Man-day Post: Red Pill Mommy Blogging

In Blogging, Man-dayby Jensguy28 Comments

It’s time for this week’s edition of Man-day by Jensguy.

*Note from Jen- This is a pretty amazing post. Most bloggers won’t share this info with you, but my husband wants to make sure every Mommy Blogger is rewarded for their hard work.

So what if I were to tell you that much of what you thought you knew about building a blog wasn’t so.  What if developing your content while slowly but surely building a community of readers wasn’t the way to gain advertisers and sponsorships?  What if there was a system where you were immediately judged and either dismissed entirely or let into the “Cool Kids Club?”

I certainly didn’t like the sound of something like that and was very invested in the natural way of blog building where your social networking was the driver to the content of your blog.  I wouldn’t blame you if you dismissed these ideas as rubbish and continued on as you have.  I felt that way even a couple of weeks ago.  For that we can offer the Blue Pill.

Take the Blue Pill and you will go on as normal, which isn’t a bad place to be.

Now if you wish to take the Red Pill. . .

Meet Klout.

Many people already know about it, some are passing familiar with it, and others, like Jennifer and I up until recently, have no idea what it is.  It’s purpose is to take the whole of your online writing and relationships and distill them into a single score which can be accessed by everybody. This could and probably should be considered wholly evil.  It will access all of your social networking sites and look at your contact as well as the people you are interacting with and grade each like, share, and comment, compiling a total score that is adjusted daily.  If you don’t want to play, it doesn’t really matter, as they will still generate a score based primarily upon your twitter feed.  You either play along to increase your score, or stagnate as your score is auto generated missing vital components.

So everything you are online is generated into a number between 1 and 100.  Yes, it is soulless.  Yes, it is borderline unfair. And yes, the score DOES matter, whether we want it to or not.

Sponsorships and Perks

When you apply for perks and sponsorships they ask you to fill out a form that takes into account your historical traffic and other details.  Understand however, know that the first gateway they aren’t telling you about is your Klout score.  If you were sorting between hundreds of requests a day, it would only make sense that you would need some sort of easily verifiable bench mark, even if it is creepy.  Klout scores are easily obtainable and everyone is scored making it a great universal judgment standard.

And that isn’t where it stops.  Even decisions as silly as somebody following you back on Twitter can be determined by your score.  The higher your score, the higher your perceived value as a part of somebody’s network.  Cold, sterile, but reality.

Signing Up

So, yes, you will need to create an account. If they are going to judge you, give yourself your best shot.  Make sure that you add all of your social media outlets, even if some are weaker.  The score is cumulative, not averaged, so every little bit helps.  On Klout’s home page you can use either Facebook or Twitter to log in.  You will shortly be given a score.

Understand that whatever your score is, it will be adjusted upward as your other social media is added.  But for a quick and dirty reference, a 40 is what your average social media user will score.  Again, whatever your score is, don’t panic, it is going to come up considerably.

Looking at Everyone Else

There are plugins for Firefox and Chrome that will allow you to see the Klout scores of everyone in your Twitter feed.  I’m not going to lie, the effect is quite jarring, somewhat akin to seeing everyone in the room in their underwear.  People that you thought really had it together may come in lower than you expect and others who you may have dismissed will show to be social media superstars.  You will now start to understand the beauty and the warts of the system all in one glance.

Again, don’t panic if your score does not measure up well with your peers.  That score is going to come up.  Just to reassure you, here is the timeline for Jennifer’s score:

So Jennifer went from a 15 to a 58 (they round up) in a little over 2 months after starting her blog.  She jumped up 12 points just in the time that we discovered what a Klout score is.  That’s a pretty healthy growth pattern and easily repeatable by others.

And Now the Sliver Linings. . .

It’s an ugly system that takes much of the merriment and wonder out of building a blog organically.  Realizing this is a game rather than a journey of discovery is not pleasant for most.  Understand, however, that as a mommy blogger, this game is stacked in your favor, and you have a leg up.  Here’s why:

1.  The mommy bloggers in your social network score far above average, and just associating with other mommy bloggers on a daily basis will boost your score considerably over people trying to break through on the non-mommy blog path.  Go back and look at the scores of the mommy bloggers in your Twitter feed, then for an experiment, click one of the trending topics on the sidebar of Twitter.  The average scores on this view are considerably lower than the scores in your personal feed.  That is the what the average users look like.  Your crowd is significantly more renowned.

Also mommy bloggers are friendlier.  In the real Twitterverse it is highly unlikely someone with a 70 score would follow somebody with a 50 score.  Mommy bloggers will do that, however.  Just because the rules are ugly, doesn’t mean that we have to be.

2.  Content is STILL king.  There are very few social media mavens that can generate a great following just on retweeting other people’s content.  At some point you have to become a SOURCE of content.  As a mommy blogger you have an entire wellspring of original material to package and share.  This is probably why mommy bloggers fare so well in the Klout scoring system.  Also this original content is shepherded by an elite force of fellow mommy bloggers who carry much more weight than an average respondent, increasing the odds of your content showing well.  Splendid the way that works!

Conclusion

Yeah, Klout is evil, no doubt about it.  It is, however,  probably a necessary evil if you want to grow your blog large and what we have written here is only a fraction of what you need to know.  Twitter matters and if you don’t do Twitter you are placing yourself at a great disadvantage when it comes to sponsorships and perks.  Fortunately, moving forward on Twitter is especially easy for mommy bloggers and a little bit of effort here should be immediately paid off with a higher ranking.

Comments

  1. I'm happy where I am. I'm a great grandma blogger. I've got some great friends and I like it that way. Simple. No ads or sponsors. But those that want this then way cool.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

  2. Wow, this is something! I checked it out and signed up via FB, but now it says I have to wait 24-48 hours for it to connect to WordPress (my blog).
    I'm curious about my "score," but I'm also not holding my breath. I don't want advertisers contacting me (more than they already do!) or to make money on my blog, but I DO want to reach as many wives/mothers as I can. The articles I write are meant to help those who read; very few of my posts are purely for me. I say this because I am interested in continuing to grow my blog, but not in order to profit.
    So, how does Klout help you grow? Or does it just tell you when you have? I guess I don't understand that aspect of it. ;)

  3. So interesting. So much to learn. I guess we need to get into Twitter. I'm afraid of Twitter! But we do want to make money with this eventually. So I'm guessing we should bite the Twitter bullet.

  4. At the very least it does provide a great pathway for recognizing where you are getting bang for your effort in social networking. It has become very obvious that the influence of Instagram currently outstrips Facebook in getting eyeballs on my blog. That is definitely a revelation. It can also help prioritize, if you are getting retweeted by a high influencer, you can make sure that you thank them personally as that relationship will increase readership to your site. As far as profit goes, I don't think many of us are going to make millions, but being able to offset the internet bill would really be useful. . .

  5. I love Klout. There are so many websites that will build your "influence" and give you free things. But the goal for me is to be part of the secret ones that are invite-only and will pay me for a tweet.

  6. Oh, Twitter. I still have not joined twitter. One more thing to keep up with. You make a very strong case here, Jen's guy. Thank you for this info! How do you keep all these plates spinning, Jennifer?

  7. Oh, I need Instagram too? Life was so simple before….. ; )

  8. I watch my Klout score, but have yet to focus on how to improve it. I guess I should get on that. I hadn't thought of this aspect a bit!

  9. Thanks Pamela. I have been very surprised at how much Instagram is counting for my social media score, even on posts that don't get that many likes. Glad you liked it!

  10. See I didn't even know about KLOUT until a few weeks ago. It really was a red pill moment for me. Once I started watching it and trying to up it I was amazed at how quickly the offers for sponsorship came rolling in. Not that I will accept all of them, but it was very eye opening.

  11. Oh man, Klout IS evil. I used to use it when I had a decent sized following on my other blog and via twitter and… just ugh. I hated feeling so judged and compared to other peers. It definitely wasn't for me back then. Maybe, though, after this, I need to give it some thought for my current blog…

  12. I registered with klout about 60 days ago and have had no idea how to raise my score. Huge eye opening article, thanks so much. Retweeting!

  13. I looked at your account and the recommendation that I would give is to become more active on Twitter and Instagram. It appears that you have a good facebook following, but facebook will throttle you down if you start getting too much traction, wanting you to pay for more "exposure." There aren't any limits on Twitter and Instagram, so it is easier to break through with your posts. It is also easier to expand your audience with the "follow me, follow you" protocol on Twitter. Again, the influence instagram had was a huge revelation for us once we started tracking Jennifer's account on Klout. We thought it was kind of niche, but it definitely isn't.

  14. Yeah, in the PR and tech world, Klout is certainly the most evil thing there is. People put their Klout score on resumes. It appears that in the Mommy Blog world people watch it, but they don't stratify themselves and I haven't seen anyone brag about their score or even reveal it publicly. It really is interesting that once we maximized our score for even a few days, the sponsorship people all of the sudden were much more interested in what we had to offer.

  15. There are so many social media avenues that it can get overwhelming! I am on Klout, but hardly check it. Thanks for the great post!

  16. It can get overwhelming. I think it is better to pick one to 2 and do them well, rather than do all of them halfheartedly.

  17. I'm not sure what to make of Klout. I like now that they suggest content that fit your niche, and I have had some great retweets from posting that content, but it doesn't always feel genuine. And I think it can be so easy to get caught up in your Klout score and how you compare to others rather than just focusing on writing and sharing information that is of interest to you. Stopping by from #SITSSharefest.

  18. Oh no!!! This post has totally scared me, I am clueless on Twitter and although I may have as many as two followers. Saying that though I think I only follow two or maybe three.

    I would love someone to write a post about how to use Twitter. It doesn't make sense to me and I can't make head nor tail of Tweets. I have no idea how to use # or @ or what they actually do.

    Maybe the positive side of Klout is that it is what people like me need to get us making more of an effort social networking. It has certainly given me plenty to think about.

  19. Agreed. I don't spend hours agonizing about my KLOUT score, but it was interesting to see that once it raised to a certain point that was when others started noticing and taking interest in my blog. I guess even though I don't monitor it all that much doesn't mean it wasn't getting monitored. Kind of scary, huh?

  20. Haha! Twitter is tough and the rules are always changing as is the lingo. I jumped in and just hit the ground running. I have probably made some snafus, but most everyone in the blogging stratosphere that I have encountered on twitter has been welcoming and nice.

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