It has been forty-eight hours since I first read a blog post called ” Dear Mom Blogger.” It was very critical to the industry I call home. You see when it comes to being a mom blogger I am a dinosaur.
I qualify as a mom blogger because I am a mom, and about half the posts I write can be called lifestyle posts. I also write about money, so I get lumped with the personal finance bloggers as well. I have always written about both but enough about me and definitions.
This mom, this writer, this community has become home to thousands of readers over the last eight years. The woman who wrote the post that has gone viral started a mere three years ago (which in the blogging circles is like forever).
Now, dear mom bloggers here is why Josie is wrong.
People do read you just like they read me.
For me, my comment section tells me that, tweets and replies on social media tell me that. I have a community that turns to me, so do you. If you are starting out you will build if you follow my one piece of advice, be you.
Josie touched on grammar and spelling. I am not perfect there. I am dyslexic, something my community and employers know, they read still.
I also have been named a blog to read, by more than one serious publication here in Canda over the last eight years. Readers come when you give them consistent content that helps them. Communities grow when there is a reason to grow.
Josie, said mom bloggers are not happy. She is right. We are not happy every day but who loves to share their dirty laundry online, no one. We all filter what we put online, and that doesn’t apply just to mom bloggers. We all have filters and filters are ok, lies are not.
I am happy most of the time and my friends know when I am having a hard day and yes, I have written about some dark days online I have written on this blog about mental health. Sometimes, you have to write about the dark. It is then you get to know your community. They are the ones who rally around you. My suggestion again for other mom bloggers, be you. Be happy if you are happy, be sad if you are sad, whatever you do just be you.
As for goals as a mom blogger, we all have goals. Income is a huge one for many of us and we know as our audience grows so does our paycheck. I knew my goal when I started CommonCentsMom. My goal was to help women by sharing what I was learning as I struggled to get off welfare and create a life for myself and my daughter. I wanted no Canadian ever to have to accept welfare or declare bankruptcy like I did. I have accomplished that goal, day after day year after year. My goal at the time was not to earn a living off this blog. I now do, however.
I know I have achieved that goal because I am told so by my readers. I am thankful for that community. We gather to chat every Tuesday for the #cdnmoney chat. It is the longest running non-sponsored chat in Canada. In 6 years it produced over 1 Billion media impressions all designed to help Canadians live better lives, know more about money, credit and how to save. I am proud of that hour on Twitter each week. So yes, dear mom blogger have goals but in your goals be you.
I have been to all those big name conferences that Josie attended. At them, I found my tribe. I learned lots, I met brands that became clients, I found I was doing ok. I didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars for a blog redesign, a friend I met at one of those conferences, did it for free. Whenever issues of a tech sort have come here on this blog, I have had friends who I know that can fix it at a price I can afford. No big spends needed. My belief here is until you are bringing in over $50,000 a year from your blog, spend little but that is my advice. You be you.
Back to those conferences, I have been able to speak at a few over the years. Each time I have, it was to give bloggers skills and tips that would help them meet their goals. You will find your tribe often when you attend events and conferences. They are people who will have your back and lift you on those dark days.
As for saying you are PR friendly, be you. After years of not mentioning I was open for business, I developed my first Media Kit. Brands had been contacting me and well I needed to figure out how much my time was worth. You do too, because if you have an engaged authentic audience brands are watching and do want to work with you. I do turn down brand work and you should too if it doesn’t suit your blog or your life but whatever you do be you.
When it comes to reviews, I have seen real negative reviews on blogs and yes, brands still come. They like honesty. Now, I have posted the truth when something breaks, or I have had a bad experience, but I also write about what the brand did to fix it or what they tried to. This is how I ended up on a train, with the CEO of VIA Rail and twenty east coast mayors on a dream trip because I was truthful about an earlier trip. On that trip, I got to tell him about the issue with communication. He listened and on several train trips since I have been more than happy with the service even if the trains are showing some wear and tear.
Now, when it comes to giveaway entries, they are fans and readers, I know mine are. You see, they keep coming back, they find things they love and find a reason to support you. The contesting community is like that. For the brands that do giveaways, they know it brings buzz, conversation, and growth or they would not do it. I love my contestors, and they love me. Want to do a giveaway on your blog, go ahead and be you.
If you want to write, write, if you want to dance, dance, if you want to figure out a way to earn a living online do it. Simply be you.
What have I found in eight years?
I have found I can be me and get paid to help others.
I have found a tribe I call friends.
I have found friends online and off. I met my best friend through our blogs.
I have found work that got me off welfare.
I have found brands that love me and keep coming back year after year because of the community I have built. ( I am in the third year of being a brand ambassador for a few of the brands I work with). I also have Twitter clients who come back year after year.
I have my voice, it helps others.
I have found I can be me.
Now as for you, dear mommy blogger, be you!