What is Your Mom Blogger Status?


I’m curious.  Has anyone else seen a trend in the SAME mom bloggers who are being handpicked for special events, conference panels, or incredible business opportunities?  With the web overly saturated with so many fabulous mom bloggers, it seems that only a select few are being recognized over and over again.  Why is this happening?  This observation has me intrigued as to how one determines blogger status, and if that method is fair.

I am not a marketing or PR guru, so I do not know or understand the formula for figuring out one’s status or influence.  Maybe it is calculated by Twitter followers or subscribers.  Maybe it is based on years of experience, college degrees, or frankly, who you know.  I personally have nothing against the “high status” mom bloggers, and I think it is awesome that they get to share in these experiences.  My only qualm is why do companies and PR firms want to pick the same groups of bloggers?  Would it not be more effective to target a completely different pool of mom bloggers, each time, who have not previously worked with companies A, B, & C, and who do not have current obligations with those companies?  Would it not be smarter to tap into a new circle of bloggers that would soak up a special opportunity, and thus, put their heart into it more than, say, a blogger who has already been to 10 events that year?

Not all mom bloggers care to attend special events, summits or speak at conferences, but for those who do, how do they retrieve such opportunities?  What are the qualifications?  Maybe it is just a matter of speaking up and offering yourself, and if so, who do they approach?  I have spoken to several others who are also intrigued by this observation, and would like to know how to be among the chosen few.  So many of us offer unique talents and skills, and should not be excluded or quarantined because of our “status”.

There are companies who get this.  Groups like Whrrl and Game House believe in a blogger’s natural instincts (thank you, John Kim, for pointing out mine) and commitment, rather than technorati rating or popularity.  Sure, sponsors are going to look at your online influence and stats, or it wouldn’t be a worthwhile investment for them.  I don’t fault them for that.  Instead, I would suggest that companies use a more “out of the box” approach when selecting mom bloggers to work with.  To put it simply, get to know us.

I have no idea what my mom blogger status is, and I honestly don’t care.  What I do care about is building positive, meaningful relationships, whether it be in friendship or business, and not worrying about what may follow monetarily.  I will not commit to you if I do not believe in your product, service, or cause.  It is nice to be noticed, but it isn’t more important than my integrity.  I also, in no way, feel any entitlement to anything, and am discouraged by fellow bloggers who do.  I feel extremely blessed that people even read my posts or care to meet me in person.  Everything else is just icing on the cake.

So, how do we open minds about this issue?  Is there a method or tool we can use to show PR groups and companies that more of us would like, and deserve, to be considered for future projects?  What does it take to be on a special list?  As you can tell, I have many questions.


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Amy Bellgardt

AMY BELLGARDT is a wife and mom of two boys, as well as founder and lead blogger at Mom Spark. Amy also manages Mom Spark Media, a social media marketing firm.

136 Responses to “What is Your Mom Blogger Status?”

  1. #
    Michele (scrappinmichele) McGraw — August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I completely agree that Alexa & PR are not everything. I assume also that since this whole social networking/marketing is completely new for many companies, that the PR firms want to show them the most ROI upfront to prove to the companies that it CAN be done. If the companies feel like they have to put in more time and effort than they do now on something that does not have a long proven track record, they probably won’t go along with it.

    Does that make it right? No, but from a business standpoint, it is probably how they get more companies on board with the new media world.

    But again, often it is the companies who go out on a limb and take some risks that reap the greatest rewards.

    [Reply]

  2. #
    Nanette @ AMomBlog — August 24, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I couldn’t have said this any better myself: “I have no idea what my mom blogger status is, and I honestly don’t care. What I do care about is building positive, meaningful relationships, whether it be in friendship or business, and not worrying about what may follow monetarily. I will not commit to you if I do not believe in your product, service, or cause. It is nice to be noticed, but it isn’t more important than my integrity.”

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  3. #
    Lauren — August 24, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I wrote a blog about this recently too! I will never do a paid product review. If I give a shout-out to a product it’s because I love it and want to tell others about it. I don’t get free shit. My soul is worth more than some cloth diapers or Legos. I also don’t have any ads on my blog. You’d have to be of god-like hit status for those to generate any income anyway. But that’s just my opinion. I don’t read review blogs and I think that if you post a review or weave a product mention into your post you should inform your readers that you got that product for free in exchange for a mention on your blog.

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  4. #
    Sara Bonds — August 24, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Great post, Amy! I myself am only a mommy to pets, so I am certainly NOT a mommy blogger. The name and the niche confuse me. I think that PR is sort of the reason that niche was ever created, though. At this point, becoming or chosing to be a mommy blogger will help women interested in getting involved with reviews and such. PR will look to mommy bloggers first. For some reason PR reps seem to value and seek mommy blogger’s opinions the most, which I am confused about. I am not a mommy blogger, but I am still a consumer. I would think all opinions are valuable. So, to me, the real question is . . . what about all of the non-mommy bloggers!? Where is our niche market? How do we succeed in the world of PR and reviews? What PR reps are seeking women out as a whole, and not mommy bloggers alone.

    [Reply]

    • Carolyn G replied: — August 24th, 2009 @ 11:58 pm

      I always wonder why PR does seek out mommy bloggers. I think there are products that I couldn’t review because I have no children and that’s fine. But I could review that same products that the mommy bloggers so although I don’t have kids. I do laundry, I cook, clean, travel etc. I am also a consumer. I also wonder why PR hasn’t figured out that non-mommy bloggers might actually have disposable income to spend since we don’t have kids. Plus, our demographic might be different as well. It could open them up to new audiences. I think we need to start a non-mommy or childless blog club. LOL

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      • Sara Bonds replied: — August 25th, 2009 @ 1:18 am

        Great points! I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. I have all the same household and wifely duties that ‘mommy bloggers’ do. I do find that I have more money to spend freely and time to use freely than mothers do, which I would totally think PR reps would want to take advantage of.

        Again, I am not sure of their reasoning or why they haven’t seeked out non-mommy bloggers more. I just work hard to find my own niche. I am many things. No one thing defines me. I have done reviews from tv shows, to beauty products, to green cleaning products, to pet products (since I am a mommy to four pet children), etc.. Maybe us non-mommy bloggers just have to work extra hard to create our own niche market instead of being able to jump onto an already established one?

        • Mom Spark replied: — August 25th, 2009 @ 10:20 am

          You ladies bring up a whole other issue that needs to be addressed. I have written this idea down for a future post. No, it is not fair that you aren’t being considered because you are not moms.

      • Andi @udandi replied: — September 6th, 2009 @ 10:19 pm

        I, too, have been curious why the interest mom bloggers, rather than women bloggers in general.

  5. #
    Kristen C. — August 24, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Very interesting topic!

    I started blogging in 2006 as a way to chronicle my struggle with infertility. When I gave birth to my son last year, I was suddenly thrust into an existential crisis. I didn’t really fit in with the “infertile/subfertile” crowd anymore since I had a baby. My readership dropped a lot as I made the transition to my parenting/ mommy blog.

    Just this month, I ventured into the review/giveaway territory. It just sorta happened by chance. I was approached by a PR rep to do a review. I had fun with it but didn’t want it to take over my personal blog. So, I started a separate blog where I could share bits of myself but also give honest reviews on baby things since research in that area had become a passion of mine.

    I’m a newbie and I don’t expect to get pitches for $1000 strollers and the like. Basically, I’m networking and trying to meet new people. I’m writing reviews for products I’ve won in giveaways or that I have purchased and been impressed with. I’ve reached out and gotten some review opportunities and I’ve also been approached. I’ve yet to say no because I want to build content. Eventually, once I have a foundation, I figure I can be more selective. It’s all for fun right now. As a SAHM, I feel like this is a hobby. I can do research and write – both of which I love. If I get some free products out of the deal, that’s just a bonus. I don’t plan to make it into a full-time job. I won’t be writing multiple posts every single day. Time with my family is much more important to me. If I would have to give up my QT with the family to focus on reviews, well, then that is where I draw the line personally. If that means I’ll never be “A-list” then so be it.

    I think the quality of my reviews is great (of course, I’d be bias!). It’s just convincing people that I’m worth the risk. I only have 9 followers and 5 subscribers right now so it’s hard getting some to see past that. But there have been people that read my blog and could give a crap about the numbers. It’s about building relationships and trust. If you are sincere, I do believe that will come through in your pitches and if you are confident in what you do, PR reps or whoever will see that too. Eventually.

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  6. #
    MommyBrain — August 25, 2009 at 12:06 am

    I totally agree that Alexa and PR are not the be all , end all.. My PR is a 2 because I chose to remove the nofollow on my site… I went from a 4 to freaking 2.. UGG> I hate PR. I still have decent readership and statistics.
    I’m not sure why it seems the same people get chosen over and over. I guess it might have something to do with connections they have? I don’t know.. I’m not one of them :) I’ve been blogging for years now, and love what I do regardless of what pitches I’m getting.
    All I can say is keep up what you do because you’re doing an amazing job! If I can help, let me know!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — August 25th, 2009 @ 10:26 am

      What is the “nofollow” that you are referring to?

      I think it would be easy for you to work with brands, you are so likable.

      [Reply]

      • Kristen replied: — August 25th, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

        The no follow is a default in Blogger blogs…not sure about others. It’s done so that Google doesn’t spider out to blogs from comments…hence the “no follow”–the Google robots won’t follow the comment source. I also have it removed from my blog so that Google will spider out from comments on my main blog. It’s supposedly a way to have readers become more “interactive” because they know that by commenting the robots will be led to their blog. I honestly haven’t noticed a difference but some people have complaints–stating that because of the no follow they have quite a few spam comments.

  7. #
    Carolyn G — August 25, 2009 at 12:22 am

    In the end, I think you just have to be true to yourself and your blog. I think that is the bottom line. I actually think it’s great that women have found a niche and make it work for themselves and their family. I admire that. I do a few reviews and giveaways a month and it’s hard work. I can’t imagine how much work the “bigger” bloggers are putting in. Plus, mommy bloggers also have kids they have to deal with as well as the blog. So more power to them. I think in the end, if you have a good product (blog) someone will notice and you will get opportunities.

    [Reply]

  8. #
    Cindi @ Moomette's Magnificents — August 25, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Interesting question which I’m glad you asked. The questions and responses here are thought provoking. I consider myself somewhat of a hybrid as I’m a multi-generational blogger – I try to add content from the unique perspective as a woman, career professional, mom, grandmom with some product reviews & giveaways thrown in. I probably put more hours into my blog and social networking than I do into my full-time job. It would be nice to be able to attend some conferences to get the first-hand perspective. I think I might be off the radar perhaps because I’m not a “young mom” but rather a baby boomer. But hey, in my family, I’m the matriarch, and I pack a lot of punch when it comes to being asked for my opinion!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — August 25th, 2009 @ 10:24 am

      Wow, a whole new issue… I wonder if brands are looking for specific ages of their mom bloggers? Interesting.

      I think you rock, Cindi!

      [Reply]

  9. #
    sian — August 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    wow! food for thought for sure-thanks so much for sharing! we are a community so you are right who cares about status…but if someone want to pay for me to take a (hot)trip somewhere..I’ll blog about it anyday..haha

    [Reply]

  10. #
    Kalpna Solanki — August 25, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Thank-you so much for putting your thoughts down – I totally agree. As a mom blogger and small business owner, I have to say that I have become quite suspicious of some blogs where all they seem to do is contstantly plug products – and they get paid for doing this. We don’t get to find out anything about who the blogger really is. In my blogs, and blogs by guest bloggers, we focus on issues like food choices, environmental issues, etc. Yes, I am in the healthy food business, but I like talking about food in general – not just what we make!

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  11. #
    TechMama — August 25, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    This is a good discussion to have – thanks for posting about this.

    I see the problem is that companies now recognize that “moms” are an important demographic and that mom bloggers are influential. I think companies are trying to find a way to reach out to mom bloggers – and mom bloggers are trying to find a way to interact with companies (with integrity). The Blog With Integrity website discusses that.

    I think one way to deal with it is for mom bloggers who want to do reviews or obtain sponsorships to state clearly what their “niche” is. Then it would be easier to figure out what bloggers should be contacted. For example, food bloggers are a perfect demographic for food companies to contact for events. For moms that want to cover mom/kid products state that. I am a mom technology blogger so I hope to be invited to technology related events only. I get invited to some events and not invited to others and I don’t really let it get to me because I have so little free time.

    Overall – I am thrilled to be part of such an amazing mom blog online community – that is the biggest prize of all to me!!

    [Reply]

  12. #
    Kristin — August 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Interetsing topic. Def. a great read!

    [Reply]

  13. #
    Courtney Velasquez — August 26, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I noticed Ford has done a great job of diversifying the bloggers they pick for their “testing campaigns” (is that a good term?), but you are right about certain bloggers being picked over and over. If I was a company, I’d do it like I’ve noticed Ford has been doing things… mix it up a bit because otherwise the same people are seeing these campaigns and the audience is the same which makes no sense!

    Great post!

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — August 26th, 2009 @ 9:56 am

      I attended the Ford event the day before BlogHer. They asked the BlogHer attendees if anyone was interested in going, and then picked the first 60 of those replies. Because of this, there was a great mix of bloggers. As far as I know, none of us were handpicked, just quick to reply to the email. :)

      So, yes, kudos to Ford!

      [Reply]

  14. #
    sarasophia — August 26, 2009 at 11:06 am

    I blog because I love the being connected to a world larger than myself.
    PR is simply a plus as it grows the audience I have–giving me more hearts to invest in:)

    I have no idea what I’m doing though….I just want to do it the best I can.

    :P sarasophia

    [Reply]

  15. #
    LaFlacad — August 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    The more I read these things, the more upsetting it is. Perfectly wonderful woman revert to sophomoric girls and passive aggressive comments. Envy’s green monster whispers into their ears. Typical everyday blogs about the tribulations of motherhood, wonders of children and the general world surrounding them which I thoroughly enjoy reading are replaced with complaints about ‘cool kids’ and whining about sponsorships.

    I’m not an active commenter on blogs. I have too many on my blog reader and I keep up as best I can. I read it because I find myself with the time to do so (very slow full time job) and because I enjoy the content and some of the bloggers. But this entire hubbub about sponsors and a-listers and mommybloggers (worst word ever) is downright annoying.

    We get it. Stop beating a dead horse. Get on with blogging again. If you are bitching about not being in the elite, getting sponsors, etc. Do something about it (and thank you momspark for this post as it reflects that and I hope in between the people who are as interested in learning as you are and some petty comments you are getting real information on this.) Put yourself out there and do your research and figure it out (call up firms directly; find out what their protocol is. You’d be surprised how many will actually TALK to you.) If you are tired of so called a-listers having market driven blogs and not enough interesting content, unsubscribe and stop reading

    [Reply]

  16. #
    CaseyDeuce — August 27, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Here’s how I feel… It took me a few days to get my thoughts together…
    http://acouchwithaview.blogspot.com/2009/08/quantity-over-quality.html

    [Reply]

  17. #
    Usedtobeme — August 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I don’t even think I have a status. I’m a small fish in a big sea. While sometimes I think it would be nice to have thousands of followers and comments each day, I also enjoy the small handful of people who do comment on my blog. I read their blogs, we get to know each other.

    With numbers comes also responsibility and dare I say it, pressure to perform. I blog for me and I hope I don’t lose sight of that. I blog because I feel I have something to share and to give, not necessarily to see what I can get in return (which I believe a good number of bloggers have started doing). Don’t get me wrong, I would welcome the occasional sponsor. I receive products and review them. I have performed paid reviews. I would love to go to BlogHer one day. In the meantime, I will blog for me and learn the ropes slowly so I don’t look like an ass at BlogHer when I go (as I’ve read many accounts of).

    [Reply]

  18. #
    Heather Allard — August 28, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I’ve been blogging over at The Mogul Mom for two years now and my “stats” (Alexa, PR, Technorati) are on par with some of the top “mom bloggers”. But I think because I’m a mom who blogs about mom entrepreneurs and business, I’m excluded from the typical “mommy blogging” PR pitches. My readers have asked that I keep my blog “strictly business” and I honor that. I don’t blog about baby food, toys, diaper changes or wifely duties. I blog about taking an idea from concept to consumer, about how to start an at-home freelance gig, how to build a blog, and how to succeed in whatever “mom entrepreneur” business you’ve started.

    That said, I think PR folks that represent companies with business products & services are missing a HUGE opportunity by NOT pitching me. Or maybe such companies aren’t even aware of this opportunity because PR folks and big brands are so nearsightedly (is that a word?) focused on the same group of mommy bloggers.

    Interesting topic…thanks for bringing it to light.

    Heather

    [Reply]

  19. #
    SavvySuzie — August 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    What a great post – I have noticed the same thing recently, seems like the same handful of folks are tapped into the social networking PR of all the major companies. I think it’s FANTASTIC that big brands are recognizing how important it is to reach out to the mom blogging community, but you don’t really get a true taste of who we are if you are only speaking to the same fifty people over and over again. My status? I have no idea. I blog because I like sharing what I learn with anyone willing to listen, and because I love connecting with other bloggers. I love that my blog helps me grow. And I have fun! If some big corporation cares about my opinion, then great. If not, I don’t feel like a “second rate” blogger because of it!

    [Reply]

  20. #
    Georgie — September 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I think it is great that several of you whom I think influential are speaking up and out…

    I really can’t add anything to the convo that hasnt already been said…other than BRAVO-when you wrote you wrote on behalf of us all

    [Reply]

  21. #
    Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) — September 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I’m late to this discussion, but I thought I’d chime in anyway…

    I am sorry if Janice and I happen to be amongst those you think are offered too many blogger trips. I’ll try not to be offended. :) LOL

    But to be honest, I think this concern will resolve itself over time. Yes, companies are noticing the trend and already the groups are becoming more diversified.

    Blogging trips are great networking and relationship building opportunities and I do encourage bloggers to attend whenever possible.

    If you’re wanting to get invited to more events… as everyone says the key is building relationships. But not just relationships with bloggers, you need to build relationships with the PR companies over time.

    Janice and I have worked since 2006 with many of these PR companies and we treat these relationships with a great deal of respect. If someone from a PR company sends us a poorly worded pitch, we don’t get upset. We might even help them work out a better idea.

    I believe the key to every relationship in life is respect. You want to treat bloggers, PR reps and brands with respect at all times… even when you disagree.

    I do hope that nobody out there is under the impression that the bloggers who go on blogging trips just happened upon an easy life. Not at all. I’ll be honest, Janice and I work sooooo hard it is ridiculous. It’s rather shocking, actually.

    But that’s not to say that others are not working just as hard as we are… we know countless women are working extraordinarily hard on their blogs and that is why we love to promote the online mom community.

    We sincerely love to see others succeed!!!

    Talk soon,
    Susan

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — October 13th, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

      Susan-

      Thank you for chiming in. No, I wasn’t talking about you guys at all! I mostly just wanted to open up the communication and learn from it. Relationships are so important!

      [Reply]

  22. #
    Erica Mueller — January 4, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I too have wondered these things.

    It seems to be, that the reason companies began working with bloggers is that they knew their posts were honest, and the readers trusted them. Now, with so many selling out, especially to more than one company at a time, you start to wonder… did they do this for the money?

    And I’m not talking about reviews. There’s really no money there.

    I’m talking about big sponsorships to conferences, paid blogging, etc.

    I’ve had a couple of grand opportunities and trust me, they were just luck and being in the right place and the right time. I have a lot of people to thank for them.

    But, I do wonder sometimes, why the very deserving, hard working seem to be overlooked in favor of the ones popular with their peers…

    [Reply]

  23. #
    ConsumerQueen — April 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Congrats on the assistant Amy!

    Love this post. I agree it’s not all about the numbers. I tell this to PR reps all the time. I am constantly saying have you met this blogger? She may not have the ranking but she loves your product and would be your best adovocate.

    I love it when you said ” I have no idea what my mom blogger status is, and I honestly don’t care.” here here I don’t pay attention to that stuff either. Because I have seen with stsus comes big heads,pointing fingers , and people change.

    I think we can all do our part by reccommending others! I also think many bloggers have backed down from asking companmies because bigger bloggers point their fingers and say “That’s Tacky” (whatever.)… There is no wrong or right way. If you are small how can you get noticed if a company dosn’t know about you . I said Blog about what you are passionate about then contact those companies and say how can we work together? You don’t have to ask for specifics.

    I hate pecking orders, I hate Know it alls & experts and I hate cliches!

    [Reply]

  24. #
    Kris Cain — April 13, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    I was talking about this very thing at the SV Moms gathering in Chicago the other day. My quote was almost identical to yours “You see the same moms everywhere.” I do get the feeling the companies are starting to expand the scope. As more “new” companies decide to dive into social media, they don’t necessarily know who the “in crowd” is, so they will poke around and find a blogger to fit their product and not just automatically pull out the “it” list and pick someone who has already worked with the same company.

    At the same time, i can see where the companies are coming from. After all, they are connecting with a mom blogger in the first place for the purpose of advertising (some would say cheap advertising), so they want to get the most bang for their buck. They are going to go for a blogger with a lot of reach so that their product is spread farther.

    Of course some companies do understand that fresh “faces” are needed and they are willing to take the chance with a “new up and coming star” which I think is great.

    I think it will all work itself out.

    [Reply]

    • Mom Spark replied: — April 14th, 2010 @ 9:55 am

      @Kris Cain, Yes, I agree that it will work itself out, too. I wrote this piece last August and I’ve noticed a huge shift in how mom bloggers are selected, which is very encouraging. Some brands are even looking at social media presence more than blog subscribers. I’m seeing more and more variety in the bloggers chosen for events and special opportunities, which is awesome!

      [Reply]

  25. #
    reham ah — April 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Hi, great post, this is something I was wondering about, from the mom bloggers I have read that are chosen they all seem to have been working in marketing etc as exec. I think they should look at SAHM that may not have been exec at some point but still have a lot to offer. And I do agree with you that if you are going to work with a brand/cause it should be one you believe.

    [Reply]

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