Brands — and their marketing and PR agencies — “found out” about “mom bloggers” a long time ago. Not surprisingly, they’re still showering them in swag, contests, giveaways and other promotional deals in an effort to get them to promote their products, er, “become brand ambassadors.”
Recently, some more “influential” bloggers, such as Liz Gumbinner at Mom101, have become increasingly annoyed at these requests.
Besides the fact that they can be annoying, the companies now expect these moms to shill for free!
One company even turned down a mom blog for their advertising campaign because the blog wouldn’t post the ads for free, or, in exchange for a link on the company’s site.
Edelman Digital picked up on Gumbinner’s post, and said, “End predatory blogger programs.”
We’re not sure if “predatory” is the right word, but lets say some marketing person asks you to post a banner ad on your site for free.
That’s a a bit of a weird request to begin with, but what if it does happen? You should refer them to your advertising rate card, or say no. Done. End of story.
Well, it turns out that some blogs aren’t saying no, and are doing a lot of shilling for little “return.” And that annoys bloggers like Gumbinner who are actually trying to make some money and not just blog out of their basements for free stuff or links back to their blog.
We discussed this issue a bit on our weekly podcast this week with Mom Central CEO Stacy DeBroff. When asked if “moms blogging during their free time for free stuff” was really a big trend or just hyped up, and DeBroff said it was hyped up.
But she did also warn moms to be careful. “The minute you become too commercial, you lose your audience, and when you lose your audience you lose your influence,” she explained. To be fair, DeBroff has consulted to and been a spokesperson for a large number of companies.
Back to our original point. If a brand asks a blog to promote stuff for them for free, and the blogger does it, the brand will continue to try and milk this deal. The end.
We do appreciate Gumbinner’s post, however, because it seems the newbie bloggers, or those with a smaller audience are not helping the cause.