Seven years ago I told my work colleague a secret: “I’ve started a mom-blog”
She looked bemused. “You’ll have to explain that,” she said, “I’m not really up on all that new tech stuff, like blogs.” The funny thing was that just a week earlier, I’d read an article that proclaimed blogging was dead. For me, a fledgling blogger exploring a new (and in my own head, cutting-edge) hobby, this was terrible news. How could blogging be a thing of the past when I’d only just discovered it?
Here we are today, and I’m still blogging, as are millions of others. Parent-blogging is very much alive, and it has evolved in many ways.
So, what exactly is “Mom Blogging”, how has it changed, and how should digital marketers approach it?
Who is the Mom Blogger?
If this was an FBI profile from TV show Mindhunter, the Mom Blogger would be described like one in a stock photo – you know the one; she’s baking cookies with her smiling children in her pristine kitchen, and nobody is yelling at anyone to stop spilling flour on the dog. The reality, of course, is very different, because for a start, nobody wants to spend all day reading about mothers who are doing everything perfectly. Immaculate kitchens and immaculate children are all very well for a bit of aspirational scrolling but not if they make readers feel inadequate about their own lives. So, fortunately for readers, there are many, many different types of mom bloggers, often with a big helping of messy kitchens and warts-an’-all honesty.
Mom bloggers don’t all come from the same starting point:
Some women have children and decide to write about the day-to-day chaos as a form of therapy. For them, it begins as nothing more than a hobby, a place to let off steam, or a way of connecting with other mothers.
Some women have platforms before they have children, and morph into mom bloggers when they have kids.
Some are political, lifestyle, photography, beauty, or sports bloggers, who also happen to have kids, and whose blog posts are written through the filter of motherhood.
And more recently, we see many setting out to be professional bloggers; actively building followers and opportunities from the get-go.
Some are not mothers at all; they’re fathers – dad blogs have been around for a long time, although in much smaller volumes than mom bloggers.
Who is reading the Mom Blog, and why?
The short answer: parents and prospective parents. They land on blogs when they google unfamiliar terms like “how to try baby led weaning” or “which sling is best” or “I’m hiding in the bathroom again because they won’t stop bickering”.
Some read the post they find, take the information they need, and will never be able to tell you whose blog they were on. (“Mama Something?”) Others will value or be entertained by the content they read and will return for more. And that is the holy grail for any blogger, (not just a Mom blogger) – the returning reader. Not necessarily because we’re trying to sell something, but because writers need readers.
This, too, sums up the “why” of the question – parents want useful information, or they want to be entertained – especially if the blogger is making an even bigger mess of parenting than they are. And happily, information and entertainment are not mutually exclusive. Two key elements are authenticity and relatability: readers want to nod along Philippines Photo Editor with the blog post thinking, “Wow, so I’m really not the only one hiding in the bathroom.” If readers can identify with the blogger, they’ll come back for more.
Parents can find countless articles and books on how to raise kids, but none of this compares to building what feels like a connection or a relationship with a real person – the mom blogger. And in many cases, it is in fact a relationship, because readers comment, and (good) bloggers reply. Once a relationship is established, the reader comes to believe that the blogger can give them truly helpful tips and insights they can use and share.
That’s all very well but where does digital marketing come into it?
If you have consistently high-quality, authentic, relatable content, with a good social media following, you have a hotbed for marketing opportunities – this is true of any kind of blog. But where the mom-blog stands out is trust. If a reader finds a parent blog with trustworthy tips on raising kids and all that’s involved in modern parenting, and then continues to follow that blogger, an inherent trust is built.
Of course, if there are too many sponsored posts, or links to products that don’t seem a credible fit, that trust can be broken. Savvy bloggers are aware of this and provide a good mix of content, weighted towards non-sponsored posts.