2011 Blogging Year Recap

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When it comes to business things were looking up. We surpassed our goal of becoming a six-figure business this year. How did we do it? It's all about surrounding yourself with excellence. That's what this wrap up is all about. Spotting excellence in 2011.

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Being well represented is a key trend for 2011. This past year we talked about bloggers getting agents. And we saw some of our favorite moms publish books. As for us, we tried it to no avail. What works? Our awesome Marketing Manger, Brooke Stewart. Brooke finessed deals with major corporations. Be it a business manager, agent or public relations manager, when you are ready to be represented, find the right person and make sure the compensation is fair.

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Celebrities take note. Mom bloggers have caught the attention of some big time mom celebrities. We've met a lot of amazing women this year--SJP, Maggie G, Angie Harmon and Fergie to name a few. No longer do we feel embarrassed asking questions for our readers or requesting a photo. Our opinions and buzz matter!

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IRL Counts. We kicked off the year with a monthly event series. Our first events were strung together by the sheer will of event manager Sherri Schubert. Fast-forward a year and our events are filling up in a matter of days. We now have a wait-list for many of our influencer events (including our upcoming Honest Co. launch with Jessica Alba in January). A huge thank you to Stokke--a brand that saw the early value of investing in this series. In 2012, we think more brands will try to blur the lines of IRL and online.

Twitter Parties were a huge trend in 2011. I hosted and co-hosted more than a dozen. Love 'em or hate 'em--they are a great way to make an impression. When I team up with Andrea Fellman @savvysassymoms we regularly score 8 million impressions (loved our Say Yes to the Dress Bad Bridesmaid's Dress party!) in an hour. I forecast more brands using this tool for focus groups and product launches.

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Experiences matter. While a USB drive may tell the story you want it to tell, nothing will resonate like sending a writer on assignment. Remember how ONE.org sent the team of moms to Africa? Powerful stuff. This year we had the chance to send Momtrends representatives all over the US. Sherri headed to Mexico and Shannon to Florida. As for me, I will never forget my trip to Paws Up Resort in Montana. I traveled with my 6 y.o. daughter to this amazing property. I'm still talking it up and can't wait to go again (on my own dime). No press release would have ever made me such a passionate supporter. And let's not forget the family trip to Keystone/Breckenridge and our weekend at the LEGOLand opening. Take note brands: build these experiences into your budget.

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Offsite Conference parties. I wish I could tell you I gained valuable insight on how to grow my business while attending a seminar at BlogHer. I only made it to two sessions. What I did that REALLY mattered was connect with my peers and solidify relationships. The STYLE SUITE--the fashion event of the conference was the evening party I co-hosted with Andrea & Alison. We had a wait-list a mile long and gave every brand that came on board major buzz. Kudos to Plum District, Trop50, Johnson's Beauty, Ciao Bella, LOFT and Lands' End for knowing the best place to make an impression is outside the conference halls. Wait 'til you see what we have in store of NYC in 2012!

Knowing when to hire help. Not only did we redesign the site in 2011, we also hired our Serena Norr as Managing Editor. If you feel like your time is being sucked in all the wrong places follow the trend of hiring help. I attribute our record December pageviews to Serena's diligence. We also hired a team of category editors. How I love reading the recipes Shannon posts every Friday, or Cheryl's beauty tips on Tuesday, or Brandon's awesome design posts on Wednesday. Fresh voices well worth the monthly checks we send out.

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Celebrating motherhood. Let's not forget what got us into this online world. The kids. This year I was so excited to see blogging friends go for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th child. I love that this job lets us spend time with our broods while providing income. Lauren makes it look fashionable, Kate never lost her sense of humor, Jessica inspired me with her calm positive energy. Congrats to all these moms for bringing more blessings into the world and for showing the world motherhood and business can coexist.

Forming alliances. Be they formal or informal, moms know there is power in numbers. We've worked with dozens of other bloggers this year. Find women with talents that complement yours and expand your audience.

Giving back. Using your blogging mojo for good. Whether it's raising money for a cause, spreading the word about domestic violence, fighting bullying or collecting toys for children in need, we've seen the community rise to the challenge of using their power for good. This holiday Audrey & I teamed up with International Delight to not only launch a new product, but also gather donations for TOYS FOR TOTS.

Spokesmoms. Alas, we're still getting pitches for "Dear Mommy Blogger" to write full-length exposes all for the glory of getting a coupon or free set of steak knives. But we have seen a shift in how companies and PR agencies are approaching us. We can't say enough about AVON and what a natural fit it is for Momtrends. It was a serious contract and we're thrilled to be representing the brand in 2012. Cheers to all the brands who have sought out moms to represent their brands. We're on the hunt for more of these opportunities in 2012.

Trend forecast (wishlist?) for 2012
Fewer celebrity actress spokespeople and more online moms representing brands
LIVE parties (twitter and IRL) become a major component of product launches targeting online moms.
Webcast shows hosted by our favorite online moms.
Events that integrate a charity component.

What did you find notable about 2011? What do you see in the crystal ball for 2012?

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