Our Parent Pathway website was launched in July 2011. We began with a “soft launch” to ensure we had time for early viewers to give feedback so we could make any adjustments necessary.
Our first priority has been to ensure that our processes associated with the website are working well. For example, in the “Ask the Expert” feature we needed to queue up our experts properly and make sure that all technical aspects were robust. We have been ensuring that all business processes are solid so that we can respond and interact successfully with our customers as our visitor load increases.
We have seen a steady increase in traffic since we introduced our site, as seen below:
Parent Pathway Website Traffic
Here are some highlights of the projects successes:
• Website design and programming has produced a very professional and well-laid-out site.
• Business mechanisms set up and automated for product purchases.
• Affiliate marketing set up through relevant products.
• ”Meetings in a Box” product launched. Parents are purchasing and using this resource to help facilitate their meetings. More topics will be added in 2012.
• We are building up our Stories of Hope by utilizing “Help A Reporter” website and interviewing recovering addicts and recovering co-dependents
• We have developed additional marketing materials to reach health care professionals and other organizations.
• “Ask the Expert” service is helping many parents as we have a steady flow of questions coming in.
There have been small challenges along the journey, but the biggest challenge that we face is drawing website traffic. We have focused our efforts on consistent and high-quality daily blogging to draw traffic to the site. “Ask the Expert” and “Stories of Hope,” features that attract reader submissions, are beginning to gain traction. We are getting a consistent increase in the traffic flowing to our website. We will continue to focus on marketing plans throughout 2012.
The second challenge is continuing start-up funding. During the coming year, we will tap our revenue-generating products on the web site, but we understand that it will take time to grow the business. We are working on building a proposal for angel funding to further develop the site and its functionality.
While we are proud of the product we have delivered, we believe our customers are the real proof of the value. Here are a few of the comments that we have received:
“First and foremost, a sincere thank you to all the experts (and everyone on this site) for a terrific job in helping us parents. I don’t know what I would do without my 15 mins each morning.”
“Thank you! This has been an amazing and thought provoking blog series. Thank you for sharing your experience, STRENGTH, and hope. I look forward to your next blog post.”
“Thank you all for sharing, it makes life a tad bit more hope-able for not abandoning myself while my son experiences his path that I cannot control.”
“Hi There! Just found Parent Pathway yesterday and so grateful that I did! After reading many posts, I almost felt like I walked out of a therapy session seeing a light at the very end of the tunnel. I am praying I can take some of your messages/life lessons and run with them. All I can do now is try; like you said.. one day at a time. One day I hope to put myself back into this life and be strong. I will say having found this blog and others yesterday, I no longer feel alone and literally get goose bumps as I read my life on the blogs. I do see there is hope. Will I be strong enough one day to smile again and not let our sons addiction consume my every thought? Maybe/Maybe not. Will I always be that helicopter mom? Maybe/Maybe Not. So happy I found your blog!”
The progress that we have made would not have been possible without the New Media Women Entrepreneur award. We are so grateful for the opportunity that has been given to us via this award. Thank you for helping us take our passion to help parents and their families and make it a reality. It is has been a wonderful journey working with Jan Schaffer and her staff at J-Lab!