Oct 12, 2010

Popular Mommy Bloggers: What makes them different?

I love reading other blogs and Heather was one of the first blogs that actually inspired me to write more about my kids, my life and to become a mommy blogger.   However, I think about some of these other mommy bloggers that are considered among the most popular of the "mommy bloggerdom" (Yes, I made up a new word.  It's cool dammit!!) and I wonder just why they're so popular.  Don't get me wrong, I love some of these very popular mommy bloggers, I love to read their blogs and follow them daily, but what makes them any different than the rest of us?  They have good designs, but so do a lot of other blogs, some of the little known ones.  Sure they write well, but other blogs do as well.  Some of these very popular blogs haven't been around for too long -- how do they skyrocket to bloggy fame?  

If I said I didn't want to be amongst them, I'd be lying.  Just like in any hobby or occupation, you want to be one of the top.  Of course, being popular isn't what blogging is all about.  
I write because I love to.

I write because I have the inspiration and love the outlet.

I write because I love to share things with others. 
If no one followed my blog, I probably would still write because it's like therapy for me, but of course you want people to read and acknowledge your hard work.  Most bloggers spend a good amount of their free time (and kids naptimes!) working on their blogs, writing posts and doing what they love. In my experience, blogs can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours to write well.  (And that is with much proofreading and revisions too!!)  I'm probably just rambling on and on, but I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

No way am I even near the ranks of those popular mom bloggers, but I was thinking about and trying to analyze just why they were so popular.  I found a post somewhere on the internet with the ranking of the top mommy bloggers and went through the sites trying to compare and contrast.  Of course, I did see some vast differences from smaller known blogs, but nothing that they couldn't improve on.  Basically, these are the things I have found:

Regular Blog Posts - You don't have to blog daily, but blogging 2-3 times a week to keep your readers interested and engaged is a very important thing.  It's important if you're one of the more popular bloggers or just a little blog starting up.  You want to have something to grip your readers and pull them in.  Posting about your day, your newest recipe and pictures of your totally adorable food covered child is good in moderation, but you also have to have posts to make people think or to start a conversation.  Investing time into your writing whether it's during naptime or well into the night is important.  Not all the time, but whenever you have the inspiration.

I have a notebook near my bed and a small notebook in my purse.  (I also use my phone's memo pad sometimes) When I have inspiration, I write down a topic in those notebooks.  Sometimes, in the notebook near my bed, I'll just write out an entire post.  This happens a lot if I wake up in the middle of the night and just think of something. (And I'm too lazy to actually get up and write it on my computer.)  There are days I just sit down and write saved drafts of all the posts I write in my notebook.  It makes it so much easier for me to just schedule a post when I have a block.  Though, I've been writing for many years and I really have bursts of inspiration at the most random moments.  I would suggest this to anyone who may be the same way. 

Networking - I'm not going to say spam other blogs with comments such as "follow meeeeeee!!!!" ha!  That's just wrong and it won't get ANY blogger to like you. :)  They may actually 'blacklist' you if you do that. ;)  I'm saying that if you read other blogs and like a post, comment and tell them how ingenious it was, or share your thoughts on the blog, share your opinions.  Bloggers put themselves out there and almost always love to hear your constructive criticism or opinions on what they're writing.  Feedback is good.  Who knows, that blogger may actually like to visit blogs that comment on theirs and they may like yours as well.  From there maybe they would share a post, tweet a post, facebook a post or add you to their blogroll.  From there it's like a domino effect.  I always love to visit blogs on another blog I like.  I'm one who checks their blogroll to see if I can find new and great blogs to read.  Networking is a huge part as well.  

I know there are people who think that PR and "giveaways" is a way to gain popularity and I guess in a way it can be... but I don't think that's anything to really focus on.  For myself, I do giveaways and reviews because if a company contacts me and I like what they have to offer, I take them up on it.  I find it as an honor to review and promote their products or services.  Of course giveaways do gain attention through word of mouth, but in order to KEEP those readers, you have to have something of substance on your blog.

Honestly, I think this is just the beginning for the Mommy Blogger world.  There are so many more companies and media outlets that are just getting wind of this.  There are companies and media outlets that are realizing just how effective mommy blogging is and how good of a promotional tool it is as well.  As I may be contradicting myself now, I feel that there will be a huge climax for mommy blogging and a lot more attention in the future.  Of course, it's really luck and being in the right place at the right time to even get noticed by any of these outlets, but who knows.  Maybe one of the underdogs will get recognition!  

Remember -- While there are bloggers who make a living off their blogs (few and far between!!) most bloggers do it because they love to.  I write because I love to.  It's a hobby, not a career.  Who knows what the future will hold, but for right now we have to keep on doing what we love.  Keep on writing, Keep on networking and keep on promoting ourselves.