cakeHard to believe it’s been one year since we first introduced moreClaremore.com to the community. An idea that surfaced between my brother and me to build a platform of positive community journalism, moreClaremore.com has had a fantastic first year.

July 11th, 2013, was our official launch date. Since then, we have reached milestones that I never dreamed possible.

We hired our first full-time staffer, the Amazing Ms. Ashley May Orf, in October. Without her, I’m not sure we could have kept the ball rolling. She has added her flair to the site and become the Ms. KnowItAll of the Claremore community. Reaching out to businesses and organizations, she has been able to capture a personality of our town that shines through her writing.

Over 9 million visits to moreClaremore.com in 1 year. 9 million! I realize that is a much broader reach than Claremore, Rogers County, or even Oklahoma. We had a couple of stories go “viral,” bringing awareness to our town and site. That statistic alone amazes me.

In January, we launched sponsorships to the business community. As a business owner, we realize it is expensive and hard to reach the community we live in. With a following on Facebook of over 11,000 and an average of 750,000 people coming to the site every month, we are excited to give an opportunity to local businesses to reach the people that live here. Stories and business directory listings are FREE and sponsorships start at $49 a month.

In May of this year, we won the Redbud Award from the Oklahoma Conference on Tourism for best travel website in Oklahoma. This honor makes my heart happy. I love this town and this site, so it was a pleasure for both of them to be recognized.

We have been posting garage sales every Thursday morning for a while now, but just recently built a Classifieds section to include job listings and real estate listings. After requests from our followers, we built these into the front page of the website so they are easy to find.

When we started the site, we had an aggressive goal of posting 3-5 “stories” a day. That’s a lot, folks! A minimum of three positive things, businesses, events, activities a day! And guess what? It hasn’t been that hard to keep that schedule. Our community is filled with places to see, things to do, and businesses to talk about. So that’s what we will keep doing.

Other communities have liked what we are doing here in Claremore and have reached out to us. Currently we are sharing our platform with moreBrokenArrow.com and moreGuthrie.com.

A big, heartfelt Thank You to the Claremore community for embracing our idea. It’s been a fun year and I look forward to many more!