This IS April 1, but no, I’m not “April fooling” you. This is serious. And exciting. Seriously Exciting.
But you’re probably thinking: “What? What’s happening to this fabulously wonderful local Mom’s website that has everything a DFW Mom could possibly want right at her fingertips?” (That wasn’t overboard, was it?)
The short answer is: It’s getting even better.
And the long answer is ……
First, some history. I started Moms Out Loud in the spring of 2008 (yep, that’s almost exactly 2 years ago) with the vision for creating a website for Dallas-Fort Worth Moms that would really be a forum for them to share their experiences, connect with each other, and find great information for their families. I started the weekly newsletter that summer with 100 Moms on it.
Four months later, when MomsOutLoud.com was launched (October of 2008), we already had 1000 Moms on our newsletter. And, as we’ve added more great information, more ways to connect with each other, and more of you have shared your voices with us, we’ve continued to grow.
I am proud to say that you all have – within our first year of going live – made us one of the biggest Mom’s websites in DFW, even though others have been around far longer than we have. You even made us #1 in unique visitors for December of 2009. And, you’ve told your friends about us, so that we’re now up to almost 7500 Moms on our newsletter – all based on your word of mouth among Moms.
Thank you all so much for your belief and support of MomsOutLoud.com!
(Click this link to watch a short Thank You Video)
And now we’re going to take this great community and information resource to the next level.
I am excited to announce that we have partnered with a larger Mom’s website, TodaysMama.com, to be their presence in Dallas-Fort Worth. TodaysMama has been in business for six years and has grown from their home base in Utah to cover almost 20 markets. Their vision is exactly the same as ours: to provide great information and support to Moms in local markets by giving a voice to the local experts – Moms in each community. They even do it with the same tools as MomsOutLoud.com – a calendar of events, local business directory, great content written by local Moms, a weekly newsletter, and – of course – lots of giveaways and discounts. But because they are established in several markets, they can get even more information, freebies, and perks from national businesses….as well as bring you information from Mom writers in different parts of the country that provide tips, ideas, and advice for our lives as Moms.
I actually found TodaysMama.com through a friend. She stumbled upon their site, and sent me the link, remarking on how much it looked like MomsOutLoud.com. I checked it out, and was amazed at how similar our sites were. I was fascinated. Did someone else share my same vision and then go out and build it, just like I had? I subscribed to their newsletter, fanned them on Facebook, and followed them on Twitter. That was way back in October of 2009 – six months ago, and a year after MOL had gone live. Seeing how awesome their content was and how genuine and supportive the site felt convinced me I needed to talk to them.
So, I called up Rachael Herrscher, their CEO, to introduce myself. At first, it started as networking, sharing learnings and ideas. The more I got to know Rachael (even meeting her in person at a social media conference in Houston, Mom 2.0 Summit), the more I liked and respected her. I started feeling that TodaysMama.com was exactly where MomsOutLoud.com could be – in three to five years.
For those of you who know me, either from my past life in corporate or – especially – from my current life on the web, you won’t be surprised at what happened next. Maybe it’s because I am one of seven kids, but I always figure, the more the merrier. Just ask Maria, Minette, or Holly. My motto is: figure out how to make things bigger through collaboration, partnerships, and finding synergies. (Did I really just say synergies? Must be that old strategy consulting training!).
MomsOutLoud.com is now DFWMama.com, a part of the TodaysMama community. We’ll get the best of both worlds: keeping the local information and community but also getting access to more national content and perks. We’ll still have the calendar of events, the business directory, local business discounts and giveaways, and even better local content because TodaysMama has already gotten several local writers signed up as contributors for the DFWMama.com site. (One of them is yours truly, plus several others who have written on an informal basis for MomsOutLoud.com like Hillary Gorman, Polly Harrison, Mariah Humphries, Minette Riordan, Julie Liberman, Stefanie Ritz, and Mina Frannea.)
I am so excited about the future for DFWMama.com. I truly believe that Rachael and her team will be able to take it to great heights and that you all will love it, just like I do.
As for me? I am ecstatic to be taking a little time to go slower in the next few months. I’m going to get back into doing what I love to do (and why I started MomsOutLoud.com in the first place) – writing. Like I said, I will be writing for DFWMama.com, as well as writing on my own blog, My Kind of Mom (http://www.mykindofmom.com – I apologize, but it’s still under construction at the moment! But the most amazingly talented blog designer is working on it, so I know it will be awesome).
And what’s even better is that by taking this step back to slow down personally, I’ll be able to enjoy my three kids more…especially my “baby” (almost 1 yr old) Kate. She was born in the midst of all this crazy, exciting growth of MomsOutLoud.com so I didn’t get a traditional maternity leave with her. I’m definitely going to make up for that lost time. Plus maybe even enjoy some evenings with my husband that aren’t illuminated by the electronic glow of my laptop! But, I promise, no more RV trips – at least for a while.
I am so thankful to all of you for believing in MomsOutLoud.com and nurturing its growth. I look forward to – with all of you – helping DFWMama.com blossom and grow starting right now. Please look around the site, check out some of their great national content (on Best of Today), and look for their weekly newsletters that bring it all to your email box. I’ll see you around on DFWMama.com!