it makes everyone feel a little bit closer and more connected. Our eldest daughter is now also sharing her tour of South America with us via her blog.
    Not too sure how to do this but I think this might be the link to my blog:
    movingtomalaysia.wordpress.com

    • so true Janet, blogging connects family, ideas, friends and adventures. Your blog Moving to Malaysia is a point in case and Natalie’s is so interesting from a young
      person’ s point of view. Keep blogging 🙂

    • Rae Hilhorst says:

      Hi Janet, I love the photos you have posted, the apartment you are staying at looks a bit of alright also. I also like the sound of spending days by the pool and lunching. What a life, looking forward to hearing more. xxx Rae

  4. Rae Hilhorst says:

    Thanks for posting my story Johanna, I am now also following Jill, love it. xxxx Rae

  5. I was almost 59 when I started blogging about active travel for baby boomers. Now, I’m…well you can do the math :-). It’s a big misconception that folks our age don’t use social media or the internet. While there is a segment of our peers who aren’t online, you’ll be amazed (as you are finding out) at the number of technically savvy (or almost technically savvy) boomers on the internet. Welcome to the club.

    • Hi Donna, Thanks for stopping by to comment. I’m happily amazed at how many like-minds of a certain age there are out there. I hope we’ll cross paths often in this ‘booming’ online community.

  6. Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) says:

    I’m a recovering lawyer. When I was a baby lawyer (1980), we still wrote briefs long hand on legal pads and had them typed by secretaries. In 1987, when I was home for 6 months with a newborn, my husband brought home our first desk top computer and said something obnoxious (and challenging) like, “You’ll never learn how to use this.” Needless to say, computers changed my practice as a lawyer and the internet even more so. Courts don’t want us filing anything in person any more—they want us to file electronically. So, although I semi-retired in 2005, I’ve continued doing some occasional brief writing from—-anywhere.

    Which brings me to my second career. Back in the day, I was a dedicated letter writer. People always told me, you should be a writer. When I stopped having to be a full time lawyer, I had some essays published in our local paper, but print media was already in decline. My younger son adopted a digital lifestyle after graduating from college in 2010 which included travel blogging. He was the one who said, “Mom, you should be a travel blogger. You like to write and you like to travel”. Bingo! I declared myself a travel blogger in 2010 and started a blog on Google’s blogging platform, Blogger, which I was able to figure out how to do myself. However, again at my son’s urging to become “legit”, I bought my domain name and changed over to a “self-hosted” blog, using WordPress.org as a platform. I hired my son’s web developer/designer (a moonlighter in England–I live in Philadelphia in the US) and working together virtually, Boomeresque assumed its current iteration.

    Through my blog and by reaching out to other bloggers via their blogs, and other social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn), I’ve discovered a world of supportive (mostly) bloggers (and blog readers) all over the world, many of them Baby Boomers themselves. I’m not sure whether my son is happy that his mother now discusses SEO, page rank, Alexa scores and domain authority with him or whether he thinks he created a monster. Whatever. Write on!

    • I love it, Suzanne! Yes, I often think our children look at the techno monsters they have helped create and shake their heads! Thank you for sharing your interesting story along with the humorous interludes too. Boomeresque is a fantastic blog everyone, please do visit.

  7. What an inspiring, funny and fantastic post. Rae you are doing a great job and if and when your children read your blog they can’t help but be entertained (and proud).

  8. I’m so impressed with all of you baby boomer bloggers. I was beginning to think that I was the only geriatric(?) blogger. My family encouraged me to start a blog about how much fun I’m having after retiring. I’m 70 years old and loving this retirement gig.
    In March, I began the journey into learning about Self-Hosting, SEO, etc.

    I agree that my husband and I also regard this blog to be memoirs of our life. A local television station felt that a Grand-mommy blogger was unique and had my grandkids and I on their show: http://www.abc4.com/content/about_4/gtu/featured_on/story/Homemade-Volcanos/Hgxaff5cY0-c4YuQmekckw.cspx
    I’m looking forward to getting to know you better. Thanks, Neva

    • Great to meet you Neva! It’s amazing how many of us are ‘out there’ and like you I had no idea of this until I started Lifestyle Fifty. Well done for getting on TV, and yes a blog serves so well as a memoir. Hope to keep in touch.

  9. Hi Jo,
    I recently came across your Blog and I couldn’t stop reading it! You have so many wonderful articles that really draws the readers into you. I’m also a over 50’s beauty and lifestyle blogger at “Fun Fierce Fabulous Beauty Over 50!” I’ve had my Blog since 2008 but I just started blogging about beauty and lifestyle in 2011, prior to that I blogged about my spiritual journey (I deleted all those post) now i’m just really into beauty, fitness and sometimes fashion. Fashion is kind of hard to write about when you don’t really work and have mostly exercise clothes in your closet.

    I would be very interested in creating a Google Group for “Over 50” Bloggers so we can all come together and follow each other and network. I would also like to create a Badge that we can all place on our Blogs that would link back to the group. Let me know if you’re interested and i’ll get to work on it.
    Lily S.

    • Hi Lily, great to meet you, and thank you for your compliments too 🙂 Great to know that you have a blog for the over 50’s demographic too, and yes, I’d be interested in connecting to a wider network too. Thanks for that. Will be in touch.

  10. I wrote as a guest blogger about how I got into blogging (3 yrs. ago) and the synergy between blogging and cycling. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2011/11/21/blogging-and-cycling-its-like-a-drug/

    Though I’m 50+ (54), I don’t ostensibly write about aging or being a boomer at all. Nor do I write much at all about fashion or about career issues.

    Actually for my profession it is assumed one should know how to blog at the simplest level.. just another (very simple) content management tool (with big limits it terms of real muscle power compared to enterprise-wide systems) that is way more fun at a personal level.

    • Hello Jean, that’s great! I’m going to pop over and have a look just now 🙂 Yes blogging’s a much more fun way of managing content especially at a professional level. Thanks for your insights 🙂

  11. Antionette Blake says:

    I started my blog DeDivahDeals-Fashion and Fun after Fifty when I was 51, and am in my 18th month. I enjoy my Lifestyle blog and have met so many wonderful people in the blogosphere because of it. Changes in technology keeps me on my toes and I look forward to blogging for the next 10 years!

  12. WoW ! What a great blog! AND post. I just found this tonight by searching for “You’re Never Too Old To Blog” and so glad I landed here. I loved reading this and now I am going to check out the rest of this blog as well as the link to Rae’s blog. I turn fifty in march and I’ve been not too thrilled about it, believe me. Especially with all the physical symptoms I am experiencing. But I started a blog just a few weeks ago (I am calling myself “Little Miss Menoause”) and tonight I wrote a very tongue-in-cheek blog called, “How to Be a New Blogger but Not Sound Like an Old Codger” (Or Codgette….but that didn’t rhyme as well! lol) Anyhow, this is the link if you want a chuckle.
    http://thequotegal.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/how-to-become-a-new-blogger-not-sound-like-an-old-codger/
    I hope it’s okay if I stay on this site and explore, even though technically I am not quite fifty yet….okay, I’m going, I’m going….you don’t have to push…lol (picturing walking to the edge of a high dive!) Now to find a follow button….let’s see if I’ve learned enough to do that!

    • Hello Stephanie and of course, click around the site and enjoy! Lifestyle Fifty was coined as an idea, a theme for women reaching menopause and beyond rather than a distinct age range – so I hope there will be lots to amuse and interest you. Can’t wait to see how you go with your own blog – great name! And I shall pop over and have a look soon too 🙂

  13. Rae, great website. I was blogging long before I turned 50, but now realize that there a lot of people who need real meaningful jobs but don’t know how to turn their passion into a business. I started http://jobsforpeopleover50.com/ as a resource for those who want to use their blogging skills in the affiliate world, but need a little guidance.

  14. It’s nice to see how many over-50 bloggers are responding. I’m an artist, but I make most of my living translating, researching and writing medical stuff, thus, I had to spend a lot of time at computer ever since internet appeared. I also started blogging when I was 52. I started my art blog just to advertise art classes, and this really helped. I don’t see how being over 50 can limit somebody in any way. I enjoyed your website!

    • Thanks Inese! It sounds as if you have achieved, and are achieving some great things. I’m going to pop over to have a look at your art classes right now :0

  15. Lyn - A Hole in my Shoe says:

    It’s great to see all the over 50 bloggers comments. I started my travel blog 6 months ago at age 53. My husband and I began to travel at 50 when we married and went overseas for our honeymoon, a cruise. That got us addicted to travel and within the next 2 years travelled to 16 countries. Having bored our family with our travel stories I heard about a couple from Perth who began to travel the world and blogging about their journeys and thought I too could do that. Within a few weeks I started up my Facebook page and got 1000 organic likes within the first month. As many of you know it is time consuming setting up and getting familiar with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, analysing the functions of Trover, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Klout, Google+ and finding the time to like, share, follow, tweet and comment. It’s a huge learning curve and a journey I am really enjoying.

  16. I have just read both Jo’s and Rae’s posts and I am now inspired. First up I turn 60 on 19th July this year and for the first part of today i have been exploring how to start my own blog. My early background was a country community with no electricity so obviously I had no experience in computers at all. It was not until i was in my early to mid thirties when my children needed a computer for schoolwork that I even turned a computer on. My husband of the time was paranoid that I would blow it up and gave me a long term phobia of anything that resembled a computer. So I carefully did not even dust it in case:-). Since I have entered my fifties my long term goal to write has taken root completely and I have begun in earnest on the story I am excited about. From my early starvation of computing I have manipulated photos, long before the ease of today . I have printed photos on huge photographic machines. I still learn computing skills daily and intend to learn for a long time yet. My skills still are not wonderful and have a long way to go.

    • Your reply is so inspiring Laurel and shows just what we can all do if we put our minds to it. You did make me giggle too 🙂 Congratulations on turning 60 this year and I’m sure with your verve for life you will make it a year full of new creation. Have fun and good luck with your writing endeavors … keep us all posted won’t you?

  17. Hello from America! I started my blog (www.cdm-arewethereyet.blogspot.com) at age 55 when my husband and I sold our home, bought a RV and decided to travel all around our great country. It was a way to stay in touch with family and friends. When we had to “get off the road” due to family issues, the blog became the way to document the renovation of the home we bought (a foreclosure). That was eight years ago. Yep, I’m now 63 and thinking about what direction I want the blog to go. We have recently moved and bought another foreclosure that we are currently updating, and while I want to document these changes as well, I think I want to expand what I blog about. While I am currently getting over a case of pneumonia I haven’t done any posting. While I have a passion for decorating I don’t have a degree, nor am I a professional. I guess I just feel like there are 100’s of decorating blogs but I have a hard time finding blogs for those of us over 50. Now I’m starting to ramble, so all that to say – I’m glad I found you and would love to connect with you and others our age.

  18. Hello from America! I started blogging eight years ago when I was 55 (yes I am now 63) as a way to keep in touch with family and friends while traveling all around our beautiful country. It then morphed into a “decorating” blog when we bought a foreclosure and completely remodeled it. I have been struggling the last couple of years trying to decide what direction I wanted to go, or did I just want to give up. We recently moved, have purchased another foreclosed home and are starting the remodeling process again. While I want to document the changes, I would like to branch out in different areas, as I seem to find 100’s of decorating blogs but nothing for us over 50 (or 60). All that to say, glad I found you and would love to connect with others that have the same interests.

  19. Hello, Everyone! This is a great blog. You inspire me and I am very glad to have found you! I have been travel blogging for a little while now, and recently began another blog called Awkward After 50. It is my way of creating a dialogue about how we deal with the vicissitudes of life and all its uncertainty even at this age. It is kind of tongue-in-cheek though, meant to be humorous even when discussing serious issues. Finally, my writing is sort of cathartic and inspiring me to go beyond my boundaries and strive to be a better me and, hopefully, inspire and encourage others to do the same.

    • Hello Angel, great to eMeet you and thanks for popping by to comment 🙂 Your blog sounds really interesting too. I like that you say it’s kind of tongue-in-cheek 🙂

Look forward to hearing your thoughts!