The rise of the 'Parent Influencer'

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When I started off as a 'Mummy Blogger' in 2016, I had no idea I would also be referred to as a 'Parent Influencer' some day. When I started blogging about the adventures and misadventures of motherhood – a new journey I had embarked upon – it was just with the intention of documenting all the new experiences and thoughts I had. And getting back to writing – my first love and profession prior to becoming a mum.

As I engaged with other parenting bloggers, I felt part of a community – our shared stories and trials and tribulations were both cathartic and helped us laugh at the roller-coaster that is parenting! We were a (virtual) support to one another and some sort of connection during those long nights of feeding.

Then, as my blog continued to grow, I started being approached by brands and their representatives to review their products or write about their services. It was then that a whole new aspect of blogging opened up to me – I realised I could turn this passion into a work-from-home job and become what is more formally known as a 'Parent Influencer'.

Fast forward four years, and I've seen the rise and rise of the Parent Influencer. We're basically just mums and dads who write about parenting and family life, and whether it be through product reviews, personal opinions or shared viewpoints, we have managed to 'influence' other parents. In a positive way. Which I think is pretty awesome, considering parenting is a universal phenomenon.

There are a number of reasons for the increasing popularity of Parent Influencers, a trend that is only growing in the online world. So much so, we're now an actual 'genre' in blogspeak. 'Mummy Blogger' or 'Daddy Blogger' has become an actual blogging category, loosely also including Family Lifestyle. So what are the reasons for this rising trend?

Advertising and brand promotion is one factor. Probably the biggest factor when it comes to the economics of blogging. Advertising is great (else how else would we know about products and their benefits?), but having worked in the media I know that it is usually over-exaggerated. The imagery. The proclamations. Almost everything. So if a parent wants an honest opinion about a new buggie or a particular brand of breast pump, he or she would be more likely to take the word of another parent who has actually used the said product as opposed to an advertisement hoarding. And that's where a Parent Influencer is born… and gains power.

 

Another, more subtle but in my opinion, stronger reason is the connection and honesty that new-age parent bloggers are bringing to the frontline. Social media and Instagram have made us very fake as a population; we only show the good side of life and parenting. The positives. The rosy stuff. The filtered and edited images. But a host of new-age parent bloggers have turned the tide and write about the challenges of parenting. The sleepless nights. The sagging boobs. The disconnect with their spouses. The tantrums. The challenges. They show the world the real picture – the tantrum behind the artistically produced hexagon-shaped sandwich and not just the artistically produced hexagon-shaped sandwich. Their Instagram feed shows messy houses. Dark circles. A post-pregnancy body. Unwashed hair. Which is how 99 per cent of new mothers look. And feel. Yes, we love our little cherubs to the moon and back, we love being mums but it's not all sweet baby smells and cuddles. It's hard work. And a lot of mess. And bodily fluids. And exhaustion. And we write about it all. Unabashedly. We admit to battling Post-Partum Depression and talk openly of maternal mental health. We admit it's not all black and white and rose-filled. There are so many 'ifs' and 'buts' and a lot of grey areas.

And THIS is what mums want to read. THIS is how we feel accepted and connected, knowing we're all in the same boat. We laugh about it, complain about our babies who refuse to nap, rant about not being able to go to the loo alone anymore, but we do it together, safe in the knowledge that every other mother is experiencing this too. We get virtual support from one another. And therein – again – lies the greatest power of the Parent Influencer.

Taking the above point further, Parent Influencers don't always need to have a blog/ website of their own. Most are just rocking the social media world. And needless to say, social media is THE biggest influencer in today's digital age. Which gives rise to Parent Influencers starting their own parenting Facebook groups, having InstaMom accounts and even their own YouTube channels. Which have thousands of followers including brands that want to be featured on their Instagram or YouTube channels.

Influencing, in it's most basic form, means communicating. And what better way to communicate with fellow parents than through the digital word. Be it through parenting blogs or social media. Which can be accessed anytime, anywhere at the click of a phone button. So there is scope for constant engagement and support and a space for mums to connect, rant, share or just celebrate motherhood and parenting.

You might also like: Why mums like me blog?

 

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