I’ve got a confession to make. Last year Coca-Cola flew me to Shanghai business class and treated me like a queen because I’m a “mummy blogger”. There, I’ve said it, my dirty little secret is out.
I don’t think of myself as a mummy blogger, or a mommy blogger either if you’re reading this in the States and smiling at the word mummy. I don’t like the sound of it, whatever it’s called.
What if my business clients find out? Will they take their business to someone else who sounds more professional?
What if the literary agent who was about to phone and offer me an advance on my travel book finds out? Will they call someone else instead?
What if the editor who was about to contact me to syndicate my blog columns on social media for small business marketing finds out? Will they decide my personal branding doesn’t fit in with their reputation for solid news?
What if Mrs. French, the 5th grade teacher who told my parents I’d never amount to much finds out? Will she fold her bony arms, spin around on her stilettos, smile grimly and say I told you so?
What’s Wrong With Being a Mummy Blogger?
I’m proud to be a mum and a blogger but when you put mummy and blogger together it starts to sound dodgy. Here’s why:
Being a blogger is looked on as sad and bloggers get a bad rap from all kinds of places. A case in point is the joke about bloggers with a picture of a monk and a caption that reads something like this:
“Bloggers were invented in 300 AD and originally called “monks”. Like bloggers, monks had shitty haircuts and never got laid.”
See what I mean?
Being a mummy often isn’t looked on highly either. Mums are generally not perceived as a useful part of society. Even though we do the most important and hardest job in the world we’re not paid for it, so some people tend to think of mothers as women who aren’t making a useful or valuable contribution to society.
That’s why being called a ‘mummy blogger’ could be the kiss of death on my street cred, not to mention my personal branding, professional respectability and the reputation I’m building on my blog as a trusted source of information for empowering tips for life and work.
The Real Story About Mummy Bloggers
Women can and do make money from their blogs. The poster mum for mummy bloggers is Heather Armstrong aka Dooce. She’s been interviewed in the Wall Street Journal and featured in media all over the world. Rumor has it that she makes over US$500,000 a year from her blog and although she’s making more money than most other bloggers she’s not the only mum making money from blogging.
Here in Australia we’re catching up fast with bloggers like your very own Mrs. Woog being sponsored by Qantas and Ribena to head off to BlogHer in the States.
Why Big Companies Are Wooing Mummy Bloggers
While the popular press remains skeptical about blogging big companies are taking mummy bloggers seriously. That’s because women traditionally hold the purse strings and control substantial portions of the total household income. One influential mummy blogger has the power to sway female readers who respect and value her opinion.
Marketers have long known that women are the ones who choose and buy everything from food to cars, insurance and holidays, and as social media continues to grow blogs are becoming women’s preferred means of getting information.
These days women want advice, including product advice, from someone who gets them, not from parenting experts who’ve written dissertations but have never actually spent 24 hours a day dealing with the copious amounts of bodily fluids a baby produces while trying to stay sane and remember who they really are.
So blogging is becoming a lucrative business and a new found testing ground for marketers, with mummy bloggers playing a pivotal role.
What It Means For Marketers
Marketers are realizing that they need to be associated with the real, gritty conversations that blogging offers because given a choice most of us would rather turn to a friend for advice than to a staid expert who knows his stuff but whose delivery leaves us cold.
Smart companies are starting to want to follow social media developments and forge alliances with mummy bloggers. But it’s uncharted territory and most companies are still unsure of what can be done, how to do it and how best to work with bloggers.
What It Means For Mummy Bloggers
I’m not the first female blogger who’s been courted by a big company with perks and I’m not just talking about free nappies or anti-wrinkle creams. Many companies have splashed out on overseas trips costing tens of thousands of dollars for mummy bloggers.
But bloggers have a responsibility to remain true to themselves and their readers first. Bloggers need to make sure they don’t sell out but they also need to be able to earn money from their blog without pushing every product and exploiting every advertising revenue that comes their way.
The best part is that women bloggers now have a chance to talk to large corporations and be listened to. Instead of mothers being voiceless consumers, we’re being empowered and allowed to share our own unique voice and play a part in shaping the future, not just of products but of how companies do business.
Money is power so big businesses are powerful. Today women have a chance to influence the behavior of global corporations and really make a difference, not just to brands but to the world.
What’s the Future For Bloggers?
This is uncharted territory. It’s new, exciting and I’m there. I’m happy to be involved in this experiment and am hoping that it will lead to better opportunities for bloggers and even a better world.
So don’t write me off because I’m a mummy blogger. I just happen to have three kids and write a blog. I’m trying to do the best job I can in both those areas and you should too. If we all carry on writing and growing our blogs there are real opportunities for bloggers to improve ourselves, our bank balance and even make the world a better place too.
Two years ago I was an unknown writer. Now I have happy readers all over the world. For 16 years I’ve been educating small businesses about why they need a website and suddenly I was being wooed by a Fortune 100 company who wants to learn about social media from me.
It’s an impressive turnaround that happened for one reason: because I wrote a blog.
There are real opportunities from blogging for mummy bloggers, daddy bloggers, childless bloggers, youth bloggers and every type of blogger there is.
So let’s blog as well as we can and aim to change the world one blog at a time. Let’s unite to rule a world we can be proud of. Let’s be proud to call ourselves mummy bloggers.
Do you like the label Mummy Blogger or does it make you kind of gag? Like a bad fridge smell.