June 21, 2011
Satisfying Retirement: One Year Anniversary
In this past year I have written 185 posts, or about 120,000 words. A 61 page e-book became available in February. To date over 1,500 copies have been downloaded. A new e-book will be available next week. Over 9,000 people a month visit the blog, very small by the big boys' standards, but more than I dreamed possible last June. So, one year gone and I must ask myself some important questions.
Has it been worth it? Absolutely. The experience of creating something from scratch and has been fun and satisfying. I have met some tremendous people, both other bloggers and readers who have become like family. One fellow who will always be a fond memory asked me to help him make a major life decision. Over a 4 month period we exchanged e-mails and phone calls. Eventually he became comfortable with a course of action and implemented it. From additional feedback, I gather things worked out well. That felt good.
Have I accomplished what I wanted to? For the most part, yes. The niche of non-financial retirement lifestyle information blogging is rather narrow so I had no idea how large my potential readership may be. When I see other people racking up 100,000 or more page views per month, my just over 9,000 seems tiny. On the positive side, that number has increased virtually every month, so I assume the blog's awareness is growing. And, out of 6.5 million results, this blog is #1 on Google if you search for the words "Satisfying Retirement."
What has changed about my goal and approach in a year's time? I have tweaked the look of the blog a few times to make it more appealing to the eye, but there has been no major overhaul. One important shift did occur just about month ago. The Great Recession and the less-than-encouraging economic news for the next several years has made the idea of full retirement unattainable for many. The need to retire much later than the traditional 65 or 66 is becoming more mainstream. Likewise, the idea that retirement never means earning money again is under review.
So, this blog has begun to adapt to this new reality: retirement probably will include the need to generate extra income. I am not going to start carrying financial advice or specific investment suggestions. But, you will see more attention paid to the idea that retirement is a blend of leisure and work.
Should I continue or would my time be better spent doing something else? That answer is simple: I am continuing. I can't think of any other creative outlet that allows me to write what I want and get almost instant feedback. I am excited by the potential of growth for this blog. With 10,000 Boomers retiring every day for the next 19 years the audience is only going to get bigger, much bigger.
What is ahead? My latest free e-book, Countdown to Retirement, will be available in a few days. I plan on a major rewrite and freshening of Building a Satisfying Retirement. My goal is to make this 2nd edition available for sale by the end of the year through various downloadable sites, like Amazon.
After one year, I think the blog has attracted enough readership and attention to generate a little income. Don't be shocked if you begin seeing Google ads and links to Amazon in the near future. I'll keep them limited and hopefully not too obtrusive.
Most importantly, I hope to continue writing and posting information that you find usable, entertaining, and enjoyable. The only real reason for Satisfying Retirement to exist is to serve a need. You and readers like you will determine if I am continuing to fill that need.
Posted by Bob Lowry