Gist: Ex-mommy blogger Josi Denise exposes the fake side of the business, and gets very, very real.
Frankly: Mummy blogging has become its own parody: unbearable neighbors in funny novels; characters in TV shows. It's become one of those strange, self-feeding industries: a grand marketplace of toddler polaroids, inspirational poems, and recipes for pumpkin mush. But like so many internet industries, it's hitting a wall. After years of buzz about social media influencers and the power of the blogosphere, there's a collective fatigue and disillusionment with the whole thing. And who didn't see that coming.
Josi, for what it's worth, won at mommy blogging. She used to run The American Mama. Her blog reached tens of thousand of readers a month. She did brand partnerships. She attended fancy events. She was paid for endorsements. She made good money. She wrote tons and tons of pieces, picture-perfect, mommy-blog gold. And now, in a scathing post on her personal blog titled "Dear Mommy Blogger," she's turned on her own kind. "Because, like 90 percent of the fake nonsense I used to share on the internet as a mommy blogger writing about my fake life and oh-so-happy marriage…They are pure bullshit."
And that's just for starters. First, she says, the only people actually reading all these mommy blogs are other bloggers trying to build followers. Josi says so many of these blogs put these fake-happy lives forward, "selling themselves" for product placement and buying fans, rather than engaging with meaningful issues mothers have a real interest in reading. "As a reader, I cannot connect to someone who writes like they are hard-selling broccoli to kindergarteners," Josi says. I would actually kind of love to read a hard-sell of broccoli to kindergarteners, but I see her point.
"Growing a following" isn't a reason to exist, she says—women dropping serious cash to build their blogs are just getting screwed over by companies who see a market opportunity. Most importantly, she thinks moms have better things to spend their time on.
Well, yes, to all of this. But I have a few bones to pick with Josi. "If your entire goal is to make money, please quit," she says to the mommy bloggers. "Go get a traditional job." Why, though? Call it the digital economy, but isn't it totally reasonable to try and make money in any way we like? For a lot of women, blogging is a way to build skills with real marketplace value, to network, become tech-savvy, create their brand. These are very legit goals, whether you're in a "traditional" job or not.
Her main objection is to people "writing in an inauthentic voice about an unoriginal subject." The inauthenticity of mommy blogging is what makes it so gag-inducing, sure. But at this point, we all know the internet is rife with inauthenticity. (Hello, Flo & Frank. Sign up here, my friends, for good-quality authentic gold, all the time. Post unsponsored.) That the internet is commercialized. That reality TV is scripted and .
Josi does good rant. But it reads like personal catharsis. "Find what you love, and what you do better than anyone else, and do that," she says, along with every other inspirational blog poster, like, ever. That's easy to say, but maybe mommy blogging is just a starting point that leads to what's next—a creative business we can do from home, while also raising a family.
However, she does give one very good piece of advice. I think it's my favorite line in the whole thing. "Quit because your mommy blog fucking sucks."