The Business of Mommyblogging

I’m getting myself very out of sorts lately following all the J&J, Disney drama. It has nothing to do with who got invited, who got snubbed, who got an email, who got a pitch, who is going, who is staying silent.


It has everything to do with the buzz word of the moment: ‘brand.’

Queen of Spain Blog is a brand. CityMama is a brand. Sarah and the Goon Squad is a brand. Mom101 is a brand. Karen Sugarpants is a brand. Table for Five is a brand. Suburban Oblivion is a brand.

From Heather Armstrong to Sparks and Butterflies to those of you getting 3 hits a day-2 of which are your husband-YOU ARE A BRAND.

I didn’t believe it either, then all these other people told me. Not that I needed them telling me, it was just the wake-up call to a slumber that started somewhere in San Jose about 2006 when I was cornered between a Weight Watcher representative, a Disney PR person, and a cameraman, all while nursing my daughter in the middle of a conference.

The proof is not in the community we’ve created. The proof is not in the ad checks we receive. The proof is not in the press or the interviews or the issuing of credentials to important functions.

The proof, my dear friends, is in the shift in corporate America.

Remember when we used to say “if only they knew how great and powerful we are they’d partner with us and pay to have us use their shit and we’ll all live happily every after!”

Guess what-they know. They know, they’re pitching, and they are finding you a wide-eyed doe in an open field. Not that I don’t love my does, but it is time to be re-educated in Mommyblogging. More important the BUSINESS of Mommyblogging.

I don’t know about you, but when I started Queen of Spain it was because I was at home with kids and needing something. I needed to get out my fears and my frustrations. I needed to talk about what I loved about being a mother, what I loathed about being a mother, and I needed to find other mothers like me to talk more about what we liked about being mothers, what we loathed about being mothers, and so on and so on.

Very few of us went into this thinking we were doing anything other than writing, finding friends, talking shop. Even fewer of us went into this realizing we were creating a business.

I want you to understand in no uncertain terms: Mommyblogging is a business.

I know half of you are shaking your heads and saying things like “I’m not really here for that, I just want to lament about potty training and gab with my girlfriends and maybe make a few extra bucks to pay a few bills.”

While all of that is true, understand you have graduated from “make a few extra bucks” to “they want us so bad they are sending us on all expense paid trips, filling our inboxes with press releases (fyi PR peeps-I’m not the New York Times I’m a mommyblog. If I were a reporter your release might come in handy, in my email-not so much) and partnering with some of us to consult, sit on a focus group, even blog on their corporate website.

You. Are. A. Business.

Here’s the problem: most of us don’t know shit about business (myself included) and they are taking advantage of our ignorance.

I’m sorry ladies, truth hurts. You’re getting snowed, fleeced, taken, abused, used.

I am too. Correction, I was.

I am the first to admit I want an open and transparent partnership with companies that come a courtin’. But I want it at market value. If my market is WOMEN ONLINE, what’s the value?

Recently I about lost my mind reading a very sweet post over at the LadyBug and her Blogging Mama. It’s something that has popped up a few times on many of the blogs discussing all the recent PR and marketing dust ups.

The idea goes if we are not nice to corporate muckity mucks, and if we don’t mind our Ps and Qs like good little girls, none of us will get flown anywhere, ever again, and we’ll be stuck to wallow in our silly little community. In other words: ‘you Mommybloggers need to quit your bitching or the big boys and their big money are going to go away.’


As you can imagine I started to type a rather half-crazed response, when I noticed something else over at Self-Made Mom’s comment section,

“This Disney event was a test, one that now may not soon be duplicated.”-Maria Bailey

Now for those who don’t know, Maria is paid by Disney to arrange these sorts of meetings. Maria contacted me in September of last year to attend a similar event for Halloween. We went. We had fun. Apparently no one objected to it being held on Satan’s Holiday and all went off without a hitch.

I too have consulted, and have gotten paid, by Disney to help them better understand Mommyblogs.

They paid me $6,000 for what essentially amounted to a few emails, a survey, and a meeting. (that last sentence is called being TRANSPARENT-goes right along with that ‘brand’ word we discussed at the beginning)

But here is the important part and why I am pointing out Maria’s quote- “…one that may not soon be duplicated…” which, in my opinion, implies Disney told her to this isn’t going to happen again if we keep yapping on our blogs.

Despite the fact that I’m a bit confused by this is an ‘experiment’ when I did something similar months upon months ago and it was a huge success, (and they did something in Palo Alto awhile back too) I’m more confused by Disney possibly not wanting to connect with influential Moms. Or the idea that companies don’t want to come inside social media and use us as their advertising because we might actually talk back.

At what point did I miss them not needing Moms. Are you seriously trying to backhandedly threaten me, and imply Disney doesn’t need Moms? Are you telling me Johnson and Johnson doesn’t need Moms to buy their baby shampoo too? Maybe they will market J&J babywash to single males instead??

If sales are dropping dramatically for magazines, if viewership has dropped dramatically for television, if MILLIONS OF MOTHERS ARE NOW ONLINE READING AND WATCHING AND CONSUMING are you really trying to tell me my mouth is what is going to drive them back into their corporate headquarters???!!!

“Oh, shit! Those Moms have OPINIONS! Holy fuck! Quick-get me the best team in the world and let’s figure out how to get all those Moms offline and BACK watching Days of Our Lives because marketing to a person as opposed to throwing a shitty 30 second spot together is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too hard!”

…and then Mr. CEO realizes we still hold the pursestrings and he doesn’t have a motherfreaking choice. He has to assemble that social media team to come play by our rules or we’re buying the organic shampoo at half the price a friend of a friend blogged about last week.

My latest and greatest concern in this entire Mommyblogging Coming Out party is very simple: don’t be a sucker. I too have been a sucker, don’t be me.

Take the free trip but take it knowing what it means for your brand. Take the free box of diapers understanding this is a business deal. Treat all of this not like a star-struck fan, happy to get some bibs in the mail, treat it LIKE A BUSINESS.

They want you to blog their product? Charge them for ad space. They want to know if you think other Mommybloggers will like their new website? Charge them a consulting fee.

And for good measure, you might want to know who you are dealing with on the other end. They want a piece of the action too, and allegedly don’t mind stretching the truth to get it.

This is business, not personal. This is about me saying ‘yes, I help out and if I ask you about using our new ad format -this is business.’ This is about you saying ‘yes, I’m blogging this humidifier because some PR company sent it to me, and they followed up with 30 emails and I’m afraid if I don’t say Vic’s Humidifier on my blog they may never send me anything again.’

This is also about realizing the true value of our community and what it’s become. Make no mistake, they need you-make them treat you appropriately.

If they give you shit, send them to me.


  1. Yes! This post is awesome! Say it loud! Bloggers are powerful and need to know it.

  2. As a female who blogs, but is not a mommy (ergo, not a mommy-blogger) I’ve been watching the J&J debacle from the sidelines.Not to disparage it, because many of bloggers I respect happen to be mothers, but I wish there were more avenues for women other than mommy-blogging. I envy the community you have.

  3. Thanks for this. I value your opinion Erin. you always make me think about things from a different angle, and I love that in a blog.

    You know, I would love to be invited to attend these events, as long as they understand it doesn’t mean they own me because they gave me something cool. I do product and book reviews from time to time, but I only do it if I feel I can be completely honest about what I’m writing about. Blogs are only valuable if their readership feels the writer is honest, you know? If readers think the blogger’s opinion can be bought, than the blogger loses credibility.

    That’s the last thing I want to do. But as I said, I’d still love to have the chance at a free trip.

  4. A great post, and so true — not only for mommybloggers, but all bloggers. It is time for bloggers to take ourselves more seriously.

    However, I think it is equally important to remember why we got into blogging in the first place — the community. I’m not willing to toss that part of blogging out to the street just to transform ourselves into businesses. Turning ourselves into individual brands is smart — it helps you focus — but we also have to think of the possible negative consequences of letting your individual brand trump the communal aspect of the blogosphere. The cereal aisle in our supermarket only has room a certain number of brands, usually dictated by Kellog’s and General Mills. Do we really want to have mommyblogging brands battling for position in the blogosphere supermarket? Do we really want J&J and Disney only going after the most influential of the mommybloggers? How does this help the community at large? Do we really want to create a separate class of mommybloggers who constantly are pitched by corporate America — women who go from one free junket to another, making the connections which enable them to get jobs speaking at conferences, which only gets them pitched to by MORE companies. That’s what we used to call the old boy’s network. Do any less influential bloggers ever get invited to these corporate events? Probably not — because in a corporate world, they don’t have much clout. I am friendly with several of those going to the baby camp, and I’m totally excited for them. They are amazing women. I just hope that those who are less popular or connected get a chance to someday go on these outings. It shouldn’t always be the same people. On the J&J blog, they outline how they picked the fifty participants:

    “To build the list we used loads of tools such as Technorati and Google, drew upon our existing relationships and asked bloggers to let us know if they had friends we should invite.” —

    Are mommybloggers going into this business arrangement as a bloc — creating “rules” that will enhance the community at large, or is it every one for themselves (with friends helping friends), like in the real business world?

    It would be great to one day open the LA Times and read an article about “Blogger X” making a million dollars as the official mommyblog of Toshiba. On the other hand, blogging will begin to suck when the glue that brought people together, strangers talking about their babies and sex lives, becomes all about the competition for corporate attention, and the term mommyblogger ceases to be about mothers chatting about stuff, than influential mothers making money selling things to their peers.

  5. Bravo!

    I started my blog as a business extension, to promote my art, then my book and ultimately my writing.

    I have always considered it a business, and my URL reflects my corporation.

    The community part came later, and was a pleasant surprise. It also caused to re-consider how I thought of blogging. I altered the way I approached a lot of thing, and moved my review stuff offsite.

    As I quit thinking of my blog as a business—because clearly I didn’t understand how to use it successfully for my original intended purpose—and more as a community and outreach, I found myself (ironically) frustrated by bloggers who increasingly switched over to a more business-like model.

    But I won’t go on and on here.

    What I do 100% agree with is that IF we are chosen and IF we choose to function as a business, either through reviews, suggestions, testing, or even just writing…then we should be prepared, know our worth and be fairly compensated.

    I’ve watched so many freelance writers complain more and more about work drying up as “amateurs” (and I mean that respectfully) will do the work for free.

  6. As someone invited and going to the Disney event, I know quite well that I’m doing it for business. I have been calling it a business trip all along. I got into blogging for really no reason at all- just to blog and where it’s gotten me has only been good things. If it means I can stay home with my kids and make money, then I’m quite pleased. I love it for the community and I love it for the opportunities and income it’s providing. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

    If I get emailed about things I don’t want to write about, then I don’t write about them. I ask for them to pay advertising if they want more than I’m willing to write home about. I am always polite back and in doing this, I develop a relationship so that they better understand me and my blog and next time offer something more “me.”

    Just like every blogger has a different brand and attitude, some of us see our own brand as nice and so we play nice. That’s how we do business. It doesn’t mean we’re the ignorant ones.


  7. You fucking rock! Very powerful realization.

    Now what? What do y’all do with these businesses you’ve birthed?

  8. I don’t suppose you’ll be trusting Maria Bailey again – wow – that was quite an article in the Times. Thanks for an enlightening post.

    I have to say that product reviews on mommy blogs make me feel like I’ve been suckered into yet another Tupperware or Mary Kay party. Ick. Good for those women who can turn their blogs into a money-making, stuff-getting business, but make it a real business and do it on a separate review blog.

  9. Amen and Amen —
    Rev. Pastor Elder Quenn of Spain has just delived teh sermon from the mount- I’ma get this scribble on some stone tablets for you in just a sec….

    Girl crushin right now…

  10. I love you, Erin.

  11. Great posts, as always.

  12. Love this post! Being married to a business man, he’s always saying things just like this to me. It’s nice that you’re using your voice to get the word out!

  13. You’ve given me a lot to think about with this post. Maybe that’s why I’m still surprised when I get invited to attend events or participate in focus groups, because while the marketing people realize my blog is a brand, I haven’t yet realized it. It’s kind of blowing my mind right now.

    I may be doing it in baby steps, but I am working towards not only asking for what I deserve, but figuring out exactly what that is. If someone emails me and says “hey, we are, we’d love you to tell your readers about our blahblah”, and I am genuinely interested in whatever it is, I have no idea how much to even quote for ad space. How does one determine how much one’s brand is worth? If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

    Especially since I got turned down for a Volunteer job at BlogHer 🙁

  14. While I normally agree with the majority of your posts, I just don’t think that EVERY (mommy) blog is a brand or worthy of money & trips. Not every woman that has children that blogs is a LLC, or advertising/marketing business savvy. Do they need to be? Are they doing themselves a disservice to blog what they think, blog about their families, and maybe get a few packs of free diapers to boot? I don’t think that every potential mommy blogger should get started in this with dollar signs in their eyes. Blog because you have something to say, blog because you have a passion for something, but don’t blog to try to pay the bills, get a free vacation, or God forbid, try to make it a career.

  15. I need more coffee to digest all of this. Can you send me a spreadsheet?

  16. We are a brand. I am a brand. And I know that my brand as a political consultant pays me far more than my blogging brand, hence I often turn down “opportunities” for my blog because they don’t even come close to offering me my hourly rate or to compensate me in an equivalent manner.

    Would I like for my blogging brand to be as valuable as my personal brand? Sure. I think other bloggers are willing to take less until they can build their brand.

    I might if I thought there was somewhere to go with this, but I know that my other brand is where my bread is buttered. Or I just haven’t figured out how to mesh them yet.

  17. Having just tried to change the banner on my blog to something more fun for the summer, I ran headlong into this “brand” bit of business.

    Despite having worked up a beautiful new banner, I was repeatedly told that I “shouldn’t lose the book because the book is your brand.”

    And I listened.

    And I was a little irritated that I listened.

    But then I started listening to myself, the self deep down that decides when to blog and when not to blog, the one that was recently dreaming of a writing studio in my backyard…

    And I realized that this has become a business for me.

    I was also considering dropping the line “Life of a mom articulate.” from my tagline.

    You know why I didn’t? Because I know to embrace my niche. I know I want moms to stop in their tracks and recognize themselves in my blog and do it immediately upon visiting.

    Revel in the threadbare, right, babe? This is life and sometimes it ain’t pretty. Sometimes it’s business. I’m going to learn to revel in that myself.

  18. Whether a blogger considers her blog a brand or not is a personal decision. Some will, and will make decisions based on what they want that brand to be. Others will be happy to just blog and enjoy the connections. Both approaches are perfectly legit — different strokes for different folks.

    Regardless, however, of *your* decision at that level, remember that the companies reaching out to you *are always making business decisions.* A decision to host an event or ship out free product is a business decision, not philanthropy. You can be pleased to be asked, thrilled to be going, but please don’t ever forget that you *DO* have equal power in the transaction. They may be spending money, but you are giving your time. The company DOES expect to get something out of it, or it wouldn’t be doing it.

  19. Wow Erin, so much food for thought. I suppose I’m with Neil up there on a lot of it.

    I totally agree with you on the brand notion. Part of having a brand is knowing what that brand stands for. Mom101 doesn’t stand for product reviews. Which is why I don’t do them there. Doesn’t stop people from emailing them to me though. Cool Mom Picks on the other hand…product reviews. Lots of them. As long as they’re the right kind, we’re open to the pitches. And we don’t charge for it either because that’s not what that brand is about.

    I think taking money for reviews is a slippery slope. When I’ve written in the past about knowing what you’re worth, I’ve always added the caveat that value isn’t always money. Sometimes you just get a fun freebie or a great post out of it.

    If your brand is all about the writing, then a great post is plenty rewart.

  20. The only free thing I’ve gotten? Applesauce that you freeze with 12 teaspoons of sugar in each cup. Needless to say I didn’t write about it (or eat it) Is that why I don’t get to go to Disneyland?
    I’m just so happy in my leedle branded corner of the internet.
    But good golly if those fools could realize how much untapped power we hold? WHOO!

  21. Great and heart-felt post. You are right that most mommy bloggers probably don’t realize the power and negotiating chits they have in their bag/purses.

    The big companies are going to have to figure out a way to deal with mommy bloggers or any other type of blogger whose audience are their potential customers…even if it is harder than a 30 second spot. If they do it right, they’ll get much more brand loyalty and repeat business than a 30 second million dollar ad on TV. If they piss off the online community, then I think they will see the net result to their bottom lines.

  22. I totally agree with Neil and Mom101. This whole junket crap has gotten totally out of hand, the same bloggers get invited to everything, and for the most part, their blogs aren’t that great. They are writing for commercial gain. I’m not. I’m writing for myself, for my family, for my friends, and for my readers. I’m not really a brand, I’m a writer. I’ve always been a writer, and although I’ve published a lot of books, the books are my brand, not the blog.

    Additionally, I’d like to ad that you don’t seem to understand the brouhaha over Passover. It’s NOT a small thing, and I would be bullshit if I had been invited (I wasn’t, of course) because my blog is CLEARLY one of a Jewish woman that takes her religion seriously. Not that many non-Jews care, because let’s face, they don’t. But I do, and to be carelessly invited to something I obviously could not attend would be highly insulting and, dare I say it, racist. As well as plain stupid.

  23. Thanks for championing the fact that every blogger has having an individual brand. I suppose it’s always going to be difficult to get away from wanting to group people/bloggers and gender usually is one of the more easily identifiable ways to do so. But, like Kathy who commented above, I fall into the category of a woman blogger who has no children (unless you count that big one that I’ve been married to for 25-plus years!) so I cringe a little when all things female include traditional “women” concepts. I’ve been through this women and blogging topic regarding my blog’s topic, i.e., finances. Why aren’t more women getting blogging about money and why aren’t the ones who do getting the same props as male money bloggers? Looks like some traditional, “real” world issues have taken hold in the blogosphere, too.

  24. Queen of Spain says:

    These discussions are great everyone. Some points: don’t be a brand if you don’t want to be, but understand the trickle down affect on the rest of the community if you’re just happy to take no money and no compensation for talking about products or companies on your site.

    Are we all worthy of being a brand-no. Doesn’t matter, they are coming to us if you have 20 readers or 20K.

    Also keep in mind-your traffic may not really matter. It’s the viral nature of what we do. I blog it and 100 people read it. One mom tells another and she might blog it and she has 2000 readers. 4 other bloggers pick it up from there and now 400,000 people have seen it. This isn’t direct influencing.

    Oh, and Margalit I do think it’s a huge deal, and while *I* received an apology from Maria Bailey (which is odd because I’m not Jewish nor was I invited, but it was nice of her anyway)I also wanted to focus on the issue of how we are reacting to what is happening, rather then bring up more of these gross oversights by companies and their contracted employees.

  25. Wow … I love all of the assumptions you make here on this blog (“which, in my opinion, implies Disney told her”) and (“Despite the fact that I’m a bit confused by this”)

    Is this your brand? To go on uneducated rants? This is why apparently your opinion is not as valued as others. Have fun attacking others when you don’t know what you are doing.

  26. Queen of Spain says:

    Welcome to my blog Jake.

    I think I’m pretty clear on being uneducated in the business realm. And I am attacking no one. But if a paid consultant is concerned a client will not repeat their experiment one would have to imagine said consultant has much better insight that I would. The overall theme of being nice to companies or they will go away is a very large debate in this community right now. If someone working with those companies says something leading us to believe they are, in fact, gun-shy then I think it’s more than worth noting.

    And I full admit to my ‘confusion’ rather than making any accusations. It’s all food for thought in a much larger discussion.

  27. Well, Jake’s kind of an asshole, isn’t he?

  28. Queen of Spain says:

    Careful at Lawyer Mama, you don’t want to ‘attack’ …lol

    Seriously though, I am not attacking. Not at all. I am simply pointing out many things I don’t think a lot of us know. THEY NEED TO KNOW, and if *I* know-how can I NOT tell you?

  29. All sage words..
    When my dh started out with his movie stuff was new and groudbreaking.
    Then others started their sites too.
    Then the studios noticed.
    Then they started offering freebies and trips to sets and so on.
    Again all for free promotion.
    Fun for the fanboys…but financially a disaster.
    Respect wise a disaster too.
    It has taken and still does take a huge effort for the online entertainment sites to prove that they are professional journalists who cannot be bought. SOME can and are happy with this..but it doesn’t help the rest of the community.

    The marketing types out there have to realize this with the mommybloggers too.

    That a)size doesn’t matter with the blogs…people are reading…the reader IS reading the ads and so on.

    b) that the internet IS where decisions are being made

    and c) we ain’t dummies!

  30. Oh, I must de-lurk for this one.

    I think you summed it up best when you said,
    “don’t be a brand if you don’t want to be, but understand the trickle down affect on the rest of the community if you’re just happy to take no money and no compensation for talking about products or companies on your site.”

    You hit the nail on the head!
    Well done!

  31. takingadvantage says:

    Yes, they definitely DO know and they are patting each other on the backs because they can create huge buzz (which turns into sales) via bloggers for pennies. They know they can take advantage of many with freebies, trips, etc which cost them close to nothing instead of digging into their advertising / sponsorship budgets. I’ve been watching this for years…and the most recent “advocates” who “consult” for major brands, make big time moolah from them and then “connect” the brands with the real influencers (bloggers) who get basically get zilch is repulsive. These folks are taking advantage of their own people, essentially.

    No, you can’t really muddy the waters of “editorial” vs “paid placement” but you can put your foot down and maintain integrity in YOUR individual brands and hope that others will follow suit.

  32. I was wondering how you would come at this topic, and I like the way you did it. You have an empowering message. Label me one of the converted (although childless).

  33. Well done, Erin.

  34. Erin, I FUCKING LOVE YOU. Exactly right. I get really creeped out by bloggers as well as company reps implying that we all have to play nice in order to keep the gravy train going.

    I’ve made a nice little business for myself over at just by learning how to work the random scattershot PR approaches into meaninful relationships which are first and foremost good for me, but are also good for the company.

    95% of the time I don’t accept freebies because I don’t need more crap, it’s a pain to keep track of for my taxes, and I hate feeling beholden. We all need to make sure these business relationships we’re creating with our blogs work for US as well as the companies.

    Fucking Amen, sister.

  35. As a professional blogger, I am just starting to realize how much I’m worth. When I look at how much I’m being paid, per-post, by my recent clients, and how much the old clients paid me when I first started, I see a huge disparity.

    Great wake up call for all of us who need to stop taking what we’re offered and DEMAND what we’re worth!

  36. Great post, although my first thought was that this doesn’t just apply to mommy-bloggers or even just bloggers. My husband’s a coach and I keep trying to instill in him his value, and that he is a brand, and he’s got the same issues with all the volunteer coaching. Why should they pay when they can get a volunteer coach? He’s got to deal with that by showing his worth and can’t exactly control what the rest of the coaches are doing. I’m trying to get him to blog as a part of his whole business, but it won’t work simply to blog, the writing has got to be there too.

    Guess that’s why I don’t quite see myself trying to build my brand – I do that every day in my “real job” for the company I work for – but there’s a reason my real job is not writing and probably why I haven’t got all the freebies.

  37. I like many of your points. I hope you get a lot of bloggers thinking. We definitely should not sell out to companies.

    I am one of those going to Disney this April, but since nothing is coming out of my pocket and it is not inconvenient to my family for me to go, I’m considering this a business trip. It’s a meeting, in my opinion, and simply that. It’s a chance to find out if I want to do whatever Disney wants me to do. I’d accept the same from just about any company, as long as I don’t have a personal issue with them.

    I don’t think all of us bloggers are at the same level of worth — are you implying that? A new writer may need to write for free for a local paper to gather “clips,” then moves up to $20 writing assignments, then $3,000 articles, and she continues until one day she demands a $1 MIL advance. Bloggers, in my opinion, have to climb the same scale to reach a level of corporate worth.

  38. I thought this post was all sorts of awesome.

    I started blogging as a means to let the family see my kids, but it has evolved to so. much. more.

    People in general tend to under-value themselves, and we need to correct that. It applies to all areas of life, and not just blogging.

    A hearty Amen! from me.

  39. I love it when you talk social media it gets me all…

  40. I agree that there is definitely an “experience” factor (and a popularity factor as well) in how much a blogger is worth. But ppl just starting out now with no experience are making more than I was a few months ago, with almost two years experience. It was definitely a case of me just taking whatever I was offered, rather than looking around…

  41. I love this post. But I have to ask. How do I boost my brand to get pitches? I rarely get them and most of the time they are for book reviews — which I do because I love to read.

    But I don’t get invited to J&J or Disney or any other event. I don’t get PR pitches, ever. I don’t know I should worry about it, but sometimes I wonder if this PR pitch stuff is only for the blogs with huge traffic, in which case, I’ll never get a pitch or an offer.

    Then I think, maybe that’s good, because I don’t want to offend my readers. Is it a catch-22? I dunno. I suppose I should just count my blessings and stick to what I do and not worry about the rest?

  42. Great post and thought-provoking. Social media and blogging, being the new arenas that they are, are ripe to be defined. We can define our position as mommy bloggers as valuable and sought-after, or we can give away the farm. What we do will have shape this new industry, which is why we need to be careful, thoughtful, and strategic. Oh yeah, and why we need to hang together.

  43. I’m going to the J&J thing, largely because of you. HA! IT’S TRUE! Anyway, this is going off on a tangent, but one of the first things I did was to look up all the different companies that J&J owns, and the products produced by those compaines. HOLY CRAP. I was astonished (and a little frightened) at how secure this one corporation’s grip is over my life. It ain’t just Band-Aids and Baby Oil, folks. They’re responsible for the Interceed tissue in my abdomen that repaired my colon and prevented adhesions after the removal of a life-threatening tumor. They make important mood-stabilizing and anti-psychotic medications that my husband has taken advantage over the years in order to lead a stable, productive life. They make the KY lubricant that I have a half a case of out in my barn (love explaining that one to non-horsey-folks). They make wipes and oils that I use at horse and dog shows to make my animals look their best. I could go on and on and ON. Seriously.

    Sorry this diverged from your main point so much, but it was just something that hit me right between the eyes as I attempted to educate myself.

  44. I think you’ve given us a lot to think about as we navigate the relationships between bloggers and companies. In truth, there is no easy way for mommy bloggers to coalesce and come together about how we deal with corporations and build our “brands.” We all need to make decisions that are right for ourselves and our blogs and go from there. I agree with Neil- why do we as mommy bloggers have to go together in a bloc? Wouldn’t we then lose what makes us as a community original and unique?

    I have to say honestly that I felt quite alone out there the way I forgave and forgot the whole Disney brouhaha. Sometimes it seems that if you’re not going to point your finger at all the bad things corporate America is doing then you are complicit in their follies.

    I think some of us are in this whole thing to be agents of change, which is terrific, and then there are others who just like to write and have fun and meet people and putz around on the internet and that’s fine too. We just need to figure out a way to coexist with each other without creating a “right” or “wrong” way to be a mommy blogger.

    Now I’m ready to put all the drama behind me and go about my aimless blogging ways.

  45. The corporations want to come over to our house? Well good, but they are gonna have to be on their best behavior.

    Mommybloggers are not “complaining” when we catch a company jumping on our sofa or dragging mud thru our living room. If rules are broken, there are consequences. Don’t like the rules? Don’t like the consequences? Remember who’s idea it was, in the first place, to come over.

    If companies don’t think that’s fair? If it makes them want to run away? If they think we are the “meanest mommies in the whole wide world”?

    Well as a mother of two, all I can say is, “Get in line.”

  46. I also agree with what has been said about lumping people together. Obviously I am a big believer in recognizing diversity. So if my use of the term “Mommyblogger” seemed, for lack of a better word, lumpy-like, I meant those bloggers who do have interactions with companies, etc.

  47. Wow. So well put. When I started I never imagined a business. I am just part of some collaborative blogs now. I have been asked for advice many times. But, I never get the invites, like for the Jand J thing. Disney did not buy me with the big party here in Palo Alto either!

  48. “My latest and greatest concern in this entire Mommyblogging Coming Out party is very simple: don’t be a sucker. I too have been a sucker, don’t be me.”

    I truly appreciate your concern, and I’m so sorry that you have been suckered at one point or another. But in defense to some of those that are going like – Ladybug and her blogging Mama – don’t assume that she doesn’t know she means business herself. How did you go by assuming that she didn’t mean business anyway?

    My point is — why pin-point and group all those going are just jumping in for the shear pleasure of it? (in case you are curious – I’m not going to the JnJ and Disney either)

    I swear the blogosphere has gotten too much like high school again lately. You know — like the “inner circle” sisterhoods that must put others down so they can look even better.

    I just want to go back on blogging about being Me and what I do and not care if anyone else think I’m right or wrong.

    I wasn’t going to comment…but I just had to on this one.


  1. […] The Queen just put up a post that sort of rubbed me the wrong way. I took it as her saying that every mommy blog is it’s own unique brand and worth more than just some freebie products. No, it’s just not true. I subscribe to a good number of mommy blogs that are just posts about the kids birthday parties and pictures of their latest finger painting masterpieces. Sorry, but those blogs are not worth a trip to Disney and money to boot. Honestly there are tens of thousands of mommy blogs out there, and like the mainstream population of blogs, only about 1% of them are worthy of any $$$ besides AdWords (the 1% is my number, nothing formal or scientific). […]

  2. […] is my new crush. She’s pretty fucking smart, you know, for a […]

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