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Structured Freestyle'n

Hello friends, and happy Friday!

Yesterday, as I gave a shout out to fellow bloggers who have sent some love my way, I also gave a small preview for what I would be posting today.

Though it's nearly been one year since my first official blog post, I didn't actually release my site to anyone (not even friends or family) for five months.  As awkward as it was to pose questions like, "what do you think?" when no one even knew I existed, I felt it was important to have some content available for readers when I did finally get my name out there...and so, for five months I built content, structured site features, and developed my brand.

My original plan was to structure the site and develop content during the month of December 2010, and release my blog to the masses on January 1st 2011.  I'll pause while my fellow bloggers chuckle and shake their heads.  I soon realized that blogging isn't as easy as you might think.  It's challenging to come up with content that others will find interesting.  Not only that, web design takes time and energy, and when you're also a full-time employee and student, those two things are difficult to come by.

Am I complaining?  Absolutely not!  I'm just stating that my eyes were quickly opened to the reality of blogging...or perhaps better said, the reality of blogging the right way.

Once I realized what it would really take to make a good site with valuable content, I gave myself a deadline to have my site ready for release in April 2010.  Even though I still felt the site was in its primitive stage (and I still kinda do), on April 10th, 2011, I felt the site was ready to be released to my friends and family.

Because of that, I consider April 10th to be the birthday of A Happy Place Called Home--and that means October 10th is my six-month-iversary!

Man, I've come a long way since those first few posts...but honestly, I've been flying blogging by the seat of my pants this entire time!  I haven't really had a game plan, and I realize that my posting is a bit unreliable.  

At first, I had the mentality that I didn't want to be held to any sort of posting structure.  I thought my blog would feel more true to myself if I posted when I wanted to, and about what I wanted to at the time.  I can't really say that it hasn't been nice to give myself that flexibility, but as more-and-more people have started to visit my blog, leave comments, and offer encouraging words, I've gained an increased commitment to blogging not only for myself, but also for my readers.

While my priority will always be to blog about things that make me happy (because trust me, you don't want to read about the things that don't), I also want to offer more valuable content and feature things that speak to you too; and so, I'm making a new commitment for how this blog will be managed.

Here's what will change:

  • I will no longer be posting on a whim, or go missing for 2-3 days at a time.
  • I will make more of an effort to feature content from other bloggers, through guest posts, Blogland features, etc.
  • I will be introducing monthly themes.

Here's what will stay the same:

  • I will still be posting about things I love, and adventures I have.
  • I will always value your input, thoughts, and comments!

So here's my new posting strategy:

Monday--I will be introducing a "Tip of the Week" that will be posted each Monday.  These tips will feature information that I found to be helpful or inspiring.  The sources could be from anywhere, Pinterest, HGTV.com, Marthastewart.com, Better Homes and Gardens, other blogs, but also from you!  If you have found a tip worth sharing, please use the Suggestion Box to send me information you would like to see featured.

Tuesday--Here's where the freestyle'n part comes in.  I'm leaving Tuesday's open on my posting strategy to post about whimsical things.  Most likely you'll see the projects I'm working on show up here, but I may even decide to take a breather on this day, or prep upcoming posts.

Wednesday Rotation--Here are the types of posts I will cycle through on Wednesdays

  • Best of Blogland--A highlight of great projects from other bloggers around the web.  I will use these posts to build up the Best of Blogland library, which houses many great ideas from the blogging royal family.  (Here's an example)
  • Trend Alerts--This will be a new feature that I will be adding.  Trend alerts will focus on what is popular within the interior design community.  I'm hoping this content will take me back to my design roots, and help me to stay current with where the design industry is headed.  While DIY/home improvement and interior design are very similar, they also have some unique differences.  I'd like to share an inside peek into the world of professional interior design in addition to the do-it-yourself philosophy.  (Here's an example)
  • Shout Outs/Great Artists to Check Out--I've submitted posts like this before, but I think there are a lot of great blogs, companies, and artists out there that deserve some love.  I like to talk about people who are doing their thing, and kicking booty!  It's so inspirational for me to see the power of creative minds!  (Here's an example)
  • Inspirational Spaces--I love gaining ideas from others who have created truly inspiring living spaces.  It's honestly one of my favorite things to do, so I'll be featuring more of them on this blog. (Here's an example.)

Theme Thursday--I mentioned it briefly above, but I'm introducing monthly themes!  Each Thursday, I'll post new content about the theme for that month.  This should be totally fun!  Tomorrow, I'll be introducing the theme for October.  I bet you can totally guess what it is (it's pretty common sense for October), but I'm still excited to give it a go!

Friday Rotation--Here are the types of posts I will cycle through on Fridays

  • Window Shopping Finds--You've seen me post about these adventures here, here, and here, and whenever a window shopping trip turns into an actual shopping trip, we'll play the guessing game where you can tell me what you think I bought.
  • Kelli's Top Ten--This will be a new feature where I'll post about the top then things I'm digging at the time.  It might be products, pins from Pinterest, places, or whatever!
  • Monthly Guest Post--This will also be a new feature I'm going to try out.  I'd like to have other bloggers submit content to my site at least once per month.  I love how interactive the blogging community is, and I believe the more ideas shared, the better!  If you have a blog and are interested in submitting a guest post, please contact me and we can arrange the topic and deadline.
  • Lunch Break Adventures--These might be more fun for me than for anyone else, but when you work a corporate job, it's nice to get out of the office for an hour to do something fun.  Usually my friend Jana and I make a run for it, so I'll share some of the adventures we have, and the great deals we find all within 60 minutes. (Here's an example)

Saturday--You might have noticed that most of my projects are completed over the weekend.  Because of that, I'm leaving Saturdays open.  You may see a post show up here-and-there, but just remember, creative Saturdays will lead to fun projects to read about later on in the week.

Sunday--This day will be dedicated to building up the Idea Center.  I will be alternating between creating a new color scheme (since there's only 4 in the library right now...boo!), and inspiration boards. I'm hoping to this will help to make those sections of the website more valuable and inspiring.

So there you have it!  That's the new game plan...

It might be the death of me, but we'll give it a go.  October will be my test run, so I hope you'll follow me through it, and let me know if it's working out.  Your input is always appreciated, so please tell me what you think!


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