In case you missed it, yesterday I shared my “Best Stuff List” for 2015 and some goals for January. In that post, I mentioned being more intentional with my blog in 2015. Here’s more on that…
This time a year ago, I was happily blogging at E, Myself, and I, seeing some growth and energy there, and making NO plans to change anything anytime soon. Then, I lost my domain and had to start completely over. (Read more about what happened here.) Starting Sam & Scout has been an incredibly humbling and refreshing experience. When everything hit the fan, I seriously considered giving up blogging all together, but I’m so glad I didn’t! Though it has been hard to start from scratch, and I’ve been discouraged at times, this space – for sharing, reflecting, seeking advice, documenting, etc. – is a huge part of my life and one of the main ways I re-charge from some of the other more obligatory things in my life. I am SO grateful for those of you that have followed me from the beginning and for those of you that are new here and just jumping in this hot mess. 😉 I blog because of YOU. Otherwise, I would keep a journal and call it a day.
I’ve allowed myself to kind-of ease into this new blog… I’ve felt less pressure to write when I don’t feel “inspired” and taken on a lot less sponsored content, etc. The result of this has been a return to my first loves – writing and connecting. It’s been good. BUT, recently, I’ve been thinking more about how I can make this place better and how we can both get more from it. I’ve been reflecting on what is important to me, and I keep coming back to those two loves… I care about CONTENT (writing) and COMMUNITY (connecting).
With that said, I DO think that numbers matter. It’s hard to write that. I want you to believe that I’m 100% pure – that I would do this even if five people read. But I want you to believe that I’m honest and real more. And, the truth is, I wouldn’t. Quality content takes a lot of time. I’d estimate that I spend about 10 – 15 hours a week on blog related work. That’s on top of a full time teaching job and all my responsibilities as a mom, wife, etc. And, community requires people. The more people that read this blog = the more women that are finding and connecting with people like them. I have a heart for the working momma especially, but also for the stay at home mom, the teacher with no kids, the college girl just starting out. I want us ALL to find a place where we feel understood and normal.
Based on those things, I’m going to be introducing a few new things in 2015.
First, I’m excited to be partnering with Heather from Notes from the Nelsens this year.
Heather is a fellow Clemson Tiger (we knew lots of the same people, but only found each other through the blog world years after graduation) living in the Atlanta area with her husband (also a high school sweetheart) and little man. In her previous life, she was an elementary school teacher but became a full time stay at home mommy when Ryan was born in July of 2013. Lately, her days look a lot different from mine, but I love checking out her blog for easy weeknight recipes, her favorite finds, peeks at her super-stylish wardrobe, and – of course – lots of adorable baby pictures.
We started chatting back in September and realized that – though are lives and content are different – we have the same goals and passions for our blogs. We both write because we care about content and community; but, we both also would love to see our blogs grow so that we can invest MORE time and energy into it and build a better home in the internet for women to find their place… I’ve loved having Heather to bounce ideas off of, and “talk blog” with for these last several months, and I’m excited to officially start working together in 2015.
Specifically, in 2015, we’ll be collaborating on two monthly blog posts. The first will be a blog hop from my days at E, Myself, and I…
That’s right! We’ll be co-hosting a blog hop called Mid-Month Confessions on the 15th of every month (because we’re both mamas and a monthly hop feels a lot more doable than a weekly one.) It will be a safe place for us to come together and share those moments when we’ve totally failed but were able to get back up and maybe even laugh about what just happened. It’s a place for us to connect with other bloggers and put our non-highlight reel out there so that we can all feel a little better about our less-than-perfect lives.
The first hop will take place on January 15th, so start a running list in your blog drafts or on your phones of the confessions you want to share and get ready to link up! We can’t wait to meet new people and laugh over our failed attempts at being perfect mamas and women in the workplace. (Graphic coming for you to use on your blog soon – stay tuned!)
In addition, at the end of each month, we’ll both share our Favorite Finds for that month on our respective blogs (similar to this one from Tuesday). Heather has been writing posts like this for a while, and I’ve noticed a lot of response when I’ve shared the same kind of thing here in the past. Now you can look forward to a round up of my favorite things (as well as Heather’s) every month, and we’ll invite you to share your favorites in the comments too!
Along with these two posts, you can expect to see me linking to Heather more around here and – hopefully – we’ll be working together to host some fun give aways and connect our readers more throughout the year too. Please know that we aren’t paying each other to advertise or anything like that – we just like what each other is doing and are happy to share those things with you all.
… Beyond working with Heather, you can expect to see a more regular line-up of “Motherhood Mondays,” “Teaching Tuesdays,” and “What I’m Wearing Wednesdays” as well as more “What I’m Reading” posts and other fun things here at Sam and Scout. Though I still intend to show myself grace when it comes to posting and scheduling, I’m excited to beef up my own content and give you a reason to pour a second cup of coffee and stop by each morning.
Finally, and I know this is getting long, so this will be the last thing… I also want to be honest and share that I will be using more affiliate links (specifically through Amazon) and, likely, taking a few more paid blogging opportunities in 2015. I will always disclose these, and I promise to stay authentic and only share things I really, truly, care about here. That said, I want to value the time I spend here each week (roughly 10 – 15 hours on top of a full time job and other mom/wife responsibilities) and be open to ways that this blog can help provide for my family and/or my new baby’s wardrobe. 😉 I hope you will honor my heart in this decision and continue to support Sam & Scout.
Alright folks. That’s all. Thanks for reading all of this. Here’s to a great blogging year in 2015! *Don’t forget to be keeping track of your confessions for January 15th!