Recent thoughts on mom blogging

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I dug up this post from my drafts, after months of not hitting the “publish” button. This is because lately, I’ve been talking with several moms about “the state of the mommy blog.”  Just yesterday morning, I was talking with a lady who made some keen observations about mommy blogs, and how they’ve changed, for better or for worse.  It was enlightening to hear these views from her perspective, and I remembered this post, which I had put in my bank of unpublished blog posts.

Other influencers for this are: Heather’s post on “mom blogging and our digital footprint” some months ago on  Theta Mom, which led me to go on a “thought trail, back-track” on mommy blogging; Gigi of Kludgy Mom’s poignant post on the “new black” of mom blogging; Meagan’s honest look at having it all as a mom blogger and the guilt associated with certain aspects of motherhood. Finally, my last reference was the NY Times’ Motherlode’s article on mommy bloggers becoming brands.

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We have heard it and acknowledged it: Mommy bloggers are a force to be reckoned with.

As a mom reading this blog, you know it to be true. You’re likely among the 1,000+ subscribers to my newsletters; you have actually opted-in so that I can send my latest posts (and my free e-book) to you, because you like what you read here on the blog.

You know this is true when you read the blogs of other moms, like those who collaborate with brands, or who have made the right connections and are enjoying active bloggy lives.

You know it’s so true when you look at your blogroll, at a list of bloggy women  that you read about the “I-suck-at-life rants” of other mommy bloggers who document their crap-tastic days and feel fully entertained that your feelings of mommy guilt are validated.

It’s a fact: We’re all influenced, somehow, by the documented lives of mommy bloggers. 

It’s no biggie. Everyone’s blogging; everyone’s got a mommy blog, it seems.

Even as the mom blog world is booming, it’s changing, too. Content has evolved from mere memoirs; mom bloggers are endorsing brands; writing has become branded; blogging has become an industry on its own.

I know, because all this has happened to my blog, too, and I won’t deny that. Still, it makes me think sometimes: Am I really the kind of blogger I want to be?

In an article on mommy bloggers entitled “Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand,” the New York Times’ Motherlode blog quoted super-blogger Jill Smokler of Scary Mom as saying:

“I wish we could go back to where blogging was five years ago, when it was just about the writing and the connecting and none of the free stuff and the vacations and the swag bags,” said Ms. Smokler, of ScaryMommy .com

(Note: For balance, this quote came from an article that is actually objective. The article presents the situations and views of other influential mom bloggers who have been working with brands and growing their own brands as well.)

Still, I totally get what Jill meant here.

do miss the days when blogging was about writing — and writing well.

I do remember those days when we had no inklings to work with brands.

And yet, I do know today that there are more and more “influential” mom bloggers out there, both in the marketing-brand sense of the word, and in the community-advocacy sense, too.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with building your platform. There’s nothing wrong with using your blog as a money-maker. As research has shown, the generation of “smart moms” has seen the rise of the mommy blogger, and brands have acknowledged this, even leveraged it to their benefit. I myself run sponsored content on my blog, on occasion. It’s a totally valid source of income.

Still, I’ve had to put limits on this mommy blogging thing. For instance, I don’t go to many blogger events, simply because I’d rather spend time with my young family, build my little business, and do the things I love. Still, I do understand that brands look to bloggers to help them. This is something my friends and I have talked about, in open conversations with other women bloggers.

But as a mom blogger, my family, my husband and my son: They need me more than brands need me. Right?

Truth be told, my blogging journey has been less than pretty. My social media history is no more pristine. I’m not for going into the gory details, because the people who need to know about them already know. I have learned from my past mistakes as a blogger. I have moved on, and I’ve grown.

On a personal note, I do consider myself an influencer, and I don’t feign humbleness when I realize this. I’ve been credited with being the “go-to” mom for the work-at-home lifestyle, so much so that I’m even the director of a brand of workshops that advocates WAHMs. I’ve even responded to my community’s insistence to hold writing workshops, even though there are far better writers out there.

Am I proud of where blogging has taken me? Do I acknowledge this influence?

Totally. I’ve grown a brand, and I consider that a blessing. While I may not have the same page views as other mom bloggers out there, I’ve created a small yet inspired community around this space.

And the thought of this is sometimes scary.

It scares me to have to be responsible. This is why I’m so glad for people like Ginger, Marge, Jenn and Patty — my WAHMderful Life partners, who have joined me in nurturing the WAHM community. I’m grateful for friends like Toni, Jayme and Michelle — my “co-conspirators” in Blog Inspired — who share the passion that blogging should be purpose-filled. I’m thankful for online friends like Jennifer and the ladies I’ve “met” through World Moms Blog, like Jennifer, JuneRuth, Kyla, (even former WMBs Alison and Galit) to name just a few of these global moms who have made blogging a true sisterhood.

All these women — and others I’ve not mentioned but are nonetheless valuable — have helped keep me in check, keep me sane.

They make me want to be a better blogger, a better wife, a better mother.

Because I don’t want to screw that up.

 mom blogging

And so, I do all I can to make sure I’m a responsible blogger. I will keep on being extra choosy and picky about brands. I will preserve the friendships and connections I’ve made through this blog and beyond. I will learn from mistakes I’ve made in the past, and make peace with them. I need to. Not just for my readers’ sake (and I love all of you), but more so for my family’s honor.

Finally, I’d like to make sure I live my life fully. You know me as a blog coach, a workshop organizer, a mommy blogger. But strip all that off, and I’m first and foremost a wife, a mom, a sister and a friend. I’m not always online, because I know it has the potential to suck me out of living. As Heather says,

I have to continue do what feels right to me. And right now, that means being completely connected to my kids. My blog, Twitter or Facebook won’t remember my son smiling on the soccer field. But I certainly will.  — Heather Reinhard, on “The Evolution of Blogging”  from Theta Mom.

Many things are going to change here on Dainty Mom — and if you’ve been following my updates, particularly on Facebook and Instagram, you can very subtly see the changes. They are exciting, scary, thrilling, enlivening. And I hope you’ll be tuning in as they unfold. Because while the mommy blog world will continue to grow and grow, we still have to nurture our worlds beyond just our mommy blog handles. It’s only then that life really, truly becomes the bliss we feel blessed to blog about. (That’s a lot of alliteration just there, isn’t it?)

Have you ever thought the same things about mom blogging? What are your current musings, questions; yes, violent opinions, even? Let’s chat.

Comments

  1. says

    I just read this post now! And awww, I love hat I’ve been able to help out with the WAHM community over this past year. I promise to continue to do so, in the little ways that I can from here on out. And Marts, I want you to know that you make me want to be a better blogger. You truly have inspired me in each and every one of your workshops that I’ve attended, our chitchats and email kwentuhans, everything! I’m so happy that we’ve become friends. :)
    Patty recently posted..Our Frog-Less Weekend at Villa Escudero Plantations and ResortMy Profile

  2. says

    Hi Martine! Thanks so much for sharing this post. While I was reading this, I find myself nodding to what you are saying. I actually cried, smiled and got inspired with this post. I am always thankful that I found out about your blog years ago (in your blogspot days). I’m glad to have been a part of your blogging journey. I must admit there was a time when your posts seemed different. I think this was what you are referring to :)

    Your blog is one of those blogs I call home :) Whenever I’m uninspired or down, I can always turn to you and after reading a post or two, I feel like I’m well again. Love you Marts! And I’m looking forward to the changes in your blog next year :)
    Chrissy recently posted..I am from pompoms and buntingsMy Profile

  3. says

    Grace and I actually talked about this when she was here. I was telling her that one of the things I like about her blog is that it’s genuine – there are no paid posts, no ads, she just writes from her experience and interests. I know that Mommy blogging is big business now, but I do miss reading “authentic” posts about moms being moms, and not as brand ambassadors for whatever product or company. I’ve actually stopped reading my old favourites for that very reason. I wish more bloggers will follow your suit – to write from the heart, about “authentic” experiences and life lessons, and yes, about finding your bliss. A mommy blog that has more product endorsements than anything else is no different from a magazine that has more ads than articles. Yes, they make a profit, but they do not engage their readers.

    Just my random thoughts today. :) Oh, and yes, Happy Birthday, Martine!
    Patricia recently posted..Logo + Web Design for A Sweet CottageMy Profile

    • Martine says

      Thanks for sharing your insights, Patricia! I’m kind of “in the middle” with this, since I DO know how to teach bloggers to work with brands and with ad agencies. However, the focus of my business of blog coaching is beyond showing someone “how mommy blogging is done.” I’ve gone beyond moms, actually, to reach out to WOMEN who want to live inspired lives… because it’s necessary to live towards a purpose, and a blog can be a great tool to start conversing about our inspired lives. :)

  4. says

    You know what Martine? When I was reading this, I was smacked in the middle of my “bliss” — my snoring loves. I wanted to comment right away but my husband enveloped me in his strong arms so I shut my phone off and went with him to slumberland. Where am I going with this? I love blogging, I really, really do! It makes me sane, it takes away my boredom when husband’s not home and daughter’s busy on her own and it made me meet awesome women like you! :)

    I still have to get the drive back to blog again, after 10 days of hiatus. But thank you for this! Parang wake-up call of sorts. :)
    Denise Rayala recently posted..Bounty Fresh’s Top Torikatsu: More Than Just a KatsuMy Profile

  5. says

    I keep on nodding in agreement while reading this post! Though I can’t relate to building your brand since I don’t blog for brands or products ( I only blog based on my life experiences), I can totally relate to the feeling of reading other mommy blogs to validate my various feelings as a mommy!

    Great post, Martine!
    ilonggamommy recently posted..House Turnover. Finally!My Profile

    • Martine says

      Thanks! Blogs evolve with the people who write them, so this evolution is simply a reflection of the changes I’m going through as a person. :) I always appreciate your comments!

  6. says

    Very well put, Marts! Written from the heart.

    Mommy blogging has indeed evolved. Little coves on the net have turned into big, inviting beaches. It’s a beautiful thing to see how more women are becoming empowered by writing. Writing has always been a great trumpet, with us being able to share our insights and learnings with even more Moms.

    There’s a line between commercialization and blogging with a purpose though. Some balance it really well. Me? I choose. I don’t say yes to all the brands that want to advertise on the blog. If it’s not a brand I’d use in real life, I won’t say yes to it. Making money out of blogging is a bonus. But it all depends. For me, my blogging purpose is to share experiences that can help women, mothers, families. To each her own! I respect what other Mommy bloggers do with their blogs; it’s their own cove, it’s their own beach. For as long as we understand and respect how we can approach blogging differently, then we’re all in good harmony.

    It’s a learning process though, just as you shared. I think we all have to go through some kind of roadblocks and humps to know what direction we truly want to head in. After blogging for more than ten years, I think I know what groove suits me best now. It was a rocky but rich journey, one full of detours, a couple of U-turns, but always, always, moving forward.
    Toni recently posted..Popsicle Sticks Zoo: Fun with interlocking popsicle sticksMy Profile

    • Martine says

      “For as long as we understand and respect how we can approach blogging differently, then we’re all in good harmony.” — YES! I heartily agree. Different strokes make for an interesting and multi-facted blogging world! We each have our own “sweet spots,” and it’s perfectly fine.

      For me, right now, I think these other moms’ blogs have been touchstones. They prompt me check myself, again and again. Sometimes I look back on my earlier posts and remember the kind of person I was back when I wrote them, and sometimes I feel like I have to go back to that simplicity of writing from the heart.

      Thanks so much, Toni, for your insights! You’re really one of those bloggers I have looked up to through the years. Hugs!

  7. says

    Another though provoking post. I understand what you mean. Though as a marketing person I am always torn between the two. I really appreciate talking to you about the quality of life versus blogging because you are so grounded and you know your priorities! I am so happy we met!
    The Diplomatic Wife recently posted..Comment on DIPLO DECLUTTER ♖ Cayenne Baskets/Organizers at INACRAFT 2011 by JAKARTA FINDS: INACRAFT FAIR | The Diplomatic WifeMy Profile

  8. says

    I so love this post…. I don’t know if you remember that I asked for your assistance to do some critic on my blog?! And I don’t know if I have done something new on it, cause until now I haven’t asked ms. Patty to do an “overhaul” in my blog. Yet, I am trying my best to follow all of your critic there. I told you when you asked me, what do I want out of my blog, and I answered them truthfully as I can. I know it will take me some time to even just, reach 1/4 of what you and the other mommy blogs have rached, okay na ako dun. But lately, the other mommy blogs I read, have all the same content. As you have pointed out, okay lang if they have brands to promote but then again, lahat sila yun ang pino-promote. This is why, I so love reading your blog. Just reading what you do, on a daily basis, sharing your day with your son Vito and most of all telling all newbie mommy bloggers out there, like me, that it is okay to really share what you know. Start where your heart tells you. This is why I so look up to you and to ms. Toni of Wifely Steps. Thank you very much for guiding me and the other newbie mommy bloggers. This is also why, as much as I want to give it up, I don’t because of the encouragement you give and share to us. This I deeply appreciate. Thank you again. It is my dream to really meet you in person. Who knows, right? Thank you and happy Friday! Thank you again.
    Ma. Teresa Grech Q. Racal recently posted..Happy Birthday Ate Joie!My Profile

    • Martine says

      Thanks, Grech! Of course, I remember our consultation together. Wow, that was a couple of years ago, wasn’t it?
      Thank you for your heartfelt comment. Thank you for your support. I can do better, I know, as a mom, and as a blogger. I’m still learning, still growing, and I am glad I can be frank and honest with you ladies!!!

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