Saturday, February 20, 2021

Blog Updates & Re-Branding

Well, I think it's time that I let you in on a few of the changes I'm planning on making around here.  I've hinted at them for a while now, but it really is time that I start to focus more on those goals.  There are a lot of behind the scenes projects that I'd like to get working on if I'm going to continue on this blogging adventure.  

Other than this paragraph, I've actually had the rest of this post typed up for months and I've held off on posting it since I wasn't ready to dive in.  But after helping Elissa with her blog the past few weeks, I suddenly find myself chomping at the bit to get redesigning and updating mine.  Now that I'm excited about this big undertaking, I'm ready to officially jump in to this project.  After writing and posting 775 blog posts, it's time for blog that's more personalized to my style... so here we go!

First of all, as I've mentioned before, I'm planning on changing the name of my blog and to do a re-branding.  I started this blog wanting to talk about my experiences and how Disney has impacted it.  However, over the past 5 years, I've also included posts on Harry Potter, the San Jose Sharks, the New England Patriots and other aspects of my life.  I always feel a tad guilty when I write those posts... as if no one will care or want to read them since they aren't necessarily Disney related.

Thus, I've decided to focus on myself as my "brand" and theme.  Obviously, Disney is still the main entity impacting my life.  All of the rooms in our house are Disney themed in some way.  Eliot and I are running a mouse ear business, and I'm home doing that full time.  We also run his business where we sell Disney inspired desk accessories, soaps and more.  We're also opening two more magically inspired businesses later this year.  The names we've picked out for our future puppies are mostly Disney themed.  I'm even trying to incorporate Disney into baby names we like.  
Obviously, we go to the parks pretty often- other than during our current pandemic situation.  So in reality, the Disney posts aren't going anywhere.  I'll just continue to post a few non-Disney posts every once in a while- as I have been doing anyways.

Plus, after watching and learning while a few other blogs have gone through their re-branding, I've decided that including the word "Disney" in my name isn't something that I'm comfortable with anymore.  I don't want to confuse people.  I'm not affiliated with Disney and I don't want to get into trouble for including the word in my blog name.  So, very soon I will be updating my blog, Facebook and Instagram accounts to reflect this new name and new branding.  (Don't worry, I'll give you all advance notice!)

Along those lines, I also want to update my blog layout.  When I first started this blog, I used templates already set up for me by Blogger- mainly because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  I'm still not as blog tech-savvy as I'd like to be, but I'm willing to take more chances now.  I'd really like to make my blog more reflective of my personal design style.  Therefore, I'll be updating my blog logo, layout and themes as part of my re-branding.  (The blurry outdoor scene has run it's course after almost 8 years...)

I've also done some research on adding tabs and other pages from the main page.  I'm really hoping that this will make it easier to navigate my blog.  I'd love to have all of my DIY posts in one section and all of my travel recap posts on another.  I think that will make it a lot more user friendly as I move forward.

Finally, something that I've been meaning to do for a long time now is to set up some affiliate marketing.  For those of you who don't know, affiliate marketing is how a lot of bloggers make income from their blogs.  Businesses partner with bloggers or social media influencers (or their "affiliates") and they reward their affiliates when visitors click the link and are brought to their website.  In most cases, an affiliate will make a small percentage when the visitors make a purchase from the website.  Many companies use affiliate marketing such as Amazon, Home Depot, Shop Disney and Hot Topic.

This blog has never been a monetary stream for me.  It never even crossed my mind to start a blog to make money when I first started it.  I started blogging about 8 months after Eliot and I got married.  We'd moved to Maine and I wasn't working anywhere since Eliot still didn't have his driver's license.  After all the hours I had spent planning our wedding, I found myself unemployed with nothing to do during the day while Eliot was at work.  So, I decided to start a blog and My Disney Life was born.

In fact, as of right now, I've never made a penny off of it unless a reader has seen one of the products from Happily Ever Hatter or from Eliot's Snowblade Creations shop and bought something through those.  All of the ads on the side are either from my own companies or for my friends who I don't charge for the ad space.  Up to this point, all of the products I've linked to are just that- web links.  They don't give me any portion of the sales if you buy the item I'm talking about, or anything else on their website.  If I change over to affiliate marketing, I can use my own links so I can collect a small amount off purchases made using those links.

I've got a list of over 20 companies that offer affiliate marketing that I've collected over the past five years.  (Yes, that's how long I've been considering doing this.)  I have decided that I need to take the time to start applying for a few of these programs so I can start using them on my blog.  Of course, I will be making all of my readers aware if I'm including an affiliate link in a post.  (I hate when other websites don't do that.)

And let's face it... this is long overdue.  With all of the time it takes to write some of these posts, I really should consider my time worth making money through this, even if it's only a small amount.  Everything helps.  They say that "time is money" and that's especially true when you're self-employed.  My time literally is money and time spent on here is time that I'm not working on products or samples for our businesses.  I'm hoping that by having affiliate marketing on here, I'll be able to make a small amount of money to help sustain the time it takes to devote to my blog.

That's a brief overview of everything that's going on behind the scenes.  Overall, I think all of these changes will finally keep my blog feeling fresh, and it will give me another reason to continue doing it- besides the fact that I enjoy it.  With the launches of two more businesses quickly approaching, my time is extremely limited and I need to make sure that I'm doing everything I can to keep myself afloat while being self-employed. 

So, those are the big changes that will be going on around here over the next few months!  Please bear with me as I'm going through these growing pains.  I'm really confident that by the end of this, I'll finally have my blog where I want to be!  °o°

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