There’s no un-self-serving way to say this:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE NOTMOM.COM!
One year old today. As Sinatra sang, it’s been a very good year.
A year ago, with my fresh-from-Kinko’s business plan in hand, I set out to create the website I had searched for years ago, when my own grief and regret blocked any acceptance of life as a NotMom. I also hoped to create the website I wanted for myself in 2012, not sad nor mean nor whiny, not limited to a silo of only by-chance or by-choice women.
Thank you all for visiting, for returning and for sharing posts with your friends. Readers are finding this site at a such steady pace that it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I have been touched time and again by stories and emotions shared by the commenters here and on the Facebook page. They let me know I’m on a good path. Steady support from women in the U.K., Australia and other locales around the globe is stronger than anticipated, too. Seven months ago, TheNotMom.com surpassed the number of visits I’d estimated for all of 2013.
I’ve made dozens of new and supportive contacts online and off who are full of helpful recommendations and info, and many are Moms who understand how the site might benefit their NotMom friends. Among those new contacts: writer Laura LaVoie, whose voice gives depth and dimension to the site each week. Laura’s presence on TheNotMom team represents an unsolicited blessing; what I call a ‘hug from the Universe’ – the arrival of assistance, comfort or praise just when you need it most. I met my amazing blog coach, Jenny Barnett Rohrs from Craft Test Dummies when she “just happened” to sit next to me in a LaGuardia Airport waiting room.
Of course, I’m still chasing the M word – monetization – me and a zillion other website owners. I gotta believe that it will come. TheNotMom.com is no hobby. Some days, reading your comments, it can feel like a non-profit organization (in a good way) because like them, I’m clearly serving people in need.
Year 2 begins by trying to understand more about the women who enjoy this site – what they like, what they don’t, and, what they buy. Advertisers, like much of the rest of the world, are all about the Moms. They behave as though word-of-mouth buzz for a product only succeeds if the news is delivered by a Mom. Our readers are educated women with total control over their discretionary income and buying decisions. Madison Avenue needs to know that, but I need numbers to prove the point.
This week, I’ll distribute a survey to our mailing list and offer it on social media and elsewhere. The resulting data will improve this site and update misperceptions about women without children, who they are and how they live. I hope you’ll consider participating — it will take only 10 minutes, I promise. To receive the URL, join the mailing list now, or send an email.
Finally, in another ‘hug from the Universe’ moment, I recently joined a small monthly gathering of entrepreneurial women near me. Way beyond networking, the women focus on helping each other with their business challenges and objectives. When I mentioned that I hoped to get a professionally designed infographic with basic stats about NotMoms later this year, two women volunteered to do it…for free! Their product, Mascot Secret, is a smartphone app that allows users to find empty and better seats when they’re at a sports event. Who knew that graphic design was even in their toolbox? I’m so grateful to them: It’s the perfect birthday present.