April 05, 2012
/ by Emily Zimmerman
It has been a few years since mom bloggers became a permanent presence online. They continue to have a significant impact in the blogosphere and influence others in the community. As their children grow, however, mom bloggers face the challenge of successfully expanding and evolving their content.
During the State of the Mom Blogosphere 2012 panel, held on the social networking site Motherhood in January, mom bloggers discussed that switch of target focus. Many have already expanded to blogging about women’s interests in general, self-discovery and growth.
Amy Lupold Bair, the mom behind the blog Resourceful Mommy, faced the change head on.
“Days of product reviews for small children are gone,” she said. “When my son was three, he loved helping me review the latest and greatest, but now that my kids are nearly eight and six, those days are over. As my daughter moves toward the tween stage, the topics I am dealing with as a mom are becoming more difficult to write about and suddenly I am finding myself being very careful about what topics I will cover.”
Beth Rosen, long-time blogger for The Midlife Wife, believes that content was easier to write when her children were younger. Her stories confronted the physical challenges of raising four kids under the age of four, the strain of trying to find balance and allowing time with her husband. Days were full of activities including dance classes and Girl Scout meetings. She dealt with issues such as absenteeism from school, not making the school team or being left out of a school dance group.
Being a parent of a tween or teen brings on a different manner of content as well as unsolicited feedback. Rosen somewhat longs for the diaper days in comparison with the teen years of her children.
“The teen years are comprised of raging hormones, slamming doors, the homework assignments that would challenge Einstein and overall drama,” she said. “Diaper controlling days seemed oddly quaint; nostalgic even. Well-ordered time of piano lessons, after school sports and play dates. A period of order, before the kids discovered their own voices, long before the driver’s license in their wallet meant that our growing separation was no longer just an emotional reality, but a physical one.”
Rosen found that her stories became more focused on who to ask to the school dance, writing college applications, making the right social choices, dating issues, and more often than not, topics that are difficult to blog about.
“When our kids are babies and toddlers, many of us love to share every anecdote and detail of their lives,” said 5 Minutes for Mom blogger Susan Carraretto. “When they get old enough to have their own online identities, respecting their privacy as an individual can change the face of your blog.”
Fortunately, some bloggers have not had to fret about adjusting their content or changing their focus.
“Thankfully, my audience’s children have grown with mine and new readers are joining us all the time,” Lupold Bair said.
Carraretto hasn’t needed to alter the content of 5 Minutes for Mom because it contains stories from a variety of mothers in all stages of their parenting life. This helps her reach a wider demographic.
Keeping up with technology is another challenge mom bloggers face in the new media landscape. Many fiercely embrace the social media explosion using profitable platforms such Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Lupold Bair explained that social media allows her to have a career and stay home with her kids. “I am able to take my kids to the bus stop each morning and get them at the bus stop each afternoon.”
Rosen believes that each social media platform has its own appeal. “Twitter offers an immediate conversation and sound bytes,” she said. “It’s an amazing platform that enables me to bounce ideas, get feedback, and evolve a concept in real time. Facebook allows for a more penetrating approach. It allows me to develop relationships that I’ve established through Twitter, so there’s a real synergy between the two and together with other platforms, such as webcasting, Google Plus, etc., it allows for a truly integrated approach and what I like to call 360 degree marketing.”
Which platform is the “it” platform of the moment? Pinterest, which is believed to become the new Twitter.
“The explosion of Pinterest offers social media for non-bloggers,” Rosen said. “I call it social media lite whereby it allows those who don’t want to invest time in Twitter or Facebook to actively engage, post, and interact to the same degree, often with even better results. It’s very exciting.”
Carraretto noted, “We have embraced the advances in social media and we extensively use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to grow our audiences and bring them back to our blog. But we are aware that while we use those sites to engage with readers, it is often a challenge as bloggers do compete for readers’ time with the major social media platforms.”
Social media can be beneficial to a blogger as long as it is used in the right manner and for a specific purpose. However, it does possess that addictive lure, as Lupold Bair noted, “I find things worthy of tweeting everywhere I look and hate to go anywhere without sharing it with my Facebook friends and fans. It’s a way of life!”
Resourceful Mommy Amy Lupold Bair, blogger 5 Minutes for Mom Susan Carraretto, blogger
The Midlife Wife Beth Rosen, blogger
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