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Who's Blogging

 
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KELBY CARR
Kelby Carr is the founder and host of Type-A Mom Conference. She is a writer, a pioneer of the social mom blog, SEO and social media consultant, and former investigative newspaper reporter turned new media mom.

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Visit Investigative Mommy Blogger

Project Blog: Investigative Mommy Blogger

Building on a successful report on the safety of shopping carts, a team lead by social media expert Kelby Carr will focus on other investigations using a network of mom bloggers. This cadre of Internet users is among the most connected and active, sharing stories and information virally. Led by two part-time workers, the network will help crowdsource stories. Carr, who also runs the Type-A Mom forum and conference, has been named one of the most influential women in social media.

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. 
• 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.

   • Posted by kelbycarr on 01/12 at 02:01 PM

Steady Rhythm

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:

  • Email feed subscribers increased from 24 to 104
  • Facebook page likes increased from 90 to 175
  • Twitter followers increased from 46 to 158

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.

imageI 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