I am addressed regularly as a “mommy blogger,” both in e-mails and personally because “San Diego Bargain Mama” indicates the target niche is parents and caretakers. As I’ve evolved from a local resource blogger to also a consultant, I feel it’s important to share my opinion that the assigned label does not do justice to the full scope of what I and many of my peers do. I blog more through the lens of family-friendly value, versus the lens of my kids’ mommy, if that makes sense.
This brought back a memory of how my buddy’s bi-racial/bi-cultural mom, having been referred to as a “woman of color” for years, shared with me once how vague and non-descriptive that felt to her to be referred to as.
Many moms who blog and run online businesses contend that being referred to as this title tends to miss the mark (heck, some of our kids do not even call us “mommy”!), as they have diverse platforms and topics that they write about that are anywhere from loosly to non-related to their status as parents.
I look at “mommy bloggers” as pioneers, on the other hand, paving the way for awesome opportunities for themselves and others. They are the moms who regularly blog about their personal lives as parents, the stage being their household. They share their joys and/or trials and tribulations of pregnancy, child-rearing, personal journeys and reflections of parenthood, trips and outings, cooking or homemaking tips, etc.
Mommy bloggers are often entertaining, captivating and colorful with their words and images and they give their readers something to come back for, and we love it! The attention they reap can lead to monetary compensation for ads, campaigns, freelancing work and beyond. Some make a living under this title (along with other titles), some blog out of sheer joy, and others, somewhere in between. The fact that moms can be writing about things they love and earning enough to be budgeting the money they earn is so cool – they don’t even need to leave their home. The term, however, is not for everyone.
“I am a mom and I am a blogger. I’m also an Wife, Engineer, Entrepreneur, Cook, Dancer, Friend, Social do-gooder. I wear a lot of hats, but the only person that can call me ‘Mommy’ is my kids. The journalist or PR/Marketer doesn’t introduce themselves as ‘Mommy Journalist’ or ‘Daddy Marketer’. Why should we or anyone else? Mom Bloggers are professionals and we should be treated as such.” ~ Eva Smith, founder of Tech. Food. Life
Categories such as “lifestyle blogger,” “bargain blogger”, “food and entertainment blogger”, or “fashion blogger”, etc. are preferences that many of my blogger colleagues have shared as more fitting, however many do embrace being referred to as “mommy bloggers” or even “mom bloggers.” Again, it depends on their brands and missions. I agree with the momcrunch post that shares that “mommy blogger” often implies a “just,” by assigning such a general title across the board.
I have watched how effective many have become at incorporating their family lives into their esteemed work, such as Rachel of Busy Mommy Media, of course the infamous Heather Armstrong (known as Dooce), and a few of my local favorites: Angela Chee, known as Zen Mom; Tracey Black, the business woman behind Don’t Mess With Mama; and Christina Fleming, founder of Murasaki Media. I admire how they blend their passions for media/new media along with motherhood and convey their gifts in such majestic and inspirational ways, effectively fusing their professional and personal worlds. Their work schedule is on their terms, and that flexibility, perhaps is one of the most appealing parts of what is often referred to as a “mompreneur movement.” Many moms in business will agree that their blogs serve as their businesses’ “calling cards” where they can skillfully integrate their products and/or services.
“Using the diminutive term ‘mommy’ instead of ‘mom’ seems to imply that what we do is less important or more of a hobby rather than a job. Almost anyone who works as hard as we do gets honored with big, fancy titles like “Executive, “Manager,” or “Supervisor,” whereas we’re all lumped together with a very cliche term and given no choice in the matter.” ~ Chelsea Day, founder of Someday I’ll Learn.
“I like ‘mommy blogger’ because it expands my niche (food blog). And I worked hard for eight years to become a mom so I’m thrilled beyond belief to be called a mommy!” ~ Lisa Dearen, The Gonzo Gourmet
One of the topics that often comes up with my blogger clients who are moms is how much of thier personal world comes into play in their work, as each has a different comfort zone. Bloggers who intend to monetize can use their blogs to brand themselves as “business mommies” or as “business owners,” as “mompreneurs,” or as “entrepreneurs.” I have even heard “entrepremamas.” Whichever strategy they chose best fits their mission and brand image is personal, but they are smart to consider how things play business-wise, so that they can be most effective in their game plan. A blog owner, known as “XYZ Mommy,” is smart to also secure names that help broaden her scope, such as “XYZ Mommy Inc.” or “XYZ Mommy Media.”
“The term ‘mommy blogger’ makes me cringe a little. First of all, the only people who call me Mommy are my kids, secondly, although I do occasionally cover ‘mommy’ topics on various blogs, I consider myself a lifestyle blogger due to the primary topics I write about being food, travel, entertaining, and DIY.” ~ Tonya Jones Staab
“I use ‘professional blogger’. It implies that I make money blogging (which I do). We all know how people are biased in favour of paid work (i.e., a job) versus non-paid (i.e., a mom).” ~ Rory Hadley, founder of Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care
Some have told me that this topic is like splitting hairs, but to me it certainly evokes some ideas worth discussing. A title is personal, but who we are and what we do is most important, along with how we do it. My main point is that clustering a diverse group into one title is the easy street, and it is time to consider how we label others, and suggest how we wish to be addressed. I’m known for prividing families great savings resources, but in addition for providing a service that helps local and online businesses spread the buzz via online marketing strategies, offline events, media opportunities, and strategic networking. I help clients with campaigns by bringing on talent such as local bloggers, techies, media trainers, freelancers, sales people, etc. to help entrepreneurs creatively get the word out about what they do! I help fascilitate entrepreneurs with their visions.
I must also point out, at the same time, that the term “Mommy Blogger” has a powerful role and place online – a place for those who fit the bill and wish to be referred to professionally as such.
What say you?
Other posts I have written on the topic:
“The Lowdown on Mom Bloggers” – Carlsbad Patch, April 4, 2011