What’s in store for Mummy bloggers in 2010?

Susanna from A Modern Mother has posted her seven predictions for the parent blogging community next year. Never one to miss an opportunity to copy a great idea* here are my own seven predictions:

  1. Susanna thinks video blogging will be big in 2010. I disagree. I think the vast majority of Mummy bloggers (and perhaps a few Dads) like the anonymity of blogging, and would shriek in horror at the idea of the world seeing their grey hairs, wrinkles, eye-bags and wobbly bits (I have none of these things obviously. Because I’m 21 and a size zero). Instead, I think the big tech story of 2010 will be micro-blogging services like Tumblr and Posterous. Rather than creating a site in Blogger or WordPress these platforms let you email short clips, pictures, video, text, links – and they all magically appear in a single stream – it’s blogging made unbelievably fast and simple. You don’t even need to register for an account to use Posterous.
  2. Parent bloggers will become more diverse. The early pioneers of blogging have mostly been people who have a professional background in writing, comms or technology. So we’ve got a real bias towards middle class, white, 30-something graduates. I think as blogging gets more widespread, and simpler, the community is going to become A LOT more diverse. It's going to be awesome.
  3. This diversity is going to mean new niches in parent blogging. We’ve already got parent blogs about gardening and home ed, but in 2010 there will be even more choice of reading material – Granny blogs, political blogs, crafty blogs, cooking blogs – the sky’s the limit.
  4. Less homogeneity means more conflict. 2009 saw one or two pretty minor spats in the parent blogging community. Inevitably, as you get more voices, you’ll get more disagreement between bloggers. And I hate to be the one to say it, but large groups of women are not known for their ability to get along easily – and I don’t expect blogging to be an exception to the rule.
  5. More commercialisation. Part of the increased conflict in blogging is going to be driven by the increasing involvement of marketing, advertising and PR. I think PR approaches will polarise – some agencies will take a scattergun approach of sending out lots of freebies to (what they see as) low value blogs that will write about them while other agencies will take a strategic view and try to build relationships with (what they see as) premium parent blogs.
  6. Bloggers as brand ambassadors. Unless you’re topping 50,000 unique users a month, advertising is just a really drawn-out way to earn enough money to buy a cup of coffee. So I think brands are going to try and capture some of that parent blog sparkle by paying for posts – either on the parent blog itself, or on the brand’s website, where the blogger acts as a paid columnist. It’s a win-win proposition already being used by several major household names like Tomy and Proctor & Gamble.
  7. Protests. We’ve seen in other sectors how powerful a blog can be in forcing change within corporations. In 2009 many bloggers wrote powerfully about issues affecting their children, from seating on planes to buggies that don’t work. I think as networks of bloggers become more established, we’ll start to see organised campaigns, lobbies and protests – and smart companies will listen. US companies have already discovered that annoying the Mom blogs is a bad idea.

* I didn't really nick the idea, Susanna asked me what I thought.

** Also, I run workshops for PRs on how to build smart relationships with bloggers and pitching parent blogs. Find out more by dropping me an email.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 13th December 2009 / 10:54 pm

    Really interesting read, I enjoyed Susanna’s post too. I like the idea of no 7, that’s a positive one. I’m less sure about no 2 though, I can imagine parent bloggers becoming slightly more diverse but not hugely. I think people who use the internet in this way largely fit a certain demographic and will continue to do so for a while yet.

  2. 13th December 2009 / 11:10 pm

    I’ve written my own predictions on my blog, and possibly predictibly they differ significantly from A Modern Mothers. However I agree with all of yours, except number 2.
    I do think however that by the beginning of 2010 the hype is going to wear very thin and a lot of the PR centered stuff will dry up. And a good thing too.
    You can read my full rant over at my blog :).

  3. Sally
    13th December 2009 / 11:22 pm

    I look forward to reading. I think with #2 my argument is based on what’s happened to Facebook and Twitter. Initially, it was all 20-somethings on Facebook and then there came that day when your parents signed up. Then your boss. Then your nephew. The same thing with Twitter.
    And I do thing that as the barrier to entry of blogging is lowered (which Posterous and Tuimblr do brilliantly) then more people will blog. And different sort of people. But it’s a prediction – I may be wrong. We’ll have to see!

  4. 13th December 2009 / 11:36 pm

    I agree about facebook, but not Twitter. I work with a multitude of classes, but prodominantly working and “under” class. Facebook is everywhere and twitter largely confined to those White 30 somthing graduates. The reason we hear so much about it is that the media is largely staffed by White 30 year old graduates.
    Oh, and I meant by the begining of 2011 the shine will have worn off, not 2010 🙂

  5. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    14th December 2009 / 7:40 am

    As I said on Susanna’s blog, I agree 1 is very unlikely – you’re right, Sally, most bloggers ow would baulk at the idea of putting their visogs on screen. It’s enough some of them can do to even put a photo up. It’s possible, though, that more bloggers will start to use video of other stuff on their blogs. I’m not sure if Blogger etc has this facility. I think though that the current crop of parent bloggers are quite a diverse bunch. I disagree with Dan that the PR centred stuff is going to dry up – it seems to be on the increase.

  6. 14th December 2009 / 9:31 am

    Hi, I fully agree about video blogging – to me, its not really what blogging is about. HOWEVER, if the blogging world does open up to the younger parents out there and people from a wider range of backgrounds, then I can imagine video blogging might take off. In terms of commercialisation, I can imagine that in the not too distant future, that some of the better-known parent blogs could be candidates for purchase… perhaps as the basis for a commercial blog, a set of paid mummy/daddy reviewers reviewing specific things and soliciting comments, much like reviews and forums on sites such as mumsnet. It would be a shame though because it would lose the personalisation that give blogs appeal.

  7. angelsandurchinsblog
    14th December 2009 / 10:31 am

    Really interesting. As a new blogger, it’s easy to imagine everyone has been blogging for aeons. But it is, of course, a very new community. Which means that it will grow, and, as you say, become much more diverse. This means there will be a lot more to read and enjoy, but the flipside are opinions that might be less enjoyable. And I don’t think it’s as simple as ignoring blogs that voice opinions you don’t agree with. As many parent bloggers have pointed out, blogging is a potential huge force for good (election being won at the school gate, charity appeals etc). But anything online has the potential to reach a large audience, so it will be interesting to see if more political or unpleasant opinions start to rise to the surface. And yes, inevitably, things are going to start looking more commercial, but (and I know this is something you’ve covered before) that’s not necessarily such a bad thing. Print publications beware…

  8. 14th December 2009 / 11:06 am

    Agree with all of this, especially 6 – for big brands, using some good bloggers is a great way to constantly update your content which in itself helps you rise up search engine lists, plus you can attract more online traffic and all at a relatively low cost.
    Also, I hadn’t heard of Tumblr or Posterous but I think any tool that makes blogging easier – particularly if someone like Facebook fronts it – will mean a huge explosion in numbers blogging. I do fear it will be a case of quantity over quality though.
    And, yes, think there’ll be arguments galore – just like Friday night clubbing, except with less hair pulling, handbag bashing and scratching – although I fully expect someone to say ‘You slaaaaag!’

  9. 14th December 2009 / 7:38 pm

    I find all this fascinating and I enjoyed your post on Getting Ink too. I don’t think video blogging will take off at all. Many of us enjoy hiding behind our computer screens! I think the blogosphere is becoming more diverse at the moment. I do read a few blogs that at not written by white, middle class 30-something graduates but these bloggers don’t seem to be putting them ‘out there’ so much. That may change but I doubt it. I’m a 30-something graduate – you are right, there are alot of us out there with blogs! As has already been said I think, there are a lot of media and PR types who fall into the same demographic.
    Will there be more minor spats? Yes, I think so but I expect I’ll be staying out of them and hopefully not creating them. Healthy debate is good but is it is likely to turn into a major spat then that defeats the point of why I blog which is purely for enjoyment.
    I personally like the idea of more commercialisation. I’ve enjoyed the approaches I have had this year and several PR companies have helped pay for this Christmas. Am I low value? I expect so, but at the moment it’s a win-win situation for me at least and I’m not complaining. You can’t make a living from blogging but the perks I’ve had this year are nice and most unexpected. However, some bloggers struggle with appraoches from PR companies and it would be a shame if this put them off blogging. I don’t have a problem with this as I have a business background but not everyone has experience in this area and it can be daunting.
    I have also enjoyed the way blogs have supported charities this year. That is something I’m happy to be involved with. I expect there will be more of that in 2010.
    I also think, in time, marketing companies will be more choosy in the blogs they target as they will have learnt, I expect, a great deal from their experiences with bloggers this year. It does seem like an new area for them as well as us.

  10. Sally
    15th December 2009 / 12:26 am

    @Liz – yes, you’re right – there’s an astounding number of women hiding behind kids in their blog photos. Embedding blog is a different story, as it gets easier and broadband faster, that’ll happen, definitely.
    @JumblyMumbly – I think your point about purcahse is interesting. I’ve discussed a similar idea with PRs, that blogs will be sponsored by single brands. I’m not sure whether brands would purchase a blog for fear of compromising the blog’s value (which lies in its independence). It’ll be interesting to see, though.
    @Brit – I think in the short-term we’ll see a faster growth in blogs than in the blog audience. So you’ll get some blogs will grow their audience massively, while others will stagnate or fall. You might get disillusionment for a time, but it will even out, I think. PRs are interested in small niches, it’s WHO is reading not how many that they care about.
    @Dawn – why thanks for agreeing! And yes, I think we should have a ‘slaaaag’ sweepstake.
    @Rosie – what a positive comment, thanks for posting. I don’t think we often hear from people saying “I enjoy being approached by PRs” and I find it very refreshing indeed. Not all PR people are the big bad wolf, after all. I do think rows are inevitable – they’ve happened in every online community I’ve ever observed for any period of time. I figure just duck your head and it all blows over eventually, though 😉

  11. 15th December 2009 / 9:34 am

    I actually said “UK mum bloggers will start video blogging” but given the vast amount of comments from bloggers saying they won’t go near it, well then maybe you’re right. Agree with number four. Just as long as it’s not on my network! Nice vision as usual.

  12. 18th December 2009 / 6:13 pm

    Very interesting.
    I agree that parent blogging will diversify. What I wonder is whether everyone will browse and follow a big variety of blogs, or whether it will cliqueify, and people will stick to their own kind. My guess is the latter, as people tend to want to read about people who share their interests, or approach to life. But who knows?