When Coffee + Crumbs launched four months ago, I had no idea what would happen here. I said a little prayer, asked a team of friends to write for me on a regular basis (for free!), and crossed my fingers that people would like our stories.
And then we hit 2.8 million pageviews in the first eight weeks (thanks to you!) and I had a small, wonderful nervous breakdown. For the first time, I saw the true potential of Coffee + Crumbs.
We haven’t looked back since.
I believe in transparency. Always have, always will. So at the risk of spilling the behind-the-scenes guts of Coffee + Crumbs, I want to do something out of the ordinary and take a moment to be transparent with you, our readers.
Over 730 of you filled out our reader survey (thank you!) and we learned SO much through that process. For example, we learned that 98% of you are women (duh?), 17% of you are pregnant (congrats!), 10% of you are trying to get pregnant (good luck!), and 72% of you plan to become pregnant or adopt a child at some point in the future. 81% of you are parents, and of those parents, 80% of you have 1-2 children, and 92% of you have children between the ages of 0-4. AKA: we have a bunch of new mommas up in here.
While most of you seem to appreciate the diversity of topics we’ve covered, you want to see more stories about: working moms, marriage and relationships, infertility, the decision on whether or not to have children/when to have children, school-aged kids, annoying relatives (ha!), breastfeeding, time-management, how to introduce children to religion, post partum depression/anxiety, international adoption, dealing with twins/multiples, blended families, cross-cultural family dynamics, IVF, single parenting, fears about labor, being happy without children…..the list goes on and on.
Some of you want more funny posts; some of you want more heavy posts. Some of you want us to be more upbeat; some of you love that we’re not all rainbows and sunshine. Some of you want more photography, some of you want more guest posts, some of you want us to “let our hair down”.
I share this information with you so that you know what a wonderfully diverse audience we are serving. I also share this information with you so you know what a great challenge it is to write something for everyone. You have given us some great writing prompts to focus on in the future, and also some great topics to seek out with our guest writers who represent experiences that we do not.
We are working on finding that perfect balance between the heavy stories and the joy-filled stories—and we appreciate your patience while we figure out that ratio. Our writers create content every month from where they happen to be in that moment, which is what keeps our writing raw, vulnerable, unforced, and hopefully relatable.
96% of you said that you would not be bothered by occasional sponsored content. Our plan for 2015 is to partner with one brand per quarter on a sponsored post and corresponding giveaway. That means for every 24 essays, you would see one sponsored post. The four brands we plan to approach are brands that we currently love who make products that we currently use. Our focus has been, and always will be, on storytelling. Plain and simple. We have no intentions of ever turning this space into a crazy ad-filled, sponsored-content factory. We promise.
We have plans to launch a podcast in 2015 for those of you who are into podcasts. It will likely be me hosting every week (cue: butterflies!), chatting with our writers about various topics related to motherhood. We hope to use this podcast as a new outlet for us to share stories in a more lighthearted, candid manner. Think: more humor, confessions, and embarrassing stories.
We will also be launching an online shop next year! The only product I can announce for sure is a “grace > guilt” coffee mug, which is currently in the works. We are toying with a few ideas, and hope to have this up and running prior to Mother’s Day in case you’re scrambling for gift ideas. Speaking of gift ideas, 65% of you said you would like to see gift guides from us so we’re working on a few of those to share in early December.
Again, I share all of this (potentially boring) information with you to be transparent with our plans, and to also reiterate that no matter how big our dreams grow, the heart and soul of this website is not changing. We are 100% committed to the original vision, and we promise not to let a few bells and whistles get in the way of that. We are excited to watch Coffee + Crumbs grow, and to keep writing original content for you each week.
All in all, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your thoughts with us. Many of you left incredibly kind comments, which were an indescribable encouragement to our writer team. On behalf of all of us -- thank you for reading, for showing up, for sharing our links on Facebook, and for sending sweet e-mails on an ongoing basis. We appreciate you more than you know.
Didn’t get a chance to fill out the survey? We'd love to hear your thoughts about Coffee + Crumbs! Feel free to use our contact form to send us some feedback.
Want to write for us? Send a submission anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our writers read through the submissions every week. We are looking for well-written, unique, original first-person essays (600-1,000 words) about anything and everything related to motherhood.
Are you a photographer looking to share your talent? We're looking for help with our photography, both on C+C and on Instagram. Send us an e-mail (email@example.com) with a link to your portfolio if you're interested in working with us.