Wow! I`m floored by all the awesome ideas and comments!
Colleen - thanks for the suggestions. We have so many, what I like to call, mini newspapers around here for specific locations like north, south, east, west, uptown, downtown. I`ll be sure to add them to my media list.
Jennifer - I`m totally up for some foot work so I`ll get busy with my press release and media list. I didn`t realize it could take so long for the media to reach out. I agree with starting locally as well. It will give me a chance to get more "polished" before venturing out nationally.
Craig - You are so right about those blogs. I`ve even been told that I should add one to my site. A future project for me. I have my hands full, but I think it`s a great idea to contact specific blogs. I just found one (Mamas Like) that allows you to submit your website to them and if they like it, they`ll post it on their blog. I`m sure there must be others as well, plus posting commentaries. It`s all about networking right?
In regards to the the `browse" function, I actually do have it set up so a visitor can browse by state and/or by category (entertainment, restaurants, retailers or travel) once they click on one of images from the home page (adults, kids or pets). I`m also having some adjustments made to the these three pages so they will load faster. It never ends does it?
Andrew - I`m so glad you posted about writing articles. This is something that I`d really like to do, but I just couldn`t figure out what I could write about. I love the "10 Free Things You Can Get On Your Next Birthday!" So make it short, compelling, informative (not too informative) with a call to action - am I close?
I`m also heading right over to your website to check out the Widget. Funny thing is, I have several on my own desktop!
I can`t thank you all enough for the advice/tips/suggestions and well wishes!
My good news is that within a month of the site being live, I`m being indexed regularly by Google and although I know Alexa is a very rough benchmark...my traffic ranking has gone from being 8 million something to 3 million something. And for my specific keywords (free birthday treats) I`m #3 on Google! I know I have alot of work ahead of me, but these small successes keep me going.