Good morning everyone,
I hope this glum sunday morning finds you all tucked up in bed or home in the warm! I just wanted to give you an update of a few things that have been happening on Essex Mums recently, as well as things to come.
I’ve been asked to write an Essex Mums column in the quarterly magazine Parents’ Guide. The Parent’s Guide is a free magazine, given out in schools, clinics etc. and covering topics that are of interest to parents in Essex, and offering unrivalled information, advice and articles of direct relevance to them and their families such as education, health and lifestyle.
It’s an amazing opportunity for me to have to be involved with such a fantastic magazine and promote the site and I really hope I can do it justice. I plan to discuss things that have come up on here that I think will be of interest to other parents such as hot topics, things that have caught our attention etc. If any of you have something you’d like to say, let me know and I’ll see if I can include it! It might be nice to have a little bit from other people too.
I also thought it would be great to include some of what’s being posted on the blog, so get writing! I’m still offering a £20 voucher for the best blog post each month.
The Parents’ Guide website is here: http://www.theparentsguideuk.com/index.html take a look.
The winter edition comes out on 14th December so keep an eye out for it and for me!
Alternative Christmas Gift Guide/Shopping Guide
The Alternative Christmas Gift Guide has been a great success, with over 60 great ideas for places to shop online, offering something a bit different and an opportunity to avoid the High Street this Christmas! Many are also offering discounts, so make sure you take a look: www.essexmums.org/christmas.html
I’ve decided to make the Shopping Guide a permanent feature following a few requests from users/advertisers, so keep an eye out for a new page in January! If you’re interested in advertising your own product, please contact me for a great introductory rate!
Places to Go
I’ve recently started work on a detailed ‘Places to Go’ section: www.essexmums.org/places.html. This is big undertaking and a gradual process, but offers in-depth information about places to go in Essex, as well as the opportunity for you to leave comments on places you have been to. If you are the manager of an attraction and would like to be listed, please let me know.
I’ve recently had a lot of companies asking me if they could feature competitions on the Essex Mums site and offering discounts to our members, so I’ve decided to create a dedicated page for this which will start in January, so watch out for it! If you have something you’d like to offer our Mums, get in touch!
Make sure you check in on the homepage www.essexmums.org for new features every month. As well as seasonal information about what’s on, the new year will bring some interesting features, including a Health and Fitness special in January, a cloth nappy special and a young parents special. If you would like to get involved in any of these, I would love for you to be! Also, if you are have a product or services related to these categories, I would love you to advertise with the site during the feature and would happily offer a 10% discount on any ads you decide to get.
Finally, please remember that the goal of Essex Mums is to make your life better, easier, happier and fuller. If there is a way in which you think the site can be improved, or something that would benefit you, no matter how big or small, please contact me and I’ll see what I can do. I’m especially keen on getting the site more involved in community activities, charity campaigns etc. so get in touch if there is anything you think it can help with, whether it’s promotion on the site or something more active.
Thanks for reading and a big thank you to you all for making the site such a success. We recently broke our page view record with over 65,000 page views, 8000 visits and more than 2000 unique visitors in November, and have stormed into the Alexa rankings as the (approximately) 20,000th most viewed site in the UK! For those of you who haven’t posted in the forum recently please come and say hello. So many of us have become great friends, so I know sometimes it might seem intimidating for newcomers, but I can honestly say I have never met a more welcoming group of Mums as our very own Essex Mums. I’m genuinely proud to call them friends and hope you will become one too!
PS. If you haven’t already, please follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EssexMums and become a fan on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Essex-Mums/120425092939