Working on Branding Me for a Change

When I started this blog 6 years ago, it was because I wanted a place to just write. I mean, check out my very first post. Yeah… yikes! There are no pictures (which I most enjoy now) and it was all about how we made our family work on a pretty meager single income. Now? Now THIS BLOG keeps us fed, sheltered, and clothed. Who would have thought! I most definitely didn’t.

In fact, on a recent trip to Tillamook, Oregon, another blogger introduced herself to me. She then said, “Oh… you’re 7 on a Shoestring!

Yes, that’s me? (said with complete bewilderment because of how she said it)

She then proceeded to tell me how when she moved into her current neighborhood, the families around her were working on a project. (I never thought to ask what it was). Anyways, she said that as they all began to talk, they told her they got the idea from a blog. My blog!

Yay! I am so excited to know I inspired an entire neighborhood to do something.

But I found it even crazy when she said she told them she would be meeting me and they got excited. What? Why?

Celebrity status

And that is only one story like this. In fact, last month Colby and I were at a local media event together. We were finally able to meet a rep we had worked with for months and both completely adore. After spending the morning with her, she told us that, to her, we were like Toby Keith and Faith Hill (yes, I realize they are not a couple… but they are both celebrities that represent her brand). Oh my goodness!

No way are we at that kind of celebrity level. Never will be.

We have even been told other bloggers that know us get asked questions about us. Or they are told to ask us questions for other people. That when they mention being friends with us people get excited and want to know everything. Again, why? I promise we are normal ol’ people. We just happen to share our lives with a couple thousand people online. I am an open book.

All of this to come back around and say that you may seem some changes. I have been working with different layouts. New colors. Trying to focus more on the words and pictures. The stories. Sometimes I feel like everything else may take away from that. I really wish I could do without the ads. The sponsored posts. But, well, like I said… this blog pays our bills. So, hopefully I can manage to somehow intertwine the words, the stories, the pictures, and the money all into one place.

Oh, most importantly… the name. Although I LOVE “7 on a Shoestring” I feel as though we have grown out of it in a few ways:

  1. We are pretty much a family of 7. My oldest daughter was engaged recently and her fiance has been part of our family for over 3 years now.
  2. Although we still live paycheck to paycheck, our lifestyle has changed a bit with the blog opportunities.
  3. On the marketing side, the “shoestring” name often yields me financial articles and coupon or deals opps. I do not write about either.
  4. I want to brand ME. In terms of my long-term goals, I want to be able to do more as myself, rather than “just my blog“. Again, a marketing move.

That being said, how would you describe me? My blog? 3 words.

I need a new tagline. A new mission statement. This is where I am stuck at the moment. I would love reader feedback on this. After all, each of you make me who I am. You feed my creativity and spur my inspiration. I need to hear from you.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

I want to hear it all. Be gentle. Ha!