Where does my blog go from here?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with my blog. I’ve only written a handful of blog posts this year and I seriously considered shutting it down for good.

But, as I mentioned before, my husband and my best friend encouraged me to open up and to keep going. This blog is 9.5 years old and it would be a damn shame to stop something that I still love.

So where does the blog go from here? Do I continue to write about mental illness? Do I start writing sponsored content again? Do I write about travel, which is something I’m still very interested in? Do I still write about my kids?

I’m not exactly sure yet.

I signed up for a blog course last year and never even started it because of everything going on. It has the potential to really change my blog for the better. And now that I *think* I’ve come through the worst of my depressive episode, I believe I should start and complete it. I owe it to myself to try.

So you may start to see some changes around here. But I hope you’ll stick around and wait for what’s to come. I’ve always had big plans for turning my blog into something that will reach even more people. I’m pretty sure it’s time to put my thoughts into action.

Knock Your Socks Off

High heels are my love language (that and wine). Honestly, the higher the better because I hate being short. I don’t always get a chance to wear heels because, hello, I’m a mom of three kids who works from home.

But, I’ve got a red carpet event coming up and I get to dress up (bless it!)

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about wearing stylish shoes without supportive socks. I’ve got my kushyfoot covers ready so I can have a fabulous night!

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What do you think of these shoes? Sexy, huh? And you can’t even really detect the clever peep-toe solution. I’ve also used their flats-to-go before as they fold up and fit right in your purse. Ladies, you know how painful it can be to walk to your car after standing on your feet all night. I will be kickin’ off my heels and using these after the event so I don’t end up with blisters!

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Plus, you know I am a runner now, right? I know. I don’t know how that happened either! I’ve struggled to find low socks that stay in place during a run. But I finally found kushyfoot athletic foot covers. They have a heel grip so they don’t slip down! They are definitely my new faves.

kushy foot athletic foot covers

 

Thanks to kushyfoot for knocking my socks off and giving me some new ones!

The truth about those (dreaded!) sponsored blog posts

Wanna know the truth about those sponsored blog posts you read? Or are you a blogger looking for encouragement when writing sponsored content? Then you need to read this STAT! | adayinmollywood.com

Today I’m going to discuss a hot topic in the blog world – sponsored posts.

Last month I conducted a reader survey. The last time I asked for my readers’ thoughts and opinions was in 2011. So I thought it was time I figured out who is reading my blog. I also wanted to find out why you are reading and what you might like to see more or less of in this space.

In 2010 I did what’s known in blogland as a “rebrand.” I moved from blogger to wordpress, changed my name and got serious about doing what I love most – writing stories.

During the next couple of years a lot of amazingness happened here. Awesome opportunities came my way but more importantly, I wrote some of my favorite stories. Stories that came straight from my heart. I wasn’t doing it to make money, although I admit that would have been nice. I was doing it because I am passionate about storytelling. I come alive when I write.

I’ve been blogging for over eight years and I’ve done a few sponsored posts here and there. It wasn’t until the end of last year when I felt a pull to try harder at making money while blogging. I started following other bloggers who were successful at making money online. Some of them I was blown away with what they’ve been able to accomplish in their online spaces.

I read a story about a mom who was homeless. Her husband left and she was living in a homeless shelter with her kids. Now she is making a living through her very successful blog, helping other women live a better life. I mean, God bless her! She has worked so hard and it paid off in big ways.

Obviously, that is not my story. But I truly believe you get out what you put in. Isn’t that the truth with just about everything in life?

Wanna know the truth about those sponsored blog posts you read? Or are you a blogger looking for encouragement when writing sponsored content? Then you need to read this STAT! | adayinmollywood.com
So in January I started another rebrand – which is the blog you see now. My mission on this blog is to encourage you to thrive when motherhood gets messy. And I’m not just talking about spilled milk here. I’m talking about the bigger messes inside of us that motherhood often create. The ones that cause us to feel alone in our journeys.

During this rebrand I gave myself a personal challenge – if I could increase my pageviews I might be able to make more money for my family. Other bloggers were doing it successfully – why not me? I wanted to give it a try.

As a blogger, I walk a fine line between staying authentic to myself and this space while also making extra money for my family. I receive offers to write sponsored blog posts every single day – and I want you to know – I turn down most of them. Either because they just don’t fit with the mission of my blog or I don’t have the time to write them.

If you read here you have probably noticed more sponsored content. I realize it can be offputting to see that dreaded disclosure before a post. In fact, you may see it and click away. And I totally get that. I do. I used to be like that – clicking away because blech, they are being paid to say that.

But then I realized that bloggers have just as much right to make money as any other profession out there.

I wanted to be a writer from the time I was a young girl. Until recently, I never knew how to make that happen for myself because I live in an area where there aren’t a lot of opportunities for writers. So I decided to create my own opportunity – just like millions of other entrepreneurs out there!

I’ll be the first to tell you it hasn’t been easy. Every time I publish something I’ve been compensated to write – I end up feeling a bit guilty.

WHYYYYY?

Why should I, or any blogger for that matter, feel guilty for trying to figure out a way to bring income into their family?

Yes, I understand that some posts can come across as shilling a product. But my philosophy is to share my stories and thoughts with my readers. Just because it has a disclosure before it doesn’t mean I don’t mean what I’m writing.

And for those that aren’t bloggers – please understand the companies and brands don’t want us to simply sell their product. Most of them desire us to be forthcoming and many don’t even want a “product review” anymore. They want stories. I happen to love that. The brands who give me the freedom to write from my heart, well, those have been my favorite ones with which to work.

On my reader survey, some did say they hate sponsored blog posts and won’t read them. I completely understand. I really do. But I’m done feeling guilty because I want to be paid for the time I spend writing. My time, just like your time, is valuable. I honestly don’t have a lot of it and I work hard (and stay up really late) to try to provide great content for the brands who have hired me.

But most of all, to try to provide some great stories for you, my readers. You’re the reason I continue to write. Your support and feedback is what has kept me writing here for eight years – and counting!

 

How to Create Quality of Life at Work

Are you struggling as a working mom to achieve a good work/life balance? See how my company creates a great quality of life for their employees | adayinmollywood.com

I’ll admit, I haven’t always had the best quality of life at work. While I enjoy being a working mom in my current role it most certainly hasn’t always been that way in the past. The challenges I have faced were not fun and I know there are plenty of working moms who are in that situation now.

I have finally realized that a company’s understanding of Quality of Life is what is MOST important to me when I consider working for them. For me, it’s no longer the salary or the title that matters. It’s whether they are valuing my time as an employee AND a mom.

I am so grateful to finally be able to say that I have found the perfect mix of both. A job that helps me achieve my best at work and at home. I’ve never had this before and let me tell you, it’s nothing short of amazing.

Are you struggling as a working mom to achieve a good work/life balance? See how my company creates a great quality of life for their employees | adayinmollywood.com

These are just a few of the ways that the company I work for helps to create a wonderful Quality of Life for their employees.

1. Health & Well-Being:

Not only are amazing health benefits offered but they go above and beyond what is expected to encourage us to stay well. They offer yoga classes on site and many employees go walking during their breaks. They also have a weight watchers group you can join if you want to lose weight. The sick leave and vacation offered are more than I have ever had before and employees are not made to feel bad if they (or their kids) are sick and need to stay home or go to the doctor. I mean, would you rather that person come in and spread their germs all over you? NO. Stay home and please don’t feel bad about it!

2. Ease & Efficiency:

My role (and my awesome boss) allow me the freedom to work from home. We all have laptops and cell phone allowances. Right now, I come into the office three days a week and work from home two days. It is the PERFECT schedule for me. The work week is 37 hours per week too! I am able to get a lot of work done on my work from home days because there are less interruptions but I can still easily communicate with my teammates as well as access all my files and emails from home. Many of my coworkers will work remotely if they have a day of conference calls or projects due that require more concentration. Employees are trusted to do their job and as a professional that feels really, REALLY good.

3. Recognition:

I know what you’re thinking. Why do employees need recognition in order to do their jobs? My answer to you is – there has been a ton of research done on this topic. When employees are praised and recognized for a job well done they are more likely to keep up the good work. Make sense? It sure does to me. At my current job we have something called “Kudos.” When someone does something awesome you can write it on a Kudos card and put it up on the bulletin board for everyone to see. There are also other awards given out as well as a Customer Service and Celebrations committee that gives shout-outs at staff meetings and plans celebrations for work anniversaries and birthdays. It’s just those little extras that help motivate employees to thrive in their jobs.

This post is part of International Quality of Life BlogIt Day, sponsored by Sodexo. All opinions are my own.

2015 Word of the Year

2015 Word of the Year | adayinmollywood.com

As each year rolls over into the next I like to choose one word to focus on. I call it my word of the year. It becomes a sort of personal mantra I can repeat to myself in times of uncertainty and it helps keep me grounded in my goals. In years past I have chosen some good ones. It’s amazing how it always works out that I chose the right word for the year! Trust was most definitely needed in 2014!

2013 – Positive
2014 – Trust

I started thinking about my new word choice in December. If anything repeats itself or seems to strike a chord, then I know that’s the right one for the year.

So without further ado – my Word of the Year for 2015!

2015 Word of the Year | adayinmollywood.com
As you probably guessed, grow is all-encompassing. In 2014, I had no resolutions, no big expectations. I thought that would surely be setting myself up for failure. But this year, I am ready to jump in! Like, do a huge cannonball into the pool that splashes everyone around me!

First and foremost, I want to grow as a mother and a wife. I also want my family to grow with me in all the ways they can!

Professionally, I want to grow this blog. I want to grow as a writer and photographer. I have big BIG plans for this space and my writing. I’m hoping you’ll stick around as I learn what this growth means (because I don’t even know yet!).

I’m excited to see how focusing on this word will help me in my life.

Do you pick a word for the year? Share with me! I love to hear what everyone else is picking.