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A Revolution in Fatherhood


Session: How Dad Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes
Speaker: Kevin Metzger

Note: This is the first of a three part series covering Dad Blogger statistics.

The profile of the modern dad has changed and a little over a year ago I set out to define what today’s dad looks like. I created The DADvocate Project which was basically a survey. The questions on the survey looked at how dads spend their time, how they are involved with their family, significant other and children, how they spend time in the community, what are their physical and religious commitments, do they do the household budgeting and how much do they spend. I administered the survey via social channels such as Facebook and twitter and blogged about the results throughout the process.

This article represents the most complete look at the statistics so far. It defines the average dad in 2010 and 2011 based on results to a yearlong survey that was completed by over 500 men. The article is also part of a larger work I’m putting together on the Dad Blogger led revolution in fatherhood which will be released later this year. You see the dads who took this survey were mostly bloggers and their blogs are already changing the conversation on fatherhood.


The average age of the modern blogger dad is 39.2. 52% of dad bloggers have used drugs but 75% do not have a tattoo. 63% of dad bloggers do not gamble at all. The average dad hangs out with the guys 1.4 times per month but 54% of dad bloggers claim to hang out with the guys 1 or more times per month. Approximately 52% of dads will have 1 or more drinks at a social gathering, 16% might have glass with dinner or during a football game. 12% claim to have 1 or 2 drinks daily and less than 2% claim to have more than 2 drinks daily. Oh and 14% don’t drink at all.

A small majority of dad bloggers identify themselves politically as Independent (23.7%) followed by Democrat (22.3%) then by conservative(18.18%). 68% of Dad bloggers claim a different political affiliation  from their father.

Dads participate in so many organizations in our communities that the best way to present it is via this Wordle.

Hobbies, keep us sane and Dads practice in a large variety of hobbies. The largest number of dads listed Reading but that was followed pretty closely by Writing, Photography and Blogging.

Speaking of Reading – 34% of dad bloggers read 1 or more hours per day. The chart below shows what type of content dads are reading by how much time they spend reading. The most interesting and telling thing about this chart is that dads are reading blogs more than any other content type.

The average dad takes in between 30 minutes and 2 hrs daily of television which is also about the average time their children spend watching TV according to the survey.

Up Next: Family, Children, Work, Health, Personal Development, and Religion.

Are Dad Bloggers Attacking Father Stereotypes or Windmills?


Session: How Dad Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes
Speaker: Ron Mattocks

Are Dad Bloggers Attacking Father Stereotypes or Windmills?

Remember Don Quixote, the middle-aged country gentlemen who lost touch with reality and charged off to fight what he thought were giants, but what were really windmills?  (Do schools even teach this anymore?)  Sometimes I wonder if us dad bloggers aren’t like Don Quixote when we get all up in arms about stereotyped fathers in the media. Are we mistaking a windmill for a giant?

Dopes Are Tropes

Am I implying the “dumb dad” shtick and other negative stereotypes don’t exists? Not at all. However, pointing to the demigod-like fathers of the 50’s as the gold standard for pop culture paternity is a poor argument for demanding a modern reboot. In a sense, these depictions of infallible fathers were  the least realistic of them all. Furthermore, to say that TV dads have only declined since is a faulty assumption too because for every bad dad shown over the ensuing decades, a good one can be found to counter it.  Even today, for every Tony Soprano and Peter Griffin, there’s a Don Draper and Homer Simpson (Gasp! That’s right, Draper and Simpson. Ask me why in LA.)

The truth of it is, the media doesn’t get motherhood right either. Michael Keaton’s Mr. Mom isn’t  any more accurate than Diane Keaton ’s supermom in Baby Boom. In those early years, behind every all-knowing dad stood a mom in heels and pearls mopping a floor; now behind every fat slob in a La-Z-Boy stands a disproportionally gorgeous wife and mother bringing him nachos before the big game. Yeah, that’s realistic.

Still, these inaccurate portrayals aren’t going to change, not as long as profits can be made from them. To network and ad execs, dumb dads and tolerant wives are merely tropes—story devices meant to contextualize whatever it is they’re hawking.  In ad campaigns marketers use mom and dad as tropes in several ways, for example:  1) The Empowered Woman and Impotent Man where a woman is told she doesn’t need a man to make a purchase decision when she can dupe him instead, and 2) The Oafish Man and Longsuffering Woman who accepts that she can’t change her bumbling man and endures aided by consumer products.

Wrong? Yes. But does that mean we mount a steed and follow Don Quixote into the fray?

Ragu: Giant or Giant Windmill?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Why did the spaghetti sauce cross the dad blogger? Give up? To get brand awareness. As a former VP of sales and marketing, I agree, the recent Ragu campaign slighting dads was both lame and ill-conceived. However, if the intent was to gain exposure among parent bloggers, when the numbers hit some ad exec’s desk, I guarantee he yelled, “Winning!” and then downed a pint of tiger’s blood.

The significance of Ragu-gate, though, is that it marks the first instance when a large portion of the dad blogger community responded in force. That’s a significant indicator of dad’s growing social media influence. However, despite both this and Ragu’s mistakes, some feel the situation was somewhat tarnished by the reaction itself.

One account rep remarked to me that they were “put off” by the backlash, not because the sentiment was wrong, but because the reactionary nature of some diatribes created the potential for current and future clients to be more hesitant about working with dad bloggers. Several veteran mom bloggers expressed a similar sentiment, likening it to the controversy over the varied reactions of the “Motrin Moms” back in the days when moms and brands were still feeling each other out.

In the end, though, Ragu got what it wanted. And dads? Ragu-gate’s widespread visibility may have given dad bloggers an added degree of credibility as influencers in the estimation of brands and advertisers. But the incident comes with a cautionary tale of how a right message can get lost in the wrong delivery, something moms and brands already know. But regardless of the outcome here, I have to ask, were we attacking a media misandry giant, or just another windmill.

When Did Giants Become Windmills?

For Don Quixote, his delusions stemmed from his getting too caught up in adventure books. Applying this to us dad and the fight against stereotypes, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and miss what’s really happening along the way. Are fathers still largely misrepresented? Yes. Do women still control household purchasing power? Yes (sort of). But is there a paradigm shift running counter to the above premises? The answer is also yes. Consider this:

That same WSJ article also pointed out that, although still a bit feeble, today’s sitcom dads are confident, family men who are okay with housework and proficient at child rearing. Dumb dads and mom-centered advertising may still exist, but even so, the mainstream media is starting to get it.

Real Giants: The Makers of “Mooks”

Unlike Don Quixote’s self-fabricated monsters, real giants that are more damaging to fathers, do exist. Despite their overall positive treatment, the new dads on shows like Man Up and Up All Night, are plagued by their struggle to define their own masculine identity. Are they  acting like men or are they still boys? Are they being too macho, or too feminine? Where did this male identity crisis come from? Three words: AXE Body Spray.

Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but AXE marketing campaigns are a prime example of the real problem. Commercials showing mobs of sex-crazed women ripping the clothes off a teenage boy seconds after he applies a little body spray sends unrealistic and confusing messages to young impressionable males. And these images are far more prevalent in pop-culture than the stupid dads. According to the book, Packaging Boyhood: Saving Our Sons From Superheroes, Slackers, and Other Media Stereotypes, marketers are overtly telling boys they are supposed to be everything from underachieving nobodies to win-at-all-cost super jocks.

Such messages are damaging to boys’ self-esteem, delaying their entry into emotional adulthood, and what’s worse is that media, marketing and ad execs and are creating a generation of “mooks,” a term coined during an episode of PBS’s Frontline (“The Merchants of Cool”) in reference to selfish, superficial, young males who act like morons—morons who will likely be fathers themselves. By comparison, how a spaghetti sauce portrays me seems silly when some stink spray wants to turn my three boys into characters from the Jersey Shore. (Coincidentally, both Ragu and AXE are owned by Unilever.)

Dad Bloggers are Not Don Quixote

Unlike, the farcical Don Quixote, dad bloggers have real issues to confront, and to be blunt, it’s not what the mainstream media thinks of us as fathers; it’s what the mainstream media is telling our sons about what it means to be a man. The good news, though, is that men as consumers arguably have more of a voice in shaping brand messages now, more than ever through the power of social media.

The days of traditional marketing campaigns are over, and  brands are having to accept that they no longer control the message. Some of that control is now within the grasp of dad bloggers, and as the industry continues to gauge our influence, brands are listening. What are we going to say, and which brands should we be talking to?

Personally, what the mainstream media says about me as a father isn’t as important as what my kids think of me as a parent. My job is to do what’s best for them, so if Ragu runs a two-for-one deal—guess what’s for dinner, kids? And if an auto maker advertises their “Dad is a Turd” Spring Sell-A-Thon, but yet they offer a quality-made, vehicle that’s right for my family, then let’s make a deal.

It’s not that I’m ambivalent. I’m not. But, being already secure with my masculine identity, as a father I have a greater responsibilities to protect my sons (and daughters) from harmful influences, than I do protecting my image. So go ahead, CEOs and Media Moguls, make all the money you want off this “stupid” dad. But try making e a buck from telling my sons they’re stupid, and well, we’re going to have words.

* * *

If you’d like to continue this discussion, I invite you to join the outstanding team of Kevin Metzger, Jim Lin, Bruce Sallan, and myself for the Type A Parent panel, How Dad Bloggers Can Bust the Father Stereotypes.

How Can Mom Bloggers Get the Most out of a Social Media Conference?


In preparation for the upcoming BlogWorld & New Media Expo, LA, the Global Influence Network asked their bloggers the following question:

“How can Mom Bloggers get the most out of attending a social media conference?”

The following is just an excerpt of the great advice given by the network bloggers:

1. Attitude is the key to getting the most out of a conference. Mom Bloggers should remember to be present themselves as professionals who are eager to learn and make solid connections with other attendees and the brands that are represented.
— Valerie Mitchell from Sweeps 4 Bloggers

2. Plan, Prepare and Participate
Plan ahead contact those you want to connect with prior to the conference set up meeting times, plan your days what you will attend, who you will meet, what your goals are etc. Have a PLAN prior to going.

Prepare- create a carry around schedule or use iPad, phone etc, bring business cards, bring a light weight tote to carry around during the day so you don’t have to return to your room multiple times.

Participate- Don’t sit back and wait for others to engage you, engage others by asking questions, join in the events, workshops, panels etc. Participate in social media while at the event tweet, facebook this will create contacts of others attending and may even get you invited to a few after parties by being noticed on social media platforms. Meet new people don’t stick with your same group of those you already know reach out new contacts will take you far”
— Trisha Novotny from 24/7 Moms

3. Mom Bloggers need to know, they are a business too. Just because you carry on conference calls while changing diapers or putting kids down for naps, doesn’t make you less of a business person. Go feeling like you are just as important and knowledgeable as the guy who sits at a desk all day and you will leave feeling confident and connected. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for contact information of someone you admire as well. The “big name bloggers” aren’t as intimidating as you think they are.
— Emily Vanek from Colorado Moms

4. To get the most out of a conference, I feel that a blogger has to enter with an open heart and mind. While I enjoy sessions, I know plenty of people who feel that the networking and connections are far better for their blogging careers.

I feel like there really is no “”wrong way”” to do it unless you close yourself to opportunity.

My one piece of advice at a conference is to be willing to say “”Yes!”” Say yes to opportunity and to experience. Say yes to meeting new people. Say yes to putting yourself out there.
— Lindsay Dianne from Running Scared

5. Network, network, network! Seminars can provide valuable ideas, events and goodie bags are fun, but the relationships forged via positive networking are powerful and offer long-lasting benefits. A drive-by card drop is okay, but connecting on a personal level with meaningful conversations can lead to wonderful friendships and create amazing synergy.
— Barb Webb from Rural Mom

6. After 10 years as a blogger and an attendee at numerous conferences, my biggest piece of advice for Mom Bloggers is to HAVE CONFIDENCE.

I see so many women attend conferences and end up shrinking into the background like wallflowers at a 7th grade dance. They think they have nothing to offer, that no one would want to talk to or connect with them, or even sit with them at lunch. And so they spend breaks in the bathroom or in their hotel room checking email, instead of taking the opportunity to seek out others.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that each of us has value and is an expert in some field. Sure, you may not know the first thing about SEO, but you have great relationships with brands or you’re able to think up authentic ways to engage your readers. The person next to you, despite her “”I’ve-got-it-all-together”” demeanor, may need the exact skills and expertise you offer.

So before you write yourself off as a nobody and waste your chance to connect with and help others, remind yourself of your value. Before you leave for the event, sit down and scratch out a list of your experience and skills, whether it’s the ability to write fresh content five times a week, or to take stunning photographs for your blog. Then go into the event looking for someone who needs what YOU have to offer.

Of course, it’s good to make a list of questions or topics you’d like more information about, too, but if you focus on helping others, I guarantee you’ll find your own answers, almost as a byproduct of the connections you make through reaching out.

You’re valuable. Don’t ever doubt that. Now go help someone. ”
— Lain Ehmann from 30 Minute Martha

7. Knowing what you want to get out of a social media conference before you go and having a plan to reach the goal you set is the key to getting the most out of any social media conference. If your goal is to network with other bloggers in general than you won’t want to miss the mingling opportunities. If you want to specifically meet up with a certain person then setting up a time to meet is essential because time will escape you!! If you are there to learn than you won’t want to miss the workshops. You don’t have to have a hard and fast schedule but if you walk into a conference without a plan you definitely will leave wondering where your weekend went. Time is the best thief!!
— Tia Yates from Tia Saving Cents

8. Conferences give you a chance to network in person with those you already know and stregthen those connections plus a chance to meet many more people in the social media community. The conferences also are a fabulous place to learn from the best of the best – make sure you take the time to attend talks and sessions and take notes. Along with learning you become inspired! There is nothing like gathering with a group of other social media people to get you motivated to keep going, try new things, and expand your horizons! PS – and it’s a lot of fun too!
Robyn Wright

9. The key to conferencing is networking. When you are socializing with your colleagues you learn so much as to how they do their business and you get the sense that you are not alone. Also, watching other Mom bloggers interact with brands is important.
— Lee Reyes-Fournier from Couple Dumb

10. By networking. You have to get out of your comfort shell from behind the computer and put yourself out there. If there is someone you admire introduce yourself. Likewise say hello to the person in the corner because chances are they are feeling exactly like you are. Find the meetups on twitter and facebook then meet up. Most importantly have a fantastic time!
— Kasandria Reasoner from Southern Bellas Ways to Save

What advice do you have to share?

Dads Are Parents, Too


Session: How Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes
Speaker: Bruce Sallan

This may come as a shock to many in Hollywood and MSM (Main Stream Media), but dads are parents, too. What happened to the honorable, if somewhat staid dad that used to be a staple of Hollywood? Spencer Tracey in Father of the Bride? Or, Robert Young in Father Knows Best?

THAT dad is now Homer Simpson, The Family Guy, Al Bundy, and in movies the dad that can’t figure out how to put a diaper on so he gets pee in the schnozzer! Funny. Not funny when it’s a mom. They would get major protests if they portrayed moms anything like they portray dads. Boycotts, Newsweek/Time covers, Ellen, The View, even Dr. Phil (who I don’t really think is a man…shhhhhh).

The above Comic Strip is a creation of Aaron and Bruce Sallan

I am (@BruceSallan) moderating a panel at BlogWorld LA called, How Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes with Jim Lin of Busy Dad Blog (@busydadblog), Ron Mattocks (@CK_Lunchbox) and Kevin Metzger (@theDadvocate).

We will ask how dads became the butt of jokes, what we are doing to correct that stereotype, and how ALL parents can be honored and celebrated for doing what is probably the most important job we can do.

Hear what Bruce has to say about his session and why you should come to BlogWorld LA:

See what other speakers are saying about BlogWorld LA.

Join Bruce and his community each Thursday for #DadChat, from 6pm -7pm PST, the Tweet Chat that Bruce hosts. Bruce Sallan, author of “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation” and radio host of “The Bruce Sallan Show – A Dad’s Point-of-View” gave up a long-term showbiz career to become a stay-at-home-dad. He has dedicated his new career to becoming THE Dad advocate. He carries his mission with not only his book and radio show, but also his column “A Dad’s Point-of-View”, syndicated in over 100 newspapers and websites worldwide, and his dedication to his community on Facebook and Twitter.

Type-A Parent Track Coming to BlogWorld LA!


This year, the Type-A Parent Conference is partnering with BlogWorld & New Media Expo to offer a BlogWorld parent blogger track. The track will be two full days of the conference, Friday and Saturday, and jam-packed with learning and take-aways for moms and dads who blog, as well as business who want to connect with and understand the space. If you’d like to see which parents have already registered for BlogWorld, be sure to see my Parents at #BWELA list on Twitter.

The Type-A track lineup is:

  • Just a Mom” is No Excuse – Professionalism and Productivity Count with Heather Solos (@heathersolos) and Angela England (@angengland) – After hearing more than one blogger make the excuse “Oh well, I’m just a mom,” they realized that motherhood is no excuse for lack of professionalism. Nor is it a hindrance to productivity! They will discuss how to maintain a professional demeanor, without sacrificing the reason many of us choose to stay home – our families! Together we’ll also share tips and tricks for maximizing productivity and help bloggers focus their to-do lists to the most important and effective items.
  • How Dad Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes with Bruce Sallan (@brucesallan) moderating with Jim Lin of Busy Dad Blog (@busydadblog), Ron Mattocks (@CK_Lunchbox) and Kevin Metzger (@theDadvocate) – Dads often get a bad rap in the media, but dad blogging provides an opportunity to dispel some myths and demonstrate that the modern dad is, in fact, a competent and involved parent.
  • Creating a Media Kit with Francesca Banducci (@SITSgirls) and Allison Talamantez (@swaygroup and @aztalamantez) – This presentation will cover what a media kit is and why you need one as a blogger, the most common elements of a media kit, examples of media kits to get you started and the five essential elements that all media kits need. Attendees will also get a handout to fill out throughout the presentation, which will serve as a template for them to create their own media kit.
  • Monetizing Your Parent Blog with Adam Keats (@akeats), Sheila Dowd (@xiaolinmama and @clevergirlscoll), Sarah Pinnix (@reallifesarah) and Leah Segedie (@bookieboo) – Yes, parent blogs can generate cash. This panel will offer tips, examples of successes and warnings of pitfalls when it comes to earning real money through your parent blog.
  • Exposed! When Blogging Gets Too Personal with Cecily Kellogg (@cecilyk), Anissa Mayhew (@anissamayhew), Michele Chestnut (@chelechestnut) and Erin Kotecki Vest (@queenofspain) – Parent blogs often include sharing details of our personal lives, but what happens when life gets a little too exposed? Four bloggers who have dealt with everything from health issues and trolls to personal and political debates will share tips and takeaways on how to cope, how to set boundaries, and how to deal when blogging gets too close for comfort.
  • Avoiding Parent Blog Design Mistakes with Melanie Nelson (@chilihead) and Brittany Vanderlinden (@mommywords) – Find out about the most common parent blog design mistakes, with an explanation of why they are mistakes that turn off visitors as well as concrete steps to fix those issues on your own blog. The audience will walk away with clear steps to make their blogs more visually attractive and user friendly.
  • Podcasting for Parent Bloggers with Maria Bailey (@momtalkradio) and Tamara Walker (@momrn) – Two long-time and established podcasters will share tips on getting started with podcasting, where to broadcast, developing a podcast theme and regular guests and topics, and building an audience.
  • Reaching the Digital Family: Marketing Strategies with Mom and Dad Influencers with Amy Lupold Bair (@resourcefulmom), Adam Cohen (@dadarocks), Janice Croze (@5minutesformom) and Josh Becker (@dadstreet) – There’s no question that brands and agencies are looking to reach not only the online mom, but the entire digital family. What are the best strategies to connect with this growing market, and how do mom and dad bloggers approach their unique audiences differently when representing companies?
  • Maintaining Privacy While Living Publicly with Jessica Gottlieb (@jessicagottlieb) – This is a very hands on session where bloggers can learn a lot of tips for how to keep their life private while still maintaining intimacy with their audience. It will cover registering your site, deciding to use your name, privacy via social networks like Facebook and Twitter, safety with location-based services, turning private moments into universal stories and public information found online.
  • Breaking Into Parent Vlogging with Jenny Ingram (@jennyonthespot) and Clay Nichols (@daddyclay) – If you’ve ever thought about delving into vlogging, but were intimidated by it or just didn’t know how to start, two seasoned parent vloggers will offer this basic session to get started.
  • (Track Keynote) Parent Bloggers Mean Business: Building Success, Respect, Confidence and Income with Kelby Carr (@typeamom) – Yes, parent bloggers can and should take themselves seriously. After all, if you don’t, who will? This session will cover the importance of putting on your game face as a parent blogger, and earning the respect and finding the confidence to break into success. Attendees will learn how to position themselves and their blog as a business, get tips on dealing with naysayers and the stereotypes that frequently hold bloggers with “mom” and “dad” in their name back, and find out how to leverage their blog’s success to branch out into other endeavors, and ultimately make a real and livable income.

RESERVE YOUR PASS! If you haven’t reserved your pass or hotel rooms yet, you’ll want to register now! BlogWorld official partner hotels are offering Discounted Rates (from $120/nt), Free Wi-Fi for attendees, and and all have just undergone multi-million-dollar renovations–so you’ll be in a fresh, vibrant and comfy new room during your BlogWorld stay! And…we’ve lined up Free Shuttles for you too! Check out your hotel options.

Mom Blogger Infographics


Infographics are fascinating. The visual representation of data will put something into perspective if done well. I decided to search for infographics related to mom bloggers. Here are 5 mom blogger infographics I found.

The Business of Mommy Bloggers

This infographic created by Overstock.com is from 2010 and depicts many of the facts about mommy bloggers.

Risks & Rewards of Being a Mom Blogger

Jennifer James created a few infographics to clear of some of the misconceptions along with the risks and rewards of being a mom blogger. Click on the infographic to see all 3 infographics.

Marketing to Moms

This infographic shows the best ways for brands to influence moms. Brands need to be where the moms are if they want to get noticed.

What a Mom is Worth!

This one isn’t just about mom bloggers, but all moms. This sure puts into perspective the amount of time that it takes to be a mom. We haven’t even added in the time to blog yet.

Via: DegreeSearch.org

ROI of Mom

Ever wonder whether it’s worth keeping mom around? This infographic shows you the ROI of Your Mom.

Have you seen any mom blogger infographics?

How Bloggers Can Make The Most of The School Hours


As the kids go back to school, we bloggers have several hours during the day to ourselves. If you are not careful, those hours will go by very quickly and you’ll find that you haven’t accomplished anything. Here are a few tips bloggers can use to make the most of school hours.

Routines. Set up a weekly routine and put it on your calendar. I like to start my week out by writing on Mondays and Tuesdays. That way I have the rest of the week for social media, meetings and anything else that comes up. Some weeks, I have to rearrange, but I try to stick to that routine. By having it on my calendar, I don’t spend any time figuring out what I need to do. I can be productive as soon as I sit down at my desk.

Do tasks that require peace and quiet. I try to schedule conference calls and meetings for the 6 hour span that all 4 of my kids are in school. I know I won’t be settling arguments while on the call. That is another reason I like to write during the day. My thoughts are not interrupted by, “I’m hungry.”

Exercise. That may sound counter productive, but if you start your day by moving your body, you will have more energy for your day. I find the days I work out, I accomplish more in less time.

Be ready when the last child leaves. Don’t use the time the kids are gone to shower and get ready for your day. Get up before the kids if you need to. Once they are out the door, you can begin your work day.

Set business hours. You may want to post your business hours on your blog. If someone is trying to contact you or set up a meeting, they know what your hours are.

Following these tips has helped me become more productive during the day which leaves me open and available to my kids after school when they need me. I have had to learn to be very flexible though. It never fails that someone will be sick or we will have snow day when I have an important meeting. I will rearrange my week so I can work around the changes. Ultimately it all comes down to managing your time well.

What tips do you have for maximizing those school hours?

Setting Up Your Blog To Work With Brands


We know that Moms “like” brands on Facebook, but how will the brands find your blog? You’ve set up your blog and now you want to start working with brands. It isn’t as simple as, “if you build it, they will come.”

I’m going to assume that you have your blog set up and you have been blogging long enough to have content on your blog. You may not have found your niche, but you should have an idea of what topics you are most passionate about.

1. About Me Page. This page is a must if you want to work with brands. Make your About Me page unique to you. Smashing Magazine has a great post with examples of unique About Me pages.

2. Contact Information. This seems obvious, but so often I find a blog I love and I want to contact the blogger and I can’t find their contact information. If you are uncomfortable putting your email on your blog, add a contact form page. Links to your Twitter and Facebook page should be included also.

3. Review and/or Brand Posts. You do not need to be working with brands to write about brands. If there is a brand you are passionate about and want to work with, then start writing about the brand in a natural way. Brands want to work with bloggers who are already passionate about their products. If you use their products, you will be able to write about why the product improves your life.

4. Media Page and/or Media Kit. You do not need to put all your stats and advertising rates on your blog, but you should make it easy for PR or brands to request the information. Here are some resources to help you write your media kit.

5. Highlight Your Top Posts. Add your top posts to your sidebar. This will help both new readers and brands find the posts that are most popular on your blog.

6. Pictures. Be sure you have lots of pictures on your blog. Pictures make your blog more interesting and fun. You want to be able to highlight brands in the best way possible and pictures can tell a great story.

7. Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. You may have the best content on the Internet, but if no one can find it, then it is useless. You don’t need to write for search engines, but think about what words you would use if you were looking for the information you are writing about. Research keywords before writing your posts. Good SEO can be achieved while keeping your posts interesting.

Even if you have all 7 on your blog, you will need to do some leg work. Pitch the brands yourself if they are not finding you. Attending a conference is a great way to meet up with many brands in person.

What tips do you have for finding brands to work with?

LG Text Ed Program “Schools” Bloggers at BlogHer 2011


For those of you who attended BlogHer 2011 in San Diego this weekend, you may have had the chance to be “schooled” by LG Mobile and their advisory board members Jane Lynch and Rosalind Wiseman. The LG Text Ed was in session educating bloggers about teen mobile phone misuse and providing parents with valuable resources so they can teach responsible phone use to their children.

Bloggers had the chance to meet and hear from “Glee” actress Jane Lynch and best-selling author Rosalind Wiseman.

“I am amazed by the reach and influence of these women,” said Jane Lynch, actress and LG Text Ed advisory council member. “Because so many female bloggers are mothers themselves, they carry tremendous credibility amongst parents and they have the power to raise awareness about the potential dangers and consequences of risky mobile phone behavior.”

Check out this video clip from the event at BlogHer 2011.

The “LG Social Media Station”, gave bloggers the chance to test out LG’s latest Android-tablet, the T-Mobile® G-Slate™ with Google™ by LG. They posted updates to their blogs with the device, as well as status updates to Twitter and Facebook.

Did you attend this event and if so, what did you learn about responsible phone use for kids and the new Android tablet?

Why Should I Attend a Conference If I’m Just a Mom Blogger?


Before I go any further, I need to clarify that no one is JUST a mom blogger. Regardless of what you blog about, you have a voice and we all have equal opportunity on the internet to share our voice. Now that we got that out of the way, why should you attend a blogging conference?

1. Because you are not alone.  You are not blogging in a vacuum. Having been to several conferences a year for the last 3 years, I know that meeting my blogging tribe in person has made a huge difference in my writing, my enthusiasm for blogging and in my own personal life. No matter how much social networking takes over our lives, there is no substitute for networking in person.

2. Because you will learn a lot. Every time I go to a conference, I learn so much, it would take years for me to implement it all. No matter how long you’ve been blogging, you do not know it all and you will learn from others at a conference.

3. Because you deserve a break. Attending a conference is an excellent excuse to get out of the house and away from your kids. I know you love your kids very much, but it is true, “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” That applies to children as well as spouses. I always come back from a conference feeling like I can take on the world. I know that my trips away have made me a better parent. It is also important for your kids to know that when you leave, you come back.

4. Because you will meet new friends. Some of my best friends I met online because of blogging. When you meet in person, there are none of those odd moments where you don’t know what to say. Regardless of how you met, you are friends and you have a history and you have a connection. You will also meet a lot of new friends and find new blogs to read. The more people you know, the more opportunities will come your way.

5. Because it will force you to get out from behind the computer. I am an introvert and quite shy, so I understand when someone says they are afraid to go to a conference. So am I. Every single time I go to a conference I am both excited and scared. But each time I go and I live through it, it’s another experience I survived and I’m stronger for it. I have even spoken at several conferences and I’ve loved it. You may surprise yourself.

Those 5 reasons are why I try to attend at a minimum 3 conferences every year. When I haven’t attended one in a few months, I get conference withdrawals. I now need to get out and connect with other bloggers.

If you are still unsure, try attending a smaller event near you and work your way up to a big conference like BlogWorld Expo. It is definitely worth the investment in time and money. If you give it your all, you won’t be disappointed. But remember, you get what you give.

Images from Microsoft Images. 

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