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Five Reasons Why Mom Blogs Are the Blogs to Watch

The following post exploring the rise of Mom Blogs is by Michelle Mitchell from Scribbit.

In the Wall Street Journal’s April 10th issue Sue Shellenbarger interviewed Heather Armstrong (known to millions of fascinated fans as Dooce) and a gasp of surprise went up from print media around the country (even my hometown paper The Anchorage Daily News picked the article up off the AP wire).

But I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing surprising about Dooce’s super-stardom and in fact not only is it to be expected but other mom blogs are following in her wake. Mom blogs are poised to become the next big “It” when it comes to the internet–they’re gathering power like no other blogging niche and will only get bigger and better. Here’s why:

1. Moms can blog at home

You don’t need a PhD, an office or a small business loan to start up a blog and this especially appeals to mothers who are looking for ways to bring in extra income while they’re at home with their children. It’s a job that they can do while the kids are napping or away at school and allows women like me who have left the work force to raise a family to feel part of the tech age–always a benefit when your days are filled with diapers, dishes and drool.

Mom bloggers don’t have to leave their day jobs and they don’t have to make enough money to live off of–all they need is a little extra to pay for soccer lessons or a family vacation.

2. Moms need the sociality of the net

I couldn’t possibly count the number of days that I’ve spent without the live interaction of another adult (except maybe the clerk at the grocery store). Women want–no we crave and demand–social interaction and for those of us whose office is our home the internet and blogging opens up a new world of friendship, debate, learning and conversation. No longer do we have to pretend to hold conversations with Steve on Blues Clues just to talk to another adult, now we can blog. Women need to read about other moms’ struggles and disasters–it’s how we feel that maybe our own traumas aren’t so bad–and there are more and more moms daily that are discovering how the world of mom blogs helps them feel connected to other women.

3. Moms have a wealth of material to use

Tech blogs are just about technology, celebrity blogs are strictly about celebs but a mom blog could focus on parenting, protecting the environment, politics, crafts, food, homeschooling, gardening, household products, design, travel or just funny stories.

They’re usually written with an emotion and personality which connects with readers in ways that other niches often can’t and they speak about subjects that naturally carry strong emotions: home, family, marriage, children, the environment–all of which encourage dedicated readers. A blog about the latest techy gadget, while interesting, doesn’t carry the emotional weight that a post about home and family does. While other bloggers may sneer over moms posting stories about life with little ones and the oddities of every day life there have been plenty of writers from Erma Bombeck to Dave Barry to Jerry Seinfeld that have built careers on noticing life’s quirks and inconsistencies and mom blogs are cashing in on this.

4. Moms are record keepers

Blog means “web-log” and most blogs are started as online journals. Moms naturally tend to be the record keepers for their families whether it’s a newsletter, scrapbook or photo album and more and more women are turning to blogs as an easy way to keep their family’s diary. Staying in touch with Grandma, recording a child’s growth, these are the reasons women are turning to blogs and even though 99% of them will never see traffic outside of their family those who blog read other blogs. And who are they going to read? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not TechCrunch.

5. Mom blogs wield economic power

In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point he writes of the importance of mavens–those who are trusted for their opinions and who pass along information on what products, services and ideas are the best–and mom blogs are the maven nesting grounds. Moms want to know which products work and which don’t; they want to give an opinion on what’s worked for them and share their experiences with others and advertisers are just beginning to discover this advertising pot of gold.

Because women are generally the buyers for their homes in everything from clothing to food to minivans mom blogs talk about things that can be bought and sold, products that can be promoted and services that most households need. Proctor and Gamble, Sony or General Electric can throw up their logos on PerezHilton and that might make them look rather hip but if they can get Dooce to say she liked their stuff that’s when the sales start rolling in. You’ve heard “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”? Well she who does the shopping then blogs about it rules the net.

Mom blogs are growing and it’s not going to be too long before Dooce stops being an anomaly in the blogosphere and becomes the matriarch of mom blogs everywhere.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Wendy says:

    What’s that old quote – “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. Seems extremely apt!

  2. Shawn Farner says:

    I would make the same argument for student bloggers. Most go to class for two or three hours a day but have lots of free time afterward. Add that to the fact that the college culture is pretty entertaining to write about and you’ll see the draw. :)

  3. Veronica says:

    Wonderfully said Michelle.

  4. Daddy blogs too!

    http://beagooddad.com

  5. TJ Hirst says:

    Great points from Michelle whose blog has been an influence and an inspiration for me and many other women who are just getting started. Her writing skills are what makes her blog interesting and informative. To me, that is a high priority whether I am reading or writing a blog.

  6. Michelle ~ GREAT to see you writing here representing well The Mom Articulate.

    Blogging gives a mom creative outlet, stage, forum, community, sway and voice–elements that in the past weren’t so readily available. Where in the past a mom’s world (for a season) was made smaller, now? There’s a parallel universe where mommies shine, making a difference in the lives of many.

  7. Annie says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the author. Watch out for the Mommy Bloggers!

  8. So we settled on http://www.mommymetropolis.com
    What do you think?

  9. Lori Reed says:

    The mommy mafia is alive and well in the blogosphere! :)

  10. jen says:

    Good to see Michelle over here at Problogger. Mummy blogs are huge and not to be underestimated. I too love the personal style that many mum bloggers have and word of mouth marketing that many mummy bloggers do is huge and again, not to be underestimated.

  11. Some of us Mommy bloggers use blogging to create things like my virtual law office where we can blog about our professional sides while working at home as mothers. Best of both worlds with tons of flexibility.

  12. Fiar says:

    Am I the only person that sees mommy blogs as the insipid reality television of the internet? The humor directory Humor-Blogs.com has been absolutely invaded by dull, whiny, humorless mommy blogs, and the rest of us in the directory just want to puke.

    I don’t care about your kid. Even if I did, I still wouldn’t want to hear about the “oh-so-clever” shenanigans of your 4 high-fructose corn syrup addled children.

    The last thing we need is to have these people encouraged.

    Gah!

  13. Dennis–Thats pretty exciting to pick your domain. It’s like naming your child and about as important in terms of long-term effect. I would suggest though (and just a suggestion only) that you consider finding a title that doesn’t use the words mommy, mother, random, musings, thoughts, family, or mom. It may sound counter intuitive but think of Dooce. She’s become a verb (what higher honor can the internet bestow I ask?) and she made up her title herself. Try to be different to set yourself apart from the huge crowd of momblogs out there that use those words and it’ll help–you know, that purple cow Seth Godin talks about. Then concentrate on a good angle and great content.. A name is pretty darn important.

  14. Mike says:

    The parenting blogs in general seem to be a growing thing. Even the dads are finding that having a place to go for support/tips/ideas/entertainment is a great resource.

    Most of those points could apply just as easily to dads as moms.

    The last one though seems to really be true. I know that I’ve talked about products from time to time on my blog but when my wife talks about them on hers she normally gets a much stronger response.

  15. Lisa says:

    Mom Blogs Rock! That’s right. I said it! Thanks Darren for taking notice. ;)

  16. julie says:

    Agree there’s great deal of value in mom blogs for participants and that they are obviously influential as a marketing area, but think there is still a clear sense of a niche for those with shared concerns.

    I’ve been blogging widely for six months but have only just run across the term (previously defining them as ‘family’ blogs); sure some women blog to have mental space from their kids!

  17. Dominique says:

    Great post about mummy bloggers. Being a mum of toddlers blogging has allowed me to maintain my sanity while at home with the kids. Really hope that someday my blog can be as popular as Dooce.

  18. heck! I work at home, am a mum to 5 daughters and I blog. That must mean I own a mom blog too, or should I say two. Actually it’s more than that, but you know what I mean! ;-)

  19. Reid says:

    I find it really interesting that Dooce is being used as a runaway success of a mommy blog. She’s been one of the most popular blogs since around 2002, when she gained fame for being fired for writing about her coworkers on her blog. She already had massive success when she became a mother, so if you’re going to use her as an example, you should probably give the caveat that, to be a WSJ-interviewed, massively successful mommy blogger, the first step is to be a massively successful blogger!

    Point being that surely there are better examples of bloggers who started as mommy bloggers and then became successful rather than the other way around.

  20. Janiebabes says:

    Mothers are more and more looking for information on parenting on the internet, in discussion forums and in blogs – people learn to trust them. And they become active through them. Breastfeeding advocacy, birthing choices, parenting styles, homeschooling – these are all niche markets with powerful, educated consumers who often aren’t reached by more mainstream media.

    I think it will be interesting to watch this develop.

  21. And on top of everything you said Darren plus the WSJ and all these comments, I should add Moms certainly know a thing or two about adversity, my area of specialty. It all starts with giving birth (OUCH) and then raising the child – the hardest job in the world but probably the most rewarding (I’m not a mom nor am I a woman, LOL but I can empathize with them).

    Thanks for letting us know about Heather Armstrong – I must have had my head buried in the sand for I didn’t know about her. I’m now a new subscriber because of this article. :)

  22. Mom2Miles says:

    Great article, Michelle! I agree with everything you said. I started my blog, diaryofanewmom.blogspot.com, 2 years ago for a variety of reasons. Partly to keep far-flung friends & family informed about my pregnancy & baby, but also because I’m a writer by trade & grew tired of not being able to get my funny parenting essays published. I have kept it up this long because it’s fun & I get to connect with other moms. The response has been so great & supportive, plus I’ve found a whole bunch of new mom blogs to read.

  23. Bill says:

    I keep telling my wife, who does work part time, to start a Mom blog. She home-schools our two children (the older three from her previous marriage go to high school), and I told her that it would be great to compile and brain dump all the info that she has had to learn and sift through to make good informed decisions as far as curriculum, time management, child management.

    She says she doesn’t have time, but I think I may convince her yet….

  24. Michelle, great job! And yes, so true! Power to the Mommy Blogger.

    Steph

  25. Thanks Michelle for writing this article. Mom blogs are not all about rearing children. Some terrific moms write about everything. I am a mother of four and write about greening your home and garden from my own personal perspective. The funny thing is most of my commenters are males! (This may be because I talk about green building products sometimes)

    Does everyone remember the EF Hutton commercial? Well, when Moms talk, people listen!

    I just went and visited Heather’s blog. It is hilarious and reminds me that I should not take myself so seriously.

  26. I love this post by Michelle. It is so true and the marketing world is taking note!

  27. Maria says:

    I started out my blog as a single clueless blogger, then I got pregnant, and it became the clueless expecting woman who blogs about birds out here office window … then I gave birth and before I know it, I became a mom blogger who exchanged blogging about Cher [impersonator] scootering down commercial street to, well, blogging about my son and life as a mom.

    As usual, you made a very valid point about mom bloggers. I used to have just a blog with passing readers, then by the by they began pause and read through my entries, then they started commenting on my imp of a crustini, and then when I write about something, sometimes they say, hey I haven’t heard of that, I’ll check it out now – which I think is very exciting as my blog slowly becomes relevant.

  28. Anne says:

    Thanks Darren for posting Michelle’s post. As a new mom and newbie to blogging, the post grants encouragement and confidence to continue on blogging.

  29. Husbandhood says:

    Great article. I was just thinking yesterday that I needed to find a selection of parenting blogs and here we have a nice chunk in your comments. I need to start visiting other parenting blogs.

  30. Katy says:

    I am a mom blogger with a mission to reach other moms to indeed rule the world by raising the next generation with “good kids”. Thanks for validating our worth.

  31. Rachel Anne says:

    I wondered why “mom blogs” didn’t get its own category in the poll. I sighed and hit “other,” along with all the other mom bloggers.

    Michelle, I wish I could meet you in San Francisco but maybe it will have to be the next time around. You’re an inspiration, and your site helped me make my “Company Girl” button clickable. I’m indebted.

    What’s interesting is all the categories within the “mom blogger” title. Product review, parenting, organization, homeschooling, special needs, marriage, spiritual, work-at-home, crafting…even motivational, which is the sub-category I might stick mine into. Mom blogs run the gamut and when you put them all together, it’s a formidable block. Perhaps it will get its own category someday…;)

    I only wish I had more time to blog and read other blogs, but the life of a mom is incredibly full already. Thanks for posting Michelle’s article!

  32. Tim says:

    My wife keeps talking about this extraordinarymommy.com website. Apparently, the woman who blogs on this site is a fantastic writer and very inspirational. My wife wont stop talking about it. And, she seems to have a lighter spring in her step. So, thank you to whomever created extraordinarymommy.com.

  33. I suppose all these comments go to prove something I didn’t even mention in my post: that mom bloggers are almost always very, very nice people. Thanks and good luck with your growing blogs!

  34. pinaywife says:

    I can relate a lot with the reasons mentioned in the article. I’m a mom blogger and what inspired me to blog are other mom-blogs I usually read. Moms have the wealth of information and wisdom we could share and earning a little extra is another plus factor in blogging.

    I do also noticed that mom or home-related blogs that I own get more opportunities for paid reviews.. Must be because advertisers are now realizing who wields the household purchasing power eh?

    Cheers to mom bloggers!

  35. Teresa says:

    I must admit, I’ve moved to reading Mom Blogs because they are more genuine. Sorry, boys, but you are just to “sales pitchy” or analytical.

  36. I’m a mom blogger but to me, the internet seemed to be dominated by the males. So it is a nice surprise to read about the growing interest and popularity of mom bloggers. Hooray!!!

  37. NML says:

    This is very exciting to read. I am a mum who blogs and particularly since I have started writing about baby and mother products, I am seeing huge traffic growth each month and I’m now generating an income. Mums spend a lot of time online and as their babies grow so do their product and information needs. This is great news and unsurprising to me – I’m just glad that it’s getting noticed and excited for what it means for myself and other mums. In the UK, I think that mum blogs are hugely undertapped so it’ll be interesting to see if there is a rise here.

  38. It’s inspiring to know that someone is paying attention to us!

  39. Amy says:

    I am a mom blogger, I blog about being a mom going through a divorce… Soon I will be a working mom blogger… that will take on a whole new meaning!

  40. I am a full-time time mom and I have a blog which is not a mommy blog and it’s true that some mommy blogs are a bit too “mommy” for me but there are some mommy jewels in the blogosphere.
    I also found a few interesting “Daddy blogs”.

  41. Pentad says:

    Go Moms!

  42. Genesis says:

    I´m a mommy blogger who has been blogging since my firstborn was a year old and I was pregnant with my second . . . then with two boys under two. It was really my escape from the endless diapers and feedings!

    However, I would like to point out that not all mommy blogs have to be just about our kids. For example, I have two mom blogs, one focuses on working at home with kids and the other is on my life as a Canadian expat living in Guatemala. The second has a lot more to do with motherhood, but I consider them both to be mommy blogs.

  43. Ann says:

    I want to say that there are some amazing blogs out there besides “mommy” blogs. My personal favorites include http://www.dogwalkblog.com
    http://www.plainjoe.com

    and of course, for all of us moms who want to work from home, check out

    http://www.retailjoboffers.com

    Keep on blogging!

  44. KimC says:

    Sony has begun to harness the power of mommybloggers: they recently had a posh event to help market their digital cameras at mommybloggers. Fifteen participants were brought from all over the US and one from Canada, treated like royalty, trained to use the products, and were sent home with a selection of free cameras.
    You can read more about at (ahem) my blog by searching “Sony.”

  45. I started as freelance writer on the parenting scene. Soon I had more material than I knew what to do with…a blog was born. Now almost a year old, Momtrends, is like my third child. I’ve got a high-style low-pressure tone. Being able to write about motherhood helps keeps things form getting too serious.

  46. Kath says:

    Echoing what another commenter said re: Dooce…she was blogging before she married Jon and long before she became a mom.

    I’m not a fan of Mommyblogs or Daddyblogs per se…I have no kids and don’t want them plus many of them are just sooo boring. Sorry if that offends, but it’s my perception.

    What I do like are bloggers that have their own voice, have varied interests and being a parent is not the ‘only’ thing they represent.

    If anything, I think classifying yourself as a Mommy or Daddy blogger could prevent those of us that could care less about kids from finding you.

    Just a thought?

  47. Lara Kulpa says:

    Wow, Kath. Pretty harsh coming from someone whose blog is full of things like one-liners about how you love Colorado, or how much sleep you got over the weekend. You call mom/dad blogs “sooo boring” yet what are YOU bringing to the table as a blogger?

    “Sorry if that offends, but it’s my perception.”

    Ditto to you.

  48. codadiva says:

    I’ve been bloggin’ for about a year, and got into a bit of a lull. I’ve now created a plan. I started out bloggin as a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) mom raising three Kodas (Kids of Deaf Adults) Basically I have deaf parents and my husband is deaf. Making the experiences I see in my children the first time I’ve bonded with what it must have been like growing up having Deaf parent(s).

    I think most Mommy blogs do not just define that they are a Mom, therefore they blog. I think that most of the great content can only come from having children. So for that, yes, a mommy blog is a different view. I’m grateful! Yea for Mommy blogs, moms that blogs and blogs about moms!

  49. Kath says:

    @Lara – not at all offended :-)

    Different strokes, ya know?

  50. Chabelamarie says:

    What a great post. I think you have hit the nail on the head. I cannot tell you have much I enjoy reading other Mom’s blogs and writing on mine. It started as a way to have a creative outlet and to force me to write (English is my second language so I felt I needed the mental exercise) and now, I’ve discovered I love writing. Definitely mom blogs rocks!