Blogging is such an interesting choice for a business and one that is dramatically different than other entities I have established in the past.
I’ve been asking myself recently, “what in the world am I doing?”
And I don’t mean to say that I think I’m crazy for heading in this direction (although some might think I am!) as much as wanting to keep myself on track with the goals and aspirations for this site. Thus, the reflections of a midlife blogger.
A location-based business is simpler, in some respects, when it comes to finding a need, meeting it, marketing your services and creating a viable entity with repeat clients.
I was able to do that quite successfully with my Home Staging/Interior Decorating business, Simply Designed, in Florida. I had a stellar reputation, many repeat clients and served them very well.
An online business follows a similar pattern of finding a need within a niche, meeting that need or answering that question, marketing your site and creating a viable business with repeat clients, your subscribers, and readers.
It sounds pretty simple, but I’ve been around the block enough times to know that this business is anything but simple and easy.
Reflections of a Midlife Blogger
Blogging, for some, is a hobby, a means to communicate what’s happening in life, an outlet for creative writing, a therapeutic exercise, a tool to educate or persuade, or otherwise tell the world what they think.
For others, it is a combination of some or all of the above, geared toward a specific group of intended readers, with a goal of not only providing information, education, and inspiration but also to be profitable. Therein lies the challenge, my friends.
So, as someone who is in the second group of bloggers, I’ve been pondering, studying, searching and sometimes experimenting, with ways to accomplish all of these goals.
Blogger with a Purpose
I recently started to revamp a site I created 10 years ago, CandiRandolph.com. The motivation at the time was to grab the domain name and hang onto it, because it is, of course, my name. 🙂
I created some content and it has sat there, untouched, for a decade.
Several weeks ago I decided to give this domain a fresh, new life, and as I sat at my computer staring at an empty page, pondering what my message was, the thought came to me that I am a blogger with a purpose. So, that has become my tagline on that site.
My goal with any business is to make a difference in a positive way, to inspire, and to provide useful, practical, and ongoing information in that niche.
The challenge is to turn the goal into a reality that makes readers want to come back, time and again, and also provide income for my business.
The Creation of INSPIRATIONS
As a midlife blogger, I know what it’s like to be a woman over 50. And while we’re all unique and our lives may be led in totally different ways, there are some things that many of us can relate to.
One of those ‘things’ is to have special items in our life that we enjoy using, displaying, that inspire us to be the best women we can be as we continue to mature.
As I pondered what and how I could contribute to that area of our lives, I decided to explore my creative side. I designed some everyday, functional, pretty items that could be used daily, and also serve as unique gifts.
INSPIRATIONS is my online shop, created with love and purpose, to offer a variety of pretty, functional and inspirational items at affordable prices.
And, while I was really pleased and thrilled with the idea and how it came to fruition, I wanted to offer more than pretty things. I wanted my shop to have a specific purpose and make a difference to others.
So, I decided that a portion of the net profits from sales at INSPIRATIONS would be donated to a charity. And as soon as I made that decision, I knew exactly which foundation it would be, and why.
A Season of Life
My husband and I lived in a SW Florida community for about 8 years, and we spent many hours at the community pool. That was our social life for the most part. When the business day was done, we’d grab our pool bag and head over there for a soak and some conversation.
We made some special friendships there, one in particular with a young family, and became their ‘Florida grandparents’ as their extended family did not live locally.
We loved all 4 of the kids, and my husband particularly adored Hayley. They had such fun playing in the pool! Wonderful memories were made.
Fast forward a couple of years, when my husband lost his battle with cancer on January 1, 2016. Just three years later, Hayley lost her battle with the same disease at the age of 13.
I know what Randy would say if he were here. He’d want me to donate to a foundation that was dedicated to helping children like Hayley and researching for a cure. So that is what I’m going to do.
A Shop with a Purpose
Ten percent of net profits from sales at INSPIRATIONS will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where Hayley was cared for during her illness.
My hope for the shop is that it provides a unique array of small every day and gift appropriate items for my readers to purchase, as well as make a difference in the lives of children and young people who are in such need of love and care.
Shop at INSPIRATIONS
What will you find in my shop?
It’s simple and uncluttered in the designs, logos, and products offered. Of course, you’ll find coffee mugs, travel cups, and water bottles. Gotta have those, right?
If you love to journal or want to have a notebook handy (I think I have 3 on my desk at the moment), I’ve got you covered.
Simple jewelry that can remind you to be inspired every time you wear it, as well as make a thoughtful gift, is an item that topped my list.
A variety of bags and totes, including a darling accessory bag, are also available.
All orders are custom made
Shopping at INSPIRATIONS won’t break the budget. I wouldn’t offer products that I couldn’t afford to purchase myself.
But it’s not like shopping at Amazon or Target, or even Homegoods.
Every order is custom produced for the customer. I don’t have 500 coffee mugs sitting on a shelf waiting to be plopped into the mail. Actually, I don’t keep any inventory myself.
My partners in this venture take care of the processing, production, and shipping. I am the designer, and that is my role in the process, which works for me!
As a result, orders placed are not returnable for any and all reasons, as you might expect. You can read the return policy here.
I would love for you to take a few minutes to see what my sweet little boutique shop has to offer today. The sidebar always shows a variety of current products, so you might see something that catches your eye there.
And, you can always find INSPIRATIONS by using the navigation bar at the top of every page. Just click on the word, SHOP!
Please keep my shop on your list of online sources when it comes to gift-giving time. You won’t find these products anywhere else! And your purchase WILL make a difference in a child’s life, as well as support my online efforts.
When you place an order, you’ll probably have another name, another face in your heart as someone you’re purchasing in memory of, and I hope you do. We all have lost someone we loved to cancer, child or adult. INSPIRATIONS is for all of those beautiful souls.
So, what in the world am I doing? I’m striving to be a blogger with a purpose, with every post, every page, every product I create. Thank you so much for your support!