What Aretha Franklin Teaches About Mommy Bloggers: Part 1

Based off of my last blog post, this is an extension and expansion of the amazingly under appreciated and little-known world of the ‘mommy blogger’. Having literally stumbled upon a group of women who have blog followers in the millions, I was astounded to find that they are not at all the stereotypical mommies that I had previously assumed. My preconceived notion was essentially thus: a mommy blogger is a mommy blogger is a mommy blogger (translated roughly: all moms who write blogs are only good for reviewing my latest baby/kid product, and do it happily because they have all the time in the world).

How wrong I was! Not only is there a world of difference between the terms ‘mommy blogger’ and ‘mom who blogs’ the cultures of these two groups of women can only be explained with the use of a video:

Whether you were able to finish the video or not, the main message is R-E-S-P-E-C-T. You show respect to any blogger and you will live a long and prosperous life online. The peculiar thing about showing respect to the mom is that it is so easy (and so worth it) to make the right approach on first contact. And I’m going to show you just what to do, to win them over the first time.

Step 1: Research their blog posts, their bio, their followers, their Twitter feed, their StumbleUpon activity, and any other social networking efforts they are part of. This will give really good direction on whether a particular mom blogger will even be relevant to your product. Do this before you even think of getting in touch with them.

Step 2: Choose your target mom blogger. Basically, there are three groups of mom bloggers. Group 1 includes the moms who’ve got a blog hosted on Blogger or WordPress, post pictures of their kids and family, and update their blog every month or so. They probably don’t have a lot of followers, and probably aren’t too picky about what they post about, but also don’t have much time to spend writing blog posts. Group 2 may host their own domain, but also could be hosted on Blogger or WordPress. The main difference is the frequency and content of posts. If these women post a lot about different products they’ve used, and are posting more than twice a week, these women will have a pretty decent list of followers, and you will have to either pay them cash to review your product, or give them an equivalent value of product for them to review. Usually they’ll mention somewhere what their rates are for reviews. If they don’t, ask them right out of the gate, before you even pitch your product. This lets them know you mean business and will compensate them for spending time writing about your kid proof diaper pail. Group 3 are the serious moms who consider themselves (and rightly so) bloggers/techies first and foremost. Their blogs probably bring them enough revenue per year to allow them to be selective about whose product they review, and how much time they want to spend being courted by Huggies, Walmart, Kraft, etc. If you don’t have a killer product, enough compensation, and the proper connections with other mom bloggers, don’t contact these women. They are super busy, and they might even tweet about how dumb you were when you pitched them on your baby proof diaper pail by sending them one in the mail.

Step 3: The approach. After you’ve chosen your mom blog audience, and know what they like to blog about, either email or tweet them and start a conversation. There are a couple really good mom blogs I’d like to mention to get you started on the right path. They haven’t paid me to mention them, but I’ve worked with them on some projects, and they’ve made invaluable suggestions for this blog post and some of my social media campaigns, so that’s why I’m mentioning them here. Barb from Chaotic Communications has a ton of great tips and is very well networked. She is really good at getting back to you quickly and with honest feedback. Lucretia from GeekMommy is especially good at insightful comments about using social media and online media campaigns of any sort.

Step 4: After you’ve made contact with the mom blogger, give her as much support as you can to help her write about your product. She will be extremely busy, but a quick product description and some talking points will go a long way in getting you ahead of the list of people also wanting their product reviewed.

Step 5: Now that you’ve had success in working with mom bloggers, don’t forget about them. Continue to reach out to them with a newsletter or occasional tweet, and this will raise your stock in the whole mom blogger community, making your next project even more successful.

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8 Comments

  1. Lucretia Pruitt says

    a) I love that song… always have

    b) Thanks Adam – that was a really well written piece on this. Not just because you mentioned my name alongside of the amazing Barb (seriously, she so rocks!) but because it’s one of those timely topics. It’s always a little odd that there are folks out there who think that all moms who blog are so beige. Having kids didn’t change our diversity any more than it changed their Dads.

    c) I’m so putting this in my link-it-rather-than-rewrite-it folder!

  2. Barb says

    Great post Adam. I would encourage those looking to work with moms that blog to try to connect with Adam. He is one of those really trying to understand our fun and wacky little world.

    *blushing over the compliments* from both the amazing Lucretia and Adam.

    Barb
    @chaotic_barb

  3. Adam Torkildson says

    Thanks for the comments guys. I hope this post takes the rest of the PR/Social Media people a step towards the best way to work with moms who blog.

  4. Denise Sawyer says

    Wow… I mean WOW! Someone finally gets it! I wish EVERY PR/social media, marketing director, etc., etc. HAD to read this! What a wonderfully written post! Not to mention Barb and Lucretia are two awesome women who are definitely the “go to” gals!

    Kudos!
    Denise Sawyer
    The “Cent”sible Sawyer

  5. Erin Pyle says

    Just like Lucretia, Barb and Denise said AMAZING article! More people desperately need to read this. It really is shocking how we are treated when they discover that we are not just bloggers but :::gasp::: we have children! You would think that automatically knocks our credibility and intelligence to nonexistent. It’s also so true that these companies don’t know how to approach us. I was a blogger BEFORE a mother, as well as working professional with two different degrees and they approach me like I am an idiot! They really don’t care about the person behind the blog as long as they get what they want. Time and time again I have been pitched as if I OWE them something. I get emails with their press release and then a deadline for me to post about it. They don’t offer me a sample to review or give me the chance to contact them and arrange to work together on terms that work for both of us, they just demand it. I refuse to work with people like that. I don’t care if you’re a multimillion dollar company and am willing to pay me $500 a post. I have standards and I have ethics. I have a planner full of companies that asked to work with ME, not expected it, because they thought we had something to offer each other, and they got to know ME and liked what they saw. Just because I review things does not mean your product is something that interests me and that I will automatically write about it because you say so. It is even more so increasingly obvious that these companies are not taking the time to get to know me when they contact me through email and ask if I have a twitter or a blog. If they don’t know the answer to either of those questions, how did they get my information??? If you search my email in Google or it’s pretty easy to find that out basically who I am. I even changed the website my twitter profile linked to my Google profile so that not only can they find my information they can find me all over the web! And I’m adding new links everyday.

    Thank you again Adam for such a wonderful post!
    I hope I get to work with you someday or at least people that have your same perspective. Respect is a two way street and we like being on either side.

    Erin Pyle
    @erinjeany

  6. Kapi says

    Wait until you can tell the world that you have grandchildren! I am not surprised at the mommy bloggers. In fact, I know many that I consider to be friends. Women write about such diverse and intriguing topics. And they have a unique outlook on topics that others just can’t imagine.

  7. June says

    I loved this. I really appreciate the idea of respect. I get 3-5 emails a day from people just giving me information about their product assuming I will be running to the computer to post it for free.

    The other thing companies don’t think about is the work it is to put on a “give away” promotion. If done correctly it consists of at least 2 well written posts, tweets, stumbles, emails, etc. and then to figure out the winner in a real random way – that could take up to an hour depending on how many entries. UGH. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

    Also, if you get on the good side of a blogger it can be INVALUABLE. I had an AMAZING contact with the people at Kleenex and I am their biggest fan now. They treated me like I was treated in the corporate world – which wasn’t that long ago, but it is RARE now.

    Thank you so much for writing this. It will reach more people because you are not a mommy blogger!

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