So I blog. I have kids. I blog about having kids. So that makes me a “mommy blogger.”
As my traffic has grown, so has my e-mail inbox, filled more and more with pitches from PR people, looking to get their product/promotion/website in front of my readers. Some of them are spot on, while others, well, not so much (denture cream anyone?). Some are written by people who have actually read my blog and can tell me how they relate to my stories of exhaustion and joy. I like those. Others give the generic “Dear Sir or Madam.” Um, okay. I’d be surprised if a blog called “The Young Mommy Life” was written by a guy, but I guess in 2010 you can never be too sure, right?
I’ve been reading posts all over the blogosphere from other mom bloggers who don’t hesitate to call these companies out on their laziness. I get their point and I can see how bringing these issues up in the open benefits everyone: PR people learn what works and what doesn’t; mom bloggers receive more pitches that geniunely interest them; and their readers are better served.
I’m a newbie to this advertising/reviews/giveaway game. I get these pitches and I honestly take the time to read them all. Right now, it’s about 7-10 per week. I have no idea if that’s high or low. If it sounds like something I might be interested in no matter how poorly executed the pitch was, I give a quick e-mail asking for more information. I also steer them to my advertising and PR page on my blog, which gives a quick rundown on why I participate in reviews and giveaways.
I am very open about why I started my blog: to give young mothers a voice. We haven’t been represented well and we needed a place where our opinions mattered and we wouldn’t be ignored because we popped out a kid at 20 instead of 40. [I always have to seem to give a disclosure on this, but I am NOT against older mothers. I love us all.]
I did not get into this for the free shampoos or the trips to Disney. I accept maybe 5% of what’s offered to me. Maybe not even that much. I think I’ve done three giveaways and I’ve been blogging (on this blog at least) for two years. Do I feel left out sometimes, when other bloggers seem to host a giveaway every third day and their readership grows because of it? Yes, I do.
But if it doesn’t serve my readers (my community) then I don’t do it. I was approached by a major diaper brand to be part of its new campaign. I declined because, well, I don’t use their diapers. I use store-brand diapers. I’m cheap and the store-brand ones work just as well and they don’t have the fragrance that makes my kids break out. I try to maintain some integrity, even if it is just about some stinkin’ diapers.