"Women are the drivers of social media," Page said in a phone interview. "Women are the major users of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Pinterest, and every social media site except YouTube. They are engagers. They are sharers. It is natural to a women's personality to say why she buys something and why she like it. Women love to share news about the bargains that they got. They love deals and they love to talk about it."
This is music to corporate ears. Women are natural spokespeople for products because, as Page puts it, "we discuss brands." In this way, female bloggers play a useful role for corporations struggling to use the social web. Their comfort with, and attention to, brands can make them indispensable extensions of corporate marketing arms.
Page also points out that that women are in charge of all family spending decisions, even in areas like cars and technology. Women are responsible for 75-85% of all consumer purchases from autos to health care. They command $90 billion of consumer electronic sales in 2007. Women make up the majority of mobile social network users, and they spend 30% more time on social media, according to Comscore. At sites like Gilt and Groupon, women account for more than 70% of all customers.
Companies may be particularly interested in working with parenting bloggers, because research shows that new parents are particular open to changing their purchasing habits, as Charles Duhigg explains in the New York Times. "There are, however, some brief periods in a person's life when old routines fall apart and buying habits are suddenly in flux," he wrote. "One of those moments -- the moment, really -- is right around the birth of a child, when parents are exhausted and overwhelmed and their shopping patterns and brand loyalties are up for grabs."
DO BLOGGERS BENEFIT?
With so much advertising and sponsorship money flying around women's blogs, is mommyblogging the road to financial success?
It's certainly needling its way into the mainstream. Other websites feature women and parenting bloggers. IVillage.com is one of the earliest websites that features women and parenting blogs and is currently owned by NBC. Babble.com specializes in parenting blogging and is often listed on the ranks of top websites and was recently purchased by Disney. Huffington Post has a parenting channel.
Blogging, like many other professions, is a tournament sport. A handful of women bloggers who specialize in these personal blogs are big winners. Heather Armstrong, who blogs at Dooce, reportedly earns $1 million per year. Ree Drummond, known in the blogosphere as The Pioneer Woman, has translated her blog into a series of best selling cookbooks and a show on the Food Network.
Below that top level, another handful of bloggers earn five figures -- enough to quit their day job. Page said a few bloggers within their network have enjoyed that level of financial success, including David Leite of Leite's Culinaria and Rhoda from Southern Hospitality.