Posted in business, gardens, loreeebee.ca, motivational

Turn your Hobby into a Business

I am proud to report that I was recently featured in an article in First for Women magazine about turning a hobby into a lucrative business opportunity. The picture of me isn’t the most flattering one, taken in a hurry first thing in the morning (my grandkids take better selfies than I do) because the one I had submitted was too blurry, but the garden pictured is one of my favourite projects. I have literally watched it evolve over the years from a weed filled, uninspired, large area into a stunning, colourful, well-planned perennial garden bed.

I was approached in January to submit a story on how and why I started my own business, then told it was accepted to be published. The magazine is on newsstands from March 11th through to March 31st. This, of course, is a much-edited, sugar-coated version of my story. I have learned tons over the years, including how to create a website, blog and invoicing or accounting system. I’ve also learned what not to do. If anyone needs further motivation or details on how to get a (very) small business up and running, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

While many people have been inspired to find unique ways to earn income during the pandemic, my gardening hobby-to-business adventure began in the spring of 2012. In fact, last summer my business took a hit, due to the fact that many of my clients were working from home and able to manage their own gardens. Others gave up their gardener to tighten their budget as the pandemic stretched from weeks to months. I was excited, however, to be able to design a few new gardens, something I have been doing less of in recent years. It was a hot and dry summer too, so the cottage season was an exceptional one.

I was thrilled to see the magazine article in publication, especially as the weather appears to be warming up to what could soon be gardening weather. I do still have quite a bit of snow covering my gardens, but it is melting. My south-facing front yard is always the first on the street to reveal the grass under the snow…

In the meantime, I am still repotting, dividing and increasing my collection of houseplants. I think I need a larger house!

Posted in business

How to Build a Website or Blog

The best way for an inexperienced person to build a website or blog is to find (hire) someone else’s website that is specifically designed to build websites.  Kind of like a website for dummies approach. These sites offer simple, straightforward advice and instructions that even the most computer illiterate people can follow. 

Keep in mind that Blogs are websites, so any reference here to a website will apply to building a blog too.

Find a Website Builder

Website builders or advisors can be found easily online and are great because they do most of the work. All that is required from you is the unique and specific information or items you wish to promote. And money, as these website building services are rarely free. Some sites do offer free advice and basic blog templates, often a great way to get your feet wet so to speak.

There are many such website builders designed and committed to building websites for others. Do your research to find one that suits your needs. Most have experienced employees that can offer valuable online support to advise and guide even the most inexperienced and novice person through the steps of building a website, regardless of what the website is to be used for.

Other things covered in the price of a website builder are spam filters, analytic tools, tutorials, templates, and troubleshooting. The support staff will also provide ongoing advice to help to keep the website running smoothly. These features make the process even simpler for you. Keep in mind that these extra services are the ones not usually included in the “free” offers.  

An online store is also usually available permitting your clients to purchase products you sell.  A free shopping cart for clients and use of PayPal is usually also available to enhance the shopping experience on the website.

Prices may vary depending on ongoing discounts and promotions offered as well as the length of the contract period selected.  When a contract is signed, rates are usually charged on a monthly basis. The good news here is that these charges can be claimed as expenses on your income tax if you claim your business income.

I chose WordPress (WP) for this blog, starting with a free site and domain, then purchasing a domain to lose the wordpress.com tag to my URL.

Finding a Domain

Finding and paying for an available domain name is a crucial thing to think about in the process of building a website. Your domain name will be the URL or address for your new website. When you register a domain name, no one else can use it for their website.  A unique, catchy URL is important since it will draw people to your website and help them remember the name to visit again or recommend it to others.

Some companies (the one you hired to build your website) provide a free domain name, if not they will show you how to find one that is available for use.  As mentioned under website builders, WP does provide a domain to use.

Advertising on Your Website

If advertising is desired on your new website, the website company you have hired will most likely provide some free credit through the services of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook.  This is beneficial if the website is to be used to make money, so if that is something you require, be sure the website company you choose offers that service.

Conclusions

The biggest tip I can offer is to research your options on all the offers available online. Some will boast they are free, but often just the basic start-up process is actually free. Most offer “packages” based on the services provided, starting at free and increasing in price. Keep in mind the adage “you get what you pay for.” Make a list of features you need on your website or blog and find someone to help you.

Regardless of whether you choose the free options or pay for help, your new website should be up and running in no time providing worldwide exposure.  Remember too that money paid to run your website is tax-deductible under business expenses.

It is so easy, even I managed to build a website for Gardens4u, my landscaping business, and this blog. When I started out (2012) I considered myself a website beginner. I have learned so much over the years that I have since promoted myself to someone with moderate knowledge of websites.

I use Yola for my business website and WordPress for my blog, both of which are listed in the top website builders for 2021.

photo credit

Posted in entertainment

Who Loves Each Other More by Andrew Waines

A few years ago I introduced you to Andrew Waines and his music. Still going strong in the music industry, Andrew has just released his latest original tune. Check out Who Loves Each Other More on the platform (YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and more) of your choice.

While you are at it, listen to Andrew’s other originals and covers on his website.

Posted in business, gardening, lorieb.com

Gardens4u website revised and updated

Check.   Another job on my list completed…

My business website GARDENS4U has recently been revised using a different theme and color scheme.  It has also been updated with pictures from last season.

My to-do list is getting shorter and the days are getting longer.  That means I should be able to get out into my gardens soon (I hope) before I turn into this lady…

 

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It would be greatly appreciated if you would check out the website and tell me what you think!

Posted in Canada, current events, lorieb.com, music, Ottawa

Rock on Andrew Waines!

andrew2

 

Andrew Waines is a young man moving up quickly in the music world, currently focused on the soft rock/blues genre as a solo artist.  Andrew was one of my youngest son’s best friends in grade school here in Kanata (west end of Ottawa) until Andrew and his family moved from our neighborhood.

Andrew’s mom and I are friends on Facebook  which has been instrumental (pun intended) in allowing us to follow our children’s (her four and my three) endeavors. When I heard of Andrew’s success and amazing progress in the music industry, I was thrilled for him, but not really surprised as he was always the kind of kid that excelled in any of his pursuits.

Please check out these links to Andrew’s official website, Youtube channel, and Facebook page to discover just how talented he is!

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  for his bio, contact info, scheduled shows, blog and more

YOUTUBE CHANNEL  for tracks, albums, and playlists of original songs and covers

FACEBOOK PAGE  for more info and updates

 

Rock on Andrew!

Andrew

Posted in business, gardening

My Gardens4u business website has been updated

hen & chicksB

If you haven’t checked out my business website GARDENS4U  recently or at all yet, please do so and let me know what you think.  It has just been updated with the pictures I took last season and I would love your opinion, comments and suggestions.  I know many of you are website and photographic geniuses; I am neither of those but am always looking to improve!

 

Posted in business

How to Build a Website

The best way for an inexperienced person to build a website is to find someone else’s website that is specifically designed to build websites.  Kind of like a website for dummies approach; these sites offer simple, straightforward advice and instructions that even the most computer illiterate people can follow.  These kinds of website advisors can be found easily online and are great because they do most of the work; all that is required is the unique and specific information and or supplies to promote.

There are many such websites designed and committed to building websites for others.  They have experienced employees that can offer valuable online support to advise and guide even the most inexperienced and novice person through the steps of building a website, regardless of what the website is to be used for.

Some companies provide a free domain name, if not they will tell you how to find one that is available for use.   The domain name will be the URL or address for your new website.  Finding and paying for an available domain name is one less crucial thing to think about in the process of building a website.   A good, unique, catchy URL is important since it will draw people to and make them remember the website.

Other things covered in their price making the process even simpler are spam filters, analytic tools, tutorials, templates, troubleshooting and  reliable service.  Prices may vary depending on many ongoing discounts and promotions offered as well as the length of the contract period selected.  When a contract is signed, rates are usually charged on a monthly basis.

If advertising is desired on the new website, these companies usually provide some free credit through the services of Google, Yahoo and Facebook.  This is beneficial if the website is to be used to make money.  An online store is also usually available permitting clients to purchase products sold.  A free shopping cart for clients and use of PayPal is usually also available to enhance the shopping experience on the website.

To create a website fast, easily and inexpensively, find a company online to help you.   Your new website will be up and running in no time providing the desired worldwide exposure.  Support staff will also provide ongoing advice to help to keep the website running smoothly.  It is so easy, even I managed to build one for my new landscaping business called Gardens4u