Welcome To The All New decor8!

welcomedecor8 Hello friends and welcome to the all new decor8! Woo hoo! I am so happy and proud to reveal my new blog because it was time for a major change around here. I just wasn't feeling the whole blogging thing anymore. I realized that it was because I was doing the same thing expecting different results, I know that's so cliché, but true. I realized that my blog looked nothing like me. My passion for writing online was on a fast track to bombing out because my zeal was waning big time. I realized that I needed to consider some important questions like...

Why was I blogging in the first place? Why am I blogging today, nearly 10 years later? How do I want this site to evolve (or not)? How do I imagine this space to look, feel and what do I want to show? What do I feel bored sharing? I found all of my answers more revealing than I had imagined as I scribbled my thoughts on paper. After reviewing, I knew that I needed to either give my blog a major overhaul and keep blogging regularly or to stop altogether because I'm not the type to do something very half-hearted or even very part-time as I risk forgetting it and then things fall off the grid completely (like my house plants).

SO I WENT FOR IT. 

Yet there was so much more to it than look and feel.

I spent the last TWO years wondering if I should lose the sidebar and go ad-free. That was the first big revenue-related "issue" I was having that was holding me back from a relaunch. We are now 100% sidebar free which means NO sidebar ads. I believe the future of lifestyle bloggers is to go ad-free quite honestly, many will just be forced in that direction but for those who aren't, like me, there are other ways to generate revenue from blogging that feels more meaningful and provides value as I'm about to continue exploring. Some bloggers love ads, some hate them, others are in-between as I was for years. But I decided to just have one ad on the site from time to time and that's it. From forty ads to one.

YES I AM CRAZY.

I actually had a very profitable business earning ad revenue since 2006, with some years hosting over 40 ads on the site at any given time and not google or affiliate ads, all were clients of mine that I worked hard with to cultivate their campaigns and curate their ads. I only recently had to (very nicely) solicit ads and I hated it. Even with the dip in sales more recently, I still earned a killing. Advertising alone paid all of our monthly expenses with money still left over, from car to medical to home and eating out expenses. For a family of three. Ad revenue allowed us to live in two countries and rent two properties simultaneously at one point. So to drop ad revenue... WTF? Right? Well it was a hard decision but that's a whole 'nother post topic which I'll write soon, I promise.

The next decision was how my blog no longer looked like how I see my brand. You know when you look in the mirror and you think you look fine, but you see yourself in a photo the same day and think you look like your mother, you need way more concealer and you could stand to lose some weight? I needed blog detox and botox, badly!

A lot has changed in technology since my last redesign several years ago! Navigation was now problematic. The traditional blog layout was no longer feeling fresh to me, especially since I spent hours pulling together a single post and once it dropped off the main page it was lost in space (archives) forever. The site wasn't optimized for mobile. The load time could have been faster. Another issue was how small my images were - 540 pixels wide! Too small for all of you visual people. Too small for me, too.

With this relaunch, we've nearly doubled image size from 540 pixels wide to 1040! Insane but totally necessary. The site load is faster than ever before, and it's great for viewing on mobile devices now. You have to check it out on an iPad or smartphone, very easy to navigate with a quick load time. Important. It looks like me. It's easy to find stuff. You can just scroll down this page and when you hit the post grid, just keep hitting the "Load More" button and BAM! You found the best way to go back in time to see posts I've written a week or two. It's clean and easy to navigate. I got rid of my 50+ categories (not even kidding) and now I have 10.

There are a few things I'm working on for this site, like the books page (I'll show you that when I'm finished), and I want to add a few other cool pages, but I realized recently that I need to just get the site finished and stop waiting and perfecting. Just launch the damn site already, so we did.

I need to thank a few people because this blog was a lot of work and long hours so a huge thanks to Thorsten Becker who pulled the entire site together while juggling everything else, including taking care of our baby. A big shout out to Corina Nika who designed the beautiful branding and Mark Wilson for his stellar creative direction and branding/marketing oversight. The awesome threesome.

So yeah, this is the all new decor8 and I'm super happy about it because I already want to write on it a hundred times a day and share it with the world, so I think trying something completely new and going out on a limb with this sidebar ad-free thing was the best thing for me and my business. It's a leap of faith but I'm happy I took it and I hope that you enjoy decor8 more than ever.