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How to Create an Easy Blog



One of the biggest things for a beginner blogger is to feel in control of your own blog. It should be simple enough to understand that you can take care of everything from posting to layout on your own. Blogger's blogspot system does that.

I'm here to help you set up a blog you can understand and keep up on your own without needing a 12-year old to decipher for you.

If you can do email, you can do blogging.

I'll show you it really is that easy. No special software, just a computer and an Internet connection.

I've had Blogger blogspot blogs dating back to 2002. First they were personal diary type blogs. Then the next ones were about my painting artwork. And more recently my business blogs. In all of those blogs, I've customized the free templates to do what I wanted and look the way I wanted.

My "day job" is being an engineer so I like figuring out how things work and I'll research something until I understand it. Over the years I've blogged, I've figured out more and more about how to customize a blogspot blog.

And I want to share that knowledged.

Since blog creation and layout is not the subject of this blog, I started a new one, Boomers on Blogger. On that blog, I will provide step-by-step, easy to follow advice and tutorials for creating a Blogger (blogspot.com) blog and customizing it to do what YOU want.

Please click over there and sign up for the email list to receive notice each time I add a new tutorial.

Thanks.
 And please spread the word about this new resource on Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon.

Marketers Pay Attention: Proof that Boomer Women are Big Facebook Users



I hear people say that Boomers are not on the internet so they are not worth marketing to on the internet.

But is this really true?

We didn’t use the internet as children but are Boomers really that scarce on the internet? I didn’t believe so and went diving into statistics to find out.



From 60-80% of all Boomers use the internet. Not that far behind the Gen X'rs.

Facebook claims that in the US, 49% of all internet users use Facebook.
My analysis shows that Boomers in general average about the same user rate on Facebook.

I also found that
More than 50% of all Boomer Women internet users
use Facebook.

That puts Boomer Women at above average usage of Facebook.

To me, that sounds like a market segment worth paying attention to!
Don't you agree?

Sources:
U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, October 2009.
U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census
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How to Get Followers - Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of a new series on 
How to Get Followers

In this series, we will be exploring how to build our blogs to get lots of loyal readers.
We are starting with Finding a Niche.

Photo from Flickr.com Creative Commons use by Wahlander

What is a Niche? And why should you care?
A niche is simply a section of the audience or market. Why would you want to target your blog to a section of the market? Shouldn’t you be trying to get a larger part of the market?

NO!

And here’s why. If you’re a person who likes romantic comedy movies and hates horror films, will you really listen to someone trying to get you to buy a ticket to the bloodiest horror film of all time? I didn’t think so. The romantic comedy niche is a section of the film market. If you wanted to sell tickets to one of these movies, you’d have your best chance selling to people who already love seeing them.
That’s all a niche is in blogging. Targeting your blog to people who already have an interest in what you have to say. They are the ones who are going to keep coming back. And they are the ones who are going to become your loyal followers.

Finding your niche in blogging isn't as easy as saying I want to talk about romantic comedies. To draw people back to your blog as loyal followers, you need to have an area of expertise to define your niche. If the subjects of your posts are a little bit of this and a little of that, you’re selling horror film tickets to romantic comedy fans.
Without a well-defined niche you are just one more blog in a sea of blogs. What makes your blog different?

So how do you find your niche and area of expertise?

Discovering your niche or area of expertise is hard. We woman are all programmed to downplay our own value and what we have to offer. We’re taught to be modest and think “I’m not an expert at anything.”
You’re wrong! You ARE an expert.
And together, we’re going to explore and find your area of expertise.

Let’s start by figuring out what you already know and what makes you shine.
Truthfully answer the following four questions.

  1. What is the subject that you know so well that if anyone asked you a question, you could give them a full ten-minute answer without having to stop and think?
  2. What is the thing you do that your friends and family ask you to do or ask for your advice on how to do?
  3. If money or life didn’t get in your way, what would you spend your time doing?
  4. What is it you do that makes you really happy?

Be honest here and don’t make any value judgments about your answers.
These answers are a starting point and there is no wrong or bad answer.

Write these answers down. If you really believe you want a large readership or you want to find a way to make money online and you just need help figuring it all out, then write your answers in the comments below this post.
Yes, that right. Put your truthful answers in the comments of this post.
Why? Because together we can help each other see things that we may not be able to see about ourselves. Remember how at the beginning of this post I said:

We woman are all programmed to downplay our own value 
and what we have to offer.

By honestly posting your answers here, you are letting us see the value in you that you have trouble seeing. Or you can send me your answers in an email at Ann <at> creativeboomer<dot>com. Either way, you're committing to yourself that you want this.

In the next post of this series we will be building off your answers as we continue our exploration toward finding your niche and your expertise.

Let’s begin this journey together!
Take the first step toward getting more loyal followers. Write down the answers to the post questions.


Related Posts


Boomer Women - old enough to know what we want & young enough to go after it


Can you describe your blog in 140 characters?



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Is 2030 the new 1984?

When I was in high school, I read a book by George Orwell called 1984. It was a futuristic novel that scared me more that Hitchcock ever could. The story was about a world where media was tightly controlled, history was rewritten often to suit the latest political whim and everyone was watched all the time by Big Brother. When we read this novel in high school English class in the late 1970s, I remember everyone saying that none of this could happen.
So many aspects of that world have become our reality today. Today, we live with the fact that our communications on the web could be monitored. When we drive down the street, traffic cameras could single us out. Media figures "spin" history to suit their views. This and more all happened so gradually that we didn't even think to protest. Maybe Orwell's world wasn't so far-fetched.


Today's guest post by Nicole Rivera is a book review about a novel that has some of the same prophetic aspects as Orwell's novel. After reading her review, I know what I'm going to be reading this weekend!

Take a moment to think about the year 2030.

2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America
Where will you be?     


How old will you be?    


Where will your family be, your friends, your coworkers?

What do you think will be the general state of things in the United States financially, politically and historically speaking?

Albert Brooks thought about these things as he sat down to write down his first novel, 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America. Mr. Brooks, the comedian and actor, famous for his roles both in front of and behind the camera, brought to life a future that was equally fascinating as it was ominous. Let me set the stage for you...


Humanity's greatest evil has been conquered - by 2015 cancer has been cured! Due to this wonderful breakthrough, as well as many other medical masterpieces, our older Americans are simply aging without a natural predator. Those enjoying the benefits of Social Security keep living to ripe old ages when they then hope for a DIS (death in sleep) in the house they own, or on a fantastic voyage on one of the retirement cruise ships that have become so popular. It is what we have all longed for - a long, leisurely retirement where we can enjoy our lives in good health - however, in this dystopian future world, of course there is a negative side to this story! While the millions of Boomers are enjoying the lap of luxury and increasing political power as a group, the rest of the country is going bankrupt and the youth is starting to blame "the olds" for all their hardships.

Then, on June 12, 2030 Los Angeles, California is hit by an enormous earthquake. The city is completely decimated with no infrastructure left. The government does not have the money to rebuild one of its largest cities and ports. It doesn't matter if you are old or young, the earthquake is unforgiving and the country can't help. Finally, the United States of America has to face the reality of the its failing economy once and for all.

As the country looks for a solution to Los Angeles, as the youth thinks up ways to balance the power while paying off their own massive debts and as the olds try to hang on to the lives they feel they are entitled to - the reader is left wondering Is this the future we are headed for?

It's a compelling read, as most dystopian novels are. There is a sense of wonder and awe over the inventions and conveniences Brooks has dreamed up. This is paired with the pestering dread that this work of fiction may be prophetic in design. As any good book does, Brooks' 2030 leaves his reader thinking and who can ask for more than that?


2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America is available in hardcover and in multiple eBook formats.
(Note: The boxed link below is an affiliate link for Nicole. Please click on this to buy this compelling read.)














About our guest poster: Nicole Rivera, a teacher turned blogger, is looking for people to share her interests in blogging, writing, books, movies and all things in her geek life on her blog Rivera Runs Through It. After twelve years of having her own captive classroom audience, she cordially invites YOU to come to read, comment and share as she builds a new community in her virtual space.
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Boomer Women - old enough to know what we want & young enough to go after it

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


I did some brainstorming of the types of articles I’d like to write on this blog. I used my Elevator Speech as a starting point:


Marketers ignore Trailblazing Boomer Women. 
Their Error.
Let’s explore Creativity, Marketing to Boomers 
& Starting a Business.


As I thought of post ideas, I linked them to one of the three categories I had in my elevator speech.

Click on Mind Map for a readable view.


To my surprise, all of the ideas fell into 2 of the categories. None of the ideas linked to the third one!
This gave me a clearer picture of which way I want to take this blog. A general road map to follow. It also showed me that my elevator pitch was no longer relevant.
I revised my pitch based on the results of the above road map.


The newest evolution of my blog’s elevator pitch or mission statement:



Trailblazing Boomer Women are 
old enough to know what we want and 
young enough to go after it.


Let's explore starting a business marketing to
Boomer Women.



Since my elevator pitch is in the design of my blog business card, I've redesigned that as well. Good thing I hadn't ordered them yet.


Here's the front and back design for my blog business card:

http://tinyurl.com/creativeboomer-bizcard

I wanted to have the card contain the URL, contact info, elevator pitch and the two images I use as branding for the blog. That would have been too crowded for a one-sided card so I opted to do a two-sided card. There is still a little white space if someone wanted to jot a note on it while we spoke.
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Boomer Women, Where are You?


It’s time to link up and share your blog post.
If you have a blog post that is for, by or about Boomer Women please join by adding it below this post.
Let’s make it easier for us to find each other!

A blog hop is a linked list of blogs that are shared on multiple blogs.
Each blogger:
1.                   Adds her info to the link list.
2.                   Reposts the link tool on her own blog to promote the blog hop.

Blog visitors can add their blog on any blog that has the link list and it will show up on all the blogs with the link list.
This allows readers to “hop” along the list visiting different blogs.

Rules:
1.                   This blog hop is for, by or about Boomer Women. So if you have a blog post that qualifies under one of those, please add the post to the list. Please add only one post per blog.
2.                   Grab the code at the end of this post and add it to your blog. This allows reader to hop from blog to blog.
3.                   Visit the blogs on this blog hop and ENJOY!
If you'd like to leave a comment rather than joining the blog hop, that's great too!




Here’s the location for the graphic. To put it on your blog, pick “from a URL” in your blog and paste this in.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BB1-kDRSGhg/TesFz10UdBI/AAAAAAAAAJM/Hv-S4wrf_OQ/s1600/BlogHopBadge-BWWednesday.jpg

Boomer Women


Drizzle & Fog Doesn't Stop Boomer Women on a Mission

Today my friend, Donna from PsatleryStrings, had a booth at a Dulcimer Folk Music Festival about an hour drive from us. She had never had a vendor booth before and asked if I'd help her "man" the booth. 
Donna had small and large bowed psalteries made by another friend, Tish Westman

We had the instruments on one table.



We had patches, t-shirts and books on the other table. Donna let me put my new book (the paper copy) out on the table. There it is in the front corner of the table. So cool to have it out where people can see it and browse through it!


I had the greatest time! 

I became the resident teacher in the booth. As people came through the booth and asked "What's that?", I would put one in their hands and show them how to play the first line to Amazing Grace.

For people who had never played an instrument (dragged along spouses) and those who had only recently picked up an instrument, they were pleasantly surprised to be able to pick up a tune so quickly. I even taught a few young kids and the look of accomplishment on their faces was priceless!

Being in face-to-face retail like that was new and out of our comfort zone for both of us.
In a booth like that, not only is your product on display but you are also. Playing the instrument to entice people to stop in and look. Answering questions. Showing people how to play the bowed psaltery. It felt very much like being on a stage all day.
It was fun but exhausting.

You know what?
We were pretty good at it!
Who knew!
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My First Video

I just finished setting up my shop page to sell my first How-To book and editing my first product introduction video.
I'm so excited! I've been working on this a while. Creating this book helped me figure out what I want to be when I grow up. No not a  musician, the world isn't ready for that! I like creating and sharing. There are a lot of Baby Boomer women like myself who are exploring what they want to do and refusing to be invisible.

This book is another step in promoting information for, by or about Boomer Women.

The video, which is an introduction to the book, is on my shop page. I've also put it here for you to take a peak at.
Visit my shop page too. It's the tab above marked Music Store.



I hope you liked it. I had a lot of fun making the video.


Blog hopping with (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish. Check it out.
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Look Who's Turning 50!


Hi! I’m Ann and I turn 50 today!
Happy Birthday to Me!

I started this blog a few months ago. Part of the original impetus for it was as a present to myself to celebrate turning 50. This blog has turned into a great way to meet some fantastic people.
What a better celebration of life than that!

So I’m asking you to help me celebrate my 50th birthday by joining me in kicking off the first ever Boomer Women Wednesday Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a linked list of blogs that are shared on multiple blogs.
Each blogger:
  1. Adds her info to the link list.
  2. Reposts the link tool on her own blog to promote the blog hop.

Blog visitors can add their blog on any blog that has the link list and it will show up on all the blogs with the link list.
This allows readers to “hop” along the list visiting different blogs.


 (Here's the link for the graphic if you'd like to use it: http://ow.ly/5ahEW )

Rules:
  1. This blog hop is for, by or about Boomer Women. So if you have a blog post that qualifies under one of those, please add the post to the list. Please add only one post per blog.
  2. Grab the code at the end of this post and add it to your blog. This allows reader to hop from blog to blog.
  3. Visit the blogs on this blog hop and ENJOY!
If you's like to leave a comment rather than joining the blog hop, that's great too!

Get the Link code here:
http://www.linkytools.com/get_bloghop_code.aspx?id=92374&type=basic

Click here or below to add to the link list

Really?! You had to whisper that!


 Last night I had dinner with a friend and her 12 year old daughter at a local, noisy restaurant. The conversation turned to her daughter recently getting her period and having questions about tampons. Pleased that she felt comfortable enough to talk to both of us, I asked:

What questions do you have about using
(my eyes darted left and right... my voice dropped in volume)
tampons?

Really?! I thought to myself. I had to whisper that!

Me? The girl who grew up seeing the first ever Ms magazine. The girl who daily watched the progress of the Equal Rights Amendment. The woman who still has a sore spot for those 24 words not being passed.

Me?! I was so ashamed of myself!
I couldn't discuss in public a normal part of being a woman!
I looked across the table at the young girl in front of me. She held no shame about the subject. She was looking for answers to questions from women she trusted. I quickly got a grip on myself. Changed my attitude to one of confidence. Looked her right in the eye and answered her questions in a normal conversational voice.

I was so proud of her that she asked us these questions out in the open rather than getting whispered answers from her friends who had no more knowledge than she did on the subject. I hope that she did not recognize my momentary lapse. Too often we look at normal parts of being a woman as embarrassing without stopping to think of what we are projecting to others.

If it is acceptable for Viagra commercial to be all over the radio and TV, why do we still feel the need to be embarrassed when talking about women's issues?

It took a 12 year old girl to remind me to be the woman I am and want to be.
My thanks go out to her for the reminder.

5 Great Boomer Related Reads

A roundup of interesting, Boomer-related information.


1. Caregiver Cruise Sweepstakes 

“We recognize the dedication and love it takes, but also the stresses that can come along with it. So we're giving one lucky caregiver hero a free, 5-day cruise - and while they're gone, we'll provide professional care for their loved one.”


If you are a caregiver or know one, check out this sweepstakes. You can nominate yourself. Contest period appears to be Beginning June 1, 2011 through July 14, 2011.




2. Older Moms use Smartphones too
“Younger moms and older moms had similar levels of participation across several smartphone shopping activities, according to the survey.”
“Younger moms were also more apt to download mobile applications in a variety of categories, though older moms were even or ahead in areas like news and health and fitness apps.”


Well, duh!




3. Boomer Girl Diary: Wretched wabbits
“This kind and gentle soul of the ’70s who knew every word to “Bless the Beasts and Children” — the bleeding-hearted hippie girl who could never hurt a fly, much less an adorable, hippity-hoppity wabbit — has grown b-b-b-bad to the bone.
Hating bunnies. Is there a faster, more direct, one-way ticket to Hell than that?”


A fun read.




4. Can Retirees Get A Credit Card?
“Even on a fixed income retirees can qualify for a credit card, but there are some considerations unique to retirees that may not apply to the younger set. People who are living on a fixed income have to carefully consider their options, because they don’t have the advantage of increasing their income by working more hours or applying for a better paying job.”


Some financial advice.




5. 7 Ways Small Business Owners Can Use Twitter
A nice video overview of why you’d want to use Twitter.
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Chief Boomer Instigator

I was reading about Business Cards for Bloggers. This guest blogger, KludgyMom, felt that a business card was a way for other bloggers to remember you at conferences and other events. She said it also helped project a professional image as a blogger.



I'm still trying to solidify by blog direction in my mind. Since I'm a visual person, I took up the challenge to make a business card for myself. Shown above are the front and back of my business card. 

What do you think?

I took the logo character that I drew for the blog header and included her in the card. I like the idea of putting her on everything as a unifying feature.

Okay, enough art stuff. I collected a large number of great new blogs this week. I'm off to go read. I'll share some of the more interesting posts later.

I Love the Sound of Glass Ceilings Breaking, Don't You?

I love the sound of glass ceilings breaking and I'm doing my Happy Dance on glass shards.

For the first time in it's 160 year existence, the NY Times has named a woman to be its Executive Editor. The executive editor is effectively the head of the newspaper and has considerable influence on its content.



 
Jill Abramson, 57, is the managing editor of The New York Times. Today, it was announced that she would be the paper's executive editor in September, becoming the first woman to hold that position.
Whether you are a conservative or liberal, if you are a woman, this is news to celebrate.
A woman has broken through and become the head of a major US newspaper.

Yet another Boomer Woman proving that we are are still blazing trails.

5 Reasons Boomer Women are a Powerful Market




  1. Peak Earning Potential. Boomer women are more established in their careers and at the peak of their earning power. A majority of married boomers are dual income households. And single women own their own homes twice as often as single men.

  1. Largest Generational Demographic. Boomers number nearly 80 million strong with women being in the majority. This group can be further broken down into “Leading-Edge Boomers” those born from 1946 to 1954 numbering about 31 million. And the “Trailing-Edge Boomers” those born from 1955 to 1965 numbering about 47 million.

  1. Household Decision Maker. Women make the vast majority of household buying decision including electronics and cars. Baby boomer households make up almost 60% of the US households. Or put another way, every fifth adult in the US is a woman over 50. Either way you look at it, that’s a lot of decision makers.

  1. Trail Blazers. As a generation, we were raised to go out into the world and make an impact. We have never allow ourselves to be marginalized and we’re not about to start now.

  1. Healthy and Living Longer. As a group, we are healthier and more active than generations that preceded us. And we are continuing to take care of ourselves.

To me, this sounds like a market segment that should be catered to.
What do you think?
Leave me your thoughts in the comments below.
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http://tinyurl.com/44tasle.

Can you describe your blog in 140 characters? Part 2

After reading some of the great elevator pitches in the 31DBBB challenge, I want to rework mine. I’m having difficulty deciding if any of these are good.

1. We Boomer Women blazed trails all our lives & we’re a huge demographic.
    Let’s explore Creativity, Marketing to Boomers & Starting a Business.
2. We survived writing letters on a typewriter. How hard can an online business be?
    Creativity, Marketing to Boomers & Starting a Business.
3. Breaking nails on a typewriter to smudging a tablet. Now where to?
    Let’s explore Creativity, Marketing to Boomers & Starting a Business.
4. Boomer Women. Marketers ignore us at your own risk.
    Let’s explore Creativity, Marketing to Boomers & Starting a Business. 

What are your thoughts?
Which of these would make you want to click more to find out what the blog is like?

http://tinyurl.com/3wwbk84

Related Posts

Can you describe your blog in 140 characters?

Can you describe your blog in 140 characters?

How to Blog



Today starts the The SITS Girls 31 days to a better blog challenge based on the book Problogger's 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Day 1 Challenge
Create an Elevator Pitch.

Why is it called an Elevator Pitch?
“An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (for example, thirty seconds or 100–150 words).” Wikipedia


Per the 31DBBB book, when writing the elevator pitch, consider the following:
  • Solve a Problem or Need
  • Define Your Audience
  • Be Ready to Expand Upon Your Pitch

What Problem do I want to solve with this blog:
Baby Boomer women are largely ignored by media.

What is my Solution:
A place where Baby Boomer women can find information pertinent to them.

What categories of posts will this blog have:
  • Marketing
  • Starting an online business
  • Creative endeavors
  • Life stories
  • Interviews
Brainstorming on what problem I’m trying to solve with my blog and how I’m solving it really helped to get my mind started thinking about a Short Elevator Pitch. The first day’s challenge is to create a Short Elevator Pitch in 130 characters or less. The categories are what I’d like to cover with my blog. I used those categories to help with the second line of the pitch.




Short Elevator Pitch:

We Boomer Women blazed trails all our lives & we’re a huge demographic.
Let’s explore Creativity, Marketing to Boomers & Starting a Business.


Per the 31DBBB book: The longer version expands upon the short pitch and talks through a few of the main topics.

Now I want to work on the longer version (100-150 words) so I can use it as my guide for where I’m headed with my blog.

Attention Editors, Publishers, Marketers, Bloggers and Webmasters!
You can republish your favorite Creative Boomer articles without charge. Leverage our powerful content on your website or blog! Republishing our articles is simple. You must include attribution of the author(s) and the following short paragraph, in the same font size and visibility as the article: "This article appears courtesy of Creative Boomer", linking Creative Boomer name to this website.
Unless a guest expert is mentioned, the author is Ann Tucker.