I’m Calling Out The Carpetbagging Mommybloggers

Why are you here?

It’s a simple question really. One that I am asking more and more frequently as I meet many of you. Because the lines are blurring and instead of guessing, I am just asking.

Why are you here?

The truth of the matter is I really don’t need to ask. I know why. I can tell. It’s obvious. However I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I ask.

Turns out a lot of you lie. You tell me you’re here to hang out. You tell me you’re here because you’ve made so many cool friends. But your site is packed with nothing but reviews and products and freebies and giveaways, so I know better. You want me to do you a favor, as a friend. You want me to read your link, click on your ads, enter your contest, use your product.

You’re here to get rich quick. You’re here to try and make some cash. You’re here to start a business.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

You may call yourself a Mommyblogger, but you don’t really blog about being a Mommy. You may attend the same events and tout your influence…but without any content. And just so you know, I’m not doing more than nodding, smiling, and dismissing you entirely.

I’m dismissing because you’re missing the heart of this whole thing entirely. The whole reason we’re here. The whole purpose of doing what we do. You don’t get it and you don’t care to.

You scream about your power and you yell about your influence and you position yourself in articles and demand attention, but there’s no THERE THERE. Why are you powerful?  Is it because you write so wonderfully and make us all laugh or weep when we read? Is it because you participate and write endlessly about the rest of us? Pointing out who’s talking about breastfeeding or who’s got a great point about potty training?

No, you’re hosting a giveaway, selling all our souls for a new mop, and lowering the bar for the next to come along.

You know there is a beautiful old dinosaur of an idea that traditional media has taught us. You clearly separate ads from editorial. Ads and editorial are not the same and you don’t blur the lines. Reviews are clearly marked and disclosed. Giveaways are just that…giveaways, where in you admit you too got yourself the giveaway item. It’s what makes you”credible.” No really, it does. And let me tell you sister right now you are far from credible. But these companies are so desperate to get online and they find you and you find them and then ALL our credibility drops. Thanks for that. Not.

It IS a big Internet though, and this isn’t some exclusive club. You get to go peddle your snake oil wherever and whenever you like. Lucky us. I guess your “authentic voice” is an infomercial. Mine? Parenting, politics, and my life. To each’s own?

A woman with a blog can be a very powerful thing. A woman with kids and a blog can be a very powerful thing. A woman with kids and a BAD blog with no real content will, eventually, fall by the wayside.

Back to how you’re missing the heart of why the rest of us do this. And I think maybe we need a bit of a history lesson here. You see, for those of us who have been blogging since before the trips and free video game systems and parties, there’s a bit of a revolt going on. Why? Because some of you have forgotten the most essential part of what we do. The ENTIRE REASON why we do it…

Community.

Not to make money, even if we are. Not for the free stuff, even if we get it. Not to go off on trips and party without our kids in some hotel bar…even if, holy hell, we like that.

You see we actually did this, and still do it, because of the people we’ve met and the friendships we’ve gained.

If the free stuff and ads washed up tomorrow, I would still be here. If the free stuff and ads washed up tomorrow- would you?

Something tells me you’d be gone and on to the next thing. You wouldn’t be here. And that’s the difference between me and you. You’d drop us all in a heartbeat and we’d stick around to support each other.

It’s wonderful so many women, mothers in particular, can use social media and the online world to make a few extra bucks, or make a career. I am beyond lucky to get to hang with my girlfriends while earning a living. However if my job went away tomorrow, I wouldn’t. DO YOU GET THAT? Do you SEE the difference?

There is a strong and beautiful community writing about their children, their lives, their worlds. We were here before and we’ll be here after. Oh and in case you didn’t notice- we’re on to you.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope you make oodles of cash, but I also hope you move onto the next thing quickly. Because I like my community without the carpetbaggers. The good news is we know who you are, we know what you want, and we’re rolling our eyes.


Thanks to the few of you Mombloggers who pushed me to write this. You know who you are.

*”I want to acknowledge that I’m an employee of BlogHer, but this is my personal blog and reflects my opinion alone. In keeping with my journalistic training, I think there’s a way to do this and to keep your credibility. How?See the paragraph in bold above.”

Comments

  1. I’ve had a few comments that basically go, “Great post! Please come visit my site and click on my ads.” And I delete those comments because they are spam.

    I have done a few giveaways and product reviews, some I have been compensated for or received something in return and some I haven’t. I did a giveaway for a local photographer for nothing because I thought it was nice to do. I was recently on my local NPR, talking about mom/dad blogging, and wasn’t paid for that either.

    I do know a few review bloggers and I tend to skim past their posts because they get boring. I know one who has NEVER said she didn’t like something and that makes me suspicious. And I was contacted by a company that wanted to send me a “custom written” post for my site, that I said no thanks to, because it didn’t feel right.

    I have no ads, and if the free stuff dried up tomorrow, I’d still be blogging because I still have plenty to say about my family, city living, and life in general.

    If I’m reading this post right, your problem is NOT bloggers who blog to make money, it’s those who are fake about it. And I hate fake.

  2. As always you delivered great content!!!
    Best,

    Samantha

Trackbacks

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  7. […] feel compelled to write this disclaimer after the controversy over at The Queen of Spain. […]

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  15. […] problem right into their own hands. They should fully disclose in EVERY post that the trip (or product or hotel stay) was provided free of charge or was substantially […]

  16. […] Even with the simple receipt of a free review copy, questions can remain about a reviewer’s integrity. I, for example, have a shelf full of books because I prefer to keep the materials I have reviewed. No one has accused me of whoring out reviews to stuff my bookshelf, but it is possible that someone can. Few reviewers can maintain objectivity in the face of freebies. It is incumbent on both parties to make clear that the material is not provided in exchange for a favorable review. It is provided for a review, and even then, the better reviewers know that not reviewing something at all is in better form over posting a negative review. Take, for example, what has gone on with the “mommyblogging” community. […]

  17. […] in what it all means for affiliates, but points to a fiery Queen of Spain post by Erin Kotecki Vest spotlighting recent drama over the tendency of some bloggers to accept freebies without telling their readers […]

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  19. […] In some sections of the blogosphere, it’s reached a tipping point. […]

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