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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Learning From the Top Mommy Bloggers

After reading Scribbit's article about mom bloggers this morning I got curious and just had to learn more. I mean, who exactly are the top mommy bloggers and what can we learn from what they do? The trail took me to an article in the Wall Street Journal, an article about a blogger known as Dooce. I'd never heard of Heather Armstrong or her blog at Dooce.com. To me that's one of the idiosyncracies of the blogging medium, it's actually pretty hard to figure out who is getting the attention/readership unless you follow the blogging trail. Back when I first started blogging I wanted to figure out who the top bloggers are because I thought I could learn something from them. I tried Googling for things like top blog, but the results which came up really weren't all that helpful.

Well, according to what The Wall Street Journal had to say back in April of 2008, here are the top ten motherhood blogs:
Now for the thoughtful analysis part. At Wiep.net you can learn about linkbaiting. Basically one tried and true way to go up in the blogging world is to get others to link to you. Every link is like a spoke on a bicycle wheel. The person who's blog is at the center will be the one getting noticed. It seems to me that to become that center hub you need both good writing and wide appeal. Otherwise, you can get a lot of links by offering a community or service to other bloggers (blog challenges, carnivals, awards and resource sites spring to mind). Not only that, you need to have a "hook". The article at Wiep.net goes into hooks in great detail. So let's look at the hooks these top mommy bloggers are using.

News
The main news mommy bloggers use is mommy news. You're more likely to find them reporting on is what is happening within their family and with the families of other bloggers than to get a report of the latest sensational world news or scientific discovery. Now I'll admit that I've not done an exhaustive reading of the ten top mommy blogs, and Scribbit is the only one I'm currently following. Occasionally the outside world of news creeps into mom blogs, but it sure doesn't seem to be the main hook. How refreshing, news of real people taking care of the everyday issues that we, as moms, are most likely to face :-)

Education, Information and Resources
Moms are good at sharing their tips and top mommy bloggers do quite a lot of this. You'll see everything from crafts and recipes to tips and motivation. 5 Minutes for Mom is a great place to find all kinds of information, Parent Hacks is all about parenting tips and both Design Mom and Scribbit post their share of inspiring craft projects.

Entertainment and Controversy
Who'd want to visit a blog that is not even vaguely entertaining? Top mommy bloggers are tops at entertainment. The news they give about their daily life really does catch your attention. It's no accident that the top mom bloggers are practiced writers with a good sense of humor. Women used to rely on gossip over the garden fence to keep them smiling, but now they can visit Dooce, Fussy, Notes From the Trenches, and Suburban Bliss. Scribbit is pretty entertaining at times too. Call it entertainment, or call it controversy, but ranting and being irreverent surely stir up some interest and Dooce has got to be a master.

I'm pretty sure that being a top mommy blogger is not all a garden of roses and it's surely not on the cards for every blogging mom. Make no mistake, it's hard work, day in and day out, and not for the faint of heart. However, if you enjoy writing and want to stick with it and go up in the ranks, think about your goals, figure out your hook, and make sure you convey it instantly to new visitors.

What's your hook?

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7 comments:

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

Thanks for the links! A little poop related humor never goes awry.

Maddy said...

Aha! I read Scribbits this morning as well.

I'm amazed that you run four blogs.

All about links is it. That's interesting because I know of a blog that has had the same content for nearly a month now, but heavy traffic. It's an interesting article but I would have thought that everyone would have read it by now.

I like to think that my hook is humour, but as you already know, British humour is a bit of an acquired taste [as is spelling]
Cheers

Alison said...

Hi Maddy, thanks for visiting.

Actually I can't really claim to run four blogs. I do have 4 blogs, but that is not the same as running them ;-) I am going to migrate my book blog and home business blog to my website GreatFunBooks.com and publish them using Wordpress, just as soon as I can get some time to do that!

Cute Pixel Art is really for my daughter, to showcase her graphics work. I ran out of art to put up there because she was not making most of her art public, but we are changing that as soon as I set her up with Paypal. Again, I just need to find the time!

It would be an extreme simplification to say that blogging success is all about links. There is a LOT more to it than that. Good content is the starting point. Good content will get you good search engine indexing, but again it's not that simple. Links affect your search engine ranking, but again there are layers to it. Specific posts tend to get high traffic because of search engine results and some of that is just hitting some good keywords. That is most likely what has happened with the blog you mention. New people are out searching every day - I have some posts that get hits from search engines almost every day without fail and they've been published for months.

I will visit and talk about humor on your blog.

Bye for now.

Maddy said...

My eyes won't stretch to the bottom of the page so that I can accurately respond to your response.

I sort of know it's more complicated than links but I mainly stick to the writing and let the bloggy stuff take care of itself as that's a whole new learning curve that I don't really have time for at the moment.

One of my blogs is also really my daughter's that I maintain for her whilst she's abroad - she always seems to be abroad somewhere or other even when she's physically here.

Children! Why do we bother? Bless their little [and huge] cotton socks.
Cheers

Scribbit said...

Jordan at Mamablogga did a parent blog ranking that took various things into account--I think it was Technorati rank, comments, traffic and something else (I can't remember) but I thought it seemed a little more balanced than most ranking lists for that reason.

Lucy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I LOVE new people. And great post! I told Scribbit I'd kill to have had blogging when I was a new mom. Ahhhh...

Alison said...

Hausfrau, you are welcome on the links. Yes, just say that word and Game Boy dissolves into giggles.

Scribbit, thanks for the information. I will take a look at Mamablogga's list.

Maddy, writing is the most important. The rest can be a distraction!

Lucy, I love to meet new people too, especially when they come to visit :-)

 
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