Chicago CBS2 News recently ran a two-part series on mommybloggers, with the splashy title: Secrets of Mommybloggers. I'm not sure if the secrets are that we get free product for review (that's a secret? I guess it is if a blogger does not disclose; I do) or that mom bloggers can make a lot of money (um, let's reclassify that as a myth, shall we?).
This mommyblogger's secrets include the fact that I sometimes blog in my underwear.
The CBS crew might find that tantalizing. What they did not grab onto was my response when they contacted me back in June about this series. They wanted my thoughts on the proposed FTC regs, blogging for pay and making money off my blog. (Notice the lack of ads?). My thoughts are below.
First props to my friend Alma, Marketing Mommy, and, well, I'm not sure what to say about Sheena. I met her at BlogHer and thought she was really sweet. I'm glad to see that upgrading her disclosure policy and becoming more transparent (honest) about her paid reviews, but I think she was played for a fool in the piece.
Kim Moldofsky [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 12:36 PM
Subject: RE: Blogger Story
Now there are many moms blogging for dollars, but before mombloggers became the Big New Thing, most moms started blogging as a creative outlet, to vent, and/or build a virtual community.
Even if you have a strong IRL (in real life) community, you can’t pick up the phone and call a mom friend to commiserate at 2 AM, but you can go online and connect with other moms who relate. You might not have pregnant women in your workplace, or on your block/in your apartment building, but you can connect with a group of women through BabyCenter.com or other sites to share your pregnancy stories. I know women whose baby groups stayed active for a decade beyond pregnancy.
Through my blog, I have formed friendships with women across the country and beyond. Blogging has opened up my world. I just ignore my husband when he makes comments about my imaginary friends.
Through the Chicago Moms Blog and its sister blogs, I’m connected to a fabulous network of smart, talented women who readily answer questions or share tips on anything from parenting to Facebook.
Blogging has also opened doors I never even knew existed. For example, last fall I spent the day at a rally driving school in New Hampshire thanks to Subaru (who I later did work for). The Subaru invitation was a result of an article in Automotive News in which I was quoted, which itself was a result of attending a GM Malibu test drive event. (Updated to add that hanging out with Nancy Pelosi trumped the driving school.)
Yes it’s fun to try new products and occasionally write reviews of them. And I think it’s great that blogging has also created money-making opportunities for women. Indeed, I consult as a Social Media Mom to help companies understand and connect with online mom influencers, but the feeling of community and the knowledge that I can share my voice in a way mothers of past generations could not are of key importance to me and many other mombloggers.
Are you still awake? Heartfelt as my note was, it obvioulsy didn't make for a very sexy, I mean newsworthy, story.
More on marketing to moms who blog.