Marketing to Moms

3/21 #BBRadio Interview With Liz Thompson @ThisFullHouse (Hey, yeah and WOW! That's me!)

I had the EXTREME pleasure of being invited, along with Rita Pacenta (a.k.a. Look It's Megryansmom) and Kat Tierney (a.k.a. Sassy Irish Lassie), to speak with the amazing Beth Rosen  on the #BBRadio show -- a SocialRevUp brands blogger show -- that aired LIVE last night...like...NO, you won't have access to a delete button...you BIG dork...GULP!

Just in case you missed it, here it is:

Listen to internet radio with SocialRevUp on Blog Talk Radio

Frankly, I was a little nervous.  Okay, I was >this< close to wigging out.   Honestly, this is not an every day sort of thing for me, you know, exposing myself on an internet radio show (figuratively speaking, of course)!

So, after I got home from softball practice with my youngest, my husband sent me to my room with a glass of wine and two telephone handsets, you know, just in case:  SCORE!!!

So, yeah, it's a fun way to get to learn a little more about why and how I started blogging in the age before Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest...etc...you know, around the time they invented the wheel, or something...and why I split my blog in two as This Full House and This Full House Gone Shopping.

Did I mention, I'm a Gemini?  Oh, and apparently, my Jersey was showing...just a little.

© 2003 - 2012 This Full House

Cross-posted on my gone shopping blog and proudly flying the "I am a dork" flag.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

You Know You've Hit the Big Time When Your Dog Gets Fan Mail!

Okay, so I don't usually write about marketing to mom sort of stuff here on this blog anymore (but, I do on this one!)

Because, this is where I like to think out loud with very little thought given to word count or social media metrics.

Still, as a freelance writer and blogging professional (AM SO!) I do receive a lot of pitches (some good, mostly bad) and probably read twice as many posts and articles, every month, about some blogger being wronged, in some way, by yet another company who, you know, just doesn't get it.

I read bad pr pitch stories like this and can't help but pine for the days when moms (like me) would write (for writing's sake) and were THRILLED just to have made it on each other's blogrolls.

Blogging is hard.  Blogging while under the influence of children is damned near impossible, without a strong network of online (not to mention, unplugged) family and friends, I mean.

On the other hand, I've personally worked with some very amazing people, collaborated on equally awesome projects and forged many new fantastic friendships along the way.

Still.  Contrary to what others may think (or, feel) I don't think I'm special.  Nor, do I expect preferential treatment, or, expect stuff to be given to me. 

In other words, I am NOT famous.   But, my dog is:

Subject: Doofus-Dog, Would you like to help feed the hounds?
Date: Fri, June 17, 2011 11:28 am
To: lizthisfullhouse@gmail.com

Dearest Doofus-Dawg:

You are a brainy thing, aren't you? And we adore your absolute candor as you share your thoughts at This Full House.

And so, dear DD, we'd like to see if you want to try our food.

We are XXXXXXXX and have real food for really smart dogs like you.

Ask Liz, though.

Not that she's your boss (no way!) but she might have an opinion or two.

But if she says "Yes," we'll send over our new food (called XXXXXX) for you to try.

Want to?

Aaaaaand, my absolutely most favorite closing in the whole wide Interwebs...EVUH:

With Dirty Socks, Kitty Poop and All Other Things You Shouldn't Be Eating,
XXXXXXX

Maybe I should be insulted.  Perhaps even feel a little annoyed (at best) but, I'll be boiled in my own lip gloss if I'm not absolutely giddy telling you that my dog gets better pitches than I do!

Because, I'm funny like that.

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Owning My Words and Radical Thinking Since 2003

There are days when the words come easy.  Thoughts and images flash before my eyes in rapid succession, gaining speed as inspiration begins to flow down to my fingertips.

Then, the sentences begin to run on and on, reluctantly separated by a few commas and semi-colons, throw in a couple of parenthesis (for good measure) and, well, it doesn't take long for even me to realize that, you know, I am NOT the greatest writer in the world.

Far from it.

Still, I keep writing; putting a face to my thoughts, searching for peace of mind, a quiet escape, or seeking comfort in the slightest hints of validation and (in some cases) sharing the best part of me that very few people get a chance to see, IRL.

Today is not one of those days.

You see, integrity was a part of my vocabulary (limited as it may seem) long before it was cool.

Thoughts of "owning ones words" and allowing for "open-ended discussions" are not progressively new ideas to me, or the community I've come to admire and adore (I LOVE YOU, MAN!)

Owning up to our imperfections and learning from one's mistakes, however, has turned some of us into quite the radical thinkers.

This week, in particular, is a harsh reminder of the price that some of us are UNWILLING expected to pay, in the name of the collective right and higher thinking.

I've spoken to way too many friends, who (like me) are questioning their place in this big, green (blue, purple, red, whatever) blog world of ours, for quite a while now and, after nearly driving my family deaf, thinking out loud about it (seriously, they're like SHUDDUP!) I've come to a decision.

SHUDDUP and blog, already.

No matter what side of the fence you're on, or whether you admit to liking Diet Pepsi (for me, it's Diet Coke!!!) or how many dramas play out (frankly, I'm not naive enough to think that this will be the last) one thing remains true.

The power of the blogging community should not be dismissed, nor should it be taken advantage of either!

1Imperfect and as uneducated as it may be (disclosure:  no, I do not have a college degree) I still believe in this bright, bold and sassy community of moms (and dads) who blog and view this unfortunate turn of events as simply just another step in learning to use our blogging powers for good, in a totally informed and responsible way.

The alternative?  Use it as an opportunity to tear some poor schmuck a new one, online for all to see, or delete them from our feed readers, entirely, for not knowing any better...than you.

Then again, I'm just another mommyblogger (an old one, at that, I know, SHUDDUP!) and I'm probably wrong, anyway, right?

1Last Disclosure:  My entire blogging platform is and always has been based on putting a face to imperfection.  So, I feel it safe to say that...YES...I am a professional!

© 2010 This Full House Blog / This Full House Gone Shopping

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Just Don't Call Me a Tech Blogger!

I break things (a lot) so, calling me a tech blogger would be bad (even my kids would back me up on this point) and I am certainly not the most connected or coolest mom and she's pretty much cornered the market on savvy (don't worry, they really do know their stuff) but, does it really matter what I blog about?

No.

If I've learned anything, in my 7 years of blogging (besides, the fact it's not a good idea to change from a hosted blog site, to another, before backing up your archives, der!) the most important take away (ready?) is that the words I write (or, choose to publish) really don't matter, unless I've touched someone, in a positive, or negative way.

Hopefully, in a positive way, because, well, I don't know of anyone who blogs to feel bad about stuff, on purpose, nor would I want to.

Still.  Should it make a difference, how I choose to approach (i.e. respond to) this whole mommyblogging business?

Pardon my Jersey, but abso-friggin-lutely!

In fact, last week, I was asked to speak on a panel of (along with the aforementioned cool, connected and savvy) moms who blog (because, not everyone necessarily wishes to be defined by the term mommyblogger) about working closely with brands (there, I said it!) and not just because I'm an expert, or anything (because, I'm not, der!) but, I feel, to provide a slightly different (i.e., seasoned) point of view, when addressing online mom-specific communities, as a whole.

"I blog because it makes me feel good."

Actually, the point I was trying to make (because, some of us write better than we speak, ahem) is really simple: I enjoy making other mothers feel good (seriously, if we don't lift each other up, who will?)

My mission is equally as simple: to help dismiss the idea that anything beginning with the word "mother," or ending in "hood" should be portrayed as nothing, if not perfect (especially, in the media) oh, and pardon me if my blog makes me feel a little better about myself, too.

[steps off soapbox]

I'm not the same person I was 7 years ago and I'm not saying blogging should be, either (times change, you know?) and I certainly don't want to sound like a purist, or preachy (do people really read blogs, anymore?) however, I have to agree with Busy Mom in thinking that perhaps we should all look a little inward, before responding to all the negativity surrounding moms online -- or, simply reaffirm the fact that there is a community out there, for everyone, regardless of what type of blog you keep.

With that said, here's a headline you probably won't read anytime soon:

Moms aren't necessarily all about the blog bashing and the comment thrashing, or into the drama of virtual hair-pulling contests, either!

I mean, don't we see enough of that at PTA meetings, right?

[ducks to avoid flying fundraisers]

Me?

I will gladly reaffirm that:

  1. I am a dork (but, I'm not stupid)
  2. I will continue to share my stories (sorry, Mom)
  3. Also, share cool stuff I find online and try not to break things (too much)
  4. While, hopefully, continue to give back to my community, in a positive way (without being taken advantage of, by media folks who still just don't get it, der!)
  5. Because, well, it's how I roll.

Unless, you think moms are stupid, or blogging about nice stuff is dumb, then it ALL doesn't really matter, anyway, right?

Well, then, there's always Engadget!

Liz@thisfullhouse signature

© 2010 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Suffering From a Bad Case of Mommyblogger Reflux

Yesterday, I had the extreme pleasure of attending PR University's audio conference "Pitching Mommy Bloggers" as a panelist, along with Liz, Christine and Renee (yeah, don't know how that happened either) and was pretty excited about it.

Until, I read Bad, Bad, Mommy Blogger Redux (written by fellow panelist Stephanie Azzarone) and, well, if you are a mom (like me) who happens to blog (no matter the reason) Stephanie is one of many public relations professionals, attempting to reach out to a community, filled with millions of diverse and colorful voices, along with about a billion misperceptions and contradictions enough to choke even the most experienced rocket scientist into smashing his slide rule against the wall, just to see if it would stick.

The only difference is, Stephanie is a mom and, well, she knows that, in my house, everything IS pretty much sticky, already and I'm okay with that.

Being called out as "review slinging money grubbers whose only concerns are freebies and paid for positive reviews of products," not so much!

Continue reading "Suffering From a Bad Case of Mommyblogger Reflux" »

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

BlogHer IRL: Part Deux and Why I Should NOT Do This Sort of Thing for a Living

Morning Yoga at Millenium Park in Chicago

Morning yoga in Millenium Park, Chicago.

So, you're probably getting really, really tired reading about BlogHer 2009, right?  Unless, you happen to be one of my IRL friends (who just recently have been "friend-ing me" on Facebook, like crazy, all of a sudden and are all like, "SO THIS IS WHERE YOU'VE BEEN HIDING," here, all the time) then, all this talk about blogging conferences, swag hags and stuff is going to sound really, really weird.

First, check out BlogHer IRL - Part One (if, you'd like) because, I posted some really pretty pictures of my time in Chicago.  Also, it will bring my IRL friends up to speed on why I go to these type of things and, well, to be real honest with you, my hair looks really, really good, too.

[stretch]

Then, go over and read some thoughts on BlogHer'09 from one of the founders, because she is way smarter than me.

My take?

Blogging, like yoga, is an exercise in patience and self-awareness -- it helps to keep an open mind and listen to your body; especially, when it starts hollering stuff like:

"This so does NOT feel good, right now!"

So, there's this thing about the PR Blackout Challenge and Blog With Integrity (pretty badge on left) but, go figure, it took a work-at-home dad to reaffirm the fact that I also Blog for Peace not Swag (even prettier badge on right) still, everyone seems to be getting all sorts of mad and confused.

"STOPIT!"

Yeah, I don't get this whole mom bloggers...marketing executives...and pr people...OH MY...they ARE the devil...sort of thing, either.

No one has ever, never, twisted my arm to write about anything I did NOT want to, seriously and, as long as I have access to a "delete" or "edit" button, I'm good.

Frankly, I don't want my IRL friends to get the wrong idea.  This, right here, is not what I do for a living.  This is where I go (oh, and here too) for the last 6 years, to write.  For me.  So, hopefully, one day, my kids realize that, you know, mommy had her own set of issues to deal with, too.

Then, I lost about 2 years worth of writing -- because, I'm talented like that -- moving from here, to here, to here (see, broken links, no content, gone, fuhcotta) and then, I parked my butt right back here and became a dot com.

Weird, right?

Anyway, I started getting to know all sorts of really cool people online (old school blogging at it's very best) and then the kids started growing up and, you know, still needed me to teach them stuff (parenting doesn't stop after full-day kindergarten, btw) and I found myself turning to my internet friends, more and more, since I was pretty much guaranteed at least a hundred different opinions, on everything from parenting while under the influence of children and just where in the heck DO all those missing socks go, anyways?

Um, okay, sorry, I lose track sometimes...um...okay, so then I started another blog to help families (like mine) figure out stuff, like just what in the heck all those cryptic game rating symbols really mean and my kids love to tell their friends stuff, like:

"My mom is a blogger, we were in a commercial and SHE got to meet Jack Sparrow!"

That's where things get a little weirder -- okay, I did NOT actually get to meet Johnny Depp, just his stunt double -- people seemed to actually really want hear what I had to say about stuff, like blogging  about the type of socks we buy, much to the amazement of my family and IRL friends...me, too.

Why?

Well, if you saw a dinosaur, say walking down 5th Avenue in NYC, wouldn't you want to know what it was doing there, let alone, how in the heck it managed to survive, this long, in the first place!?!?

Okay, so that pretty much explains why I don't do this for a living, right?

Still, there are folks out there (something like 6 bazillion, at last count, I think) who believe that there MUST BE other reasons, more sinister and a lot more annoying (if you could imagine) than being a mom (like me) blogging about stuff, other than rainbows, glitter glue and poopie diapers.

I mean, FTC forbid someone (like me) would actually have something to say, with nothing up my sleeve, other than good intentions, no matter how much free stuff people seem to keep wanting to throw at me, or how long it takes, you know, for me to keep saying it.

[wrapping it up, now]

Hopefully, this is nothing that my friends and readers don't already know.  I live to write (not host giveaways) however, giving back to the community, online and IRL...well, it's how we roll:

"This Full House you just raised $5,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, what are you going to do now?"

Waiting to see how long it takes for folks like the Wall Street Journal to pick up on the fact that there are moms who are actually trying to do some really good things with their blogs.

Not going to hold my breath, for too long, though.

My biggest regret?

Not hugging Mir (Woulda Coulda Shoulda) IRL, when I had the chance, DAMMIT!

Edited to Add:  Received an email from a reader (thank you for taking the time, June!) and I hope that you did not misunderstand my rant for anything other than asking traditional media to consider that there are plenty of reasons why (other than getting stuff) that people (especially, moms like me) blog and, yes, I really do think that kindness is very much underrated these days.

Liz@thisfullhouse signature

© 2009 This Full House - All Rights Reserved.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Blogging It Old School

Radio 

Video may have killed the radio star, but it's those damned folks selling their Blu Rays that's totally messing with my blogging mojo, DAMNIT! [source: Shorpy.com]

Look, I've been at this for more than half a decade (you like that, sounds way longer than 6 years, right?) but, if you think mommybloggers have it bad, just wait.  Though, I long since ditched the term, made it a habit of adding links to my "parenting blog" and would much rather be called, "Her Royal Majesty" and "Supreme Blogging Goddess" or just "Elizabitch" -- whichever one works for you, I'm easy -- yes, I HAVE personally bore (bared?) witness to the destructive and dismissive nature of mean girls in the blogosphere (wanna see my scars?) but...DAYUM...rock, paper, scissors...says...SHOOT, it's time us old-timers take back the blogosphere.

Or, is it bad to use the term "blogosphere" anymore, either?  Yah?  Well, buckle up my friend, I'm getting all goose bumpily just thinking about how many people I've been able to annoy, lately, just because the wind's blowing a different direction, or deciding to add a "page break" on purpose, giving all 3 of my readers the choice, whether they want to  "click to read more..." or, not.

Continue reading "Blogging It Old School" »

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.