I’m amazed that November is almost over. You know what that means – I’m wrapping up my month of refocusing – branding – and redesign. To be honest I’m so ready to move on from this month [in a good way]. I’ve learned a lot about myself, what makes me happy as a blogger and where I wanna take bedsidesign. I initially planned on launching my redesign somewhere in the middle of December but I am just about ready.
Guess what that means friends?
I’m thrilled to share the story behind this month. I was so pleasantly surprised by how positive this month has been. A daunting task turned into a great learning experience. Are you excited? Here’s a few more things to get you pumped up:
As of Monday, December 3 bedsidesign will use Passionfruit Ads for all ad space. I am EXTREMELY excited about this. Please feel free to book some button swaps, or larger ad space or contact me for product reviews/giveaways or collaborations.
I will be adding a contributor to bedsidesign. I know…this is such a tease. I promise you’ll find out more on Monday.
OH, did I mention I will be using the wordpress.org platform? Hallelujah. No more baby blog! I will finally be able to control things [I’m not a control freak I swear!]. I’m excited to share how I made the transition from wordpress.com to wordpress.org and the friends that helped me along the way. If you are thinking about making the plunge you won’t want to miss out on this!
A new look, new ads, new contributor, new platform – what else am I cooking up? Just a few more blog series. That’s right, I was going to wait until January but I just can’t keep them in the shadows.
Thanks for sticking with me through all of this. Your comments, encouragement and support has helped fuel me this month. xo
Next week when I join this link-up I will finally be able to enter the code that shows all the other awesome bloggers that link up too.
Happy Thanksgiving my American friends! I’m extremely thankful for a four day weekend because I still have a LOT to do before I launch my redesign. Oh bedsidesigners, you are in for a treat. I cannot wait to share the story behind the redesign. My thoughts and process this month, and the behind the scene journey of switching from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. I remember before I launched my own happiness blog project I had a conversation with my husband. I kept saying, “I want to take bedsidesign to the next level and I’m so limited with the .com version.” I had no idea where to begin. I was so scared of failing. I was terrified of making the leap. The dot-com is easy. It’s familiar. I don’t have a huge blogging budget and I didn’t want to dig a hole for something I couldn’t afford to maintain. Thankfully right around this big conversation I got a bonus at my day job. Cha-ching! The amount was just what I needed to kick it up a notch. As I’m coming to the end of my redesign, and preparing to launch a new look, site, and some extra secrets [yay for secrets] I am completely thankful that I am able to do this. Today I am trying to be present in all of this. So as I am feeling inspired and excited I just want to remind you to:
Check out my other daring blog friends who are linking up on this holiday.
What’s all this about branding?
From all the research that I did prior to launching this blog I knew that “branding” was key. It was a bit difficult to create a brand on something so new, fluid and unpredictable. Like I shared last week all I had was a simple idea. That made it kind of hard to “brand” myself. Plus, I’ve never like labels.
In high school I was the kid that was obviously part of one clique by the way I dressed, the music I listened to, and the things that interested me [mostly art, design, fashion, and music…wow, not much has changed]. But, even though I clearly belonged to one group I was friends with people outside of that little circle. I loved hearing other people’s perspectives, and learning new things.
I think it has taken me this long to figure out the direction of bedsidesign because I didn’t want to be exclusively confined to one idea or theme and close myself off to other bloggers and readers who have different thoughts and opinions. I’m a pretty eclectic person, and I still hope that will translate into bedsidesign being an eclectic place. I want to cultivate a place where I can bring up a topic and we can engage in a conversation together.
When figuring out branding one of the most common questions I see are “who are your readers?” or “who do you want your readers to be?” If I’m really honest with you I think you are an eclectic bunch. Yeah, that’s right I said it! I have fellow bloggers, shop owners, Syracuse folks [holla!], family [thanks for the support!], friends who are loyal readers, and then a random pinterest user here and there [YAY & welcome!]. I have both male & female readers. It appears to be all ages too. I want my readers to be you! I love the diversity. Diversity makes me happy.
Let’s have a side conversation for a moment. While contemplating all this branding stuff I found some sweet irony. It’s no secret that I have tattoos and that I love them. I find it funny that I can be so sure, so relaxed, and so confident when it comes to “branding” myself forever. Yet, I worry about color choices for my brand, whether or not the placement of this or that is just right. I was so baffled by this that I branched out to the twitterworld and sent my 140 character question out there, hoping to hear something to settle my nerves. I loved this response from Alyssa: “Decisions about tattoos rarely involve anyone else but you. They aren’t marketing. Branding considers other people.” How perfect is that? And since we are on the topic of tattoos here is the big tattoo reveal. The first week I joined the Be Happy Linkup I mentioned my love/obsession with sea otters. Hello happy critter! The tattoo is healing right now, I’ll make sure I update you all when it is ready for a photo shoot!
Let’s return to the topic at hand. I am in the process [since I refocused] of streamlining this blog and amping up the content. I know those two things sound like opposites but in a few weeks I’m hoping it will all make more sense to you. I believe that original and unique content is key and I will be gravitating more into that direction. Don’t worry, the party will continue and my hope is that as I am more focused you will enjoy this here blog a little bit more.
Join the linkup!
When I created the monthly goals for my happiness project I didn’t realize how much of November would be spent “soul-searching”. Before I launched this blog I brainstormed names, design concepts, blog content and thought about the type of blog that I wanted to produce. I’ll admit, in the beginning I had no idea what I was doing. I knew the general things – like how to create a post, take and edit some photos and thankfully knew my way around social media. What I didn’t know was how to produce content on a steady basis, whether anyone would even read my blog, and where it would take me. All I had was an idea of inspiring others and I ran [or in reality crawled] with it.
Saturday was the “Finding Your Blog’s Voice” topic for Blog Brunch. This couldn’t have come at a better time. It always makes me happy to connect with people pursuing their passions [hello Be Happy linkup peeps!]. It is great to be inspired by others. I’ve also realized where I may fit in this great big blogging world. I’m not a fashion expert, an interior designer, a high rolla blogger with a huge wallet [more on this soon], someone who lives on the west coast [lucky you if you do!] or in Manhattan or Brooklyn. I’m not overly girly, but I love to paint my nails and wear sparkles. I am a tattooed lover of minimalist design [be it letterpress or interiors] who has to work a day-job. I desperately want to cultivate a place to share what inspires me and hear what inspires you. Is that okay? Will you journey with me?
Join the Be Happy crew!
Happy November! November means a fresh new month for me to explore my Happiness Project plans. [Community is still on my mind] To be honest I got a little ahead of myself and already started in October. Now I have 1 whole month to dedicate my time to what I’m calling: R – B – R:
[original photo by Ian Jones]
So what does that mean?
Refocus: I’ve learned a ton over the past 11 months of consistent blogging. Sometimes when you are in the middle of blogging you just keep going and don’t have time to look back on your previous content. This month I’m going to spend some time looking at my favorite posts, posts bombed, series that need to be tweaked, and where I would like to take bedsidesign in 2013. Before I get into the new year I want to make sure I have a clear vision.
Branding: Along with gaining vision I want the vision of bedsidesign to be clear. I will be launching some new offerings at the end of December and I want to make sure that branding is all squared away. The thought originally seemed odd to “create a brand” but now I know it is essential. This will also flow into the next point.
Redesign: Now this is what I am seriously pumped about. I’m in the middle of creating color palettes, a new logo, some great social media buttons/options, and a new blog layout, as well as making the change from wordpress.com to wordpres.org – I’m growin’ up! I am doing this all through Gab White‘s Web DIY Workshop. Her tutorials are great and I’m totally enjoying myself. A lot of my energy for the month is going into this project. The good thing is all of this really does make me happy, and I think it will make my blog happier, since it will be more Christie. Follow along with what’s inspiring me!
What are you working on for November? Please do me a favor and answer this simple question by leaving me a comment:
What color options do you gravitate to?
Option 1: black / white / gray / pop of color
Option 2: monochromatic pinks
Option 3: black / white / tan / coral
Don’t forget that this is a linkup!
Last week I shared with you all some of the things that help me since I was having a pretty rotten week. This week is completely the opposite and it rocks, probably because I started it off with the Salt Market!
A market meetup hosted in Syracuse featured a ton of local artists, designers, letterpress printers (the handset type kind!), and jewelry galore.
It was pretty great to see so many people supporting the community. Plus I got to see some friendly faces.
I swiped a ton of business cards. Here are some of my favorites:
Being out and about in my city totally brings me happiness. I love Syracuse. I also like connecting with people who also care about where we live and want to enhance it. Tonight I will be attending a CNY [Central NY!] blogger meet-up. I’m pretty excited to connect with other bloggers in the area – it seems like a pretty diverse bunch. Along with being locally oriented I love this wonderful blogging world.
From guest series like the weekly team-up with artsocial for the IN LOVE series to DIY inspiration by Sara from Beautifully Contained – I love sharing the wealth. Cue commandment #6 from my own happiness project. I’m looking forward to to November where I will be refocusing, re-branding and re-designing bedsidesign. Don’t worry though, there’s no way I can leave community in the dust.
To carry this month’s focus on into November I’m offering you an opportunity to team up with me. <– check it out!
What brings you happiness? And as always, this is a linkup. Join the movement!
This month I am focusing on community. During the planning process of my own personal happiness project I knew I wanted to start out with something I already found passion in. When I am passionate about something it fuels me. Since Gretchen started her first month trying to emphasize energy I thought about where I find energy. What gets me all giddy and ready to jump out of bed in the morning? Community: personally [the network of family, friends and work], locally, and my blogging community. I’m getting pretty pumped because this coming week is jam-packed with local Syracuse goodness. First up: The 4th Annual Salt Market!
When I visited Craft Chemistry Briana told me about the Salt Market. I knew I could trust her suggestion because I already found a pair of dainty, vintage earrings and a cool typographic map print of Syracuse at her shop. Orignal/Independent local artists + live music + food from some of my faveee local eateries? Count me in! I love meeting new creative people and I love the city of Syracuse. Combining these brings me a whole lotta happiness. Just wait… it gets even better: I have friends that are going too! Sara from Beautifully Contained [she showcases her amazing DIY craftiness with you bedsidesigners monthly, plus check out her awesome finds at Craft Chemistry] and Variya [my go-to jewelry friend: remember she made my wedding bling?] are attending. I can only imagine how awesome it is going to be. If you are a local reader you definitely do not want to miss this.
Along with the Salt Market next Thursday night I am also attending a local blogger meet-up. I’m so excited to go to Al’s, a swanky wine and whiskey lounge to meet some local bloggy friends. But more on that soon!
Today I am publicly sharing my happiness project. Between reading The Happiness Project and linking up every Thursday I knew I wanted to take it one step further. Since everyone’s happiness project is different, my happiness project is going to be aimed toward this blog! Blogging brings me so much joy, so why not?! After a lot of planning I came up with my 12 resolutions I am so thrilled to share them with you:
October: Community: reaching out locally + online
November: Refocus / branding / redesign
December: Ch- ch – changes! bedsidesign launches as a self-hosted blog with paid sponsorships! Wooohoo! + Celebrate 1 year of blogging
January: Focus on social media outlets
February: Love for brands, bloggers, all around L-O-V-E
March: Take risks
April: Add a new staging/styling series
May: Work on a media kit
June: Look for new collaborations with brands/guest posting opportunities
July: Celebrate the progress – reader survey time!
August: Link-up with one of the blogs on my “list” of blogs that I love
September: Learn: sign up for a blog conference/class
October: Rinse, re-evaluate, repeat?
and my 12 commandments…
I’m extremely excited for the next few months because a lot of changes are in the works. When I started this blog I was unsure about ads, and the self-hosted world. Now I am ready take that big leap. Thankfully I found the best route for bedsidesign and will be implementing those changes soon! What does that means for you bedsidesigners? Well for starters I won’t be limited like I am now with the templates that I have access to. I will have way more freedom to make this blog really me, and hopefully that makes it a better viewing experience. WordPress.com users: I will be reminding you that starting in December you will need to visit bedsidesign.com instead of viewing through the WordPress.com reader. I hope you will follow me on there! More changes too but I’d like to keep some as a surprise!
Thanks for following me on this journey. I hope to share what I learn along the way. If you are a blogger feel free to join the link-up too! The more the merrier!
As I’ve devoured through most of The Happiness Project the idea of community is on my mind. Last week when I read Sandra’s post from Raincoast Cottage I was inspired to
write type out some of the thoughts floating around in my head. You see, community is extremely important to me in my personal life, work life, and last but not least blogging life [I don’t really compartmentalize each section of my life-like that but that’s an entirely different topic and maybe future post].
In Chapter 10 of The Happiness Project Gretchen says,
I picked up a very helpful True Rule from my sister. Elizabeth told me, ‘People succeed in groups.’…I asked her, ‘Does it give you the funny feeling that your pal had such a large success?’ She answered, ‘Well, maybe a bit, but I remind myself that ‘People succeed in groups.’ It’s great for him to have a big success, and his success is also likely to help me to be successful.
That idea may seem bizarre to some but I find it beautiful. Competition can be healthy but I believe community fosters more inspiration. That’s why I was so excited to join up with this link up. Promoting positivity + forming a relationship with other bloggers and readers = something I am totally about, and you know what? It makes me happy.
Malcolm Gladwell shares about a community of Italian immigrants called the Roseto Mystery in his book Outliers – The Story of Success. I remember being so interested when my husband came home one day rambling [in a good way] about the Roseto Mystery. You should definitely check out the book but to summarize the intro tells the story about how despite diet, age, and various other factors this small group of people had a 30 -35% lower death rate than others expected. After a ton of research studies showed that the community that they were a part of played the role in keeping these people happy and healthy.
No one was used to thinking about health in terms of community… They had to appreciate the idea that the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.
One of the reasons why my husband and I moved to Syracuse was to be a part of an intentional community. It amazes me how sharing life with others brings me so much joy. I know that may sound like a lot of work, it is. As I get older I find more and more that I am the type of person who likes to recharge alone. Being part of a community pushes my buttons and makes me step out of my comfort zone. But at the end of the day I am happy when I help out a friend, or someone brings me food when I’m under the weather. You also learn to root for others success.
In our culture individualism is a high priority. The value to apprehend independence is part of the fabric of our society. My personal goals, the things that satisfy me and my right to pursue them are supposed to take priority when I’m making decisions. In many ways we worship our freedom to express independence without constraints. We think self-reliance is the strongest form of being human. The primary reality is me; the person. In America we are conditioned and shaped by this hidden or maybe not so hidden worldview of individualism. -Dan White, Jr. Individualism and Community.
Through this link up, Blog Brunch, and reaching out to others in the blogosphere I’ve found a great sense of community online. I find joy when I see fellow bloggers working on collaborations, or read a post that I inspires me. Instead of being individualistic and wishing I came up with that, having a sense of outward thinking promotes inspiration. Hence the group success. Even though I am not done with the book and have yet to nail done my particular Happiness Project I am declaring October a month to focus on community – locally, in my work relationships, and in the blogging world. Whether you are a Syracuse local, a blogger or someone who believes in the value of community feel free to drop a line or leave a comment. Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers that link up!
I’m more than halfway through reading The Happiness Project. I’m trying to keep track of all the amazing things I am learning as I read. Whenever I read a profound quote or have an idea I jot it down. As I am trying to get to the bottom of what really makes me happy this quote stands out:
“I have an idea of who I wish I were, and that obscures my understanding of who I actually am.”
[Be Yourself print by Rachel Burbee]
As I am evaluating what makes me “me” I’m trying to be realistic. I’m taking a closer look at what I think makes me happy. I find it easier saying what I think should make me happy vs. what actually does. What are the things that make you happy?
I’m getting closer to putting together the ideas and things that I want to work on for my own happiness project, and that in itself is making me happy. In the meantime, I am totally enjoying hearing the things that others are learning and working through. Since this is a bloghop, please feel free to join or check out what the others are saying about happiness!