September 20, 2010

Blogging Update: Changing Things This Week & Next

Hi all!  I'm still here and want to thank YOU for checking in on me, too!

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what I want to do as a blogger and what I want this blog to be for the long term.

If you are familiar with any of my blogging back story, I have a personal blog here that I've been writing since 2007 (almost my 3 yr anniversary, come to think of it).  I started the first edition of The New Frugal Mom in March of 2008 (just before the deal/couponing blog niche really exploded in popularity).

I didn't last long blogging TNFM then -- despite having very nice traffic numbers and my RSS subscribers going up.   I found myself trying to blog every deal and do every ad matchup (and those a good chunk of time to do each week) all without a long term plan of what I wanted this blog to be. 

After many late late late nights (or early mornings), everything caught up to me.  Blogging, three kids, my daughter's second ear surgery for a cholesteatoma, endless volunteering, and life in general just sapped my resources and in a moment of fatigue one June morning (a moment I still regret as I had some nice, never-backed-up content on that site), I hit DELETE.

Oy.

{Insert palm smacking forehead}.

I needed a break from the super-busy pace of deal blogging and I am glad I took it.  However, while I never stopped couponing/deal finding in real life during the six months I wasn't blogging at TNFM, I didn't challenge myself as much as I had when I was blogging.

What I realized at the end of 2008 when I was reviewing the year's finances, was that I did better on my budgeting and frugal living endeavors when I was blogging than when I wasn't.  Also, if you remember fall of 2008 as well as I do, it was clear that between the bank bailouts and the beginning of the mortgage crisis that our economy was about to get ROCKED in a way that no one in our generation or our parents generation had ever experienced.

I decided, with trepidation because I know I am a Type A go-go-go kinda girl who has a knack of over-commiting herself, to restart TNFM on January 1, 2009 for two reasons:

1.  To keep myself motivated as our family financial manager to continue to find ways to not only spend less money but to do more for others and to do more of what really matters - experiencing life as a family.

2.  To help others who might for the first time in their lives find themselves cutting back, budgeting, using coupons, re-purposing - folks that are new to frugal living, or, like the name of my site, new frugal moms.

It was the best decision; I've kept myself accountable to our budget and our goals as a family and I've also been able to help others get started on their own frugal journey.  Also, and this is a big part of it for me, too, the friends I've made in the blogging community (both my local Ohio blogstars and those spread out across the USA) mean so much to me and have encouraged and inspired me both as a blogger and as a mom.  (Y'all know who you are - you so rock!)

But I have fallen back into the rush that is deal/coupon blogging.  There is so much information out there, so many deals, that it is near impossible for one person to capture and report on them all and have any amount of balance in their life.

I know; I've tried.  ;-)

Since my family went on vacation (first ever family vacation -- it was awesome; see some pictures here) in August, I've been thinking hard about what I want to do here. I've been thinking hard about what I can do here and still balance all the rest of the plates I have spinning in my life. 

What I've come to realize is this: if I want this site to be a long-term endeavor for me than I to make it what I want it to be. 

And what is that?

Well, as I reorganize things over the next week or so, some things won't change. 

I will continue:

 ->Linking to the weekly deals as posted by my fellow bloggers in an easy for you (and me!) to find format
 ->Running my weekly "Let's Go Krogering!" feature
  ->Sharing Monthly Menu Plans with recipe links for your convenience
 ->Sharing freebies
 ->Running ads and affiliates programs that add value to this site (ie: Coupons.com, cash-back shopping sites, hot Amazon deals, etc)
 ->And a few others I'm sure I'm missing as I type this with all the chaos of my home happening around me

But what I hope to do (and look forward to doing) is create useful content to help you be more frugal in your life in a myriad of ways - from the kitchen, to home management, to finances, to activities - you name it, I've got ideas based on what I do in my own life.

What this will do for me is allow me to plan my posts and writing well-ahead of the curve.  I'm far more successful as a blogger when I'm proactive in my writing rather reactive.  Unfortunately, the majority of deal/coupon blogging is a reactive game; there are ads to scan and matchup every week, hidden deals at the stores, and hot deals that pop up all day, every day.  It's hard to keep up.

What should you expect to find if you pop in over the next week or two to visit?

A bit of a mess, to tell the truth.  ;-)

I have to go through all the posts and delete the expired deals.  I also have to re-label everything so it will be easy to find posts that are useful to YOU (Have you taken a look at my "Categories" dropdown lately? Oy!)

I also have to finish refining my new graphics (yup, I'm an all-around one-woman show) and get everything looking just right. 

What won't change: I'll still be The New Frugal Mom and I'll still host on Blogger (because peeps?  I'm frugal and Blogger is free!).

I'll be posting Let's Go Krogering! tomorrow and may post some freebies toward the end of the week.  Other than that, I'll be working behind the scenes to get The New Frugal Mom clean, organized, and ready to roll. 

Thanks for hanging in there and thanks for listening.  Y'all are wonderful.

*FYI: Both this post by Amy Clark and this post by Chris Brogan really helped me with thinking through my long-term goals; but then, they always share ideas and thoughts that help me.  ;-)

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