Becoming a parent is so life-changing that it’s not really so surprising so many women want to share their experiences. Hence starting up a mummy blog has become extremely popular. But is it always such a good idea to blog about your children? And if you are considering setting up a mummy blog yourself, what should you expect? Here, I outline the pros and the cons of this extremely competitive blogging niche…
Why set up a mummy blog?
* Blogging about the ups and downs of family life is a great way to share the joys and the burdens of having kids. It can be very comforting to blog about an issue and have others commenting that they feel the same way too.
* Becoming a mummy blogger can introduce you to other mums and a completely different circle outside your immediate friends.
* It is very rewarding to create a blog that people actually want to read. Seeing the number of visitors to your blog increase as you go on will give you enormous satisfaction.
* Blogging is like a diary. With photos and diary entries, it can be a fantastic way to chart your children’s lives, especially if you include photos. And your children might enjoy the ‘fame’ that might come with having their pictures on the internet.
* You can turn your blog into a business that can earn you money. Many companies will pay mummy bloggers to endorse, advertise or even just test out a product. They know the mummy blogger jungle drums can be a very powerful tool to spread the word and so blogs by mothers with lots of visitors can find it can be a lucrative part-time job that they can fit around family life.
* Ultimately a mum blog could lead on to even greater things – if your website becomes extremely popular it could become your full-time job. Successful mummy bloggers have also been asked to write articles for mainstream publications, have carved out a niche as an expert and even gone on to gain a publishing deal to write a book.
What to consider
* Mummy blogging is extremely competitive. To break into it you need to be committed to very regular writing – which might prove hard with busy family life. Mummy blogs take on many guises but virtually all niches within the mummy blog genre have already been explored – such as single mum, divorced mum, ex career mum, mum of child with disability and so on. To stand out from the very many successful mummy blogs already on the internet you will need to create sparkling and compelling content. And gone are the days when a block of writing will do – your site must look professional and be ideally be illustrated with gorgeous photos.
* Although many mummy bloggers say firmly they are not interested in making money or endorsing anything they don’t believe to actually be very good, many appear very savvy. A number of mummy bloggers offer advertising packs full of information for would-be advertisers. This info often includes details such as page rank of their site, the number of visitors, unique visitors, profiles of the sort of person who visits (usually other mums), number of Twitter followers, number of Facebook likes, awards gained and even Klout scores.
* Whether people publicly acknowledge it or not, bringing up baby can be a competitive business anyway – is your child walking/talking early enough/bright enough to get into the top school and so on. Mummy blogging can be just as ruthless. As a mummy blogger you will be entering into a micro-world of mums – many of whom might well have given up top jobs in the City, marketing and PR or other professions to bring up their family. Some will therefore view mummy blogging not as a hobby but as something else they must get to the top of. There are many competitions and awards given by various organisations to top mummy bloggers. You might feel secretly gutted if you miss out on one when a ‘rival’ mummy blogger scoops one, or if you feel your blog ideas have been copied and their blog takes off, while yours does not.
* There is also the issue of privacy – should you write so much and at length about your children who have no choice in the matter? Is it a betrayal of your children’s privacy? Because there are so many mummy blogs, and therefore pressure to produce excellent content to attract visitors, you might feel pressurised into revealing issues that you might later guiltily wish you’d kept private. Although mummy blogs are sometimes anonymous, many do include photos of the children and so friends and family at least will know it’s you. And it is easy to cross the line. Some mummy blogs include far more personal information about a family than I have ever written about for any national newspaper or magazine or seen in a mainstream publication.
* Mummy blogging has a lifetime. As your children grow older, you will grow out of the mummy blog genre – which can be heartbreaking if you have set up a successful blog with lots of visitors. As your children reach their teens and young adults, it can become much harder, if impossible, to write about them. So if you want to continue with that blog, you will need to grow your blog into another area – develop yourself as a child expert, sell child related products. Or think of some other service or content to enable your blog to continue.
Do you have any experiences of mummy blogging? Maybe you have decided it wasn’t for you? Or perhaps you have some tips you would like to share with others? Whatever your mummy blogging story, do let us know…