Today we asked Amy Mueller, our fabulous new Virtual Assistant and co-founder of MumsTheWurd, to share with us her insider’s perspective from a Mommy Blogging Panel she just participated in. Thanks Amy!
Thanks to Maria Bailey of BSM Media, I hung out with eight superstar bloggers and participated in a panel educating PR and advertising reps about the mommy blogging phenomenon. Check out this power panel:
Kim Orlando, founder, Travelingmom™.com;
Jory Des Jardins, co-founder, BlogHer;
Emily McKahnn, co-founder, The Motherhood and Been There;
Julie Marsh, co-founder, Parent Bloggers Network, MotherGooseMouse, associate editor, Cool Mom Picks, Imperfect Parent and the Mile High Mamas;
Jaymi Spencer, The FlipFlop Mamma and FlipFlop Mamma’s Place (Etsy shoppe);
Ashlee Allen, founder, Mama Speaks, The Nest Baby Sling and Tasty Vegan (Which I may become addicted to, fast! She had me at White Bean Hummus.);
Arianne Segerman, To Think is to Create, Mama Speaks, They Might be Vegan, NWI Parent, and Chicago Moms Blog;
Stephanie Precourt, Adventures in Babywearing, Mama Speaks, NWI Parent, Chicago Moms Blog;
…and then there’s me (hi, I’m Amy!), Co-founder of MumsTheWurd, The LadyBug and her Blogging Mama, Chicago Moms Blog, co-founder of ParentSphere.net and VA at 5 Minutes for Mom.
I felt pretty elite during my ascent to the 14th floor of Chicago’s Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel. My timing couldn’t have been better. The banquet chef happened to be in the same elevator and told me how Al Capone and his mob buddies used to hang out in the Tower East Room, the exact room where our event was to be held. He even showed me the “secret door” in the wall that Al and his buddies would disappear behind to get away from law enforcement officials. Only in Chicago! 🙂
I could see why Al liked the Tower East Room — very sophisticated. And it was kind of fun that our panel tables were raised and facing the audience. Bloggers up on a pedestal, fancy that!
Maria did a phenomenal job of selling out the event with a group of 80+ marketing and advertising professionals, who came to listen to what this influential group of blogging women had to say. We began the panel by covering topics like what makes blogging so attractive to us, finding the time to blog, and the way we use the blogosphere as a means of connecting with other individuals who share similar interests.
We also spoke a lot about Twitter, the form of micro-blogging that is all the rage these days. Just the other day, I wrote a post on how I think Twitter can be used to promote your brand, blog, interests, etc.
I have to say, blogging has come a long way in just the past year. Being a blogger myself for the past four years, I have recognized this trend. I have certainly become more interested in playing an integral part in the way people are targeted for advertising on their blogs. My opinion may not be as strong as others on this subject, but I do recognize that everyone treats their “brand” differently. “To each his own” is a phrase that I use quite often. I think that we are all just getting our feet wet with this “new media” thing and there is still so much to learn.
Some of the most important topics that we addressed were advertising, product reviews and pitches. I think the majority of us agreed that much knowledge can be gained by reading a blogger’s “About Me” section. Sending a quick, personal message with a brief introduction can’t hurt either. There seems to be backlash when mass emails are blasted to dozens of bloggers and when they are not personally addressed to the recipient. Now, I can only speak for myself here, as I really do not mind receiving press releases. I take a moment to skim through them (or not). If the product or message that is being marketed is not for me, I delete it. I may even contact the PR rep and create a dialog with them so they know what interests me. To me, it’s all about networking. In turn, respectful relationships are created and the way I see it, you never know what opportunities may arise because of said relationships. I take direct charge of the situation and that is how I transparently manage my brand.
Each of the panelists brought so much passion and creativity to the discussion and I think our points came across clearly. The audience seemed generally interested in hearing what we had to say.
There are sites out there to help bridge the gap between marketers and bloggers. One such site is “Mom Select“. This is a site where marketing and advertising firms can virtually “meet” bloggers and find out what their interests are. I foresee programs like this becoming more and more popular as this ever-growing blogosphere dives into more uncharted waters.
In closing, here are some of the other panelist’s perspectives from the Mommy Blogger Monologues event. I highly recommend checking out what these influential women have to say:
Thank you, Maria for organizing this event and gathering together such a great group of women!