The following post exploring the rise of Mom Blogs is by Michelle Mitchell from Scribbit.
In the Wall Street Journal’s April 10th issue Sue Shellenbarger interviewed Heather Armstrong (known to millions of fascinated fans as Dooce) and a gasp of surprise went up from print media around the country (even my hometown paper The Anchorage Daily News picked the article up off the AP wire).
But I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing surprising about Dooce’s super-stardom and in fact not only is it to be expected but other mom blogs are following in her wake. Mom blogs are poised to become the next big “It” when it comes to the internet–they’re gathering power like no other blogging niche and will only get bigger and better. Here’s why:
1. Moms can blog at home
You don’t need a PhD, an office or a small business loan to start up a blog and this especially appeals to mothers who are looking for ways to bring in extra income while they’re at home with their children. It’s a job that they can do while the kids are napping or away at school and allows women like me who have left the work force to raise a family to feel part of the tech age–always a benefit when your days are filled with diapers, dishes and drool.
Mom bloggers don’t have to leave their day jobs and they don’t have to make enough money to live off of–all they need is a little extra to pay for soccer lessons or a family vacation.
2. Moms need the sociality of the net
I couldn’t possibly count the number of days that I’ve spent without the live interaction of another adult (except maybe the clerk at the grocery store). Women want–no we crave and demand–social interaction and for those of us whose office is our home the internet and blogging opens up a new world of friendship, debate, learning and conversation. No longer do we have to pretend to hold conversations with Steve on Blues Clues just to talk to another adult, now we can blog. Women need to read about other moms’ struggles and disasters–it’s how we feel that maybe our own traumas aren’t so bad–and there are more and more moms daily that are discovering how the world of mom blogs helps them feel connected to other women.
3. Moms have a wealth of material to use
Tech blogs are just about technology, celebrity blogs are strictly about celebs but a mom blog could focus on parenting, protecting the environment, politics, crafts, food, homeschooling, gardening, household products, design, travel or just funny stories.
They’re usually written with an emotion and personality which connects with readers in ways that other niches often can’t and they speak about subjects that naturally carry strong emotions: home, family, marriage, children, the environment–all of which encourage dedicated readers. A blog about the latest techy gadget, while interesting, doesn’t carry the emotional weight that a post about home and family does. While other bloggers may sneer over moms posting stories about life with little ones and the oddities of every day life there have been plenty of writers from Erma Bombeck to Dave Barry to Jerry Seinfeld that have built careers on noticing life’s quirks and inconsistencies and mom blogs are cashing in on this.
4. Moms are record keepers
Blog means “web-log” and most blogs are started as online journals. Moms naturally tend to be the record keepers for their families whether it’s a newsletter, scrapbook or photo album and more and more women are turning to blogs as an easy way to keep their family’s diary. Staying in touch with Grandma, recording a child’s growth, these are the reasons women are turning to blogs and even though 99% of them will never see traffic outside of their family those who blog read other blogs. And who are they going to read? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not TechCrunch.
5. Mom blogs wield economic power
In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point he writes of the importance of mavens–those who are trusted for their opinions and who pass along information on what products, services and ideas are the best–and mom blogs are the maven nesting grounds. Moms want to know which products work and which don’t; they want to give an opinion on what’s worked for them and share their experiences with others and advertisers are just beginning to discover this advertising pot of gold.
Because women are generally the buyers for their homes in everything from clothing to food to minivans mom blogs talk about things that can be bought and sold, products that can be promoted and services that most households need. Proctor and Gamble, Sony or General Electric can throw up their logos on PerezHilton and that might make them look rather hip but if they can get Dooce to say she liked their stuff that’s when the sales start rolling in. You’ve heard “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”? Well she who does the shopping then blogs about it rules the net.
Mom blogs are growing and it’s not going to be too long before Dooce stops being an anomaly in the blogosphere and becomes the matriarch of mom blogs everywhere.
I’ve been keeping a personal blog for years, as both a creative outlet and a way of keeping a host of family and friends updated in one fell swoop.
This past week, I took the big leap, and created a public blog!
It’s a personal account of the delightful and mundane moments of a radical mama of four, committed to “parenting outside the lines.”
In the near future, I hope to add craft tutorials, and eventually add a storefront for my own art.
It’s in its infancy, but come take a peek!
Zig Zig Mama!
Yes, I couldn’t agree more. Mom and Parent blogs in general are growing and here to stay. There will always be tons of useful, fun, and entertaining content from many parents out there with their own blogs.
Once you’re a parent, starting a blog is a great way to share advice, stories, and tips with other parents or even expecting parents. So yes, mom blogs are the blogs to watch!!!
Interesting article…I have noticed lately that there seem to be more and more mom/parent blogs popping up. I put up my blog in conjunction with my website, but I can see now what the draw is for other moms. You can connect and express yourself with thousands of other moms. I’ve also found that I enjoy reviewing other mom products to help support that community. :)
oh…i forgot to mention that the show baby borrowers premieres tonight june 25th at 9pm on nbc for those of you who want to watch it…it’s a great show for moms like us…i highly recommend it…to learn about parenting…:)
This is great to know…and I’m enjoying the daddy blogs too.
I fully agree having now been submerged in parenthood for a few months and having an IT background, Mums write more and use better language, grammar and the words are more interesting!
Great post about mummy bloggers. Being a mum of toddlers blogging has allowed me to maintain my sanity while at home with the kids. Really hope that someday my blog can be as popular as Dooce.
wow! thanks for the post. i will let my mom read this blogpost so that she will be encouraged to blog too.
This is more true now than even when this was written originally!
Well mothers are running the world actually, because they’re are the people who nurture us every person to their adulthood, our presidents, big company CEOs, geniuses, etc.
So if you’re looking for the best advice about anything, a mother is the best source of info. So I’m not surprized at all over the rapid growth of mother blogs. It’s absolutely great actually.
I suppose all these comments go to prove something I didn’t even mention in my post: that mom bloggers are almost always very, very nice people. Thanks and good luck with your growing blogs!
Excellent article, although I’ve come to expect nothing less from Michelle, I’ve been an avid reader of Scribbit for over two years now!
I blog for Chatty Women! Check it out there are several of us. I’m Everyday Mom at http://www.chattywomen.com.
This is a great article. I’d love to see more on this subject, particularly what makes a good blog and how to attract and manage advertising for your blog. As a new blogger (any-mom.com), I realize that strong writing and compelling content is a core component of blogging, but what about the other elements of blog management?
It’s so great to see that mom blogs are doing so well. They are so real and incredibly inspirational to moms – and people – everywhere. The power of words should never be underestimated and as moms, we continually prove how resourceful, how intellegent, and how determined we are every day!
Thanks for the outlet and the great article. Check out some of our ideas at http://www.empoweringmomblog.com.
All true- except for you left out alot of topics that mom bloggers blog about! We’re not just blogging about the mommy-girly stuff you mentioned. Don’t forget BUSINESS, technology (yup, many mom bloggers are college educated, with bachelor degrees in computer information science or masters degrees in information technology….) internet marketing (moms and women in general are up and coming in the internet marketing world…)
Mom bloggers and mom business owners are everywhere, in every niche, and we won’t be stopped :)
I’m with you Debbie. I actually don’t blog much about mummy stuff – ocasionally. But I write heaps about business things and things relating to women in business.
I completely agree with the article. In fact, I am writing this with my baby on my lap! Well written, to the point and three cheers for mommy bloggers!
It’s nice to see people finally standing up and finally noticing us! Not only do we love blogging but getting the chance to share money saving tips and provide giveaways for the Holiday Season to our readers has been such a blessing!What a great topic.
I hope this will make people more aware of what we have to offer!
I just started an LA based Mommy Blog, LACityMom.com and it is going great guns! I think Moms want to hear what other Moms have to say about things, rather than get some manipulated pitch from advertisers.
Although today’s moms want to appear as super mom, through their blogs they come to realize they need help from one another and that it’s OK to ask for advice.
(Confused to me in an interview of a major player in the mommy media.)
This was a great article. I think that moms like myself choose to blog for another reason not mentioned. Blogging keeps my mind fresh. It means that I am thinking about something other then what time dinner should be, how to pay a bill and who needs to be changed. I think that many mom bloggers are educated women who find that they are stuck in the rut of motherhood. This is a way to express who we really are!
Michelle, great article. I started blogging a few months ago and find it quite liberating. For some odd reason, I find that I share things about myself on my blog that I don’t even share with friends. How weird is that? I am constantly looking for simple solutions for family and home so that’s what I share. I am a follower of your blog as well so thanks for all the helpful tips you provide.
Or is it that people are looking for a more authentic experience, and many moms write a great deal of truth in their words, thus making mom blogs popular?
I love this article, I am relatively new to blogging, but am loving the opportunities it is giving me to still spend time with my family and hopefully in the future give me an income. Thanks for all the helpful info.
Mom Blogs are great!! I’ve even started one myself- It’s a wonderful way for your family who live in different states to keep up with the bundle of joy. Mom blogs have great tips and ideas especially for new moms like me :)
Only 4 more weeks to go!! whoo!
Let me know what ya’ll think!? I’m just getting started but am addicted already!!
Baby Blog: Tips and Info for Mommy
It’s great to see this niche market finally get the recognition it deserves. There are as many different mommy blogs out there as there are different kinds of women, but it’s pretty clear that the cream of the content will rise to the top and the stars of the momblogosphere will shine and marketers will take note! I was recently voted one of the top 100 British Mummy Bloggers and it’s been amazing to see how many PR companies have come banging on the door since (from the sublime to the ridiculous). However, readers can sniff out a paid promotion a mile off so if a blogger genuinely promotes your product, it’s worth its weight in gold.
kuodos to all the mommies out there! and i do agree with all of you. i’ve been looking up blogs from everywhere recently and i must tell you, the mom blogs have the most diverse topics.
“Moms have a wealth of material to use” That’s quite an understatement! Who, other than a mom, could be a banker, a chef, a baker, a maid, a bookkeeper, an event planner, a taxi driver, an escort (the list goes on and on) AND still keep a reasonable amount of sanity?!
You know, I don’t think it’s that strange. Everyone networks in some way on the net… And mommy blogging is kind of exactly the way woman interact with each other. You can gather a circle of friends who ‘listen’… who don’t mind if you chatter on about stuff that maybe your family doesn’t want to hear… You can be verbose, as um, some woman tend to be. I am.
I don’t know, it makes perfect sense to me…
Great post, I’ve been thinking about blogging for a while, but as a mom to 3 haven’t found the time yet. I’m glad I finally started though, it gives me a daily outlet!
I’ve long realized that for many parents who feel deprived of contact–what once would have been sitting around the well, if we lived tribally–the Internet is the true substitute.
Add to that the huge need for parents to feel connected and supported as they raise kids and it’s a recipe for blogs to explode.
An exciting time, for sure.
I love being a mom blogger. It’s really helped me though this phase of my life!