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SpirE-Journal 2011 Q3

Side Click: Mommy Bloggers

Reader's Ratings:
Side Click: Mommy Bloggers

Parenting in the 21st century is replete with challenges. Parents in today’s fast growing economies struggle to find the best approaches to parenting, the best products and services for their children and the best commercial deals for families. Solutions that enhance academic learning and facilitate time management are at a premium.

Reader’s Ratings:

Mommy bloggers – Asia’s newest outreach channel for family products

While parents have traditionally received advice from family and friends, the online parenting advice forum is a growing trend. Riding on this, many individual parents have created blogs that provide advice to readers – and sometimes peddle commercial wares at the same time. 

There are almost 22,000 blogs in cyberspace. Roughly 28% of those are about parenting, with new entrants joining the blogosphere all the time. 

In the U.S., where women control more than 70% of total consumer spending, blogs that reach out to mothers are becoming a major channel for commercial advice and even commercial products. After all, women take on the bulk of product research and household purchasing for families. 

By some estimates, there are as many as 10,000 “mommy blogs” on the Internet now. They share advice on everything from baby care and parenting to the best child car seats or strollers. And as these blogs have evolved over the past few years, many have now become niche businesses with little oversight by the government. 

It is hard to pin down just how many bloggers are being paid – certainly not everyone is. But Maria Bailey, who specializes in marketing to mothers, says that about 85% of mommy bloggers are receiving free samples of the products that they are promoting. 

Some mommy blogs will host product reviews and initiate giveaways on their blog. But if, for example, companies dealing with baby products would like these mommy bloggers to review their product, a mutual agreement between the blogger and the company is usually executed. Some bloggers will not accept payment, but will expect a product in hand to review. 

Large corporations have been marketing to bloggers for several years, and many have marketing campaigns specifically set up to reach mothering blogs. 

In Asian countries, cyber parenting platforms are becoming popular. “KiasuParents”, a social networking site where Singaporean parents discuss on parenting issues as well as the best products on offer, is a perfect example. As for bloggers, some avoid overt commercial elements – like “The Rock Mum” of Hong Kong. Others, however, do comment on commercial products. Examples include Malaysia’s “Mamapumpkin”, which recently highlighted a new brand of children’s clothes launched in Kuala Lumpur, or Australia’s “Planning with Kids” blog, which hosts banner ads on the site with direct links to vendors. 

A search of mommy blogs in Asia also reveals some degree of higher level organization across blogs, reflected in sites like “Mom’Bloggers Planet – Where Malaysian Moms Unite”, which enjoys around 5,000 likes on Facebook. 

The vast bulk of mommy bloggers in Asia still command relatively small followings in terms of readership and connections on Facebook and Google Friend Connect – typically ranging from a few hundreds to a few thousands. However there can be little doubt that time will see the rise of some “celebrity mommy bloggers” in Asia – whom family product vendors would do well to engage.

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