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.)