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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Coming soon... (blog changes & why)


Over the past few days, I've given a lot of thought to what I want from my blog and what I don't. THE-LOUDMOUTH.COM was meant to be about music, movies, food and fashion at the beginning. Then I started incorporating more photography while experimenting with my camera, hosting blog events and interviews, giving you a home tour and sneaking in tidbits about my personal life! It got to the point where I really didn't know what I was doing anymore. What was my blog truly about? What was the focus? It was too much -- I had to narrow it down.


I don't want to overwhelm or confuse you, and I certainly don't want to feel that way myself. I've decided to organize my blog into three distinct categories that include the things I love most! Here's what you'll now see on the blog.

+ LOUDMOUTH LUNCH: Recipes, restaurants, all things food-related!

+ LOUDMOUTH LOUNGE: Home tour & decor!

+ LOUDMOUTH LOOK: Outfit posts!


+ I will still have monthly blogger interviews and seasonal lookbooks, with other fun posts in between.

+ I will no longer have ads, affiliates, or Google Friend Connect on my sidebar within the next couple months. (See my recent thoughts about monetization here.)

+ I never have, and still won't do posts regarding fitness and exercise, makeup tutorials, politics or religion.


I want to make over my blog from the inside-out. Once these changes have been implemented I plan on creating a brand-new layout and look! I'm really excited for what's to come... the most important thing is that I'll be putting my passions first.

25 comments:

  1. Congrats on the decision for a makeover! I just started following you a week ago, so this change will be like a new blog too me! Good luck!

    Shasie
    Live Life in Style

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  2. Great move! I like your new categories. Really cute names.

    Why not google friend connect though? I don't like the way the widget looks, but I can't figure out how to make a link out of it so I don't have to look at the fugly thing on my sidebar. The problem is some people really like using it to add the blog to google reader.

    Definitely need to figure that whole part of google out.

    Looking forward to seeing the changes!
    Love,
    Heather
    http://thestyleconfessions.com/

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  3. What an exciting announcement. It sounds fabulous and I can't wait to see it all come together!! Yay, sending big bloggy hugs to you. xx veronika

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  4. I think I am super excited for you!!! I think you have a great plan here.

    Can't wait to see the process unfold!

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  5. Good for you! I think it's easy in the beginning to feel like your blog has sort of sprouted a mind of its own. In just the year I've had mine it's gone from a visual inspiration blog to a text-centric blog...it happens a lot that I feel like I have to rein it all in and re-acquaint myself with what it's become and where I want it to go. It's good, I think, because it means growth.

    I've very excited about the changes! And if you still want to keep Google Friend Connect without the widget I think I can help - there is a way to link it and after I figured that out I made the Follow button into an image. People have followed with it since I do that, but I think it also cut down on the people who are just following for the sake of getting their picture/link on as many blogs as possible.

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  6. I love the new focus- yeah personal blogging can be a bit all over the place, I think your picks are choice I think you'll do nicely.

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  7. that sounds fabby! great category names!

    I also think the google friend connect is horrible looking, so if anyone cracks how to change the appeance of it but still let people subscribe that way, I would LOVE to know! I must admit I find it the easiest way to subscribe to blogs, and I like that it is public, so the person I'm following knows who I am.

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  8. I think focusing your blog is such a good move for you. I also think you do something different being so involved with food as well as fashion which I'd say in some places is a bit taboo but i love your controversy that's what makes you stellar.

    looks like your finding your niche well <3

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  9. Good for you! I think it's a great idea to refocus. I just read your reasons for no more affiliates and I am starting to agree. I thought affiliation would do more for me, but really it hasn't. I look forward to all of what you have to come!

    xoxo
    Cyrillynn

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  10. I'm excited to see the end product of the redo! It's always a good thing to reevaluate goals ans restructure things to be more in line with them.

    xoxo ~ Courtney
    http://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

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  11. Can't wait to see it! I love blog changes, they are always so exciting.

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  12. I must say even though I have a fashion blog, I read several food blogs and LOVE it! I can't wait to check out your take on food & restaurants, etc. Loving the categories, and cannot wait to welcome the new look! -xxoo
    Ladyofashion Madison

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  13. Ohhh exciting! I love it. I think that's a great way to organize things and can't wait to see the end-product.

    I understand why you are going to get rid of your ads, but I also wonder about Google Friend Connect? I've noticed that most people who sign up that way on my site actually are (usually) regular readers/commentors. I don't like the way it looks either, but I just view it as another option for people to follow.

    May I ask why you are planning to get rid of it? Have you had a bad experience with it?

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  14. Can't wait to see the new and improved blog!

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  15. I think it's great to re-think and revamp. It's so easy to get side-tracked, I know from personal experience. In the end, as long as you feel clear, that's all that really matters and your readers will happily follow. Looking forward to your changes!
    xo Mary Jo

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  16. The new and improved The Loudmouth sounds like a good idea :) Good luck!

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  17. Thanks for the comments of love and support everyone! I truly appreciate it. :)

    Lots of people asked about my reasons for removing Google Friend Connect, so I'll do my best to explain. I totally don't mind if other people have the widget on their blog -- it's just my personal opinion -- so I don't want anyone to take offense!

    I've been thinking about getting rid of it for awhile but it was a conversation I had with a couple other bloggers the other day (more about that later...) which made the final decision for me. Here are my reasons:

    a) I don't like that it's not anonymous. I like that with Bloglovin' I can't tell who is following me and who isn't. I don't judge anyone based on that (it's their choice to follow me or not) but I don't want other people to get offended when I stop following them and my photo is no longer there!

    b) I feel like it's a very competitive thing because the amount of followers is right here for all to see. As much as I've tried not to and as much as I know I shouldn't, it is really easy for me to base my blogger status on my amount of followers. (It's interesting, though, that I tend to get as many comments on my entries as bloggers with hundreds more followers than me...!)

    c) I feel like Google Friend Connect is just another item for readers to judge my blog based upon. If someone shows up and sees that I have 150 followers instead of 1500 it may be less appealing. I would rather them not know and therefore not be pulled in by conformity and wanting to jump on the bandwagon of my blog... :)

    I have always defended my use of GFC because I know that some blog readers do prefer to use that function, but I don't think it's worth the trouble of keeping it. Plenty of bloggers don't have the option of GFC and they are doing more than fine! I may approach Casee about coming up with a way to simply have a link to click, but I haven't decided yet. For now, I would rather remove it and we'll just see how things go!

    I hope this helps explain my opinion a little more and if you want to discuss it further, please feel free to comment! :)

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  18. Good luck with the changes Steph, I'm excited to see where your blog goes.

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  19. I definitely understand your reasoning, Steph, and that was actually what made me remove the widget for a few months. It is possible to follow a blog with Google even without the widget - just chose the right option from the RSS link - so I didn't feel like I was cutting anyone off. But I do know how dependent I was on it when I first started blogging and how my reading time on other blogs would suffer when I thought I had to visit their blog manually to see updates. So I eventually decided to go with the middle of the road and have the link available just in case.

    I always felt a little dictated to by the numbers on the widget and I just can't help it, I did feel like others judged their decision to follow based on the number (in both aspects; if they could see that I didn't have thousands of followers they figured I'd be a shoe-in for the follow-me-and-I'll-follow-you-back routine). I even tried making them follower number font the same color as the background but I feel like whenever I see that on other blogs it's just an open invitation to highlight the text and see what they're hiding.

    Silly that all these little bits of politics can make us do extra work, isn't it?

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  20. You go girl! I could use a blog makeover too! I can not wait to see how the new layout and look goes!

    XX!
    YvonnaLivianna
    a-toutlemonde.blogspot.com

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  21. I think it's a wonderful idea to zero in on a more defined focus. My blog might need a makeover as well :) can't wait to see the changes.

    A
    Circle of Design Fashion Illustration

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  22. My blog started out as just a clean eating blog for my recipes, but as I continue on, it just seemed too impersonal and I've been thinking about how to organize it better so that I can put more of "me" into it. I like your idea of different categories and I may have to look into something like that at some point. Your blog is awesome, however you make it.

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  23. I look forward to discussing this with you.. I really hope to start a more strict schedule for my blog. That isn't even the proper way to phrase it, though I lack the words.

    I want more order.

    xo

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  24. Bless you for not doing exercise posts.

    I am totally loving seing you transform your blog, and I find it so interesting learning about why you are making the choices you make. I am always looking at my blog too, trying to figure out how to make it better. The only thing is my header, which is driving me bonkers because I can`t decide how I want it. Ah, the big things in life. As for the google friend, I have been trying to figure out how to not have the number of followers showing. I am used to having it there, and I don`t mind giving people that option too if they want to follow my blog, but I am thinking of maybe doing what Casee did. It is so interesting this process of becoming centered as a blogger. It is travelling from believing that it is all about numbers to rekognizing that content is king. As you pointed out, the community around a blog has nothing to do with amount of followers, it is to do with connection, with heart. I love you girlfriend, you know I do. xx

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