The new year wouldn’t start off officially for me if I didn’t lay out my mom blogger predictions for 2011.
First and foremost, the brand and mom blogger partnerships that you saw blossom in 2010 will continue to increase in 2011. There will be ample opportunity to work with brands, but you will have to be smart and understand that while the opportunities will be plenty, there are also more moms for brands to choose from!
Increased Competition: More and more young moms are finding that their lives do not have to be spent solely on platforms like Facebook, Youtube, and Livejournal and are starting to create their own blogs and drawing in their own audiences. That means there will be a lot of new mom bloggers coming into the fold increasing the competition for those who are looking to work with brands.
Additionally, women from professional industries who are not traditional digital mavens will create mom blogs and position themselves to partner with brands. In doing this they will provide stiff competition to influencer mom bloggers who have built their brand for years. In 2011 you’ll need to step up your game to be noticed whether that means re-branding totally, networking more, or getting a blog facelift. Make sure your blog and its contents are memorable and stand out from the crowd!
A Number’s Game: As marketers and brands become more sophisticated about influence (and that it is largely tied to numbers) you will have to start thinking like a business and concentrate on your traffic and social media following as much as you think about writing great content. I know, bummer! Companies like numbers they can relate to. The higher your numbers, the better off you will be. That said, 2011 may not be your year to work with brands, but may be your year to pump up the volume.
Thinking Beyond Your Blog: Most moms who will succeed greatly in 2011 will think far beyond their blog. They may have two blogs; they may write for a large parenting or local site; they may have an Internet radio show, they may record a podcast. Whatever it is, the moms who will succeed will be those who use multiple platforms to create and disseminate their content.
Simplicity Takes Center Stage: I foresee many mom bloggers paring down their many affiliations and concentrating on the partnerships that make the most sense for them. In years past, mom bloggers have cast their net wide in order to gobble up any opportunity that came their way. I see this as a year where mom bloggers become very picky about the brands they partner with understanding that these partnerships carry more weight than they originally thought.
The Year of Reinvention: Not only will 2011 be the year that mom bloggers have to repair years of being perceived as “hard to work with” and “too demanding”, mom bloggers will also have to innovate in order to stay relevant.
From the brand perspective
Mom Bloggers Trump Celebs: There is already a top-heavy level of mega mom blogger influencers that has established itself over the last five years or so. As we all know, many brands hire celebrities to endorse campaigns or products. I predict that many brands will realize in order to reach the online mom market moms don’t want to relate to out-of-touch mom celebrities. Rather they relate to someone who is like them – a fellow mom blogger. Brands will begin hiring more mom bloggers as spokesbloggers in addition to or in lieu of celebrities.
No Game Changing Moment in 2011: I would argue that the last real game changing moment in the mom blogging community came with the launch of the Walmart Moms. I do not foresee a game changing moment in the mom blogging community in 2011. I think everything is on cruise control right now. If there is a game changing moment, a brand will have to allocate a large budget to it and put in hours upon hours of hard thinking to come up with something fresh and innovative.
Long Shot Prediction of 2011: In other blogging niches, I have seen many blogs get acquired by larger media sites. The trend in the mom blogger community, however, is to be hired as freelancers or to enter into syndication contracts. 2011 may see the first game changing blog acquisitions where large brands or media sites capitalize on a blogger’s readership and brand instead of simply hiring them to write content while losing the moms’ readers in the process.