What is Your Mom Blogger Status? A Follow-Up.

Well, I didn’t quite expect the huge response I received on my Mom Blogger Status post, but I’m glad I did. I have learned a great deal in just a few weeks, and I have even landed a blogger event.  In this post, I go over some of the comments from the previous post, as well as some important details I have learned regarding this issue.

INVITED TO A BLOGGER EVENT. Last week, I was invited to the Nestle Happy, Healthy Gathering, which takes place later this month.  Many of you have asked me how I was invited to this event, and assume it had something to do with the Mom Blogger Status post hype, but it didn’t.  Shortly after I returned from BlogHer, Nestle Family contacted me, asking me if I would be interested in working together, specifically on giveaways and reviews.  Since we are a family that uses Nestle products, I agreed.  I was also impressed that Nestle took the time to read my blog, and even pointed out specific articles.  I didn’t hear much after that initial conversation, but I still kept in touch with them for weeks. I had NO IDEA I was going to receive an email inviting me to this amazing event.  I feel so honored that they selected me, and I will be sharing my experience with you all.

THEY ARE WATCHING. Some brands, like Nestle, are watching us.  They are reading our blogs and following our tweets, and this is VERY encouraging.  If only every brand would take the time to do this.  Kevin Briody from Social Mallard gave us some PR insight on mom blogger selection when he said, “It’s one part laziness, one part ‘scale’, and the two go hand in hand. The marketers and agencies driving these promotional efforts are going for the big names in part because they already reach the most people and have proven influence, and in part because they can’t be bothered to dig any deeper to find, contact, and invest in less well known bloggers.” While this “scale” may seem like the easier, safer road to travel, it does not guarantee a full commitment to the brand, or even to the blogger’s readers.  Heather Kennedy hit the nail on the head when she said, “There is no value to me to see a favorite big name blogger grumbling about travel to and from an event and then reading a half-hearted write-up with crappy photos afterwards to satisfy an obligation to the sponsor.” Great point.

NETWORK AND ENGAGE, BUT IN MODERDATION. I can not stress this enough.  If you are looking to connect with brands and sponsors, you MUST put yourself out there.  As Trisha Haas, of Mom Dot, mentioned in her comment, “I get out of my blog (and my community) what I put into it. I dont have a star on my forehead that says pick me. If i want something, I pick up the phone and ask for it and its not because of stats. Something like picking up the phone sounds so simple, right?  Don’t be scared to speak up or ask questions.  You almost have to be an extrovert to be considered for opportunities like speaking panels, events, and summits.  I wouldn’t say brands necessarily discriminate against the timid and shy, but it is surely harder to stand out if you are.

It also helps to be extroverted online by interacting with fellow bloggers, PR firms, and brands.  Jyl Pattee, from Mom It Forward, describes herself as a “social media extrovert” and when I heard that, I realized I was, too.  What about you?  Did you know that Melissa Brodsky from Rock and Drool left a comment on a blog, and months later, was contacted by the Dr. Phil show? Like I said, “they” are watching, so engage, but be genuine and never overextend yourself.  As Lori Falcon, from A Cowboy’s Wife, said, “I do think building relationships, networking, staying authentic & genuine are key. So many bloggers today are saying yes to everything. They need to learn to say yes to the things they absolutely believe in. Give yourself high standards. Example: If you’re gonna praise Tide today, don’t pimp up Wisk tomorrow and Purex the next.”  In essence, meet as many people as you can, but pick and choose which relationships to build on.  The relationships I made at BlogHer not only opened about 50 doors for me, but lead me to some wonderful, real life friends.

WORK HARD AND IMPRESS. Turning a mom blog into something more takes an immense amount of work. There honestly isn’t any way around it. If you have a true passion for blogging and business, like I do, then the hard work comes naturally.  I LOVE working on Mom Spark and Mom Made That!, and like spending my extra time growing it.  I enjoy taking the smallest of opportunity and running with it.  Nirasha from Mommy Niri had it right when she said, “I hope companies start to broaden their horizons but in the meantime I will be still working on making every relationship, big or small, count!” If you really want to impress, go above and beyond, no matter the size of the client or compensation.  Take a simple product review and blow the client away.  Pitch an idea.  You never know where it may take you in the future.

DON’T LET JEALOUSY TAKE HOLD. For the love of Pete, do not get jealous of another blogger’s success.  More times than not, bloggers who are selected for special opportunities deserve to be there, and even if you think aren’t deserving, forget about it.  Name calling or bashing another blogger gets you absolutely nowhere.  If anything, use that energy as fuel to work harder.  Instead of hosting bitterness, congratulate other bloggers, and maybe even ask them for advice. Ultimately, we are all just people, and most of us are willing to reach out and help those who ask for it.

CLOSING THOUGHTS. Overall, I have learned that there really isn’t a clear cut formula to what brands looks for in a mom blogger.  My best advice on taking your blog to the next level is to just be yourself and work really, really hard.  I know that sounds so obvious, but I think some mom bloggers expect more return than what they have put in.  Networking and relationships are extremely important, so make them count.  Also, if you ever get the opportunity to attend a conference, do so, because you will never regret the friendships or connections you make from going.

THANK YOU.  Many thanks to all of you who participated in this conversation.  It is apparent that this is a sensitive issue to several of us.  I am currently working on another post with more references and tools bloggers can use to help grow their sites.  If you have any you’d like to share, or wish to comment on this post, please do so.  I also haven’t forgotten about the other topics there were discussed in my Mom Blogger Status post on mom bloggers vs. non-mom bloggers, the stereotype of a product review blogger, and if age is an issue for mom bloggers.  All good thoughts that definitely need to be addressed.  Again, thank you for being so supportive.