I’ve had mommy blogging on my mind since returning from BlogHer.
Though I don’t have an issue with mom bloggers or blogging about mom issues, it’s a route I didn’t choose to go myself because I worried abut the branding.
You see, after spending ten years in the freelance writing and professional blogging fields, I learned that the clients who pay the big money don’t want to know I’m a mom. Now, I’m not going to speak for all clients, but I can tell you that many clients who hired me to write or blog for them:
- See mom bloggers as hobbyists.
- Are afraid to hire moms because they feel we’ll have to deal with stomach viruses and class mom routines, and not be fully focused on our work.
- Feel that if we work at home, we’re too distracted with mom things.
- Feel that mom bloggers will work for free, or for free stuff or “brand ambassadorships.” They don’t see that as being a professional.
Now, I don’t think this is fair at all, because everyone knows that moms work hard and that we’re fierce multitaskers. However, there’s no denying (for me anyway) that being a mom blogger can get in the way of serious business opportunities simply because many mom bloggers don’t blog for money. Also, being a brand evangelist isn’t the same as being a corporate blogger, and there’s more to doing this than product reviews. The people who hire moms to represent brands know that so many will work in exchange for product or a trip to a conference, and know they have a pretty good sweet deal going for them.
After I wrote my post about blogging for money not swag a couple of interesting things happened. The first is that I was asked to keynote about blogging professionalism at the Type A Mom conference. The second is the huge flood of email.
I received email from three types of mom bloggers:
- Former mom bloggers who are going through a re-branding and trying to divest themselves of the whole “mom blogging” stigma in order to land more professional (non-freebie) opportunities. They’re finding it to be a difficult transition.
- Current mom bloggers who thought I was off base because they were happy to receive products in exchange for brand ambassadorships.
- Mom bloggers who want to know how to land paying opportunities.
Most of the people who wrote to me felt I was on target with my assessments and thanked me for bringing up the issue of mom bloggers being taken advantage of by brands. It seems they’re afraid to talk about these things because
A. They don’t want to be seen publicly trashing mom bloggers. (Which I’m not, I’m creating a discussion about taking blogging to a whole new level.)
B. They’re afraid of being called out on other blogs and Twitter for their negativity.
Thus, nothing will every change because no one wants to talk about it.
After writing half this post last night I received an email via the food blog I co-own with my sister from a brand looking for us to partake in a brand ambassadorship for them. In exchange for blogging, Tweeting and heavy promotion on our part, we’d get some products and a link on a website. We passed because it looked like a whole lot of work on our part and not so much on the part of the brand. A product review is one thing, Doing hours of work for some spaghetti or a bag of chips is kind of insulting. The thing is, there are some people who will take this brand up on their proposal because they’re going to get free stuff. Free stuff that probably equals less than $20 to $50 for the company, but the blogger still has to work a couple of hours and pay taxes because it’s considered income.
Because of the amount of mail, tweets, and comments I got here and at the BlogWorld blog, I felt this was worthy of discussion.
- Are mom bloggers being passed over for serious opportunities because they have “mommy” as part of their brand?
- Do businesses even consider paying moms for ambassadorships or do they automatically assume “mom” means free or cheap?
- Why does a brand have no problem paying a celebrity for a brand endorsement but they can’t scrape together $50 to pay a blogger for a post. Aren’t moms supposed to be the most influential people in the world?
So talk to me about mom blogging. Does it get in the way of bigger and better things? Is it a fun little hobby? Are mom bloggers taken seriously outside of the mom blogging niche?