Big Changes!

posted by Andrea | 03/8/2013

SIX YEARS…

It’s officially been 6 years since I filed my first LLC and started my business. This summer, it will be 3 years since I decided to start this blog.

I had NO idea what I was doing or how much work it would be to start a business/blog from scratch (and with a very small budget). However, I also had NO idea how much I would love it, as well as all the opportunities and doors it would open for me.

While I most definitely didn’t start my business with the intention of “sitting on my computer all day”, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy with where I’m at right now.

I absolutely LOVE working from home, writing, speaking, interacting with all of you on a daily basis, etc. Yes, it can be stressful and busy at times; yes, IΒ occasionallyΒ stay up way too late trying to “get stuff done”; yes, I feel the pull between work and family, family and work; but I also feel fulfilled by the work I do, and I’m excited to do it each day.

However, over the past 6 months, I’ve been thinking long and hard about my blog, my business, my life, my career path… and I’ve decided to make some big changes.

Don’t worry, they’re good changes (at least in my opinion).

I’m not going to share everything just yet, but I’m sharing a fair amount below. Over the next 8-10 weeks, you’ll start noticing a few more of these changes…

1. Giveaways

Some of you have already questioned the lack of “Weekend Giveaways” over the past 3 weeks… it’s all part of the changes.

For the past 2 years, I’ve hosted a giveaway almost every single Friday morning. I love hosting these giveaways because it’s an opportunity for me to share some really cool products with all of you (and in most cases, try out the products for myself!)

However, as my blog continues to grow and expand, I’m beginning to feel inundated by review and giveaway requests. Most of the requests are from awesome companies with fabulous products… but it’s SO much work to host giveaways, review products, moderate comments, contact winners, and then deal with issues that may arrise.

So as much as we all love giveaways, I’ll be scaling back a little bit. I won’t be hosting regular weekend giveaways every Friday, but I WILL still be doing some giveaways now and then — in fact, I have a pretty fun giveaway planned for next week already!

And since I still like to share my favorite products with you, I’m planning to share “A Few of my Favorite Things” with you once a month.

2. Blogging Schedule

I have been writing 6-8 blog posts a week for my own blog and then another 2-3 posts per week for other blogs. That’s A LOT of writing on top of all the other work I do. I like writing, and I love blogging, but I’ve decided to scale back just a bit in order to align with my 2013 goal of Ultra Simplicity.

At least for the time being, I’m going to scale back to 5 posts per week on my own blog and only 1 post a week for other blogs. Of course, there may be weeks when I have more to say and end up posting more frequently, but since I don’t want to clutter up your lives with too many posts, I’m planning to write one post a day Monday-Friday and take the weekends off.

The content of my posts will be the same — all about simplifying and organizing for real families in real homes with real lives on real budgets.

3. Social Media

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I recently changed my Twitter name from @LivingOrganized to @Andrea_Dekker. It’s a small change (especially since I rarely make an appearance on Twitter these days) but still a change.

I’ll also be making some changes to my facebook page… but probably not for a few more weeks.

4. Rebranding = new name and logo!

OK, so this is a biggie. And this is the scary part for me right now.

I’ve worked my butt off over the past several years to brand my business (and then my blog) as “Simple Organized Living”. However, over the past year, I’ve started to notice that these words — simple and organized — are being over-used around the blogosphere.

Simple Organized ________ (Home, Life, Family, Mom, Finances, Budget, etc.)

SimplY Organized ________ (Home, Life, Family, Mom, Finances, Budget, etc.)

Simple AND Organized _______ (Home, Life, Family, Mom, Finances, Budget, etc.)

It’s confusing and also a little frustrating for me as most of these names were registered after I registered my name and after I filed my business LLC.

What’s even more frustrating is when I’m introduced incorrectly — “Andrea Dekker from SimplY Organized Living” or “Andrea Dekker from “Simple AND Organized Living” — NOPE sorry, that’s not me. That’s another blogger/business who simply chose a different noun or added a conjunction so their name is technically legal.

Yes, I could pay thousands of dollars to trademark my name and fight back against all these other blogs, but honestly, I don’t think it’s worth the cost and the hassle. Plus, I’ve always had a few reservations about using such a long blog name.

I love “Simple Organized Living.” I love what it stands for, what it represents, what it portrays about the content you will find on the pages of my blog… but I’m moving on.

The blog will stay put, the content will remain the same, and the over-all look and feel of the blog will hold true. But in a few weeks, there will be a new name, a new URL, a new logo, and a new tag line (which I’m all sorts of crazy about!)

My tech guys are working behind the scenes to make the transition as smooth as possible — but if you experience a hiccup or an issue sometime in the next 2 months, you’ll know why. You may feel free to send me an email if you are concerned.

 

Ahhh…

I don’t like change — even when it’s a good change!

Change scares me, but I’m confident that in the long run, these changes will be for the best.

Wish me luck!

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52 comments

  1. Emily

    03/12/2013

    Congrats!! I absolutely love your blog. i check it daily. I will agree with some of the other commentors. I felt a small amount of anxiety when I read the title of the post. However, after reading, I completely understand your choices.

    With all your experience, what do you think is the most important thing(s) a person should consider when they are choosing a name they intend to brand?

    Best of luck.

    [Reply]

  2. krisna

    03/10/2013

    wow!we’re so excited for this, andrea.

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  3. Tara

    03/09/2013

    Sounds like you’re making positive strides in positive directions. Nothing but best wishes from me to you on all these changes. I too am here for the inspiration and the very easy to implement organizational ideas. In fact I just finished filling out your “Important Info” binder PDF and it was all the giveaway I needed to feel great about being a subscriber to your blog.

    Your giveaways are fun and I like to see the products you love, but I think your Favorite Things posts will actually do a better job of showing us what you really love and be much less work for you. I don’t care if you never do another giveaway. πŸ™‚ Just keep inspiring us to plug away steadily at getting our lives organized and simplified. Can’t wait to see your new brand/blog name!

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  4. Courtney

    03/09/2013

    I’m excited about the changes. I love your new “Favorite things” and I’m looking forward to find out the new name! Best of luck and thanks for all you do! πŸ™‚

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  5. Maria

    03/09/2013

    Andrea, thank you for all your hard work.! You certainly are a blessing with all the wonderful tips you have. I have learned so much and yet I’ve only just discovered your blog a few weeks ago. I especially love your simple and delicious recipes. Best wishes on whatever changes you decide to make; I’m sure they will be great! God bless you.

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  6. Autumn

    03/09/2013

    Andrea, I am SO proud of you! To be honest, I did NOT like the sound of the title “Big Changes!” LOL! My first thought was you were going to stop blogging and focus on a different aspect of your business! SO glad I was wrong. I have seen this trend amongst some of my favorite bloggers, and I’m always impressed. You realize the strain of giveaways, number of posts per week and you modify. Instead of burning out and quitting altogether! SO, so smart. And having a marketing background, I LOVE the thought of re-branding! SO exciting! Cannot wait to see what you are cooking up! πŸ™‚ Oh! And I LOVE the “Favorite Things” feature BECAUSE it’s not sponsored. Not that you would be dishonest about products. I know you wouldn’t promote anything you didn’t like. But the fact that there has been absolutely no personal gain from promoting these products makes me know you are wholehearted in your love for them. πŸ™‚ So, thanks so much – once again – for a fabulous blog and congratulations on all of these wonderful changes! It is obvious why you are such a successful business owner. And oh my gosh…ONE more thing – I promise! CONGRATULATIONS on your HGTV Magazine spread! I’m a subscriber and just got my new issue today. SO COOL to see you and your family in there! And so fun to read about your house. I didn’t know how meant-to-be the whole process was! You really should mention this to your readers. πŸ™‚ Okay, I’m done. Peace out!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Autumn! I think I’ll be sticking with blogging for a while, so don’t worry about me leaving my little corner of the online world! I’ll be talking about the HGTV magazine spread soon πŸ™‚

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  7. marymac

    03/09/2013

    Hi, I have been reading your blog for a long time now and look forward to all your interesting and inspiring posts. I am sure all the changes will look great and look forward to seeing them.
    Many thanks for all the hard work you put into your blog!

    [Reply]

  8. Chris

    03/09/2013

    I just want to say I love your blog. It’s one of my daily reads. (It’s too bad that some people have to stoop so low). πŸ™

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  9. Tammy @ SkipperClan

    03/09/2013

    My first thought was good for you! My next thought was: I would be so angry/stressed out about completely changing the name, lol. Final thought was totally selfish, I reference your blog all the time…I’m gonna have a lot of broken links to update πŸ˜‰ Seriously wishing you all the best~!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Tammy — and you shouldn’t have to change any of your links because each link should automatically re-route to the same post on the “new” blog (that’s what my tech guys are working on!)

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  10. Sara H.

    03/08/2013

    I have loved reading your blog Andrea! If you ever need to hire another writer, give me a call! I’m sure CCHS could continue without me πŸ™‚

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha thanks Sara! Dave told me about your good deals on groceries πŸ™‚

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    Sara H. Reply:

    Yes, I have turned into quite the extreme couponer and bargain shopper. I would have never thought I would love a good deal so much! I can’t believe how much $ we wasted for so long!

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  11. Donna G

    03/08/2013

    Yours is the one blog I read every day, even if I don’t get a chance to read any others. And while our lives are vastly different, I am inspired by you. Thanks. I look forward to the changes!

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  12. Janet

    03/08/2013

    Best wishes! Followers will be automatically shifted, I hope. I’d hate to lose you! You can see from the lengths of my email and blog titles they need changing-way too long. Very naive and silly when I did them, thinking I was following guidelines/suggestions. Live and learn.
    Janet

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  13. Aleda

    03/08/2013

    Best wishes Andrea! I am not organized and never will be but I like reading about organizing! lol I receive emails from some of those other blogs, but my brain has learned that when I see your name, it’s Nora’s Mom!! I love your style and content and look forward to your changes.

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  14. Chelsea

    03/08/2013

    LOL My first thought was you were pregnant. πŸ™‚

    Your blog is the only one I’ve really looked forward to seeing on a daily basis. I think it’s fabulous you are taking weekends off. Family time is so important. There shouldn’t be any negative feedback on something like this. I think those of us that enjoy your blog, and all you put into it,
    wishes nothing but the best for you, your family and your business.

    [Reply]

  15. Elizabeth | ReadySetSimplify

    03/08/2013

    These sound like great changes. Good for you! I can’t wait to see what the new blog name is!

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  16. Brigid

    03/08/2013

    Andrea you rock! LOVE every aspect of your Blog, so THANK YOU for all the time you put in as well as the time it takes away from your family-it is truly appreciated! It brightens my day and gets my creative and organizational juices flowing on a daily basis. I read many blogs, I generally subscribe for a few weeks and then unsubscribe if the fit just isn’t right. Yours and a few others I have stuck with and really do enjoy EVERY post…NO PRESSURE ;0) Just keep up the great writing. The changes don’t sound devastating so I trust you will be getting nothing but positive feedback from your readers. Change is good, and hard, focus on the good and the hard won’t be as hard :0)

    P.S. Nora is such a beautiful baby, I love watching her grow and change. I have 2 girls of my own, 4 and 6 so bittersweet doing the same with them.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Brigid — hopefully my posts will continue to inspire you πŸ™‚

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  17. Evie

    03/08/2013

    Andrea, congrats. You’re very talented and always true to your ideals, and I know it’ll all work out great!!

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  18. Miranda

    03/08/2013

    Well I’m sticking around regardless of what your blog is going to be called ;). You are seriously one of my favorite bloggers. You are real and you write so much important things. Good luck with everything!

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  19. Ruth

    03/08/2013

    Change is exciting! Know it will be great!

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  20. Jola

    03/08/2013

    Time goes by so fast! Good luck for you and all your plans!

    Have a nice evening,
    Jola
    http://kleinefotogeschichten.blogspot.de

    [Reply]

  21. Cathy Pennell

    03/08/2013

    Good luck. We love you and your work. You’ve help me in every aspect of my life get organized. Thanks and will follow you wherever you post.

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  22. Lauren {Rustic Honey}

    03/08/2013

    I hope the next six years are as successful as the last! Congrats on all of your accomplishments! I just recently started a blog and too wonder where it will take me! Posts such as this one are a great inspiration to me! Thanks!

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  23. Kylie

    03/08/2013

    Good for you, Andrea! I absolutely love this blog — the only one I check every day — so I’m so glad to hear you’re still sticking around! Enjoy your weekends off and bring on the {positive} changes!

    [Reply]

  24. Debbie

    03/08/2013

    Thanks for all you do, and I so enjoy this site.
    Love the give a ways, but enjoy all the help and receipies
    you provide to us the readers more!

    [Reply]

  25. JoAnn C.

    03/08/2013

    How exciting! Can’t wait for the new changes.

    [Reply]

  26. Shannon

    03/08/2013

    I can’t wait to see the changes!

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  27. Deb

    03/08/2013

    I thought you were going to say you were having a BABY! πŸ˜‰

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    Yarelis Reply:

    Me too!
    Can’t wait to see the new changes. Love your blog πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  28. Erin

    03/08/2013

    My family’s company chose to rebrand our company about 6 months ago after having our original name since 1997.

    It was so hard to let go of a name that seemed to be a part of us, but it really has been better in the long run. Sometimes a fresh start is great! πŸ™‚

    The name is not what is most important, it is the quality product behind it. Your blog is great and your reader’s will enjoy it just the same… I know I do!

    [Reply]

  29. Faith @ Artistic31Mama

    03/08/2013

    Sounds great! Looks like you’ve thought this through. I understand that pull between family and blogging. I will still be a devoted follower (love your blog) and will look forward to helping share your new name when it’s posted. Wishing you all the best in your upcoming changes! πŸ™‚

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  30. shelly

    03/08/2013

    Very exciting news! Will keep reading everyday and enjoying all the new changes. Praying for a smooth transition.

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  31. Cheryl

    03/08/2013

    I love your blog and will read no matter what changes you make!! Thanks for all you do! I hope we still get to see lots of Nora pics πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Cheryl — and yes, there will still be plenty of cute Nora pictures!

    [Reply]

  32. Julie

    03/08/2013

    So exciting for you! I don’t like change either, but sometimes it’s definitely for the best and it sounds like these changes will be for the better!!

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  33. Jennifer

    03/08/2013

    I don’t care what you change your name to, because I will follow your blog no matter what you call yourself! I’m sure that whatever it is, it will be fabulous! Looking forward to see it all!

    [Reply]

  34. melanie

    03/08/2013

    Good luck! Change is scary but I’ve found often it brings new opportunities and happiness. Wishing you the best.

    [Reply]

  35. Ree Klein

    03/08/2013

    Hi Andrea,

    Just found your site and I love it. Your content is beautifully written and it’s clear that you’ve put your heart into what you produce. I’m happy to have found you!

    I just started a blog at EscapingDodge.com; the goal is to provide content that helps people transform their relationship with money to live a more prosperous life. Your content is so compatible with that goal so I’ll provide a link to your site on my Resources page.

    I’m excited to have found you (FYI, it was via a comment you posted on GetRichSlowly.com). Good luck with your changes!

    Cheers,
    Ree

    [Reply]

  36. deborah

    03/08/2013

    Best of luck! I agree-change is scary. πŸ™‚

    I have a small, small blog and I know how much work it takes, let alone the businesses you’ve created. I hope your name transition goes super smoothly. It will be fun to hear it!

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  37. Jen

    03/08/2013

    Good for you! I’m sure it will all be great. You’ve done a terrific job with your business so far, following your ideas and instincts. I’m sure this is just another step in that ongoing process. I’ll still be reading!

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  38. Marlene

    03/08/2013

    Can’t wait to see the changes! Sounds like they’ll be amazing! I don’t like change either, like – at.all. People always try to encourage me, especially when it’s good stuff… but nope, it makes me uncomfortable no matter what emotion is involved hahaha. But sometimes it is the best and a natural step to take πŸ™‚

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  39. Sandy

    03/08/2013

    Congratulations Andrea! Wow, you have been busy…..keeping up with what you are currently doing and planning for the changes. I wish you much success and fulfillment (professional and personal) as you continue to follow your passion. God is using you in wonderful ways.
    You’ve been a big help and encouragement to me through many of your posts.

    [Reply]

  40. Sue

    03/08/2013

    Luck is not needed! You have the talent and the skills! I am so very proud of you for making these positive changes. You have my support whatever your endeavors!

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