|typography via wordle.net|
When I look into my 2013 crystal ball I see the Wordle up above.
But before I go all rainbows and unicorns on you, I’m going to share the most disturbing trend of 2012: moms vlogging while driving, VWD, AKA making videos while driving. It’s unsafe, unnecessary and irresponsible. Imagine that the last video clip your child sees of you is the one left on the phone that survived your fatal crash. I’ve seen distracted driving campaigns get a lot of traction on momblogs, so this trend is especially odd. Mamas, stop endangering your life and the lives of others on the road.
And now on the unicorn and rainbows.
The Stephanies rightly report that the generic momblogger isn’t quite the PR darling she used to be. In part it's because smart PR and marketing folks are better targeting and measuring their outreach efforts. Smart bloggers, however, are defining and reaching specific niches.
Many established “mommy bloggers” are re-inventing themselves online. As their children and their blogs age, leading moms are following new or rediscovering old passions creating a niche blogs in the process. Kimberly Coleman did it with Foodie City Mom, Jennifer James did this with Mom Bloggers for Social Good, Meagan Francis launched The Kitchen Hour blog and podcast and I created The Maker Mom and #STEMchat.
Aside from Jennifer’s network, other bloggers continue to use their networks and contacts for social good whether writing about a cause to educate readers or raise funds or, in this case, diapers.
Brands are not only looking for niche, they are looking for quality, too.
“Can you find us a blogger who posts nothing but reviews?” asked no client of mine. Ever.
Brands look for providers of quality content-compelling stories, engaging stories, funny stories- told in an authentic voice when it comes to the more visible and higher paying campaigns.
That doesn’t mean only the A-listers with brilliant prose, high quality photos and ready-for-TV videos, not to mention thousands of eager fans on every social channel will get all the opportunities. Sure, they will get many, but there’s room for the rest of us, too. As Neil Gaiman mentioned in this inspirational commencement speech- if you’re a good writer who meets deadlines and is pleasant work with, you can go far.
Speaking of stories, if you doubt the importance of narrative, look at the success of Listen to Your Mother. (Side note: the LTYM Chicago application deadline is rapidly approaching.)
For the serious social media mom, exploring new platforms, whether it's a blog with a side of Tumblr or Google+ community--Kimberley Blaine launched the first parent community over there-- or G+ On-Air Hangouts (something I'm itching to launch in The Maker Mom G+ community), branching out is key.
Mom bloggers who haven't started growing their YouTube presence should get their cameras rolling. A network like Mom Pulse might help. My channel is independent, so if you’re part of a network, please share your experiences below.
Homemade videos are good practice for TV segments. A typical TV segment will hit many more eyeballs than a blog post and more bloggers are hitting the airwaves. In 2012, I did two morning news segments in conjunction with The Maker Mom, Rebecca and Nancy, my peeps from KidzVuz, did a holiday TV segment on hot gifts for tweens, and Angela England showed off educational gifts for kids.
Angela is also key to another trend, blog to book. Her Backyard Farming book recently launched, Beth Blecherman's and Amy Allen Clark's books are sitting on my desk and fab foodie and home cook Jennifer Perillo's book will be out soon.
Phew, that's a lot of ground to cover. Experienced bloggers know they can only stretch so far before they snap, so they'll make choices about what works for their blogs and their readers, not to mention their families.
That said, I think YouTube and Google+ are good bets. I'm not sure if 2013 will be the downfall of Facebook, but I see social media moms leading the way on G+. Will our friends and readers follow?
Where do you think this crazy business is leading us and what are you doing to stay ahead of the crowd?
Edited to add- according Wall Street Journal here's one trend I'm looking forward to in 2013 (sponsored video content at the click).