Book Review: The Digital Mom Handbook

Audrey McClelland and Colleen Padilla. The Digital Mom Handbook: How to Blog, Vlog, Tweet, and Facebook Your Way to a dream Career at Home. New York: Harper Business, 2011. 256 pages.

I’m not a mom, but the idea of mommyblogging intrigues me. It seems like most infant and toddler commerce is sold primarily to women, assuming that fathers will have a negligible role in decision-making when it comes to buying products for their young kids. In addition, it’s indisputable that, when one parent stays home to take care of the kids, it’s almost always the mother who does so. Many of these women are educated, engaged, and taking a step back from careers, so they are ideally situated to appraise, comment on, and spread the word about products geared towards little kids.

Mommyblogging has, for many women, become a cottage industry. This makes sense, since you can do it from home, and you’re already immersed in mommydom, so it’s not like getting another B.A. in Sanskrit Literature at night. The authors of The Digital Mom Handbook both transitioned from careers to moms and, ultimately, mommybloggers, and in the book they offer a guide to how to, as the title says, secure a dream career at home.

The book provides both a window into the mommyblogosphere and offers a guide to how to get there. They stress that the first step is finding one’s passion, which involves a fair amount of soul-searching and contemplation. There are a lot of varieties of mommyblog–one could focus on product reviews, or cooking, or simply talking about the joys of wiping away spitup while hosting a play date. From there, the book gives specific guidance on how to actually get launched into the mommyblogosphere, then offers tips on marketing, networking, and balancing blogging with being a mom.

The authors also acknowledge that blogging itself is just one piece of they puzzle; they stress the role of Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook and talk extensively about the role of Twitter parties, for example, in providing networking opportunities.

In addition to the satisfaction one gets from sharing one’s viewpoint on Lansinoh nursing pads or “The Wonder Pets Save the Skunk,” mommybloggers can make some money through ads on their blogs and also can be invited to try new products. Prominent mommybloggers can even be hired as product spokesmoms and get be invited to exclusive events. So what starts as a hobby can, indeed, become a career.

If you’re interested in getting a start in mommyblogging, this is a good book to check out.

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