I’ve been kicking this post around in my head since last week when a co-worker pointed me in the direction of a Huffington Post article about mommy bloggers and our super-secret powers as consumers.
There’s a good bit of argument in the blogosphere about whether moms should monetize their blogs.
Some feel it’s a bait-and-switch.
Someone writes an article and readers show up and instead of reading the article, they’re bombarded with ads trying to sell them stuff and that’s just wrong because why shouldn’t moms just write about their lives for other moms and build communities without trying to sell stuff to other moms. ::stompstompstomp::
Y’all, I don’t get it. I don’t.
And I realize I’m perhaps the least qualified blogger on the block to be talking about this, but it’s bugged me for a while and since this is my little corner of the Universe, I feel like here is as good a place as any to discuss this.
I mean, maybe I’m not doing it right. Or maybe I’m not looking at it right.
One of the stats I saw floating around the interwebz yesterday (because it was International Women’s Day) was about how women comprise 53% of the world’s population but hold about 1% of its wealth.
And some of us are up in arms about the fact that others of us sell ad space on our blogs to maybe afford a sitter or a new pair of shoes or a latte because accepting advertisers or conducting a product review or two is selling out to the masses and relegating us to the role of the 1950s housewife? ?
Does that make sense to you? Because it doesn’t make sense to me.
In fact, it smacks of the good ol’ “Mommy Wars.” One Sanctimommy staunchly opposes selling ad space in the name of god-only-knows-what and shouts loudly from the top of Mt. Google that if the rest of us sell ad space we’re wrong and doing a disservice to women everywhere! That we’re preying on our fellow moms as consumers and furthering a materialistic society that says moremoremore! And that we’re wrong.
Because I see product reviews and ad space as…uhh…product reviews. You know, the kind that happens face to face on the playgrounds and in the office and on the phone when you find something awesome and you’re all “ZOMG! You have GOT to try this! It is awesome!” Seriously? You’ve never done that? You’ve never tried a product and loved it so much you wanted to marry it and have its product babies and told all your friends?
We’re living in an age where friendships and relationships are forming and growing online with increasing frequency, so it doesn’t seem out of the scope of normal behavior to say “Hey, people who know me and trust me! You need to try this!” because I think it’d be a product that would interest or benefit those people when they are people I know online.
What’s the keyword there?
Sometimes, a mom receives a product in exchange for a review. But not in exchange for her opinion. Because if she did that she’d be a dishonest sell-out (and I realize there are women out there who do that and THEY are likely the ones who should be receiving scorn if scorning moms is what you want to spend your time doing.)
Which is not exactly what we’re talking about here.
Back-ish to my point.
If you trust yourself and your own integrity and you know why you’re doing what you’re doing and you’ve built a community of trust with your readers wherein they can trust YOU, then your readers can trust that when you review a product or promote a business, you’ve done so with the honest intent of sharing a product and/or a person in which/whom you believe. One in which they can believe, too.
Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I will never sugar-coat my opinion if I’m asked for it. It’s a strength. And a weakness. So if you’re looking for an honest opinion, I’m your girl. (<–Shameless self-promotion, party of one.)
What’s wrong with that?
Why do we tell mothers they can be worker bees in the hive OR mothers, but not worker bees in the hive AND mothers? Why do we tell mothers that they can only attempt to bring in a little extra money if that bringing in of extra money occurs outside their homes in already established businesses and not from the comfort of their couches and yoga pants (and desks in the office, as is the case with many moms I know. Including me.)?
Because, let’s face it. We’re not all making millions from blogging like The One Blogger to Rule Them All out in Utah.
Am I alone in this? What do you think about monetizing blogs?