Thursday, August 13, 2009

On blogging

Lately there has been some negative talk about 'mommy bloggers' in the media. Why all the negativity? Perhaps because blogging has all of a sudden become really popular, with more and more people starting to blog. And doing product reviews. And receiving lots of free 'stuff' and money for writing about what they think of a product.

I don't really see a problem with this, as long as it's done with honesty. And for the most part, I think it is.

I tend to read blogs for the writing, not for the reviews.

This recent article on 'mommy bloggers' in Chicago (which I heard about from Nap Warden) was poorly written. It portrayed mommy bloggers as moms who only blog for money. It talks only about the moms who blog about products and make money from doing this. There is no mention about the hundreds of bloggers out there who blog just because they love it, who are popular because of their words, not for their giveaways, and who have wonderful stories to share. As a journalist, this story was not well researched at all. I think I could have done a better job writing this story on my first day of journalism school. Drunk.

I started my blog when Christos was only 18 months old. He is now 4 years old. I started blogging because I love to write. Before blogging, I would email my friends dozens of times a day to talk about a news story, to share my thoughts on what was going on in Hollywood, to talk about politics and, of course, to talk about my life as a mom. I then discovered the world of blogging - and it was a much better way of getting things out! And my friends were very thankful.

I continue to blog because I enjoy it. I love talking about my boys. I love the connections I have made through blogging, I love that I have an online record of the things that are going on in my life.

I have no problem with moms who do giveaways. Most moms who do reviews - at least the ones I have seen - are honest and do it for good reasons. At the same time, I'm not one who needs someone else to do a review on a product for me to decide if I want to buy it or not. I'm a natural born shopper, and I like making my own decisions with my purchases.

On another note, why do some people not like to be classified as a 'mommy blogger', anyway?

Does it really matter? Why are people concerned about the label? Let's all just be bloggers, then. Bloggers who are moms. Or not moms. Doesn't matter to me!

For the record, I don't have a problem telling people I'm a mommy blogger. It's easier then saying: "I have a blog where I mostly talk about my children, because, well, I'm a mom!" I also happen to have a career in communications, writing and editing. You can call me whatever you want.

If you love to blog, continue to write without feeling bad about how you are viewed in the media or how you are labelled. Write whatever you want to write about. I read many great blogs everyday and I think there is a solid community here, filled with, for the most part, support, encouragement, and friendship. Heck, there are things I tell my friends in the blogosphere that I don't tell people in real life!

I think you can absolutely make wonderful connections with people you have never met and feel close to them even if you're miles away. I think this is a beautiful thing. I think if you're a blogger, you understand this.

Let's not lose sight of how great blogging is, despite the way some media outlets have portrayed this. Blogging is about people sharing their thoughts, writing from their hearts, and making a connection.

20 comments:

The White House said...

I agree! And what is the problem with moms who only blog for money anyway? Really, is there some contract you have to sign when you become a mom that says that you can do NOTHING for yourself and it all has to be about your kids?

I enjoy your blog, so blog on!

Christy said...

I totally agree with you...I don't even pay attention to the negative press at all. I love blogging and love reading blogs! Most by moms, because guess what? That's who I relate to!

For what it's worth - I don't do reviews, but I do do giveaways occasionally, because I like free stuff! :-)

Courtney Kirkland said...

You made some very good points here. I don't care if they label me a "mommy blogger" or not. That's what I am anyway. I blog because I love it. Period.

rheanne said...

Thank-you for this post. Like you, for me blogging is far more about connection with others, feeling like I am not alone in all my trials and tribulations of parenting, celebrating with others and reflecting on my world. Wouldn't it be nice if more people in the media commented on the wealth of positive rather than the few negatives that there might be.

Lady Mama said...

I'm glad you said this, Loukia. I agree - if you enjoy writing, carry on. But as you rightly said at the beginning, there's negativity around mom bloggers, mainly (I think) because of a few shady ones who have managed to confuse real content with sponsored content.

But most of us are just writing because we love to, and because we love the connections we're making with other people. I've no problem with being "labeled" a mom blogger either. Whatever.

As you know I recently started my review blog as a separate thing to my regular blog, for the very reason of creating a clear distinction between the two. Plain simple honesty. I get nothing out of it. Just giving stuff away (okay and hopefully the occasional thing to keep for myself!!).

Great post!

Theta Mom said...

Excellent post! I completely related to everything you said! I began my blog a little over one month ago and I have made some incredible connections with other mom bloggers. When you blog about things that are real to you, you begin to share those experiences with others that can also relate...and that's so rewarding! I would like to do reviews or host giveaways in the future about products that the blogging community would benefit from. I, like you, have no problem with this. As long as we are honest and passionate about the content. I am PROUD to be a mommy blogger, regardless of what anyone else says! :)

Wendy@RuensOnTheRun said...

Exactly! Well said.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

all i can say is...AMEN!!

CaraBee said...

Well said. I've been surprised by the negative press about mommy blogging lately. But then I just think that their objective is to sell newspapers or visitors to a website, so they are looking to create drama. These stories are no more indicative of how the vast majority of mommy bloggers, of whom I count myself, operate than the swag drama was.

Chelle said...

So true, honey!

I love being a "mommy blogger" because, hello! I'm a mommy and I love my girls. They're my life. My everything. And more importantly I blog to document things. Everything!

And I love hosting giveaways! I don't get paid to do any of mine, and that's fine with me--I just love giving things away :)

Rebecca said...

great post. I agree. To each his or her own blog. If only more of us could make some money from it ;)

I just ignore the drama as best I can...

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

I just started blogging because I like to write, and that's the best for me. I don't really care if I'm considered a mommy blogger or not. I have no problem with moms who do it for money - why would I? The best part for me, as many before me have said, is the interaction that I get from other readers/bloggers whether they are moms or not.

Elaine A. said...

I agree with you on all of this. There was much talk about these topics at BlogHer and some very interesting perspectives.

I don't mind being labeled a 'mommy blogger' since I am a Mommy. I just don't want people to interpret it negatively or to mean that I just sit on my bum all day and blog or that my 'job' is a 'walk in the park' so to speak. I feel like sometimes that is what happens and I DON'T like that aspect of it.

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

I started blogging because I can't remember the funny stories otherwise, and don't want to retell them over and over! Please, call me a mommy blogger! I agree, there's nothing wrong with doing this for money, but when you start using threats and acting entitled to free stuff, you need to re-evaluate...

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

Having worked in local TV news, I would say that "Secrets of Mommy Bloggers" is written from a very specific angle. You just can't examine all the nuances of a particular topic in two minutes or less (and even that is long for a TV news story!) Not to say that it was a bad story, or that it was good. I'm just saying the reporter was not tackling the bigger "Mommy blogger" story. I don't really know how she could! Mom bloggers are an extremely diverse group. It would take an hour-long special to delve into the wide variety of mom bloggers and what we're passionate about.

I've been thinking a lot about this particular subject lately because I was recently the topic of a brief discussion on another website. One person said I couldn't really be called a stay-at-home mom blogger because I have "turned my passion into a profession" and yet, applauded me for doing it on my terms. Another argued that I don't work, and don't have ads on my site and that I am the epitome of a stay-at-home mom. I say: forget the labels! Truth be told, I blog because I love to write. I love to connect with other moms and share a laugh over the quirks of kids and parenthood. There are no ads on my site, but that doesn't mean there never will be. I wanted to do something with my communication talents, after leaving my career. I freelance write. (So does that mean I have a job, and can't be considered a stay-at-home mom? Even though I write at home on my own personal laptop and never set foot in an office?)

I agree with you, Loukia. What's with the labels? Does it really matter? If some women are savvy enough to make money from their writing, so be it! I'm doing what makes me happy and fulfilled, and that's good enough for me. SAHM, WAHM or whatever you want to call me.

Thanks for bringing this discussion to the forefront, Loukia!

Shana said...

I totally agree with you!! Blogging is a great outlet for me to write and has also given me so many new friendships that I would have never had before! Like you!!

Monica@DailyDwelling said...

Great post!! I am also proud to be a mommy blogger and love writing about it all! But I don't begrudge mommies who choose to do reviews and giveaways. While that's not where I'm going, I give them full kudos for what they're doing and as you said, most that I've seen are honest about it. Mommy Blogging is such a wonderful outlet and has so many benefits...I just love it!

amotherworld said...

For me, it's all about writing and sharing my stories with other moms :)

Mommy Lisa said...

I have done one giveaway for a product I totally love because they liked my review of them. ;) Mostly I review stuff I actually have been using because I think people might want to know if that garbage from an infomercial actually does what it says...but mostly I talk about my life.

I really was annoyed by the woman who was on the Today Show the other day hawking her book about being a recovering drunk - and saying most mommy bloggers are drinking too much. What?!? Does she know us??? Seriously?

Krystyn said...

I do reviews..but I do it all for me! And, I pretty much insist that my readers get the chance to win, too!

(Standing up) My name is Krystyn and I'm a mommy blogger! And, I read blogs of non-moms and non-moms read my blog.

It's all about what I feel like writing. All for me!

So, I agree with what you said. Blog for you and for nobody else!

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