In the Netherlands most bloggers have a job for the money and blog for the fame, not the fortune. Six months ago I moved to the USA and became intrigued by Mommy Bloggers. Blogging Mommy’s have thousands of followers on Twitter, write mainly positive reviews, are clearly sponsored by companies and make good money. What is the success of the Mommy Blogger?
Mommy Bloggers & figures
Mommy Bloggers are a phenomenon in America. They mostly post blogs about their children, but also provide makeup and lifestyle tips. They use social media to bring conversations about a product to life. Marketing agencies use bloggers in their marketing strategies. Since early 2000, the number of Mommy Bloggers has taken off. There are about 3.9 million of them, which is 14% of all American mothers. About 500 are fairly influential. Via Mashable I found this infographic indicating the 10 Most Influential Mommy Bloggers.
It’s all about monetizing
The Mommy Blogger monetizes her blog in different ways:
1. They run advertising on their blog. Most bloggers even run so much advertising on their blogs that it’s hard to find their posts.
2. They push coupons. Bloggers make sure that as many people as possible make use of a coupon for a product. They tweet about it, post it on
Facebook and on their blog.
3. They write product reviews. They write about the newest shampoo, go on press trips and blog about it.
Mommy bloggers appear to be successful because they post and say positive things about products or events and share those comments and stories.
Are Mommy Bloggers objective?
Of course Mommy Bloggers can post negative things, but the chances they will be hired again will diminish. So? So, they don’t. You could wonder whether they are real people? Well, I certainly have my doubts with a view such as with this Ninja Mom (check her Facebook, she has many followers but zero interaction on her posts) but most of them are real. Meaning a real person, not ‘the mother who could be your friend’. These bloggers are business women. If they’re doing the right things, they can make good money from it. I asked an American shopper engagement agency – that preferred to stay anonymous – what these right things are.
The secret Shopper Marketing Agency
I spoke with the Social Lead at the agency. It’s a big agency and they mainly work with large brands and therefore with good bloggers. They do a lot of research to find the right bloggers. Agencies usually don’t work directly with bloggers, a good blogger nowadays has an agent to emphasize their creative content and provide advice on legal issues. Seriously?! (Remember, I’m Dutch, it’s all new to me.) But yes, an agent. The Social Lead explains that this trend started about 18 months ago.
From brand to blogger
What is the process when hiring a blogger? For example a shampoo manufacturer hires a marketing agency. That marketing agency hires an agent and that agent represents the interests of the blogger. Are you still there? Have a look at those steps:
Shampoo Manufacturer – > agency – > agent – > blogger.
Of course, only the really big bloggers have an agent, but it does confirm that Mommy Bloggers are not ‘just’ ordinary people who provide you with the objective advice you’re looking for.
How to become a successful blogger yourself?
The Social Lead gives a few tips on how to become a successful blogger.
1. Follow fellow bloggers. Be friendly! Take part in online conversations with other bloggers and follow them. Bloggers follow bloggers and
there are 3.9 million Mommy Bloggers. I suddenly had the answer to my question on how they gain so many followers on Twitter. It’s the
2. Attend Twitter Parties. Attend what? Twitter Parties are often hosted by a blogger. Parties are regularly organized by a marketing agency, the
agent of a blogger or Tweeps that also blog. It’s a conversation on Twitter to promote a product. The latest shampoo will be discussed with
the aid of a hashtag. Because it ‘s a party, there are gifts of the shampoo manufacturer. Important aspect; your voice is heard and your
number of Twitter followers grows. Read more here about attending a party.
3. Start blogging for free. Agencies often first need to see what you’re capable of.
4. Be authentic and share good and engaging stories. The Social Lead refers for example to blogger courtney’s sweets.
Being authentic and constantly sharing positive stories? Uhm, sounds like a contradiction to me. Then again, I’m from the Netherlands. I can write (okay, almost always) what I want and I do, but I don’t make any money with it and I do not by far engage with 20K people. Good Mommy Bloggers work hard and are in the possession of excellent marketing- and sales skills. They can sell themselves and the brands they work for. That’s clever, but in the end not more realistic than any commercial you see on your TV-screen. Moreover, you may wonder what the added value to a brand is when bloggers mainly follow other bloggers. What the best way is to engage with that real consumer? I don’t know.
The new consumer
I do know that consumers – like you and me – are not stupid and want real advice, given by real people that they can trust. I do want to know when a product is not effective. I do want to be respected as a consumer. We should go back to where it started: sharing real stories instead of the best marketed story. Companies will have to realise that and they do. Read here about how to embrace the new customer.
The real question is: What’s next? What do you think?