Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The New York Times - The Business of Blogging


Photo credit - Amana stock photo.
Everybody and their brother has a blog, right? Which would explain why it's estimated that there are 126 million bloggers out there. For goodness sakes, I mean, even my dog has a blog {insert shameless dog blog plug here.}

So when The New York Times wants to talk about the business of blogging, they go straight to the top, top of the money-making blogs, that is, in their article posted today, "Queen of the Mommy Bloggers," featuring Heather Armstrong of dooce.com.

Once again The New York Times will feed our growing hunger on how significant mommy bloggers have become. Yet, their articles also seem to wreak of disdain for the perks that mommy bloggers are getting from their blogs, whether they're being compensated monetarily or with merchandise. Or better yet, signing a huge book deal.

Let's not stop there, remember The New York Times article from March 12, 2010 entitled "Honey, Don't Bother Mommy. I'm Too Busy Building My Brand?" In that post, we're told that kids are being left to fend for themselves as mommies are glued to their computers in hopes of attaining a free refrigerator. Last I know, I haven't seen any un-diapered toddlers running around loose in my neighborhood!

So at what price do mommy bloggers get respect and monetary perks?

How many blogs that feature misfortunes of motherhood have become the equivalent of what used to be the "water cooler" talks? Find a blogger with a tragic story and you'll find a blog with a high number of visitors. If you're a blogger finding a blog with a mother telling her tale of hard knocks, you'll be sure that "she'll tell two friends, who'll tell two friends and so on..." It's how the mommy blogging community grows!

Mind you, not to say that these "big" bloggers aren't doing their jobs well, some are word smiths in their own right and others offer valuable tutorials, but the article was interested in how much bloggers are banking on afflictions. And how their very personal traumatic experiences can lead to an increase of followers, commentors and possibly even advertisers!

Is this the 15 minutes of fame that any mom wants? Or is it just the web version of how mothers "deal." When stuff goes wrong we like to get together with the girlfriends and process it until we feel better. That need to "vent" is possibly hardwired into the crux of the female population. Now when stuff goes wrong, we just blog about it?

Good question, are we just sharing and commiserating, or are we looking for the next big book deal? Maybe both.

What are your thoughts?

14 comments:

  1. For me, it's great therapy! And it's free:-) Also it is a great way for family and friends to keep up with us who live 2000 miles away. At first I wanted followers but I realized that my blog is for me and if 0 people comment or 20 I am thrilled to have it. I think some take it a little too seriously but that's their thing and good for them:-) If they make money awesome! But I haven't seem some deprived child begging for a bread crumb b/c their mother is blogging, that's just silly NY Times lol.

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  2. I don't blog to get followers. I blog for family and friends who are far away. I do enjoy finding other blogs I can relate to and so will do some of those blog hops. I don't plan to become rich off of this, it is a journal of our life.
    And to the note of a sorrier tale, I try to watch what I blog about. I think about my kids and how if I blog about something that happens that might be sad or embarrassing, how they will feel reading it as a teenager. I don't want it to come back at them in a bad way.
    Some moments are simply private, only for sharing in person if you ask me.
    Great post:)

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  3. Ha ha. My "deprived" child is the one who reminds me if it's been too long between posts!

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  4. I blog because it gives me a bit of a break from the 24/7 of mommyhood. In my experience, I've had some wonderful opportunities but my children are never neglected. They come first, I {and my blog} come last.
    I enjoy blogging and don't seek monetization or "A-list" status. I'm grateful for every opportunity and always looking for ways to pay it forward.
    Great post. :)

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  5. I'm with Andrea on this one. I blog for therapy. Like most people I cared about followers and comments motivated me but usually I try to just blog like I would journal.

    I get the big blogger idea of "share your traumatic experience" and other's will follow. To each their own. Some are real some are not.

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  6. Thanks for posting this Suzanne. I'm not a mommy yet, but I blog for me, not money, not perks. And of all the mommy bloggers I know, their kids get -more- of their time, not less. I admire them for being there for their kids.

    I'm following you now too. Keep in touch.

    Christina @ The Scrappy Housewife

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  7. I'm blogging to practice my writing, to get my writing read and out there, and to make connections with others. I'm not making a business of it yet, because I don't have a big enough readership to make it worth it right now.

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  8. I started out blogging as journaling, of sorts. Then I found out that I love writing. LOVE IT. But if I have 48 followers or 488, I don't care. That's not why I'm out here. Look at the great friends I've made! :-)

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  9. I blog as a release and to connect with other moms. I find that can be hard to do IRL with 4 kids, varying schedules, a lack of babysitters and a husband who deploys. I like the sense of community. The free perks are great, but they do require work both to earn them and then to review them, promote & host giveaways etc. The amount of hours it takes to really develop a blog following and make a name for yourself way outnumbers the amount of money/perks most bloggers make.

    And like you, my kids come first. I've recently taken a big step back from blogging because I was needed more as a mom. You have to keep your priorities straight and I think most bloggers do.

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  10. I remember that article from back in March. What a commotion it caused in the blogging world! Would I like to earn money by blogging? Of course! Money is tight these days. But do I blog because I love it? Yes! Writing is so much fun for me. I wouldn't have kept my blog going for almost 3 years if I didn't love writing so much.

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  11. I blog when I get time, and I like to create a little piece of my family, my life, where I can "keep" it without creating clutter in my home. I enjoy the community of blogging, but I do think kids/family life can suffer as a result of too much time online (I've seen it in my own life), so I am also trying to pare back on that and put boundaries around my God/family time.

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  12. Hello! I can't remeber how I found your blog I must have clicked from someone else's but I am glad to have found it! *smile* (new follower, btw)
    When I first started blogging it was just something to do...later it was to get followers but then soon enough it wasn't about that anymore. It became "ma place" to vent or just display ma daily happenings or happiness! *smile* In MANY wayz it has become a self therapy. I actually enjoy it with or without followers. I had even invested in a writing journal to write in. I just enjoy the freedom of ma writing on the personal sides of ma inner me. Now don't get me wrong, I love the new bloggy friends I have encountered along the way but I am not in it to be the most popular in the blogosphere...its just ma lil outlet to ma self...followers or not. I mean they can only say and do so much. I def wouldn't want to market ma self out for a book or for one's entertainment.. So in saying this, I could have no followers to 100 and I would still blog and write ma story...even if its JUST to ma self! *smile* Enjoy ya day and have a Happy Friday! *smile*

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  13. Hello from Bloggy Moms!

    http://www.ourbananamoments.com

    Marsha

    Interesting! I used to journal whenever something went wrong and now I can blog about it! I must mention that I found your dog's blog before I found yours. You have one talented mastiff. If mom's are blogging and making money....what's the big deal? Business of all kinds have been making money off of moms for years. Maybe it's time they give back. Oh, and I actually learn things from other blogs. There is no price to put on information sharing.

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  14. Things that make you go, hmmmmmmm.

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What are your thoughts?