What’s A Mommy Blogger?

      

I just returned from BlogHer 11, a gathering of 3,000 (virtually all) women who (virtually all) blog.

Although I’ve been involved in digital marketing since 1995, this is one corner of that universe that I have not yet explored.

Mommy blogger is an antiquated term.

Much like the suburban Philadelphia development where I grew up, what started as a seemingly homogeneous little group, developed, grew, matured and expanded.  In that suburban development of similar homes, there was corner candy store where you could get coffee and there was virtually no shopping.  People eventually found ways to differentiate their homes on the inside and out.  Within a few years there was world-class shopping mall, several religious institutions, a couple of newly minted schools, and a variety of organizations that the women in the community had created to connect with each other.

In the beginning of “mommy blogging” there were women who started writing about their lives and their kids.  Today there are do-it-yourself bloggers, faith bloggers, health bloggers, gay bloggers, fashion bloggers, budget bloggers, and food bloggers, along with communities for these and other groups that are the equivalent of everything from the local coffee shop to that giant mall.

These bloggers know branding.

Most of the women I met are incredibly sophisticated at branding.  They have carved out niches that are as focused as a laser beam and their business cards and websites reflect a consistency of design and thinking that would put most small and medium sized businesses to shame.

I met Rachelle Mee-Chapman, of Magpie Girl, who handed out a 20 page business-card size book about her site, which she described as “soulcare for misfits.” I had lunch (courtesy of Stephanie Schwab) with Carrie Lundell, of This Mama Makes Stuff, who gave me a beautifully designed 5″ x 7″ card with three different QR codes linked to different messages on her site along with clear messages about what she delivered there.  Carrie is a mother who writes about “living a creative life and raising compassionate children.” Carrie impressed me as someone who lives her tag line from the inside out.

If you ever asked yourself, “who would want to hear about the private thoughts and day-to-day happiness and angst of one individual person? Ask Gwen Bell.  After blogging publicly for 6 years, she began to feel uncomfortable about how her large,  growing and anonymous audience was getting her most private thoughts, so she started an email that would require them to provide their information and $25 each month for the more intimate details.  That’s $300 a year to connect with this blogger.  Is there a magazine or a cable channel that can command that kind of financial commitment?

Pamela Miles, a coach who helps people start their own businesses, has said that if you create the sliver of a niche that focuses on your own unique gifts, people will either know immediately your message is not for them, or they will feel they have found a home.   The women I met were beautiful examples of Pamela’s description of branding.

On the shuttle back to the airport at the end of the conference, I chatted with Maureen Dennis, founder of Wee Welcome, a 7-year-old Canadian community of women raising children ages birth to toddler.  I was fascinated to learn about her community of 40,000 members (Remember that shopping mall? This is it.)  Marueen’s business is supported by the folks at Pampers, General Motors and McDonalds.  Banner ads are not the point.  She helps those brands connect with her audience in an entirely new way.  What those relationships are like is for an entire other post, but suffice it to say, many big brands have woken up to the value of knowing these “mommy bloggers.” And from what Maureen tells me, some get it but most have a lot to learn.

Brands: pay attention.

What is a Mommy Blogger?  That’s like asking “what’s a television show” or “what’s a magazine?”  Fifty years ago, you had better know the answers to those questions.

In case you don’t see the point of marketing through the blogger community, watch this scene from Mad Men. Harry, one of the ad guys, tells the boss that he thinks that the agency should create a department to handle this new form of media, called television.  Although they say yes, they give him no resources including staff or budget but there is at least a realization that this television thing could be up and coming.

They have a dedicated audience.

Mommy bloggers or lifestyle bloggers or whatever anyone wants to call them, are part of the new media.  They are individuals and groups who have found their audience.  Their audience trusts them and listens to their advice.  This audience doesn’t just read. They are engaged by sharing their contact information, opting in to newsletters, commenting on posts and sharing the information with their friends.

Some of these “mommy bloggers” have earned the attention of the audience you want to reach.

Where is your media budget going? Have you created the “television” department of the future?

6 Responses to What’s A Mommy Blogger?
  1. Christina S.
    August 8, 2020 | 7:45 pm

    It was great meeting you at BlogHer! That was the largest collective of intelligent, fantastic women!

    The successful bloggers have worked long and hard to get where they are. You’re right; they’ve carved their niche, branded themselves and, most importantly, developed a relationship with their community. The key word here is “community.” Bloggers don’t develop an audience, they develop a community of like-minded people that have made a choice to participate.

    If marketers want to reach this community, they need to carefully consider the “relationship” aspect. They need to take the time to get to know the blogger and their community and not just blindly pitch a product.

  2. Ilana Rabinowitz
    August 8, 2020 | 8:26 pm

    Christina,
    Likewise, I really enjoyed meeting you and am amazed at how much you accomplish!
    I chose the word “audience” because that is the one that might help brands understand what a blogger provides.
    I do agree with you that the word “community” is more true to the relationship.

  3. Heather @ LocalFunforKids
    August 9, 2020 | 9:32 pm

    I saw this post on Twitter and I’m so glad I took the time to read it. An audience is a valuable commodity, and it’s exciting to see mine grow. Thanks for the insight from another perspective!

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    August 10, 2020 | 7:42 am

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