Blogging has gone from pastime to occupation for many…
As more mothers are entering the blogosphere in Australia, the mummy blogger space will continue to evolve and to attract interest of businesses keen to have their brands reviewed and viewed by communities that make the household purchasing decisions. We have already seen a change in the way blogs and brands are interacting in Australia. There are more commercial opportunities including a number of businesses connecting brands with blogs, clearly highlighting that mummy blogging is serious business.
Louisa Claire blogger and director of Brand Meets Blog sees the issue of monetisation as the most rapidly evolving development in the mummy blogging sphere as both bloggers and more brands/businesses seek to form authentic and yet valuable partnerships with one another. “Both sides are really learning how to make this work and to ensure that they effectively engage with their audience in the process,” says Louisa.
The blogging style of mummy bloggers is also evolving. Louisa believes we are seeing an increasing sophistication amongst bloggers in Australia, which is in part due to access to international trends and experiences.
“We are fortunate to be able to learn from those who have gone before us, with both the good and the bad offering a useful guide for our context. One of the main differences I have seen amongst non-bloggers is a more common understanding about what a blog is and why it’s a valuable contribution—especially within the parenting context which can often feel like an isolating time for women,” says Louisa.
Influence: Mums shares best
There is no doubting the influence that mothers have when it comes to brands. According to Valerie Khoo from SocialCallOut.com this ties in with their ability to communicate effectively and share their thoughts on brands—whether good or bad. The blogging arena has worked to extend this reach and to make mummy bloggers a powerful source of brand sentiment.
“Mummy bloggers are extremely influential—and this influence is growing. That’s because women, especially mothers, have a natural inclination to share,” says Valerie. “In the past this was limited to mother’s groups, conversations at the school gate, and then later in online parenting forums, however, thanks to blogs, it’s so much easier to share.”
Valerie sees that women typically, “like sharing information about new products or ideas that they genuinely like; blogging is a natural extension of that. When they love a product, and all rally around it, that’s an incredible opportunity for a brand. However, the opposite is also true, so it’s important to treat bloggers with authenticity and respect.”
Social expansion: When bloggers don’t just blog
Increasingly bloggers are changing the way they share information, with their blog often the launch platform to further social media sharing.
“An important trend for businesses who are wanting to work in this space is to realise that bloggers are no longer just blogging—they have highly active Twitter profiles, Facebook fan pages and Instagram accounts all of which they are accessing as part of their blogging activity to grow their audience and to connect in other, more visual, ways,” says Louisa.
This is a sentiment echoed by Valerie who believes we will continue to see increasingly innovative and creative ways in which brands and bloggers will work together.
“Currently, many brands just think of sponsored posts or giveaways. But there are so many other ways to work together—such as brand ambassadorships, blog advisory boards, Twitter campaigns and so on,” says Valerie.
Nicole Avery’s blogging business Planning with Kids definitely fits the new model. “Blogging has become the platform for my small business. The business has many revenue streams now including, e-products, physical products (book and calendar), iPhone App, blog coaching, corporate consulting and speaking,” she explains.
Future horizons: Mummy niches?
Mummy blogging is here to stay however the changing face of the mummy blogosphere may change as the space grows.
“The label mummy blogging does contain many different styles of bloggers,” says Nicole. “I am planning focused, others focus on craft, photography, food, personal blogging, play, early childhood, teens etc. There is such diverse range of bloggers who are mums but are also talking about topics they are passionate about.”
Valerie sees that in the future the arena will only expand: “I think that mummy bloggers will still be a growing and significant group. That’s because they are often responsible for the ‘staples’ in life—the household spending— groceries, electricity, clothes and so on,” says Valerie.
“However, I believe that we’re going to see the ‘long tail’ emerge and niche bloggers will gain prominence. These bloggers may or may not have the same number of page views as some of the big mummy bloggers, but their audience will be very targeted, and therefore, be very valuable to a brand who wants to reach that community.”
While blogs are becoming increasingly more business based than hobbies it is likely they will also still remain as creative outlets, as well as a jobs for many bloggers.
“Blogging has allowed me to create a business that I love and work hours I choose around my family,” says Nicole. “It has allowed me to connect with other parents and share the benefit of my hindsight to help them organise the chaos of family life. I adore receiving emails from readers who have made changes to their families routines based on reading the blog and it has made things better for them.”