Way back in 2006, Mr 50 Plus and I went for a career change. We jumped straight out of our comfort zone into the world of websites and blogging. I had actually worked in newspapers and radio, before my daughters were born. However with children, come school holidays, plus I wanted to be there for the kids. I really didn’t want my Mum Time to be limited to that small window between coming home from work and going to bed time. So I became a stay-at-home Mum and occasional supply teacher.
Creating A Website
As the children got older I took on more days as a teacher but more days teaching meant more after school work and it all became a bit of a vicious circle. Mr 50 Plus was a master mariner aka a ship’s captain. Not your white officer uniform type, though he did have the stripes. His ship was working offshore in Brazil in the oil fields. Whilst he had a lovely big salary at the time, it meant he was working five weeks on and five weeks off. I absolutely hated him being away and didn’t hold much truck with the idea that every other five weeks was like a honeymoon. Home time was fantastic but away time was horrendous – for me anyway!
I loved teaching but obviously I was out of the house an awful lot of the time, that Mr C was home. I was also missing being creative. We had both talked about setting up our own business and one day decided to just go for it. I was keen to create a portal for offering breastfeeding advice and he was interested in doing something techy. We ended up creating a new website, a parenting site called TheBabyWebsite.com . This mushroomed over the years into a site offering all manner of pregnancy, baby and parenting advice. On the site we offered an area where mums could create their own mini baby blogs. Bear in mind that this was kind of before blogging became huge.
Alongside that we also had our own personal review-type blog called TheThumbsUp.co.uk where we wrote about lots of different subjects. We liked to write about our holidays and I enjoyed commenting on beauty products. I suppose you could call me a micro blogger. One day we had an email from a holiday company asking us if we’d like to go on a short break in exchange for a review afterwards. More and more companies started sending us products and it dawned on us that this was a great add-on for our business.
Eventually we sold TheBabyWebsite and as all our children had flown the nest, we decided to splurge the money from the sale of the company, on a fab trip around the world. Ok, I know, we should have been sensible and paid off the mortgage but hey, life’s too short. I’d had years and years of chronic pain and other debilitating neurological (and urological!) issues and who knows what the future will bring.
Even whilst we were travelling, companies contacted us and asked us to review things along the way. And let’s be fair, we’d have been mad not to. I know some people see these sort of transactions as unfair. We however never compromised our integrity, in that we always have told the truth. It’s not in our nature to say something is good if it’s not. Regardless of whether or not it has been offered us on a complimentary basis. We feel that we’re pretty honest and don’t embellish the facts.
At the end of the day, I suppose bloggers and influencers who work with companies like Get Blogged are offering a service. All parties are happy generally. Tit for tat? Contra deals? I don’t know what people call these mini deals but it works for us and it works for them. Who’d have known way back at the turn of the millennium that there’s be bona fide companies offering blogger outreach services for businesses.
Anyway, I digress …. Mr C and I came back from our Silver Gap Year with itchy feet, wondering what to do next. We felt that we were well past the baby years (although little did we know it but ‘grandbabies’ were on the horizon!) and wanted to find something more age-appropriate. Hence MrandMrs50Plus.com – unsurprisingly, a website aimed at people age 50 plus.
I know there are people around who simply blog about their lives and don’t want it to become a business and I get that. However it feels good being able to mix business with pleasure. Surely we all dream of someone paying us to do something we love doing?