These past six months, Kveller.com has seen growth in more ways than one. Our readership continues to expand, showing an 82% increase in unique visitors (as opposed to a 62% growth from July through December of the previous year). Thanks to our local efforts, we also saw a 40% increase in visits from the metro New York area. On the whole, we engaged an average of 275,000 uniques visitors a month in 2013.
But we’re more than just numbers; our efforts to expand our reach and connect to even more users had us venturing into new territory this year, from hosting our first live event to slinging stylish tees. So how did it all go down? Let’s take a look…
Tell a Friend: You Are a Good Mama by Tamara Reese
This uplifting blog post about the importance of supporting other mothers in your life was a runaway success, with nearly 80,000 Facebook “likes” and 250 comments. The post also inspired the Twitter hashtag #YouAreAGoodMama, which hundreds of women used (and continue to use) to remind a Twitter friend that she’s doing the best she can.
Rosh Hashanah Resolutions
At Kveller, we’re always looking for new ways to interact with our readers and learn more about their stories. This year for Rosh Hashanah, we asked both our writers and readers to share their “Rosh Hashanah Resolution” and got an incredible response. From simple goals like getting to bed on time to an inspiring story of a cancer survivor in Oklahoma who wants to embrace more Jewish traditions with her family, the Rosh Hashanah Resolution series encouraged us all to slow down and embrace the New Year.
Local Resources & Calendar for New York
We’ve put a lot of energy into expanding our local resources for Kveller readers in the metro New York area. We launched a local events e-newsletter that highlights a variety of Jewish kids events in the five boroughs, Westechester, and Long Island. We also launced a geo-targeted site just for readers on Long Island, automatically redirection those readers to a special homepage that features local events and resources such as synagogues, Jewish preschools, and mohels.
2013 Hanukkah Slideshow
A request on Facebook for readers to send in pictures of their family’s Hanukkah celebrations led to a amazing reminder of the vastness and diverseness of our readership (and the cuteness of their kids).
For the first time, we took our community offline by co-hosting an evening of storytelling with LABA: House of Study at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan. Kveller writers and LABA fellows took the stage to share their stories, ranging from emotional stories of coming to terms with one’s own Jewish identity to laugh-out-loud tales of the most ridiculous things our toddlers say.
Boosting Our Interfaith Content
Knowing that one-third of our readers are part of interfaith families, we put a call out for interfaith bloggers and have featured many new voices–both Jewish and non-Jewish–on the site. One non-Jewish mother experienced first hand the power of sitting shiva after her Jewish husband’s grandfather passed away. A Chinese-American woman explains that while it may be a common trope for Jewish men and Asian women to pair up, her family’s story is much more powerful than a trend.
Engaging Users on Facebook
Sometimes, you don’t even have to go to the blog to find our users actively engaging in discussion. Recently, when readers have reached out to us with questions, we’ve turned to Facebook to crowd-source answers. This question about dealing with “Christmas envy” garnered 91 thoughtful responses from readers. Meanwhile, when a reader from Nigeria wrote into Kveller for biblical baby name suggestions for his future twins, our readers were quick to weigh in with 70 ideas.
The Mamaleh Tank Top
In July we ventured into new territory, offering our first Kveller-branded tank top for a limited time through the website Teespring. Readers were immediately excited about the opportunity to sport their Kveller pride in our cute “Mamaleh” top, and there are now 121 women across the country sporting our design.
Going Viral & Even a Little Mainstream
While Jewish parenting may be a very specific niche, these past months have proved Kveller’s more mainstream appeal. After featuring an over-the-top bar mitzvah performance we found on YouTube, the post got picked up by Gawker and various other mainstream websites, eventually sending the boy himself to perform on Good Morning America and The Ellen Degeneres Show. When NPR’s Plant Money posted about a bat mitzvah t-shirt from 1993 found in a used clothing market in Africa, we posted about it on our blog, inspiring a reporter from JTA to track down the original owner of the shirt, thus solving the t-shirt mystery in less than 24 hours.