Building an online brand is hard. You need to SEO your name, find the right audience, and constantly produce fresh content that your followers will find interesting. Now, picture doing all of this with little munchkins running around the household, tossing their cheerios in any direction possible, and demanding that they see a Nutella sandwich in their lunchbox or else your days are numbered. Women, specifically mothers have an even tougher time effectively branding themselves. Balancing a professional life, raising a family, exploring new hobbies and interests, while still trying to remain sane seems nearly impossible without giving up sleep. And yet, these mommy bloggers have impressively balanced lives. Here are a couple of problems that every mommy blogger needs to consider before starting their brand.
What Name Should I Use To Create My Brand?
The top 5 questions working women ask themselves before getting married (among “is he the one?”) include:
- 1. Should I change, hyphenate, or keep my maiden last name?
- 2. What do I want people to refer to me as professionally?
- 3. Will changing my name tarnish my brand or affect my SEO juice?
- 4. Will my husband approve of me keeping my maiden name for branding purposes?
- 5. What if I get divorced?
Many women find themselves in a pickle over whether or not changing their last name would tarnish her established brand. Some say it might dilute their personal brand, others say it will strengthen and empower it even more. Even celebrities such as Kris Jenner had debated whether she should revert to Kris Kardashian to make the Kardashian empire more marketable. In “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” her husband Bruce Jenner was having a difficult time coping with the idea that his wife wants to revert to her ex-husband’s last name. The verdict? She decided to not go through with it. However, for all of us non-celebrities (which I consider mommy bloggers to be part-time moms, full-time celebrities) it’s understandable to want to lead the best and most recognizable company one possibly can, especially as a woman who’s trying to run a business in a troubled economy.
“Many of the women I know have chosen to write publicly under their maiden names, not so much in-the-event-of-divorce, but more as a buffer between their families and their online work. As a personal blogger, were I to go through a divorce, my readers would be aware of it (as my brand is my personal story) and if I changed my last name, and therefore my branded name, my readers would migrate along with me, without a question.” –Mr. Lady
Building a brand takes time and dedication. It’s an investment, but so is marriage. It’s really up to the individual’s preference how they want to represent themselves. If a woman built her whole brand and business around her maiden name, I would assume their spouse would understand and support the success. There’s always the option of letting others know beforehand about an upcoming name change so that doesn’t impact the brand- treating it like a move. Just as you tell others about your address change prior to your transition (friends, family, co-workers, cable guy), you should tell other connects, followers, and contacts that they will soon notice that your name has a different ring to it through your email signature and/or social media sites. As long as a heads-up is given, all that really occurred was a minor brand tweak (which could even help in terms of promotion).
So to answer the questions:
- 1. It’s up to you, your audience will likely migrate with you despite a last name change.
- 2. Whatever you choose, keep it consistent. Don’t have two or three different names online.
- 3. Changing your name doesn’t necessarily mean tarnishing your brand.
- 4. Communication is key and talking about what your name should be with your spouse is extremely important.
- 5. Same as #1, your audience will continue to be fans of your work despite any marital status changes.
Should I Talk About My Kids In My Blog?
[pullquote]I totally write about my kids, but am *very* mindful of personal, sensitive or exploitative topics. I try to write more so about the experience of raising them than them, themselves. To protect my children from a web presence they had no control over, I don’t ever, EVER use our last name on line and I have never once posted any of their first names, either.[/pullquote]Mommy bloggers share their kids special moments and milestones through the internet. Another pickle mommy bloggers run into is whether sharing pictures and content is an invasion of the child’s privacy rights. Every mother thinks their kids are the best. It’s such an important part of your life and you want to write about your children, post pictures, and perhaps share them with the world. So the big question is: To write about your kids or not?
Documenting your child’s journey through life can be done securely without over-sharing or creating a Google presence before he/she even knows what a computer is. There are many examples of children who are already identified on the internet simply because they have celebrity parents (Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, Britney Spears, etc.) While people know of them, we don’t know too much about them. Every mommy blogger should make it her goal to share happenings and special moments with their children if they’re not too personal while keeping their names anonymous or by using a pseudonym. Mr. lady quotes “Basically, I am sharing my stories. They are a part of that, but I have to honor their right to tell their own stories, and I am constantly mindful of that.”
Not Your Average Mommas
The wonderful niche of mom bloggers inspired me. Maybe not so much to be a mom, but to definitely start blogging and make better use of my time.While I thought I had a lot on my plate, these mommy bloggers have even more in their sippy cup. They created (or re-created) a mommy brand for themselves, are featured in top magazine and blog articles written by others, and help moms and moms-to-be one blog post at a time. They’re a great example of how changing your last name doesn’t have to mean changing your brand, your content, or your competitive edge (personality). Your brand won’t suffer and your fans won’t follow you any less. In addition, sharing precious moments of your kids online is perfectly fine and won’t invade their privacy as long as you can use a pseudonym for them or not share their full real name.
As always, see the section below for a list of a few other great mommy bloggers and please let us know if you can think of any more common branding problems faced by these gals in the comments section below.
- A mommy CEO who manages kids and the VPs who act like them, and has effectively made the transition to change her name after marriage check out:Who’s The Boss
- For a not-your-typical mommy blogger and an interesting read: 5 of my Own
- Single Mommy Blog: My Single Mom Life
- Bad is the new good: Her Bad Mother
- And why having an opinion never goes out of style: PunditMom
Special thanks to “Mr. Lady” AKA Whiskey in my Sippy Cup for commentary and inspiration, be sure to check out her blog!
Stay tuned for a post we’re working on about Lorenzo Von Matterhorn, it’s a lot of fun to write I can’t wait for you to read it!