Friends! It’s hard to believe that in 2015 we will celebrate eight years writing this blog. Each year we like to take time to celebrate progress and evaluate how we can improve for the new year. Nothing like a good set of goals, we say! So today I am here to share our goals, plans, and intentions for A Beautiful Mess in 2015. Then we want to open it up to you to hear your ideas and requests!
2014 was a great year for Emma and me. It was full of milestones (like releasing our second book, our second app, the first ABM product line, and our e-course, Blog Life). It was also full of challenges. In our recent survey post, I mentioned we were experiencing burnout. This was scary as it was our first time to feel major individual burnout, and it happened around the same time for each of us, in different ways. We had a lot to work through, and I’m happy to report that we are starting the new year with what we believe is a great plan to rejuvenate, focus, and create a more inspired working environment on a daily basis. It was healthy for us to realize that we’re human and that we have to take positive actions to stay inspired and balanced.
A couple weeks ago we did a reader survey. Over six thousand of you weighed in with your thoughts and opinions. Thank you!!! It was incredibly helpful for us to hear from you on what you’re loving, what you’d want to see more of, and really just to get to know you better in general. There are so many assumptions that bloggers can project onto their audiences. It’s good for us to see concrete percentages as to how many of you are home owners, renters, have children, are interested in x product, etc! We had already made our new year’s plans before conducting the survey, but we had decided to leave some wiggle room to change things up if you had a strong response that we didn’t anticipate. This year we were really aligned because your responses confirmed our plans and made us feel even more excited to get to work on our new year goals!
Here’s what we’re tweaking for the new year:
-We’ve decided to switch things up to a slightly lighter posting schedule. We’ve realized recently that many of our readers aren’t able to keep up with or digest all the content. What a bummer, right? We’re optimistic that a slightly lighter, more diverse schedule will help both our readers and our writers enjoy what we do even more. You might not even notice a difference! This week we’ll be posting twice a day instead of three times a day.
-We’ve recently learned that a crazy large part of our audience, who read ABM daily, has never made a project or a recipe. Never. What? We were surprised to hear this since projects and recipes are the most popular content we create. It was alarming at first. And then it became sort of inspiring! What can we do to make more useful content for the “non crafty” side of our readership? Since last summer we’ve been working to come up with content that still inspires, but isn’t a step-by-step DIY or recipe. This became a very fun challenge for us! In the new year we plan to mix up our schedule just a bit! We want to add in more personal posts (and we must reinvent them in a new way that is fun for us to write and you to read), share more fashion and home ideas, and explore more useful tips for everyday life! We’re excited. For those of you who love DIY and recipes, don’t worry, we’ll still share our favorite ideas with you. We just want to mix in some new elements to spice things up!
– The blog world is changing. Emma and I are changing as people too. As I said at the beginning of this post, we’ll celebrate eight years of blogging later this year. That’s close to a decade! I think that with anything in life that you do for that long, there comes lots of points where you need to reevaluate your vision, your goals, and sort of start fresh. We’re excited to do that this year! It’s a process and it won’t happen overnight, but thanks for reading and supporting our growth every step of the way!
– One of our big goals is to make ABM more interactive. Early this year we’ll introduce a new feature to our site that will give us all a chance to just “casually hang out” all around the world… through video! We’re super pumped! Stay tuned.
Now, we want to hear from you! What brings you back to ABM? Do you have any post requests? What do you feel is missing from blog content in general (dream big y’all… we’re listening)!
We really really appreciate you! Cheers to an amazing new year! Love, Elsie + Emma
I know I’m late to the comment game on this post but I would love to read more goal-setting posts! I find talking about setting goals and achieving them so inspirational…they’re always my favorite posts when you write them!
I’m also glad you’re going down to posting twice a day instead of three times. I read ABM every week and at times it was getting overwhelming and I wasn’t able to keep up with all the posts that were showing up in my feed. It will hopefully be nice to slow down a tad for everyone on your team too!
Since you said to “dream big” – I would love a tutorial on making videos. Just simple sweet little videos like the one you guys made in Costa Rica. I get that it probably wasn’t simple or little AT ALL, but it would be fun to make videos of trips – just little snippets all strung together. But I don’t know where to start so I thought maybe a tutorial for beginners. Not so much apps (but maybe some of those, too) but mainly what to include and just how to do it. The concept and story of a video, if that makes sense.
PLEASE DONT STOP POSTING DIYS OR RECIPES THEYRE THE REASON I LOVE THIS BLOG
I have loved your style throughout the years (and still do!) and would love to see a photo montage of your individual evolved style throughout the years. Fun trip down memory lane, no?
I apologize Elsie, Emma, and the amazing ABM team. I’m one of those reades that are behind in posts. I like to still go through each one so I’ve just read this one and wanted to reply. I LOVE this blog. I am not a DIY person (have tried and never comes out good for me. You know the girl in class that can’t glue Popsicle sticks together properly for a frame? Yah, that’s me). I’m ok with this but I love and am always inspired by your DIY projects. They make me smile, give me good ideas for our home, and my husband is great with his hands so if anything we want to do on the house I would ask him. We’ve just had a hard medical year so our focus has been different. But I smile each day with your posts. I love the sister blog posts. My sister and I are also very close and yet live so far away (I’m in Australia and she’s in St Louis). And the recipes…ok love love love. I can’t cook…yet, just not a skill I have but am working on but I love to bake and am getting better and better at it. I love the bright colors, the positive vibe, the happy mail (I am a card person. Not much makes me happier than when I send a card to someone to make them smile, encourage them, or celebrate knowing they will walk to their mail box and get a cute, fun, funny, or beautiful card), that you are giving back through a HFH house….wow…love it, and finally I love Springfirld as lived there while going through university and even a summer. Such a great larger small town. I just wanted you all to know how much I love your blog and think you do a fantastic job. Also, as you allow us to get to know you all we find ourselves caring like friends. So…I’m glad to hear that you’re cutting down the number of posts each day so you don’t burn out. You are part of what makes each of us brighter, happier, more giving people. Many blessings!! Christina
LOVE LOVE ABM! So inspiring. The whole gang is adorable and dreamy 🙂
The reason I come back to ABM is the DIY posts and the amazing photography and what I want in 2015 are more posts on how to style yourself and lifestyle posts!
and just btw, Im a very regular follower of ABM (for years) all the way from Pakistan! (You guys probably wont even know where Pakistan is on the map!) See, ABM has followers from all over the globe!
I’d love for you to bring back the make-over feature from people in your daily life!
Hi, team ABM. Happy New Year! I live in NZ and love your blog and have probably been following for around two years. The first year I read religiously every morning while eating breakfast. Since then your team’s presence expanded, my life got extremely busy and stressful and I really did find it hard to keep up. So I think the lighter schedule is great. I would love to see more personal and original content on your instagram feed. It is cool seeing images from other readers but you no longer have a personal stamp on there. You could do more of your Casual Friday style images on there to see what everyone is up to day to day? I loved the cocktail video you made. I know you might not have enjoyed the process so much but I love seeing you on video and your accents are adorable. Personally I find the recipes lovely to look at because as other readers have mentioned the photography is amazing, but a lot of the unusual American ingredients are not available here. What the frick is half and half? This is really turning into an essay! I will wrap up… I would love to see entertaining posts, more fashion, more decor but not necessarily DIY, videos, and as the previous comment mentions babies. Thanks so much!
I would love to see more projects to do with the kids! Thanks!
I think its so great that you guys are actually taking the time to set goals for your blog based on the feedback from your readers!
Let me first say that I love ABM! I have been a fan of ABM since the time when it was only Elsie’s blog. That being said, one thing that does slightly disappoint me is the reduction of posts by Elsie this past year. I think the ABM team posts a lot of great material but I feel that it is now mostly dominated by Emma and Laura. It would be nice to see a more balanced distribution of authors.
Also, I for one think that there is TOO much material to post. That could be the reason why readers may not follow through with doing some of the DIYs and recipes. It’s too overwhelming and since so much is popping up it’s easy to forgot about a project that you were excited about.
I hope you don’t think that I’m trying to be negative here. I am just giving my honest opinion. Like I said, I have been a long time reader of ABM and plan to continue. I look forward to see what the ABM team has planned. Happy new year!
I love this blog and have been following ABM since as long as I can remember. Very inspiring and you all have such a great team. I’ve noticed that you post twice a day instead of three times a day which I understand it eases up a bit of the workload but now I’m finding myself wanting MORE. I’m used to popping on here every once in a while throughout the day and usually finding a new post every time. ”The more you get, the more you want… right?”. But now I keep finding the same post every time… (insert sad face). Again, I understand why. But, if there was a way to add more content of some sort it would be fantastic. I hope this blog still lives on for a very long time.
Thanks for letting us share our opinions. You guys are amazing.
I’ve also never had chance to make anything! That will probably change when I have a home of my own…
But I love reading all the same, you guys are all so inspiring and your creativity and passion is just so uplifting. I just love seeing what you’re all up to!
Best wishes for 2015.
Happy 2015!! Have a wonderful year. thank you for all that you do and all that you share with us!
I’d love to be able to see only feedback from people who have made/done/cooked whatever is being described for tips on their experience. It’s great to see people excited about projects, but not terribly useful to me if I’m trying to make it.
totally understand you need to grow, change, and still feel inspired about what you do—but i do miss some of the ‘old school’ type posts.
-elsie’s cute vintage styles and outfits
-cozy crafts you can do on a rainy day (loved the crochet tutorial post from 2014).
-jeremy guest posts. enjoyed his musings on music, his studio space, latest projects.
-the general ‘more personal’ style the blog had a few years ago
-general lifestyle photos that weren’t necessarily ‘perfect’, but showed your point of view
just a couple of thoughts 🙂
To expand on what an earlier commenter said about the quality of your DIY projects. It’s easy when it’s your job to DIY to make something that will only last for a short time. But as a person that works outside my home, when I make something, I want it to last for a long time. I think you could do less DIY projects, but focus on making higher quality projects.
Another thought might be to do DIY fails/disasters. Showing projects that didn’t go the way you thought and how you would/did change them to work.
I’m happy to say I’ve made a DIY or two from ABM (even with two kiddos under the age of two at the time!). I would love love to see more things for kids/toddlers/babies/mamas because, even though I might drool over almost everything posted here, I’m most likely to actually make something if my littles will enjoy it, too. 🙂 Oh and anything on how to live in/organize/decorate my tiny apartment would be much appreciated! 😀
I love the aesthetic shared on ABM. I love the way things look and the stories you tell. I just love y’all. A total ABM cheerleader over here.
I love ABM and come back to it because it’s such a happy, inspiring corner of the internet. I would love to see more home decoration posts, but not just like painting walls kind, like, how to create a homely, personal space and make it look cool. something like “how to make a cool centre piece for a coffee table” stuff like that 🙂
Hope you all have a great 2015. I am entering the blogging world myself and super excited about it.
Belated happy new yeah to all of you 🙂
I am very excited about the new plans and really looking forward to each inspiring idea and heart-warming post of the ABM Family.
I do loving your diy projects but it is often difficult to organize the material here in Germany. We have alternatives, of course, but sometimes I prefer your used items (especially table legs) and then I have to worry about long delivery times and expensive shipping costs. I know that you cannot take everytime any country of your readers into consideration, but perhaps sometimes.. Or maybe your crew find another innovative way to become more internationally at that. For example by opening an own “table leg and knick-knacks” (online) (pop-up) store in each reader-country 🙂
In any case, thank you very much for your fabulous work and keep it up with fun!
Lots of love from Hamburg, Germany, Krissi