So you may have noticed a few changes around here. Or, maybe not (one thing I learned from your survey results back in January was that things that I think are huge shifts here on the blog are often barely noticeable by the readers). Since November, subtle tweaks, shifts, and alterations have been happening behind the scenes. And soon, you’ll see the difference in front of the scenes (is that even a thing, front-of-the-scenes?).
You glorious readers are the ones who’ve made this blog what it is, so I thought it reasonable to finally fill you in on what’s going on around here. So pull up a chair, take a peek behind the curtains (watch out for loose tools left around; we’re still under construction), and let me explain what’s up.
Warning: This is a longer-than-I-prefer post. But I’m seriously excited to share with you all the goings-on, so I didn’t want to leave anything left out. If you need to, save this post until naptime, and come back with a cup of tea and a clear head.
Simple Mom welcomes Design and Homemade
We are quietly importing Simple Design and Simple Homemade into this blog (Design was imported a few weeks ago). A major change with our advertising network required us, as a group of editors, to ask ourselves how we wanted to proceed with our work. I’ll spare you the boring details, but in essence, some editors wanted to stay and run their own ships, and some wanted to be released to do other things.
Arianne Segerman, the editor of Simple Design, is pursuing big things in her usual creative and inspiring spirit at her new digs, Mabel and Riv. Nicole Bennett, editor of Simple Homemade, will continue to grace us here at Simple Mom with monthly sewing DIY posts (remember her Sewing School series? It’ll be here now!), but will also share her life, her creative spirit, and her idyllic beach setting at Gidget Goes Home.
So soon you’ll be able to search the archives here for almost all the content previously residing on those other sites—fashion, decor, gardening, crafts, and more.
From a network to… well, blogs.
The biggest change around here is that Simple Living Media, my company, is no longer a blog network. It’s simply a house for the different blogs I own, blogs that adhere to a crucial short list of values but otherwise run with almost total freedom. While this may not seem like a big deal on the front end, it’s a big change on the back end.
The other blogs that remain are Simple Bites, Simple Homeschool, and Simple Kids. Homeschool and Kids now run completely independently, and those amazing editors, Jamie Martin and Kara Fleck, are free to steer their ships how they see fit. They earn revenue differently now, and are already doing a fantastic job making those big decisions on their own! I’m proud of them.
Simple Bites remains somewhat connected to Mom here (although it still runs its own ship, content-wise), mainly because we still share an ad network. Aimée Wimbush-Bourque has shown herself a food blogging rock star, and I’m proud to connect her words (and the contributors’) to the goings-on here.
Changes here on this site
There’ll be a few content changes here at Simple Mom starting April 1, with an accompanying redesign soon after. Here they are:
• A grand total of 22 whopping contributors. Yeah… a lot of new voices here on the blog. I’m excited! I wanted this because I wanted to explore new topics, and there are some stellar people out there who know their stuff. I’m happy to say they’ll be writing here several times a year—check out the line-up. I’m stoked.
• I’ll still be writing here at least once per week, sometimes three times. You’ll still hear from me plenty—no changes there, in other words.
• But if you do the math, yes, this does mean we’ll soon move to a daily posting schedule, as opposed to MWF and Sunday’s weekend links. However—posts will be a bit shorter. In fact, here’s the general posting rhythm you can expect here:
Monday: A short, encouraging benediction to start your week, usually written by me. Need motivation to care about the week ahead? I do too. I’ll whip us into shape here.
Tuesday: My main post for the week.
Wednesday: A contributor’s post.
Thursday: A rotation of three different topics (more on that below).
Friday: A contributor’s post.
Saturday: Weekend links. They’ll stay the same, just moved a day earlier.
So daily posting may sound like a lot, but it’s not once you break it down. (Mostly) short, motivating posts to help you simplify your life, encourage you in this journey, and provide a positive community to share ideas about living a bit unconventionally.
Katie Fox, my amazing assistant, also now functions here as the blog’s Managing Editor. She’s the one who keeps all the moving parts greased, and quite frankly, the site is still up and running today because of her. (Everyone needs a Katie in her life, I say.)
What’s up with Thursdays?
Thursdays will be a weekly rotation of poetry by Sarah Park (one of my favorite features here!), a book recommendation (and sometimes giveaway), a summary of my podcasts for the month, and a new series we’re starting here called The Intellectual Grownup. Do you read Mental_Floss? It’s a magazine filled with trivia about history, culture, sociology, and science—and I love it. I want to provide a monthly dose of fodder for you to learn about stuff… just because.
We parents are often filled to the brim with board books, soccer games, kid music in the car, and that awful, awful child Calliou. But we’re more than parents—we’re mature members of society with brains and ideas and fascinations. Let’s explore those, and find some topics to discuss over dinner beyond the kids’ school calendars. This is The Intellectual Grownup. Sound good to you? Me too.
Who are Simple Mom readers, REALLY?
If you guessed that the majority of readers here are moms, you’d be right. But there’s actually quite a few men and non-parents, too, and I LOVE that. I want this place to be even more welcoming to these people, so while we’ll still have content about parenting (of course), it’ll branch out in to other topics as well.
We already have a non-parent contributor and a few men. Kyle, my husband, is a former contractor, and he’ll also join the ranks by writing about home fixer-upper stuff, using our own home as a backdrop. Just call him the Bob Vila of Simple Mom.
It’s always funny to me when this blog is called a “mommy blog,” because while we touch on parenting topics, this site is really about life development. If I could change the “Mom” bit to the title, I would. But alas, it’s part of the brand, and that’s okay. But that won’t stop me from branching out on topics that apply to anybody who wants to live with more intention.
So… Why all the changes? You might be asking.
Some of you are wondering why I’d mess with a good thing, especially if you’re a newer reader. The blog continues to dish out great posts from fun people (in my opinion), the design is lovely, and well—if it ain’t broke, right?
There’s a number of reasons. First, some of our ad network’s recent business decisions required a timeframe on our need to change. I knew our (former) network was in need of some shaping, but our contract date with them meant we needed to go ahead and make drastic decisions sooner than later.
Another reason is that the blog world—and the Internet in general—changes rapidly. The online environment is pretty different than when Simple Mom started, in early 2008. When I started it, there were really no other practical blogs about simple living and managing family life well (at least, none that I could find), so that’s why I started this place. I created what I wished were already on the Internet. But now these sites are everywhere, and that’s great—nobody holds a trademark on the idea of simple living, and as many people who want to explore the same topics should. (I’m a big believer in camaraderie over competition.)
But I’ve honestly grown a bit tired with how Simple Mom has been running. I’ve been at it for five years now, and while I’m still rabidly passionate about living a simple life, I also wanted to explore new topics while still in the realm of living simply. There’s so much more to it than organizing and parenting. Travel. More DIY. Music. Books. Fishing. (Kidding about that last one. I know nothing about fishing.) You get the gist… I needed to dust off this space and give it some new life. So, I am.
Lastly, I need Simple Mom to change a bit because I’ve changed from the person who first started this place five+ years ago. When it started, I was a 30-year-old mom of two tinies living overseas in a drastically different culture from my passport country. Now, I’m a 35-year-old mom of three kids under age eight, living back the States, passionate about living a simple—and unconventional—lifestyle.
I’ve learned a lot about the skills, gifts, and passions God has given me, and even if it didn’t look like it on the front end, I’ve been operating outside of my gifts for at least a year. With these changes, I’ll be back in business, working, living, and thriving more where I need to be—in my element.
Simple Mom will remain a haven to talk about living simpler in the day-to-day elements most of us face (see the post topics in the top navbar). The archives will always be here, for those of you who want to explore the olden-day blog.
But Simple Mom 2.0 will be most of those things… and more. It’ll be truer to my real voice, it’ll touch on more topics most of us face, and yet it’ll remain a positive, snark-free community for those of us who want to live a little simpler, and maybe a bit differently than the culture surrounding us.
I’m happy to answer questions if you’d like more, but I also don’t want to bog you down with details that only I care about. So… Have anything to add? Curious about anything else? I’m happy to hear your thoughts!