The Investigative Mommy Blogger project’s mission is reviving investigative journalism, but also evolving it. Since receiving the funding, the site produced investigative reports, tips on investigative blogging and curation of news of interest to moms.
Investigative Mommy Blogger successes:
• Produced an investigative piece that highlighted the extreme health issues of restaurant children’s meals.
• Produced several posts with tips for investigative blogging.
• Produced months of curated news of interest to moms (with posts every weekday during that period).
• Raised awareness of investigative blogging among moms who blog.
• Built a following of 85 feed subscribers, 180 Twitter followers and 210 Facebook fans.
• Attracted 5,000 visitors for 10,000 page views.
Investigative Mommy Blogger challenges:
• By far the biggest challenge was finding bloggers with journalism experience to write investigative pieces. In fact, there were about 10 writers who agreed to write investigative posts and none of those were ever completed. To address this, I switched from a model of a staff writer to freelance assignments with no success.
• It was challenging to drive interest in general and investigative news in the online mom community.
• The site was hacked on three different occasions, costing both time and money to repair.
• While the site built up a following, it wasn’t enough to drive significant traffic to the site.
• It was challenging to drive advertiser interest in the site. The site earned $50 in advertising revenue over more than a year’s time.
Investigative Mommy Blogger today:
To address these issues, I made the decision in December 2011 to merge Investigative Mommy Blogger into Type‐A Parent. The two writers who proved to be reliable on Investigative Mommy Blogger are now writing a weekly news roundup and investigative/in‐depth posts at Type‐A Parent with an emphasis on news of interest for digital parents. This has several advantages, some of which have already shown a significant benefit in the short time since the merge. For example:
• Type‐A Parent already has a strong following and large audience (4,000 email subscribers, 30,000 visitors monthly, 30,000 Twitter followers and 1,500 Facebook fans). The first month of four posts and an in‐depth piece attracted more page views than a typical month on Investigative Mommy Blogger attracted for 20+posts.
• Type‐A Parent already has a steady stream of income, allowing that revenue to subsidize paying writers to do news and investigative assignments.
• Type‐A Parent has a database of hundreds of contributors, allowing for more options for assigning in‐depth and investigative reporting.
• We will be doing our first live news coverage, with another writer and I reporting this week from the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
• One of the news writers is currently working on posting an in‐depth piece on mortgage loan modifications, looking at whether there are issues with obtaining one and what rights mortgagees have in the process. This writer has proven reliable and has committed to an in‐depth or investigative piece at least once a month.