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Social media community for seniors takes off: Founder shares her business model plans

Friday, 14 March 2014 | By Rose Powell

Traffic for one-year-old social media and content site Starts at 60 is growing almost 10% month-on-month and bringing together thousands of older people keen for connection and targeted content.


The site grew out of founder Rebecca Wilson’s blog, which she launched last March to test her writing for a superannuation client.


“But I was watching my elderly parents go through massive amounts of change and realised there was nothing for them to read from their own community, like the mum bloggers movement, that understood their issues and spoke to them,” she says.


After the blog began to receive 15,000 visits a month, Wilson realised she might be onto something and invested in developing a more professional site.


Wilson, 39, now employs seven people to maintain the site and will launch the third iteration of the website tomorrow.


“We’ve learned a lot about how over 60s actually consume content. We’re tweaking everything from font size to the look and feel so it aligns with brands who market to our target readers,” Wilson says.


The site receives over 190,000 page views a month. The team hopes to break even this year.


“We just need to keep listening to what they like. That includes an incredible diversity of content and keeping everything pretty positive,” Wilson says.


The site employs a full-time journalist but also uses pieces freely contributed by over 250 members of the community.


As a content start-up in a tumultuous time for media business models, Wilson is pursuing multiple revenue streams in a bid to stay afloat. These include site section sponsors, advertising and paid content.


“We’re looking into events also. These different approaches should combine to form quite a formidable force in the industry. Our end game is to run a media group that can cover its costs,” Wilson says.


She adds there doesn’t appear to be much competition for this growing market.


“It seems that we only broadcast at the older generation rather than engaging them. Hopefully we can change that.”