Secrets to mommy blogging

November 16, 2009 8:01:48 AM PST
The power of the Internet to connect people has created a large and growing community of stay-at-home moms. But some of this networking is becoming infused with a commercial aspect and that is causing some concern.Swapping advice on motherhood, the newest baby products and where to take the kids for an afternoon play date isn't something that's new but what used to be seen as mom to mom social interaction is now seen by major companies as a major business opportunity.

"This is a good one Thomas the Train guys!"

The popular children's toy is just one of the hundreds of dollars worth of products Mommy blogger Colleen Padilla gets for free every month. Companies send her everything from diapers to toys to cereal to cleaning products.

"If we get a package and it's a toy the kids are going to play with it and you know a week later I'm going to write about it."

Padilla's blog, classymommy.com started as a way to chronicle her life as new mom but marketers quickly realized it was a way to reach thousands of mom's like her about their products.

"For a company to send out a sample is essentially one of the most inexpensive ways they can get free PR."

The term, word of mom, refers to one mom recommending a product to another and then to another and another.

"What I like I'm going to tell you about or I'm going to tell my girlfriend, hey don't clean your counter with a harsh chemical, try this it works just as well," said Sarah Freymoyer.

Shannon Ott and Sarah started the blog, chestercountymoms.com about a year ago. They also get a lot of stuff and last October, GM sent them to a mommy blogging conference in Boston called Blogher. The car company thought it would be a good idea to have the two moms drive one of its new Saturn minivan's there and blog about their thoughts on the vehicle.

"We had a mom's weekend, we twittered, and facebook as we were driving up there, promoting the Saturn product of course but learning all about the product which was so much fun," said Shannon.

But there has been some controversy surrounding the hundreds of thousands of mommy bloggers saturating this internet niche. The Federal Trade Commission is considering a move to regulate bloggers bread and butter, their endorsement of products.

But Saint Joseph's marketing professor Scott Testa says this may be a realm the FTC will have trouble controlling.

"It's so subjective in so many different areas I think it would be very hard to regulate that."

"This is a freedom of speech right to share an opinion. I'm not being paid just because you get sample how is that the same thing as you know someone who's endorsing a product on TV," said Colleen.

Testa says this is something blog readers should remember when bloggers endorse a product. It is simply the opinion of one person.

Are you interested in starting a mommy blog? Remember good content is most important. Find a niche within the mommy niche you want to concentrate on, like Chestercountymoms.com

"We wanted to be a one stop shop for everything in our county."

You must be patient, most blogs don't gain a loyal audience right away once you do, make sure you listen to your readers and consider their opinions when choosing content.


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