In the past decade, social media for mommies has gone from a nurturing, supportive, chat-across-the-back-fence virtual village to a massive marketing vehicle for everyone from toy companies to the makers of minivans.
Here's Monetizing Mommy-hood by Ira Basen, The Sunday Edition's denizen of the blogosphere.
Welcome to the world of Mommy bloggers. There is a handy e-book available these days called The Definitive Five-Step Guide to Make Money Blogging. It lists the top 50 Mommy bloggers in North America - that's the top 50 out of four million. The queen of mommy bloggers, a woman in Salt Lake City, has more than 100,000 visitors to her blog every day.
For the most part, mommy bloggers are well-educated women in their thirties, with young children. When mommy blogging began, they were looking for a way to talk to other young mothers, to create a virtual village. That was before the clink of some pretty heavy change began to echo around cyberspace. That Salt Lake City queen blogger pulled in revenue of more than half-a-million dollars last year.
Mommy bloggers have redefined marketing. Mothers, surveys tell us, control over $2 trillion dollars of purchasing power in the U.S. The way for companies to reach this $2-trillion-dollar market today is through social media, through Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
Five years ago, toy companies handed out 98 per cent of their samples to TV stations, newspapers and magazines. Today 70 per cent of those free samples go to bloggers. Disney, reportedly, paid a million dollars for a mommy blogger site. But the intrusion of commerce into the world of mommy bloggers raises all sorts of questions about ethics, conflict of interest and ultimately the very meaning of social media.
Ira Basen returned from a journey deep inside the mommy blogosphere with his documentary Monetizing Mommy-hood.