I’ve been reading The Mama Bee lately, and loving her insights and well-laid-out thoughts on being a working mom. She wrote a great post last week about the definition of mommy bloggers, blog-advertising, and the power of moms and media.
And yet, “mommy blogger” has become quite the buzz phrase lately. Mom blogs are now considered major viral marketing opportunities for dozens of products and services — from toys to financial services to food. And for sure, it’s a good thing that women and mothers — who it is estimated will control 60% of all wealth by 2010 — are being taken seriously by marketers.
But what are we saying when we make ourselves the mouthpiece for marketing companies? I talked yesterday about how the internet has both democratized and commercialized feminism. Inasmuch as the media is using feminist (and anti-feminist) rhetoric to drive traffic, we bloggers are also selling our souls for giveaways and product placements. Some of these marketing opportunities help to drive traffic and monetize sites, but for most bloggers the money to be made is not very significant. Companies are benefitting much more from this arrangement than writers, who are diminishing the value of their content in service to the marketing machine.
I’ve seen a lot of blogs I read start taking paying reviews lately, and while some part of me was jealous (of the free car or the readership, I’m not sure which!), another part felt like I was getting ads shoved under my nose while reading my favorite book. Blogs ARE a way to make money, but as The Mama Bee says, at what cost? I don’t make any money blogging, and would be wise to find a way to at least make what I do self-sustaining! I don’t tend to label myself a mom-bloggereither, but suppose in many ways that’s an apt title. I prefer the moniker of Web Hostess of the Crazy Corner, but that’s not likely to become too popular now is it?
Good food for thought, read the whole Mama Bee post here!