I have the benefit of being a mom and a blogger. In fact, mom is the probably the title I am most proud of possessing. Last week, I even became a West Point Mom. I am also a blogger. However, I am also a podcaster, a radio talk show host, columnist, author and business owner.
And, in some ways, my roles outside of my blogs makes me more influential for the products I love. So if you had to put a name on me, what would it be? I can assure you it would not be "mommy blogger." No one calls me "mommy," not even my children these days. I prefer to be known as a Social Media Mom or even a Social Media Influencer.
I've never, however, liked to use myself as a focus group of one so, recently, I went out on my Facebook page, not my blog, to ask other moms who blog, what they prefer as a title. My mission was to validate a rumor I've heard among mom bloggers that they hate to be called, mommy bloggers. Here's what I got back, although I will use names or blogs to protect the very opinionated.
First of all, the topic was hot. In less than 15 minutes, I received more than 50 responses. I've summarized some of the common themes and comments.
1) All moms who blog are proud of being moms. Some didn't really care if they are called mommy or mom; what was important to them was that their role as a mom was recognized by brands and peers.
2) Many moms don't blog about parenting or children. These moms felt like the term mommy blogger was limiting and implied that they only blogged about diapers, toys and laundry.
3) Mom bloggers don't call each other mommy bloggers. This tells me a lot about the division between moms, marketers and brands. If you truly understand your consumer or target market, then you should at least use their language when you are speaking to them or about them. One popular mom who blogs said it best, "I don't like to be called mommy anything except by my children.”
4) Why don't companies and the media call dad bloggers, "daddy bloggers?" Good question. Many moms asked this question and left it at that.
5) Mom bloggers use mommy blogger only to open the door to media and brands. They know if they use the term, marketers will be more open to talk to them because, after all, it's a term marketers understand since they coined it.
6) Mommy blogger sounds condescending and doesn't represent the professionalism of moms who own blogs. This is perhaps the comment I heard the most. The media is to blame for breeding the sexiness of the term. It started with “mommy wars.” Sexy sells but, honestly, does anyone thing of their own mommy as sexy?
So what do you call a mom who blogs?
I bestowed the title of Social Media Moms on these women a few years ago. I also use Power Moms as I believe their influence goes well beyond social media audiences. There were several terms and titles offered up but the moms on my Facebook page. Social Media Influencers, lifestyle bloggers, writer, and blogger were among those suggested. However, the most popular of all was, "I am a mom and I am a blogger." I'll leave it at that.
I'm trying to be sympathetic. This is a concern that has been circulating the web for years. I used to think something should be done about it - the 'mommy bloggers' should rebel and insist brands treat them with respect and consideration and not lump them all into one pot. Then, it occurred to me - labels are what they are. If you're concerned about a 'label' - change it for yourself by not responding to it.
So, when someone says, "Hi, Mommy blogger, we want to hire you to post/tweet/Facebook for us in a national campaign," say, "I'm not a Mommy blogger, go somewhere else."
Why don't brands call dad bloggers "daddy bloggers"? Some are. The label is gaining ground. And, if these guys blog about their kids and their family, I say it's not a bad label to have.
At one time, blogger was a bad word.
At one time, working Mom was a bad title.
At one time, women of a certain age who were not married were 'spinsters'...omg!
None of those labels work today. Bloggers can be good or bad, just like any other writers. Working Moms abound, so to criticize women for working is just a bad idea. Spinsters went out with the last century - women celebrate their singleness, these days.
So, stop whining. Stop worrying about what 'they' call you. State who you are on your blog. Stick with it. And, allow the people (or brands) who insist on labeling you a little slack - they're just trying to figure this stuff out.
Me - I'm a pet blogger, a business blogger, and a woman. And...a grandma. Man, I'd love to start a movement for Grandma Bloggers! Hey, we have clout!
I prefer a more professional title such as Social Media Influencer, Social Media Enthusiast or yes, even Social Media Mom is perfect. "Mommy Bloggers" do a whole lot more than JUST blog these days and like you said, the term "Mommy" doesn't really fit. It implies that our kids our young.
However, the bigger problem for me is how brands are approaching us. There really isn't any instance where they should be calling out our demographic - whether it be "Mommy Blogger" or anything else. Unfortunately, WAAYYY too often, I receive emails that don't address me by name but simply, "Dear Mommy Blogger". I'm more offended by the fact that they don't take the time to address me personally than by the fact that they called me "Mommy Blogger"!
GREAT article (as usual), Maria!