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…


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.”


  1. Just because *I* don’t like it doesn’t make it invalid.

  2. …and another thing. I bash is because so very many are DOING IT WRONG. Yes, there really is a wrong way. They are either selling themselves short (and by default all of us short) or they are being unethical about it.

    It has to end.

  3. sorry I’m late… been busy.

    I find it interesting there’s no similar sense of outrage over product placements in movies. Some are disclosed, many aren’t. Or am I the only one who notices that all the cars are made by one manufacturer in a given movie? The James Bond franchise has basically become an infomercial with a plot. And Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? Seriously? How many brand logos can you cram in one show?

    Look, carpetbaggers are here to stay. So are PR/issues management flacks like me. We’re both annoying. I try to keep it real – I don’t hide who I am, I don’t hide what I want, I don’t hide what I offer. My blog is where I keep my thoughts – if I’m talking about I client I say so. I can’t control what other people do and I won’t try. But I also won’t waste my time reaching out to carpetbaggers for help shilling something for basically the reasons you spell out. I’m looking to build relationships with credible opinion leaders.

    You know what else? I don’t like reaching out to carpetbagging bloggers because it’s so profoundly BORING. What do you discuss with someone who truly has nothing original to say?

  4. Well, I haven’t been a mommy blogger for more than 3 years because I haven’t been a mom longer than that.

    But I have been a blogger for a while. And I blogged about issues affecting military spouses before I knew anyone might pay bloggers in any way shape or form.

    Now I have a personal mommy blog. It is my personal space. The only ad is BlogHerAds. I have trouble finding my voice on this blog–I love reading you and Catherine and Liz and Alli and so many others for your honesty. Frankly, I cannot be that hones, although I do like to think of myself as a writer since people pay me to write in print magazines and all. It isn’t my image I’m concerned about–but my husband’s and my children’s…and I’ve long ago discovered that anonymity online is an illusion.

    I also have a review blog. I started it to write comparison reviews after trying hundreds of slings, wraps, etc. to deal with my colicky baby with a heart condition. Now, it is a business. Everything I write is original and honest and posts often take me an hour just to write. I turn away thousands of dollars in potential revenue because I will NOT place paid “advertorials” or paid follow text links. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but people say they enjoy our reviews and at least for now I enjoy writing them.

    When I talk to another blogger…that’s purely pleasure. I wish I could meet people at BlogHer this year…but alas it is not in the cards for me.

  5. I am not a mommy blogger and I have never done a product review, so I’m not familiar with the carpetbagging that you find offensive. I have to admit I find it slightly manipulative when brand new readers leave a comment that is clearly an attempt to advertise for themselves, but I just ignore them.

    But all this said, don’t you get paid by Blogher for everyone who clicks over here? Does that make your prose any less meaningful or smack of selling out? Not in my mind. This post strikes me as strident and suggests you believe that your brand of blogging is superior.

  6. You lost me in the first few lines. Picture Elane making her face in a Sienfeld Episode! WTF?


  7. I agree that there are simply no lines some bloggers will go to for free material and the ‘spotlight’ they some how never got growing up and are psychogically torn over about it. Last week I had a ‘mommy’ blogger EMAIL ME..yes EMAIL me thanking me for entering her contest (which was nice) BUT then she started to suggest to me to enter another one she had on her blog. I don’t remember giving out my email for the purpose of advertising! Don’t fill my inbox with your junk peeps! IF we want to enter we will get on your blog and do it..if we don’t then we won’t!–arggg

  8. You? Rock. You described everything that, as an old-school print girl-turned blogger, I have been thinking. Thanks so much and I agree with you that quality content will prevail. Kudos!

  9. I wrote a blog post responding to you and others on this issue. Hope you will stop by to check it out:


  10. oh halle-smackin-lujah! I recently put an ad on the sidebar of my blog and feel like a COMPLETE sell out! I have been stressed out by this for a while… How did it become this weird world of mommy bloggers and giveaways?

    I mean, sure… I comment on their blogs… but just to get the SWAG!


  11. This is so … crucial right now for a lot of people, and I have to tell you, it really hit home for me — for a different reason. (Excuse the editorial).

    Why am I here? I got into the whole “blogging thing” because I wanted to write. I wanted a place to actually get my words published, and a potential audience. I thought by reading some good writers I could become a better writer myself, and be inspired for my own writing.

    What I found was friends. Some of the best friends I’ve found since I began the (sometimes isolating) phase of motherhood. But I also found the more good blogs I read, the more I began to doubt my own ability to write, well or otherwise.

    Now I’m wondering, “Why am I here? I’m not a good writer. I don’t write well, or often; I haven’t been writing for very long. Why would anyone want to hear (read) what I have to say (write)?”

    Still working on it.

  12. Wow! Nice!

  13. 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.

  14. As always you delivered great content!!!


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    I’m Calling Out The Carpetbagging Mommybloggers

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