I guess technically I should say a look back at the second half of 2008 since I only started this blog mid-June, but you get the idea.
I'm still amazed at all that has happened since then and ever so thankful that Mandi talked me into starting a blog with her. (BTW, check out her new venture, OrganizingYourWay.net!) I never imagined that what I started as a fun creative outlet on a whim could have developed into this site!
I thought I'd just take a moment to share some of my favorite posts from the past 6 months, as well as some goals I have for 2009 and some exciting things that are on the horizon.
:: Top 5 Favorite Posts
- Redbox 101: Your Guide to Renting Free and Cheap DVDs – Redbox is one of my favorite resources for cheap or even FREE entertainment, and this guide details everything you need to know about how to use those codes I post every Monday. I was even lucky enough to be able to provide my readers with 5 exclusive Elevenmoms Redbox codes!
- Make Your Own Clorox Anywhere Recipe – I love this stuff, but I didn't love the price, so I worked out a comparable recipe!
- Frugal Feeding Tips for Babies and Toddlers – This is my very first vlog! In it I share some creative ways I've learned to save money on feeding my kids.
- All About ALL YOU Magazine – I filled you in on all the reasons why I love this fabulous magazine, and I had the great pleasure of meeting with two of the editors during my trip to Walmart headquarters in Bentonville. If you're an ALL YOU fan as well, be sure to check out how you can get a 2-year ALL YOU subscription for just $19.95!
- Troubled Times Ahead: How to Survive a Job Loss or Layoff – I was hesitant to share the news of my husband's recent layoff because I want Deal Seeking Mom to be a positive space; however, many of you assured me that ultimately my post was positive because I offered useful tips for others facing the same situation. Thank you so much for your support!
:: My 2009 Goals for Deal Seeking Mom
- Have a better balance of posts – I enjoy posting the deals, but frequently the meatier stuff gets squeezed out. I'd like to do a better job of incorporating real articles that will be of value to my readers. If there's a topic you'd like me to cover, I'm all ears! I know one that I promised and I'm frequently asked about is how to start a blog, so that is definitely on my agenda.
- Vlog more often – I enjoy vlogging, but I'm such a perfectionist that I feel like I have to keep redoing and editing them until they're just right. I'm trying to get in the mindset that it's okay to show my flaws a little, because we all have them, so look for those more regularly in the coming months.
- Learn more about SEO – SEO is search engine optimization and is basically tips that help your site rank higher in online searches. I'm hoping to learn more not only to help Deal Seeking Mom but to be able to pass some of the knowledge on to you all.
- Tweak the organization a little – I want all of my readers to be able to find the information I provide easily, so I'm going to work on the navigation of the site a little. There's also the possibility of a redesign in a few months, but I'll take it one step at a time here.
- Interact more with readers – I've been a little hit or miss on this front. I'd love to be able to follow back and comment back on all of your blogs, but that would take a significant amount of time every day. But I do think that there's room for improvement here.
:: New Things on the Horizon
- The Elevenmoms will have a channel on Blog Talk Radio, and I'm so excited to be teaming up with Mercedes of Common Sense with Money on a show! I don't have much in the way of details just yet, but we're pretty certain that it will be for 30 minutes on Thursday afternoons at 3:00 EST. More to come on this one!
- I've taken on the position of co-editor of the Financial Bliss channel on Blissfully Domestic. If you're interested in writing for Financial Bliss, please contact me at tara (at) blissfullydomestic (dot) com for details!
- I'm speaking at BlissDom! If you have chance to attend this event, I believe it will be well worth your while. I'm really looking forward to meeting so many people that I've only talked to online previously. There's still time for you to register!
- I'm also scheduled to attend South by Southwest and BlogWorld with the Elevenmoms. I'm hoping to squeeze in BlogHer as well, but I may have to look for sponsorship on my own. Either way this is going to be a busy year! I'm up for the challenge, and hopefully I'll bring something back from each event that will be useful for my readers as well.
I'm looking forward to continuing on this blogging journey and whatever new opportunities may come my way, and I'm thankful to have so many fabulous readers along for the ride.
May 2009 be a healthy and fruitful year for us all!