A woman named Darryle Pollack read one of her blog posts out loud at the conference last week.
I've met Darryle before, and the day after she spoke we spent about an hour together in deep discussion.
Darryle's post was about women becoming invisible in our society as they age.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about her words, or our conversation, since. I'm a little younger than Darryle, but I'll be following in her footsteps in a blink of an eye. (Yes, time does rush past faster than a speeding bullet ….)
Darryle is someone I admire and respect.
She really got me thinking.
Let's back up for a minute, to a day earlier in the conference.
Readership numbers are something bloggers don't generally discuss with each other. Most bloggers consider it rude, and guard their "numbers" as closely as they do their weight.
However, I've always considered myself a "small" blogger because …
And by those standards, I AM a small blogger.
In talking with several bloggers, I realized the readership numbers I think of as "small" for Twenty Four At Heart are actually pretty decent. In addition, my readership exceeds that of many popular "mom" blogs. A few blogs I think of as being famous actually have a much smaller audience than Twenty Four At Heart.
It was a very surprising revelation.
I'm not sharing this information to you to brag, or to pat myself on the back. After all, it's you, not me, creating the page views.
A question began nagging at me –
Why are they ("mom" bloggers with smaller audiences than I have) getting the vast majority of private invitations to brand parties, why are they getting so many more business opportunities, why are they considered the Important People to the brands and marketing people?
I decided to talk to a few of the marketing people in the expo hall, and ask them.
I was shocked when one of the brand/marketing experts told me they don't have "very reliable" tools for measuring the reach of any particular blog. Yes, they have tools – but they realize those tools often give them very unreliable information.
Not being a "mommy blogger" apparently immediately takes me off everybody's radar.
But should it?
Am I, because I'm not a young mom blogger, invisible?
Invisible on the private party lists.
Invisible on the pr/marketing lists.
Invisible even to many of my blogging peers (who would not, I suppose, think to invite me along when they make plans because I'm OLDER).
I mention this, because in blogging networking is often everything.
If you aren't THERE, if you're never invited – you're missing out on amazing opportunities.
Marketing companies are targeting young moms with blogs. I don't think it even occurs to many of them to take a look at people who are not blogging about their families and/or do not have kids to blog about in the first place.
Now, don't get me wrong –
I do get a lot of PR/Advertising pitches.
Most pitches I receive are on products/ideas related to baby/young kid products which, clearly, do not relate to me at this point in my life. (My youngest of three children is now 16 years old.)
Having a background in PR, I understand the logic behind wanting to attract young buyers and build a lifetime loyalty to your brand. Nonetheless, two minutes of research would provide them with the information to realize my blog isn't the right forum for their baby/young kid products. When I get these pitches, I know I was just part of a mass emailing campaign.
Alternately, if the pitches I receive aren't about young kid/family products they tend to be about arthritis/alzheimers/vaginal dryness. These pitches come from marketers who have done enough research to realize I'm not "young."
I wish I were joking, but I'm not.
Many of the brands at last week's conference would be ideal for my audience, but I've never heard from them.
The advertising/pr agencies have serious flaws in their marketing strategies and they are missing out on huge opportunities. Has it ever occurred to them to target women in their late thirties and up?
I'm not "old" and I'm not "young."
I do, however, have an audience of extremely intelligent and largely affluent readers. In addition, my readers trust me because they know I tell it like I see it.
(There is absolutely no chance my integrity will ever be compromised by a brand.)
At my not young and not old age, I also have more discretionary income than I did when my three kids were young.
The "baby boomers" are a HUGE buying force, but are largely being ignored and/or misunderstood by marketing companies.
I'm not interested in products for the elderly because I'm not elderly.
Nor am I interested in products aimed at toddlers.
Do I like wine?
Do I like chocolate?
Do I like yogurt?
Do I like FOOD in general?
Do I like to travel?
Do I have an interest in beauty products?
Do I have an interest in health products?
Do I like creature comforts?
Do I send greeting cards?
Do I use technology products?
Do I like photography equipment and other "hobby" products?
Do I like to cook and have an interest in kitchen products?
Do I clean my house/my teeth/my clothes?
Do I ever redecorate my house and have an interest in furnishings, etc?
Do I like activities such as exercise, parties, boat trips, and adventures of all sorts?
YES I DO.
I did not stop doing any of those things when I turned 40.
In fact, I have more time (as well as more discretionary income) to enjoy all of the above than I ever have before.
This is not a "sour grapes" post about BlogHer.
I attended the conference; I had a great time.
I was nonstop busy in San Diego with events and (open to everyone) parties, friends, and conversations with marketing folks.
I'm wondering –
Did anyone there really SEE me?
Can they see me now?
© Twenty Four At Heart