The death of the mommy blog

Posted by on February 23, 2017

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We’ve been blogging and writing for so long that it hardly seems possible that there was a day when blogging was new. As a “daddy blogger” for GreatDad.com in the mid-2000’s, I was a novelty on press junkets in small groups of women who all knew each other from jetting around the country to Blogher, Mom 2.0 and a few other sorority events. I sadly didn’t have time to make those trips a full-time job, but I envied their friendships all born from this new phenomonen.

We’ve been blogging and writing for so long that it hardly seems possible that there was a day when blogging was new. As a “daddy blogger” for GreatDad.com in the mid-2000’s, I was a novelty on press junkets in small groups of women who all knew each other from jetting around the country to Blogher, Mom 2.0 and a few other sorority events. I sadly didn’t have time to make those trips a full-time job, but I envied their friendships all born from this new phenomonen.

And of course, there were some who were making good money, like the famous Heather Armstrong of Dooce, and I know more than a few whose online careers surpassed their spouses, who eventually were co-opted into the family business. By the end of the decade, everyone wanted to bond with the bloggers, courting whoever they could with the promise of a car seat or a baby carrier. And every new mom wanted to get into the game, spawning thousands or new sites each year by moms and dads alike, many hoping to make a million as a  blogger.

As reported by iBlog Magazine, only 12% of women bloggers now work full-time on their blogs, and a majority of them (68%) earn less than $5,000 a year. I’d wager it’s a lot less than that with many many new moms launching blogs and immediately realizing that baby care doesn’t allow a lot of time for introspective blogging.

Meanwhile, the baby industry got used to the “mommy blog” as a vehicle for exposing new products for the price of a sample. For a long time that worked because there weren’t a lot of blogs and impressions were cheap when paid for with samples. Lately, we’ve heard that is changing as manufacturers grow frustrated by requests for samples that sometimes feel more like whiny demands. For this reason, more manufacturers lean on longer term players like our friends Lisa Arneil at GrowingYourBaby.com or Hollie Schultz at BabyGizmo.com because they have created proven properties.

This certainly doesn’t mean the end of moms who blog, but I do think we are beyond the end of the gravy train for new mom bloggers that existed earlier in the decade. The ABC Show and others don’t even allow bloggers without two year of experience and a base level of traffic. That number is 1000 uniques per month, but will likely go up as exhibitors ask for more proof that “media” is vetted at least to some extent.

Blogging, social media, and YouTube are no longer novelties we all need to do just so we don’t get passed by.  Smart marketers are asking for more than visitor tallies before sending a $500 stroller or running a $100 contest. They want larger numbers that at least pencil out for a return, or to be associated with brands that can enhance their own.



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