Mommy Bloggers Pregnant With Potential

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So-called "mom blogs" are growing in number and influence, and big-name companies are taking notice. For insight, Host Scott Simon speaks with Trisha Haas, founder of MomDot, an online community for moms who blog.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

You know, playgrounds used to be places where mothers would gather to talk about potty training or bargains on baby food. But in this digital age, many mothers go online, and some are keeping daily diaries of every cough and temper tantrum. So-called mom blogs have grown in number and influence, and major brands and advertisers are now taking notice.

Trisha Haas is the founder of MomDot, an online community for mothers who blog. She joins us from Mobile, Alabama. Thanks very much for being with us.

Ms. TRISHA HAAS (Founder, MomDot): Thank you so much.

SIMON: So is it true that big-name companies have enlisted your blogs?

Ms. HAAS: Absolutely. Almost every brand name, from the smallest to the biggest, is right now reaching out to us.

SIMON: Like who?

Ms. HAAS: Wal-Mart, iRobot.

SIMON: What do they hope for? That somebody on your blog will say, gee, I just tried this brand of diaper and it's terrif?

Ms. HAAS: It's not really like that. It's about brand loyalty. We're already mothers, we're already shopping. I think in blogs it's a risk for the company because they're reaching out to someone they really have no knowledge, and bloggers tend to be very outspoken.

So anytime a company reaches out to me, and I can be extremely outspoken, they're taking a calculated risk on whether or not I'm going to accept their product. And if I don't like it, am I going to, you know, put out negative information?

I think what companies are learning, though - negative or positive - they're getting feedback that allows them to continue with, you know, their own growth.

SIMON: They pay you?

Ms. HAAS: Some companies do and some don't. They don't pay for an opinion on a product. A lot of times moms will receive products in exchange for them checking it out. And some companies have panels where they look to moms for marketing advice, and often those are paid.

SIMON: And the large corporations and brands are responsive?

Ms. HAAS: Absolutely. If I even blog - let's say I have a bad experience with a brand 'cause I (unintelligible) you know, a company and I don't like the way they handled my customer service, I can blog about that. And generally a good company that monitors your social media is going to know about it within hours and have contacted me.

I know that Deuce(ph), which is one of the largest mom blogs out there, had an experience with Maytag customer service, and she put it up on Twitter and Maytag called her and they're taking care of it. So I think companies on top of social media are really understanding what's going on today.

SIMON: Trisha Haas, who's the founder of MomDot, an online community for mothers who blog.

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