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Three Big Blogging Changes I’m Making for 2018

Okay, y’all… I was kind of embarrassed to be writing this post. Because it flies in the face of pretty much my entire post about blogging changes that I wrote at the beginning of 2017.

But sometimes, you think something is a great idea, you try it for a year, and you decide that it just doesn’t.work.at.all. And then you decide to take back everything you had committed to and try something else.

That’s exactly what I’m doing. And I’m not going to apologize for it.

Honestly, I’m really glad that I tried the one-year experiment of only blogging about money-related topics (except for my weekly Sunday posts). It was clarifying for me.

When I started 2017, I had envisioned that I was going to start multiple blogs and have those other platforms to share what was on my heart and share the many eclectic topics I am passionate about.

But then, we launched and I realized how much work it was to run two blogs. I thought maybe it would get easier after a few months, so I just pushed back the launch of CrystalPaine.com. After a few months, I still knew deep down in my heart that I just didn’t have the desire or capacity to run more than two blogs.

(For those of you who aren’t bloggers, let me just say that it takes a LOT of work to run each site — especially when there are email newsletters and social media and strategy and technical things involved. It’s a lot more than just posting a post each week. There are many, many behind-the-scenes things involved in running a site and having multiple sites makes things much more complex — especially when it comes to technology and plug-ins and strategy!)

I loved building YourBloggingMentor.com from scratch and I wanted to keep focusing on that, overseeing December212012.info. It felt right to just have the two sites and I fell into a good rhythm with writing posts and overseeing projects. And my team found a great rhythm, too, and things were really humming along.

Deep down, however, I really missed sharing inspirational posts/real-life posts/peek into our life type of posts, talking more about books I was reading, posting about organizational projects, and other topics that I’m really passionate about. I felt like I had all of these posts I wanted to write and things I wanted to share and I had no place to put them.

As 2017 started to wind down, I began toying with the idea of bringing those types of posts back here on December212012.info. And around that same time, multiple people mentioned to me how much they missed those types of posts.

And I began to realize that it’d be okay to end my year-long blogging experiment and bring back so many of those types of posts here that many of you love so much and the ones I love to write! It would mean a little bit more time and effort for me — but MUCH less time and effort than it would be to start a third blog to share those types of posts.

In addition, I realized that I have good breathing room in my life right now and a really flexible schedule work-wise… which means I’m in the space to be able to devote to writing more posts. Plus, writing inspirational and practical blog posts is incredibly life-giving for me!

So, with that back story, here’s how the blog is changing in 2018:

1. I’ll Be Blogging More & Talking About Non-Money-Saving Topics

While I’m still passionate as ever about saving money and being wise financially, I felt so restricted to only be talking about money-related topics. And I know that many of you used to come here for my intentional life type posts and real-life posts more than anything.

So beginning this week (you may have noticed?), I’m bringing back the types of posts I used to share — things I’m learning, what I’m trying, what I’m cooking, what I’m organizing, what I’m reading, things I’m thinking about, goals I’m working on, and so on.

I’m giving myself permission to see this as my blog again and not a niche blog that is only focused on money topics. Which gives me free reign to blog on whatever topics I feel would inspire or encourage or motivate you. Or that I just want to write about! 🙂

Don’t worry, my team will still be sharing the great deals and freebies and printables you’re used to! We’ll just be adding in a lot more of my voice here! In fact, I’ll be writing a content piece almost every day. You can also expect to get a lot more of a look into my life — not just money-saving or money-related topics!

2. I’m Experimenting with Themed Days

I’m going to try something to see how it works… I can’t promise that I’ll stick with this long term, but I’m going to stick with it for at least 3 months and see how it goes. I think it will work, but I just don’t want to box myself in if I end up deciding this just doesn’t work. 🙂

I’m planning to try having themed days, where I post on a specific topic each day of the week. This will allow there to be a good mix of topics and variety here, but it will help me stay more organized in my post planning (at least that’s my hope!).

Here’s my plan for what I’ll be posting on:

  • Sundays — A Peek Into Our Week Posts: These will be the Sunday posts that you are used to, only these will be more focused on showing pictures of what we did the past week and giving you a peek into our life and activities from the past week + what I’ve been pondering/thinking about.
  • Mondays — Book-Related Posts: So many of you have requested that I bring back my book lists and book reviews, so here you go! I’ll be sharing all things book-ish on Mondays. From what I’m reading, our read alouds, and honest book reviews, to talking about my progress on my goal of reading 100 non-self-help books. 
  • Tuesday — Organizing-Related Posts: I’ll be sharing organizational projects in our house or ways that I’m organizing my life/business/home, things that are saving my sanity, possibly time management tips or ideas I’m experimenting with.
  • Thursday — Cooking-Related Posts: In this posts, I’ll talk about what I’m cooking/baking, share recipes we’ve loved, share kitchen tips,share kitchen flops, or give you a peek into freezing cooking I’m doing.
  • Friday — Money-Related Posts: On Fridays, we’ll be exploring money-saving ideas, money-related ideas, ways our family is saving money, and ways to make money or get into a better financial situations.

3. I’m Taking Wednesdays Off

Did you notice that I skipped Wednesday in my list of Themed Days above? That was intentional!

In my Word of the Year post, I talked about how one of the things I’m going to do in the spirit of SLOW is to take Wednesdays off from business/bogging work. I had attempted to do this for a few months in 2017 and it (mostly) worked. But I hadn’t made it a public goal, so I struggled to stick with it.

Since I typically work a half-day on Saturdays and Sundays are for church, volunteering, and Community Group, I thought it would be fantastic to have a day in the middle of the week where I’m offline and have a SLOW day.

The idea of a SLOW Day first originated from Monica who blogs at . She often posts about their Slow Days and I’ve always wanted to do something similar in my own life.

So we moved some things around in my schedule and in my work schedule and my goal is to be completely offline all day every Wednesday. I probably won’t do it perfectly every single week, but that’s what I’m aiming for. 🙂

This will give me time to slow down, breathe, read, spend more time with Jesse, invest in our local community (Wednesday mornings are when I co-lead a small Discipleship Group at our church), and just enjoy a more relaxed pace with the kids in the mornings and evenings since my day is almost entirely clear.

I think it’s going to be a good change. And something that will be great for my heart and soul!

So I won’t be blogging on here on Wednesdays, but you’ll be in good hands with my team and they’ll still be posting deals and sometimes sharing a post that I’ve pre-scheduled. My hope is that by taking Wednesdays off, I’ll be even more inspired and fresh on the other days to share great posts with you, share on Instagram, and share on Facebook Live!

What Would You Love for Me to Write About?

There you have it! My three big blogging changes for 2018.I’d love to hear from you if you have any special requests of types of posts you’d especially like to see me share or write or any topics you’d love for me to tackle. I always welcome your suggestions!

I have been working on a surprise project the past 2 months and finally get to tell you about it! I’m launching a live group coaching in January called  where I’ll be walking you through some life-changing principles to help you live a much more productive and fulfilled life.

It’s designed for you if you…

  • Wish you could change your life, but don’t where to start
  • Hope to find a way to become more productive and get more done, but feel overwhelmed by the thought of taking yet another productivity course or reading yet another book on time management.
  • Want to make 2018 the year that you actually stop wishing and hoping and planning and start DOING.

Doors will open for a few days only beginning January 1, 2018. If you are interested, you’ll want to  because you’ll be the first to know when it’s available and you’ll also get access to my brand-new printable called 6 Ways to Start your New Year Well.

 — I can’t wait to have you join me for the live coaching!

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161 Comments

  • Jen says:

    Hi there! I’d love to see something about/for mommas in life transition. I’ve been following you since you had toddlers (I did, too!) and life is different for us both now. I’m beginning to work a bit outside the home, but it is a huge change from being 100% SAHM, and I have to confess i have grasped at straws some. Your blog was inspirational to me, as we scrimped and saved so I could be home with our kids full time. Returning to a profession after years of staying home with my babies (who are big kids now!) has exposed some insecurities in me and demanded some lifestyle changes. I’m guessing I’m not the only reader feeling this way. Love your blog!

  • Christine says:

    I’m thrilled you are going to put personal back into the blog along with money-related things. I love the book reviews and the different projects you talk about. You are very relatable and I am glad you will take Wednesdays off. 🙂

  • Marisa says:

    I’m so excited for you to bring back more personal content! These kinds of posts were what made me want to follow you years ago! I hope to see some homemaking or freezer cooking challenges!

  • Rachel says:

    So glad to see the book posts coming back!!

  • Angie says:

    I personally really enjoy the variety of topics so looking forward to this change. I am interested in learning more about your exercise routine & your walk with God (you personally as well as how you help your kids). Happy New Year!

  • Lindsey Swinborne says:

    I’m so excited to hear that you’ll be sharing your life here more in 2018. Those are my favorite kinds of posts from you, and I look forward to the Peek posts on Sundays. I have saved lots of money here and been inspired financially, but I love the personal posts most of all. The slow days on Wed. sound wonderful! Topic ideas I’d love to see covered are: Navigating friendships online and social media, parenting teens (advice from parents who’ve gone through it), recipes for family dinners, and how to raise kids with an excellent work ethic.

  • Mireille says:

    Yay! So glad, those are my favorite posts!

  • Debbie says:

    Crystal–I have read your blog for years, since my kids were small. They’re pretty much the exact same ages as your kids. I’m THRILLED you’re going to be bringing your voice back to the blog. I used to check your blog every day, if not several times a day, and realized just recently how I didn’t do that anymore. Thank you for all you do! I can’t wait!

    • Heather says:

      Same here! I used to check in on the blog daily….. and this year it got down to *maybe* weekly at most…… I look forward to you getting back to the other kinds of posts!! They were what made this blog special!

  • Mae says:

    I’m a long time reader of your site and I can say I missed the topics of what you are reading. I have read your recommendations and have enjoyed them. I am looking forward to the book topic next year!

  • Amy M. says:

    I am excited about these changes! Woohoo! 🙂 Glad you are brave enough to experiment and brave enough to make whatever changes make the most sense to you.

    Reading these other comments makes me realize how long I’ve been following your blog now. It was summer 2009 when my twin boys were babies and we were living on one small pastor’s salary that my sister encouraged me to check out your blog so I could learn how to coupon. It’s been so much fun to follow you along the way and get introduced to so many other inspiring, encouraging and thought-provoking ideas, books, recipes, and so on!

  • Amy says:

    Crystal ~ I’ve only discovered you and your blog this past year and have enjoyed it very much. You are authentic and real which makes me more excited to see and read your new format. All the Best and Happy New Year!

  • Angel says:

    Happy and excited for your return to personal posts! Thank you for being willing to put yourself out there. I am currently addicted to Poldark (and happy for it!) thanks to your recommendation 😀

  • Jen says:

    Crystal I’m looking forward to trying your coaching in 2018! I’m so ready for it. I’ve been following along and really enjoy all your content. If you ever come across any Canadian deals would be awsome if you could share them as well. Keep up the great work, your reaching moms everywhere.

  • Leanne says:

    I have been reading both yours and Monica’s blogs for nearly 13 years… that’s crazy! You have both inspired me so much as a mama…and as a follower of Jesus… more importantly, I think you’ve both inspired me to be the person God wants ME to be and your blogs encourage me to do that!!
    Please add in somewhere about beauty and style… both you and Monica are beautiful ladies and I get inspired just to get myself dressed and pulled together when I see you have done it!

  • Angela says:

    Which Journal are you using for these pictures? It looks fantastic!

  • says:

    I’m so excited to hear this! I have always loved how your blog was a one stop shop for me. I don’t have time to read tons of blogs. I love showing up here and reading all the things on your mind. I’m so blessed by you friend.

  • says:

    I first started following your blog when my oldest child was 1 and my husband was underemployed. Then I did all the couponing things and everything else to save money, and your blog was such a service. I still like the money-saving aspects of it, but now I follow your blog primarily for the personal angle. In many ways I feel like your journey in your 30s mirrors my own and I love reading your thoughts on life, mental health, parenting, books, marriage, etc. I’m glad you don’t feel limited to stick with financial topics!

  • Gina Hoffman says:

    SO happy to have you back to posting about your life/goals/books/organizing. These have always been my favorite things to see on your blog! <3

  • says:

    I really really miss the “We Paid Cash” posts. I would love to see more of those again as well as stories about your readers. 🙂 Also, ways that people are making living situations work in small homes. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    • Jo says:

      We are ALWAYS happy to post those — we haven’t had many submitted recently. Maybe I need to do a call out to request more of them!

    • says:

      I, too, would love seeing this. I enjoy reading inspirational stories about overcoming struggles – personally, professionally, spiritually, and financially.

  • LeaDawn Grant says:

    I am excited to see what the new year brings for you and your blog. I would love to hear more about your thoughts and resources for investing in realastate. We are currently renting and saving to buy a home, but our area is fairly expensive, and we are considering buying another home or land in a different area as an investment.

  • Karen says:

    Will you be doing the “We paid cash” testimonials? They always inspired me! Happy New Year!

    • Jo says:

      We always welcome them and publish them when they are submitted. So if you have a story to submit, please do so! We’d love to publish it!

  • says:

    I, too, skip the deals. Like you, I need spend less – even when there are good deals to be had.

  • Robyn says:

    I love at times when you show other bloggers articles. You have given me other opportunities to see other blogs out there that you like. There are so many to choose from. But I am looking for quality, not quantity. I love the finance & the personal articles you do. Would love to see some new recipes like you used to do as well. I have followed you for years and planning on following you many more! Here’s to 2018!

  • Debi Z says:

    Oh my goodness, Crystal! I don’t know what to say except I am SO excited about this! Every. Single. Bit. I love this!!!! I love your heart and it’s just SO encouraging to hear and see God at work in your life!!!! Way to go Sister, God is SO good!

  • Maurika says:

    I’m so excited to hear this!! I’m also glad that you’re taking Wednesdays off. I really look forward to hearing the books you’re reading because I love all your recommendations!!

  • Holly says:

    To be very honest, I missed you. I unfollowed the blog because it seemed only about money, and affiliate links. The personal touch I loved was gone. It seemed very formulaic and all about affiliate links. It felt so impersonal and well not exactly click bait.. but not in the true spirit of you or the blog I used to love.
    I happened to catch your email, and Im glad I did. I will refollow and will definitely enjoy a more personal blog.

  • says:

    YAY!! I love hearing this. I love that you Blog about your life…not just one Niche topic. I’ve missed your other posts a lot. Luckily, I follow you on Instagram and still got the more personal and intentional living posts! Your account is awesome by the way!

  • Elizna says:

    I love it that you are so brave to be honest about what works and what not. It gives me courage to also try systems or whatever out for a while and not to get discouraged if it does not work out, but to simply keep trying.

  • says:

    Hi! I just wanted to say thanks for being so honest about your blogging journey. I’m a new blogger, and your real life tips and truths have helped me so much along this journey. It’s nice to know that even the pros change their minds and direction from time to time! Wishing you the best in 2018. Keep up the good work!

  • M says:

    Best wishes to you in this year, Crystal! Your blog posts of all kinds have enriched and helped my life. Thank you!

    I am interested in all of the daily topics you posted about possibly writing about.

    Honestly, I look at you as a whole person, and I look at your blogs the same way. You are like a friend and mentor to me from afar. I don’t expect your posts on any blog to be boxed into a corner. I come here because I like you as well as the God-given gifts you naturally bring to the table. I think your real life, down-to-earth posts can naturally create doorways to share your expertise. I think they can work together.

    God bless you in the new year in whatever direction you take, even if that changes throughout the year.

  • says:

    Good decisions, Crystal! It’s inspiring to watch you try things and change and openly share the different things you are learning. May God bless you and your family.

  • says:

    I loved reading this! There is so much to running a blog and you nailed it in your description of the fact that it isn’t just one post a week. I totally agree. You go girl!

  • says:

    Yeah! I love that you are doing what your heart tells you is best! May you continue to learn, grow, love, and bless the lives of many! Wishing you the best!

  • says:

    I’m so excited about this Crystal. I truly missed all those other posts. And I always loved your book posts. Thanks for being transparent. And yay to 2018!

  • says:

    I’ve been a reader of your blog for several years now. Initially, your story of your family making it through your husband’s law school years without debt and then later buying a home for cash that caught my attention. Your money saving ideas and living debt free was very inspirational. While we aren’t debt free, reading inspirational stories like yours and the tips and deals are helpful. I liked your blog, but was an inconsistent reader. HOWEVER, it was when you started posting more personal things that I became an all the time faithful reader. You became a real and whole person to me and I never miss a new post. I find that I personally enjoy blogs less that deal with just one aspect of life. I enjoy that you’re a Christian, a parent, you make me wanna be a semi-minimalist, and love your book recommendations. I have been following your more personal type posts on Instagram. I had blogged once before and it was when you offered your course last year that I started blogging again. Although I still don’t yet know what I’m doing, I find that I can’t be interested in blogging about just one thing for the same reason. I’m glad you’re going to blog about all your interests and I look forward to reading them 🙂

  • says:

    So glad you are bringing back these types of posts, please keep posting links to them in your newsletters, I don’t typically get to check your blog all the time, but I do read your newsletters. In my crazy inbox, they are one of the first I read.

  • Jessica says:

    Excited for the changes to the blog! I realized recently that this past year I’ve primarily followed you on rather than your blog. I thought it was because I was just on more, but now I’m thinking it was because that was where you posted more often with a personal touch.

  • says:

    That’s awesome. It did feel like something was missing here! I actually didn’t visit as much last year, since I don’t really follow all the coupon stuff. I’m learning to stick to a budget and Praise the Lord I hadn’t been spending too much. Still working on it though… 🙂
    I can’t even imagine what you have on your plate with the blogs. I just started mine and I already feel I am running everywhere and not getting anything done. I need to regroup…and organize my day better! I already have some ideas.

    I love the idea with themed days. I think it all work for more than the 3 months you gave it. 😉

    And I missed you books reviews… 🙂

    Welcome back!!! 🙂

  • Edwena says:

    I am very happy to hear about the changes. I’ve missed your voice here.

  • says:

    Love the changes! Look forward to reading!

  • says:

    Hi Crystal, I know you used to have an ereadergirl blog and occasional posts with eBook freebies, any way you could bring those back? I get daily emails from Bookbub and ebookfreebies but it always seemed like the books you had listed I had never seen offered elsewhere! Happy you are going to post more personal posts, I have missed them. Happy New Year!

  • Sarah says:

    So happy to hear about the coming changes! I had mostly stopped checking in with the blog because the personal, cooking, cleaning, organization, book, etc…posts were what I came for. You are an inspiration and your voice on the blog was definitely missed by many. Welcome back! 🙂

  • Josie says:

    What type of planner are you using? The one on this post looks like something I’d love to have.

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