A Few Updates and Changes on the Blog

posted by Andrea | 07/10/2018

I’ve been blogging for 8 years, and during those 8 years, the internet (and my own life) have changed a TON.

For starters, I now have 4 children — hello completely different stage of life!

Regarding the internet… it seems like almost everything has changed there too! Social media is growing and expanding every day (some is good, some isn’t), advertisers have changed how they reach potential clients, online shopping is essentially the “norm” now, almost everyone has a smart phone, and the current number of websites and blogs is simply astounding!

It blows my mind to think how many changes have happened in my lifetime already (33 years) – most of which are a direct result of the internet!

I find it nearly impossible to stay up with all the new internet trends, social media algorithms, blogging “best practices”, and advertising etiquette… but maybe that’s just because I really don’t care to try.

I’ve got better things to do (like pick strawberries with 3 little munchkins!)

I wasn’t always so laid back though!

I started my blog in June of 2010, (with no real concept of what I was getting into). I did my first major website update in September of 2011, (just over a year later).

Then, in April of 2013, (roughly 18 – 19 months later) I completely updated the look of my blog AND changed my name from Simple Organized Living to AndreaDekker.com.

So, for the first 2.5 years of blogging (and throughout my first pregnancy and baby), I did a really great job keeping up with new blogging and social media trends, new website styles, updated technology, etc. etc.

Then, over the next 5 years, I had 3 more babies, completely re-landscaped our entire property, and (nearly) finished renovating our 130 year old farmhouse — all while continuing to maintain my blog.

The only “problem” was that I didn’t do anything to actively GROW my blog!

Apparently the energy spent raising 3 more children, completing a slew of home and yard renovations, doing my VA work, and maintaining my current website meant I had very little extra time or energy to devote to extra projects on my blog or with my business.

There have been SO many times over the last 5 years when I’ve thought: 

  • I should start a weekly e-newsletter
  • I should try podcasts
  • I should really update my website to be mobile-friendly
  • I should try Facebook live
  • I should try different ad networks to see how much of a difference they make in my revenue
  • I should reach out to more companies for sponsorships
  • I should improve and increase my social media presence
  • I should look into getting published

Yet, for whatever reason, these ideas and to-dos continue to settle at the bottom of my list year after year…  surprisingly, it hasn’t bothered me too much!

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Now, 8 years later, my website is fairly outdated, my social media presence is essentially non-existent (I just have no desire to spend time on social media), I’m not super excited about starting something brand new (like a newsletter or podcast), and writing a book sounds like absolute torture!

However, in an effort to practice what I preach, start small, do the next thing, and continue working towards improvement, I recently made a couple smaller changes to my blog (many of you have already noticed!)

1. New Mobile-Friendly Site

After several years and hundreds of requests, my blog is finally mobile-friendly… and it was such a painless process!

All I had to do was download the WP Touch plugin, configure a few settings, and my website was immediately much more mobile friend (Seriously, if you haven’t tried checking my site from your phone or tablet, give it a try. It looks really nice!)

Eventually, I’d like to completely redesign my site to be fully mobile without the use of a plugin (maybe this coming winter) but I don’t have the energy for that right now. When we get to that point, I’ll have my designers hard-code something in to make my mobile site super sweet… but for now, the free plugin works wonderfully well.

I’ve gotten many emails and comments from readers who are loving the more mobile-friendly layout — and I’m loving it too!

You can now easily switch back and forth between the mobile and desktop versions (via the links on the bottom of the screen) and the text is much larger, so it’s easier to navigate, click on links, comment, and (of course) read!

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2. New Ad Network

Along with finally creating a mobile-friendly version of my blog, I also started working with a brand new ad network (Mediavine).

I was having nothing but issues with my old ads — they were slowing down my site, showing lots of pop-ups and videos that I had not authorized, and had horrible customer service.

Since switching to Mediavine about a month ago, I have had the “royal treatment” in terms of how responsive they are to my questions, needs, and requests.

It took a little tweaking and finessing to get things figured out a few weeks ago, but I’m getting the hang of things now and know how to adjust many of the ad settings.

That said, there will now be more ads than I had in the past — including ads within the content of my posts (something I never had before). I went back and forth with this decision for some time — not knowing if I should do it or not. But then I figured, people can simply scroll past the ads and keep reading, so it really shouldn’t be THAT disruptive!

I have the ability to change this in the future — but for now, I have chosen to show some ads within the content of my posts. It’s not my personal favorite ad placement, but I want to try it for a few months before I make changes.

There might also be a few ads at the bottom of pictures, but you can “x” out of those if you need to, or they will eventually go away after a few seconds (see image below).

Also, just so you know, I have ALL my ad settings as low as they can possibly go via Mediavine’s standards. This means that my website will show as FEW ads as possible ALL THE TIME.

I have a huge number of specific ads completely blocked, as well as many different categories of ads completely blocked (political, drugs, medical, dating services, etc.) and there shouldn’t be any video or pop-up ads at all. There might be ads that have movement, but they shouldn’t cover the blog content and they shouldn’t play any sound unless you specifically click on the ad.

So while I realize the new “in-content ads” might take a little getting used to, I hope that my efforts to greatly reduce the number and frequency of ads will help!

I really do love working with this new ad network so I hope I can find the “right” balance for me and for all of you!

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Neither of those 2 changes are a huge deal (many of you might never have even noticed them) — but they are 2 things I can FINALLY cross off my blogging to-do list!

Yay for progress!

Moving forward, I’d like to continue pursuing a few changes and updates (not exactly sure what that will look like though).

And I’m hoping I’ll have the time and energy to devote to bigger changes this winter (they general layout will still stay the same, don’t worry!)

I’d love your thoughts!!!

If there’s a specific feature you’d love to see on my blog (or one you don’t like so much) feel free to email it to me or leave it in the comments. I definitely will not be able to accommodate or please everyone, but I’m certainly willing to get your feedback!

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88 comments

  1. Bente Christa Hansen

    07/16/2018

    Andrea, very mobile friendly reading. I read from Denmark and have no problem with the ads. Enjoy your hands-on posts. ☺

    [Reply]

  2. Jennifer

    07/13/2018

    I’m on mobile and it’s difficult to see the title of your post in white against the background photo, another color would pop more.

    The in-post ads are distracting but ultimately, I choose not to have Google ad blocker because I understand that’s how you make money. I appreciate you and your content, you are my favorite blogger, I hope you will continue writing for many years to come and I hope these ads support you doing that.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I thought I figured out how to change the header from white to a different color, but when I saved it, it just reverted back to white. I’ll keep working on it!
    And thanks for your kind words 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I figured it out!!! So now the image still shows with text overlay on the main page, but the individual posts just have a plain background with the title –hopefully this works better!

    [Reply]

  3. Laura

    07/12/2018

    I am a long time reader as well and truthfully I think the main reason that I have stayed around is that you aren’t making huge changes and doing a newsletter all of the time. I hate having things my inbox – there is so much to occupy us online these days! Weekends are for family, etc. I love that your blog backs that up and that it is built around your family. I am a small business owner and I understand all of the demands of kids + business + the constant thought of whether or not you should be doing more than just maintaining your business. Your blog has been an amazing source of ideas and practical thoughts for me. I found you when I was expecting my youngest (6) and felt like I could relate from the start because my oldest was so much like Nora as a baby. Thank you for sharing your life through the blog!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Laura 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Leslie

    07/12/2018

    Some of the ads within the content of your text did not disappear when I clicked “X”. There was an ad over the text under the caption titled “LAUGHTER” – I tried and tried “X-ing” out to read the caption but the ad never disappeared. I never could read the caption. Maybe it’s failure on my end.
    Re: Change – little by little, inch by inch. There is a time for every purpose under heaven. Be patient with yourself, mama. Your blog is great and I really enjoy and benefit from reading it.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, the ad you are referring to is simply a screenshot image to show you what an ad over a picture would look like. it’s not actually an ad, so you won’t be able to “x” it out 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Wendy

    07/11/2018

    All I can say is I love your blog!

    [Reply]

  6. Barb

    07/11/2018

    I love your blog, Andrea, and really miss it on the weekends. I like to read rather than listen, so I wouldn’t be very interested in podcasts or Facebook live. But I would love to have one or two weekend posts or a weekend newsletter! All that being said, I think right now you might have more than enough to fill your plate and I like how you always put your family first. 🙂 Do what is best for you and your family

    [Reply]

  7. Chris

    07/11/2018

    Yours is my favorite blog. However, today (Wed.) is the first day I’ve seen ads throughout the blog on my computer. I have seen it the last few days on my phone. It seems much more distracting on the computer. I just thought I would post on Tuesday’s post, since you were asking for opinions. I do realize bloggers need to make money; it’s just that you asked for feedback and most blogs I read don’t have this type of ad. I love your blog, by the way!

    [Reply]

  8. BB

    07/11/2018

    Hi Andrea,
    I am one of those who has been with your since before Nora was born and before you changed your blog name to AndreaDekker.com.
    I left for a short period of time, but found myself missing your simple and informative writing style. While I am a grandmother now, I still find your blog interesting and informative.
    I agree with most here that you do not need a “newsletter” to make your readers happier, nor to become any more active in social media than you are now UNLESS you really want to do so. It is a time-sucking endeavor and I don’t see you having a lot of extra time to devote to social media other than what you WANT to be on and enjoy doing. Personally, I don’t do social media other than Pinterest (if that is considered ‘social media’, as I don’t have to interact with anyone in order to do it, and it is relaxing and can be informative also). The podcasting sounds like something you do want to do, and I encourage you to do so if you really want to do that. I listen to podcasts at times, but overall find I don’t have the time to listen to many at all, even if I am interested in the subject. I need to learn how to download them to my cell phone so I can put earplugs in and listen as I go about my chores and such, like I do with Hoopla app audio books. Like others have said, you give us wonderful content and share your life ups and downs five days a week with all of us, and that is so much better than some bloggers do, and yours is much more substantive and interesting!
    I have not seen the ads you speak of on my computer when I read your blog posts, but perhaps that is due to my AdBlockerPlus extension on my Chrome browser.
    Also, thank you again for keeping the blog title in a hyperlink form, as I can click on it to put it to another tab other than email, and bookmark it to where ever it applies in my bookmark labeling system. I.E. the cast iron post to my Food Recipes bookmark folder, under the subfolder “Cast Iron Love”. Keep up the good work, as you are doing a great job, and thanks for the email about your recent changes and possible ones for the future! And give those young’uns of yours a hug from us readers who enjoy hearing about them and seeing them grow up!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you, thank you!! And you’re welcome 🙂
    Appreciate your many comments over the years and your loyal readership!

    [Reply]

    Deb Reply:

    Oh my goodness! Total game changer. I use Firefox, but I just put on an Adblocker and it took them all away! Thank you sooo much!

    [Reply]

  9. Jenni

    07/10/2018

    Hi Andrea – also a longtime reader here, I think since before you had Nora! I too love the simplicity of your blog. I would be interested in seeing videos on practical content, especially ones on how you organize certain things, but I know those take a lot of time to shoot and produce especially with little ones at home. I don’t really care about Instagram or Facebook, though :).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jenni!
    Yes, I’d love to do more with videos, but it does feel overwhelming to take, edit, produce, etc. If they were really short and I could do them with one “take” I might be willing… either that, or Dave has to learn more about video editing 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. K

    07/10/2018

    I’m also a long-time reader (before Nora was born), and one of the big reasons I continue to read is because your content is direct, real, succinct, and in ONE place. I admire you for keeping your priorities straight: family and real life should always come before social media and branding and growing business. I hate when a blog I like starts IG’ing and FB live’ing; that is generally when I stop following the blog altogether. There is no way I’m going to spend my life checking someone’s multiple social media accounts. I think we need to disconnect more from social media. Thank you for your positive, encouraging, and down-to-earth approach to life!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — we’ll I’m fairly disconnected from social media, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out either!! That said, even if I DO start doing more with social media, my blog content will still stay the same and it will always be succinct and in ONE place!

    [Reply]

  11. Bonnie'sMama

    07/10/2018

    Andrea, I’ve been reading your blog since before you were pregnant with Nora. I used to read quite a few blogs, but yours is the only one I read anymore. I just want to be inspired to do normal, SAHM life well and to hear ways to make that life run more smoothly.

    So many bloggers used to write useful content about motherhood or homemaking or organizing or frugal living, then they had some success and all they wrote about was how to succeed at blogging, or how to use whatever particular MLM products they’d achieved Silver status with, or here’s their new course or e-book, and allllll about running online businesses. Oh, and here they are with the gorgeous and expensive house/car/makeover/vacation/stuff that they can finally afford since they have a successful blog.

    I work from home in a variety of small ways. I want to be successful, too, but with almost four young children, I have limited time to give to working from home. I don’t make much each month, and we can’t afford the lifestyle that many of these successful bloggers depict. So their blogs are not encouraging; they impact me negatively. It blesses me to see you living in a normal house, doing inexpensive things with your children, not pushing expensive products at your readers, or writing and selling not-that-helpful courses. Your photos and methods and content are DOABLE for us normal, average people!

    I enjoy podcasts, and I would love to listen if you ever started one. (Just please keep it simple and to the point, without five minutes of sponsors and intro and rambling and redundancy and all the minutiae of your daily life.) Please don’t vlog. I don’t understand why anyone watches those. Who wants to watch a stream-of-consciousness, minute-by-minute explanation of someone else’s life?!

    There. I like what you do, Andrea. I like your blog. I hope you keep blogging just like this for a long time to come. You help me and inspire me by what you write. I wish you were a real-life friend, but I’m glad I can know you through your blog.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much — and yes, you HAVE been reading for a long time 🙂
    I appreciate your LOOOONG-time readership and your continual words of encouragement!

    [Reply]

  12. Jody

    07/10/2018

    I love your blog! I’m single, no kids, etc but I love your blog and relate to so much of what you share. The kid tips I use with the kids of friends.

    I don’t do podcasts, Facebook live, twitter or Snapchat.

    I’m sure I will continue to follow you whatever decisions you may make about enhancing your blog.

    In the end YOU have to be happy with the choices and it’s your name/brand out their. You do you and I will follow.

    Thank you

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Good to know my blog appeals to those without children too! It’s hard, because I have to write about my life — and a HUGE part of my life right now is with little kiddos.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jody!

    [Reply]

    Nancy Reply:

    Well said, Jody. Andrea, you have an authentic voice. Adding platforms won’t chase away your loyal followers and might increase your number of followers. (I have teens and work outside the home so I’m definitely not in the same stage as you, but your blog is my favorite.)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    This is kind of what I was thinking — if I did more with social media, it really wouldn’t push my current followers away, but could bring more in. Maybe I’ll hire some of it out so I don’t have to spend my time doing it, but can still reach more people!
    Thanks Nancy!

    [Reply]

  13. Jane

    07/10/2018

    Andrea – are you feeling the love? Just like all your faithful followers, I love your blog. I appreciate that you share your life, ideas, knowledge and of course the cute pictures! Not that you need it, but I approve of anything you do to keep the blog going 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    YES! So much! wow!
    I was bracing myself for lots of “constructive criticism” when I scheduled this post. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by all the lovely comments today — feeling so loved 🙂

    [Reply]

  14. KJ

    07/10/2018

    Oh Andrea!

    How I love your blog for all the same reasons stated in the comments before me. I could have replied to each of them with “Me too!”. Please don’t change too much, but I respect any decisions you will make.
    In a media manipulated, monetized driven internet, your blog is a lovely little respite for moms who want encouragement, simplicity, community and motivation. Thank you so much for all the content you consistently put out and thank you for making your readers feel like we matter to you in a way that is NOT tied to how much money you can make off of us.

    Blessings to you and all the best wishes for your continued blogging success!
    KJ

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much! And don’t worry, i definitley won’t change much!

    [Reply]

  15. Julia

    07/10/2018

    One of the things I have always appreciated about your blog is that it is a breath of fresh air in that it is uncomplicated. It reflects the simplified approach to life you always talk about in your posts. I appreciate the update, so that we know about the changes. Thank you for what you are doing!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Julia!

    [Reply]

  16. JJ

    07/10/2018

    Your blog is my favorite, because it is so easy to apply what you share!!! You are great at sharing ideas and links! Hello toilet seats that accommodate adults and children!!! You are a great problem solver and consicely and efficiently share your thoughts and tips. I would love to see maybe one post a week/every other week like “Ask Andrea” kind of idea. Where we email you a picture of a room or ask a question, and you could answer it. There are honestly times when I wish we were real life friends(MI to NC is quite a distance to drive and ask–haha!), because I would pick your brain like crazy. In between you doing all you do!!! I’d space out the picking. Haha! And I do love your mobile set up. Thank you!!!

    [Reply]

  17. Kristen

    07/10/2018

    Add me to the list of people who love LOVE your blog! I thought the ads in the middle of the post were just how they displayed in mobile-friendly format, haha. They admittedly are a little annoying but don’t really bother me.

    For me, videos and Facebook live are not desirable. I usually read while feeding/rocking a child or supervising them playing, so my time to watch videos with sound is very limited. I’ve noticed lots of bloggers switching to tons of vlogs, and they’re not something I generally watch.
    I would probably sign up for a newsletter if you did one but I’m not sure what the point is, separate from the blog 😉
    A podcast I may listen to! I’m kind of on and off with listening to podcasts but I’m sure I would like one that you did 🙂

    Thanks for always being so upfront and willing to hear feedback!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well glad the ads didn’t bother you too much 🙂

    [Reply]

  18. Deb

    07/10/2018

    I love your blog. I hate ads, but that is just life if you are going to be online. I like that your blog is simple and realistic. So many bloggers seem to encourage people to spend so much money either with decorating, clothing, baby needs or crazy ingredients for food recipes. I also love it that you don’t title EVERY recipe as “the BEST green bean casserole” or “the BEST meatloaf!” I always think, really, the BEST in the whole world, you’re kidding me!

    You are just a normal family living life in a normal way (other than the debt free part) haha

    I also don’t really care for ebooks or “secretly” selling something in every post. Like, did you like that tip? recipe? whatever?, I have 10,000 more just like it if you sign up for my newsletter, like me on Facebook and Instagram and retweet this 500 times.

    Maybe there’s a reason I’m not a blogger, hahaha, I would stink at it!

    Keep up the good work!

    [Reply]

    Deb Reply:

    I forgot one more thing that I like, newer comments at the top instead of at the bottom!

    Oh, the ONE thing I would change, is publishing earlier in the morning, it normally comes up around 8 Eastern and I am already onto other things by then. 😉

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh yes, I made the comment switch a year or so ago — I like it that way too!
    I could easily publish earlier in the morning (I have them all pre-scheduled anyway)… let me think about this one 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I’m not selling anything. I don’t even have any free things to give away if you sign up for anything! I just write, hit publish, and hope people find it useful 🙂

    [Reply]

  19. Kim

    07/10/2018

    Andrea, one of the reasons I love your blog is because it isn’t like other blogs. There is actual CONTENT. You are a real, down-to-earth person showing how you simplify your real life. Many blogs don’t show real life and it gets so old seeing a million pics of the blog author all made up or all dressed up, but with no real content. I also trust that if you say you like a product that you have actually tried it and really do like it, even if you are making a little from putting it on the blog. Some bloggers make me feel a little skeptical about their motivations in advertising. I just don’t read other blogs anymore, ’cause it’s a waste of time. I do like Instagram, but I feel like Facebook is a waste of time and quit it a long time go. And while I have seen some good IG lives (from cooking people I follow), it seems like a lot of lives are just pointless blather, which is why I quit clicking on them and even unfollowed some people. This might sound judgemental, and I guess it is, but I just don’t like wasting time reading junk on the internet when I don’t even have time to do all the real life things I want to.

    So thanks for all the work you do giving this average woman tips and ideas I can actually use!

    Disclaimer: I don’t think all blogs are bad. Many are well done, but not really info I need every day. I’ve just been disappointed when I’ve gone to a blog in the hopes of gaining some good info and the blog seems to be more of a place for the author to showcase themselves.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Kim (and thanks for the Disclaimer too!)

    [Reply]

  20. Missie

    07/10/2018

    I follow your blog through Feedly. Your blog is one of my favorites because of its simplicity and the way you share real life. I love the simple tips such as when you shared keeping track of gift card balances on a piece of masking tape on the card. I appreciate your belief in moderation as so much on the internet seems to be one extreme or the other. I like that your recipes are for real families. And, it is enjoyable to keep up with your sweet family and home renovations. The thing that turns me away from blogs is when most of the content becomes some kind of advertising promotion. You are doing a great job keeping your blog in moderation with changing times. I have not commented here before, but I wanted you to know you probably have a whole lot of loyal readers like me following afar through a reader.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you for this encouragement Missie!

    [Reply]

  21. Sarah

    07/10/2018

    I LOVE your blog and have been following it for a couple years now (I originally found your blog when looking for diaper bag organizing ideas on Pinterest ;). It feels like we could be sisters (and our husbands could be brothers they are so similar!) with the same mindset on most everything you discuss. I am a mother of two wonderful young boys (4 yrs- who is the boy version of your Nora… highly sensitive and dealt with texture issues as well; and we also have a 1.5 yr old, who is the sweetest little thing but still a terrible sleeper…so I feel like I’m in “survival” mode most days still).
    I have noticed your change in the mobile version of the blog, and to be honest find it harder to navigate. I have sometimes accidentally clicked on the large ads in the middle of the content as I have scrolled down. Also, the header fonts are VERY hard to read (white font on a light gray color). Maybe you could change up the background color to provide more contrast, or just switch the font to black. Anyway, those are really minor things that will in no way keep me from coming back.
    I did have a blog suggestion that I don’t know if you have covered yet..and maybe I’m the only one who is worried about this: I feel like I’ve been in a “safe-spot” with my kids and in our own little world, and the thought of my son starting school is terrifying! Haha! Did you find it mentally hard when Nora started school? Did you ever feel pressured to make new friends with some of the other parents? My husband and I are both a little older (36 yrs) than some of the other parents… is it weird that I have really no desire to make “new close friends” with the other parents? I love caring for my young children, but also am already mourning that they will never be this young again and that eventually we will have to help them with bigger problems- other than solving arguments over toys or the horror of choosing the wrong sippy cup color 😉 I feel ill-qualified to help my kids navigate through life’s “real world problems” as they grow older—I want them to stay little and innocent forever! I also know our job is to give them roots AND wings, but that isn’t always easy. Keep up the great work Andrea, God has given you such a gift and a great platform to help others!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    WOW — thanks Sarah!
    OK, that is a really good post idea and one I was actually thinking about just last night — more the parents being “forced” to make friends”!
    That said we really love Nora’s school and I was already friends with one of the moms in her class so that was nice. Other than that, no, I didn’t make friends with any other parents — but of course, I’m still FRIENDLY with them when we’re together.
    My best advice is to remind yourself daily that this is a special time (even with the sleep deprivation — so sorry about that) but also know that they will most likely LOVE school and you will most likely LOVE the little bits of time away from them to do your own thing. I have to be honest, I’m looking forward to the 2 mornings that Simon will be in preschool next year. I can’t wait to go for walks or run errands with “only” 2 kids with me!

    [Reply]

    Susanne Reply:

    Hi Sarah and Andrea,
    I am a frequent reader but not a frequent commenter here. I do NO social media (except IG with my sister and cousins, so I call it Familygram) and have no desire to do so either. Sarah, just wanted to encourage you a bit. My kiddos are 16 and 13 and while there are times I miss my children being young, I absolutely LOVE the people they have become. I love spending time with them at this stage just as much as I did when they were younger. A wise woman once told me, “There are worse things that having grown children,” and I find this SO true!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Love this Susanne — thanks for the encouragement!

    [Reply]

  22. Nancy

    07/10/2018

    Good for you, for practicing what you preach. I concur with many others: your blog is my favorite, and I appreciate your regular posting schedule. I’m for the most part not interested in video content. Prefer to read and can do so more quickly and efficiently. In my experience, newsletters for other blogs tend to repeat posted content and are a gateway to marketing emails. I might subscribe to a weekly digest newsletter for a blog I don’t regularly visit, but honestly I prefer to read your content daily!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much for this validation!

    [Reply]

  23. Shelia

    07/10/2018

    Love your blog just the way it’s been. Your blog is the first I read daily and prefer to read among many others. I love the simplicity and ease of your writing and navigating. I’ve been reading your blog since almost the beginning. My opinion; but don’t feel the need to change or keep up except to keep your blog out there for others to find and enjoy as well. Other bloggers have lost so many readers because they became too business minded and their blogs showed that. They became less personal and their words were just filler to make a post to earn a dollar.
    Stay true to you and I guarantee this blog will still succeed.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you Shelia!

    [Reply]

  24. Lynn Grable

    07/10/2018

    I love your site! I have followed you since you were simple organized living! You always do a great job with your blog and I look forward to your progress forward! Have a wonderful day Andrea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Lynn!

    [Reply]

  25. Susan

    07/10/2018

    THANK YOU for making your site mobile friendly!! I use the search function all the time, and it’s a real pain to zoom in and out repeatedly while trying to find the right blog that talks about whatever I’m searching for. I’ve been a reader since pre-Nora and your blog is my fave. My husband knows who I’m talking about when I say “well Andrea says that…” Ha! You’re becoming a household name! Lol
    Also, thanks for explaining about the ads. I love your transparency and honesty.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you’re welcome — I seriously can’t believe it took me so long to do the mobile friendly site! Glad you are enjoying it!

    [Reply]

  26. Jessica

    07/10/2018

    I know you’re not really thinking about growing via social media, but I’d love to see you on Instagram. I don’t have Facebook and I always feel like I’m missing whatever you do there. Even posting the same thing on both platforms would be great. ☺️

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know — SO many people have asked me to do Instagram. If I did add social media, it would be instagram — and I would announce it on the blog so you would know for sure 🙂

    [Reply]

    Kristin Reply:

    I also would LOVE to see you on Instagram! I personally use Instagram for inspiration (similar to Pinterest), never posting myself but saving lots of lovely pictures and ideas from others. If I read blog posts, most of the time it’s because it was shared on Instagram by the blogger. Similarly, I very frequently will purchase things linked by others on Instagram (and I don’t mind that the poster may receive a small commission) I also really, really like the beauty (and civility!) of Instagram compared to other platforms like Facebook.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    noted 🙂 I can’t promise Instagram, but if I had to choose one new social media platform, Instagram would be it (it IS pretty!)

    [Reply]

  27. PW

    07/10/2018

    I have read your blog for many years, well before Nora was born. I noticed the ads, no big deal just move past them but some seem to be relevant to online stores I use. Your blog is 1 that I continually read every day and use your recipes and de-clutter techniques, so it is all in 1 for me. I recently semi retired and I am consciously making an effort to stay off the tech gadgets – smart phone, kindle, laptop etc. it consumes a huge part of the day if not careful.. Since I do still work from home several days a week I set a timer on personal tech user and in the hour it is amazing that you think it only 10 min. Then I am done and de-cluttering, cooking meals for the week, gardening, walking/running. Don’t need a newsletter but I would read it if time permits in my hr online. I get a lot of blogs and financial and insurance and other info in my email each day, If time I breeze thru then delete or save in a file. I am at your website everyday or get your email, enough for me. What your provide has improved my lifestyle, and the biggest thing I learned from you “GOOD ENOUGH”. I found I am a perfectionist, taking hours to clean a house, weed the garden, cook etc. I now clean my place in under an hour and use your quick clean bathroom and other techniques. WIN WIN THANKS

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you for this feedback — I appreciate your long-time readership so much!!

    [Reply]

  28. Sue Olep

    07/10/2018

    I really like reading your blog. It’s probably the ONLY ONE I am dedicated to reading almost every post. I LOVE the way you write. It is to the point, no nonsense, clear, practical and entertaining! I love that I can read the whole thing without being distracted by pop ups or having to click a bunch. I also appreciate that you don’t use a ton of pictures! There’s nothing I hate more than clicking on a recipe and having to scroll past 12 pictures of the SAME THING at different angles! I get it! I clicked because I liked the first pic and all the others do no good whatsoever, except delaying me from getting to the actual list of ingredients!!! So don’t change too much please! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    I agree, and I love your blog!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — thanks so much Sue!
    I was just looking up different recipes the other day and was wondering why on earth they felt like they needed 18 photos of the same thing!
    I’ll stick to just a few photos

    [Reply]

  29. Kelly

    07/10/2018

    I agree with several others, your blog is one of the only ones (out of 100’s I used to read) that I still peruse. I have several ad blockers so I didn’t even notice any changes.

    I signed up for several newsletters but found myself recently unsubscribing. The info wasn’t any different than what they were blogging/vlogging. They were just clogging up my email.

    I do find it interesting how fast social media is changing. Makes me wonder how long blogging will be around. I’m old school and never jelled with instagram, twitter, snapchat, etc. I do watch a few saling youtube channels but that is about it. Must be extremely hard to stay relevant when you have so many different demographics to keep interested.

    [Reply]

  30. Carrie

    07/10/2018

    Hi Andrea. I’ve never thought your blog looks outdated. I love that it is simple and very user friendly.
    I don’t need newsletters or Facebook live or any of those things to want to continue reading your blog. I’ve been reading since you were Simple Organized Living; your simplicity and straight forward advice is what keeps me coming back and excited to read everything you write.
    I have actually stopped reading many of what used to be my favorite blogs because of the confusing changes and ways to navigate their blogs.
    I am 42, a frequent blog reader and generally tech savvy, so it’s not because I don’t understand how to use it, it’s just that your simplicity is refreshing.

    That being said, the new ads don’t bother me at all. I did notice them, but the way you have them set up is generally unobtrusive, plus, you need to make a living and I want you to continue making content, so more power to ya!!

    Lastly, in my opinion, if you felt the need to add anything additional, I do think a podcast would be fantastic. I am also an avid podcast consumer (in my car) and I love hearing the voice of people I have “known” via blogs for years. It’s fun to hear a person’s personality, etc….
    I enjoyed your guest visit on Lisa Woodruff’s, Organize 365. It was fun to hear your voice and listen to you. I enjoyed it just as much as reading your posts.

    I’m sure many of your long time readers will embrace whatever changes you decide to make. Your content is realistic, refreshing, practical, straightforward, honest, and doesn’t ever make me feel like I am not good enough as a homemaker or a Mom. If anything, I’m always left with a feeling that all of us moms/women can do whatever we feel is right for us at whatever stage we happen to be in. Sometimes your posts “bring me back down to earth” and make me realize I don’t have to be perfect or do what everyone else does, I can do me.

    Sorry for the long response. Love you and your sweet family!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Carrie!
    I honestly don’t think my blog LOOKS outdated either — it’s more on the “back end” how it’s coded and set up that is fairly outdated. So your user experience shouldn’t change too much even if I do some bigger updated this winter!
    And thanks for your words of encouragement. I’d love to get in to podcasting (maybe Lisa can give me a crash course — she’s so good at it!)

    [Reply]

  31. Iliana

    07/10/2018

    I love your blog just the way it is!! You don’t need to worry about it being outdated because your writing and content is very enjoyable, honest and relatable. I like the mobile version, although, to be completely honest, I don’t like the ads in the middle of the post, but I understand that you have to make a living from your blog, so I don’t mind having to scroll past them. Thank you for all your hard work!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much!!!

    [Reply]

  32. Tori Walker

    07/10/2018

    Hey Andrea!

    As I’ve mentioned before, your blog is one of the VERY few I actually read and look forward to, although I am subscribed to a bunch.

    I would love to actually hear your voice via some videos, webinars or whatever!

    Meanwhile, I am painstakingly trying to get MY blog going! I have no illusions of success like yours, but hoping I can make a little money for my family. 🙂

    Blessings,
    Tori

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Awww. thanks Tori!
    Good luck with your blog — it took me years before I made any real income (I know that might not be what you want to hear, but just know it takes time so don’t get discouraged too quickly!)

    [Reply]

  33. Angela

    07/10/2018

    Very refreshing to hear that you don’t worry about keeping up with social media or the latest algorithms and trends! That’s been the most stressful part of starting our own online/handmade business – just getting found and trying to keep up (and being okay with NOT keeping up but rather slowly and surely building up our following through word of mouth).

    I appreciate your honesty about the ads and totally understand the need since this is your business! The ads right under the pictures seem to blend seamlessly but the ones that are within the text (in the same font, like the Sherwin Williams one in this post for example) make me pause for a minute and think they’re part of the post (which I suppose is the idea!) 🙂 No biggie, just a change from your previous very clean and simple look.

    I agree with another comment that I hope you don’t change your blog too much – I appreciate the simple feel of it, and the newer style that some blogs are going to seem to be a bit difficult to navigate. Yours is so easy to find the latest post, scroll down to see what I’ve missed, and search for a topic. Keep up the great work!

    Oh, and another post idea…I’d love to hear more about your flower beds, especially the smaller ones in the backyard under the trees. I’d love for you to post about which plants you’ve had good luck with in sunny and shady areas, how you do your vegetable gardening, and details like that.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Angela,
    I will say that a handmade business is totally different than what I do — because you NEED to be on social media to get your products out there in front of people who might buy them. So it’s probably more important that you build your social media (but just work slowly and try not to get too stressed out!)
    I definitely don’t plan to change the look or layout of my blog too much — I like how it is now. And I’m still playing with the ad placements for now. I know the in-post ads are somewhat annoying… we’ll see what I decide about them over the next couple of months!

    [Reply]

  34. Courtney

    07/10/2018

    I so appreciate you letting everyone know about your changes. I haven’t noticed it with your blog, but other blogs I read with ads in the middle if the post are very confusing/distracting. As I scroll down, I’m trying to figure out how this fits the article, then finally realize it’s an unrelated ad. So frustrating! If yours are always under pictures, I think it will be less confusing. I hope all your changes continue to go smoothly.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know — I don’t love the in-post ads and I’m honestly not 100% sure I’m going to keep them. I’m just trying them for a couple of months before I make my decision!
    Thanks for the feedback!

    [Reply]

  35. Pamela

    07/10/2018

    Wanted to add that I really appreciate the upfront, honest way you do sponsored posts. I like knowing right from the start that it’s a sponsored post, as opposed to reading the whole post and then being informed at the end that it was sponsored.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks — I do always try to say anything upfront. But also know that I turn down so many companies all the time because they don’t fit with my blog or my life. So when I promote something, it’s because I actually use and love the product or brand. Getting paid to promote it is just a bonus 🙂

    [Reply]

  36. Jen

    07/10/2018

    I LOVE your blog, and I LOVE that you are still posting daily-for the most part-with helpful and informative content. And, of course, I love keeping up with your sweet family! I know many, if not most, blogging has stopped and I miss it! Gotta be honest, don’t love the ads but also totally understand that you need to make a living and this is your job! (That being said, I am seeing video ads on my sidebar. Maybe that’s different than video ads in the actual post or maybe it’s my browser and cookies, etc.) I’m sure I’ll get used to them shortly and it will seem like they were there all along! And, occasionally, I may even click on one! 😉 Happy Tuesday and congratulations on a job well done!

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Me again–just wanted to add that, while you certainly need-and deserve-to make a living blogging, I so appreciate that you are sensitive to the likes/dislikes of your readers/followers and that you’ve realized that doing certain things “for the sake of the blog or making money” isn’t always the best choice. You’ve chosen well!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jen — are the video ads actually playing with sound? or just motion? I think the motion is inevitable — I just have the settings set so they shouldn’t make noise (I hate the noise!)

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    It’s just motion, which is definitely less distracting than sound AND motion!

    [Reply]

  37. Pamela

    07/10/2018

    I LOVE the mobile-friendly change! Thank you! I do NOT like the ads within the posts. They are visual and mental clutter — the opposite of your and my lifestyle. I don’t mind the ads at the bottom of the screen… They don’t interrupt my reading like the ads within the posts.

    My opinion is that you don’t need newsletters, additional social media, etc….because you give us such great content five days a week. It’s your content and consistency that draw your readers back, some of us for many, many years. I love your blog!

    [Reply]

    Barb Reply:

    I agree with everything that Pamela says. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the feedback! And yes, I was wondering if a newsletter would just be over-kill in some senses.

    [Reply]

  38. Kulturschnepfe

    07/10/2018

    Hello Andrea, the blocking doesn’t work as well in Germany. I’ve been on your website for two minutes now and I’ve seen several ads for dating sites and one or two for drugs. And quite a few of the others have moving elements or have elements that blink slowly on and off or are almost as large as the real content. Very distracting.

    Just so you know. Progress might be good, but sometimes it’s annoying, too.

    Blessed be
    K.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hmmmm… I wonder if it might be slightly different because you are in Germany. Sorry for the distractions. I can definitely question Mediavine about this!

    [Reply]

  39. MomofTwoPreciousGirls

    07/10/2018

    I just want to tell you I’m GLAD you haven’t always been on the newest trends! I have stopped following so many blogs because they went from written content to podcasts and FB live. I tried keeping up with them because I enjoyed the content but I work full time so I’m not able to listen while I work (not allowed) I have a super short commute and then I’m home with the kids. I can’t just throw my headphones on and ignore my kids!! I like to READ!
    You are one of the most refreshing blogs to follow because you are real. I like that you share a little bit of everything because that is life! I’ve loved watching your family grow, I like your recipes, your renovations…everything. I don’t mind ads at all and I like that you are always up front when you are about to start writing about a product. Many bloggers have you read this long post and get to the end and I wonder if what they wrote was even true because there’s a sales pitch at the end. Keep up the great work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh good — thanks so much for sharing!
    I appreciate your kind words!

    [Reply]

  40. Shelley

    07/10/2018

    I may be a stick in the mud, but yours is my favorite blog and the main reason is how simple/organized that it is. It is extremely easy to navigate or to look up previous post I might have missed it we were on a trip. Just hope it doesn’t change too much:)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks shelley — don’t worry, I don’t plan to change the layout of my blog at all (it IS really easy to find stuff and I love that feature). I’d love to add better recipe cards for my recipe posts (with nutrition facts, and images) and there are a few others things I need to change on the back end — but the layout will stay the same if I get my way!!

    [Reply]