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. This article is spot-on. I’ve had firsthand experience with this. I produce a unique home decor product (which I will not plug here) and last year, pitched it to several mommy bloggers, as a possible blog item. One blog asked for two complete sets, which would be given to ‘test families’ for review. Soon after, one of the sets appeared on craigslist in the same city, unopened and for a third of the retail price. Not good! I contacted the blogger, who called the alleged host family and got them back – and then offered to give them away on the site, with a lot of hoopla. I agreed, but now, having read this, I have regrets. And I will do things differently in the future.

  2. Just a point to Dad and Marketer… the reason I bring this to light is because it’s unethical at best, and it’s giving the rest of us (many of whom are making a living) a bad name and could further jeopardize what we do.

    We are dismissed easily enough and not taken seriously easily enough just by having been labeled ‘mommybloggers’- now we’re going to throw in unethical business practices to the most powerful consumers in the country? This is a potential virus that could take all of us down with it, or put us under strict FTC regulations.

    No, sorry, but the carpetbaggers need to know we see them and they will, eventually, be shown for what they really are.

  3. @a dad and a marketer:

    I find it ironic that male interactions sometimes take the same shape online as they do in “real life” – the assumption that you can put a woman in her place with statistics that in actuality have absolutely zero to do with the post but seek to prove your own “expertise” on the matter while achieving the very opposite result.

    This “article” (i.e. post) is not driven by an annoyance with profitable writers, nor disappointment that Erin has reaped no financial reward – perhaps it’s simply the fact that those with ethics are frustrated by those with no ethics who are casting a negative shadow over an entire community that many women – like Erin – worked so hard to build.

    Let’s put it in male terms, since we’re all about gender generalizations here: Are the ethical baseball players who have taken no performance enhancement drugs just “jealous” of the success of those who are juicing? Is Rick Helling just “jealous” of Mark McGuire? Maybe. Or maybe he has a good fucking point that steroids were corrupting the game.

    Also? It’s clique. Not click. That drives me batty.

    (sorry Erin, I had a few drinks tonight and I’m feeling feisty.)

  4. I have no problem with review blogs…if they are open about just that..that is what they do…..I find many to be helpful and informative.

    I am honestly not too fussy about how you got that product…again if you have a blog that focuses on products…great…that is what you do and if you do it well you get a lot of readers who come to respect your opinion and we all love giveaways.

    My issue is with the whole ‘monetization’…when having a blog…no matter the topic is all about generating either google ad revenue, pay per post, pay per link etc etc…….seoing and maximizing it with tags etc etc….

    When THAT effort takes more than the soul..the content…not matter WHAT the content is …then all blogs are affected by the loss of integrity.

    And if there is no soul, no content….you can tell pretty fast…and again…whatever the subject or use of the blog…nobody will read it.

    The issue of the ethics of the net has had many permutations depending on the area, news, entertainment, politics and now mommy blogging.

    this will not end..the varieties of content is too numerous…the medium is evolving too fast.

    And I do not blame people or condemn people for making money from their web sites and or blogs….

  5. pwned.


  6. ok so the pwned belongs to @Mom101 for telling marketing dad how it *is* – just to be clear.

  7. Right on. Why is it so hard to just disclose the impetus behind a post?? It’s what we do anyway, talk about what we’re feeling, thinking, ate four hours ago. How hard would it be to just disclose sponsorship of a post?

    I don’t know, I’m a baby in all of this. I have 10 followers, 15 subscribers. I am a peon. An utter nobody. But I love, L O V E, and lurv my teeny tiny piece. And I don’t do it for the traffic or the hits. I do it because it’s a space where I can paint the universe.

    I’d hate to think that if I give the thumbs up to my readers for Huggies over Pampers because I think Pampers suck (and I really do) that I’d have to go through some sort of rigmarole to get it posted.

    And I think it’s bullshit to say that you can do whatever you want because it’s your own space. Just plain ol’ bullshit. We all hate when people park their cars on their lawn and ostensibly it’s “their space,” too.

    Whatever. Clean up your acts, peeps. The rest of us would like to keep our lawns looking nice without HOA intervention.

  8. In the spirit of openness, I did get free tickets to Sesame Place.

    And I honestly did want to remove my own ovaries with a pen knife after spending the day there with five bazillion toddlers.

    And Hershey Park didn’t pay me to say that.

    I don’t know…I’m new to the review thing. I just got hip to the whole disclosure/disclaimer thing. For a genius, I’m an honest idiot about some things. I’m not sure who you are talking about in particular and I don’t want to know. I’m thankful that someone advised and elucidated me first before whomping on me, especially is it’s the FTC doing the whomping. I’d give the carpetbaggers a gentle break and assume “business woman in training”. Or, if not all, at least me. Cause I cry easily. 😉

  9. and I wanted to ask…is there a difference between a ‘carpetbagger’ and the bloggers who accept invites by various corporations and or special interest groups to ‘seminars’ or special conferences where their accommodation travel etc is paid for?

  10. just askin cos I am maybe a little bitter that I never have been!!!

  11. by definition a carpetbagger is an outsider who comes along to jump on the bandwagon and try and take advantage of the opportunity. so I’d say your safe… lol 🙂 as are many who’d gone on or go on those junkets

  12. My wife had me read this post and it brings back the old saying “a woman’s worst enemy is another woman”. Try supporting one another and educating your peers, not tearing them down to better yourself.

  13. jacqui seabourne says:

    i like this and yr twit entirely new to this form of communication and could,nt agree more with sorting out the good from the bad,and hope yr humping cat is happy

  14. I started a comment and it turned into a novel
    Here’s the link http://www.momecentric.com/2009/04/29/ill-probably-regret-this-but-im-stepping-into-a-big-holereally-big-one/

    Here’s a blurb
    “Let’s take an example here:

    JessicaKnows has a car to drive for a year courtesy of Ford. The Flex I believe. Now, she had 2 choices.

    1. Go to car dealer, pick out a car (maybe even a Ford Flex), pay what seems like an enormous amount of money for it (all cars are expensive, I have no idea how much that one costs) and she could drive it home. She could drive it every where she went and talk to every one that asked about it. Guess what not only is she advertising the freakin’ car for them, she paid them to let her do it…does that man any sense in the flippin’ world?

    2. Compared to, go get a car that’s been offered to you to drive for a year. Drive it every where, be seen in it and answer people’s questions about it. And, so now you are advertising for them and it didn’t cost you a penny.

    Humpf, what logic? I’m telling you, if you chose #2, you need to move on from here now because you obviously have a rat in your brain. How much crazier does it get?

    So, I’m with Mom Dot here, call it like you see it and if you step in dog poop, guess what? You got shit on your shoes just like everyone else.”

  15. Ok, I’ve subscribed to the comments and so it’s been a few days since I read your post.
    I had to read it again. You keep saying that this is all about transparency and disclosure (I agree there should be both). However, one paragraph in your entire post talks about that.
    The rest talks about “Why are you here?” and basically diminishes any mom who blogs about something other than motherhood.
    “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.”

    I was starting to think that maybe I took your post the wrong way after the comments started.
    Now I know I didn’t.
    This post started out as something entirely different than one that points out disclosure & transparency.

    By your definition, Carpet Baggers are those that make money from their blog through reviews and giveaways.
    So with that said, being a carpet bagger and disclosing are not mutually exclusive.
    Please, correct me if I’m wrong here but the title of your post has nothing to do with transparency and disclosure and your post starts with a “Why are you here?” followed by your definition of a Mommy Blogger, and then a history lesson for those of us who you clearly think were born yesterday.

    And then you mention disclosure in a paragraph. In this case, making it bold doesn’t make it more important than the rest of the post.

  16. A Dad and a Marketer says:

    First, touche’ on the comeback for gender stereotyping. In hindsight, probably should have not included that as my lead in to my initial reaction to the article:) Also, no defense on not correctly using “clique”.

    Regarding your suggestion that my data on the growth of online business and the correlation with business blogs is not relevant, I do argue that it was related to the post, and specifically the writer’s comment that business blogs are soon to die out. The data provided backs up the fact that there is growing support for this type of consumer as the advertiser medium.

    Regarding your point about the writer’s intention with the post. You state that her intention is to call out those without ethics, which I say is fine. But the content of her post contains very little discussion about ethics. It appears more directed at the concept of making money with a product review blog, which if done with open disclosure and following basic online journalistic standards, is not inherently unethical.

    Regarding your comment about baseball players, I think you’re comparing apples to oranges. Of course, honest players have a right to be disappointed if others cheat to make money. My scenario comparing blog types would be more a comparison of honest players making minimum salaries to other players that make more money based on their unique talents and abilities.

    Okay, let’s be honest. We both appear to be smart people with a point to make. I have seen this development of original Mom Bloggers teaming up with a seemingly negative view of women and moms who choose to use blogging as a business model. I’m sorry if you disagree, but as an non-impacted reader of this article, that seems the direction of the message. My point is that if the writer, et al, truly believe TO EACH HIS OWN, why call out “carpetbaggers” and “stereotype” all profitable business blogs if the real point is to address those that operate unethically (eg. hiding, not openly disclosing, etc.)?


    Reply to:

    @a dad and a marketer:

    I find it ironic that male interactions sometimes take the same shape online as they do in “real life” – the assumption that you can put a woman in her place with statistics that in actuality have absolutely zero to do with the post but seek to prove your own “expertise” on the matter while achieving the very opposite result.

    This “article” (i.e. post) is not driven by an annoyance with profitable writers, nor disappointment that Erin has reaped no financial reward – perhaps it’s simply the fact that those with ethics are frustrated by those with no ethics who are casting a negative shadow over an entire community that many women – like Erin – worked so hard to build.

    Let’s put it in male terms, since we’re all about gender generalizations here: Are the ethical baseball players who have taken no performance enhancement drugs just “jealous” of the success of those who are juicing? Is Rick Helling just “jealous” of Mark McGuire? Maybe. Or maybe he has a good fucking point that steroids were corrupting the game.

    Also? It’s clique. Not click. That drives me batty.

    (sorry Erin, I had a few drinks tonight and I’m feeling feisty.)

  17. Yes, my post calls out those who came here SIMPLY to make money after they heard there was this “momblogger community” and they were all over the place like CNN and Oprah.

    And I admit “not that there is anything wrong with that”- but that is NOT why I am here. Or why QofS exists.

    And I ask WHY ARE YOU HERE because as I said .. you fake like you’re my friend, but really you just want me to click your link.

    It’s called astroturfing.

    And I want to know up front who I am dealing with. And what they are after. Because the lines have blurred and some are the “fun and friendship” pals that I commiserate with and some are just here to make a fast buck. Some are trying to be the fun and friendship pals I know and love just so they can make a fast buck.

    I want to know which camp you are in, if either, or if both, because I’m tired of dealing with liars. Tell me up front. You here for business? Fine. I think you’re missing the point if you are, but hey, go for it.

  18. AND all of this brings up the legit review blogs vs. the unethical ones. And the FTC issues.

    So yes, it is all about transparency and about disclosure. Part of that, for me, is to know if you are like the marketers buddying up to me for business as i chat about my life and my kids, or if you’re not.

    And I think that can be easily answered by the question I posed… If the free stuff dried up tomorrow- would you still be here?

  19. *this is erin. I just edited this comment because it named names and I won’t have people using this post as an opportunity to point fingers directly. Unless you can prove it, we’re not putting it here. I tried to email Marie so she could edit her own comment, however she left a fake email.

    I’ve seen the obvious choices about who is really a carpetbagging mommyblogger. But a lot of them are honest about what they are doing. You know that if you click on a link on their site, they are getting paid for it.

    But there are others who fall under what you are really getting at here. EDITED BY ERIN falls into this category. She has done nothing since she started blogging that isn’t a calculated move to create a business out of blogging. (and you are correct, there is nothing wrong with that when it’s done honestly) But she doesn’t state that. She claims it’s all about community and she loves her community and her community is da bomb.

    She’s been the sly fox sitting in the hen house and waiting; gleaning from everyone. She started out only selling her own things. Never talking about her family or her life. But claiming to be one of us. Claiming to be a part of our community. It was just an avenue to something bigger.

    She continues to say it’s about community and “I’m doing it for my friends and for my fellow females and mommy friends” but it’s not. It’s about her business. Building her community so that it benefits her. She even went so far as to remove ads on her personal blog, to show how very authentic she is. But every other action and tweet shows that was just a show to try to make everyone buy into her ruse.

    At least Jessica Knows is honest about what she is doing. She has a disclaimer. She doesn’t claim to be a part of the community.

    Remember the entire EDITED BY ERIN incident last year? EDITED BY ERIN was absolutely right. But everyone was mad at EDITED BY ERIN at that time for saying it outloud. No one wanted to say she was correct. But she was (even if done a bit harshly). And I bet secretly EDITED BY ERINwas happy about the entire thing, because it got her sympathy and page views for her ads.

    I wonder how a carpet bag looks with those pearls of hers.

  20. and as MOM101 more eloquently pointed out… I don’t think I would have said a thing about this other faction if it weren’t for the fact that a ton of them are being unethical. They make US look bad. All of us. And that’s a huge problem.

  21. thank you for writing this. thank you. i’m so OVER being sold every place i freakin’ turn.

  22. Amen.


  23. I believe:
    1. Some people suck, moms are no exception
    2. Innocent until proven guilty is a good thing
    3. There ain’t no free lunch. Or free stuff. If writing for stuff is paying your bills, you don’t live in So Cal like me. Good luck with your time consuming hobby. I hope it does not become a soul sucker for you.
    4. If you are making a living blogging, call me. I’d like to hear more about how! Because I am ok with that.
    5. I’m guessing if you can make a living blogging, you are a more than decent writer
    6. Because no one reads or buys crap writers. Inauthenticity and bad plugs = crickets.

    I agree that this issue is an issue. But my take is different. I think that too many are jumping on their high horses and screaming the sky is falling when perhaps it’s just a little hail. This transparency/disclosure thing is a battle cry and cause du jour. Yes things have changed. Yes there are idiots and assholes in our online community. Just like on the PTA, in your office and everywhere else in the world. But I don’t think this transparency issue is the problem the media is making of it.

    Historically women have been bashed as dirty money grubbing unethical whores time and again. Usually when there is an institution threatened as there is here. Who stands the most to gain from this rumor of carpetbagging mom bloggers? Traditional print media publishers? Journalists who’s papers are being shut down by the popularity of online media? There are so many reasons we are hearing so much about this right now and it’s not just because of a sudden ethics drought. If it were, we’d have more concrete examples of who is doing what.

    Personally I hate mob mentality. I hate when a small problem spurns rumors and panic of a BIG problem when in fact maybe it was one or two people. Or no-one at all. I’m much more worried about this mob mentality and the villagers with pitchforks and torches taking us all down, than I am about the assholes out there who don’t get what online community is. Rumors are even more Jr High destructive than calling out a perp.

    Here is my article and my take. Note: If you click on it and read it, I will get $0 from ad revenue. I was not paid to write this. Mostly I’m posting the link so I can shut up now and so I don’t keep repeating myself and writing response novels. I’m worried about all of us.

  24. I think the bigger issue isn’t necessarily that people are making money via blogs since, isn’t that quote-unquote Living the American Dream?

    But, it’s the masking of a post which seems so very innocent enough, but turns out to be one big, fat ad for some product or service. That’s not Mommyblogging…that’s a static infomercial.

    There’s NOTHING wrong with advertising, but when your little online space that you tout as a Mommyblog is just a repository for paid posts, then that’s just deceptive.

  25. I would like to believe that every blogger is ethical, understands the “rules”, but I know that’s not the case. Unfortunately, there isn’t one hard and fast set of rules for how to be a product reviewer, whether you post them on your “personal” blog or have a separate product review blog.

    What I think most of us (and by us I mean the product review bloggers I know personally, the ones who have been at it for more than a month or two) believe is that if you choose to write about products that you’ve received, you should do your best to let your readers know that they are reading a review of a product you did not buy yourself. And, that if you host a giveaway, you should remember to say in the post whether or not you also received a product yourself, and if you did, do the sender the courtesy of writing at least a few words about the product.

    I also think that there’s a big misconception that product review bloggers are getting buckets of cash thrown at them. Or am I misunderstanding? Because if I get sent a free whozeewhatzee and in my post, I link to the whozeewhatzee website, I’m not going to get paid anything if any reader clicks that link. Are there bloggers who are just filling up their posts with affiliate links but no real content, no personal thoughts about the products they are hoping you’ll buy after you click the link? Not a big fan of that at all.

    Unfortunately, there will also be bloggers who take shortcuts, who look for the easiest way to do things, who don’t care at all whether what they do affects an entire community. All the rest of us who do care can do is try our best to represent our communities the best we can.

  26. As someone who has run a mom website (BlueSuitMom.com) for almost 10 years (way before mommyblogging and twitter were all the rage) I find this discussion to be very interesting. It does seem like everywhere you turn there is someone referring to themselves as a mommy blogger or social media expert. And I wonder — why so many people have come into the landscape? Are people looking to get rich quick on the internet? Is there really that much money being thrown around to reach the mom market that everyone wants in on it?

  27. The best I can tell, some people and I don’t even know who, got their drawers all in a wad b/c of bloggers doing this stuff. The way I look at it, they can buy Beyonce’s time to advertise some pretty make-up or they can pay me. What difference does it make?

    My only issue was the implication that ALL of us get the products that we give away and I don’t. As a a matter of fact, I rarely get the a prize like the ones I give away. I need the money, maybe Beyonce’ does too so, what difference does it make to anyone. I’ve been in this since 2001 and I’ve seen it in all forms of no making money, I’ve made $25 one year, I’ve made $10,000 one year and I”m on target this year to make about $6K this year but I have received more product. I haven’t received a car, I’ve received $15 books to review, $20 pieces of jewelry or purses, DVD’s and small stuff. I am getting a dishwasher next month and I get to keep it, but it is fully disclosed and has all these restrictions for m to abide by on it.

    So, in reality, it’s not that big of a deal. To me, do what you have to do to feed your family. It is my responsibility as a consumer to decide if someone is faking it and make my own decisions. Just like Beyonce’ – do I really think she uses the products and looks the way she does because of it or is she being paid to say that? It’s my decision as a consumer to decide. Don’t you think?

  28. You know I really don’t get what the big deal is. I am just getting into review blogging myself. I did, in fact, start my blog originally to make money online. As a SAHM, I needed to find a way to help out my family’s bottom line without it actually putting us more in the hole than we already are. I had seen stories on TV about Dooce and another blogger in Chicago making great incomes from their blogs, so I figured “How hard could it be? I am a good writer, a Mom, a wife. How difficult could this really be?” I’m just looking for $1000/month, not to get rich quick.

    Of course, I found out just how hard it is rather quickly. But I also have met some really incredible women from my blogging who are not all only living in that box on my desk anymore. I have found I have a talent for graphic design and may channel that into an income soon. We’ll see. I run ads on my blog because my family needs an extra income and it is not feasible for me to work outside the home right now. The daycare fees alone are $1000/month! So I am doing what I can with the tools and opportunities I have available to me right now. What is wrong with that? I will not say something is a good product if it sucks. I have integrity, something sorely lacking in this society, and I have to stand behind what I write. I will not post something on my blog I don’t completely believe in. I do have ethics. But I will also not slam the door on opportunities that come my way, as long as they are relevant to my life or my readers lives. I am not going to whore myself out to any advertiser that sends me an email. If I do not like the product or agree with their policies, I am not going to work with them. Period.

    Something curious has been happening to me lately, and I do not know if I am the only one who is experiencing it, I keep getting emails from companies asking me to post about their group/organization/product/site without any offer of a review of said product or compensation for giving up space on my blog or time spent posting it. When I either ignore the email or say no thank you, I get very pressuring and insistent emails in response. I wonder if some of the carpet baggers you are speaking of have felt pressure to please all the PR reps in order not to burn any bridges? Let’s face it, this economy sucks and when you or your husband has been out of work for months and you don’t know how you are going to pay your bills or put food on the table, the offer of some cash for a blog post/ ad space is a Godsend.

    But hey, it’s just my opinion.

  29. Slam and dunk. Gosh this makes me happy to read.
    Several bloggers that are in the loud group have lost their blogging edge and become simply marketers. Again, nothing wrong with that, but please lose the pretense.

  30. But what happened to live and let live? We’re not all in the same position and some people need to try to make money from their blogs. Doesn’t mean they can’t be part of a community, too.

    Don’t you think that the people who aren’t genuine (for whatever their reasons are) will quickly go by the wayside? I’m lucky — I’m in a position where I don’t have to worry too much about paying the bills and putting food on the table, but if I did I’d have to give some serious thought to spending more time being practical. As I said to someone recently, I have the luxury of choosing whether and how I blog, and how much money is or is not involved in it. Lots of other people aren’t that lucky.

    If we’re going to talk about ethics and the FTC, I think the government should focus on the advertisers and companies who are pretending to reach out to bloggers and are just exploiting the influence as a new way to advertise. Let’s call on the FTC to look at the flip side of this coin.

  31. PunditMom, that’s a good point. But, it should be specified that not ALL companies and advertisers are “exploiting” the influence mom bloggers have. A lot of the smaller companies are genuine and even some of the larger ones are reaching out in genuine ways and offering moms opportunities to profit from their hard work – I don’t see anything wrong with that. In other words, as long as nothing is underhanded, or dishonest, each to his/her own.

  32. @punditmom says “Don’t you think that the people who aren’t genuine (for whatever their reasons are) will quickly go by the wayside?”

    Absolutely. And those are the ones I will continue to roll my eyes at. FOR SURE.

    And I think there are many communities here. Some I don’t choose to be a part of or participate in, some I do.

  33. I’m not sure where to begin because there are so many comments and your post is so good and well said. I’ve learned lots about blogging, online life and like you said…community. I love my community of bloggers and if the ads, free stuff, giveaways, etc stopped I’d still be reading about BPA, talking about green cleaners, chatting with the moms at my green mom community and elsewhere online about non-toxic this or that. I am new, no lie about that but what brought me to blogging and yes my business is still genuine and real. I do wonder why some start and it seems just to make money but they’re sneaky about it.

    I’d like to be like Trish and say I don’t care what others say or think but I do because frankly, they’re my community so I do. I also think that online content and influence does matter and this is why it’s easy to get upset when there isn’t transparency. I think the FTC thing is good but I think we need to do what you said two years ago when I read your blog for the first time – think of yourself like a business and wake up. Remember the post and when I called you? Thanks for that BTW!

  34. Thanks Sommer. And Yes, I do remember. And I guess the bottom line is there are reputable business and there aren’t. There are reputable blogs and there aren’t. And those who just recently came along to take advantage (the carpetbaggers) will continue to miss out on the most important reason we’re here…the community.

  35. I’ve been on the road for the past two weeks, so checking in very late to the discussion. It’s important to remember that the FTC hasn’t decided anything yet, and I’m sure the ad trade associations will be all over this.

    That said, I expect they will be looking very closely at a few elements:
    – is there a disclaimer or legal notice on the blog that explains the blogger’s policies vis review products and disclosure
    – the value of goods/services received, whether or not disclosed
    – payment. Did money change hands somewhere in the transaction, and I do not think this will be limited to just whether the blogger received payment.

    It’s a good time for everyone to get their ethical house in order.

  36. Quite a conversation. I hope things can be civil. People come to the space for different reasons. For some it is a journal and for other it is a career. I sense a lot of anger from those who don’t seek to make money. I am a professional writer and I spend a lot of time and effort on my work. I do accept ads. I don’t ever write about products I don’t test. I turn down about 50% of the offers that come my way since they don’t fit. From there I only write about 75% of the goods I test–the rest don’t meet my standards.

    I also do interviews and service pieces. And I have a nice network of bloggy friends–some with intentions to make money–others in it for the connections. I like them both equally.

  37. Fascinating stuff. Some of the acid leaking out of a few of the above comments fascinates me too… why so nasty? Some of us (myself included) haven’t made a dime, and just write to amuse, entertain and inform. Kind of like journalists, but with no street cred. 🙂 If any company wants to send me a freebie, I say… thank you. (And then do whatever the government tells me to if these prizes are considered income someday.) And review the products, and buzz about it honestly if I like it. If I don’t, I use my manners and say… nothing. Civility, people. It’s what separates us from the animals. Let’s put the claws away and support our individual opinions, styles, and personalities. And now, I’m going to put on my L’Oreal night eye cream sent to me by BzzAgent, and I’m going to love it. 🙂

  38. What I find interesting is that you are assuming that people are offered the same deal. Before today, I didn’t get what people were saying about some of the paid reviews being disguised.

    I now wonder if that is even the case. I’m not sure what blog(s) are specifically being discussed, though.

    Here’s my story.

    I did a review a couple of weeks back for a product and was involved in a webcast. I did not get compensated for it. I did receive free product. However, I’m seeing on some other blogs that some bloggers were paid by Blogher for doing the same review. Which is great for them! But you can’t assume that others were offered the same deal. I wasn’t.

    Though, someone could assume that it was a paid review because I did a review on the product after receiving it, the free product was mentioned in my review. I didn’t mention getting paid for the review because I wasn’t paid.

    Now I’m concerned that people would think my posts wasn’t genuine or didn’t fully disclose because some bloggers are getting paid and mentioned that in their post, while I didn’t mentioned getting paid because I didn’t.

  39. I don’t assume anyone was paid or not. I just assume they will disclose. I get pitches offering $ and I get pitches offering nothing and I get pitches offering me some of the stuff to either review or giveaway.

    But I also assumed most people here in this space weren’t here to take advantage. So what the hell do I know.

  40. I don’t get it. Why are you attacking other bloggers for what they do on their own site? They paid for their Domain Name and Hosting. To each his/her own as you said yourself.
    I’m new to the blogging community and enjoy reading and commenting on many different kinds of blogs. Some that do reviews of products and giveaways and others who do not. We are in Amercia, right? Thank goodness for Freedom of Speech. You have a right to express yourself as you have on your blog and others have the right to express themselves on their sites. Let’s wave the white flag for a truce. I think the entire subject comes down to respect. Respect for each blogger to do their own thing. Visitors to the sites get to make up their own minds who they like and don’t like. There is room for both kinds of bloggers as you descibe in your post. I have never been prouder to call myself an American as I read this post. I’m glad that you have the freedom to speak your mind just as all bloggers have the same right too. Let’s stop throwing stones at each other. This battle smells similar to the one on work at home moms vs work outside the home moms. Wow, I can’t believe we are still battling each other as women in the 21st Century. I am so grateful that I am an American and have freedom to speak or not to speak; to review products are not to review products. In closing, I am sure your post has stirred up the controversy I am sure you were expecting; to generate visitors and links back to your site. I wish you the best in all your endeavors.

  41. AWESOME! This post rocked. And it was needed.


  42. Cypress says:

    FINALLY someone said this!! Thank you so much! God Damn I’m getting so sick of BlogWhores..you call them carpetbaggers…I call them what I want (shrug) thanks again for another great post

  43. I love this post. (and the comments.) I was sent over here from Twitter and I’m kinda sad I missed seeing it weeks ago, when you posted it originally.

    I am with you on this. I started blogging years ago and then took a two year break and have been back for almost a year now. The blogging world I came back to was very different than the one I left. I have no issue with an occasional review or a free give away, but those who do it all the time, with no content, get quickly deleted from my reader. There is a big and obvious difference in those who are in it for the money and those of us who are here for community. Yes, I have BlogHer Ad’s, but that’s about it. Those of you who make money at it, that’s great, I’m all for it. I read people who do and I could care less. But I read them for the content, not the free stuff they give away.

    Now I will say, I’d gladly take some free toilet paper now and again. Laughing my ass off at that, thanks Mom 101. Because dang it, we are always out. Ha

  44. I don’t mind calling out those who are in it clearly only for the money, the fame, the glory. I don’t think it’s necessary, because they will die out (You say you are simply dismissing them, but this post says otherwise). That’s how capitalism works. There has to be a demand for it.

    The issues I have with your post have nothing to do with that. I take issue with the way you describe mommy bloggers as bloggers who must post about their kids, their lives with their families. You imply that if we do otherwise, our content is not valuable to this community and, therefore, we don’t belong.

    I take issue with the way you say that there is nothing wrong with trying to take something you love – blogging – and turning it into a business by asking you to enter our contest, click our ads, read our review… and yet you bash it to hell in the next paragraphs.

    It’s important to be clear about our intentions and motivations. If you received a product for free, say it. If you got paid, you should disclose it. I’m all for that. That part is great. But that’s not what you made this post about.


  1. […] I’m Calling Out The Carpetbagging Mommybloggers — 3:44pm via Google […]

  2. […] for.  So, naturally I figure if others are interested, I might be too.  So, I went to Queen Of Spain ’s […]

  3. […] this talk about mommy bloggers and authenticity initially seemed like a continuation of the conversation we’ve been having about advertising […]

  4. […] who once rallied mom bloggers to “become a business,” now outs new bloggers as “carpetbaggers,” because they skip the “content” part of the writing completely, and just do […]

  5. […] out the interesting things from among the racket. Bloggers complain that too many people are just in it for the money, thereby killing sense of community that has built up over a period of years. And it’s […]

Speak Your Mind