When you put nine elite bloggers in a virtual “room” with hundreds of participants for a live chat about the State of the Mom Blogosphere in 2012, some clear trends emerge.
Back in September 2010, we gathered the same group of insightful, exceptional women, and their predictions for the online world that year were incredibly accurate. We were thrilled and honored to have them with us again on January 17, 2012 (our first day live on our new platform!), to share what matters to them this year in the mom blogosphere.
Here are the top 10 takeaways from the discussion.
1) Expand with the Online Universe
The online universe has grown, and it’s not all about the blog anymore. To keep up, you need to make your presence known elsewhere.
As BusyDad noted, “One’s blog is now one of many facets of our online lives, rather than being by default the center of it. Many online luminaries these days are famous for their Twitter persona or their Facebook, and not necessarily their blog.”
Agreed EvolvingStacey, “I feel as if my connections and growing network takes place away from my blog … My blog is more like my house, but I leave my house to be social.”
That’s not to say that your blog is unimportant. Amie Adams of Mamma Loves pointed out, “I tend to think of my blog as the hub to my online wheel. Twitter, FB, Google+, online forums all split off from it. It’s like an online business card – brings you credibility.”
2) Pinterest is the New Twitter
While you are expanding your social media horizons beyond your blog, make Pinterest a priority.
If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, consider this your introduction to the hottest new social media site of 2012 – a virtual corkboard designed to give you visual inspiration or consolidate your favorite ideas from across the web.
“I haven’t seen this much excitement and addiction since Twitter in ’08,” Isabel Kallman of Alphamom said about the site.
You can get an account and start pinning here!
3) Newbie Bloggers Welcome – but Bring Your A Game
New to blogging? There are a lot of mom blogs in the space, but if you are ready to dive in, you shouldn’t be intimidated.
“There will be a lot more chatter to cut through now. But I think awesome is awesome. And awesome rises to the top,” said Christine Koh of Boston Mamas.
For new and existing blogs alike, Kimberly Coleman of Foodie City Mom also has great suggestions for blogging goals in 2012 on She Posts.
4) There’s No One “Right” Way to Blog
Everyone blogs for different reasons, some intensely personal and some more business-focused. But whatever your reason – your fellow bloggers accept it now more than ever before.
Liz Gumbinner of Mom101 and Cool Mom Picks mused, “I can go back to the dark ages of 2006 when there were debates about the right kind of blogging. That increased tremendously in 2008 or so with the mass monetization of mom blogs. Now there’s this wonderful sort of detente – there are so many kinds of moms with so many kinds of blogs, and fewer debates about who is right and who is wrong.
“There’s no one right way to blog. It’s nice that there’s more acceptance of one another.”
Noted Jennifer James of Mom Bloggers Club, “I am constantly thinking about new posts to write and new perspectives to write them from. I carry a pad with me and jot down a lot of ideas on receipts. The wheels are constantly churning.”
And don’t underestimate that old advice – write what you know!
Allison Czarnecki of Petit Elefant‘s creative blog ideas “come from my life. If we’re remodeling a bathroom, I find a way to post about a how-to. If we’re traveling, I write about that, and I spend half my life creating beauty recipes, so I photograph them and write about it.”
Isabel Kallman of Alphamom said of her own success with SEO, “Started on WordPress, used the correct Plugin, changed the URL from the creative title, tagged my photos better … BUT DON’T FORGET: write great content.”
BusyDad pointed out, “Unless you have a review or cooking/recipe blog, I want to emphatically say that SEO is so much less important than engaged readers. Trust me… compelling content and engaged readers/friends are what will get you quality return visits, influence and credibility as a blogger.”
7) It’s Time to Bring Marketers Up to Speed
During the live chat, the group consensus was that marketers seem to target mom bloggers mostly for baby-related products. Many felt that brands are missing the boat.
Tracey Clark of Shutter Sisters pointed out, “The tween and especially teen markets are hugely overlooked” by marketers in the mom blogosphere. “There’s got to be a shift soon there, doesn’t there?”
Amie Adams at Mamma Loves agreed, “My kids may develop their own tastes, but I’m the one who does the buying. I spend thousands on sports equipment, technology and clothing.”
8) Help Your Blog Evolve as the Kids Grow Up
When our kids are babies and toddlers, many of us love to share every anecdote and detail of their lives. When they get old enough to have their own online identities, respecting their privacy as an individual can change the face of your blog.
“I have started targeting my writing more toward the women with a shorter anecdote here and there about my kids,” said Andrea Updyke. “They are still young – oldest is 3 this month, but I already feel more protective of his story.”
“As our kids grow up, I think we naturally rediscover who we are individually, above and beyond mothers,” said Tracey Clark of Shutter Sisters. “This opens the doors up to new stories…it’s so exciting!”
Justice Fergie said of her blog, “It’s given me an entire business, community, platform, brand image and now … a new way of life! I’m so excited to be working for myself, full-time. And it’s all thanks to blogging.”
“I think 2012 will see Moms focus their efforts on *social change* via networks, communities and transitioning lifestyles,” said Mental_Clutter. “Gone are the days of tolerating drama, here are the days of moving forward to leave a substantial mark.”
“One the most interesting things to happen in the Mom Blogosphere is how many moms are taking their blogs to a new level,” added Rebecca Levey. “There are a lot of mini-media empires building beyond the blogs. Mom Blogs have become more like unique brands every year. ”
Agreed Shari, “We are already seeing the trends for 2012. So many fabulous women have taken it to the next level – magazines, TV, fashion shows – they have raised the bar. In a good way.”
That was one inspiring conversation.
We were there when the mom blogger community began, and we’ve watched as it has grown exponentially over the past several years. We are constantly amazed by how quickly and how often the mom blogosphere changes.
Thank you to all of the amazing men and women who shared their thoughts with us on this fascinating topic! You can find our co-hosts on their own blogs and elsewhere across the web in 2012:
Allison Czarnecki, Petit Elefant
Amie Adams, Mamma Loves
Christine Koh, Boston Mamas
Isabel Kallman, Alphamom
Jennifer James, Mom Bloggers Club and Jennifer James Online
Laura Mayes, Kirtsy and Mom 2.0 Summit
Liz Gumbinner, Mom101 and Cool Mom Picks
Stacie Ferguson, Justice Fergie and Blogalicious
Tracey Clark, Shutter Sisters and Tracey Clark
Check out a full transcript of the AMAZING conversation here.