I have a confession to make. I’m jealous of parenting bloggers. There, I said it.  I’ve been thinking this for years but I’ve never actually said it. You, my friends, are hearing my confession for the first time.

I’m so envious of the way some parenting bloggers, including many friends of mine, so beautifully document their lives and those of their children.  It takes a rare person to open up their lives at the level that the best parenting bloggers do – when they bare it all (or almost all) and tell amazing stories through their words and pictures.  These bloggers are chronicling their kids’ lives and they’ll have those stories forever; here I am, just another marketing blogger.  (P.S. Click the links in this paragraph for just a few of my favorite parenting bloggers.)

Lessons From Parenting Bloggers

What makes the best parenting bloggers so great at what they do? Great lifestyle and parenting bloggers don’t just keep diaries, they really engage readers and provide a compelling experience, day in and day out, sometimes across many years.

I think there are a few lessons the average marketing blogger like me, and perhaps any business or corporate blogger, can take from these talented writers.

1. It all starts with storytelling

My favorite bloggers are all wonderful storytellers, first and foremost. The bloggers I’ve been following and reading for years, and the ones I’m most excited to meet in person, are not those with the largest readership or the best brand relationships. I really hang on the words of the bloggers who tell unique and thorough stories through their posts. Their stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end, even if they’re only 400 words or a mainly photographic recounting of their kids’ first day of school.

So it goes almost without saying that the best stories are almost always accompanied by (and told through) great photos.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that the best bloggers are also the best photographers, but they manage to capture the essence of the subject they’re writing about in their images, and their effective use of images enhances their stories.

Corporate bloggers should consider storytelling the foundation of their efforts, too.  It’s not enough to broadcast product information or announce the latest and greatest from HQ; great brand blogging should also be made up of stories, about people, events, ideas and maybe, only maybe, products.

2. Authenticity is key

The bloggers I read day in and day out are those who I know to be honest and true in their words.  I want to know that they struggle with parenting just like I do, and I want to hear how they face their fears as well as how they celebrate their successes.  And not all parenting bloggers write exclusively about their kids or their families; some also include stories from work, from other aspects of their lives, and if I’m attached to that blogger I’m usually happy to read about other subjects from them too.

I feel the same way about the corporate bloggers I read as much as I do about the parenting bloggers. I want to hear the “warts-and-all” side of the brand story, at least to the extent that the brand is willing and able to tell it. I feel like it’s important to know how messy the office is, to understand the planning process for their corporate event, and to meet the people who make the secret sauce in the back of the factory.

And let’s face it: it’s easier to write about everything in an honest way than to try and recolor some of it and then remember what you’ve written about.  That goes for corporate bloggers as well as lifestyle bloggers.

3. They’re compelling writers

Great bloggers need not be perfect writers.  Contrary to how much the Elements of Style were drilled in to most of us, we’ve learned that we do not need to have perfect grammar and syntax to get our point across. However, the best bloggers are indeed compelling writers: they understand how to turn a phrase, use punctuation to improve their words, and structure prose for greatest impact.

Your corporate or business blogging writing should be at least as good, if not better, than your favorite lifestyle or parenting bloggers. After all, you’re representing a company, and you do need to put your best foot forward for them.  If you aren’t the best writer but you are still an authentic and compelling storyteller, hire someone to help you polish your writing so that you don’t stumble on this important aspect of blogging.

Who are some of your favorite non-business bloggers? Why are they your favorites, and do you take any lessons from them into your corporate or business blogging efforts? I’d love to see some links and ideas in the comments.

Image courtesy of Digital Family Summit.

Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Stephanie Schwab

Stephanie Schwab

Stephanie Schwab is the Principal of Crackerjack Marketing, a digital marketing agency specializing in social media planning and execution. Stephanie is also the founder of the Digital Family Summit, the first-of-its-kind conference for tween bloggers and content creators and their families. Throughout her 20-year career, she has developed and led marketing and social media programs for top brands and has presented on social media and e-commerce topics at numerous conferences and corporate events. Stephanie writes about social media at CrackerjackMarketing.com, sometimes hangs out at Google+, and tweets @stephanies.

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com/ Stephanie Schwab

    Links to the four bloggers in the second paragraph – these ladies (they all happen to be moms, though I read dad parenting blogs too) are some I read nearly every day:

    Stephanie Precourt: Adventures in Babywearing http://www.adventuresinbabywearing.com/

    Ellen Seidman: Love That Max http://www.lovethatmax.com/

    Kristin Howerton: Rage Against the Minivan http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/

    Liz Gumbinner: Mom 101 http://www.mom-101.com/

    I encourage you to check them out, if you’re not familiar with them – great storytellers and writers, all.

    • http://www.adventuresinbabywearing.com/ Adventures In Babywearing

      Wow Stephanie, such a great piece and thank you so much. This recognition absolutely just made my week. Thank you. 
      Steph

      • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com/ Stephanie Schwab

        My pleasure. Your writing about Ivy (the same age as my Aaron) and all of your kids, and how you document their lives, was the primary motivation for this post. I wish I were doing the same for Aaron! but it’s really just not in me.

  • Dara Khajavi

    This is a great point. In a corporate blog, the blogger is trying to “sell” the company. Corporate bloggers must paint the company in a positive light. On the other hands, parenting blogging is much more real and sincere. These parenting bloggers truly love what they do. They are not being paid to be a parent. 

    This post has made me rethink my blogging approach. Thank you for the advice. I will make sure to check out parenting blogs!

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com/ Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Dara! Good luck and please let us know how it goes.

  • Stacey

    There is a blogger I have just started following as she shares her journey from a tough pregnancy to an even tougher postpartum period where she just had her surgery. It takes guts to share personal details like that, but I admired her when she said she wanted to do it so it would help other Moms. http://www.charlenechronicles.com 

  • OBVAVirtualAssistant

    Remind yourself of two things: You can either write content that is dry, safe, and has no personality, or you can write something daring and transparent — something that will shake the floor beneath your reader’s feet.By practicing vulnerability and storytelling it can transform into a habit. A habit that will yield love and appreciation from your tribe, stories of your idea or product being put into practice, and a strong foundation that will reinforce your business and life.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com/ Stephanie Schwab

      Vulnerability! You’re totally right, that’s what’s missing from so many business blogs. Great addition to this piece, thank you.

  • http://mom-101.com Liz Gumbinner

    I’m majorly honored to be included here Stephanie, thank you so much. I’ve always believed that any storyteller has the obligation to their readers to tell it best they can, and it doesn’t matter if it’s about your firstborn or your trip to France or your company’s sparkplugs.

    Writing about children doesn’t give you any sort of built-in storytelling advantage; if it did, all mom bloggers would be rich and David Sedaris would be asking us for advice.

    (He’s not asking us for advice.)

  • http://www.callboxinc.co.uk/ Oliver Scott

    If you need to secure a trusted online presences for your niche, then it is the a person’s eye of such bloggers that you ought to attract first. but doing the process is not a simple task.

  • Sell Website

    Your site has been extremely informative and its featured content helps in the process of what is being created on the web. Keep it up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005457282405 Facebook User

    I found a great party planning site that had all that I needed to make my child’s day memorable. I was fast and easy. Check out Ready Set Party @ http://readysetparty.seocial.co

  • http://inspees.com/games Apps for Kids

    Very well expressed. Indeed you’ve highlighted great blogging tips that can be learned from parenting bloggers.

  • http://www.urbanmommies.com/ Jill Amery

    I agree on the vulnerability comment. It’s so very brave and scary to open yourself to criticism and yet this is what you need in order to be truly authentic. Great article – thanks!