It’s all fun and games until you turn it into work, and that’s exactly what I did when I signed up for this mission from Smiley360 and Sleep Number. I was having fun, sampling stuff left and right, but high on the prospect of free goodies I took on too much and that was my downfall.
I’m cool with the usual free stuff requirements – a blog or video and a few social shares. Something totally natural that you can work in without bugging people and looking like you totally sold out. And then, lured in by the promise of a free $90 pillow, I accepted the invitation to join the Sleep Number campaign.
Visiting the store is quite a time investment for a busy mom. I was lucky they had a little Lego table set-up, but there were moments the toddler was zooming around the store squealing.
But the real killer is the social shares. One Facebook post, OK. People actually paid attention and posted their Sleep Number and it was kinda fun to see. But again and again…I’m probably losing friends and credibility with every post. Most of the time I feel like nobody is paying attention on Twitter so I loaded up my feed with as many tweets as I could.
And then this happened: In my rush to get it done, I tagged CrowdTap instead of Smiley360 and my posts were rejected! So not only did I already bug everybody, but I was going to have to do it AGAIN if I wanted to complete my mission. I had gone this far for the darn pillow, I wasn’t going to let it go, so I did it with an added apology to friends that I had let this happen.
I’m still waiting to see if my last posts were accepted, so fingers crossed. This better be the most wonderful damn pillow in the world. (and maybe I will post a photo of it because I Want to this time)
Back in the day, influencer positions mostly belonged to actual celebrities like movie stars and famous models. Thanks to social media, the new influencers on the block are regular people that like to post their stuff online, like me.
I fell into the influencer niche because I’m a sucker for free samples. Like honestly, if you are giving it away, I’ll try it. I love trying new things. I’m also the person hoarding those little bottles of shampoo and shower caps from hotel rooms just because they’re free for the taking.
When I started blogging, it was from a very personal angle and I didn’t intend to do product reviews. When offers started coming in, I wanted to find a way to satisfy the campaign requirements without turning my blog and social media pages into big boring ads. I’ve made an effort to craft honest, informative and entertaining reviews from my own personal perspective.
There have been a few things I’ve turned down. There was a campaign for new tampons and I just couldn’t see myself posting stylized pics of tampons on my Instagram and discussing my personal flow details. And I think we’d just skip the YouTube review for that lol. And then there was the dating site for people seeking sperm donors. For real.
If you are thinking of giving the influencer thing a try, these are the companies I’ve enjoyed working with the most:
A couple weeks ago I was at a ComicCon type convention judging a cosplay contest and at the beginning they handed the microphone to the judges to introduce themselves. As soon as I put the mic to my mouth and said “Hi, I’m Candy Keane and…” I just froze. I looked out at all those people and had not one idea what to say about who I was or what I was doing there, besides “I’m a mom.” I was suddenly having a full-blown identity crisis in front of hundreds of people.
My mind started racing as the MC took over for me and started rattling off my years of involvement in the cosplay community and experience in costuming. My face started to burn. I used to have such a solid answer. I own a small business. I run my own boutique. I’ve achieved success in my field and am a well-known cosplayer and costume designer. I was there as a cosplay guest! I could have easily led with that but my mind just blanked. I wanted to say I blogged but couldn’t seem to get it out.
After that experience, I realized I need to embrace my new identity as mom and blogger and be able to shout it loud and proud. It’s not the mom part I wasn’t confident about. There’s no denying that part! It was being a blogger.
Blogging is the kind of thing where anyone can set up a free page and write a few lines and call themselves a blogger. So how do you distinguish when you are a “real” blogger? Is it when you are getting paid for writing? Because so far I’ve only been paid in free products. I don’t like ads on my page so I’ve turned down offers of advertising. I haven’t been published on any big blogs. I don’t write about anything newsworthy. Half the time I’m writing about pooping. (see previous post)
So what makes me a blogger? I guess the answer is Me. I’m the one who makes that distinction. And people are not going to believe it unless I truly believe in myself.
So let’s try this again: “Hi, I’m Candy Keane and write a blog called GeekMamas.com.”
It used to bug the crap out of me when I’d see “mom” in someone’s bio. True story. I was like, I see you’re a mom, I feel that’s one of those things you don’t really have to tell me. The entire “Mommy Blog” trend annoyed me. I thought separating them into their own category was just silly. This was of course because I had no idea what I was talking about.
So now, here I am, with “mom” usually first in my short bio. It took me so long to become a mom, that people are just lucky I don’t walk around wearing a badge that loudly proclaims my mom status. Oh wait. I’m usually dragging a toddler while wearing clothing with various food smears and have Cheerios in my hair. I think that speaks for itself.
Today I got the message that my blog was finally accepted into the Top Mommy Blogs website. For some reason, it made me feel a little more official. Maybe because I got a cute cartoon badge. (Go ahead! Click it! It’s a vote for my blog) But also because I decided to embrace the fact that yes, I am a Mommy Blogger. That’s what I enjoy writing about the best – being a mom and raising my son and all the crazy things that come with it. ❤
I have been signing up for blog sites as I find them. Trying out Bloglovin, which requires you to do a random post with the html code in the top. I thought it would be weird to just have that post floating there with no explanation (like, why can’t I stick it in a side widget or something?) so I decided to turn it into and actual post.
I would love to hear what sites fellow bloggers are a part of and what is working or not working for you.
I’m currently waiting to hear back from Top Mommy Blogs. Anyone recall how long it took to get a response?