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4 Must-Haves for Every Mom Blog

With all the conferences, articles, podcasts, and radio shows dedicated to helping you make your mom blog better I thought I would add to the discussion again this week with four things I strongly believe every mom should have on her blog. All of these bloggy must-haves are pretty simple, but they’re so crucial you want to make sure you have your bases covered.


Contact Information:  You wouldn’t believe how often I search for moms when I have an opportunity to present and I can’t find contact information. If it’s frustrating to me and I am a mom blogger and don’t mind digging around on your blog, think how frustrating it is to a marketer or PR person who wants to contact you. If you don’t ever want to be contacted and you have purposefully omitted your email address, that’s one thing. But if you want any and all opportunities to come your way make sure that you place your email address where everyone can see it. Place it either on your blog’s homepage, on a dedicated contact page, or on your about page. Heck, put it on all three!


Domain Name: Do you know what a PR rep asked me one day? She asked if it’s worth it to even approach mom bloggers who haven’t purchased a domain name. It all depends on the blog, right? All mom blogs are different. But if PR people are starting to find subtle clues that differentiate “serious” mom bloggers from “less-than-serious” mom bloggers, it’s best to buy your domain name and appear professional to those who are looking.


Link to Twitter: Increasingly Twitter is becoming a strong indicator of how influential mom bloggers are. Be sure to share your twitter feed somewhere on your blog. Most PR people know to follow your feed and find your Twitter page and follower numbers. Or, you can make it easy for everyone and simply post your TwitterCounter badge on your blog.


Review and Disclosure Policy: Many savvy mom bloggers and marketers have stressed the importance of having a review and disclosure policy on your blog. The disclosure helps inform your readers what they can expect from you as a blogger and product reviewer. And your review policy will inform PR reps what they can expect from you when they send you a product or if they are inquiring about sending you a product for review. If you don’t return products that you’ve reviewed make sure to clearly state that in your review policy. Or, if you only review products in a certain niche like beauty or babies, be sure to state that as well. Elizabeth Edwards at Mom Reviews does a stellar job of placing her review and disclosure policies where everyone can see them. She’s a great example to follow.


As always, happy mom blogging. See you on the Net!

Jennifer James (@mombloggersclub) is the founder of the Mom Bloggers Club.

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Comment by Shari Pilo on June 7, 2009 at 1:33am
Some really good tips! For those who just bought a domain but already have a blogspot or wordpress - check out if there is a way to do a redirect to your new domain. Also contact everyone who has commented on your blog (you should have the list of emails) announce your new domain! Do the same with those who have linked with you. It might take a bit to get back to your original ranking, but it will come if your content is good and your readers enjoy your posts! They will come looking for you. Also make sure that you are keywording your content and meta information properly - this will help you too! For more information on Keywords read my latest blog post on Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords! Good luck! And have a fabulous day!
Comment by Patois on June 5, 2009 at 2:20pm
I've not really gotten into product reviews, although I'm heading in that direction. Your fourth point is well taken. I best get on that. I checked out Elizabeth's site - and looked at her stuff. Now I'm stealing it all. (Kidding. I'm going where she sends folks to do their own disclosure piece.)
Comment by Karen on May 12, 2009 at 12:00am
how can you get advertisers on your blog. How many hits a day at least until advertisers want to advertise on your blog?
www.motherfirstbaby.com
I am a newbie to blogging my site needs to be expanded.
Comment by Tricia Hauser on May 11, 2009 at 6:48pm
Great tips, thanks. Heading out to work on my blog more now.
Comment by Shynea on April 27, 2009 at 12:20am
This article has come in VERY handy for me. I have three of the four must haves. The only thing that I have to do is create a review and disclosure policy. I will get right on that this week,
Comment by Maria (ConversationswithMoms) on April 25, 2009 at 1:35pm
These are great tips. Twitter has definitely become a must. It's growing so fast.
Comment by Leah Canepa on April 7, 2009 at 4:33pm
I am a mom of six and it is tough with prices for groceries and necessities! Here is a website to use with yours for maximum savings!! Register today to get updates on when it is being released in your area!

www.smartymarket.com

Thanks!!
Comment by Liz Gumbinner on April 7, 2009 at 10:54am
With all due respect, these are only rules for people who are blogging with the purpose of having relationships with marketers. Plenty of bloggers write to share their writing, post photos of their kids, and find community. Those bloggers are no less legitimate or "unserious" simply because they're not hankering for free fabric softener samples.

Perhaps then, these aren't rules for ever mom blogger - but for every review blogger? In which case, they're great rules!
Comment by Lashun on April 1, 2009 at 2:29am
I just brought my domain name does that meam I will lose my posts and followers?
Comment by Maggie - No Mommy Brain on March 4, 2009 at 11:30am
I have a very elementary question...
I have noticed some bloggers put their e-mail address on their blog like this: name (at) email (dot) com instead of this: name@email.com. Is there a reason for this (spam?) or do they just like the way it looks? I want to add my contact info but don't want to make a rookie mistake.
Thanks!
Maggie
www.nomommybrain.com
Comment by Jennifer on February 24, 2009 at 9:49pm
My problem with getting a domain name is that I started out with blogspot because I wasn't even sure how serious I was about blogging and because it was easy. Now, that I am very serious, I have so many links out there, I hate to lose my Alexa and Google PR rank. I know I can even buy a domain name now without even leaving blogger, but I don't know if it is worth losing all those links.
Comment by Elizabeth Edwards on February 22, 2009 at 7:20pm
wow, thanks for the shout out! I try to be as specific as possible on my review policy pages because many P.R. people are reaching out to bloggers for the first time and haven't learned the "rules". Might as well make it easier for both of us! I can't believe I haven't added a Twitter badge to my blogs- off to do that right now :)
Comment by Dagmar Bleasdale on February 22, 2009 at 1:13am
Figured it out... :)
Comment by Dagmar Bleasdale on February 21, 2009 at 10:37pm
Anne-Marie, thanks for the Twitter badge link, I was looking all over for it on the Twitter site. I downloaded one, but how do I link it to my Twitter page? Can anyone help? Thanks! DagmarBleasdale.com
Comment by Anne-Marie Nichols on February 21, 2009 at 5:50pm
OMG, the contact thing is such a thorn in my side. I cannot believe how many bloggers have no contact info - either an email address or a contact form - on their blog. I hate having to leave a comment or contact them via Twitter to get hold them to ask permission to use a photo or invite them to an event.

Domain names - not only have one but do proper domain mapping and forwarding on your blog, too.

I'm slowly adding a Twitter link to all my blogs - very easy with all the cute Twitter badges out there.
Comment by Melanie on February 20, 2009 at 12:55am
I bought my domain name for exactly that reason! I need to redesign my site and dedicated pages are one of the reasons I want to do it. Kathleen, Niclole is right. there are many sites that offer domains very cheaply.
Comment by Suzana on February 19, 2009 at 11:06pm
Awesome tips :)
Comment by goodiesformom on February 19, 2009 at 10:05pm
Thanks for the reminder. Just created my disclosure policy and updated my review policy.
Comment by kristen andrews on February 19, 2009 at 10:03pm
these are great tips Jennifer!
Comment by Nicole on February 19, 2009 at 9:34pm
Kathleen - You can get a domain for under $10 at GoDaddy. Click through a site like FatWallet and you can earn a rebate on it to boot. That's cheaper than a few hits at Starbucks. With Blogger, you don't have to pay to host it... you just have to own the name.

Jennifer - Thanks for the other advice. I'm still working on my Review and Disclosure policy but I do have my contact information up in a few places. I only reference my Twitter ID on my giveaways since I'm not utilizing it much yet. Baby steps for me. Lots of baby steps.

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