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Working in digital marketing means, as one of many parent bloggers, we’re not short of an opinion or two. We’ve introduced parent blogger rankings to you, and then discussed what these influencer rankings actually mean, but what do creators, PRs and other parent bloggers really think of some of them?
Personally, KiddyCharts loves them; being in them, watching them, and using them are all critical for us as a site, despite their flaws, and as a digital marketer. Being an analyst by trade though, perhaps we aren’t the standard amongst parent bloggers’ sites.
So – if you want to understand what a community thinks of something specific – what do you do? Ask it!
We asked generally what parent bloggers felt about the ranking systems they knew of or belonged to. In addition to this, we asked about the new Babios parent bloggers study, and this is what people thought. Forgive the long post, but there was a lot of feedback, and we wanted to include it all to say thanks for contributing.
How to influencers feel about some parent bloggers ranking lists?
The best way of finding out how bloggers feeling about anything, is asking, so here are some views overall of influencer rankings from the community.
Note, this is in the order I got the comments (largely), and ironically not any form of ranking at all!
“I am in Trips100. I like to see the rankings every month and compare where I am against other bloggers. There is always a risk with this – comparison being the thief of joy – but on the whole I enjoy the process. Any ranking system is inherently flawed of course as it’s a numbers game rather than about the quality of a blog”
Nikki, Yorkshire Wonders
“I am a shocking blogger, I barely know any ranking things. I think I’m on rise and tots but I’ve never gained anything from either. To be honest, I don’t even understand how to ‘better’ myself in them 😂”
“I’m in Tots. I think they can be a fab way to monitor/measure your progress and encourage healthy ambition. However, I’m also hyper aware of the fact that if you don’t tick a specific box then you’ll never out-rank those who do, regardless of how well you perform in other areas. In that respect it can be disheartening.
As networks offering paid campaigns, they’re also amazing in terms of advocating for bloggers. Assuming, of course, that they do – which sadly doesn’t appear to always be the case.”
Kate, The Refined Prose
“I guess it depends why you blog. Personally, I’ve stopped paying any attention to rankings and just blog for myself. I still get approached for collaborations but I feel less pressured to always work on my rankings. I don’t consider my blog worse than any other just because my tots ranking was always shockingly bad. I’m not listed in any other ranking systems, it all gets a bit much after a while. Which ranking is a better representation than the next? Confuses me so I just stick to blogging the best I can.”
Alice, Living with Jude
“I came off everything like that as I feel it cultivates a “I’m less than” feeling in me. This year I’m embracing the fact there’s only one of me and comparing myself to what others have / achieve / get is not healthy. Instead I now measure progress by my own achievements and growth instead. Since leaving them all, not only do I feel better about myself, but I’ve actually gotten more work.”
Vicki, Tippy Tupps
“I’m in TOTS (albeit a very low rank). Tots recently started removing people that were found to be “cheating” which is fab imho. I find it very disheartening to see people that you KNOW are “cheating” getting ops despite not “deserving” them. I think if they could all do that then it would be fab and they’d be more worthwhile.
None seem to gauge engagement, or length of time sites are visited (maybe they do and I don’t realise). Surely that’s important too? ”
Erica, The Incidental Parent
“I’m never quite sure which ones I’m in or not! I’ve been in tots for years but don’t really check anymore. I used to place so much stock in where I ranked but now I just measure myself by how many jobs I’ve got and the experiences I’ve had that have been brilliant for the family as I can get down hearted when measuring myself against others instead of counting my own achievements.”
Louise, Pink Pear Bear
“I am in Tots and a couple of others personally I love to know where I would be “ranked” amongst other bloggers. I don’t take it to heart but I am a numbers person and love the feeling when I rise!”
Jaymee, The Mum Diaries
I just left Tots100, I was last ranked as 24 (I think!), but it no longer brought me any work. My fees are higher than Tots usually offer bloggers and I didn’t see the benefit of being ranked in it any more.
The parent blogger leaderboard is strange as it’s only dependant in how often you publish blogs, as far as I’m aware anyway! I don’t see how that’s a good indication of blog quality or readership!
Jenny, Monkey and Mouse
“I feel like rankings aren’t as important as they once were and work comes from improving DA and my engagement with my readers”
Kirsty, The Mummysphere
“I came out of and stopped using blogging ranking systems such as TOTS and Parent Blogger Leaderboard last year. I found that I’d be trying to create content to chase views rather than writing about things that made me happy. I was never going to be in the top ranked blogs (happily mid-level here!) and I felt like every time I’d say things like ‘in the top 300’ I was basically saying ‘there are 300 people you should work with better than me’ which is something I read a post about from Hayley at Stretchmarks & Sparkles blog. Since removing myself from that mindset, I feel more confident about promoting my site to brands based on my strengths rather than saying ‘here’s a number that I’m ranked based on what a ranking website thinks I should be good at’.”
Hayley, Devon Mama
In other words, exactly as we said within the article explaining influencer rankings, ever single creator has their own, entirely valid view of what rankings mean to them.
To drill down a little deeper, what about community thoughts on one of the specific rankings from 2018?
Reactions from parent bloggers and PRs to the new Babios Parenting Blogger and Influencer Ranking list
“I think it’s really interesting! Hopefully studies like this will lead to less of the ‘follow/unfollow’ or buying followers game that many bloggers do. That’s not to blame anyone there, as a lot of the time it IS about a numbers game when it comes to working with brands, or social authority.
Ultimately though, it should be about the engagement to followers ratio, and this study looks as though it is going to publish some very interesting results.
I wonder if they are going to name the bloggers they are using in their sample for the next stage? Not sure who would be happy with being named on there…”
Francesca Henry, From Pennies to Pounds
“This is bloody brilliant”
Initial thought from Nickie O’Hara, blogger and writer at I am Typecast and Geekilicious (shock horror)
“For someone to research “mummy blogging” so extensively proves that statistics have been elevated and expected results have not been returned. It’s about time that this type of evaluation was done, especially as blogging communities are now run as businesses and their algorithms are kept secret (sometimes a good idea so there is less opportunity for gamification). “Influence” has shifted from blogs and websites to social media (the Instagram example is a good one) but, unless there’s a quirk or a USP, I find that it’s all the same people following all the same people (as one does in a community) but this, along with comment pods, gives false numbers… your fellow bloggers aren’t really your target influence audience, are they? In short, brands or agencies should conduct their own research on who is best fit to be involved with a specific campaign or promotion rather than rely on facts and figures provided by someone else. Interaction and engagement is suggestive. People don’t comment on blogs very much and that’s a “blogger activity” – again, community based plus mobile sites aren’t really set up for commenting, hence the increased engagement on social media such as FB & IG.”
Further comments from Nickie in a chat with her. And we totally agree that it is incredibly important for brands to do their own research, combined with what’s available through the rankings. As we have said in all these rankings articles; there is no simple one-stop shop. It’s GOT to be a combination of tools, and relationships that provides the best results for brands, and for creators too.
“It looks interesting, but it’s only relevant at the time of their sample and test period surely? Unless it’s active and regularly updated. If it was an active tool then that would be good ongoing.
I do think some of the findings and correlations are interesting.
It also says it will publish top 50/100 ‘mummy bloggers’, but that’s only from the sample of bloggers they have analysed so it’s not inclusive of all, so not too sure what relevance this has or how they decided on which bloggers to analyse. It would have to be clear that’s only a top list from a small sample of mummy bloggers.
Also, it’s not always about engagement, but reach and brand awareness. I might not comment on or retweet an interesting blog post, but I might remember the brand name or product mentioned and purchase it later. I read a lot of blog posts and love Twitter and Instagram for seeing what bloggers are up to, but I definitely know I’m guilty of not engaging with them all or all their posts, but I still see them and might read them.”
Victoria Sully, Healthy Vix
Editor note: 100% Victoria – we would love to see something like this updated regularly, including more stats, and perhaps with the co-operation of both brands, and creators.
“It’s very interesting but I don’t think there’s any fail safe way of analysing it with 100% accuracy. As a reader I don’t often comment on posts for anything, but will act on it at a later date or have certainly taken in what’s been written.
I do now try to comment on blogger posts more now that I blog myself and know how important engagement is.
I do wonder how much engagement is an age thing too. As well as my own blog I run several band and music based pages. Most of our followers are in their early 50s. These bands are popular and well loved but rarely attract comments. I do think our generation is less likely to comment online. Whereas I get amazing feedback in person and occasionally via pm. This generation is far less ‘out there’ than younger readers who live and interact via a screen.”
Jo Jackson, Tea and Cake for the Soul
“I am very new to this, been blogging for about 64 days now, but I will also read posts and not always comment. There are things that I will read and act on but not always comment.. a silent reader.. I try and comment more now I’m a blogger.. but there are a lot of factors here.. Very interesting read.”
Marian Wood, Just Muddling through Life
“I live for stuff like this too! I wonder where they drew the sample from though. I’m surprised by the average DA 35 I would have expected it to be lower really. Suggests the sample are going to be highly visible bloggers. I guess finding the smaller and newer bloggers is more challenging as they are not so easy to spot. This could skew the data to the higher end. Can’t wait to see the findings. Thanks for sharing.”
Emma Bradley, Emma and 3
“I am always sceptical after years of doing this I would say there is no average at all in blogging as well do it so very very differently and pay etc, reach, aims and ambitions vary wildly! I’d take it all with a pinch of salt really”
Becky Goddard-Hill, A Beautiful Space
“What popped out at me is the emphasis on Twitter.. a platform a I have long neglected (totally understand why young accts have more engagement vs old accts – surprised he is puzzled by this. It’s obvious- many bloggers start out on twitter and as the grow move to other platforms that result in more click through a so twitter becomes less important.. esp as we get to a stage where we can’t keep up with everything). I totally recognise the Instagram is super important to brands at the moment. I have seen so many fellow bloggers working with brands via IG this year.
I also think that is massively over complicating things. Yes it’s a mine field for brands to work out who to work with.. but isn’t the old saying “I know that 50% of advertising works, but I just don’t know which 50%… I think that applies to influencer marketing – so much of it is general brand awareness and difficult to measure.”
Maggy Woodley, Red Ted Art
“I think it’s good t9 have another way of looking at blogging influence. My only concerns are how algorithms and false engagement through threads and pods would need to be allowed for in the model to give a fair picture. ”
Emma, Bubbablue and Me
“I think this new study is a step in the right direction. Eren is a well respected statistician and I love that he is open to feedback and to tweaking his model to make it effective on all fronts. ”
Michelle Pannell, Mummy from the Heart
“Bloggers and their influence currently feels like a bit of a grey area in terms of knowing what the benefits are to either party. As long as the study is compiled from results of a large group, it will be really interesting for both sides to see these results.”
Steph Curtis, Steph’s Two Girls
“As a PR and a blogger I welcome anyone attempting to improve the influencer sector. However there are no shortcuts, influencer outreach takes a lot of leg work. In the same way a PR should never pitch to media without understanding how they fit their content and audience, then blogs/channels should be individually looked at too. It also seems to be focussing on the same old metrics rather than the impact on the business and influence that is being genuinely generated. It is interesting though and I look forward to seeing how it goes.”
Debbie Sharratt, My Boys Club
“So first thoughts are that it’s just looking at the metrics that ranking organisations like Tots and Vuelio use but making it seem more statistical and thus more authoritative.
For example -> Engagement on an Instagram post is a visible thing they have devised a calculation for rating it but it is only engagement in terms of what people are saying and double clicking on.
It doesn’t give any behind the scenes metrics which would give you a true representation of the data.
From a Blogging point of view – they are basically making their own chart/rankings based on the same data and that’s it. Again there is no take into account things that aren’t easily visible e.g. newsletter subscribers including open and click-through rates, engagement outside of comments e.g. pageviews per sessions or emails sent asking further questions. The actual engagement of a post may not be seen on social networks – you can’t see if it resulted in 4000 people clicking over to find out more as this is not shown anywhere to the public.
From a stats point of view – there are too many variables that they aren’t taking into account.
The same things that stand out as a blogger stand out as a researcher – and I think more so because it’s my job so it’s something I pay attention to. Those visible metrics are just the surface layer. You can’t tell from a DA or PA much about real visitors to a site because they are to do with age of site and easily manipulated sources like backlinks to calculate.
A twitter engagement rate is more than follower numbers to retweets and replies. There is a whole subset of data which give the true engagement that isn’t taken into account. How many people saw it maybe less than normal because of date, time when their followers weren’t online.
Because rankings like this don’t take into account the real data and can’t unless you have a much more open system of collecting it than the visible surface layers you are just creating another ranking system that because of the “stats” and graphs is meant to be more accurate.”
Cerys, Rainy Day Mum
“Um: The youngest mummy blogger in the UK is 0.044 years (i.e. 16 days old) and the eldest is 10.54 years. The average Twitter social authority is around 48 (out of 100), where 75% of bloggers have a score less than 56 (with a maximum of 76).
Does this mean they’ve not looked at any blogs that have running more than 10 years? [That seems an] odd place to stop though, they’ll have excluded many of the ones with the highest ranking otherwise, like Who’s the Mummy.”
Jax Blunt, Making it Up
“I love the idea of having an independent statistion look at rankings but it is impossible to collect data on every single blog out there so there will never be a definitive way of placing blogs into any type of ranking. This is certainly a step in the right direction but it would be nice to have a way of submitting blogs to be ranked and have an ever-changing ranking list that is always current. How practical that is will have to be seen.”
Laura Seaton, Blog On
“I think it’s really interesting how Babios have approached blogger outreach. They’re really interested in what works well, from both parties points of view, and not just from a big hit prospect.”
Helen Wills, Actually Mummy
“I read that yesterday and though “huh”. It didn’t really make a lot of sense to me. And he lost me at “youngest Mummy Blogger is 16 days old”. I know he meant blog but it just annoyed me.
I’ve also got a pathological hatred of the phrase “mummy blogger”.
Ignore me, I’m hormonal 😬”
Tanya Barrow, Mummy Barrow.
Editor’s note: Regardless of Tanya’s ranking, doesn’t this just make you want to work with her site, right? See – relationships, people and personalities alongside the numbers 😉
Parent bloggers always step up to the plate when you need feedback, can you tell?
The initial results from the Babios study are fascinating, and any other research is likely to prove to be just as interesting, as long as you can get your head around it.
Thanks for reading the community comments, don’t forget to check out the other articles on influencer rankings we have done, and subscribe for more Printables, and other musings from the site in our weekly newsletter.
Take care as always.