Memphis moms Crady Schneider and Lori Parish used to be fans of the popular blog Memphis Mom Collective. Lori was even a contributor for the site and encouraged Crady to become one as well. Then, about three years ago, the owner of the Memphis-based site — which is part of the City Mom Collective collection of 82 sister blog sites — decided to sell it because she was relocating. Crady and Lori joked about buying it. Then the jokes turned into serious discussions and ideas about how they could improve it.
The two finally took the leap and have since worked to diversify the roster of writers and the content they produce. Lori, a mom of five, does the events and works with advertisers and charities. Crady, mom of three, is the editing partner of the duo. Together, they have raised the bar for the site and its content, bolstered its writing staff and expanded its reach.
“We both had a connection to the site and knew it was going to be sold,” says Crady. “We knew we could make it more Memphis-y based on our collective familiarity [with] the city. We have done a lot, changed a lot, expanded it, and have worked hard to make it what it is today.” And by “more Memphisy” Crady means more diverse — a better reflection of the women reading it. She says they immediately tried to recruit contributors from all different backgrounds. “We want you to look at our writers and see yourself somewhere,” she adds.
As the writer base continued to evolve, the next element to tackle was the content. The new owners wanted to be sure they were publishing relevant information moms could use. They wanted to transcend being a mommy blog and connect moms to other moms, and moms to businesses. But relevant and useful information isn’t always easy. “We talk about hard topics other sites don’t like to touch. We are proud of that. There aren’t too many topics that are off-limits,” Lori explains, pointing out that they cover everything from toddler tantrums to talking to your teen and even sex — the topic of which will be the focus of their February content.
The site’s core audience is 80% new moms who are looking for more information. But in the last year, Lori and Crady have tried to add writers who have older teens and can tackle issues that moms of middle and high school-age kids face. The changes and upgrades the duo have made since they took control of the site have been working. When they bought the company, it had roughly 2,500 Facebook followers. Now the audience is nearing 18,000. Their Instagram has grown from 1,000 followers to 7,000, with a total social media reach between 200,000 and 300,000. “It’s a hyper-local website geared towards moms in Memphis, but we do have readers from all over the country,” Lori adds. “During our best month, we had five digits of visitors to the website. We’ve also grown our roster of writers from eight to 25.”
In addition to content, Memphis Mom Collective has also always been involved in helping local moms through charity events. Before COVID, each year the group hosted an event for single moms in December, where the group watches children while 150 moms get to go shopping for their kids. “We didn’t do the event this year, but we raised money so we can send them gift cards,” Lori says. “We also do a Sunshine Box where readers can nominate a family going through a difficult time. We will drop off a box for the kids and the family. It’s just an attempt to bring a little sunshine [into] their life. We show up and bless the kids.”
Going forward, the two have goals for the site as well as some personal goals. “We would like to continue to reach more people,” says Crady. “We’ve done a couple of interviews for news networks on parenting topics. We would like to continue to diversify and write about hard topics. We’d love our events to be bigger. We wouldn’t mind in the future to bring on some paid help as we expand.”
To learn more about Memphis Mom Collective, visit memphis.momcollective.com.
All photography provided.
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