Welcome to the tenth in our “Women In Biz All Around WordPress” feature that will run the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s a new series where we spotlight amazing women and the ways in which they have used WordPress to spread their message, sell their products, or provide valuable services.
The hope is to inspire other midlife women to build their online businesses and find what we’re all looking for; financial freedom, a lifestyle they love, and excitement they may have been missing! All of these women are current or former clients of mine who have inspired me over the years and I think they will inspire you as well.
Barbara Harmon or Barb as I call her is a lovely woman who never fails to bring a smile to my face. She has faced hardships that many of us couldn’t even imagine but has somehow remained a beautiful, positive woman who looks toward the future with curiosity and excitement.
She recently became an ex-pat when she and her husband decided to have the grandest of adventures by moving to Pézenas, a small village in the south of France.! I am so jealous I have to admit but one day I’m determined to sit under the Eiffel Tower with her having a coffee and some great conversations.
Tell us a little bit about you
I’m a wife, mother, gram, retired cosmetic exec, entrepreneur, blogger, and now a full-time expat in Pézenas, France.
What made you first decide to build a blog or website? How long have you had your site?
I started my first blog (The French Elements) in 2007 to tie in with an online business. Within months it became more of a journal than a business blog. It was a place to share family life, travel, hopes, dreams, and of course, goals as well as product. When my youngest son passed in 2015, I closed my shop and put the blog to bed. The passion for both was gone. In 2016, Chasing The Next Chapter was birthed.
What is your niche?
I’m a Gemini which pretty much says it all. Niche?… Travel, fashion, food, fun: and now I can add writing about life in a small, medieval village in France.
Of all of your blog posts or pages on your site which is your favorite?
I’m partial, so it’s difficult to choose a favorite, but post wise it has to be the series of posts titled You Know It’s Hot When. These are annual posts that began when I was writing my first blog. The inspiration was summer in Arizona, hell on earth. My favorite page, hands down, is The Journey Begins. If I ever need encouragement, I re-visit this page as it illustrates how far we’ve come. With grit, determination, and a whole lot of prayer, we achieved a life-changing goal in a short period. We became truly serious about moving overseas in October 2018. In June 2019, we realized that dream/goal when we moved to France. It was an incredible amount of work (STRESS) but worth every gray hair.
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
Instagram! It’s so easy (almost too easy) to quickly reach a variety of people with just a picture, a few words, and of course, the famous hashtag. IG has broadened my horizon and provided the opportunity to connect with folks around the globe—people I would never have ‘met.’ I wish there were fewer sponsored ads, though!
Do you find WordPress easy to maneuver or do you avoid the back end like the plague?
I have a love/hate relationship with WordPress, Rena. I’m always excited when I can make a change to the site, but most of the time, I’m sending you an email titled ‘HELP’ because I’ve screwed something up trying to do it myself. All I can say is, “Thank God; you respond quickly and with a smile.”
Is your site a business that makes money or a passion that makes your heart sing?
It’s a passion that does make my heart sing, but I also use it as a ‘work’ tool. Several years ago, I re-visited freelance writing (I found my voice—once more) and added a section titled Articles with a variety of my published work. It’s easy for an editor to quickly get a feel for my style by reading through a few pieces. I’m pleased to say, I’ve built some strong relationships and traveled to some exciting locations via this page!
If you use your site for business what do you sell or what service do you provide?
Well, my site isn’t monetized (those ads/pop-ups drive me crazy), but a freelance writer usually receives some type of compensation for articles written, so I ‘sell’ my voice.
What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?
I can spot a fantastic bargain a mile away.
Would you like a little more of Barbara? Find her here:
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