Archive for May 2012

My kids at Disney Social Media Moms, or why I don't have mommy guilt about my blog

Mom, Do You Have What it Takes to Launch a Successful Blogging Business?

My kids at Disney Social Media Moms, aka why I don't have mommy guilt about my blog - do they look lonely and deprived?

Every single week, my husband and his friends get together to play video games.  I used to joke that I’d have to be dying for him to stay home. The truth is that they commit to it and make it happen. It’s not unusual for one of them to miss it (they all have very young children), but game night goes on. I once tried to organize a monthly get-together that consisted mostly of the wives of this same group of guys. We got together one time because they started dropping out each month. Their husbands were working late (something that never happens on game night), the kids were sick, or something else had come up. I was one of the only ones in the group who was able and willing to consistently put that time aside for myself, ask my husband to back me up (which he happily did), and make the ongoing commitment.

Fast forward to now as I grow my blogging and freelancing career. It probably seems to newbies that mom bloggers are successful because they’ve holed themselves up in their home offices typing away (and tirelessly caring for their home and kids). While there are a few cases where this is true, generally it is not. These bloggers are out making connections, building relationships, and growing their businesses. Although I’m hardly the most successful blogger, I am still one of those women. I know that regardless of the size of my blog, I won’t get the opportunities if people don’t know who I am. And just as importantly, I have to know who others are, as well. Once again, I put that time aside for my business, ask my husband to back me up, and make an ongoing commitment by attending events, traveling, and meeting new people. If I can make it to an event that I’m even vaguely interested in, I go. You never know what interesting people you’ll meet.

The past few weeks, I’ve had a number of public and private conversations with other moms about growing their own blogging businesses and connecting more with brands. And the consistent challenge that I’m seeing is that they are not able and/or willing to put forth the investment of time, money (yes, building a business will cost you something), and self that is required to properly launch a business. Much like the moms in the social group I tried to start, they have too many hurdles – childcare fell through, a sick kid is home, a hubby has to travel/work late/do whatever, there is a family commitment.

So here is the big secret of successful bloggers who are moms: they jump over those hurdles whenever they can. We all have to deal with those things. Dads have to deal with those things, too. And this is where you have to make a decision. You either find a way to bypass as many hurdles as possible, or you accept that you are not likely to launch into blogger superstardom right now. Because the worst thing you can do is hover in the middle, making commitments and breaking them, and burning all of your bridges in the process.  Your professionalism is part of your blogging currency.

Please understand that this isn’t a judgment. We all have different circumstances and priorities and that’s OK. But if you look at the bloggers who are getting the big opportunities, you’re going to find that they generally have some things in common.

  • They’ve got childcare help, either from a truly supportive partner, or family, or a reliable sitter or nanny. Most likely, there’s even backup help.
  • They are flexible and creative with hurdle jumping. When something comes up, they work to find a solution and they use all of the resources at their disposal. It helps them remain a reliable person to work with.
  • They have some kind of budget for their business. And don’t forget that it may be funds they’ve been saving for years.
  • They’ve managed to either let go of or channel their mom guilt. You simply can’t build a business without sacrificing some time with your kids, especially if they are home with you 24/7. And you probably won’t be there for every soccer game, talent show, or science fair. I let go of mine by reminding myself that my kids are watching their mom follow her passion – exactly what I want for them – and that they get some pretty cool perks out of it.
  • They are present. When opportunities arise, they are there, because they know that’s where the magic happens.
  • They work damn hard. Regardless of what you think of their writing or content or layout, chances are that they have put in their time (writing and/or networking).

So now is the time to ask yourself if you’re ready. Do you have most or all of those elements? Can you put them in place? If no, that’s fine. Now isn’t the right time for you to go all out. You can work on slowly building your business until you are ready. Otherwise, jump on in, Sister. There’s plenty of room for us all!

Boston Parent Blogers Celebrate National Mom’s Nite Out With Raising A Reader

Gretchen Kinder of Raise A Reader MA.

Boston Parent Bloggers celebrated National Mom’s Nite Out at an event hosted at the Barefoot Books Flagship Storein Concord to shine a light on a local charity, Raising a Reader MA.

Raising a Reader MA is an evidence-based early literacy program that helps families of young children develop, practice and maintain habits of reading together at home. A key component of their programming is the Red Bag Book Rotation Program where bright red bags are filled with quality children’s books and are rotated through families’ homes.

Event attendees listened to and engaged with former Globe Parenting columnist Barbara Meltz and were able to experience the Paint-Your-Own Pottery Studio located at (and courtesy of) Barefoot Books. In addition, guests enjoyed a delicious spread of food sponsored by Stop & Shop.

Special thanks also goes to other sponsors including Pop Chips, Wegman’s Wine Shop, and National Mom Night’s Out.

Meet Our Members: Gilda from Evan and Lauren’s Cool Blog

Let’s meet Gilda from Evan and Lauren’s Cool Blog
(Gilda is also a guest blogger for Label Daddy.)

What do you write about?
Local shows, area attractions, activities in the area, product reviews, crafts, cake decorating, and the adventures of our family.

Where do you live?
Billerica, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston – 20 minutes away)

How long have you been blogging?
4 years as of April 2012

Do you have a favorite blog post of your own?

My favorite one is when I got to work with Disney and have an In Home Celebration. I love Disney and sharing my knowledge with others, and I got to gather items to rebuild my daycare provider’s daycare. Her house had just burned down and she lost almost everything. This was a great way to host a wonderful event and give back.

http://evan-and-lauren-a.blogspot.com/2010/04/42510-celebrating-giving-back-and.html

It goes along with this post:

http://evan-and-lauren-a.blogspot.com/2011/11/111511-mickey-mouse-will-always-have-my.html

What are two or three of your favorite blogs to read?

Mommy Niri – She was my friend before she started blogging (I already was). She is great and very grounded due to what she has gone through in life. http://www.mommyniri.com/

Occasional Rambling – She is my friend Dorene who started me blogging – http://www.occasionalrambling.com/ Though she hasn’t been posting much since her 3rd child. :-)

http://www.adventuresinparenting.me/ – I love people that move to Boston from some where else and share their thoughts. I have lived here forever so she has a different outlook.

Quirky Fusion – I also have known Christy for quite a while. Starting with Gymboree classes, and we have two common friends. http://quirkyfusion.com

And of course all of the Boston Parent Bloggers.

What inspired you to start a blog?

I love sharing pictures with friends and family. In fact when we got married I created a Wedding Web Page. I guess that was my true start. I am technical as I went to school at WPI for Aerospace Engineering – Read:

http://evan-and-lauren-a.blogspot.com/2010/02/21710-what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you.html

So sharing pictures and being technical was great. I could combine two passions. Despite the fact that my husband is a computer developer I learn on my own how to set stuff up.

How many children do you have?

2, a boy age 6 and a girl age 4

Why did you join Boston Parent Bloggers?

When I joined Twitter I noticed Christy on there and then made the connection.

What are some of your favorite blogging platforms, plugins and/or tools?
Statcounter for statistics
Google Reader
Blogger – I guess not my favorite but it was what I use
Linkys

Boston Parent Bloggers: Giveaways Week of 5/27/2012

Enter to Win With a Boston Parent BloggerCheck out this week’s giveaways from the member sites of the Boston Parent Bloggers. While you’re there, take a few moments to read a post or two. You never know when you might find a brand new blogger to follow.

[These contests are not affiliated with Boston Parent Bloggers. Rules of entry and deadlines are determined by the individual blogs.]

*Bloggers: You must be a current member of the Boston Parent Bloggers to post. Non-member submissions will be removed. Please submit the name of your blog and a few words to describe your giveaway in the “Link Title” area.

Meet Our Members: Laura from Being Loopy

Let’s meet Laura from Being Loopy.

What do you write about?
Life, bargains and chocolate.

Where do you live?
South Shore, Massachusetts

How long have you been blogging?
It was two years on January 19, 2012.

Do you have a favorite blog post of your own?

http://beingloopy.blogspot.com/2011/09/kardashian-kollection.html

What are two or three of your favorite blogs to read?
The Coupon Goddess
Kelly On The Brink
Laugh and Say Cheese

What inspired you to start a blog?

Melanie from The Coupon Goddess inspired me to start a blog. After reading her wonderful, quirky adventures I decided to give blogging a try.

How many children do you have?

0, I’m an Auntie to 9 children ranging in age from 6-22.

Why did you join Boston Parent Bloggers?

I joined BPB to connect with other area bloggers. As a part-time nanny, I knew I would enjoy connecting with parents.

What are some of your favorite blogging platforms, plugins and/or tools?

Truth be told, I’m not a “techie.” I use Blogger for my blog. I like it because it’s user friendly.

Boston Parent Blogger Member Giveaways: Week of May 20, 2012

Enter to Win With a Boston Parent BloggerTake a look below for the links to this week’s giveaways from the Boston Parent Bloggers member blogs. Entering a contest may lead you to discover your new favorite blog!

[These contests are not affiliated with Boston Parent Bloggers. Rules of entry and deadlines are determined by the individual blogs.]

*Bloggers: You must be a current member of the Boston Parent Bloggers to post. Non-member submissions will be removed. Please submit the name of your blog and a few words to describe your giveaway in the “Link Title” spot.

Meet Our Members: Sarah from In the Trenches of Mommyhood

Let’s meet Sarah from In the Trenches of Mommyhood.

What do you write about?

Life as a full-time working mother of 3 boys.

Where do you live?

Northbridge, Massachusetts

How long have you been blogging?

Holy crap, it has been over FOUR years now! (Started September 2007.)

Do you have a favorite blog post of your own?

http://www.sarahviz.com/2011/02/bieber-fever-and-puberty.html

http://www.sarahviz.com/2009/12/raindrops-on-roses-and-boogers-on-bedsheets.html

What are two or three of your favorite blogs to read?

Enjoying the Small Things: http://www.kellehampton.com/

The Extraordinary Ordinary: http://extraordinary-ordinary.net/

Dutch Blitz: http://www.dutchblitz.net/

What inspired you to start a blog?

I had never kept baby books, thinking that I would always remember the first tooth, the first steps, the first LOST tooth. Yeah, notsomuch. Keeping a blog was the best way I could think of to keep track and to be able to look back. And from there, it has just evolved and grown.

How many children do you have?

3 sons, ages 10, 7-1/2 and 6

Why did you join Boston Parent Bloggers?

It is so nice to have a local network! I love attending events and feeling comforted by the fact that I am sure to see a familiar face!

What are some of your favorite blogging platforms, plugins and/or tools?

I wish I knew! I just recently switched my blog over to WordPress and am struggling with it. I need a tutor! Or better yet, someone to come HOLD MY HAND through it!

Boston Parent Blogger Giveaways: Week of May 13, 2012

Enter to Win With a Boston Parent BloggerCheck out this week’s giveaways from some of the member blogs of the Boston Parent Bloggers. While you’re there, check out some of the other posts. You may just find your new favorite blogger!

[These contests are not affiliated with Boston Parent Bloggers. Rules of entry and deadlines are determined by the individual blogs.]

*Bloggers: You must be a current member of the Boston Parent Bloggers to post. Non-member submissions will be removed. Please submit the name of your blog and a few words to describe your giveaway in the “Link Title” spot.

Boston Parent Bloggers Take On the Mom 2.0 Summit in Key Biscayne, FL

Boston Parent Bloggers

Charlene, Melanie, Jodi, and Annie (Roxanna not pictured) Photo credit: Melanie Feehan

This past week, several members of Boston Parent Bloggers attended the Mom 2.0 Summit in Key Biscayne, Florida.  This conference, known as a “conversation between moms and marketers”, is in it’s fourth year, and I’ve been thrilled to attend all four.  This year, the conference offered fabulous speakers, amazing parties, and a thought-provoking environment.

I enjoyed the keynote discussions, which featured such notable speakers as The Bloggess, Liz Lange, and Brene Brown.  The breakout sessions were also wonderful, and I came home with so much to ponder.  But, the highlight of the event was the party held at the former Versace Mansion on Ocean Drive in South Beach.  The party, sponsored by Intel (who was surprisingly absent throughout the rest of the Summit), featured a DJ, a delicious buffet, and some fabulous desserts.  It was a great way to end the conference on a high note.

Other sponsors of the conference included Hallmark (who offered a wonderful card-giving suite), Honda (who offered test drives of their newest vehicles), Bounce, LG, Pom, Sargento’s, Aldi, and Lawry’s.

Next year’s Mom 2.0 Summit will be held in Laguna Beach, CA, and I plan to be there for #5!

 

 

Meet Our Members: Emily from Random Recycling

Let’s meet Emily from Random Recycling.

What do you write about?

I share eco-friendly product reviews, healthy recipes and reviews of local attractions. My audience is primarily female with young children.

Where do you live?

Metro West, Massachusetts

How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging since November 2009.

Do you have a favorite blog post of your own?

I did a review of the new Wallababy yogurt and also offered some ways to reuse yogurt containers, which are not easily recycled in many towns.
http://randomrecycling.blogspot.com/2011/10/reuse-those-yogurt-containers.html

What are two or three of your favorite blogs to read?

Simple Mom: http://simplemom.net/
My Baking Addiction: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/
Kitchen Stewardship: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/

What inspired you to start a blog?

My blog started the year my daughter was born. I started reading blogs for the first time and enjoyed the openness in which the writers shared their stories. The environmental issues facing our children really bothered me. I was working full time as a buyer but didn’t feel like I had any creative outlet. I started the blog to capture my ideas for a more sustainable life. In November 2009, I started Random Recycling.

How many children do you have?

2, My daughter is nearly 3 and my son is nearly one.

Why did you join Boston Parent Bloggers?

I joined Boston Parent Bloggers as I was so intrigued when I read about bloggers getting together with other bloggers in their area. I knew there must be other Boston bloggers and my search led me to BPB.

What are some of your favorite blogging platforms, plugins and/or tools?

I’m currently on Blogger, but dream of a chance to shift over to WordPress. I’m a sucker for analytics and can get lost in the numbers for a bit too long.