The Deal Mommy

Why I Love Saverocity Readers

After almost five years of blogging, I have green cards in a bunch of communities and full citizenship in none.  Because of this I have a unique view into the underbellies of both “The Hobby” and the traditional blogging worlds, and both are in turmoil. A Mommy Blogger blew up the space  and went viral due to her vitriol.  An alternate view is that her post reflected her anger at herself for selling out, which is probably also true. Both are worth a skim and I agree with about 70% of both.  Substitute “miles” for “mommy” and you probably will, too.

I’ll leave the miles and points blogger dissection to George and to my own archives. There’s definitely a culling of the herd here too, which I view as a good thing. Some of what passes as travel advice is frightening- the prominent network blogger who misnamed Mexico City’s tourist district comes to mind.

No matter how much is in flux, one thing won’t change: Saverocity readers will challenge me daily.

It’s only when I visit the mom blog world that I realize how rare a gift this is.  I recently spent time with 50 family travel bloggers who don’t have any experience with readers like Saverocity’s.  Many of them had been to Beaches at the same mommy blog conference I attended and all had written glowing reviews of the place- almost none with any pricing information whatsoever. I explained how shocking I found the lack of such an important detail and told them “my readers would have eaten me alive” if I hadn’t broken down the Beaches value proposition (or lack of it).

I might as well have spoken in Greek- they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about! Comments? Reader responsibility?  It wasn’t that they didn’t care what readers thought, they simply never heard from readers. And these are blogs with 10X or more the pageviews my little corner of the internet gets.

That made me understand a lot of the things I have seen that formerly made no sense.  For instance- I’ve turned down multiple offers of up to $500 to write sponsored content about pantiliners. There is just no amount of money that will justify me writing about peeing my pants. But I’ve seen many mom bloggers tweet about “tee hee” and “pee pee”.  I finally realized they didn’t have Saverocity readers to tell them “really?”.

On Traveling Mom I’ve written almost 40 pieces and had exactly 4 comments that weren’t from other Traveling Mom writers- and three of them I recognized from Saverocity.

But here on The Deal Mommy I’ve had readers tell me my kids need therapy because they didn’t like Hanoi traffic. I’ve had readers pull out the fine print in offers in order to point out minute details they think I didn’t document clearly enough. I’ve had readers question my motives, question my actions, question my math. When I give an opinion I fully expect multiple comments telling me (in great detail) exactly why I am misguided. If I recommend a destination I fully expect to hear multiple reasons why it sucks.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Saverocity readers make me gut check my ethics,  disclose and re-disclose, edit and re-edit, check and re-check, and be 100% ready to defend every word I post. I love you for it.

Now go ahead and tell me why I’m wrong in the comments.

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network. 


37 thoughts on “Why I Love Saverocity Readers

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      The offers started at $100 and kept going up. Not enough takers, I guess. If they get to $1000…

          1. thedealmommy Post author

            I was being delicate. I couldn’t think of a better term than “bladder leakage pads” but that just didn’t roll off the tongue.

  1. Patricia Hall

    Good points, Dia! I agree that you can’t lose sight of who your readers are. Though I am a mom and a blogger, I don’t consider myself a “mommy blogger” because to me, more often than not that implies a lifestyle blog more like a journal, and my site is really a hyperlocal website and travel blog.

    However people classify themselves, however, they owe it to their readers to provide accurate information they would want to know when booking their own non-free reservations. I only accept sponsored posts and opportunities that are highly relevant for my readers, I always disclose the business relationship, and, like you, I try to “keep it real.” For example, if I stay at a resort and think it’s a great place for families, I will say so — but if some of the menu prices seem a bit high, I will say so, too. If I cover a Disney show and think it’s fun for kids and there’s lots to see, do, and buy, I will state so — but I will also let you know that photo opps against a simple background will set you back at least $20.

    In short, I always keep in mind that my readers have two decisions to make — whether to participate in something, and whether it’s worth the money — and I write accordingly. Sometimes this leads to a creative way to look at something. For example, when I reviewed a nice hotel in DC, I knew some locals would never consider paying $200+ per night to stay so close to home just “whenever.” But if you look at it as a “staycation” in lieu of going elsewhere, then a little splurge (when you’re not spending money on air, rail, or car travel) could be fun, and that’s the angle I took for my post. Whether someone likes the idea or not, I’m still not pretending that just because I got to stay at this place without giving it a second thought that this will be the case for most of my readers.

    As for you and The Deal Mommy, whether your readers agree with you or not on something, it’s clear that you do think of them and that your goal here is to educate and share valuable information. I, for one, am a fan, so keep up the good work! 🙂

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      If I cover a Disney show and think it’s fun for kids and there’s lots to see, do, and buy, I will state so — but I will also let you know that photo opps against a simple background will set you back at least $20.

      This puts you in a stark minority- and that’s a compliment. (and Thanks!)

  2. Pointsjock

    I have comments about mommy/daddy bloggers I’ll reserve for a beer. I am glad we have audiences that rip us apart for bum gouge, mistakes, or opaque disclosures – it’s what makes me read everything we write 8 times before submitting (and I still make mistakes).

    $500 to write about Depends though…. Heck I’ll wear a pair out for that and write about the sufficient quantity before changing required.

    This arena has made me wonder why we take the harder road to writing compared to the majority of popular blogs filled with too many exclamation points, no disclosures, rosey pictures and 10,000 bought Twitter followers. Why take the hard road when easy is out there?

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      It is a question I ask myself often- and then quickly answer. I don’t want to feel like I need a shower after every post.

  3. smittytabb

    I think your children are *sane* for not liking Hanoi traffic. Do those same folks let their children cross the road alone in Ho Chi Minh City? I think not. Thanks for keeping it real and for taking your children on the road, both literally and figuratively.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thanks. I have learned that it’s easy to tell which commenters have kids and which don’t.

  4. Jamie

    If you ask me, that rant is interesting, but getting way more attention than it deserves. Who didn’t know all that stuff already? Actual, real writers (like of books, published by publishing houses) get offered money to tweet about bladder control products (there was a new york times opinion piece about it that I’m too lazy to relocate).
    I find the “I used to be one of the bad guys, but now I’m one of the good guys” conversions a little rich. Today she’s so much smarter than the rest of the mommy bloggers and gets to condescend to those still toiling away, but yesterday she was one of them. ??

    Re: You post…What I love about the saverocity and broader travel hacking community (for lack of a better description) is how it really is like a community. You write a post, people comment, some have questions, sometimes other readers answer the questions before you have a chance to, etc etc. we talk on fora, And then if we are lucky we get to have a conversation in real life over a couple of drinks at #FT4RL or the Ann Arbor DO (to name a couple of my favorites!).

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  6. MickiSue

    What I found fascinating in the “analysis” blog post was the sheer number of “attagirl” and “yeah, you tell her!” comments from fellow mommy bloggers.

    I’m too old to be reading their blogs; and I’m not aware of a plethora of gramma bloggers. (Hey! Maybe I should start it. MAN, the offers to get paid to test grownup diapers would be pouring in!)

    But, really, whether she was too blunt, or too angry or too whatever, it’s NEVER a good idea to take someone’s criticism and dismiss it out of hand. It’s always a good idea, OTOH, to examine it, and see what part, if any, hits home.

    And, because I have no doubt that many of the travel hacking bloggers we mock are acting on a nearly identical set of Rules to Grow Your Blogging Income, I have no problem believing that those unhappy and angry comments come, not only from anger at herself, but richly deserved disgust with the community she so eagerly joined.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      I agree. Holier than thou is rarely flattering. The Grandma blog is a great idea, though…I can get you a PR contact for free adult diapers!

      1. MickiSue

        So far so good on that front, Dia. I used to teach prenatal classes, and teaching pregnant women to Kegel sets you up for life!

        Hmmm. Once I get my reselling more automated, maybe…..

  7. Jamie

    I never realized that there was such widespread incontinence. Seriously. Have you guys seen how much space these products take up in Walgreens? So, I’m wondering, has this just always existed and people figured out their own solutions, or is something new causing this surge in difficulty controlling one’s bladder, or are these companies somehow convincing people without a problem that they need these products? I’m stumped (but should probably focus my mental energy on something else).

  8. Erik

    Thanks for posting the “blow up” cached post – that’s pretty epic. I probably actively started reading blogs 6 or 7 years ago. A lot has changed during that time period – some bloggers became part or full-time shills for credit cards or other companies and a few even jumped the shark with their own YouTube channels (I think one of them aspires to be Robin Leach, LOL). While I might still have those blogs in my newsreader feed, the bloggers that I read most frequently tend to be people who are posting original topics that are relevant to me or have real/timely newsworthy content with a minimal amount of shilling. I get that people need to make a buck, and have no problem with that, but 10 posts in a week about CSP (or whatever the latest AMAZING signup bonus happens to be) is just a turnoff to me. At the end of the day, I guess people should do what makes them happy. If they are comfortable being a corporate shill with thousands of followers and making good coin doing it, cool. In a way, it’s entertainment and not terribly different from other ways of becoming “famous” in that industry.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      I agree that if writing advertorial makes someone happy, they should do it without regrets. My ire rises when advertorial is masked as original content.

      1. Erik

        Agreed. I think the sleaziest ones are those that do a poor job of disclosing the marketing relationship. People like TBB George do a tremendous public service by calling people out when they’ve crossed the line. He may not always be right, but at least it is getting the topic out there in open discussion to raise awareness so that people can make their own decisions. I don’t know if there is a TBB of the mommy/lifestyle blog world, maybe that is a niche for someone, LOL.

  9. me

    I ‘m predicting we will soon be reading about how these pads are perfect for everyone in the Hobby because you could wet your pants with upgrade excitement!!! And then we will have pics of Hyatt and Emirates first class bathrooms where you can change them!!! 😉

  10. Leana@Miles for Family

    I really debated on whether I should chime in on this topic. In fact, I started a post and ended up deleting it. Why? Mostly, because I think it’s much ado about nothing, or as they say in Russian: “hurricane in a glass of water.” But I can’t resist at least leaving a comment on the topic, so apologize in advance for the following (long) rant.

    Are there a lot of crappy “mommy” blogs on the internet? You bet! There are many crappy blogs, period. Hey, there is a good chance mine is one of them. That’s the thing with internet, there is no barrier to entry. Anyone can do it. Some use online platform as a creative outlet. Others try to make a little bit of money. Few, like me, try to combine both.

    What’s the harm? Who are these “mommy” blogs hurting? OK, maybe that shampoo from Walmart really isn’t the best EVER. The good news is you can just go get another one. It’s not that big of a deal. That’s the thing with sponsored content or any type of ads. You have to do your own research.

    BTW, I don’t particularly care for the term “mommy” blog. I am guilty of using the term, but will try to avoid it in the future. Definitely a generalization, and offensive one at that.
    Are all of those women moms? Yes. Is it the only thing that defines who they are? I don’t think so. I know it doesn’t define me. I’m not a big fan of stereotyping.

    Jennifer Garner, who is a well-known and respected actress/PR friendly celebrity is pimping Capital One Venture card on TV. The card is crap after the first year. But guess what? Many moms will sign up for it and keep it indefinitely while paying renewal fee each and every year.

    But let’s get back to this person’s rant. It looks like I’m in the minority, but I’m not a fan. I get what she is saying and there is probably a lot of truth in it. However, the way she said it is totally unacceptable. I absolutely detest all the profanity in the rant. Why go there ? If the message is truly worthwhile, it will stand on its own without all the f-bombs.

    She projected her own insecurities on others, mocked other women and made an entire industry into some sort of a joke. I’m not actually a part of that industry, though I am technically a mommy who blogs. Does it automatically make me into a pathetic joke not to be taken seriously?

    Here is the thing. Everyone is different. Some blogs will connect with other humans and make a difference, others will pollute the internet and inflate/fake the numbers just so they can take money or free products from the brand. While I’m obviously not a fan of faking numbers, if a company pays advertising money to a blog that has zero reach or REAL influence, who is the idiot in this scenario?
    As far as comparison to miles bloggers goes… Once again, readers should do their own research. Just because a blogger has authority and has been doing it for years, doesn’t mean that person is 100% right on everything and will always tell you about the best deal. Especially if that person is being paid big bucks. It’s only logical, no?

    I don’t and never have claimed to be 100% unbiased, and I don’t even pull in big bucks. I try to be honest, but I’m also realistic. That said, I’m not making any apologies because the truth is, blogging involves a ridiculous amount of work. And contrary to what trolls say, I’m not taking money from starving children.

    The other day I found out that one of my relatives signed up for 25K offer on Southwest card for both herself and her husband (not through my site). It’s been over 90 days, so Chase wouldn’t match it to 50K offer. Collectively, they missed out on 50K Rapid Rewards points due to their ignorance. She would be much better off following miles and points blogs because even if someone tricked her into getting 25K affiliate offer, she would likely find out about asking Chase for a match.

    Are readers overall better off because of miles and points blogs? I truly believe that they are. There is a community aspect here, and those who do their research, will eventually find a hobbyist/honest blogger willing to help. Yes, there is a lot of crap content, but that’s what happens when quantity trumps quality. And let’s not kid ourselves, quantity rules in our little corner of the internet. Speaking of quality, I miss Drew from Travel is Free.

    In a way, I’m glad there is a spotlight on this whole “mommy blog” industry, excuse the term. It highlights that there is a conflict of interest no matter what corner of the web you go to. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times it’s hidden.
    End rant.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      That was longer than most of my posts! Fair enough- in fact I’m seriously considering rebranding as I’m kinda over the “mommy” blog too.

      1. Leana@Miles for Family

        Yeah, I’m very sorry about taking over your blog. I probably should have just published it on my own site instead. My apologies, I just didn’t want to drag this issue any further. I think you’ve presented it well, and I applaud you for linking to a rebuttal piece.
        Dia, honestly, I never thought of your blog as “mommy” in a way “mommy” blogs are defined on the internet. Not to say those are bad, but it’s apples to oranges kind of thing. And anyone who thinks that’s all your blog represents obviously hasn’t been following it for very long.
        I don’t have any problem with your site’s name, but do what you feel is best.That’s the beauty of having your own blog. You can do and say whatever you darn please! That’s why I still haven’t quit. I’m not hanging on because of the money, I’ll tell you that. 🙂 Oh, and I’m a mommy and proud of it!

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  12. icicle

    I finally read that rant.

    Honestly, one of the first thoughts was to tell you this: Dia, I like your blog for your content. Not for giveaways. For. Your. Content.

    and, you know, “Vendoming!” Because epic awesomeness.

    I try to read as much as I can. I might not always comment…not because I don’t have any opinion but because it wouldn’t really mean much to post it.

    Like this lady’s rant-what could I add in my commentary? Nothing. In a couple of follow-up posts, she critiques and explains her thoughts. I found it fascinating. What works or doesn’t work for her pertains only to her; what works or doesn’t work for others pertains to them. We all have our own agendas to follow. I do hope she finds her path to happiness. If this wasn’t her path then good on her for stepping off of it. If this path helps someone else to improve their life quality, then keep marching.

    The only advice I have is this: Be true to your ownself and beliefs.

    I also thought this: wait, why is being a mom and blogging such a bad thing? Then I realized that it referred to a type of blog and the material contained within it *rather* than the author. It was at this point that I realized that I had no horse in this race.

    Life is too short to be that unhappy. Good for her for realizing it and doing something that will bring joy into her life rather than sadness.

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  14. El Ingeniero

    I saw a link about “I will never, ever, sell pee pads?” and got curious.

    I made a small mint in 2016 buying butterfly pads (look them up, even grosser than pee pads) from Target and reselling them on Amazon.

    Fun times. The things we do for miles and points.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      LOL. I think it’s fine to RE-sell pee pads (and yikes! butterfly pads), it’s the sponsored blog post I will never do. There is no amount of money that will get my to blog about peeing my pants.

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