How can mummy bloggers spark up their dying love affair with readers?

Parents seem to be turning away in droves from mummy bloggers, writes Practical Parenting editor, Frances Sheen. But like any great love affair, there's always hope for a happy ending.

In break-up terms it’s been more slow and torturous than swift and definitive, but our love affair with mummy bloggers looks like it’s finally over. And just like with most break-ups it’s come as a bit of a shock. Well, for me at least.   

Way back in the early 2000s, ‘mummy bloggers’ were The New Big Thing. Opening up about their lives on websites was fresh, exciting and often funny and very, very relatable. Motherhood can be a lonely path and suddenly we felt we’d found friends. Their content echoed our own thoughts and sitting up at 3am in front of our computer screens, reading about everyone else’s experiences filled a void.

Some writers used their pages to chronicle the ups and downs of their life. The Freckled Fox talked openly about being shot in the leg by her husband, his cancer diagnosis, his tragic death and funeral and then her re-marriage. It felt like we were given a glimpse into her diary and it was totally compelling.

To dismiss these writers as simply mummy bloggers is to do them and their work a massive dis-service. They are producing amazing content (look at our very own Constance Hall who seems to have single-handedly created a one-woman movement). They create apps, produce podcasts and newsletters, sell merchandise, write books and columns, run workshops… the list goes on. They’ve made a business out of this and deserve every drop of success.

But just like with every great trend, the market has become over-saturated. For every brilliant blogger who resonates, there’s a whole army of ‘influencer bloggers’ who, it seems, are just keen to make money and ride the wave. The very authenticity we loved is lost in a sea of ‘sponsored content’ and blatant plugs for products.

A new survey by Practical Parenting made for some sobering reading. It found that parents now have very low levels of trust in bloggers and celebrities and the products they are paid to plug. Just 16 per cent would trust a blogger to recommend a pram, two per cent would trust a celeb but 51 per cent put their trust in fellow parents, identified to be ‘just like them’.

Advertisers take note, there is a fresh trend, a new appetite for peer-to-peer content reviews and recommendations.

Mums trust other ordinary mums because the only reason they have to spruik a product is because they like it, or they don’t – and they’re happy to say that. No hidden agenda.

We crave the honest; from dummies to teething gel, cars and nappies. We want to hear other mums’ experiences and how they have shaped their lives.

It will be exciting to watch how the Mummy Bloggers we’ve followed for so long re-invent themselves to bring back the trust, and how the digital landscape changes for mothers following the new findings, but just like with any great love affair, there’s always hope for a happy ending.

Frances Sheen is the editor of Practical Parenting.


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