Dear Angry Mommy Blogger,
Hello. It is your good friend Jack writing to you from his little corner of cyberspace. I am here to tell you that my heart bleeds for you, poor little mommy blogger.
You, the overworked and under appreciated renaissance woman deserve better than you have received. For the past year or so you have worked really hard to build a blog that you can use to get free crap to giveaway to your readers. You have gone to parties, conferences and conventions and worked really, really, really hard to be nice to the mean girls as well as the nice ones.
Every day you devote hours to your blog. And you do that in between changing diapers, driving carpool, cooking dinner, telling stories about how crazy your mother-in-law is or swapping stories about the stupid things your husband does.
But in spite of your best efforts you arenâ€™t given the respect that you so rightly deserve. The brands want you to work for free. They send you press releases and ask you to write about their products/clients without any sort of compensation. That is the kind of stuff that you did when you were a new blogger and didnâ€™t know better. Back in those days you were happy to get any sort of attention from a brand. It made your heart sing to get that email from the PR person. You remember the one. It made you feel appreciated and acknowledged.
Fortunately you are better educated now about the game and understand how it works. A virtual eternity has passed since then and now you know that someone tried to take advantage of you. Your mother taught you better than that, you donâ€™t put out for free. You didnâ€™t do it in high school and you sure as hell arenâ€™t going to do it now.
You have seen the banners floating around other bloggerâ€™s sites and you know that they arenâ€™t better than yours. You know that if they can do it so can you. So you tightened your belt, arched your back and joined some of your sister mommy bloggers in raising your voices in outrage. This abuse is going to end and soon, because if it doesnâ€™t those brands will be sorry.
You wonâ€™t stand for emails that address you as blogger any indication that the writer hasnâ€™t read your about me page and three other recent posts. Donâ€™t those PR people read. Canâ€™t they understand that women make major purchasing decisions, that moms are a mighty force in the world.
What? What is that you say? You have never heard of me. You donâ€™t know me, have never heard of Jack and canâ€™t understand why I have taken a rude and sarcastic tone. Why I am shocked I tell you. Outraged that you havenâ€™t any clue who I am. My poor fragile male ego is destroyed.
But before I climb back under my computer desk let me throw a few things out at you, free advice/commentary. There is a very low barrier to entry in blogging. You donâ€™t have to spend money on hosting, themes or domain names to get into it. All you need is an internet connection.
The field is cluttered, noisy and more crowded than the most popular concert you have ever been to. And to make matters worse the shrinking attention spans of people has made it even harder to get their attention, let alone keep it.
If you want to survive and thrive in this environment you need more than luck and hope. You need to remember that it is a marathon not a sprint. You need to remember that it takes time to build a business and that is ok. Because most bloggers donâ€™t last. Most give up relatively quickly.
So if you can hold on, if you can sustain your effort over the long haul you will benefit from it. And you need to remember that doesnâ€™t necessarily mean that you will ever earn enough to support your family from blogging. But you might. Or you might reach a point where it generates enough monthly income to pay for a few extras, to cover gas and groceries.
I know, you arenâ€™t really interested in hearing me lecture you. Have no desire for a man to come fix the problem or to offer solutions. You have a husband/brother or father to do that. So I suppose that Iâ€™ll go back to being my cranky, curmudgeonly selfÂ at one of the daddy bloggerâ€™s joints.
It has been a while since we shared a beer, bitched about being nagged at and rolled our eyes at being forced to see chick flicks like Sex and the City 2.
Updates: See Below
(Whoa, are you still reading? Hell I guess this proves bloggers can write posts that are more than 500 words and know that they will still be read. Guess what? I wrote this post in 2010 and almost nothing has changed. Ok, that is not entirely true, many things have changed but some of the fundamental issues still exist.
Blog envy still exists, people still wonder how some bloggers get the gigs they do and why they aren’t picked. Parent bloggers still have no problem picking up their pitchforks and torches to storm the castles of brands they are upset with and I am still not a millionaire.
But hell I have ten years of blogging under my belt and I can tell you this post could be run every year with relatively few changes. If I really wanted to raise some hackles I could talk about circumcision (we are cut in my family and very happy, our boys work beautifully) or I could say something about breastfeeding and know it will be talked about.
I am really tempted to stir more crap up but I am having too much fun doing other stuff so I have to run. BTW, we are at just short of 1,000 words and people are still reading, more proof that we still have attention spans that exceed that of a gnat.)
Gary Mathews December 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm
Is this going to be an annual Christmas time tradition, kind of like Burl Ives Rudolph? Love this post it’s brutally honest and exactly right even though I’m guilty falling for the traps brands throw at you also.
Triplezmom February 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm
I miss circa 2007 blogging, I do. I started blogging as a form of writing practice. . . and this year I wrote about a sponsored post about making dinner with crescent rolls. I’m not angry. . .I’m ashamed.
Yet I still loved this post.
Jack February 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm
2007 was a good time for blogging, felt more innocent and honest in some ways. It is hard not to get caught up in the sponsored post frenzy, I have done it myself many times.
Aida Ingram February 2, 2014 at 2:06 am
Great post and great points.
Good thing I am a writer, not a “mommy blogger”. I share because I want to, because I want people to know about the things I write about, because they are important to me, and often they also make a difference to others.
The biggest question we all should be able to answer is why we write, and who we really want to reach, and why? If you stay true to that and you work on reaching those people, perhaps the other stuff won’t quite matter.
When it comes down to it, you are in charge of what makes it to your page. My goal is building a community of outstanding, informed, and amazing women and I do that everyday, with or without a brands help.
It’s always great to know your worth and your reason….
P.s. Please write the post about breast feeding it sounds like it will be a hoot
Jack February 2, 2014 at 1:25 pm
I couldn’t have said it any better. If you don’t know why you are doing what you are doing it is really hard to make things happen.
Alan February 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm
“It made your heart sing to get that email from the PR person. You remember the one. It made you feel appreciated and acknowledged.”
These sort of posts are the only time any mentions public relations people. And we always sound sort of like assholes.
Jack February 2, 2014 at 11:23 am
Why do you think I tried so hard to get out of PR. 😉
Andi-Roo ( January 28, 2014 at 11:37 pm
This post made me realize I have a crush on you. Because YES to everything you said, and then some! Also? I would read your posts about breastfeeding & circumcision. Because if you can’t stir some pots, why the eff are we even here???
Jack January 29, 2014 at 9:01 pm
That is very kind, thank you. Stirring the pot is all kinds of fun, but sometimes I feel a little guilty for doing so.
Julie Barrett January 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm
It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t become a Mom Blogger just because I am a Mom, because I can’t even get started in 500 words. Good gravy.
Jack January 29, 2014 at 7:21 am
Good gravy is right. 😉
Sean January 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm
Some of us still like the long posts, JackB. It may be a dying art, but it’s a damned fine one.
Jack January 28, 2014 at 10:17 pm
Yes it is, long form is well worth the effort, so much magic.
John Garrett January 28, 2014 at 9:27 am
I suspect those who could most benefit from this will never read it (or at least not acknowledge it). But I enjoyed it! That’s all that matters 🙂
Jack January 28, 2014 at 6:11 pm
I think you may be right, but regardless of whether they read it or not I am glad you enjoyed it. Hope you are staying warm.
Gina January 28, 2014 at 5:22 am
I read all 1000 words.
Jack January 28, 2014 at 9:09 am
Thank you. I figure people who like to read should be among those who pay less attention to word counts, but I haven’t any thing other than my own thoughts to support that.
Stan Faryna January 28, 2014 at 4:07 am
All hail to the under-appreciated and star-gazing mommy blogger!
Jack January 28, 2014 at 9:09 am
How are things?
Carolyn Nicander Mohr January 27, 2014 at 6:02 pm
So basically you told angry mommy bloggers in 2010, “You don’t know Jack” and now you’re telling them that again.
Jack January 28, 2014 at 9:10 am
Yeah, guilty as charged. 😉
Kristen Daukas January 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm
I take offense to this post because, I? *I* have been blogging since before most moms had email much less a blog. *I* deserve to be Queen of the world – not just my house.
Who the hell am I kidding.. I’m not even queen of my house.
Jack January 28, 2014 at 9:13 am
It might be better to be Empress. You can chill out and let the queen deal with all the paperwork. 😉