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Best of 2013, Big Announcements & A Giveaway!

By Dustin | Ask the Community

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book.  Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley

Engaged Marriage - Best of 2013Whether 2013 has been your best year yet or a struggle, it’s that wonderful time of year when we turn the page and celebrate a fresh New Year.

To help celebrate and thank you for your support, we’ve got a great giveaway near the end of this post.

But before we get there, I want to share some highlights from 2013 for your enjoyment and also let you know about some exciting changes you can expect as we leap in 2014.

Goodbye 2013

On a personal level, it was a bit of a mixed bag for us in the Riechmann household.  We lost my Dad earlier in the year after a long struggle with his health, which is very difficult yet a blessing in its own way after sharing so much suffering with him in recent years.

Despite that loss, I can only look back on 2013 with a smile and give thanks to God for another year of good health and happiness for our family.  Our kids grew a year older, our marriage matured (in a good way!) and we enjoyed meeting many personal goals along the way.

I hope you are able to take a little time to reflect on the past year and count your blessings.  I’m sure there are many.

On the Engaged Marriage front, I’d also have to say that 2013 was a mixed bag.  On the positive front, we welcomed some amazing new writers to our team mid-year.  And in the last few months, we introduced our How To Workshops, which proved to be a real hit.

Despite our successes, I look back at the last year with a bit of regret. I wrote pretty infrequently, I feel like the site lost some of its luster and, if I’m being honest, a bit of its soul.

I miss the tight-connected community we’ve had here in the past (we’ve been going for over 4 years now!), and our blog/business/brand needs to get back to our central mission.

More on that in a moment. 🙂

The Best Posts of 2013 (and a Few Classics)

Based on the popularity among our readers, here’s a brief rundown of the Top 10 new posts of 2013:

Here are a few classics that attracted the most attention overall this year:

And here are the new programs that we introduced in 2013 to help you in new ways:

Phew, what a year it was for creation and expansion of our content!

Exciting New Changes are Coming in 2014

Like I mentioned above, for all the success we’ve shared with you this year, I know we can be doing much more for you.

To make it happen, we have some things in store in 2014 that I think you’ll love.

  • My wife Bethany is officially joining the team! 

This is my favorite news in a long time. While she’s been my unofficial confidant and helper forever, Bethany will be taking the reigns as our Editor here on the blog and our community manager on our Facebook page.  She is awesome, and I know the site will benefit big-time from her new contributions!

  • The site will be refocusing on our core mission. 

Engaged Marriage is here to serve busy couples and provide you with the practical, marriage-boosting resources you need to enjoy all the glory God wants to provide in your relationship.  We firmly believe that strong marriages make strong families and a better world, and we’re here to help you live a married life you love, no matter how hectic life gets.

You’ll see this refocus happen in a few areas.  For one, I’ll be writing much more consistently and (to make room and narrow the focus of our topic areas) we’ve cut back on the number of other team members from 8 to 4.

We’ll also be offering our How To Workshops on a monthly basis to provide you the targeted, actionable help you need in a super-useful and proven format.

  • We’re coming together as a community again and having more FUN.

We’re also putting a renewed emphasis on making Engaged Marriage a community that you’re excited to be part of again.

Aside from new awesome content here on the blog, we’ll be focused on meeting you where you are with lots of interaction on our renewed Facebook page and our growing Pinterest page.  And our email newsletter will feature more fun stuff and highlight great things going on within the EM community.

Plus, we plan to do many more giveaways, starting with today’s post.  Giveaways are fun, helpful and serve to encourage you to spread the word and invite others to join us here.  That’s a total win-win.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the giveaways or any of the new resources we’re making for you this year, make sure you’re signed up for our email insider club.  It’s free and you’ll get a bunch of free gifts just for joining.

What Are Your Goals for 2014?

We have some ambitious goals for the New Year that I’ll share in another post in a few days.

I find “stretch” goals to be most effective, and we’ve got some EM goals that will require your help (like doubling the reach of this site by sharing it with your friends) and some personal ones that I enjoy sharing since I need our community’s support (like running my first full marathon in April- yikes).

I haven’t shared it much here on EM, but I created a pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) step-by-step program that will help you set your goals and achieve them.  It was made with you in mind, so it will also show you how to find the time to accomplish your ambitions and keep your motivation high when the New Year’s rush runs out.

It’s called Time to Thrive, and to encourage you to get going on your goals, I’ve got a special 50% discount just for our community this week.  Just click here and enter the coupon code “EM50” to get half off (expires 1/7).

Share Your Top Goal & Win Great Stuff

To encourage you to put your goals down in writing and to help you feel the love from the EM community, I have a giveaway for you.  It’s really simple to enter.

In the comments below, just share your #1 goal for 2014 and (if applicable) what we can do here at Engaged Marriage to help you achieve it. 

Is there a post that you’d love to read?  A particular How To Workshop topic/guest that you’d benefit from?  A book or resource we should give away to help?  Something we can do as a community?

Just share your thoughts..and it’s totally okay if you don’t think we can help directly. 🙂

Here’s what you’ll be eligible to win:

If you win Time to Thrive or a workshop that you own already, we’ll send you a full refund – so feel free to get started today if any of those programs interest you.

I will select one comment at random to win one of each prize.  Entries close at Noon CST on Saturday 1/4/14.

To encourage you to cheer on your fellow readers, any comments you leave in reply to others will also count!  So if you see someone who shares a similar goal as you or who is seeking to achieve something you’ve done yourself, by all means reply to their comment with your helpful thoughts.

To help us jump-start our goal of doubling the size of our community, it would mean the world to me if you’d share this post with your friends on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.  I’m not requiring it, but you can feel good for helping us while helping your friends, too – plus you can reply to their comment and get a bonus entry!

Thank You!

Thank you so much for being part of this community.  We look forward to sharing so much more with you in 2014 and beyond.

Cheers from our family to yours!

Dustin & Bethany

Family Christmas

Engaged Marriage is Hiring Monthly Columnists!

By Dustin | Ask the Community

Engaged Marriage has around 150,000 monthly page views, over 10,000 subscribers, a reputation as a great resource and advocate for marriage and family, and is one of the largest marriage focused sites on the Internet.

Here’s My Idea & How You Can Benefit

EM is hiring writers!When Engaged Marriage started way back in 2009, it was intended purely as a single-author blog that shared my personal experiences and insights on marriage and family.

Through over 300 posts, I’ve been able to share a lot and will continue to for as long as you’ll have me.

However, I think it’s time to expand the voice of the site and get some new writers “engaged” with this growing community.  As I’ll outline below, new perspectives are very welcome yet we’ll continue to provide content that supports the ideals of Engaged Marriage and what we stand for.

I think the best way to accomplish this is to hire several monthly columnists.

I want these columns to be from other bloggers who can be exposed to the Engaged Marriage audience, and hopefully receive some new traffic and community-building back to their main site.

These columns need to be insanely useful – one of the goals of Engaged Marriage content.  I love that people come here to read useful, applicable information, then work to apply it to their lives and relationships.

I need these new monthly columns to be the same.

With that in mind, I will pay each columnist $25 per column published.  Not much, I know, but it’s some extra date night cash and a reward for time spent on writing quality content.  And if you’re looking to grow your own blog, you know that the larger value here is the exposure and links back to your site/projects (included with every one of your posts).

The Topics

With the addition of new columnists, I will be able to expand the depth of some key topics on Engaged Marriage a bit and add a few. I’m in search of three to five columnists interested in one of these topics:

  • Sex and Intimacy – real, practical ways to keep the spark alive and have better married sex
  • Home Life/Family Fun and Crafts  – think of these posts as small how-to projects that the Pinterest crowd will love
  • Parenting – real-world parenting advice
  • Money and Career – one of my passions but we need more posts with a how-to and inspiring story flair
  • Romance and Date Nights – practical advice/ideas for keeping the passion burning when you feel like you have no time
  • Help for Troubled Marriages – this is one area where a counselor would make a wonderful addition to our team

If you’re wondering about the style of posts that work best, check out the popular posts in the sidebar – these are the all-time most viewed posts.


Since I can obviously only hire a few writers, I’m going to have the tough job of selecting the new columnists.  If you’d like to be considered, here’s what I’ll need from you:

• A guest post of around 500-1000 words (this is just a ballpark…).  Please edit it as though it’s a final copy – proofread, aligned properly in HTML, grammatically-correct, and so on.

• At least one accompanying photo for the post.  The photo needs to be properly credited, and legal to use.

• A 1-2 sentence bio about you that links to at least one of your sites.  It can be as serious or as fun as you like.

• Let me know which column position you’re interested in.

• Let me know if you have social media following and how many followers you have – the ideal candidate will share each of their posts on social media.

Please send me your article’s text in a simple program like Text Edit or Notepad, or in Google Docs (Microsoft Word works but is not preferred).  Send me your photos as an attachment.  No need to host them, unless you want to.

And this isn’t a requirement, but feel free to link me to some of your previous writing, so that I can peruse it and see what you’re about.

Also, in case you’re wondering, you don’t have to be a therapist to qualify. If you have an interest, feel free to send something in.  You can also comment below and I’ll respond to any questions you have.


Please send me your guest post by Sunday, May 5th by sending an email to dustin (at) engagedmarriage (dot) com with the subject line WRITING FOR EM.  If I end up not selecting you for one of the column positions, I still may be up for publishing your article as a one-time guest post.  Let’s see how it goes!

Questions?  Just ask in the comments below (or by email if it needs to remain private)!

Thank You for the All-New Engaged Marriage (gifts)

By Dustin | Ask the Community

Thank you.

I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks so much for your support of Engaged Marriage.  Because of you, this company has been able to help thousands of married and engaged couples in amazing ways.

It blows my mind that as we recently reached our third birthday, this site has been viewed over 1,000,000 times.  God bless the internet! 🙂

Have a Look Around

If you are reading this on RSS, then please click to come over and check out the all-new site we’ve put together over the past several months.

While there are still improvements ongoing, I’m really happy with the new clean look and much easier to navigate structure of the site, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

New Gifts for You

As part of our remodel, we’ve also completely updated and improved the Marriage Time newsletter.

The messages are short, to the point, and focused on helping you enjoy more happiness in your relationship without taking much of your valuable time.

We’ve also added some great free gifts when you sign up.  Inside the “Marriage Time Toolbox” you’ll find:

  • 5 Time Boosting, Stress Busting Actions to Take for Your Marriage Today – when you complete the five items on this powerfully simple one-page checklist, you’ll be well on your way to the marriage of your dreams. Really, it’s that important.
  • Love Everyday: Thoughts on Loving Amidst the Chaos of Life – this amazing collection of tips, lessons and inspirational stories blends the best advice from over 25 leading relationship experts. It’s no wonder this beautiful e-book has been enjoyed by over 100,000 busy couples!
  • Marriage Mojo: 7 Simple Steps to Romance for Insanely Busy Couples – this exclusive series of mini-lessons was developed to help kick-start the romance in your time-starved relationship. It’s being offered in the Toolbox for a limited time only so grab it now.
  • The Engaged Marriage Essentials – the true magic happens when you consistently feed your marriage with the right fuel over time. That’s why we’re including the very best marriage tools and resources sent conveniently to your inbox. From saving money to communicating better and enjoying a deeper level of intimacy with your husband or wife, you’ll enjoy a new lesson every week or so.

New subscriber-only resources are added to the toolbox from time-to-time, and you’ll be the first to know. Plus, you’ll enjoy VIP access to great giveaways and special announcements.

Plus, we’re doing a giveaway this weekend exclusively for our newsletter subscribers.  Be sure to click here to get signed up!

What’s Next?

Going forward, you can expect more of the quality advice and marriage motivation we’ve shared in over 300 posts up to this point.

Everything we do is focused on helping you enjoy a married life you love while investing just 15 minutes (or less) of your time to make it happen.

Aside from the usual goodness, though, we have something very exciting to share as we approach the new year.  More on that soon…

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks again for supporting marriage!

Dustin & Bethany

What Are Your Goals for 2011? I May Be Able to Help

By Dustin | Ask the Community

Well, here comes the New Year!

It’s a great time to reflect on the blessings, struggles and lessons from the past year and start planning for an awesome next 365 days and beyond.  I’d love to hear what goals you have in mind for 2011, so please share those in the comments below!

If you were around a year ago, you’ll remember the incredibly fun and successful Improve Yourself! 2010 event that we held here.  Everything from that series of posts is still relevant (other than the giveaways!) if you’d like to check them out to help with your goal planning.

I’ve had a few folks ask me if there will be a similar challenge as we enter 2011.  Well, I thought about it, but decided to do something different this year.  I want to do something that is more specific, practical and impactful.

Why the “Big Thing” for 2011 Will Not Actually Be Hosted Here

While I plan to continue to tackle all the big issues impacting marriage here on the blog and in my new e-book 15 Minute Marriage Makeover (coming out soon), I’ve had a particularly strong interest in helping couples and individuals improve their fitness (and their relationships) lately.  That’s why Fit Marriage was created with my friend Tony DiLorenzo, and the early growth and popularity of our site makes it clear that we are addressing a real need!

However, I also recognize that many of the readers here at Engaged Marriage may have no interest in fitness-related content or help.  So…the “Big Thing” to kick off 2011 will be taking place over at Fit Marriage, and I’ll try to refrain from talking about it much here.

Here’s the “Big Thing”

Actually, there are two “big things” and one of them will start before the New Year even arrives!

I can’t actually disclose the first event (for reasons that will be evident when it is released), but if you are looking to improve your health and fitness in a way that enhances your family life rather than competing with it, you’ll love this.

The second event is something I am very proud to have pulled off (with Tony obviously).  It’s a series of video interviews with 12 of the top experts in the world on fitness, nutrition and motivation for busy individuals and couples.  It is seriously helpful and inspiring.  The best part is we are able to offer access to the full program (called the Quick Fit Formula) for FREE for a limited time when it opens up for registration.  It’s not open just yet, but it will be shortly after the New Year.

How You Can Get Access to Both Awesome Fitness-Improving “Big Things”

It’s easy.  You just need to get signed up for the Fit Marriage newsletter.  Click that link and enter your name and email, and you’ll be all set.  And if you don’t like anything we send you, you can “unsubscribe” with a single click…no worries.

The only way anyone will know about Big Thing #1 is through the Fit Marriage newsletter since that’s the only way we’re announcing it.  And Big Thing #2 will be opened up first to our newsletter audience.  It’s our way of saying “thanks” for being an active part of the Fit Marriage community and allowing us to share our content with you via email every week or two.

So, if you are looking to reach some new fitness goals as we enter 2011, or you just want to improve your marriage by living an active, thriving lifestyle with your family, we are doing our part to help you. 

If this interests you, please go get signed up for the Fit Marriage newsletter before you miss Big Thing #1. 🙂

And please share your goals for 2011, fitness and otherwise, below!

15 Minute Marriage Makeover (it’s coming…)

By Dustin | Ask the Community

After much consternation, I’m happy to let you all know that my new e-book has a name: 15 Minute Marriage Makeover.

I really appreciate all of the interest and great suggestions in the Name the E-Book Contest.  In the end, I decided to tweak the title and didn’t actually use any of the entries exactly.  However, I am still going to send a free copy of the new book to the closest entry, which was my friend Brad Chaffee who suggested “The 15 Minute Marriage.”

I’m still kicking around a few subtitles, but I think the frontrunners are “Your Proven Plan for Better Sex, Romance, Communication & Finances in Just Minutes a Day” OR “Refresh Your Relationship, Add Sizzle to Your Sex Life & Be Happier Together in Just Minutes a Day

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these, and any other suggestions you may have in the comments.

Now that I have a title, I can put the finishing touches on the writing and get this thing to a designer to get a great cover and nice layout.  If you or someone you know designs e-books, please send me an email to Dustin [at] EngagedMarriage [dot] com and let me know about it.  I’d love to hire someone from our community for this!

Also, if you’re interested, don’t forget to add yourself to the early notification list so you can snag a nice discount when 15 Minute Marriage Makeover is released in a few weeks.  Just click here and enter your email address, and you’re all set.

Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks for your continued support of Engaged Marriage! 🙂

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