Over this year there has been a clear sign that I need to make adjustments to my topic selection. After 12 years, I can't be surprised.
Everything has a certain life span, whether it is a dishwasher, a fashion trend, the dominance of a sports team, a bull market, or the focus of a blog.
When I write something that has to do with the nuts and bolts of building a satisfying retirement, the number of comments tends to drop. If the subject is narrowly focused on retirement relationships, housing choices, dealing with aging parents, or the hows and whys of Medicare, the number of views is often below average. A "How To" post isn't connecting as often with readers as it once did.
On the other hand, if the subject is about how to have fun, what streaming services are worth the money, good books you have read, vacation ideas, friendship, or any subject that is more about living a full life that just happens to be after retirement, the views and comments are usually higher.
Since I continue to write because I still enjoy the process, should I really care if certain subjects don't have the appeal they once did? Well, the answer is, Yes. If I am going to spend the time and energy, I would rather it be on a subject that connects and engages others.
So, while the blog name will remain the same, you should begin to notice a wider selection of topics. Hopefully, there will be more about subjects that stimulate you to leave a comment or suggest a friend of yours would enjoy the article.
I won't turn my back on retirement; I have spent twelve years building a reputation for solid advice based on experience. There will continue to be days where the focus is on "need to know" information. Trust me, after all these years I continue to learn more about this journey, often from comments. Retirement discussions are important.
Just look for a bit more personal, wider-ranging take on our life and times, the challenges we face, and ways to bring more joy into our lives. Together we will see how it works.
Bob, whatever road you choose to follow I'll come along for the ride. Reading your blog is much like meeting friends at the local coffee shop every morning - except that the coffee is from Mr. Coffee and I'm still in my jammies. Just be sure you stick to your creative guns and goals because if you're not happy none of your followers will be either. Looking forward to whatever comes down the road!ReplyDelete
Spoken like a true RV warrior, Mary! As you and Alan discover every time you hit the road there are interestings experiences around every corner. I trust that will be true for me and I can put them into words.Delete
I read regularly but sometimes the comments have captured thoughts already and I feel repetitive. I guess that shouldn't matter as we experience things differently. Good luck wherever your keyboard takes you.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Sam. Please don't feel compelled to comment on everything, only when the topic or other comments resonate with you. Trurth be told, I really couldn't handle 1,000 comments a day if every reader participated every day!Delete
Hi Bob, this is Chris. I am thankful for whatever you write, I think you have a lot of good common sense. I am not a long time reader, so as you continue forward, I know I would appreciate any links to older posts that you think would be helpful. If something comes to mind and it isn’t hard to do. I think I have also noticed you commenting in a large retirement group on Facebook that I am in. My spouse and I are a few years from retirement and I appreciate the wisdom I receive from you and others.ReplyDelete
HI Chris. When I discovered Bob, I went back to his first post and read every single one until I had caught up. It would be worth your time especially since you are not yet retired :-)Delete
Chris: the achives listed on the left sidebar continue to have posts dating back to 2010. The labels section allow you to pull up all posts on a certain subject.Delete
Elle: that was quite a project reading all the older material. I am glad you are now one of the regular readers and commenters!
Good luck on your new directions, Bob. I, too, am seeing some reduced viewership at RJsCorner and I'm looking at some new directions. But, maybe it is just the times. My advice to you, and I'm sure you know it, is to stay away from politics. As I learned five years ago, it does get views, but it drags down the tone of a blog. As Mary said, stick to things that bring you joy. But, of course, whatever direction you take I will be there for you. Just like good friends should be. You certainly have many good friends here.ReplyDelete
Of course I read your musings on this subject. Blogs really need to continually evolve to stay relevent. The no politics rule will stay in place!Delete
You do have important knowledge to share. Just sprinkle a bit of it as it fits (a link to previous as mentioned before) but I do enjoy the more personal ways to enjoy our time during these years. I've been retired over a year and am still adjusting.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Debbie. Just so you feel comfortable in your retirement journey, most of us take from 6-24 months to fully adjust to the major lifestyle changes.Delete
It’s a strange one. Some of my most popular posts have no comments. However, if the aim is to provoke comment and discussion rather than simply inform and educate then I suppose you might want to adjust accordingly. Whether I comment or not, rest assured that I do read and absorb. There are numerous other blogs that I dip into that attract large numbers of comments but are little more than diaries and I would beg you not to go down that route- I doubt you will, though.ReplyDelete
The blog that is nothing more than a recap of my day or random thoughts isn't of interest to me, either, as a reader or writer.Delete
Sometimes a post that I think of almost as filler generates more views and reaction than one I think will hit the mark.
The number of comments and views is the only way I can measure whether there is an audience for what I produce. Since I don't accept advertising the metrics of readersip is my guideline. I just want to remain relevant and intetesting, so that implies a bit of evolution is needed.
Well, from my perspective you already cover a pretty wide range of topics. But I agree, most of us have already heard the narrowly focused retirement advice a million times: Purpose, exercise, community, relationships. It's a challenge for all of us to keep things interesting . . . so far you've managed spectacularly so keep it going!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Tom. Your support has meant a lot to me over the years.Delete
For my readers who haven't disovered Tom's excellent take on life, click the blue "Tom" above to check him out.
I look upon the "nuts and bolts" retirement info as I do advice about building a solid house. I look upon your other topics as the furnishings: artwork, music, books, comfortable chairs, a well-stocked kitchen and pantry--the things that actually make a house a home.ReplyDelete
I enjoy the diversity and learning what others are doing to "furnish" their retirement "house."
Rick in Oregon
That is an interesting way of describing the topic focuses. All are needed to stay safe, warm, and engaged.Delete
As a long time reader and contributor, your thoughts are very important to me.
Love the analogy, Rick - it's perfect!Delete
Hi Bob. Please keep on keepin' on. I often read the material about retirement and find it very helpful indeed, but I don't always comment. Others may operate in a similar manner. I don't know if I would necessarily equate a lack of comments with a lack of interest. At any rate, I look forward to reading more posts.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Paul. On average 1 % to 3% of readers comment. A more accurate measurement for me is tracking views over a period of time. They have been slipping, which means either regular readers have moved on or certain topics aren't worth someone's time.Delete
Both are completely understandable. My goal is to attract some new people who aren't ready to read a steady diet of retirement advice while still being place where my 21 years of retirement experience can be helpful.
As I've pondered this more today, I wonder about writing posts about the pivots in your retirement as both the world changed things for you, physical changes impacted plans at the time, funds decrease etc. Might that draw some appeal?ReplyDelete
I know so many people worry they will run out of money so save rather than spend. Maybe some comps on the changes in asset? Not $$ but %% drawdown in 5 or 7y timeframes? (I think more may not be tangible to some people? Would be interesting to see how assets changed compared to the consistently advised 4% per year.
I'm barely in year 4 of retirement drawing a monthly allowance plus lump sums for nonmonthly bills such as prop tax x2 and all of our annual insurance bills as well as travels. My assets are up 40% even though the DOW is down 11.4% YTD it is up 38% for 5 years.
My sister 11y older had planned a 50% drawdown in the first 10y to do significant travel around the globe, replace her vehicle x2 (she drives a LOT and figured #2 would be the last) and then live out her remaining decades closer to home on the remaining 50%. Our Grandmothers both reached 94 so we plan on that range financially and focus on living today. She is now in year 9 of retirement. She's doing great with no physical decline except arthritis progressing in her hands, so I suspect she'll continue global travel at least 5 more years.
Food for thought!
Several excellent ideas, Elle. Expect to see some of them in the future.Delete
When analyzing the reasons for any apparent drop in views - remember people like me: I had subscribed to blog updates but stopped getting them! Now I’m back and reading, again. Maybe there’s more like me? I don’t remember getting emails from follow.it, before - is that a recent change?ReplyDelete
About a year ago Google dropped its email alert system for blogs. I switched to follow.it and it seems to work. Although a little slower than the Google version, it is a needed service. I am very happy you found it!Delete
The same happened to me and I was off your readership list until I decided to try to find you. Could that have impacted your current numbers?Delete
I’m thankful to be back and have shared your blog with others. Charlene H
P.S. Hoping to learn more about online payment systems like Venmo, etc. Seems like there will always be needed Senior Updates to try to keep our generation current. 😉
Google's dropping of its email blog system was a big blow to anyone who uses their platform to publish a blog.Delete
Writing about online payment sysyems like Venmo is a good idea.
I have really enjoyed reading your blog since before I retired. That was over 5 years ago. I seldom comment, because you and your commenters pretty much cover what I'm thinking (and more). Is there a way to simply "like" a post? To give you more feedback.ReplyDelete
I too have read plenty about the usuals - finance. After I retired I joyfully jumped into activities I had anticipated. Now, 5 years later, I have been thinking about, and re-balancing, my volunteer services, my community, and my recreation quite a bit. Our personal and political worlds are changing right in front of us.
While comments can indicate that a topic has hit a particular chord, the other measurement is the number of views over a three or day period. Over time I can judge which subjects have lasting appeal.Delete
It is all about rebalancing, whether it is a blog or a life. You are right on the money.
I have been a loyal reader throughout all of the different paths you have taken. Since I've been (successfully) retired for over eight years, I'm one of those who skimmed but didn't comment on your posts that dealt more with the "how-tos" of retirement. I'm looking forward to this new direction you are taking your blog because I know whatever you post, will be thoughtful and well-written.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the vote of confidence! I hope the additional subjects resonate as well as many of the retirement topics have over the years.Delete
I enjoy your blog and the topics. I have also added You Tube to the information I gather about retirement. Have you considered a You Tube channel?ReplyDelete
I did several years ago but decided it was too much effort for the return. Your point is well taken, however. You Tube has been very effective for many folks as a way of growing an audience.Delete