April 8, 2017

I Couldn't Blog Without


Closing in on 2.5 million views, Satisfying Retirement appears to have filled a need in the crowded retirement preparation field. June will mark our 7th anniversary, probably 5 or 6 years longer than I expected when I first started.

Writing 650 words every 3 or 4 days is actually not as difficult as I thought it might be. Just keeping my eyes open, writing about life as I live it, and having the best blog readers in the world to keep me honest and on target means I rarely struggle to find something to write about.

That said, there are five things I couldn't blog without. I haven't put them in order of importance, just trust me that each one keeps me here.

A good spellchecker. If I am not the worst speller you have ever met, I am certainly on the team. My hidden secret? Every sentence contains at least one mistake. Typing is a two finger hunt and peck, though after all this time I am pretty quick. But accuracy is not my strong suit. Most readers would have given up long ago if it weren't for that red underline that urges me to stop and correct.

I use the Internet to research facts, ideas, and a fresh perspective virtually every time I write a post. Unless I am dealing with a personal memory or expressing an opinion, research is essential. I may need some statistics to buttress an argument. It might be helpful to see what others have said on a particular subject. I may feel I have been down a particular path too many times and want a fresh take on something. Whatever the case, The Internet (remember when it was called the World Wide Web?) is a must.

An on-line thesaurus is very important as a place to turn for synonyms.  I still have a red-covered Roget's Thesaurus in the office, but the on-line version is quicker and has more possibilities when I am stuck for a better word. Did you realize there are almost 50 different words or phrases for retire, and that is just as a noun.

Inspiration from other blogs and social media. There are some fine bloggers adding valuable content day after day, and not just in the retirement arena. Everything from inventive life hacks, to political insights, financial traps to avoid, relationship improvement suggestions, feel-good stories, movies to see (and to avoid!).....there is a lot of excellent material to read. I am inspired by good writing, well-crafted articles, persuasive opinions, and  anyone who is dedicated to being good at something. 

Comments from readers. I have saved the most important factor for last. Without the support of this blog's readers, there would be little reason to continue. While many blogs have a lot more readers, I would put the quality of satisfying retirement's audience on par with anyone. The comments are rarely off-target or inappropriate. In fact, I am surprised when one pops up that must be deleted, it happens that infrequently.

The insights, ideas, support, and degrees of caring concern for others that are expressed on these pages makes blogging a treat. This active participation is a necessary element to blogging. 

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for your efforts. Keep up the good work :-)

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    1. It is a labor of love, Barak. Thanks.

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  2. Your blog is one of the most civil I have seen, Bob. A few comments creep in that show some folks' political leanings, but for the most part people stay neutral. Helps a great deal. Keep up the great blogging; we certainly appreciate it.

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    1. My best to you and Deb. Thanks for being a loyal reader.

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  3. I agree with everything you said and use the same resources. I find Grammarly to be a great resource for most of my writing. I'm not as kind as you are on some issues, and you know what I mean, but I try. The other thing I wish I could do that you are so good at is consistency in posting. I find myself with long stretches between posts lately. Not sure if I'm running out of words or just have too much other stuff going on but, I'm trying to get back to a sense of consistency.
    Keep it going!!
    b

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    1. Even though my blog doesn't generate much money, I still find it satisfying to keep readership levels and engagement up, which I think is helped by consistency. I normally have 30-40 topics or ideas in my draft files and try to keep at least 2 weeks ahead on finished posts (4-5 scheduled) so i don't put a lot of pressure on myself. That seems to help.

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  4. I agree with ChuckY about the civility and graciousness of your blog. What an oasis of much needed positive energy in cyberspace.

    Your post made me wonder if there is something I absolutely need in order to blog. I do look up words sometimes to check spelling or meaning. Since my two year break from blogging, I find now that I don't participate in "blogworld" or social media as much as I did with my first blog, so that isn't as influential as it was before. (That's the trade off for readership since my current blog operates under the radar for the most part.)

    I think my "necessities" are a bit more intangible. I need blocks of time. I don't like to come and go with a post. I definitely do not have posts scheduled out in advance like you. I'm more of an inspiration of the moment sort.

    And quiet. If I'm having to stop and start to answer the phone, or if there is a lot of noise, it's hard for me to focus and get in the zone.

    I don't do as much research as you, but I do like to have my main resources close by.

    Like you, I am always pleased by the participation of folks who comment, although again, with the lower readership of my current blog, that is not at the same level as before. The knowledge, though, that I do reach some people and offer something meaningful is very lovely, and I'm grateful for it.

    I loved your post because it reminded me of the variation among bloggers in terms of motivation, inspiration, styles, and techniques. That's what makes it so interesting!

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    1. It is a stimulating world we are privileged to inhabit. (as an example of my need for a spellchecker I had to correct 2 of the 10 words in the previous sentence!)

      That might make an interesting post in the future: to ask some of the folks I like to tell me about their blogging needs and habits. The readers might not find that interesting, but I certainly would. I imagine we are each unique in some way or another.

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  5. I really enjoy your blog, Bob. And I appreciate the effort you put into it. I have considered blogging, but I don't think I have the stamina to post consistently, and I do think that makes a difference in the success of your venture. Cheers!
    --Hope

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    1. Thanks, Hope. I do encourage you to blog if you feel the urge. Writing for yourself is important, even if your goal isn't to build an audience or write on a regular basis. Just the effort of putting some thoughts on paper (or the web!) is a positive experience.

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  6. Congratulations on nearly seven years of blogging! Your blog was the first one that I found when I turned to the Internet as a resource to help me work through my thoughts about whether to retire. Your posts and the comments of your readers have been incredibly helpful. Thanks for all that you do to support people through this major life transition of retirement.

    Jude

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    1. Thanks to you, Jude. Comments like yours help me keep doing what I am doing.

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  7. I agree with everything you said, esp. about (cough, cough) the quality of your audience!

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    1. They are a nice community and I am happy to be part of it. Thanks, Tom.

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  8. Now that we have the new Supreme Court member taking the oath of office today, I may be joining the ranks of the retired if our case comes before the court like it was scheduled prior to Scalia's passing. The vote was 4/4 after his death, but I understand it could come up again from a different case. Anyway, I didn't feel like I had done enough research on retirement when I saw it coming over a year ago and with Scalia's death could postpone it. Now, due to your blog and Tom's and several others, I feel more prepared when the time comes which I hope is in about 2 - 3 years if all goes well according to MY plans. If it is sooner, I have learned much from the sharing in these forums to take with me and to help examine how to best use my time in early retirement.
    I am a person who doesn't enjoy travel that much anymore, although I am so glad I traveled earlier in my life nationally and internationally when I was younger and travel wasn't so scary. I am an introvert who loves my own company, but I hope a part-time employment situation will unfold while I still have my health.

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    1. The very best of luck to you as you move forward toward retirement in a few years. I am happy this blog, along with others, helped you make your decision and put together a path to a very exciting time of life.

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  9. All I can say is--your words resonate!!! My husband is a bit older than I and is thus "properly" retired from his job...I am "retired" via disability--and not where I ever thought I'd be at this stage of my life. Your blog is a salvation to me!!! No one has ever said how difficult this stage in life can be, and yet how rewarding....please keep this up!!!! I need this!!! Your avocation has turned into a vocation...

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind words. I plan on being here for quite some time to come. I hope you are, too.

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