Investigative Mommy Blogger
Investigative Mommy Blogger Moves to More Robust Parent Site
Thursday, January 12, 2012
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.
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.
• 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.
• Posted by kelbycarr on 01/12 at 02:01 PM
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Investigative Mommy Blogger is getting into a steady rhythm of producing content and increasing readership. We have breaking news posts six days per week from two writers that were hired. The investigative piece on children’s meals at popular chain restaurants, which received several comments and hundreds of page views.
Awareness of the site is also increasing, with the typical traffic increasing from about 300 page views a month to more than a thousand a month.
I also held a promotion to build awareness with mom bloggers at my Type-A Parent site. My main goal was to build email feed subscribers to generate some return traffic from readers who get the daily news in their inbox, as well as boosting Investigative Mommy Blogger’s numbers on social networking sites. Here are some of the increases due to the promotion:
The biggest challenges remaining have been getting regular investigative posts and generating revenue. I am now seeking freelance investigative article queries in the hopes that accepting articles from a larger pool of bloggers with journalism backgrounds will step up the number of pieces we have that are investigative and not simply breaking news. I am also researching options for seeking 501(c)3 status for the site, as that would open up options for seeking funding that are not an option for profit ventures.
• Posted by kelbycarr on 03/10 at 10:22 AM
IMB Posts First Investigation
Monday, January 24, 2011
Things have been gaining momentum with Investigative Mommy Blogger. I now have three bloggers hired, and just posted an investigative piece, “The Truth About Chain Restaurant Children’s Meals.” The post has gotten a lot of attention, including 24 tweets with the link on Twitter and 25 Facebook shares. The tweets included some great recommendations to read the piece, such as “Wow! Eye opening!” “Just read!” and “An absolute must read!”
We were struggling a bit with Jen Lee Reeves and I doing this part-time and trying to balance short posts with investigations, so I hired two “breaking news bloggers.” Their responsibility is posting curated breaking news of interest to moms. This is now giving us not only daily posts in the breaking news area, but also frees Jen and I to focus exclusively on investigations. With the addition of the new bloggers, Amanda Henson and Dianna Brodine, we have posts six days a week on the site.
Jen has two investigations under way, and will be posting soon as she sees which one comes together quickest. I have begun work on another investigation, and expect it to run within the next two to three weeks.
I am going to make that much bigger social media push this month now that we will have a feed with daily posts and will have at least two investigative pieces this month. Beyond the social media push, I am also going to work hard get more RSS feed subscribers (especially via email subscription) as well as email newsletter subscribers.
I think we’ll get a lot of clicks as we are reporting these breaking and investigative news posts. The addition of breaking news posts seems to be connecting well with moms on social networks, as I had some Facebook comments on a couple recent posts (such as the one on Nintendo 3DS being harmful to children age 6 and under) and some Twitter conversation regarding the post about children receiving so much radiation via X-rays at a young age. It is my understanding Investigative Mommy Blogger is the only site focusing entirely on news of interest to moms.
• Posted by kelbycarr on 01/24 at 11:14 AM
Finding the Perfect Team
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
In the first weeks of the Investigative Mommy Blogger project, I have been most focused on finding a perfect team. I am looking for investigative bloggers who strike a balance of both a full range of traditional investigative reporting experience and time spent immersed in mom blogging.
I have hired one investigative blogger who is a perfect blend of both worlds. Jen Reeves started as a local newscast producer in 1995. She produced at KBAK-TV (Bakersfield, CA), KSBW-TV (Salinas, CA) and WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids, MI) before worked as the Executive Producer at KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO. KOMU-TV is owned by the University of Missouri and Reeves is also an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Five years ago, Reeves transitioned from traditional newscast management to creating a position where she oversees the newsroom’s online content and social media.
As new media director, Reeves tries to push the envelope connecting with her audience while teaching students how to report on multiple platforms. Reeves was part of the innaugural class of Reynolds Journalism Institute fellows (2008-09) where she tried to merge multiple newsroom coverage of the 2008 presidential election. Reeves earned her Bachelor’s of Journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism and a Master’s in Management from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI. Along with teaching students at Mizzou, she trains journalists and other communicators across the country and abroad.
Reeves blogs about her four-year-old daughter who was born with a limb difference and the many experiences that come with a physical difference at Born Just Right. She also has an eight-year-old son, a husband and two dogs. Reeves is in her second year of running but is in the middle of a hiatus after discovering she was running on an old torn ACL. Her surgery should get her back running by 2011.
I have been pretty amazed at some of the applications coming in, and may forego some of the money I had budgeted to pay myself to add an additional position. It isn’t easy to make that decision, but in the early stages of the site I think a bigger, stronger group of investigative bloggers is worth the sacrifice. I am still in the process of interviewing applicants.
I have also been working on some little details, such as opening a second business account to make it simpler to isolate the finances for this project alone, and shopping around for a good news styled theme to redesign Investigative Mommy Blogger.
• Posted by kelbycarr on 09/01 at 09:39 AM